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Lighten Your Favorite Holiday Appetizers

With 10 tips from our "Recipe Doctor -- and some bonus recipes!

Spicy Oven Cheese Fondue (in bread bowl)

Journal as: 1 ounce of fat-free/low-fat cheese + 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt plain + 1 slice bread.

This cheese fondue has a nice bite to it. I love that the bread becomes the bowl to bake and serve the fondue in. Here's a little secret too -- the best part is eating the bread bowl, which has been cut into wedges after the fondue is mostly gone!

1 (1 pound) loaf of round sourdough or French bread
8-ounce package shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2/3 cup light cream cheese
1 1/2 cups fat free sour cream
1/2 cup chopped green onions
4 ounces canned diced green chile peppers
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make a bowl from the round loaf of bread by cutting a circle in the top of the bread. Remove the top by working with your hands to get at the bottom to create a bowl shape (hollow out the loaf) but reserve the bread for dipping later.
  • In mixing bowl, beat the cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream, green onions and chile peppers and Worcestershire sauce together on low speed. Spoon the mixture into the bread bowl and cover the filled bread bowl with a sheet of foil. While baking, place bread bowl on a cookie sheet, bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly (about 1 hour).
  • Serve with the bread top all cut up into bite-size chunks.

Makes 16 appetizer servings.

Nutritional Analysis: 168 calories, 9 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fat (2.9 grams saturated fat, 1 gram monounsaturated fat, .3 grams polyunsaturated fat), 12 milligrams cholesterol, 1.1 grams fiber, 324 milligrams sodium. Calories from fat: 27%.

More Appetizing Appetizers Light 7-Layer Dip

Journal as: 1/8 cup legumes without added fat + 1/2 ounce low-fat cheese + 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt (OR) as 1/2 cup of hearty stew.

Everyone loves this fun party dip, even kids! Keep it light by serving it with reduced-fat tortilla chips (homemade or store-bought) or reduced-fat crackers. Include 1/2 cup store-bought guacamole or make homemade by blending the following together in a small food processor:

Guacamole

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 teaspoons lime juice, fresh or bottled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons salsa
Garlic powder or garlic salt to taste (optional)
Black pepper to taste

Dip

8 ounces fat-free sour cream
1-ounce packet taco seasoning mix
15-ounce can fat-free or vegetarian refried beans
1 cup diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
2 cups shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese blend (i.e. Jack and cheddar)
2 1/4-ounce can sliced black olives (optional)

  • Make guacamole if you haven't already and set aside.
  • In small bowl, blend sour cream with taco seasoning.
  • Spread the refried beans in the bottom of a deep-dish pie plate (you can warm the beans up in the microwave briefly to make them more spreadable.)
  • Top the beans with the sour cream mixture then top that with the guacamole.
  • Spread the tomatoes on top then sprinkle the green onions over the top, followed by the shredded cheese and black olives if desired.
  • Serve with reduced-fat tortilla chips or reduced-fat crackers.

Makes 16 appetizer servings.

Per serving (dip only): 85 calories, 5.2 grams protein, 6.4 grams carbohydrate, 4.4 grams fat (1.9 grams saturated fat, 1.9 grams monounsaturated, .3 grams polyunsaturated fat), 7 milligrams cholesterol, .7 grams fiber, 258 milligrams sodium. Calories from fat: 46% .

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