The weather is getting hotter, the grills are getting revved up and summer is around the corner. It is time to get organized for the Backyard Barbecue. Let’s start with the appetizer. Chips and dip are a staple but the calories can add up quickly with a guacamole or sour cream based dip, not to mention the chips. Providing healthy dips is an easy way to add mindfulness to your meal without giving up the fun and tastiness.
In the summertime we want to spend more time outdoors rather than in our kitchen. And when it is hot, the last thing we want to do is spend time in a sweltering kitchen. The solution: easy healthy dips that require no cooking and can be whipped up in no time flat.
One of my favorite healthy dips that is a little different than the run-of-the-mill standard choices out there is a Wasabi Dipping Sauce served with green beans. People love it and can’t seem to get enough of it. I always run out. You do need to keep it cool since it is a mayonnaise-based dip. You can keep it inside, set it on a table in the shade and put it in a container that is made to stay cool. Here is the recipe:
3 pounds green beans
1 cup mayonnaise, low-fat
4 teaspoons soy sauce, low sodium
1 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons wasabi paste or powder
1. Blanch the green beans in two batches in a large saucepan or steamer of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want them. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain well and pat dry.
2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice and wasabi until sugar is dissolved and the wasabi is well blended.
3. Place dip in a bowl. Serve beans with dip.
Serves 10 easily.
If you are looking for a couple more ideas on healthy dips check out the other dip choices on my blog. You will note I tend to serve raw or lightly blanched vegetables with my dip. Besides blanched green beans, jicama, strips of colorful bell peppers, Belgian endive and snow peas make great choices in addition to the standard carrots and celery sticks. The main thing is to make it colorful and attractive, which adds to the appeal of your healthy appetizer.
If you want to also offer chips, consider making your own. This way you can control the salt, sugar and oil in your chips. They can be done ahead of time and stored for up to a week or even frozen. You can do this easily by baking tortillas in a 375°F oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. All you need to do is get a package of store bought corn tortillas, coat both sides of each tortilla with olive oil cooking spray then cut them into quarters. Spread the quarters in an even layer on 2 large baking sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake, rotating the pans from top to bottom and stirring once halfway through, until the chips are golden and crisp. They are delicious and, when served in addition to the fresh vegetable crudité, add to the healthy appetizer choices.
Then to complete the menu, check out my Perfect Backyard Barbecue dinner. Great healthy choices with Father’s Day coming up next week!
Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!