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Lighten Your Favorite Holiday Appetizers

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

10 Easy Ways to Lighten Your Favorite Holiday Appetizers continued...

7. Use roasted skinless chicken breast for appetizer recipes calling for skin-on chicken thigh and save around 70 calories and 10 grams of fat per 3 ounces.

8. Add fat-free half-and-half for appetizer recipes calling for liquid cream and you'll save around 40 calories and 7 grams of fat per 1/4-cup serving.

9. Oven fry or pan-fry your holiday appetizer in a minimum of oil instead of deep frying and you'll cut around 80 calories and 9 grams of fat if you use 2 teaspoons less oil per serving.

10. Choose whole grain and lower-fat bread and cracker products to accompany your holiday appetizers to increase the fiber and take down the fat. Using reduced-fat Triscuits, for example, instead of regular, will cut around 30 calories and 3 grams of fat per seven-cracker serving.

Here are a few appetizer recipes that are lighter because we made some sensible substitutions.

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%.

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