Category Archives: Appetizers

Roasted Chickpeas

These make a great snack while watching TV – pick away without guilt! Put a few bowls out at parties and watch everyone try and figure out what the heck they are eating :)

Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted Chickpeas

8 servings
29 calories per serving

2 c canned chick peas, drained and rinsed (I used a can of tri-color chick peas)
1 t oil
Coarse salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss peas and oil and spread on a baking sheet and bake 40 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt. Cool before serving.

Broccoli Cheddar Dip

So easy to make – this takes just a few minutes. And the results are SUPER ! There will be lots of yummy noises as your group eats this one up. Serve with low cal crackers.

Broccoli Cheddar Dip
Broccoli Cheddar Dip

18 servings
72 calories per serving

10 oz. package frozen broccoli
8 oz. Cabot low fat sharp cheddar, grated
4 oz. cream cheese
2 T milk
1 t Tabasco sauce
1/2 t pepper

Microwave broccoli in a partially covered dish 8-10 minutes. Add cheddar, cream cheese, tabasco and pepper. Recover and microwave 1-2 minutes or until cheeses are melted. Stir until smooth. Serve immediately with crackers.

Sausage and Bean Stew (Crock Pot)

What a great appetizer or lunch. The sausage, beans and garlic make a perfect stew. Served with cheese toast, this makes a great dish to serve to guests. Even with the bread, this dish comes in under 400 calories !!

Sausage and Bean Stew (Crock Pot)
Sausage and Bean Stew (Crock Pot)

6 servings
350 calories per serving

2 t oil
3 t garlic, minced
4 2 oz. turkey sausages (any flavor you like, I used Italian hot) cut into chunks
1 c water
1 c chicken broth
2 19 oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 c baby spinach
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/8 t salt
½ t garlic powder
2 T lemon juice
6 T shredded provolone cheese
6 1 oz. slices French bread

Heat oil and cook sausage until almost done. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add water, broth to crock pot then add spinach. Add salt and pepper and garlic powder. Add beans and then add sausage and garlic and any pan drippings to the top. Cook on low 3 hours. Add the splash of lemon during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve with Cheese Toasts. To make toasts, sprinkle bread slices with cheese and broil 2 minutes to melt cheese.

If you don’t have a crock pot, you can do this stove top is a soup pot – after cooking the sausage and combining all the ingredients, simmer on very low for 1 hour.

Spinach Tarts

These little crustless tarts make a great side dish to lunch or dinner. Very cheesy, very chic :)

Spinach Tart
Spinach Tart

8 servings
124 calories per serving (serving=2 tarts)

16 oz. frozen spinach
3 egg whites
12 oz. 2 % cottage cheese
1 c shredded part skim mozzarella
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 t black pepper
Pam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put spinach in a colander and rinse with hot water until thawed. Using your hand or the back of a spoon, press it down firmly to drain all the water out of it. Mix egg whites, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese and then add spinach and mix well. Spoon mixture into 16 muffin / cupcake cups sprayed with Pam. Bake 35 minutes.

Warm Shrimp Cocktail

What a wonderful appetizer or lunch ! The marinade makes the shrimp nice and spicy. And the sauce is a great deviation from the typical ketchup and horseradish mixture…this one uses tomatoes and has a much fresher taste. Try dipping your avocado slices in the sauce too – the flavors go together perfectly.

8 servings
238 calories per serving

Warm Shrimp Cocktail
Warm Shrimp Cocktail

Cocktail Sauce
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 T cilantro
2 T lime juice
1 T prepared horseradish
1 T Worcestershire sauce
¼ t Kosher salt
¼ t pepper
(you can make this a day ahead)

Shrimp
24 fresh clean jumbo shrimp with tails on (if desired)
3 T lime juice
3 T chili sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
½ t Kosher salt
1/8 t pepper

4 ripe avocados, sliced

Prepare sauce and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Place shrimp in a zip loc bag with the juice, sauce and garlic and place in the refrigerator 1 hour. Heat grill and spray a grill basket with Pam. Drain shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill 7-8 minutes or until done. Serve with cocktail sauce and sliced avocados.

If you don’t have a grill, you can broil or pan fry the shrimp.

Mini Calzones

Here’s another one of those appetizers that also makes a great dinner side – these are great served next to a hearty bowl of minestrone soup.

