Notice how there have been more football and baseball viewing parties this fall? It may have something to do with the great runs the Detroit Lions and Tigers have had. All the more reason to find your favorite party recipes that satisfy hearty appetites.
Whether you’re taking something to an upcoming game-watching event, hosting a football or playoffs party yourself or heading to a college campus for some tailgating, Metro Detroit fans say dips are some of the tastiest — and easiest — dishes to bring. Some are even healthy.
“I usually recommend using hummus for a healthy veggie dip,” said Silvia Veri, nutrition supervisor at Beaumont Health System's Weight Control Center. “Any brand or homemade recipe will do; it’s best if it is lower in fat with less olive oil and tahini paste."
Veri’s patients like Oasis hummus as well as its black bean dip, which has only 11 calories per tablespoon. “Trader Joe's has a low-calorie bean dip, too. And any salsa also is a healthy dip,” she said.
Anne Hoef of Troy also likes to serve low-cal fare for snacking. Hoef, who has two teenaged sons, has recently been experimenting with different recipes.
“While our family and friends enjoy the usual game day fare, I like to include a healthy snack to counter the high fat/high calorie foods that are served,” she said. “I like to put out a veggie tray with a good store-bought dill dip. However, I have realized that my intentions to serve healthy vegetables was undermined by the store-bought, fattening dip that I served with it.” So off to the kitchen Hoef went with various recipes in hand.
“I tried a dip that only used Greek yogurt as the base and I found the taste too yogurty,” she said. “So I found and modified a recipe that uses low fat yogurt and low fat cream cheese. The cream cheese balances the yogurt taste and makes a thicker consistency, which I like.”
Honey Longo, also of Troy, said her family loves the dill dip that she makes for vegetables. A Hellman’s mayonnaise proponent, Longo said she has substituted low fat mayo and low fat sour cream, but once people have tried the “full fat” dip, they do not like the healthier version as well.
“Sometimes I purchase a whole, round, unsliced rye bread (2 pound loaf works well), slice the top off, pull the bread out into bite-sized pieces and fill the loaf with dip,” Longo said. “Then the bread is great to dip, too!”
Busy mother of four, Joan Darish, of Troy, says her "First Down Taco Dip in a Bread Bowl" scores big-time for dip lovers. She this hot treat she mixes together one-fourth cup of salsa, one-half cup of sour cream, one eight-ounce package of cream cheese (softened) and one and one-half cups shredded cheddar cheese and then places it in a hollowed-out round loaf of bread. "Bake at about 350 for one one-and-a-half hours," she explained, "and then serve with cubed bread."
John Smyntek finds guacamole is an easy dip for him to make. “Lord knows — and so does my wife — that I’m not the ablest practitioner of kitchen savvy,” the Rochester resident said. So when a dipping dish is called for, Smyntek goes green, as in guacamole.
“It’s pretty hard to mangle,” said Smyntek, who uses the recipe from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman. “It was a gift from some dear friends who knew when retirement spit out my name, increased kitchen duties would soon follow. It has held me in good stead for about three years.”
Beaumont’s Vitri said dip fans interested in cutting down the fat grams in guacamole can use asparagus in place of avocado. She likes a recipe at allrecipes.com.
Also on the healthy bandwagon is West Bloomfield’s Janilla Lee, who is especially fond of a tofu dip that her sister in Ann Arbor gave her (recipe follows).
A dip roundup wouldn’t be complete without checking in with one of the state’s favorite coaches: Greg Kampe of the Rochester Hills-based Oakland University Grizzlies men’s basketball team. A winning dip for Kampe must feature bleu cheese, those who work with him say. Yes, Kampe does find time away from the court to catch a few football plays during the season.
Other notable dips appear in The Cooking Light Gluten-Free Cookbook (Oxmoor House, $21.95, available at Barnes & Noble Booksellers).
“Gluten free, flourless, wheat free. For the 30 percent of Americans facing gluten intolerance, the resulting diet has long been about what you give up,” said book publicist Tricia Manzanero of the Rosen Group. The book boasts more than 150 recipes that taste as if you’ve given up nothing, a glossary of common gluten-free ingredients, advice for avoiding hidden gluten and more.
Two popular dips from the book include Roasted Sweet Onion and Kalamata-Garbanzo Hummus. Tangy Greek yogurt and salty olives give the hummus a Mediterranean kick. Served with gluten-free rice chips, it scores.
To wash it all down? Gani Ricarte of Bloomfield Township says to try sangria; he likes this recipe.
“I'm not a football fan, but maybe next year after I get hooked on this Fantasy Football I just joined,” the head organizer of the Bloomfield Basketball League said with a laugh.