Merry and Light

family at dinner

Carb-conscious party dishes to please a small group or a crowd

Whether you are planning a quiet holiday get-together or a New Year’s Eve bash, these tasty recipes are sure to please … and keep your carb intake low.

Spicy Deviled EggsDeviled Eggs

6 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne or your favorite salt-free Cajun spice


Place eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to rolling boil, reduce heat to medium and boil 5 minutes.

Turn off heat, cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain, run under cold water, add ice cubes and let sit 5 minutes.

Remove eggshells. Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a medium bowl.

Set aside egg whites on serving platter. Add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, black pepper and salt to egg yolks. Mash with fork until creamy.

Fill hollowed egg white halves with the yolk mixture. Dust with cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning, adjusting amount to taste. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information

Per serving—52 calories; 0g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 1g saturated fat; 3g protein; 60mg sodium

Low-Carb Chilibowl of Chili

2 pounds lean ground beef (10% fat)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
6 ounces tomato paste
4 ounces canned mushroom slices, drained (OK to use fresh)
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper


In large stockpot, brown meat and drain fat.

Add 4 cups cold water, cinnamon, cumin, onions, Worcestershire sauce, garlic cloves, salt, chili powder, black and red pepper, allspice, tomato paste, bay leaves, mushrooms and green pepper. Bring to a boil.

Reduce to simmer. Cover and cook 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Nutrition Information

Per serving—149 calories; 8g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 1g saturated fat; 23g protein; 733mg sodium

Black Bean Dip with Blue Cheese and Bacon

3 raw bacon slices
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, rough chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese


Cook 3 slices of bacon until crisp. Set aside and drain on paper towel.

Fit food processor with steel blade. With motor running, drop garlic clove through feed tube to chop clove. Stop motor to add onion, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and beans. Purée until smooth and creamy.

Transfer bean dip to serving bowl. Sprinkle with blue cheese and crumbled bacon.

Nutrition Information

Per serving—41 calories; 4g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 1g saturated fat; 2g protein; 65mg sodium

Corn and Crab Cakesplate of Corn & Crab Cakes

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup fresh chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
16 ounces cooked crabmeat (canned is OK)
1 cup frozen sweet corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 egg whites
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
cooking spray
2 medium lemons


Coat 12″ skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium high. Add bell pepper, celery and green onions. Sauté until tender, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Transfer to large bowl and allow to cool.

In separate bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, Old Bay seasoning and set aside.

To bowl with cooled peppers and onions, add crabmeat, frozen corn, parsley, Sriracha sauce, mayonnaise, egg whites, whole milk and lemon juice. Add cornmeal mixture and mix until just blended.

Lightly coat 12″ skillet with nonstick cooking spray and return to medium heat. Spoon four individual 1/2 cup measures of crab mixture into skillet. (For party-size portions, use a 1/4 cup measure.) Using spatula, flatten into 1/2″ thick patties. Cook 3 minutes per side, remove to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining crab mixture.

Sprinkle salt evenly over crab and corn cakes and serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Information

Per serving for 1/2 cup-sized cakes—177 calories; 16g carbohydrates; 1.5g fiber; 1g saturated fat; 11.5g protein; 308mg sodium