Mini Calzones
Mini Calzones


24 servings
50 calories per serving

1 11 oz. can soft breadsticks
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 c shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
6 slices very thin deli ham, each rolled and cut into 4 pieces
¼ t oregano flakes
2 T grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Let dough come to room temperature then unroll it and separate into 12 sticks then cut each in half making 2 short sticks. Flatten each piece of dough to about a 2 inch wide piece. Sprinkle all the dough pieces with garlic powder. Place 1 t mozzarella cheese in the center. Fold ham and place over the cheese making sure to leave a border so you will be able to seal the calzones. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges to seal and make a little pocket. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the parm and oregano. Bake 15 minute or until golden brown.

Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)

Stuffed artichokes cooked in a pressure cooker are delectable ! They soften up beautifully and the garlic seems to just be infused into the artichoke leaves. This is a great recipe – so flavorful, so classic.

Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)
Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)

8 servings
105 calories per serving

8 large artichokes, trimmed
½ c bread crumbs
½ c grated parmesan cheese
½ c minced garlic
1 c chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon

Everyone trims an artichoke differently – I cut off the stem and then ½ inch from the top. Then I trim all the leaves by nipping off the end. To get the leaves to open up enough to stuff them, I bang the leave side down on the counter a couple of times – then you can use your fingers to pry open the leaves some. Yes, all this work is definitely worth it :)

Separate leaves slightly so you can drop in the ingredients – each should get bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic.

Place artichokes in pressure cooker (you can double decker them) and pour over broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then squirt with the juice of 1 lemon. Close pressure cooker and bring to pressure and cook 60 minutes. Quick release pressure.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook these stovetop in a dutch oven – simmer for 2 hours or until tender.

You can make these ahead of time and just reheat in the microwave prior to serving – I actually prefer to do it this way. They just seem to be more flavorful with the second heating.

Greek Cucumber Toasts

This is a terrific, easy to make appetizer with the wonderful flavors of Greece just shining bright. The feta cheese, lemon, cucumbers and olives are a perfect topping to the toast triangles. Fancy tasting without a ton of work !

Greek Cucumber Toasts
Greek Cucumber Toasts

4 servings
158 calories per serving

4 slices light whole wheat bread, crusts removed and cut diagonally into triangles
4 t olive oil
3 oz. low fat feta cheese
1/2 t lemon juice + a few squirts extra
Kosher salt
Coarse pepper
1 small English cucumber, halved and then thinly sliced crosswise on the diagonal into 8 slices
4 pitted kalamata olives, sliced

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees. Brush the bread pieces with the oil and bake until they are golden, about 5 minutes. Mash up the feta and mix with oil and ½ t lemon then add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mix over the toast points and to with a slice of cucumber. Garnish with olives and then spritz with lemon juice and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches

This is a sandwich that makes your mouth happy :) The combination of the Cajun flavoring on the chicken along with the roasted red pepper and pepperoncini is just perfect. This one is a sure crowd pleaser and cut into strips, would make a great appetizer.

Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches
Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches

1 serving
330 calories per serving

2 slices Italian bread
1 ½ t light mayonnaise
6 slices Cajun spiced deli chicken breast (if unavailable, sprinkle roasted deli chicken with some Cajun seasoning)
3 strips jarred roasted red peppers
1 small pepperoncini pepper sliced
1 no fat cheese slice (Kraft Singles are nice and creamy!)
2 t lite Italian dressing

Brush the outside of the sandwich with the dressing and cook in a skillet 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Spread mayo on bread and then add all the ingredients.

Zucchini Quiche Cups

These make a great side dish to a chicken or fish dinner. Or make a double batch and serve as appetizers at your next get together. Warm and homey without being a heavy dish and these make a really nice presentation – just perfect !

Zucchini Quiche Cups
Zucchini Quiche Cups

12 servings
115 calories per serving

2 c zucchini, in small cubes
2 t olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
12 slices light wheat bread, crusts removed
12 grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup soft low fat cream cheese spread
¾ c egg beaters
1/4 c light cream
2 T chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper to taste
Pam

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix zucchini with oil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper them bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Spray a cupcake tin with Pam. Flatten bread with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pan and cut out a notch in the top so that when you place it in the cucpcake tins, it will wrap around nicely.

Zucchini Quiche Cups
Zucchini Quiche Cups

Then press into the bottom of the cupcake cups. Mix zucchini and tomatoes and spoon into the cups. Beat eggs, cream cheese, cream, chives, salt and pepper. Pour into the cups and bake 15-20 minutes or until they are set.

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