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Source: Diabetic Cooking, July/August 2006

Hors D’Oeuvres With A Difference

For most of us, party foods spell fun, festivity – and an overdose of fat, calories, and high-GI carbs. Crackers, chips, snack mixes, and other party staples top the list of high-GI foods, while creamy dips and high-fat finger foods can make special occasions a real obstacle for anyone who’s tring to watch fat and calories. Fortunately, adopting a healthy low-GI lifestyle does not mean giving up party foods. Ingredients like low-fat cheeses, ultralean lunchmeats, low-fat sour cream and mayonnaise, and wholesome whole-grain breads can substantially lighten up your celebrations and get-togethers.

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Veggie-Cream Cheese Spread

Ingredients:

8 oz block nonfat or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 tsp crushed garlic
3 tbsp finely chopped scallions
3 tbsp finely chopped green bell pepper
3 tbsp grated carrots

Directions:

Combine the cream cheese and garlic in a medium-sized bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Transfer the dip to a covered container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with whole-grain crackers and fresh-cut vegetables or use as a filling for finger sandwiches.

Makes 1 1/4 Cups.

GI Rating: Very Low

Nutrients Per 1 Tablespoon Serving:
12 Calories
0 g Fat
0.8 g Carbohydrate
1.8 g Protein
1 mg Cholesterol
55 mg Sodium
35 mg Calcium
0.1 g Fiber

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Tasty Tuna Spread

Ingredients:

8 oz block nonfat or reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 c nonfat or light sour cream or mayonnaise
6 oz can albacore tuna, drained
1/4 c finely chopped scallions
1/4 c finely chopped celery
1/4 c finely chopped black olives

Directions:

Place the cream cheese and the sour cream or mayonnaise in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve with whole-grain crackers. Or use as a filling for celery sticks, hollowed-out cherry tomatoes, or finger sandwiches.

Makes 2 Cups.

GI Rating: Very Low

Nutrients Per 1 Tablespoon Serving:
15 Calories
0.2 g Fat
1 g Carbohydrate
2.2 g Protein
2 mg Cholesterol
58 mg Sodium
23 mg Calcium
0.1 g Fiber

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Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Ingredients:

3/4 c nonfat or light mayonnaise
1/2 c chopped drained roasted red peppers (about 3.5 oz)
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor and process until smooth. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with an assortment of fresh-cut vegetables and rolled-up slices of roasted turkey breast and lean roast beef.

Makes 1 Cup.

GI Rating: Low

Nutrients Per 1 Tablespoon Serving:
9 Calories
0 g Fat
1.8 g Carbohydrate
0.1 g Protein
0 mg Cholesterol
101 mg Sodium
1 mg Calcium
0 g Fiber

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Creamy Herb Dip

Ingredients:

3/4 c nonfat or light mayonnaise
1/2 c nonfat or light sour cream
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives or 1 tsp dried chives
3/4 tsp finely chopped fresh dill or 1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to mix well. Transfer the mixture to a covered container and refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve with an assortment of fresh-cut vegetables and rolled-up slices of roasted turkey breast and lean roast beef.

Makes 1 1/4 Cups.

GI Rating: Low

Nutrients Per 1 Tablespoon Serving:
12 Calories
0 g Fat
2 g Carbohydrate
0.4 g Protein
0 mg Cholesterol
67 mg Sodium
8 mg Calcium
0 g Fiber