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Low-Calorie Appetizers

Crabmeat Spread

A picture-perfect addition to any holiday spread, this crabmeat pomegranate dip is low in calories compared with the typical veggie dip. Light mayo is the only ingredient that adds a few fat calories; otherwise this holiday appetizer is protein-packed and full of flavor.

Makes 16 appetizer servings

8 oz lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed

4 tbsp light mayonnaise

1 tbsp finely chopped green scallion tops or chives

1 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice

Assorted crudités (red pepper strips, cucumber slices, and carrot sticks)

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Mix crabmeat with mayonnaise, scallions, and lime juice. Mound crabmeat mixture in the center of a platter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Arrange colorful vegetables around the plate.

Per serving: 26 calories, 3 g protein, 0.4 g carbohydrate, 1.4 g fat, 0.2 g


Stuffed Figs

Pigs in a blanket are a holiday no-no, laden with 6 grams of fat and not a lot of nutritional value per each bite-sized portion. Stuffed figs (the figs replace the pigs) wrapped in prosciutto are delicious and nutritious -- cutting the calorie count down to 85 and the fat grams almost in half.

Makes 12 appetizer servings

12 large fresh figs (mission or any other fresh variety)

2 oz goat cheese

2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 12 strips

2–3 oz balsamic vinegar

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut figs in half but not all the way through. Stuff the fig with a small scoop of goat cheese and press gently to seal. Wrap stuffed fig in a strip of prosciutto to secure cheese, tuck ends of prosciutto under fig. Place figs on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over each fig.  Bake figs 8 to 10 minutes; serve warm.

Per serving: 93 calories, 3.5 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 9 mg cholesterol,

2 g fiber, 145 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 26%.

Low-Calorie Desserts

Apple Crisp

What’s a holiday feast without a little apple pie? It may be an age-old tradition on your table come November and December, but there’s a slimmer way to do it. While it’s not exactly lean cuisine, this crisp is certainly a step in the right direction, especially if you use a no-trans fat margarine and a sugar substitute, in lieu of the real thing. Topping out at around 220 calories and 8 grams of fat, this dessert is a big nutritional improvement with almost no sacrifice in taste.

Makes 8 servings


1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

3 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tbsp no-trans fat margarine

Eating Healthy in Restaurants:

Follow these ordering tips to ensure you eat healthfully when you dine out.
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