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Five Healthy, Easy Party Appetizers

There are a few ... within these ... contain fat. However, we've chosen the ... like olive oil. Olive oil is better for you than ... it is mostly ... fat

There are a few ingredients within these appetizers
that contain fat. However, we've chosen the healthier
fats like olive oil. Olive oil is better for you than butter
because it is mostly unsaturated fat.

1. Artichokes with dipping sauce: Kids love this
appetizer because it's a fun, unique finger food. Take
whole artichokes and boil or steam them for about 20
minutes, until the outer leaves pull off easily.
Dipping sauce: cup any type of vinegar,
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
To eat: pull off the leaves of the artichoke, dip in the
sauce and scrape off the flesh at base of the leaf with
your teeth. Don't eat the whole leaf, just the soft parts.
When you get to the center of the artichoke, you must
scrape out the prickly part with a spoon. Then dip the
heart of the artichoke into your sauce and eat the
whole thing (this is the best part).

2. Low Fat Baked Tortilla Chips with three kinds of dip.
(Frito Lay has a good low fat tortilla chip with only two
ingredients - corn and salt!) Dips:
- Salsa - choose a variety that is low in fat with healthy ingredients.
- Avocado - 2 or 3 ripe avocados, smush with a fork
add about a tablespoon of lemon juice. Avocados are
very high in fat, but it's a healthy fat.
- Refried beans - choose a variety that is low in fat,
mix up with a little non-fat sour cream to give it a more
dip-like consistency, you might even put in a packet
of taco seasoning for a spicey dip.

3. Hummus on whole wheat pita bread. In the deli section
of your grocery store, you will find many different flavors of
prepared hummus. Hummus is made out of chick peas and the
flavored varieties are actually quite yummy. You can also make
it yourself by cooking chick peas (garbanzo beans) according
to package directions and blending in a food processor with
any types of spices you like. Chick peas are bland, so they will
pick up any flavor you add to them. Whole wheat pita bread
can be found in the bread section of the grocery store.

4. Crostini and toppings. Crostini are just little pieces of toast;
their original topping is chicken liver pate. However, you can
really top them with anything. Use any type of small width
bread (like a French baguette), slice, single layer on a cookie
sheet, and cook for a few minutes in the oven. Watch carefully
so they don't burn. You may spread olive oil on these pieces
of bread before toasting, but it's not necessary.
Give your guests a selection of low fat toppings:
- roasted red, yellow or orange peppers
- diced tomato with basil
- low fat or fat free mozarella sliced thin
- roasted eggplant marinated in balsamic vinaigrette dressing
- 1 can tuna or 1 package imitation crab mixed with low fat
mayo and/or low fat sour cream, capers, salt and pepper to taste
- low-fat cream cheese with black and green olives on top

5. Bread with dips. Healthy, hearty breads are pumpernickel
and whole wheat rosemary. Buy the bread freshly baked
in unsliced loaves. Right before serving, rip off chunks of
bread for dipping - a great thing to have the kids help you
do or even let your guests rip off their own pieces. Dips:
- Warmed olive oil with fresh ground pepper
(especially easy when you don't have a lot of time)
- Prepared vinaigrettes made with unsaturated oils make
excellent dips for bread, heat in the microwave until warm
- Hot artichoke dip: 1-14 oz can artichokes diced,
1 cup of low-fat or fat free mayo,
1 cup of low-fat cheese shredded,
2 cloves minced garlic.
Mix all ingredients and bake at 350 in oven proof dish
for 20 minutes. (I've tried this with low fat mozarella cheese
and fat free mayo, it's pretty good if you like artichoke.)

You may also want to read http://www.nutricounter.com/articles/low-fat.htm
Five Low-Fat Party Appetizers.

Come and visit the NutriCounter web site at
http://www.nutricounter.com/news.htm
for an extensive selection of articles on healthComputer Technology Articles, nutrition and exercise.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Renee Kennedy is the editor of the monthly ezine NutriCounter
Update. Come and visit the NutriCounter web site at
http://www.nutricounter.com/news.htm for an extensive selection
of articles on health, nutrition and exercise.



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