Serious Eats: Recipes

Healthy & Delicious: Spinach and Cannellini Bean Dip

Editor's note: On Mondays, Kristen Swensson of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Take it away, Kristen!

[Photograph: Kristen Swensson]

Football season is never easy for healthy eaters. Every Sunday, we're confronted by smorgasbords that'd make Tony Siragusa blush. And during gamedays filled with KFC Famous Bowls and Cadillac Pimento Cheese Balls, it helps to have alternatives that a.) don't include a cup of mayonnaise, and b.) are identifiable as food.

Let's cut to the chase, then: there's only one problem with Giada DeLaurentiis' Spinach and Cannellini Bean Dip, and that is you will never, ever want to stop eating it. It is the 1972 Dolphins of dips. It's right up there with Ina Garten's Roasted Eggplant Spread, which is the highest honor one can bestow on a dip.

Each one-third of a cup serving comes out to 87 calories, 2.7 grams of fat, and 3.7 grams of fiber, making it lighter than hummus and only a single Weight Watchers point. One could call it a touchdown.

Some notes on the process: I reduced the olive oil by two teaspoons and subbed in regular bagged spinach for the baby spinach (changes reflected below). The former step cut about 9 grams of fat, while the latter saved me at least a buck. Also, the balsamic seemed a tad prominent at first, but I added a little more lemon juice and it balanced out superbly.

So, whether you're celebrating another Giants win or weeping uncontrollably over the Bills, give Giada's dip a shot. It might just end up your MVP.

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