These festive swaps will help you party down without the party guilt. By: Holley Grainger, MS, RD
Holley Grainger, MS, RD
March 02, 2015
1 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
How to Save Party Calories
The last thing you want to worry about when you're throwing a party is calories. Unfortunately, party calories aren't magically different from regular calories. They can really add up as you circle the room indulging. But you can tempt your guests with tasty nibbles and delicious drinks without tempting fate. You'll save at least 100 calories (in some cases, many more) with each of these swaps at your next gathering.
2 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of a Chicken Salad Croissant, Spread it on a Whole-Wheat Tortilla or Stuff it in Mini Bell Peppers
Whether you make your own chicken salad or buy a container from a local deli, you can slash more than 200 calories just by changing out the bread. Cut 100 calories by switching from a croissant to a whole-wheat tortilla. Save 100 more by nixing the bread altogether.
3 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of Bacon Deviled Eggs, Replace with our Lightened Deviled Eggs
When making a dozen eggs, remove 5 egg yolks from the recipe, substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise, and replace bacon with pickled onions. You'll save 100 calories on 2 deviled egg halves.
4 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of Pigs in a Blanket, Try our Asparagus Rolls
Make your own "pigs in a blanket" by rolling up prosciutto and asparagus in phyllo dough. You'll save 185 calories snacking on 6 of these delicacies versus 3 pigs in a blanket with honey mustard. Using phyllo dough in place of yeast rolls saves fat and calories.
5 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of a Chocolate Cupcake, Treat Yourself to a Turtle Brownie Bite
Cupcakes piled high with frosting are weighed down with calories. Try our mini brownie bite topped with ½ teaspoon caramel sauce and a pecan instead. You'll save a whopping 160 calories over the cupcake.
6 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of Salami, Ham, and Crackers, Veg Out with Artichokes and Olives
Instead of serving an antipasto platter laden with fatty, sodium-packed sopresso, salami, or lunch meats, put out a spread of peppers, artichokes, and olives. You'll save 120 calories.
7 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of 7-Layer Bean Dip, Dip into Guac with Whole-Wheat Chips or Snack on Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Freshen up the layered sour cream and refried bean dip by serving heart-healthy guacamole with whole-wheat chips to save 140 calories. Cut another 110 calories by choosing black bean and corn salsa made with fresh cilantro and lime juice. Serve with salted jicama sticks.
8 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of an Iced Cinnamon Roll, Make Oven-Baked Churros
Skip the giant, 300-calorie cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator section. Bake simple cinnamon-sugar churros: Roll refrigerated pizza dough into sticks, brush with 1/2 teaspoon melted butter, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon-sugar. A serving of two churros will satisfy your sweet tooth and save you more than 100 calories.
9 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of Ground Beef Sliders, Go for Beef Tenderloin
Instead of serving ground beef sliders, put out lean beef tenderloin on a crispy bread round. You'll shave more than 175 calories off the sliders while enjoying a better cut of meat topped with horseradish.
10 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of Champagne Punch, Sip on a Wine-Berry Spritzer
Try this light twist on the sugar-laden Champagne punch: Muddle a fresh strawberry, and top with calorie-free seltzer, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a splash of white wine to save 100 calories per sipper.
11 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of Brie with Jelly on Bread, Get Your Fix with Goat Cheese on Endive
You can still enjoy a creamy, crispy, and sweet appetizer by opting for a tablespoon of creamy goat cheese and a drizzle of honey on an endive leaf, versus an ounce of Brie on a baguette slice. Topping endive leaves instead of bread saves 120 calories.
12 of 12Photo: Jennifer Causey
Instead of Classic Hashbrown Casserole, Get Your Fix with Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary
Sure, cheesy and creamy hashbrown casserole is a dreamy brunch comfort food, but at nearly 500 calories per serving and almost half your daily allotment for sodium, there are better alternatives out there. Instead, roast red potatoes with fresh rosemary and garlic. Then, sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of shredded cheddar and dollop with a tablespoon of sour cream to finish, saving 250 calories.