Makes: 12 potatoes
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: at 400 degrees F. for 30 minutes
Parties are typically diet disasters. Our good-for-you playbook offers a home-field advantage.
Makes: 12 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes
Tips: Lighten up store-bought dips: Blend 1 cup dip with 1 cup fat-free plain yogurt or sour cream. Besides the usuals, try zucchini sticks, cauliflower and broccoli florets, snap peas, and jicama. Blanch broccoli and snap peas 1 minute and rinse under cold water to soften slightly and set color. Peel and slice jicama into 2-x-1/2-inch-thick sticks using a sharp chef's knife.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes
Tips: Look for lower-sodium salsa, such as Muir Glen. Draining and rinsing beans reduces salt by 40 percent. Poach and shred chicken breast rather than using preseasoned, prepared meat. Try big-on-flavor, better-for-you tortilla chips like Bachman MultiGrain, Garden of Eatin' Multi Grain with Flax Seeds, and Baked Tostitos Scoops.
Shrimp & Dip
Ten large shrimp weigh in at about 55 calories. Serve with cocktail sauce or bottled reduced-fat dressing, such as honey mustard, Caesar, or ranch (for roughly an additional 35 calories per tablespoon).
Spread 1/2 teaspoon fat-free Thousand Island dressing on party-size pumpernickel bread slices. Top with 1 tablespoon sauerkraut, and 1/2 slice each turkey and reduced-fat Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace). Heat gently until cheese melts.
Pita Crisps and Creamy Hummus
Cut pita into 6 wedges and split; brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 5 minutes. In a food processor, blend 1 can drained chickpeas, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, 2 cloves garlic, and 2 tablespoons each light cream cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil until smooth.
—Mix equal parts cold light beer and diet lemon soda or ginger ale for a shandy—a refreshing twist on a spritzer.
—Flavor a glass of seltzer with a teaspoon or two of creme de cassis or framboise to create a festive cocktail.
—For a spin on a Cuba Libre, add a splash of vanilla-infused vodka and a twist of lime to Diet Coke.
Originally published in the February 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.