Category Archives: Appetizers

Potato Skins

These are very filling and make a great snack, appetizer or even a side to a low cal fish dish. You can always dress them up with more ‘stuff’ and just each one to keep the calorie count down – they are very filling, so one should do as a side. Tye adding some cooked crumbled turkey bacon, or some extra low fat cheddar cheese…maybe even some caramelized onions !

Potato Skins
Potato Skins

4 servings
262 calories per serving

4 large potatoes (8 oz. each)
2 t oil
¼ c parmesan cheese
½ c skim milk
3 T low fat cream cheese
¾ t salt
¼ t pepper
3 T low fat sour cream
3 T sliced scallions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash the potatoes and prick them with a fork. Microwave on high 10 minutes, then turn and microwave another 5 minutes. Let cook a bit and then slice in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flash keep the skins intact. Place the skins on a cookie sheet and brush with the oil and sprinkle with 2 t of the parmesan cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Meantime mix the rest of the parmesan with the potato, milk, cream cheese, salt and pepper. When skins are toasty, fill with the potato mix and bake another 7-9 minutes or until hot throughout. Dollop with sour cream and sprinkle with scallion just before serving.

Cucumber Bites

These cucumber bites make a great appetizer or side on a lunch platter.

Cucumber Bites
Cucumber Bites

4 servings
90 calories per serving

1/2 c shredded carrot
1/2 c 1/4 less fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese with Chive and Onions
2 cucumbers

Keep 2 T of carrots aside for garnish. Mix the rest of the carrots and cream cheese. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place cheese mix in cucumbers. Cut each half into 5 pieces. Top each piece with leftover carrots.

Cheesy Spirals

Don’t let the fact that there is not a lot of cheese in these dissuade you – these are so very good and the fragrance of them under your nose while you are biting in makes them all the more better. Great as an appetizer or a snack or a side, these cheesy bread puffs are awesome !

Cheesy Spirals
Cheesy Spirals

8 servings
70 calories per serving

4 oz. can of low fat crescent rolls
¼ c chopped green onions
1/8 t garlic powder
¼ c shredded low fat cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough from can but do not unroll it. Cut into 8 slices and place slices on an ungreased cookie sheet and place all the ingredients on top of the rolls and press down lightly. Bake 10-13 minutes or until golden brown.

Black Bean Hummus

This is exactly what is says – the flavor of black bean dip mixed with the flavor of hummus and it was quite good ! Serve with Triscuits or homemade pita chips for a great appetizer or snack !

Black Bean Hummus
Black Bean Hummus

1 ½ cups
43 calories per serving (1 serving = 2 T)

15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 T tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 T low fat sour cream
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced tomato
1 T lime juice
1 t cumin
Pepper to taste

In a food processor mix all ingredients and process until smooth.

Greek Bruschetta

Bruschetta is simply a dish that has some short of chopped tomatoes served on top of some type of bread product. There are a million variations – this one is Greek and oh so good ! Cut into wedges, these make a great appetizer. Served whole, they make an awesome lunch ! 1 whole pita is only 180 calories so there’s still room for some soup or salad on the side 🙂

Greek Bruschetta
Greek Bruschetta

6 servings
60 calories per serving

2 7 inch whole wheat pitas
1 T fat free balsamic vinaigrette
1 T chopped basil
1 large plum tomato, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 c fat free plain hummus
1 T shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pitas on a cookie sheet and bake 6 minutes or until a bit crisp. Mix vinaigrette, basil, tomato and garlic. Spread the hummus evenly on the 2 pitas and then spoon over the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake 5-6 minutes or until hot. Cut each pita into 6 wedges.

Cold Antipasto

This is a nice change from having a regular salad next to your meal – I sometimes put it out as an appetizer or even add a few breadsticks and make a lunch of it 🙂 By cooking the veggies and leaving them in the ‘brine’ you get a giardiniera flavor, though not as strong since it sits for just a few hours before serving.

