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Lots of fun dips to choose from at Trader Joe's.
Lots of fun dips to choose from at Trader Joe's.
Photo by Kate McLean

Chips and Dips Make A Healthy Summertime Meal

Guess what’s delicious and can be super healthy? Dips. Guess what’s a really convenient snack because it’s already made? Dips. Guess what goes really well with dips? Chips.

This summer, eating chips and dips for an entire meal is a healthy alternative to a Philly cheese steak or a double cheeseburger or even a wedge salad with seven strips of bacon. It requires zero utensils or plates and little clean-up time, which leaves precious moments for your kids or significant other or Instagram.

Eating chips and dips, and it's always more fun to have two at once, as a meal replacement is healthy for a number of reasons:

  1. You probably don’t eat as much.
  2. Dips like spinach and artichoke are vegetable-heavy. According to the Food Pyramid, three to five servings of vegetables should be included in a daily diet.
  3. Turkey and Cranberry salad, like the one from H-E-B, is full of antioxidants (the cranberries) and protein (the turkey.) Antioxidants ward off evil colds and proteins make it possible to lift groceries from the car to the kitchen.
  4. By incorporating celery sticks as a dipping vehicle every other pita chip, it’s not as fun, but the healthiness factor literally skyrockets. Pita chips are full of carbs which are essential for every day activities—like getting out of bed. And celery, aka floss for the body, is a “negative calorie,” which pretty much isn’t a calorie because it takes so long to actually chew and swallow it.

Nutritionist Claire Litz, RD, LD, SNS, confirmed with the Houston Press over a telephone interview, “No, I’m not going to tell you that gorging on pita chips and dip is healthy. Everything in moderation.”

Anyway.

Chips and dips can not only be healthy and convenient, they spread happiness to all. Everyone deserves chips and dips no matter what they’ve done. No matter what they’ve done.

Here are some places to get delicious dips around town:

H-E-B:

So check this out— H-E-B slings out some awesome dips. Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad, Spinach Artichoke, Hatch Pimento Cheese, and they don't cost a billion dollars either. Along with a bag of Stacy's Pita Chips, that's a pretty reasonable outlay of money. Which equals three Hendrick's martinis in the club later as opposed to one Hendrick's martini and two well vodka sodas.

H-E-B has several locations including 1701 W Alabama.

Phoenicia Specialty Foods:

Interviewing Evan Turner, beverage director for newly opened Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar, he just has a way of making you crave feta cheese— which he recommends you buy fresh from Phoenicia Specialty Foods located downtown.  While you're there, check out all those dips.  Pretty sure hummus is so popular it can be found at the 7-Eleven, but you're better off getting some from Phoenicia.  They have several different flavors generously garnished with the ingredient like pesto, kalamata olive, and roasted garlic. Babaganoush, yup.  Tzatsiki, uh-huh.  The Muhammara dip made from pureed red bell pepper, eggplant, and walnuts is a nice switch up. Phoenicia sells dips for about three to four dollars a container which, again, think of the savings.

Phoenicia Specialty Foods has two locations: 1001 Austin and 12141 Westheimer.


Trader Joe's:

Flavor combinations at

Trader Joe's

are downright dreamy— Sour Cream Spinach Dip, Avocado Tzatsiki, Jalapeño Lime Almond Dip, and of course the Smoked Salmon and Buffalo Style Hummus interpretations. At around $3-$4 for a full container, they have the best value AND out-of-the-box flavors.  It's this strange environment that only has four aisles but somehow contains everything you could possible need in a visit to the store.

Overheard: A daughter called to her mother from across the aisle, "Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin."

"Ooh, maybe."

"Don't forget I drove you here."

Trader Joe's has two locations: 2922 S Shepherd and 1440 S Voss.

Central Market:

Meanwhile Central Market is like, did you say dips?  They straight up have a bar dedicated to dips.  Ranging from five dollars to ten, this selection of Pimento Cheese, Love Dip, Smoked Salmon Herb and the like is sold by the pound.

Central Market is located at 3815 Westheimer.

La Lucha:

The La Caviar and Onion Dip served with Pringles— there is just no reason why you need any other dip in your life.  "Cajun" caviar on top means hand harvested roe from choupique fish from the Atchafalaya Basin.  And bonus points: it's natural, no artificial additives, colorings, or preservatives are added.  $27. Shoutout to Charles who is shucking those $1 Happy Hour oysters like a boss.  Go give him some love.

La Lucha is located at 1801 N Shepherd.

Camerata at Paulie's:

Next time you're sipping glasses at Camerata, check out the Preserved Lemon Aioli topped with Aleppo pepper.  "Tangy whammy shebangy," says Chris Poldoian, general manager and wine director.  And he says for bonus points Petrossian Salmon roe is available too.   $10.

Camerata at Paulie's is located at 1834 Westheimer.

Oops, that's not a dip.
Oops, that's not a dip.
Photo by Kate McLean

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