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The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook: Healthy Recipes for Entertaining Family and Friends Excerpt from The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook: Healthy Recipes for Entertaining Family and Friends

by Arthur Agatston, MD



Hors d’Oeuvres for a Crowd
For 10 guests

Menu
Smoked Trout Salad in Cherry Tomato Cups
Spicy Citrus Shrimp
Deviled Eggs
Salmon Mousse
Parmesan Zucchini Sticks
Sweet Potato-Feta Rounds
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
Cannoli Tartlets
Raspberry-Ginger Fizzes

Party Game Plan

Up to 3 days before: Toast walnuts and sesame seeds for strawberries.
Up to 2 days before: Hard-boil eggs.
Up to 1 day before: Make trout salad; marinate shrimp; make salmon mousse; cut up zucchini sticks; prepare cheese mixture for sweet potatoes; make cannoli filling; make raspberry-ginger fizz base.
Day of: Dip strawberries; grill shrimp; assemble deviled eggs; fill tomato cups and cannoli tartlets; bake sweet potato rounds and zucchini sticks; make fizzes


Smoked Trout Salad in Cherry Tomato Cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Rich, smoky trout in little tomato “cups” makes a festive, easy-to-eat combination. You can use both red and yellow cherry tomatoes, if desired.

¼ pound smoked trout (remove skin if necessary)
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper
30 large cherry tomatoes (1 pint)
Chopped fresh chives for garnish (optional)

Place trout in a medium bowl and break up into small pieces with a fork. Add sour cream, lemon juice, and chives; stir to combine. Season generously with pepper.

Using a serrated knife, cut ⅛ inch off the stem end of each tomato and a tiny bit off the bottom so the tomatoes will stand. Remove the seeds using a small melon baller. Fill each hollow tomato with a generous ½ teaspoon of the trout salad. Sprinkle each with a few chives, if using, and serve.

Makes 10 (3-piece) servings

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving: 40 calories, 2 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 3 g protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 75 mg sodium

Make-Ahead: Trout salad can be made up to 1 day in advance; refrigerate in a covered container and bring to room temperature before using. Tomatoes can be hollowed out up to 1 hour before the party; cover with plastic wrap but do not refrigerate. Fill shortly before serving.


Spicy Citrus Shrimp
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes or overnight
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Lemon and orange liven up these garlicky shrimp, made spicy with a bit of red pepper flakes. Add more pepper flakes to your liking or sprinkle the marinade mixture with a few drops of hot sauce or pepper oil, if you dare! This recipe becomes Phase 1 if you use lime zest and juice instead of that of an orange.

1 lemon
1 navel orange
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
30 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt

Cut the zest from the whole lemon, then peel and chop half of the fruit. Cut the zest from half of the orange, then peel and chop half of the fruit. Place lemon and orange zests and chopped fruits in a medium bowl. Add oil, garlic, black pepper, and pepper flakes; stir to combine. Add shrimp and toss to coat well. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove shrimp from marinade, allowing bits of citrus to stick. Discard marinade. Season shrimp lightly with salt; grill until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Squeeze a little fresh lemon or orange juice (or a combination of both) from the remaining fruit halves over the shrimp just before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 10 (3-piece) servings

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving: 60 calories, 4.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 4 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 25 mg sodium

Make-Ahead: Shrimp can be marinated up to 1 day in advance and grilled up to 6 hours ahead. Refrigerate grilled shrimp until ready to use; bring to room temperature before serving.


Deviled Eggs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour

A throwback to the past, this egg style is still as devilishly delicious today as it was in the 1950s and 1960s, when the special plates the little mouthfuls were served on were as much the rage as the eggs themselves. We freshen up the classic recipe with a few modern additions, like tangy capers, roasted peppers, and fresh chopped chives. Boiling the eggs for a short time and then letting them sit gives the yolks a beautiful yellow color.

10 large eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup finely chopped roasted red peppers (from a jar)
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard
⅛ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Paprika

Place eggs in a large saucepan with cold water to cover. Partially cover pan and bring water to a full boil. Reduce heat to low, cover completely, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 20 minutes.

Drain eggs in a colander and then run cold water over the eggs to cool. Place eggs in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 1 hour.

When cool, peel eggs and halve lengthwise. Carefully remove yolks from eggs and place in a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise, red peppers, sour cream, capers, chives, mustard, salt, and black pepper to taste; mash with a fork until well combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the yolk mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.

Makes 20 egg halves

Nutrition at a Glance
Per half: 60 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 110 mg sodium

Make-Ahead: Eggs can be hard-boiled up to 2 days in advance, peeled, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can fill eggs up to 2 hours before the party; carefully cover and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with paprika just before serving.


Salmon Mousse
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time:  5 minutes
Chill Time: 12 hours or overnight

This lovely party favorite can be chilled in a decorative mold for extra flair. If you serve the mousse with crackers, it becomes a Phase 2 recipe.

1 cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
½ cup cold water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 (15-ounce) can pink salmon, drained
⅔ cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 (6-ounce) jar prepared horseradish, drained and squeezed dry (about ¼ cup)
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or ½ teaspoon dried dill, crumbled
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon paprika
Chopped dill for garnish (optional)
60 cucumber slices or low-sodium whole-grain crackers

Place yogurt in a paper towel-lined mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Let drain for 10 minutes.

Place water in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water, and let soften 1 minute. Heat mixture over low heat, stirring, until gelatin dissolves, about 3 minutes. Do not let boil.

Purée yogurt, gelatin mixture, salmon, sour cream, horseradish, onion, dill, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika in a food processor.

