Holiday Party Tips (cont.)

For some light party ideas, check out these recipes from the Weight Loss Clinic's collection (and see two new additions below):

  • Sun-dried tomato pesto torta
  • Raw veggies and hummus
  • Easy cheesy ball
  • Russian tea cakes
  • Grand Marnier fudge

Sweet 'n' Sour Turkey Meatballs

1 pound extra-lean ground turkey (around 6-8% fat)
2 slices whole-wheat bread, finely chopped, or 1 cup soft bread crumbs
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute, if desired)
2 tablespoons finely minced onion
2 tablespoons low-fat milk
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
Dash or two or freshly ground pepper
2 to 6 tablespoons nonalcoholic beer, chicken broth, or water (optional)
1/2 cup Heinz chili sauce
1/2 cup red currant jelly

  • In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients, mixing well with a wooden spoon or your hands. Form into about 40 bite-size meatballs.
  • Spray a nonstick frying pan with canola cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add the meatballs, cover the frying pan and brown them for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn the meatballs over, adding the beer or other liquid if necessary to prevent sticking. Cover and brown about 5 minutes more, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  • Combine the chili sauce and jelly and pour over the meatballs. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, stirring and basting the meatballs frequently until the sauce thickens nicely. Serve with toothpicks.

Yield: 8 servings

Per serving: 170 calories, 10 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 5.5 g fat, 1.7 g saturated fat, 61 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 347 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 28%.

Best Spinach Dip

This is a light rendition of that colorful and tasty party staple, the spinach-dip-stuffed sourdough round. You can make the dip and carve out the sourdough round a day ahead of time. Keep the bread in extra-large resealable bags and the dip, covered, in the refrigerator. Then fill the bread "bowl" with dip just before the party. (If you like, skip the bread bowl and serve with slices of whole-wheat sourdough or French bread, or with whole-grain trackers.)

1/3 cup real mayonnaise
2 1/3 cup fat-free or light sour cream
1 box dry leek soup mix or vegetable soup mix (1.8 ounce)
1 cup finely chopped jicama (or substitute a 4 ounce can of water chestnuts, drained and chopped)
10 ounce package frozen, chopped spinach (thaw, drain, and squeeze out excess water)
1 pound round loaf of sourdough bread (or similar type)

  • In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, leek soup mix, jicama, and chopped spinach. Chill in the refrigerator 6 hours or overnight.
  • Remove top and interior of sourdough bread round, making a bowl. Fill with spinach mixture. Cut the carved-out bread top into bite-sized cubes for dipping. Serve the spinach dip-filled bread bowl with the bread cubes.

Yield: 1 bread bowl (about 16 appetizer servings, 1/3 cup of dip each).

Per serving: 161 calories, 5.5 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 4.5 g fat (0.8 g saturated fat, 1.4 g monounsaturated fat, 2.1 g polyunsaturated fat), 3 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 295 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 26%.

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