Less Fat, Still Ono

By Barbara Burke
and Joannie Dobbs

Wednesday, May 2, 2001

Fresh flavors add
layers of interest to dip

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that celebrates freedom and liberty. The festival day also provides us with a wonderful opportunity to indulge in our favorite Mexican cuisine.

Although it may not be an authentic dish from Mexico, certainly one of the most popular Mexican recipes throughout the islands is a seven-layer refried bean dip. This delicious blend of beans, chilies, avocado, sour cream, ripe olives, tomato and cheese is typically served with fried tortilla chips.

If you could stop eating after dipping just a chip or two, your waistline would not suffer. But wouldn't you rather have the option to eat more of a lower fat dip that is just as tasty?

To reduce the fat and calories, we substituted more natural ingredients instead of using nonfat versions of high-fat ingredients. As a result, there is still lots of flavor, even if the revised recipe isn't exactly like the original.

Original 7-Layer Bean Dip

1 16-ounce can refried beans
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained
1 8-ounce container guacamole or avocado dip
1 8-ounce container sour cream
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Layer ingredients in the order given. Serve with tortilla chips.

Makes 16 (1/4-cup) servings.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 150 calories, 11 g total fat, 6.5 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 6 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates. Tortilla chips contain 20 calories and 1 gram fat for two chips*

The revised Fiesta Bean Dip below has 45 percent fewer calories and 65 percent less fat than the Original 7-Layer Bean Dip.

Fiesta Bean Dip

1 16-ounce can Rosarita No Fat Traditional Refried Beans
1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix
1 tablespoon light sour cream
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup Pace Chunky Salsa (medium)
1/2 cup sharp shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup sliced black olives
2 tablespoons minced green onion

In an 8-by-8-inch dish, blend together refried beans, taco seasoning mix and 1 tablespoon light sour cream. Spread mixture to evenly cover bottom of dish.

Spread 1 cup light sour cream over bean mixture. Carefully spread salsa over sour cream layer.

Layer remaining ingredients, in order given.

Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 16 (1/4 cup) servings.

Serve with pita bread (separate layers and cut into triangles) or with thin slices of French bread baguette.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 80 calories, 4 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 330 mg sodium, 3.5 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates.*

If you want a lower-fat makeover of your recipe, mail recipes to Recipe Makeover, Features Department, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, HI 96802. Or email to using Recipe Makeover as your subject title. Make sure to include your name and phone number or email address.

Health Events

Barbara Burke is a Hawaii-Pacific University instructor who has been teaching
and writing about food and nutrition since 1975.

Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S., is a food and nutrition consultant
and owner of Exploring New Concepts, a nutritional consulting firm.
She is also responsible for the nutritional analyses
indicated by an asterisk in this section.

E-mail to Features Editor

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