The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-05-2012, 02:14 PM
Lacunae Matata Lacunae Matata is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Appetizer suggestions

The Boy and I have come up with a nice set of menus for our family Christmas celebration, but I'd like to add a couple of appetizers, and I'm drawing a blank. For our big lunch, I'm planning on lasagna, crusty bread, salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette, and a soup - maybe pasta e fagioli. The big issue is that my dad is on a very strict and necessary diet, so I'd like for him to be able to eat more than just soup and salad. He has dental problems, so raw veggies with dip just aren't a great option. Any ideas for low fat/calorie appetizers that I can prepare?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 12-05-2012, 02:36 PM
Athena Athena is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 12,516
I haven't tried any of these, but here's a whole article in the NY Times about healthy appetizers. Maybe one or two of those would work?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:20 PM
Lacunae Matata Lacunae Matata is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
That looks good, but I sincerely think that my son, my mom, and I would be the only ones who would enjoy the spinach puree. My mother-in-law would eat it and make nummy sounds out of kindness, and my dad and father-in-law and niece and daughter would go "Is that food? Or something from the baby's diaper?" Unfortunately, my dad isn't an adventurous eater...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:26 PM
Athena Athena is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 12,516
There's links to several other recipes on that page, not just the spinach puree, but if we're talking people who find spinach adventurous, I'm gonna guess none of the others will work either.

Tell me more about what kind of a diet your Dad is on - low fat? Low carb? something specific for a health issue? Just looking for some guidelines beyond "healthy" because one person's healthy is another person's splurge.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:30 PM
Rahne McCloud Rahne McCloud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
You could try Hummus and Pita bread all you do is pick a hummus flavor you think any would like and just cut the pita bread into slices for dipping.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:41 PM
Athena Athena is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 12,516
Another suggestion that will fit most diets: Herbed Sun-Dried tomatoes in Olive Oil. Yes, it does have some oil in it, but it makes a lot, and you could probably cut down the oil if your Dad is on a low-fat diet. It actually comes out more like a very flavorful chunky tomato sauce. It's strongly-flavored, so you use it more as a dip than something you'd pour over noodles. Would be good with crackers or pita.

I like the hummus idea, too.

Another thought - you said no veggy trays because of dental issues, but you can make a damn good veggy tray if you blanch the vegetables. Spears of asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, etc can be blanched so they're softer than raw but still solid enough to be dipped in, well, dip.

Just thought of a Spanish Tortilla. That might work - it's basically a potato-filled quiche-like thing that you cut into squares and serve with garlic mayo or salsa or whatever you like. The one I linked has roasted peppers and peas in it, but you can put whatever you want in it, including nothing but potatoes and eggs. It's really surprisingly good, though it is a bit more work than the other recipes I posted.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:45 PM
Lacunae Matata Lacunae Matata is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Very low-fat, low calorie diet. Basically, he's morbidly obese, diabetic, with congestive heart failure, and his doctor finally bluntly told him two months ago "I don't have any 70-year-old patients your size." (My dad is 67. He has lost 47 pounds since being told "diet or die," so I think he's serious, and I don't want to derail his progress.) I considered hummus, but Mom says she eats it, but Dad won't.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:47 PM
LavenderBlue LavenderBlue is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacunae Matata View Post
Very low-fat, low calorie diet. Basically, he's morbidly obese, diabetic, with congestive heart failure, and his doctor finally bluntly told him two months ago "I don't have any 70-year-old patients your size." (My dad is 67. He has lost 47 pounds since being told "diet or die," so I think he's serious, and I don't want to derail his progress.) I considered hummus, but Mom says she eats it, but Dad won't.
I think it's great he's lost that much weight.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:50 PM
USCDiver USCDiver is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: NC
Posts: 4,156
If you can move the bread to the appetizer, you could make bruschetta. I just dice up a few roma tomatoes and fresh basil, drizzle in some olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toast the bread and while it's still warm sprinkle on some shredded parmesan. Quick, easy and not too much fat or calories outside of the bread which you were going to serve anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-05-2012, 04:01 PM
Lacunae Matata Lacunae Matata is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Ah, I missed the link to other recipes from your prior link, Athena! I'm now leaning toward something like Blackeyed pea salsa (aka Texas Caviar) with baked whole wheat pitas or tortillas. I think everyone would eat that willingly, and it's a great source of protein and fiber. With his very-low-cal diet, it's really important that he make each meal really high in nutrients, of course, but I want him to feel like he can "diet" and still enjoy food with other people. (He dieted once before, about 15 years ago, and lost lots and lots of weight - like 200+ pounds. But instead of "making a lifestyle change," he dieted in an extreme manner, lost the weight, and then went right back to the eating habits that had helped him reach 400 pounds in the first place. Mom and I are trying to help him learn to change his lifestyle vs. diet, thus my preference for fixing an appetizer that everyone will enjoy that just happens to be low-fat/calorie, vs. "here's your chopped veggies, we're all eating cheese and bacon and chocolate!")
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-05-2012, 04:22 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Re: him not eating hummus. Tell him it's bean dip. (It is ... ) That might make it sound less exotic.

You can fill small tomatoes with a small amount of almost anything**, sprinkle a tiny bit of cheese and/or breadcrumbs on top, and run 'em under the broiler or in the toaster oven. The crappy wintertime supermarket Romas are actually great for this since they have thick walls, and being roasted improves their flavor. Makes for a bite-sized, brightly-colored appetizer.

** rice, quinoa (tell him it's rice ), minced veggies like zucchini and onion, lean ground chicken, etc ...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-05-2012, 04:34 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
Creature of the Night
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Deviled eggs, with possibly olive oil substituted for part of the mayo and heavy on the mustard? You can get a jar of pimientos and put a strip or two on top of the eggs. Or put black olive slices or paprika or parsley on the eggs. Or caviar. The eggs look a lot better if you will pipe the filling into the whites, and you can use a plastic bag with one corner cut off to do this.

And I'm going to second the bruschetta. I use Mrs. Dash's Garlic and Herb seasoning on the slices that I won't eat (there's a lot of pepper in that seasoning), and that is really pretty good, assuming that you start off with a good quality bread. It's quite flavorful, just make sure that you don't get the bread too crisp if he has serious dental problems.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-06-2012, 12:35 AM
Lacunae Matata Lacunae Matata is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Thanks to the above suggestions, I'm going with stuffed tomatoes and bruschetta. I really appreciate all of the help!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:35 AM
USCDiver USCDiver is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: NC
Posts: 4,156
Yeah bruschetta! Do purplehorseshoe and I win something for having our suggestions chosen?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:03 AM
Lacunae Matata Lacunae Matata is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
You guys are welcome to join us for lunch. PM me for directions.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-08-2012, 04:15 PM
hamwater hamwater is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
I don't think this will work for your dad but someone else can maybe use it. A healthy and delicious appetizer is boiled eggs cut in half (as if to devil), throw out the yolks and fill the white with hummus. It is as good as a devilled egg but without all of the fat and cholesterol from the egg yolks/mayo.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-08-2012, 04:47 PM
I Like Pie I Like Pie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
I like the idea of bruschetta. What about a black bean and corn salsa with baked tortilla chips?
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.