Cold Antipasto
Cold Antipasto

4 servings
149 calories per serving

1 c vegetable broth
½ c dry white wine
½ t oregano flakes
¼ t crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. carrots, sliced on the diagonal
2 c cauliflower florets
¼ lb. green beans, sliced in half on the diagonal
½ c pickled pepperoncini peppers
¼ c white vinegar
1 t oil
½ t salt
½ c cubed mozzarella cheese (part skim)

In a large skillet bring the broth, wine, oregano and red pepper flakes to a simmer and then add the carrots. Cover and cook 6 minutes. Add the cauliflower and beans and return to simmer and cook 8 minutes more. Put the veggies and liquid in a bowl and stir in the pepperoncini, vinegar, oil and salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Just before serving, plate the veggies along with the cheese.

Zucchini Pizzas

These were just fabulous ! The big cheese flavor makes you forget that you have a zucchini under there instead of a crust. And using tomato paste instead of sauce really makes for a rich flavor. You get a whole zucchini’s worth for just 90 calories !!

Zucchini Pizzas
Zucchini Pizzas

36 pizzas
90 calories per serving (1 serving = 12 pieces)

3 medium zucchinis each sliced into 12 pieces
6 oz. can tomato paste
36 thin slices 1 inch square part skim mozzarella cheese
1/3 c parmesan cheese
Mixed Italian herbs (oregano, basil, parsley)

Preheat broiler. Parboil zucchini slices 1-2 minutes and then drain on paper towels. Place on a baking sheet and top each piece with 1 t tomato paste and one slice cheese. Then top with ½ t parmesan and herbs. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms usually come in 2 varieties, those stuffed a sausage or bacon mix and those stuffed with a chopped mushroom stem mix (usually including cheese). These stuffed mushrooms are a great third variety packed with flavor and an unexpected ingredient…carrot. The carrot and cream cheese mix together perfectly and make for a nice low cal appetizer. At only 54 calories for 6 mushrooms – – eat up !

Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed Mushrooms

4 servings
54 calories per serving

24 fresh mushrooms
1 grated carrot
3 oz. fat free cream cheese, softened
2 T chopped fresh chives
1 t dried minced onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat broiler. Discard mushroom caps. Combine cream cheese, chives, onion and mix well then stuff each cap and place on an ungreased sheet , sprinkle with salt and pepper, and broil 8 minutes or until done.

Spinach and Cheese Squares

This is basically a super easy recipe for a superb spinach quiche. The crust is light, the filling perfect, and this makes a great appetizer or lunch.

Spinach and Cheese Squares
Spinach and Cheese Squares

8 servings
79 calories per serving

1 ½ c Egg Beaters
¾ c skim milk
1 T dried onion flakes
1 T grated parmesan cheese
¼ t garlic powder
1/8 t pepper
¼ c bread crumbs
¾ c fat free shredded cheddar cheese, divided
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained well

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs, milk, onion, parmesan, garlic powder and pepper. Spray an 8×8 pan with Pam and press bread crumbs evenly into the bottom. Place ½ c of cheddar on top of the bread crumbs then add the spinach. Pour the egg mix on top of the spinach and then add the rest of the cheese. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Open Face Eggplant Melts

These are INCREDIBLY good – each piece in and of itself is good, and all put together, it makes an awesome appetizer, lunch or snack ! The balsamic dressing on the eggplant and zucchini make this very special and I recommend you don’t skip that step.

Open Face Eggplant Melt
Open Face Eggplant Melt

4 servings
260 calories per serving

1/2 lb. eggplant cut into 8 slices
1 medium zucchini sliced lengthwise into 8 long slices
1/3 c low fat balsamic vinegar dressing
4 ¾ inch thick slices of Italian bread
3 T low fat mayo
½ t basil flakes
Pepper to taste
1 tomato cut into 8 slices
3 slices part skim ricotta each cut into 4 strips

Spray a cookie sheet with Pam and preheat broiler. Place eggplant and zucchini slices on sheet and brush with half of the dressing then broil 5 minutes, turn, brush with the rest of the dressing, and broil another 5-7 minutes. Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and broil 1-2 minutes to lightly toast. Combine mayo, basil and pepper and spread on bread. Top each piece of bread with 2 eggplant slices, 2 zucchini slices, 2 tomato slices and 3 strips of cheese and broil 1-2 minutes. If the bread you use is not large enough to support 2 pieces of eggplant, zucchini and tomato, cut it down to 1 and lay the cheese across lengthwise rather than crosswise.

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