Girls’ Night Healthy Snacks: Layered Dip, Hummus and Cornbread

Fill up on healthy snacks before heading to the movies with these recipes for layered dip, hummus and cornbread

Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

Fill up on healthy snacks before heading to the movies

Skip the buttery popcorn and opt for these healthier, wallet-friendly pre-movie snacks

A small group of fabulous ladies got together at my place a few nights ago for some food, drink, and catching up before heading out to see Gwyneth Paltrow’s new movie Country Strong. I was slightly skeptical but it turned out to be (in my opinion) really good.

Really, really good – I stayed up late that night listening to the soundtrack and watching interviews with the cast (I dare you not to fall in love with Garrett Hedlund after watching this clip from the film).

Before the movie I served five-layer Mexican dip with white and blue corn chips and delectable, garlicky hummus with crudites. I won’t pretend I made the hummus (I ran out of time and bought it at Urban Fare) but I usually make my own so I’ll include that recipe.

I believe layered Mexican dip is usually served cold and has seven layers. I felt like five and hot, so that’s what I did, and I think it turned out smashingly.

I love hummus but I don’t love the lingering garlic breath when it’s used raw so I add roasted garlic to my recipe – it takes out the bite and gives it a wonderful, rich flavour.

Roasting garlic is kind of a time-consuming process so I like to make big batches when I’m already going to have the oven on for a roast chicken, like on rosemary chicken, chicken curry or chicken cacciatore nights. Then I squeeze the delicious goo out of the skin and into a sealed container that I can keep in the fridge and use as needed.

My hilarious and talented friend Ginge brought the most amazing cornbread to our feast of nibblies. Check out the recipe on her laugh-out-loud funny blog Crass Cuisine (if you’re offended by crass language, consider this your warning). 


Five-layer Mexican Dip

  • 1 can refried beans (I used refried beans with green chilies for an extra kick)
  • 1 tub spreadable cream cheese
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 green onions, chopped


  • 1 can chickpeas, half the liquid reserved
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp roasted garlic, see recipe below (or 1-2 cloves raw garlic, minced)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin


Roasted Garlic

  • Here are instructions for roasted garlic (what a great idea to put the bulbs in a muffin pan!), however I roast mine at 350F for 60 minutes along with my chicken recipes.

Five-layer Mexican Dip

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spread refried beans evenly on bottom of casserole dish.
  3. Spread cream cheese evenly over bean layer (I put the cream cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds so it was easier to spread).
  4. Sprinkle a generous layer of grated cheese over cream cheese layer (I used a pre-packaged grated blend of taco and nacho cheese).
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese begins to bubble
  6. Spread salsa on top of cheese layer.
  7. Sprinkle green onions on top of salsa.


  1. Place all ingredients, except reserved chickpea liquid, in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Add reserved liquid as necessary if mixture is too dry.