Seems like just as soon as we get into a good diet routine following the Holidays, on come the ballgames. And we all know there is a lot of snacking and eating that goes with watching ballgames with friends. This year surprise your friends with these appetizers, often made with surprise ingredients! They are designed to provide plenty of flavor but with less fat, calories, and sodium. Don’t be afraid to give them a try!
Guacamole and Chips
1 medium Anaheim chile (or for extra heat, 1 Serrano chile)
1 teaspoon olive oil
5 or 6 fresh asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 medium avocados cut into cubes (about 2 cups)
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (or more to taste)
Dash garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Baked tortilla chips or your own Pita Chips
Preheat broiler. Wearing rubber gloves to protect your skin, rub chile with oil; broil 5 minutes, turning with tongs so all sides get charred. Transfer to a plastic bag, seal and set aside to steam 10 minutes. Remove stem, skin and seeds from chile and dice. Set aside. (Remove gloves only when you are finished handling the chile.)
Fill medium sauté pan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Prepare a medium-sized bowl of ice water. Place asparagus spears into boiling water 3 to 4 minutes or until just tender. Remove and plunge spears into ice water to halt cooking and preserve color. When cool, remove, dry thoroughly and chop into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to blender or food processor; add yogurt and avocado and process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
Nutritional Information: 260 calories per serving (1/2 cup guacamole and 9 chips), 18 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 25 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 6.5 g protein,
4 oz. baked corn tortilla chips (about 60 chips)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack blend
1 can (16 oz.) vegetarian refried beans (Fat Free)
8 oz. prepared salsa
1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
1 red tomato, diced
1/3 cup chopped black olives
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
Place half the chips on a plate. Sprinkle half the cheese on top. Layer on remaining chips, then cheese. Top evenly with beans, salsa, pepper, tomato, olives and cilantro. Microwave on high until cheese melts, about 4 minutes. Serve with 1 tbsp. sour cream on the side.
Nutritional Information: 454 calories per serving, 20.9 g fat (10.8 g saturated), 71.1 g carbs, 8.3 g fiber, 20.2 g protein
2 6 inches pita bread rounds
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet; set aside. Split pita bread rounds in half horizontally; cut each half into six wedges (24 wedges total). Brush pita wedges with olive oil. In a custard cup combine garlic powder, salt, chili powder, and, if desired, cayenne pepper. Sprinkle garlic powder mixture over pita wedges. Place pita wedges on prepared baking sheet. Bake about 12 minutes or until golden brown and toasted.
Nutrition Facts per serving, Serves 6: 82 calories, 3 g fat, total, 0 mg cholesterol, 205 mg sodium, 11 g carbs, 1 g dietary fiber, 2 g protein.
For Sweet Baked Pita Chips:
Prepare as directed, except omit garlic powder, salt, chili powder, and cayenne pepper; sprinkle oil-brushed pita wedges with 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 88 calories, 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 108 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 1 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g protein.
For more information, contact Kim Reid, Extension Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at (910) 592-7161.