Talk Of The Town


Recipe Makeovers: Low Cal Appetizer & Dessert

Posted at 4:42 PM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-11 17:42:27-05

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Mini Holiday Potato Skins


16 medium sized red potatoes (about 3 lbs total)

1 T extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1 T chopped garlic

½ cup diced onion

½ cup frozen peas

½ cup lowfat plain Greek yogurt

1 T butter

2 T grated Parmesan cheese

½ t salt, ¼ t pepper

1 roasted red pepper from a jar, sliced into 16 strips


Add potatoes to a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 4-6 minutes. Check with a fork to see if they have softened. You want them to still be fairly firm (because they need to hold their shape and they will be baked again). Remove from heat, drain potatoes and allow to cool and dry.

Meanwhile, heat EVOO in a sauté pan over medium low heat and add garlic and onion. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until onions have browned slightly. Turn off heat and add peas. Allow this mixture to cool.

Once potatoes are cool, slice in half and scoop out some of the flesh, leaving about ¼-inch of the flesh with the potato skin. Add scooped out potato, plus onion and pea mixture, yogurt, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper, to a food processor. Pulse until mixture is combined, but not completely smooth. It should be a light green color.

Fill each of the potato skin with the mixture. Place each skin on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Watch closely for browning of the edge of the skins, you want them to be golden brown and the filling to be warmed through. Remove from oven and place on a serving platter. Top each skin with a roasted red pepper strip.

These are perfect for a party because they are an adorable holiday-colored finger food. They are great hot, but they can sit out and be enjoyed at room temp. Plus, red potatoes are high in iron, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Your guests will love this potato skin, and they won’t even miss the high-fat bacon and sour cream!

Makes about 4 dinner or 8 cocktail party servings.

Bread Pudding Bundles


8 whole wheat hamburger buns (buy when they are on sale and keep in freezer)

1½ cups egg substitute (you can use 4 eggs if you want it richer)

2 cups lowfat milk

1 T vanilla (or whiskey)

1 t cinnamon

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup maple syrup

2 T melted butter

Optional add-ins: ½ cup of your choice of chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, raisins, dark chocolate chips, candied ginger, or diced apple

Maple syrup for drizzling


This recipe works great with frozen bread. I pull out a package of whole wheat buns and break or cut up the buns into bite-size pieces and lay in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 250 degrees for about 15 minutes, flipping bread occasionally. You want the bread to dry out, but not get crispy. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, whisk remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooled bread and mix well. Allow to soak for at least 2 hours, even better overnight. Just cover and keep in fridge. Once you are ready to bake, remove bread mixture from fridge and add optional add-ins (you can also leave plain). Prepare a muffin tin with cooking spray. Scoop bread pudding mixture into muffin tin. This recipe fills 18-24 muffin cups, depending on much you fill.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. Check occasionally for doneness – it should spring back on the top and a toothpick should come out clean. Don’t over bake or allow the edges to get too brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove bread pudding bundles from pan. Serve with a drizzle of warm maple syrup.

This whole wheat version of bread pudding is a favorite of mine. It is not as rich or sweet as traditional bread pudding and is more like a moist baked French toast. It is perfect for the holidays because it works for holiday brunches, cocktail parties, or as a dessert for dinner. It is perfect any time of day and can be prepared ahead of time and baked at the last minute.

Makes 8-12 servings.