Monday, March 19, 2007

Heart-Healthy Shrimp Dip served with Veggie Dippers

There's a new event called The Heart of the Matter, sponsored by Ilva from Lucullian Delights and Joanna from Joanna's Food, who both have an interest in healthy cooking. An event for heart-healthy recipes is something I want to support, especially since the South Beach Diet was created to be a heart-healthy way to eat.

For this month's theme of Finger Foods, I decided to revise an old recipe that I got from Sheila, former secretary at my school. She brought this occasionally, and everyone loved it. The original version had full fat cream cheese and sour cream, and used a packet of Italian dressing mix, all things I didn't want to use. My version uses lowfat cream cheese, low-fat cottage cheese or sour cream, the same flavorings as Grandma's Vegetable Dip, and the lemon juice, shrimp, and peppers that were in Sheila's original recipe. I also bumped up the ratio of shrimp and red peppers in the dip, making it more nutritious. I don't use fat-free cream cheese or fat-free cottage cheese because they usually contain sugar, but if you wanted to make this even lower in fat, you could make that change.

Some of you might be wondering about a dip that has shrimp and claims to be heart healthy. There was a time when doctors recommended avoiding shrimp if you were concerned about cholesterol, but now it's considered a healthy food. I ate my dip with celery and bell pepper strips, both of which are also considered to be some of The World's Healthiest Foods.

Heart-Healthy Shrimp Dip served with Veggie Dippers
(Recipe makes about 5 cups, at least 8-10 servings or more, created by Kalyn with inspiration from Sheila and Grandma's Vegetable Dip.)

8 oz. low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese or low-fat sour cream
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. dill weed (dried)
2 tsp. Bon Appetit Seasoning or celery salt
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
(one large pepper, cut in pieces about 3/8 inch)
2 cups frozen cooked shrimp, thawed and cut in pieces about 3/8 inch
(or use fresh cooked shrimp if it's available)

Let shrimp thaw overnight in refrigerator, then drain well. If they seem wet, I wrap them in a paper towel and squeeze out as much moisture as I can.

If using low-fat cottage cheese, put into food processor with steel blade and process until it is creamy and has the consistency of sour cream. (If using sour cream, just add with other ingredients.) Add cream cheese, lemon juice, dill weed, and Bon Appetit or celery salt, and blend together. Remove from food processor and put into mixing bowl.

Stir in chopped green onion and chopped bell pepper, then gently fold in shrimp. Chill dip for about an hour before serving for best flavor. Serve with celery sticks and red, green, yellow, or orange bell pepper strips. Other vegetable dippers could also be used.

South Beach Suggestions:

Light or low-fat cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese are all considered a "good" food for the South Beach Diet. I would avoid products that contain sugar.
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More to Chew On:


  1. Couldn't be better! Thanks a lot for this great recipe, it's perfect for the finger food theme!

  2. Sunday I made your c.beefw/horseradish sauce for my in-laws -- then today I was looking for an easy lunch -- yahoo-great shrimp dip w/veggies! thanks kiddo!

  3. Kalyn,

    I love your blog and check by every day. I don't always have time to comment, but just wanted you to know you have a fan who looks forward to a daily peek at what you're up to.

    I've made the South Beach egg muffins. I tried freezing them, but they turned out rubbery. But I love the flavor otherwise.

    I'm trying to incorporate South Beach principles, with my doctor's o.k. and your blog gives me lots of ideas.

    Thanks for all your wonderful efforts.

  4. "anoymous" is just me in a hurry - linda t.

  5. I have a great foodness for veggie dip--and so glad that shrimp is now deemed good for us. I would have a hard time going without it! The dip looks delicious.

  6. Wonderful looking dip! and I love the bell pepper dippers!

  7. Really good to have all the reasons why we don't have to worry about eating shrimp. And great recipe, I'd never have thought about it, JUST what I was hoping for when we decided to start Heart of the Matter - a whole lot of completely new ideas. Thanks, Kalyn!


  8. Ilva, you're welcome. This looked like "finger food" to me.

    Linda (aka anonymous) glad you liked the corned beef.

    Sandy, thanks for the support. I do prefer to make the muffins every week and not freeze them, but I never noticed it made them rubbery. I think that might be too long in the microwave. They don't reheat well from the frozen state; thaw in the fridge first. (Or do what I try to do and make fresh every week, even better.)

    Sher, I could NEVER give up shrimp either.

    Tanna, thanks. Love those sweet bell peppers.

    Joanna, so glad you liked it.

    Kristen, thanks.

  9. This looks like a very satisfying and tasty dip. I often use pepper strips instead of bread or crackers. So much healthier!

  10. This looks like a delicious dip. Our neighbors drop by all the time on the weekend. I'll have to give it a try Saturday.

  11. Hi Kalyn,
    I'm also a teacher and love checking in on your food site every day. If you ever have the time, would you tell you your organize and keep all your recipes so you can find what you want? Do you keep them in one of those recipe boxes or on your computer?

  12. Hi Nyla,
    Fun hearing from a fellow teacher. Believe me, not all my recipes are organized, but I like saving them on Here's a link to my page if you want to see what that's like. Rather than saving bookmarks, I mostly save recipes I find online to that page.

  13. Nyla, back again. Don't know if you'll see this, but maybe someone will. Here is post from Blogher by my friend Elise from Simply Recipes that gives very good instructions about How to Make a Cookbook.

  14. Yummy, yummy. Great idea!! :)

  15. This dip was absolutely delicious! You have been a true inspiration to me. I have been on the South Beach diet for 2 weeks and have lost 6 pounds. I check your site almost daily. Your recipes are great and so are you!!! Thank you for all the inspiration.

  16. Orange Beach, thanks. It's comments like that which really make my day.

  17. I can't believe how such a simple recipe can be so amazingly tasty. My boys and I have been dipping this with sugar snap peapods, bok choy bottoms and red bell peppers (a bit redundant because of the red peppers in the dip itself). A friend was just diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and I sent her your site so she can ENJOY food while getting her sugar and weight under control. Thanks!

  18. Sharon, thanks; so glad to hear you're enjoying it.

  19. Great healthy recipe! Perfect for the new year!

  20. Thanks Maria! A bit unusual for breakfast but I'm enjoying it today with celery.

  21. I love shrimp dip! I made shrimp stuffed tomatoes this weekend which was a fun alternative to dip.

  22. Rachel, love the sound of that!

  23. I was wondering if you could use imitation crab meat in this recipe instead of shrimp. If not, any ideas for the crab meat?

  24. Vicki, I haven't tried it, but I'm guessing that imitation crab meat would be good in this. My only caution (if you're a South Beach Dieter) is to see if the crab has added sugar.

  25. Klyn, thanks for the great recipe.. Would it be ok to use low fat plain yoghurt in this recipe to make it healthier?

  26. Definitely this could be made with fat-free Greek yogurt.


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