These easy recipes and simple food pairings, all under 200 calories, are great for an afternoon snack, appetizer platter, or satisfying side dish.
The orange glow of sweet potatoes gives away their beta-carotene content. By serving this dip with whole-wheat pita and raw vegetables such as red peppers and broccoli, you also get selenium, vitamin C, and sulforaphane. Makes 4 cups (56 calories per serving).
Mix 3 cups whole nuts with 1/4 cup each flaxseeds, quinoa, and sunflower seeds. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 egg whites with 2 tablespoons honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon each cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon. Toss with nut mix. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet; bake at 325 degrees until dry, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Scrape from pan while cooling, to avoid sticking. Makes 16 servings (178 calories each).
Combine 1 ounce cheddar cheese and 2 pickles, or 1 ounce cheddar cheese and 2 teaspoons jam on crackers. Try aged cheddar with golden plum, apricot, or peach jam. Makes one serving (cheddar and pickles, 160 calories; cheddar and jam, 146, not including crackers).
Season 1/4 cup low-fat yogurt with salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (dill, basil, cilantro), or a few pinches of dried oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest. Serve with raw vegetables. Makes one serving (40 calories, not including veggies).
Intensely flavored almond flour stands in for wheat, and gives these gluten-free poppy crackers a buttery crispness, along with a measure of protein, calcium, vitamin E, and folic acid. Makes 12 crackers (130 calories each).
When preparing this festive appetizer, make sure to take the peppers out of the oven before they get too soft. They should still be firm enough to hold the toppings. To store, refrigerate roasted peppers and relish separately, up to one day. Makes 8 servings (84 calories each).