Lighter taco dip

If you have eaten more taco dip than you care to admit, raise your hand! 

You can't see me, but I am raising both. I am a monster with taco dip. My entire life this appetizer has been everywhere. When I was little, my cousin and I would wait for my aunt to peel back the plastic wrap, and we would attack it. We would work together as a team, I would pick off the tomatoes, and Veronica would meticulously remove the olives. We mushed the tomatoes in our napkins, squashing it so much, no one could tell we weren't eating them. Our prized selection of sliced black olives we would gobble down, or place on our fingers like little innertubes. After our removal was complete, we would dig at the dip full of glee, tortilla chip after tortilla chip. Scoop, crunch crunch, scoop crunch crunch. 

The two round pizza pans my aunt made would be gone in literal minutes. In our defense, there were a ton of people munching away. I have a gigantic family, seriously our family parties...you can't even hear your own voice there are so many people talking. I love it. 

But this dip. No matter what party, what holiday. It was there. My aunt showed me how to make it when I was about 9? Around there. I couldn't believe how easy it was, sour cream, cream cheese, and taco seasoning. 

THAT WAS IT. My mouth dropped as I watched the white cheese and silky sour cream swirl around. Then she dumped the taco seasoning in and that pale orange color was staring back at me. My eyes were as wide as saucers. I remember looking at her and saying "that's it?!"

She smiled, "that's it, but people love it".

As I got older, I realized it wasn't a family secret, a lot of people knew about it, and everyone I knew loved it. Everyone had it their own special way, with olives, without olives, extra tomato, no tomato, lots of lettuce (me), no lettuce (Jake), round tortilla chips, scoop chips, the list was endless. 

My best friend, always a visionary, liked eating Doritos with her taco dip. 

So when I realized in my health journey, I wouldn't really be able to enjoy my beloved taco dip as often as I used to, I tried to put it out of my mind. 

Until now. 

Lighter taco dip | shutupeatthis.com

This taco dip, oh my, I cannot tell you how happy I am with it! Even though it is a special treat, it is still much lighter than the original. Unlike most people, I don't like to completely change classic recipes, because as much as they may tell you, no, they don't taste exactly the same. In my opinion, you have to keep a portion of the ingredients the same. 

In walks in cream cheese. I mean, come one, it isn't taco dip without the cheese! But, in my recipe I use the kind with the super difficult name. Nuefchatel cream cheese, it is lighter, but tastes just as good as the original. I replaced the full fat sour cream, with full fat Greek yogurt. I think it would taste just as good with lower fat Greek yogurt, but I kept it full fat to maintain the creamy factor. 

Well, Allie, where the hell is the difference? First of all, excuse you. Second of all, I lowered the amount of the cheese by half, replaced the the sour cream and THIRDLY...

BEANS BABY. 

Ew gross. 

Lighter taco dip | shutupeatthis.com

WRONG. It is perfection!

  

The white beans, are insanely creamy, the cheese and the Greek yogurt cling to the beans, and amplify the flavor. I actually use white bean and cheese for a tasty wrap recipe I have that I will put up at some point. Addicting! I also decided to use packaged taco seasoning, which I usually don't suggest. Making your own taco seasoning is much healthier. BUT, my advice is look for the best packaged seasoning. I wanted to keep it as easy as the original, so I kept the packaged part in. The one I purchased from my local Sprout's (a totally adorable small chain grocery store specializing in organic "healthy" foods), and their packaged taco seasoning was legit just taco seasoning. No weird chemicals, or overly high salt content. 

My one warning, while delicious; this is higher in sodium, because of the seasoning, and all that jazz. Look people. Salt is delicious, but that is why I have to do my "tisk tisk" Allie move. You always have to enjoy everything in moderation. 

Delicious, salty, moderation. 

I won't bore you with the directions here because it is super simple, (just scroll to the bottom). The only tip I want to highlight is to allow the dip to chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. This is because you are using canned, drained beans which are more than likely room temperature. Chilling it allows the texture to reach that perfect taco dip creaminess. Besides, who wants room temperature taco dip?

If you need more heat, feel free to add extra cayenne or paprika if you have it around, I used 1/4 teaspoon more cayenne to bring it up a bit. 

This lighter taco dip is the perfect appetizer to bring along to a party, or to place amount other dishes as a secret weapon. Do yourself a favor now and make a double batch. You can wow people by saying "guess what the main ingredient is?"

Then shock them out by shouting "WHITE BEANS!"

They may say recoil and say "gross", but they will keep on dipping. Because people always love secret ingredients...unless its poison. 

I've been watching a lot of CSI. 

Lighter taco dip | shutupeatthis.com

But I wish I was watching this dip go in my mouth right now. 


Lighter Taco Dip

Recipe by Allie Brendel

A healthy, lighter twist on a classic appetizer! This stuff was always made in a double batch, so make sure to double the recipe if you are feeding a bunch of people! Use any toppings you like, tomato, green onion, and crispy romaine are among the favorites!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes (Chill for 30 minutes)

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 125

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces Neufchatel cheese
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Full fat Greek Yogurt
  • 2 1/2 cups Great Northern white beans (drained & rinsed about 1 13.5 oz can)
  • 1 oz package taco seasoning

Cooking Directions

  1. Take softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, rinsed and drained beans, and dump everything in a blender, food processor, or stand mixer.
  2. Mix until smooth and creamy, then add in the taco seasoning and mix until seasoning is combined.
  3. Spread out in a pan, I used a shallow 6 1/2 by 9 1/2 (really weird size I know), but you can really use anything.
  4. Let this chill for about 30 minutes before adding the toppings, this helps the mixture get that perfect taco dip texture! The beans are warm out of the can, so you want to allow it to chill.
  5. Add your favorite toppings, and all the best dipping receptacles! Tortilla chips, veggies. ANYTHING!
  6. Devour (sensibly, if you can)!