Party snacks don’t have to be loaded with calories to be tasty. Lisa Lillien has made sure of that. Her mission is to turn high-fat foods into lower-calorie indulgences. Her free Hungry Girl newsletter is e-mailed to nearly a million readers daily, and her cookbooks are best-sellers. Here are two recipes from her book, Hungry Girl Happy Hour.


Per serving (5 tartlets): 120 calories vs. 325 calories for a standard recipe

1 cup finely chopped portabella mushrooms

⅓ cup finely chopped white onion

3 Tablespoons chopped scallions

3 Tablespoons fat-free cream cheese, room temperature

½ teaspoon chopped garlic

⅛ teaspoon salt

2 dashes black pepper

2 dashes nutmeg

15 mini phyllo dough shells (found in the freezer aisle)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring a pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add mushrooms and onion. Cook until soft.

Place the mushrooms and onion in a small bowl. Add the scallions, cream cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and mix well.

Evenly distribute the mushroom mixture among the phyllo shells. Arrange the shells on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until edges of the tartlets are crisp. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Makes three servings.

5.25 g fat, 260 mg sodium, 14.5 g carbs, 0.75 g fiber, 1.5 g sugars, 3.5 g protein


Can be served hot or cold

Per serving (⅓ cup): 91 calories vs. 220 calories for a standard recipe

One 8-ounce tub fat-free cream cheese, room temperature

¼ cup fat-free sour cream

¼ cup fat-free mayonnaise

¼ cup reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping, divided

¼ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 Tablespoons minced shallots

2 cloves garlic, minced

One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained thoroughly

One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained thoroughly and chopped

Half an 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

If you want to serve this dish hot, preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, mayo and three tablespoons of the Parm-style topping. Mix well. Add salt and cayenne pepper, and stir until smooth. Set aside.

In a pan sprayed with nonstick spray, cook the shallots and garlic over medium heat on the stove until soft, one to two minutes. Add the shallot-garlic mixture to the large bowl, along with the spinach, artichoke hearts and water chestnuts. Stir well.

If serving the dip cold, top with remaining one tablespoon of Parm-style topping and you’re done.

If you are serving the dip hot, transfer to a medium casserole dish, top with the remaining Parm-style topping and then bake in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes, until bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving. Makes eight servings. Use veggies for dipping.

1.5 g fat, 584 mg sodium, 11 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3.5 g sugars, 7 g protein