Small Bites & Appetizers
If you feel ho-hum about hummus, try baba ganoush, a close cousin of hummus made with eggplant. Serve with fresh cut veggies or homemade whole-wheat pita chips.
This ain’t your grandma’s bruschetta. Here, whole-wheat rounds are loaded with yummy veggies like spinach, artichokes and portobello.
Mini Cornbread Crab Cakes with Lemon Caper Sauce
via Cooking Light
Up your ooh-la-la quotient with this fancy looking (but easy to make) one-bite app. If your guests don’t immediately tell you to try out for Top Chef, you know you’ve done something wrong.
Smoked Salmon Canapés
via Reader’s Digest
You can use black tea or vodka to make the topping. I say go for the vodka. Obviously.
Spiced Nuts and Seeds
I’m betting you could get most of the nuts and seeds used in this recipe in the Whole Foods bulk bins. Which means this recipe’s pretty cheap to make, too.
Chesapeake Bay Snack Mix
Remember how delicious Chex Mix was as a kid? Here’s a 171-calories-per-half-cup version to make at home for your oh-so-adult party.
Stuffed Grape Leaves
via Cooking Light
It took me years to work up the nerve to try stuffed grape leave. Something about the look and texture always threw me off. And then—bam!–I was in loooove. The ingredient list for this recipe is a tad long, but don’t be put off—the yummy results are well worth the effort.
Grilled Lamb Sliders with Mint Yogurt
The guys at your party will be happy to have a hearty meat option; the women at your party will be happy to learn that one of these sliders will set them back just 170 calories.
Sweet ‘n’ Sassy Meatballs
via Taste of Home
Oh fine, one more meat option. Serve these with toothpicks or open-face on crostini.
Cupcakes as adorable (and low cal) as they are delicious.
Cold Hot Chocolate Trifle
Layer up pure deliciousness with this chocolatey confection. And with 234 calories in a serving, it won’t kill you, either.
Gingerbread Caramel Pear Upside-Down Cake
via Oh She Glows
I’m not going to give this one points for being low-cal necessarily, but I am going to sing its praises for being both (a) vegan and (b) delicious. Truly, the best of both worlds.
White Chocolate Holiday Bark
If you want to be a super-cute hostess, make gift bags for your guests to take home. If you want your guests to come back for your next party, fill those gift bags with this yummy white-chocolate bark.
Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake
via Food Network
Most of the cream cheese here is replaced by cottage cheese. Cocoa and espresso powder add just the right richness.
Captain Morgan meets VitaCoco in this slimmed-down cocktail.
Pomegranate Champagne Punch
via Eating Well
Now, this is what I’m talking about: champagne, pomegranate juice, seltzer, vodka. All those bubbles clock in at just 128 calories a serving, and the pom juice adds a splash of antioxidants to the mix.
via Women’s Health
If you need a chocolate fix to keep you merry, try this simple recipe, which calls for vodka and chocolate liqueur. Total calories: 167.
Yes, it happened: Someone created a drink that’ll warm you up without weighing you down (155 calories per serving here, buddy). Now, someone tell me where I can find gingerbread liqueur—pronto.
Spiced Hot Cider
via Eating Well
Apple cider: check. Cinnamon stick: check. Apple brandy: check. One hundred forty-three calories: check, check, check.