Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

SAVORY SUN-DRIED TOMATO APPETIZER CHEESECAKE

A little different…but when it comes to cheesecake anything is good!  This one will be a hit on your celebration tables, or at any potluck, BBQ, or picnic. For low-carb-hardly-any-calories serve with assorted cut veggies to dip.  

The add-ins are really up to you.  Sub out the tomatoes for greek olives and part of the mozzarella for feta cheese.  Stir in a little crushed pineapple or jalapenos…anything you’d like.  Leave off the crust altogether for even lower calories – I’ve given stats for either way.

(For complete fabulous-ness don’t be tempted to use fat-free cream cheese as it tends to make cheesecakes rubbery!)

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2/3 cup plain bread crumbs (unseasoned)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Two 8-ounce pkgs reduced-fat cream cheese
2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 eggs
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, blotted with paper towel and finely minced
1 cup light sour cream OR plain Greek yogurt for added protein
1/2 teaspoon Italian Herb seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together bread crumbs and melted butter. Pat into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan (OR 9-inch deep dish pie plate). Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In large bowl whip cream cheese just to soften. Add shredded cheese, green onions, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and mix to combine. Add eggs, one at a time and beat just until each egg is no longer visible. Fold in tomatoes. Pour filling into crust. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until almost firm in the middle.

Combine sour cream and Italian seasonings and pour over cheesecake. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Turn off oven, leaving door slightly open, let cake cool in oven for about 20 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack and run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake. Let cool completely before removing sides of pan. When cooled, wrap tightly and chill overnight or preferably a couple days. Makes 20 appetizer servings.


 With crust:
Per Serving: Calories 149; Protein 7 g; Fat 9 g; Carbs 5 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 226 mg
 Without crust
Per Serving: Calories 125; Protein 7 g; Fat 7 g; Carbs 3 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 192 mg

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SOUTHWEST DEVILED EGGS

I mean, really…can you have too many deviled eggs?!  This is on old recipe that I’ve made for a long time and love.  How spicy depends on your taste, but when the snack attack comes around, you’ll be ready with a plate of these in the fridge.

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10 hard-boiled eggs

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 1/2 tablespoons salsa

1 tablespoon chopped black olives

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Dash cayenne, chipotle pepper

Salt to taste

Fresh cilantro or parsley, minced

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Peel boiled eggs, slice in half length-wise and scoop out yolks into a small bowl. Mash yolks with a fork until smooth. Stir into yolks the mayonnaise, sour cream, salsa, black olives, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Divide yolk mixture among the egg whites and arrange on a plate. Garnish with fresh herbs. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Makes 10 servings, 2 pieces each.

Per Serving: Calories 90; Protein 7 g; Fat 5 g; Carbs 1 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 24 mg

 

 

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CARAMEL PECAN BRIE

For your Holiday parties, or when you want to feel a little more up-scale watching the game – this quick appetizer is easy and impressive.

I’ve used it with Cinnamon Bliss and it’s wonderful…if you have that, it will be truly sugar free.  If not, the Whey Low Gold, and my caramel sauce will still put this in your ‘favorites’ files.

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One 7-ounce wheel Brie cheese

2/3 cup my Caramel Sauce OR Cinnamon Bliss

2/3 cup chopped pecans, or any nuts you prefer

Assorted fruit (grapes, sliced apples or pears) and crackers

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Remove rind from Brie, if desired. Cut into wedges and arrange on a plate.

IF USING my Caramel Sauce previously-made:  in a small saucepan add nuts to sauce and bring to a boil.  Boil for 30 seconds and allow to cool slightly.  Microwave the Brie 30-45 seconds – just until it starts to melt.  Spoon over warmed Brie and serve.  (If making the sauce at the same time, measure out 2/3 cup to a small saucepan and add the nuts.  Bring to a boil and boil 30 seconds.  Cool slightly.  Pour sauce over warm Brie and serve.)

IF USING Cinnamon Bliss, in a small saucepan add nuts and bring to boil over medium-high heat and boil for 2 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool slightly. Microwave Brie for about 35-40 seconds or until just starting to melt. Spoon sauce mixture over cheese. Serve with fruits. Makes 8 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 130; Protein 6 g; Fat 13 g; Carbs 6 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 156 mg

 

 

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CHOCOLATE-MINT CHEESE BALL

Just in time for the Holiday dessert tables that are everywhere you go.  You can’t escape this time of year – the buffets, the lunch rooms, the office parties, and hundred and one other occasions to eat…each filled with stuff we shouldn’t have.

