Start your party with a tasty array of low carb appetizers. Keep it simple so you have the opportunity to stay outdoors and mingle with your guests.
Low carb appetizer ideas:
- Bowls of different kinds of olives
- Marinated cubes of cheese (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs and cheese)
- Roasted nuts
- Cheese plate with smoked salmon or prosciutto and cucumber slices (instead of crackers)
- Skewered meatballs or chicken satay with a creamy dip or low carb sauce
- Olive tapenade with low carb party toasts
Olive Cheese Bites
Makes 36 bites
Full of flavor, you may want to make extra of these irresistible bites.
2 (8-ounce) blocks Monterrey jack or pepper jack cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Black pepper to taste
24 green olives
Cut each block of cheese into 18 cubes and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Add cheese and toss to coat. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, place an olive on top of a cube of cheese and skewer with a cocktail toothpick and place on a party platter. Repeat with remaining olives and cheese and serve.
Pesto Turkey Meatballs
Makes 36 meatballs
Lean ground turkey or beef can be used for this recipe. Meatballs are filling and nearly carb-free.
1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 cup low carb breadcrumbs*
1/4 cup store-bought basil or sun-dried tomato pesto
3 tablespoons minced red onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, pesto, onion, oregano and garlic powder. Roll mixture into 36 meatballs.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. In batches, place meatballs in skillet and cook, turning, until all sides are lightly browned. Transfer to a large baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
3. Transfer meatballs to paper towels to drain. Serve with cocktail toothpicks and a low carb sauce of your choice.
*To make low carb breadcrumbs, cut 2 to 3 slices of low carb bread into cubes and bake in a 350 degree oven until dry and lightly toasted. Transfer bread cubes to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form.
In addition to the following appetizers, offer guests their choice of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Crudites and dips: Plae celery sticks, trimmed radishes, raw mushrooms, jicama sticks, and small sweet peppers on a party platter with one or two low carb dips. The vegetables are low in calories and carbs, provide a nice satisfying crunch, and are easy to prepare.
Berries and cream: Instead of high calorie, high sugar cheesecake bites, cookies, and other confections, place mixed berries in a festive serving bowl and top with unsweetened whipped cream. Your guests will love the natural sweetness and color of the fresh fruit as well as the indulgent topping of cream.
Cheese plate: Small bites of artisan cheeses, slices of fruit and whole nuts are a divine party offering. Visit your local supermarket deli or specialty cheese shop and buy three or four different types of cheese. Pair them with apples, pears, grapes and other fresh fruit. Serve with small bowls of walnut and pecan halves, hazelnuts, and almonds.
Sesame Chicken Kebobs
Makes 30 kebobs
15 ounces teriyaki sauce (up to 2 grams of sugar per serving)
6 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon sugar substitute
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch thick strips
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1. Soak 30 bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine all marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Soak chicken strips in marinade; cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Thread 1 chicken strip on each skewer and lay on a sheet pan. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until fully cooked. Sprinkle chicken kebobs with sesame seeds before serving.
Per serving: Calories 57, Saturated Fat 0 grams, Carbohydrates 0 grams, Fiber 0 grams, Net Carbohydrates 0 grams