Finger Food Survival : 5 Great Tips
Longer days and vacations can mean heading out more often to sight-see and enjoy the warm summer days. You may find yourself stopping for ice tea to relax and enjoy the sights when all of the sudden you are confronted with tasty "patio bites!"
The problem: most patio fare (which is basically a fancy term for appetizer) comes in the form of greasy finger foods. However, with a little know-how, you can order healthy bites and keep them within snack-range instead of a high calorie meal!
Navigate the Appetizer Menu: 5 Easy Tips
1. Avoid dishes that are “fried”, “breaded”, “crispy”, “creamy”, “stuffed” or “battered” and look for dishes that ome “poached”, “grilled” or “steamed”.
2. Look for restaurants that are more likely to offer healthier appetizer fare such as Greek, Indian or vegetarian eateries.
3. Add veggies or fruit wherever you can! Ask for another menu and look for salads or vegetable sides. Almost every kitchen has some veggies that are already prepped. Don’t be afraid to make your own appetizer plate by asking for fresh cut veggies and low-fat salad dressing!
4. Go easy on the alcohol! Blended and tropical drinks are popular during the summer; however, some of these drinks can have up to 600 calories! Try a glass of wine, light beer or wine spritzer instead and save 100’s of calories. And, remember to keep you intake moderate, too much can ruin your best intentions of eating healthy.
5. Healthier options: shrimp cocktail, roasted garlic with bread (no butter), side salad, broth based soup, fresh spring rolls, veggie or fruit platter, hummus and pita or vegetable sushi.
Bring the Party Home!
Why not relax in the comfort of your own patio or yard? You can even enjoy all of the hard work you’ve put into your yard! The following recipe makes for perfect finger food, feel free to experiment with veggie combinations!
Pita Pizza Triangles
Whole wheat pita bread
Shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
Garlic powder and black pepper to taste
Baby spinach leaves
Preheat oven to 350. Place pita breads rounds (leave pitas whole) on a baking sheet lined with foil. Top each pita round with 2-3 tablespoons tomato sauce and sprinkle with garlic powder and black pepper to taste. Top with ¼ cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, a half-cup baby spinach leaves and ¼ cup chopped mushrooms. Bake until cheese is melted and pita bread is crisp. Allow pita rounds to cool, slice and serve!
Nutrition Information (per pita round): 222 calories, 16.8 g protein, 32.5 g carb, 5.1 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 770 mg sodium, 7.2 g fiber.
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