Fun and Festive Finger Foods
These light bites will perk up your party table
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
We do a lot of standing around and visiting with friends, family, and co-workers this time of year, don't we? And what are we doing with our hands while we are visiting? We're enjoying all those lovely finger foods. So many goodies and only 10 fingers!
I love finger foods. You don't have to commit to an entree, a whole slice of pie, or an entire roll. You don't even need silverware -- grab a napkin and you're good to go. Finger foods invite us to enjoy a cute and petite portion of the appetizer du jour. Can't argue with that!
In honor of festive gatherings all over the country this season, here are a few lightened finger foods to perk up your party table. I've given these tried-and-true recipes a nutritional nip and a tuck, substituting reduced-fat ingredients where possible; reducing the butter, margarine or sugar ? you get the picture.
Wishing you all a happy holiday and a healthy New Year!
Lite (Liverless) Pate
The original recipe for this appetizer came from one of our Weight Loss Clinic members who posted on the Recipe Doctor message board. It sounded so good I just had to try it for myself. The light version worked wonderfully, so I want to share it with all of you.
2 cups shredded roasted, skinless, and boneless dark chicken meat (2 thighs and 2 drumsticks works well)
Yield: 8 servings
Per serving: 129 calories, 10 grams protein, 5.5 grams carbohydrate, 6.5 grams fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 33 milligrams cholesterol, 0.6 grams fiber, 57 milligram sodium (not including celery salt). Calories from fat: 50%.
Curried Chicken Finger Tea Sandwiches
2 roasted boneless and skinless chicken breasts, shredded (about 2 cups)
Yield: 8 servings (2 sandwiches per serving)
Per serving: 198 calories, 15 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fat, 1.6 grams saturated fat, 32 milligrams cholesterol, 3.3 grams fiber, 245 milligrams sodium. Calories from fat: 33%.
Easy Cheesy Ball
What's a holiday party without a cheese ball? If you only have a large food processor, double the recipe and make two cheese balls. If you want to add some zip, add a couple tablespoons of crumbled bleu cheese or a splash or two of Tabasco.
8-ounce package light cream cheese
Yield: 12 servings (1 cheese ball)
Per serving: 92 calories, 5 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fat, 3.3 grams saturated fat, 14 milligrams cholesterol, 0.2 grams fiber, 147 milligrams sodium. Calories from fat: 69%.
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