Low-Fat Appetizer Recipes

Cheryl Zielke

Losing weight and eating delicious foods, including appetizers, is possible. In fact, the more satisfied you are with your food selections chances are you will eat within moderate portions. The key to weight management, whether maintaining weight or losing weight, is to choose recipes that are low calorie. Selecting low fat recipes is important since one gram of fat contains nine calories.

Certain appetizers are known to be high in calories and grams of fat. However, the following recipes can replace the not-so-healthy appetizers and offer taste, satisfaction and less fat.

Cheese-Stuffed Baby Vegetables

Ingredients:

1/3 c. low fat ricotta cheese2 tbs. reduced-fat cream cheese, soft

2 tbs. finely shredded radish

1 tbs. minced chives

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried dill

½ tsp. onion salt

12 cherry tomatoes

12 baby summer squash (zucchini or yellow squash)

Directions:

Stir together ricotta, cream cheese, radish, chives, herbs and onion salt. Mix well.

Cut the tops off of tomatoes. Using a small spoon, scoop out and discard pulp. Let tomatoes drain upside down on a paper towel. Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp and let drain as with tomatoes.

Stuff vegetables with cheese filling. Serve immediately or chill until serving time.

Servings and Nutrition Information:

Makes 12 servings.

One serving equals two pieces. Per serving: 22 Calories, 1 g Fat, 3 mg Cholesterol, 45 mg Sodium, 3 g Carbohydrate, 1 g Fiber, 1 g Protein

Garden Quesadillas

Ingredients:

2 red or green bell peppers, cut into strips

1 small red onion, thinly cut into 1" pieces

2 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

2 tbs. fresh cilantro, minced

1/3 c. fat-free cream cheese

5 flour tortillas, 7" diameter

Salsa

Directions:

In large nonstick skillet, cook peppers and onion in 1 tsp. of the oil for 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and chili powder; cook for 1 minute. Stir in cilantro; set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spread cream cheese over half of 1 side of each tortilla. Top with peppers and onions. Fold tortilla in half, pressing gently. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Place tortillas on ungreased baking sheet. Brush each tortilla with remaining oil. Bake for 5 minutes. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Serve warm with salsa.

Servings and Nutrition Information:

Makes 10 servingsOne serving equals 2 wedges. Per serving: 60 Calories, 2 g Fat, 1 mg Cholesterol, 102 mg Sodium, 9 g Carbohydrate, 1 g Fiber, 3 g Protein

Low-Fat Appetizer Recipes