If you like to entertain without a lot of fuss and serve foods that are appealing to look at and healthful to eat, these three appetizers just might be perfect for your next gathering. All of the recipes serve 6, but if you’re expecting a bigger crowd, they can be easily doubled. Be sure to talk to your diabetes care team if you are considering making changes to your meal plan.
Mini Spinach and Parmesan Pepper Bites
1 cup tightly packed baby spinach
¾ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions, including green tops
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne
8 ounces mini sweet mixed peppers (about 9 peppers), halved lengthwise and seeded
Thinly sliced scallion tops, for garnish
- Combine the spinach, yogurt, ¼ cup scallions, Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cayenne in a food processor and pulse until spinach is coarsely chopped.
- Spoon the filling evenly into the peppers and arrange on a serving tray. (Tip: if you have pepper halves that won’t sit level, cut a very thin layer off the bottom before filling them.)
- Sprinkle peppers with the scallion tops. Serve at once.
Each serving (3 filled pepper halves): 47 calories, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g sugars, 2 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein, 176 mg sodium
Edamame with Soy-Sriracha Dipping Sauce
Edamame is an easy, healthy and pretty appetizer to serve. They cook in less than 10 minutes and you can make the dipping sauce while they cook. To eat them, dip a pod into the sauce, then slide the pod between your teeth to extract the soybeans, and discard the pod. (Be sure to talk to your diabetes care team if you are considering making changes to your meal plan.)
1 (14-ounce) bag frozen unshelled edamame
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sriracha
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon honey
- Cook the edamame according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water until cool. Blot dry with paper towels.
- Meanwhile, stir together the soy sauce, water, lime juice, sriracha, sesame oil, and honey in a small bowl. Place the dipping sauce on a serving plate and surround with the edamame.
Each serving (⅔ cup edamame and 1 tablespoon sauce): 100 calories, 9 g carbohydrate, 2 g sugars, 3 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 8 g protein, 331 mg sodium
Kale and Caramelized Onion Mini Quiches
These crustless quiches make delicious bite-sized appetizers that are simple to make and serve. Baking them in a paper-lined muffin pan makes clean up easy. You can serve the quiches in the liners or remove them before serving. (Be sure to talk to your diabetes care team if you are considering making changes to your meal plan.)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2½ cups tightly packed finely chopped fresh kale
¼ cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
⅓ cup low-fat (1%) milk
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the kale, water, and garlic. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. (More mature kale may take a few minutes longer to cook. Add a couple more tablespoons water, if needed to cook the kale until tender.) Transfer to a medium bowl to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with paper liners. Spray the liners with cooking spray.
- When the onion mixture is cool, add the eggs, egg whites, milk, cheese, salt, and pepper to the bowl and stir to combine.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared pan (about 2 tablespoons per quiche) and bake until set, about 18 minutes. Serve the quiches warm or at room temperature.
Each serving (4 mini quiches): 93 calories, 4 g carbohydrate, 2 g sugars, 5 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 98 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 7 g protein, 250 mg sodium
Jackie Mills is a registered dietitian who develops recipes for such national magazines as Cooking Light and Family Circle, as well as for books such as the American Medical Association Type 2 Diabetes Cookbook. She was formerly the food editor at Redbook magazine. Mills is a paid contributor for The DX. All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the contributor, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.
© 2016 The DX: The Diabetes Experience