Posts Tagged ‘appetizer’

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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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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!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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BLOG74!

PUMPKIN BUTTER

So smooth, full of pumpkin and spice flavor and no-sugar-added…how can you go wrong?!

Stir into your Greek-style yogurt, or whip with fat free cream cheese for a fabulous apple dip – drop a spoonful into your protein shake or on a crepe…wow!

Takes awhile to cook down, but the results are soooooo worth it!

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One 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin puree

2/3 cup Splenda Granular

1/4 cup sugar free maple pancake syrup OR 1/4 cup Whey Low Gold

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cloves

Dash freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the pumpkin, Splenda, syrup or Gold, lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to low, and allow to cook – stirring frequently – for 1 hour, or until thick and dark.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Serving size is 2 tablespoons.

Per Serving: Calories 29; Protein 1 g; Fat 0 g; Carbs 7 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 103 mg

Blog98!

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BLOG

HOT SPINACH CHEESE DIP

It’s so much more than a dip, though…  it’s great on top of burger or smeared inside a grilled cheese sandwich.

You could even pound some chicken breasts very thin and spread this on before it’s baked…roll the breasts up and coat them with a few bread crumbs. Spritz with olive oil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so.

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Vegetable cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup fat-free half & half or milk
Two 9-ounce pkgs frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
One 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
One 1-ounce pkg. dry vegetable soup mix (such as Mrs. Grass or Knorr)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 4-cup casserole dish with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.

In large saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Stir in flour and cook while stirring an additional minute. Add milk and half & half and cook until thickened. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in spinach, water chestnuts, cheddar, soup mix, and 2 tablespoons parmesan. Spoon dip into prepared dish and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve warm. Makes 9 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 137; Protein 8 g; Fat 9 g; Carbs 5 g; Sugar 3 g; Sodium 120 mg

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!ArtiSpinMush724

ARTICHOKE SPINACH DIP-STUFFED MUSHROOMS

I have to say this is one of the biggest hits I’ve had…soooo good.

Everybody loves spinach dip and everybody loves stuffed mushrooms – it only stands to reason that together they’d be over the top, and they ARE!

You don’t have to use the ‘srooms if you don’t want to – baking the dip in a casserole dish and having it with whole grain crackers or veggies is just as wonderful.

Creamy, garlicky, melty, cheesy goodness inside a tender, flavorful baby bella…….swoon!

Think outside of appetizers – they’d be an upscale side to steaks or burgers. A chopped salad and two or three of these and lunch is fantastically gourmet!

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20-25 crimini or white mushrooms
4 ounces (1/2 pkg) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup light Hellman’s or Best Foods mayo (this brand really is best…less greasy and doesn’t separate as much)
One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, sqeezed to remove excess liquid and finely diced
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Splenda/sugar
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (not shredded – the powdery fresh from the deli-cheese case)
Pinch cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wipe mushrooms clean; remove stems and gently scoop out the gills to make room for the filling.

In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, mayo, diced artichoke hearts, spinach, garlic, Splenda, Parmesan, and cayenne. Fill each mushroom cap with 1 tablespoon of dip mixture. Place on a baking sheet (with sides, as the mushrooms will release liquid) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and the filling is golden. Serve warm. Makes approx 10 servings of 2 pieces each.

Per Serving (2 pieces): Calories 81; Protein 7 g; Fat 3 g; Carbs 3 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 283 mg

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EdamameHummus wm

EDAMAME HUMMUS

If you love edamame this is for you! It has that great silky hummus feel in a fresh new way. Super good for us, filling with some soy crisps and even kids who won’t eat veggies will inhale this stuff! (The carbs are GOOD ones.)

(Tahini is sesame paste that is usually found in any grocery store by the peanut butter or the ethnic foods.)

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One 12-ounce pkg frozen edamame,  without shells
3  cloves garlic
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup tahini
Zest from one lemon
Juice from one lemon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil

Boil the soybeans and whole garlic cloves in salted water for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a food processor (you can do this in the blender, but stop frequently to scrap down the sides), puree the edamame, garlic, water, tahini, zest, lemon juice, salt, cumin, cilantro, and pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon of the parsley until smooth. With motor running, slowly add in olive oil until combined.

Transfer to a serving dish and stir in the remaining tablespoon of parsley. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, if desired. Makes 10 servings of approx. 1/4 cup each.

Per Serving: Calories 119; Protein 6 g; Fat 9 g; Carbs 4 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 79 mg

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