This one everybody will love – whether they like to eat low-sugar or not!  Most bigger grocery stores carry the sugar free star-light peppermints, or you can order from an on-line candy store.  One of my favorites is Perfectly Sweet.  Or there is Candy.com, but they sell in bulk.  I don’t know…you might want 425 star-light mints.  Who am I to judge?!

I serve it with the Murray’s Double Chocolate Cookies – or graham crackers – or off of a spoon…

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One 8-ounce pkg. reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup Splenda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
One 4 ounce package sugar-free peppermint candies
1/4 cup Hersey’s sugar free chocolate chips or other sugar free chocolate, finely chopped

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, Splenda, vanilla, 3 tablespoons finely crushed candies, and chocolate. Place in a small plastic wrap-lined bowl and chill 4 hours or overnight. Unmold cheese ball and place on a pretty plate. Gently press 1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candies onto the surface. 

The candies tend to get “wet” if left in the fridge too long. I would press them onto the surface just before serving.

Makes ten servings, 2 tablespoons each.
Per Serving: 118 Cal; 3 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 4 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar

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BLOG

RICOTTA-SPINACH CUPS

Pretty little bites, just right for a quick lunch with a crisp green salad.  They can also be used as appetizers for any party.  Guests will adore these and most of the work can be done ahead.

Pre-bake the wrappers and store them in an airtight container once cool.  Make the filling and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.  These are good hot or room temperature.

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Vegetable cooking spray
24 small square wonton wrappers
1 cup ricotta cheese
One 10-ounce frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
2 eggs
1 tablespoon cream
1 clove garlic, through a press
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Dash cayenne pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray the cups of a 12-muffin pan with the vegetable cooking spray.  Gently press one wrapper into reach cup and lightly spray the wrapper with the spray.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.  Repeat with remaining wrappers.

In a small bowl combine the ricotta, spinach, eggs, cream, garlic, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, and 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Replace 12 of the baked cups into the muffin pan.  Fill with one tablespoon of filling mixture.  Sprinkle with more grated parmesan.  Lay a piece of aluminum foil lightly over the pan and return to the oven. Bake for 17 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool.  Repeat with remaining cups and filling.  Makes 24 pieces.

Per Cup: Calories 50; Protein 4 g; Fat 2 g; Carbs 3g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 119 mg

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!RoastedTomBruschSm

 

ROASTED TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

I know bruschetta should have some sort of crusty, crispy bread involved…and you can add it to this wonderful topping.  But being that I try to eat low-carb, the bread is a bit off the radar for me!

I love this so much, though.  On top of burgers, fish, omelets, chicken…stirred into cottage cheese, ricotta, or even Greek-style plain yogurt, or over slices of fresh mozzarella…it’s so good.

Inspired by Biba’s recipe in her book Biba’s Italy, this has been a favorite in my house for a long time…and will be forever!

Add it to the top of toasted bread if you must…you will want to just eat it out of the spoon, too!

The process seems daunting, but it’s worth it.  And the sweetener REALLY adds to the end flavor.  (I’ve actually reduced the amount of sweetener Biba suggested, but don’t leave it out!)

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1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes

5 Roma tomatoes

4 teaspoons Splenda/Whey Low Granular/sugar, if you can have it

7 fresh basil leaves, chopped

3 cloves of garlic (put through a garlic press or finely minced)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt

Black Pepper

1/3 cup Shaved Parmesan cheese

If you are so inclined:

1 baguette – sliced, drizzled with olive oil and broiled till golden (turn and do other side, too!)

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Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half. Lay cut side up in a pie plate – single layer. Squeeze them in to fit! Sprinkle with 2 of the minced cloves of garlic. Sprinkle with Splenda/sugar.  (Don’t skip the sweetener- it’s what makes this SO good!) Roast in oven, uncovered for about 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring three or four times.

Tomatoes will be shriveled and almost dry. Remove from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, cut Roma tomatoes in quarters and squeeze to remove seeds and then dice them. Add to roasted tomatoes along with remaining clove of garlic, basil, oil and cheese. Toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to marinate and get BETTER!!

Makes 8 servings – 1/4 cup each

Per Serving (does not include bread): 102 Cal; 2 g Protein; 8 g Tot Fat; 5 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 64 mg Sodium

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!dip08

LEMON BASIL DIP

This dip is great on fish, chicken, burgers, or even a crisp green salad.

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1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Splenda
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, salt, Splenda, garlic, basil, sour cream, mayonnaise, and black pepper. Cover and chill for at least one hour. Makes 8 servings about 2 tablespoons each.

Per Serving: 69 Cal; 1 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 2 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 150 mg Sodium

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