Bariatrics and Weight Loss

Serving up Holiday Appetizers

The holiday season is upon us, so look no further than this list of good-for-you options


If you are looking to serve up some small bites before the main meal this holiday season, here's a list of good-for-you options from Kathryn Posillico, a registered dietitian at Danbury Hospital.

Greek Ranch Dip

About this recipe: This alternative to a popular dip offers a taste familiar to the palate that is packed with protein and fewer calories.
  • 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning
  • 16 ounces low-fat plain Greek yogurt

In a small bowl, mix the ranch seasoning with yogurt. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 30 minutes prior to serving to bring out the full flavor of the dip.

Mediterranean Layer Dip

About this recipe: Serve with whole grain crackers or low-carb pita bread. By swapping out sour cream with Greek yogurt, you increase your protein intake and reduce the overall calories.

  • 10 ounces plain or roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

In an 8-by-8-inch square dish, spread the hummus evenly along the bottom. Layer your tomato and cucumber over the hummus. Spread the yogurt over the vegetables using a rubber spatula. Squeeze the juice of your lemon over on top. Sprinkle with paprika.

Next, layer the chopped artichokes, red onion and feta cheese on top of the yogurt. Top with olives and parsley.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

About this recipe: This dish, given a creamy texture by the yogurt, tofu and cheese, is appropriate for vegetarians and those looking to up their protein intake.

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained
  • 8 ounces low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 8 ounces silken tofu
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 16 ounces low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt

Chop the artichokes into small pieces. Try using clean kitchen scissors to easily cut them into small pieces. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to mix the artichokes, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, hot sauce, tofu, spinach, yogurt, garlic and salt until well combined — about 2 or 3 minutes.

Before serving, heat the dip on the stove, in the microwave, or in a mini slow cooker until the cheese melts and the spinach is wilted. The time will vary depending on how you heat the dip.

Serve with vegetables or whole grain crackers.