I do not find clean eating hard, I love it! The hardest part about it is socializing. To be specific, a lack of healthy options available when I’m not at home. With summer here, I get a panic attack every time we are invited to a BBQ party. I have a vivid picture of the table in front of my eyes – simple carbs, simple carbs and more simple carbs. I’m not crazy or disrespectful, I just work too hard for my body and health is important to me. Plus, I do not enjoy “regular” food any more. It’s one thing to have to eat unhealthy food. The worst part is not to enjoy what you just ate.
My strategy is to eat at home right before leaving and pack a lunch bag with an ice pack and my protein bars. Lately it has been homemade protein bars. I also bring a jug of my Vega to some places. I sip on club soda and tea. Usually this works and I end up having a great time. Parties are not only about food. At the end of the day, it’s about having a good time with people you love.
Last weekend, we decided to spend a day at the beach. I mentally planned our whole menu and realized the only thing I was missing was vegetables. I thought it would be nice to have a salad at the beach. Wait, how about the Greek Salad in a form of a dip?! The boys dip the chips and I dig in with a spoon. Bingo!
The idea worked like a charm. Actually everyone ended up scooping the dip with a spoon in between the chip dunks. It was delicious! A layer of Greek yogurt adds creaminess and an extra protein boost. Feta cheese, dried oregano and fresh parsley make this dip a true Greek food.
The key is to dice the vegetables. Chop really finely, almost minced. That way the chip won’t break as you try to scoop some dip with it. Any whole grain chips would be great. For a low carb version serve with celery sticks.
If you are preparing a Greek Salad Layered Dip in advance, I recommend to seed the tomatoes and cucumber to prevent the juices from accumulating on the bottom. Simply refrigerate for up to 24 hours. I have a plastic lid that goes on top of this container, similar to this one. Very handy for transporting the dip. One more thing, I found the dip tasting much better with Kalamata olives than with black olives. Also I wouldn’t substitute parsley for dill or basil. Happy healthy eating!
Greek Salad Layered Dip
- 2 large tomatoes, diced*
- 1/2 long English cucumber, diced*
- 1/2 cup red onion, minced
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled & divided
- 1 + 1/2 tbsp oregano, dried & divided
- 3/4 cup parsley, finely chopped & divided
- 1 cup 0% Greek yogurt, plain
- 2 cups Romaine lettuce, finely shredded & packed
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted & sliced*
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
- In a 8" x 11" baking dish or any large serving platter, spread tomatoes on the bottom. Top with cucumber, red onion and bell pepper spreading evenly. Sprinkle with black pepper, 1/2 cup feta cheese, 1 tbsp oregano and 1/2 cup parsley. Using a spatula, spread a layer of Greek yogurt on top. Make a layer of Romaine lettuce. Top with remaining 1/2 cup feta cheese, olives, red bell pepper, 1/2 tbsp oregano and 1/4 cup parsley. Serve cold with any healthy whole grain chips or crackers.
If you are preparing the dip in advance, I recommend to seed the tomatoes and cucumber to prevent the juices from accumulating on the bottom. Simply refrigerate for up to 24 hours. I have a plastic lid that goes on top of this Glasslock container, very handy for transporting the dip. I found using Kalamata olives plays a big role in the taste of this dip. I tried it with black olives and the dip didn't taste as good.
Servings Per Recipe: 16
Amount Per Serving = 1/2 cup:
Total Fat: 2.7 g
Cholesterol: 8.3 mg
Sodium: 144.1 mg
Total Carbs: 2.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
Protein: 3.2 g
WW Points+: 1