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Get the skinny on holiday apps: Beef skewers, crab salad

Make appetizers this holiday season that won't add to your guests' waistlines. Devin Alexander, chef of "The Biggest Loser," shares recipes for baked Babybels, yakitori beef skewers and Asian crab salad.

Baked Babybels

Ingredients

    • Olive oil spray (propellant free)
    • 3 ounces whole wheat pizza dough
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free garlic seasoning blend
    • 2 rounds (21 grams each) Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Light

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a sheet of nonstick foil on a small baking sheet. Lightly mist the foil with the olive oil spray.Shape the pizza dough into 4 balls that weigh 3/4 ounce each. On a clean work surface, using your hands, flatten each until each is just large enough to completely enclose a cheese round. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of the seasoning on each dough circle. Place one cheese circle in the center of each of the dough circles.Carefully stretch the bare dough up and to the center so that the edges connect on top and the cheese is sealed inside. Make sure the bottom isn't any thinner than the rest of the dough, and be careful not to create any holes in the dough. Place them side by side, sealed sides up, on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they do not touch. Sprinkle the top of each with a few extra flecks of the seasoning to add color, if desired.Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, watching them carefully during the last few minutes, or until the dough is cooked. Remove them from the oven before the cheese oozes out. Serve immediately.

Yakitori beef skewers
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • 1 pound lean ground beef, preferably grass fed
    • 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
    • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
    • 2 teaspoons finely chopped green onion
    • 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon all-natural, low-sodium soy sauce
    • Sea salt to taste
    • Agave- or honey-sweetened all-natural Japanese dressing

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Soak 8 wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.Preheat a grill to high heat. Add the beef, garlic, ginger, green onion and soy sauce to a medium bowl. Mix well to combine. Season with salt.  Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions.  Take one portion of the beef and shape it around a skewer, flattening the meat so it's about 1 1/2 inches wide and covers about 5 inches of length of the skewer. Place the finished skewer on a dinner plate. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture and skewers. Transfer the plate to the freezer and let the skewers sit about 10 minutes.Grill the skewers for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink.  Divide the yakitori among 4 serving plates, and serve alongside the dressing for dipping, if desired. Serve immediately. 

Asian crab salad on brown rice crisps
Servings:

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

    • 2 medium scallions, trimmed and finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
    • 2 tablespoons all-natural light sandwich spread
    • 1 teaspoon hot sesame oil
    • 1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
    • 8 ounces lump crabmeat, drained if necessary
    • 24 brown rice crackers, preferably tamari-seasoned

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a small mixing bowl, stir the scallions, sandwich spread, oil, and pepper until well combined. Gently stir in the crabmeat just until combined. Mound 1 tablespoon of the crab on each cracker. Serve immediately.

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