Lightly coat a 1-quart fish mold, decorative bowl, terrine, or loaf pan with cooking spray; spread mousse evenly in pan. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 12 hours or overnight. Just before serving, run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert mousse onto a platter. Sprinkle with chopped dill, if using, and surround with cucumber slices or crackers. Serve.

Makes 20 (3-tablespoon) servings

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving (with 3 cucumber slices): 50 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 150 mg sodium
Per serving (with 3 crackers): 110 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 7 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 170 mg sodium

Make-Ahead: Mousse can be made up to 1 day ahead. Keep chilled in mold, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to serve.


Parmesan Zucchini Sticks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:
20 minutes

These delectable nibbles will remind guests of the fried zucchini or stuffed zucchini blossoms often found at Italian feasts. Roasted, they are more healthful and every bit as good.

2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Cut zucchini lengthwise into quarters, then cut into 2-inch-long sticks. Combine zucchini, oil, thyme, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes in a medium bowl, and toss to coat. Transfer zucchini sticks to baking sheet, with a flesh side facing down. Roast until just softened and golden, turning so other flesh side is up halfway through, about 15 minutes.

Carefully turn pieces skin side down. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and continue roasting until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 10 (3-piece) servings

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving: 35 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 70 mg sodium

Make-Ahead: Zucchini can be cut up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in a covered container until ready to use.


Sweet Potato-Feta Rounds
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time:
  25 minutes

The sturdy texture of sweet potatoes makes them perfect for roasting and using as colorful orange “cups” for tasty fillings like this one, made with feta, garlic, and chives.

3 long, thin sweet potatoes, peeled (about 1½ pounds)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled (¾ cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Cut potatoes into 30 (¾-inch-thick) rounds. With a melon baller, carefully scoop a pocket into each potato piece, being careful not to scoop through bottoms; discard scooped-out portion.

Combine potato pieces, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and garlic in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread potatoes out on the baking sheet, scooped-out side up, and roast until potatoes are just tender and edges are starting to brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash feta, chives, and remaining 1 teaspoon oil together in a small bowl. Season with pepper to taste.

Remove potatoes from oven and fill each pocket with a heaping ½ teaspoon cheese mixture. Return to oven and bake until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 10 (3-piece) servings

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving: 80 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 150 mg sodium

Make-Ahead: Cheese mixture can be prepared up to 1 day ahead; refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use. Sweet potatoes can be roasted (without cheese mixture) up to 8 hours before the party; cover and leave at room temperature. Fill with cheese mixture and warm through just before serving.


Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 15 minutes

Toasted sesame seeds add extra crunch and a tasty surprise to this easy-to-eat dessert. Look for large strawberries with stems for the nicest presentation.

⅓ cup walnut pieces, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half
20 large strawberries with stems (about 2 pints), rinsed and dried

Heat oven to 275°F. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

While nuts are toasting, place sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, gently shaking pan back and forth, until seeds are golden, about 5 minutes. Allow nuts and seeds to cool, then mix together in a shallow bowl.

Heat chocolate and half-and-half in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking until chocolate is melted, about 3 minutes.

Line a baking pan with wax paper.

Dip strawberries into chocolate (about three-quarters of the way in), then dip one side into nut and seed mixture, coating well. Place nut side up in baking pan. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 15 minutes, and serve.

Makes 10 (2-piece) servings

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving: 90 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 0 mg sodium

Make-Ahead: Walnuts and sesame seeds can be toasted up to 3 days ahead. Strawberries can be dipped up to 8 hours ahead. Carefully cover berries and refrigerate; do not freeze.


Cannoli Tartlets
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours

A classic Italian favorite, cannoli gets a light update here that’s as sweet as ever. You can find prebaked mini whole-wheat phyllo shells in the refrigerator section of most supermarkets.

2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
¼ cup granular sugar substitute
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 boxes mini whole-wheat phyllo shells (15 shells each)
¼ cup finely chopped unsalted pistachio nuts

Stir together ricotta, sugar substitute, chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla in a medium bowl until well combined. Chill, covered, until ready to prepare tartlets.

No more than 2 hours before serving, fill mini phyllo shells with about 1 tablespoon ricotta filling. Sprinkle each tartlet evenly with pistachios and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 30 tartlets

Nutrition at a Glance
Per tartlet: 70 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 3 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 30 mg sodium

Make-Ahead: The ricotta filling can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated in a covered container. Tartlets can be filled up to 2 hours ahead of serving and refrigerated, lightly covered, until ready to serve.


Raspberry-Ginger Fizzes
Prep Time: 5 minutes

The vibrant red color and sprightly flavor of this fresh-tasting fruit and ginger drink will make homemade soda fans of all your friends.

1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed, with juices
1 (¾-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
2 tablespoons granular sugar substitute
1 (2-liter) bottle seltzer water, chilled
Ice cubes (optional)

To make the drink base: Purée raspberries and their juices, ginger, and sugar substitute in a blender. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. For each drink, place 4½ teaspoons of the base in an 8-ounce glass. Add ¾ cup seltzer and stir rapidly. Add a few ice cubes, if desired, and stir again. Serve.

Makes 10 (¾-cup) drinks

Nutrition at a Glance
Per drink: 60 calories, 4.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 4 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 25 mg sodium

Make-Ahead:  Raspberry-ginger drink base can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in a covered container until ready to use. Add seltzer water to drinks individually, just before serving.

Reprinted from: The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook: Healthy Recipes for Entertaining Family And Friends by Arthur Agatston, MD  © 2006 Arthur Agatston, M.D. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling at (800) 848-4735.