Monday, November 28, 2011

Low Calorie Dips and An Easy At Home Science Experiment

I am a huge fan of dips.  I’m addicted to the process of running a chip through a bowl, pan, saucer, coffee-cup, pile spilled on table, wad found on shirt, etc of dip.  My go-to dip base ingredients are sour cream or cream cheese.  I mean, I’ve even written a poem about cream cheese for God’s sake.  But…I’ve committed to eating better and less.  This shouldn’t mean that my dip addiction should suffer.  I do have to maintain my sanity in some way.  Here are a couple of lower calorie dip recipes that help me to maintain my addiction and sanity.  

Quick Mexican Dip (
About 45 calories per serving (10 servings per recipe) - this does not include chips.

8 oz block of low fat Cream Cheese
8 oz tub low fat Sour Cream
1 package Taco Seasoning Mix
Tostitos Multigrain Tortilla Chips

Top with:
Shredded lettuce
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Chopped Tomato

Beat Cream Cheese, Sour Cream and Taco Seasoning together.  (If you want a thicker dip you can use the low fat or full fat version…which sort of defeats the purpose of eating lighter).  Spread dip in shallow 8x8 or 9x9 pan and top with toppings.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Hot Pizza Dip Recipe (
About 136 calories per serving (10 servings per recipe) – this does include chips!

8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
½ cup finely chopped red pepper
½ cup pizza sauce
Tostitos Multigrain Tortilla Chips or whole-wheat Boboli pizza crust (cut into dipping bread sticks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9-inch pie plate with canola cooking spray. 

In a medium-size bowl, combine light cream cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder then spread on the bottom of prepared pie plate. 

In medium-size bowl, combine the two cheeses and red pepper.  Sprinkle half of the cheese-pepper mixture over the cream cheese layer.  Spread pizza sauce over the top of this and then sprinkle with the remaining cheese-pepper mixture. 

Bake for 20 minutes and serve warm with multigrain tortilla chips or whole-wheat dipping bread sticks made from Boboli whole-wheat pizza crust.

Now that you’ve made some dip.  You can do some science while you eat.  Here is Monday’s easy-at-home science experiement!

Make Glowing Water

What You Need:
A black light (you can find them at places like Walmart and hardware stores)
Small bottle of water
Highlighter pen
A dark room

What To Do:
Carefully break open highlighter, remove the felt and soak it in a small amount of water for a few hours.  Pour soaked water in water bottle or in a bowl.  Find a dark room.  Turn on the black light near your water.

What is Going On:
The ultra violet (UV) light coming from your black light excites things called phosphors.  The dye from the highlighter pen contains phosphors that turn UV light (light we can’t see) into visible light (light we can see).  That’s why your water glows in the dark when you shine a black light on it.

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