Many of your favorite appetizers and party foods are notoriously high in calories, carbohydrates and fats. If you’re looking for a party spread to suit your guests taste buds, appetites and diets, you’re in the right place. I’ll provide three recipes along with instructions and nutritional information, and with them you can feed a party of up to 18 people for under 300 calories per serving! I’ve chosen three foods that are healthy as well as delicious, each recipe using similar ingredients to help save you some cash as well.
Simple Caprese Salad
This easy salad is fresh and tasty – it even looks like a piece of art on the table. You’ll need a large bag of whole leaf baby spinach, 6 large roma tomatoes hand-picked for thickness, 8-10 balls of fresh mozzarella cheese, extra virgin olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and dried grated basil. Slice the tomatoes and the mozzarella thinly, and separate the spinach leaves from one another, trying to pick ones of similar size. The idea is easy – layer the ingredients atop one another, leaning each slightly against the next to create a colorful spiral from the outside of your plate all the way to the middle. Once you’ve got your pretty setup, put the olive oil, splash of balsamic, and a few dashes of dried basil into a container and shake vigorously. Drizzle in a single line over the salad, following the spiral all the way along. Looks good, I know – but wait for your guests! This simple caprese salad has approximately 120-124 calories per serving, just under 8 grams of fat, and lots of calcium and vitamins A and C.
Mini quiches are very easy to make and enjoyed by pretty much everyone. You need two muffin pans (or one pan, used twice), a cup of shredded lo-cal cheddar cheese, 1/2 a cup of flour, just under a cup of shredded zucchini (use a cheese grater!), 8 farm eggs, 1/4 a cup of heavy cream, and a few dashes of black pepper. Like I said, it’s easy – mix everything together until it’s batter consistency, pour into pam-greased muffin pans, and bake at 350 degrees for about half an hour, or until you notice the tops beginning to brown. As always, make sure they’re fully cooked before serving them – raw or undercooked eggs can contain salmonella. This recipe serves 16-18 people. Using lo-cal cheese takes the calorie count of this dish down, leaving it at approximately 88-90 calories per serving with around 5 and a half grams of fat.
The scent of crab stuffed mushrooms baking is absolutely divine – it’s just one of the many reasons this dish is one of my all time favorites to make. The health benefits of mushrooms are largely underestimated, and what better way to enjoy them than stuffing them full of delicious shellfish? You’ll need about a pound of mushrooms, a cup of plain bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of shredded Romano cheese, 4 sprigs of green onion sliced thin or minced, 5 tablespoons of lo-cal butter or margarine, about half a bottle of water, and around 4 ounces of fresh crab meat. You can use imitation crab meat, but to acheive the full nutritional potential of this dish, it’s worth it to get real crab. To put this dish together, wash and cut the mushrooms – meaning take the stems out so that you can use the caps as tiny bowls. Mince the stems and put them aside. In a skillet, melt some of the butter and lightly cook the green onions and minced mushroom stems. You just need them soft and cooked enough to be able to mix easily with the rest of the stuffing, so don’t overdo it! Next, mix everything in a bowl – the breadcrumb, veggies, crab and any seasonings you may like to use. Keep adding water splash by splash until the stuffing is the right consistency, able to easily be scooped into the mushroom caps with a spoon – that’s the next step in fact, and after you’ve done that, stick them in a pam sprayed baking dish and place a tiny pat of butter on each mushroom to keep the stuffing moist as it bakes. Bake in 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. These delicious little treats have between 70-73 calories per serving, and only 3 grams of fat!
You can always use variations in these recipes to suit your tastes, but make sure you don’t add things to make that calorie count too high! Looking to find recipes that have specific nutritional standards? Check out http://caloriecount.about.com/.