10 Healthy Party Food Makeovers Slideshow
January 11, 2012
1. Pigs in a Blanket
They're easy to prepare for a crowd, and even easier to down. But with a whopping 22 grams of fat (and 310 calories) for just four morsels, you're better off with something else. Try broiling or grilling mini chicken-apple sausages instead. Five links will set you back only 110 calories and 8 grams of fat — leaving room for a honey mustard dipping sauce, if you'd like.
2. Onion Dip and Potato Chips
Grabbing a bag of your favorite potato chips and jar of French onion dip when expecting guests is an easy solution when you're in a crunch, but it won't keep rumbling tummies full for long. Swap out that handful of potato chips for nine baby carrot sticks, and you'll save 7 grams of fat and nearly 100 calories, and gain a lot more fiber and nutrients. You just might be able to keep that bowl of ranch dressing for dipping (just don't overdo it).
3. Chips and Salsa
This party favorite may seem innocuous, even virtuous, when served with salsa rather than guacamole. But if you're craving crunch and salt, wouldn't you be better off with three cups of air-popped popcorn? Compared to one cup of tortilla chips, three cups of popcorn will save you nearly 200 grams of sodium and 100 calories, and fill you up a lot more than those chips will. Even adding some zip to those kernels with a dusting of cayenne and brown sugar, or a drizzle of hot sauce and salt, won't even set you back far.
4. Baked Brie
It's easy to make, and even easier to devour when spoonfuls of the molten cheese sit atop a cracker or piece of toast ready for the taking. But with nearly 100 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat per ounce, it's not the wisest choice. Instead, top that toasted baguette slice with a tablespoon of fat-free fromage blanc and an ounce of smoked salmon for half the calories and saturated fat.
5. Buffalo Wings
They're a game day favorite, especially when paired with a rich and pungent blue cheese dressing. But when six wings will set you back 440 calories and 26 grams of fat (not even counting the dip), you're better off serving up broiled chicken skewers (210 calories, 2 grams fat) and peanut sauce for dipping.
6. Potato Skins with Sour Cream and Cheese
Whether you reach for the beer or wine, it's hard to beat still-warm potato wedges stuffed with rich bacon-Cheddar filling, and baked until the skin is just crisp. Instead, save yourself more than 50 calories and 7 grams of fat by swapping those fried skins for baked sweet potato fries, seasoned with salt and a pinch of cayenne, perhaps with a spicy crème fraîche sauce for dipping.
7. Crab Cakes
These one-bite cocktail party favorites might seem harmless — after all, they're made with a bunch of crabmeat — but they're packed with a dose of breadcrumbs and mayonnaise for a binder.
Have a hankering for seafood? Forgo those four mini crab cakes and save nearly 110 calories and 10 grams of fat by instead opting for about six cooked shrimp dipped in cocktail sauce. Your waist will thank you.
8. Pizza Bites
For many, pizza is the ultimate comfort food — salty cheese, sweet tomato sauce, and just enough carbohydrates to soak up all that alcohol. But choosing those three two-bite pieces of cheese pizza rather than crisp garlic toasts topped with a tomato bruschetta topping will set you back an additional 170 calories and 3 grams of fat. Are they really worth it?
9. Mini Egg Rolls
Fried until crisp and served with a fruity dipping sauce, this cocktail party favorite is hard to resist, especially one glass in. Yet, they're loaded with 9 grams of fat. Instead of indulging, keep your mouth busy with something equally crunchy but with nearly no fat, like these vegetable-filled summer rolls made with rice paper wrappers and stuffed with nutritious vegetables.
Crisp tortilla chips topped with salty, gooey cheese, chopped jalapeños, diced tomato, and salty olives. Hungry yet? Nachos may be a party favorite, but opting for six pieces of salmon sushi rather than that handful of cheesy nachos will save you nearly 200 calories and over 17 grams of fat. 'Nough said.