I’ve lost 100 pounds, dropped eight sizes. As summer picnic season nears, I’m considering eating plans to maintain weight loss. Open houses, potlucks, holiday cookouts, BBQs, grilling–great for feasting. Fasting, not so much. Here are diet appetizer and snack recipes for Memorial Day and summer.
* Kale chips. This salty snacks are virtually calorie free. loaded with vitamins and yummy! To make, preheat oven to 350. Tear kale leaves from stems. Rinse, pat dry, arrange in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet. Spritz with zero-calorie cooking spray. Season with cracked pepper, garlic and sea salt. Bake 12-15 minutes till browned and crispy.
* Crudites. Nix starchy corn, wheat or rice snacks in favor of raw vegetables. Enjoy cucumber and pepper slices, broccoli and cauliflower florets, carrot and zucchini spears, grape and cherry tomatoes, mushrooms.
* Yogurt dip and dressing. Blend Greek yogurt, reduced fat Parmesan cheese, cracked pepper, sea salt, celery seed, dried onion, Bragg’s Liquid Amino, garlic, dill. For dressing add unsweetened almond milk and a dash of lemon juice.
* Polish roses. Spread light nitrate-free ham or turkey lunchmeat with light cream cheese. Place a scallion in the center and roll up.
* Hummus and pita chips. For hummus, blend garbanzo beans, tahini (sesame spread), Mediterranean za’atar spice (here’s my recipe), garlic, dash of olive oil. Garnish with sumac. Make light pita chips by cutting pita pocket bread in wedges and toasting.
* Nuts and seeds. Dr. Oz touts these as excellent fat-burners. They’re high fiber and full of omega fatty acids. Munch on almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, peanuts.
* Devilishly Good Eggs. I love deviled eggs. Here’s a lowfat workaround. Hard cook eggs. Slice, scoop out yolk. Mix with Greek yogurt, mustard, dash of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dill, celery seed, garlic and onion. Refill yolk cavity and dash with paprika.
* Relish tray. Nibble Spanish and black olives, dill pickles, pickled peppers. Olive are on Dr. Oz’s belly-flattening foods list.
* Polish pickled salad. Heap your plate with this 30-calorie-per-serving snack. I get jarred Polan Polish vegetable slaw from Polish delis in Hamtramck, Michigan and at Big Lots. Make your own. Shred carrots, cucumbers, celery, onions, green and red bell peppers. Toss with apple cider vinegar, apple juice, a little olive oil, celery seed, sea salt. To sweeten, use. Ideal zero calorie sweetener.
* Berry blast. As dessert or appetizer, berries are a great fat burner, antioxidant, system cleanse. And they’re delish! Mix blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and sliced strawberries. Very patriotic and perfect for Memorial Day picnics!
Bring one of these appetizers to your next summer picnic. No one will believe they’re diet friendly!