Christmas Holiday parties are wonderful but the vast array of rich and tempting foods can become a bit overwhelming. I have some recipes for this time of year that, while delicious, are not quite as rich as the standard fare. When asked to contribute a dish, I usually make one of these recipes. This way, I know there will be an alternative if I start to indulge too heartily in richer selections. Here are five alternatives.
Shrimp Loaf: Place eight ounces of low fat cream cheese on a bed of chopped iceburg lettuce. Mix together – ½ cup of ketchup,1 tablespoon of horseradish and a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Pour over the top of the cream cheese. Then, drain one small can of shrimp, in a colander. Squeeze the rest of the juice, of one lemon, over the shrimp and toss. Place on top of the ketchup mixture. Serve with triscuits or wheat crackers.
Salsa Loaf. A variation of the shrimp loaf, this is a great addition. Place eight ounces of nonfat cream cheese on a plate. Pour ½ cup of hot salsa over cream cheese brick. Serve with baked tortilla chips or whole wheat crackers. This can be adapted to your taste. Use low fat cream cheese and mild salsa, if you are not a fan of hot and spicy foods.
Bagel Chips with Cream Cheese and use Sweet Chilli dipping sauce and make bagel chips by slicing bagels thinly and tossing in olive oil salt and pepper bake in a hot oven until crisp and golden.
Deviled Eggs: Hard boil one dozen eggs. Slice lengthwise. Remove the yolks and to them, add 2 tablespoons of low fat mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard and 1 teaspoon of dill pickle relish. If more liquid is needed, add some pickle relish juice to the mixture. Pipe or spoon into egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika. I have been making these for years and they are always the first appetizer to disappear.
Wrapped Melon: Buy precut cantaloupe and honeydew melon chunks, at the grocery store. Wrap with small slices of Italian ham, such as capicola or prosciutto. Attach the ham to the melon with toothpicks. This is super easy and delicious. The salty ham and sweet melon are great compliments to each other.
Marinated Mushrooms: Wash 2 pounds of mushrooms with a wet paper towel and remove the stems. In a large frying pan, with a lid, steam the mushrooms in your favorite lite Italian salad dressing. If you desire, you can add a little white wine or sherry to the mixture about halfway through cooking time. Turn up the heat for a few minutes if adding wine to burn off the alcohol. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least four hours. These can be made up to two days in advance.
Even though these recipes are lower in fat than the standard versions, if you need to watch your salt intake, use common sense. Lite versions of salad dressing can be very high in sodium. Read your labels. Italian ham is very salty. Some versions of salsa can be higher in sodium than others. With a little variation, everyone can sample these recipes. Pick one, this holiday season, and enjoy!