December 28, 2018

Happy & Healthy New Year’s Eve Recipes

It’s almost here…New Year’s Eve, which in my mind means parties, sequins and tons of sparkle, funny hats, watching the ball drop, and of course, FOOD. Crunchy, salty, warm, cheesy, sweet, spicy, cool, delicious snack food.

As one who enjoys hosting or bringing something wherever we go, I understand how important it is to take care of yourself, but also cater to the needs of other guests. As a weight loss surgery warrior, it can be tricky to navigate the carb and carbonated infested party scene or provide an amazing dish to share, and not feel left out

Don’t forget, after surgery, our goal is always protein first. With limited real-estate in the stomach, it is important to get the good in first. With that in mind, I am here to provide tried, and true high protein, satisfying, low carb, low sugar, fun, and delicious festive hors-d’oeuvres, or for those of us less fancy— SNACK FOOD!

Fear, not Friends. The BariQueen is here to help you navigate your upcoming festivities!

Infused Water

Grab a pretty glass container, fill with water, and one of the following suggested combinations.  Serve in a pretty glass and garnish with something festive like a swizzle stick or a sliver of fruit!

  • Blueberries and lime
  • Strawberries and basil
  • Cucumber, lemons, and orange
  • Raspberries and mint
  • Blackberries and mint

**For non-bariatric patients, these combos are great for mocktails utilizing club soda, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale.

Tuna & White Bean Spread

This is a fantastic recipe for patients who have successfully completed the Semi-Solid phase and are in the Soft Foods phase.


  • 5 oz. tuna canned in water, drained
  • 16 oz canned white beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • garlic and salt to taste


  1. In a blender or food processor with the knife blade attached, blend tuna, beans, olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley until smooth
  2. Add garlic and salt to taste
  3. Serve with cucumber wheels or other veggies for a baritastic treat!

Healthy Spinach Dip


  • 1 package Knorr Vegetable recipe mix
  • 1 box (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled, squeezed dry
  • 1 can (8oz.) water chestnuts, drained & chopped (optional)
  • 20 oz. of plain lowfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat or fat free mayo
  • 3 green onions, chopped (optional)


  1. Mix all the ingredients
  2. Refrigerate for until set
  3. Serve with your favorite veggies as well as assorted crackers and bread for a crowd pleaser!

RD Approved Perfect Pimento Cheese


  • 2 cups grated reduced fat cheddar
  • 4 ounces non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 4 ounces pimientos
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Dash of hot sauce (optional)


  1. Gently fold together all ingredients
  2. Refrigerate until set, and you’re done!
  3. Serve with cucumber slices, carrot sticks, celery, and other veggies.

**We recommend grating your own cheese and not use pre-shredded.

Yummy RD Approved Deviled Eggs


  • 6 large hard boiled eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (up to 1/2 cup depending on the thickness of the yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (without seeds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Cut each egg in half lengthwise.
  2. Place the yolks in a small bowl.
  3. Arrange the egg whites on a serving platter.
  4. Use a fork to mash the egg yolks.
  5. Add the Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika and cayenne pepper (optional).
  6. Mix well, until smooth. If the mixture seems dry, add more Greek yogurt.
  7. Spoon the mixture back into the egg whites. Place the yolk filling in a piping bag if you want to make your eggs extra fancy!
  8. Sprinkle with smoked paprika.
  9. Serve immediately, or refrigerate.
  10. Remove from fridge about 1/2 an hour prior to serving.

**This recipe is a great base for additional garnishes like crumbled bacon, olives, and assorted hot sauces!

Bite-Size Burger Skewers


  • Lean Ground Beef
  • Colorful Cocktail Skewers
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Low Sugar Pickle Slices
  • Low Fat Cheese of Choice


  1. Begin by rolling small meatballs using very lean ground beef. You want them to be easy to eat in a single bite, so don’t make them too large.
  2. At 400°F, cook meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. While meatballs cook, cut small squares of your cheese, tear small squares of lettuce, and slice your tomatoes.
  4. Roughly halfway to the desired doneness, top meatballs with cheese to allow melting.
  5. Gently skewer your burger topping s onto the cocktail stirrers.
  6. Once burger balls reach the desired doneness, remove from oven, poke onto the bottom of the skewer, and gently slide toppings to rest atop the burger.


The BariQueen

The BariQueen

The title Bari-Queen does not come easy, so you can trust I know what I’m talking about here. I understand the struggles that is drinking and eating constantly, but never at the same time, and definitely not grazing. I understand the thrill of being taken off that daily pillbox of meds. I understand the pure satisfaction that comes with finding the perfect protein shake. I understand the feeling of accomplishment that follows making a high protein, low carb, low sugar meal that anyone else would ever dare to eat and actually — gasp— enjoy. I understand the excitement of a new size. I understand the life change that happens with bariatric surgery and how it is not easy, but so worth taking on the challenge.

2018, WakeMed