Christine Bybee's Guilt-Free Holiday Favorites

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Certified nutritionist Christine Bybee shares recipes for decadent holiday favorites with half the calories! For more information about Christine and her work, go to

Chocolate Chip Christmas Balls


8 tablespoons butter, softened

1/4 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened (2 oz)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1 cup white whole-wheat flour

1 12-ounce package miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup confectioners' sugar

2-3 teaspoons fat-free milk


Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and salt. Mix until combined. Beat in egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in flours. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape dough into 1.5 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, until bottoms are golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Meanwhile, combine confectioners' sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon of milk at a time until icing reaches desired consistency. Drizzle frosting over cooled cookies.

Chocolate Soytini


3 oz. light vanilla soy milk

1.5 oz. vanilla vodka

1.5 oz. sugar-free chocolate syrup (Torani)

1 tsp Hershey's sugar-free fat-free chocolate syrup (garnish)


Shake first three ingredients with ice in a martini shaker. Drizzle Hershey's into glass for decoration. Pour freshly shaken ingredients into glass and enjoy.

Christine's Low-Cal Lasagna


Olive oil spray

2 teaspoons of olive oil

1 pound of extra-lean ground turkey

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce (I love Classico spicy red pepper)

9 no-bake lasagna noodles

15 ounces fat-free ricotta cheese (available at Whole Food's Market)

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1/2 cup reduced-fat Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 cup fat-free mozzarella

1 cup part-skim mozzarella


Coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan; sauté garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and onion for 2 minutes. Add ground turkey and mushrooms; sauté until turkey is no longer pink. Add pasta sauce and bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a medium bowl combine ricotta, parsley and egg until smooth. Set aside. Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with 3 noodles; sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top; follow with 1.5 cups of meat sauce. Repeat the layering process. Cover and bake at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Low-Fat Low-Sugar Cran-Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake

Cranberry puree


3 cups fresh cranberries

2/3 cups Splenda

2/3 cups fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 teaspoons vanilla extract


Combine all ingredients except vanilla in heavy large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer to processor. Add vanilla. Puree until smooth. Strain into medium bowl. Separate 1/2 cup and use in the cran-raspberry compote. Cover with plastic. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or freeze for 1.5 hours.



Nonstick vegetable spray

2 cups Special K cereal

2 tablespoons Splenda, brown sugar flavor

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted


Spray 10-inch-diameter Springform pan with 2 3/4 inch-high sides with non-stick spray. Wrap outside of pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Blend Special K cereal, Splenda brown sugar, cinnamon and unsalted butter in a food processor until moist clumps form (about 5 minutes). Press crumb mixture onto bottom of pan.



4 8-ounce packages fat-free cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup Splenda

4 large eggs

1 cup fat-free sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 package sugar-free cheesecake instant pudding mix


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in Splenda and pudding mix. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in sour cream and vanilla. Transfer 1/3 of filling to prepared crust. Dollop 1/3 of cranberry puree atop filling. Repeat layering of filling and puree 2 more times. Using a knife, swirl puree through filling, creating marbled design. Place Springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of Springform pan. Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour, leaving oven door open. Transfer cake to rack. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Cool completely. Remove foil from pan sides. Cover cake and chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Remove pan sides. Serve cake with Cran-Raspberry Compote.



1 10-ounce package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed

1/2 cup cranberry puree (made in step 1)

3/4 cup Splenda, brown sugar flavor

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Combine all ingredients except vanilla extract in a heavy medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Fruit


1/2 oz. baking chocolate, real dark semi-sweet

2 large fresh strawberries

2 pieces dried crystallized ginger

3 pieces fresh pineapple


Dip fruits into melted chocolate and serve.

Lemon Rosemary Saketini



2 oz. sake

2 oz. lemon rosemary syrup

Lemon Rosemary Syrup


1/4 cup minced fresh rosemary

3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

3/4 cup baking Splenda


Lemon Rosemary Syrup

In a small saucepan, dissolve Splenda into 3/4 cup water. Heat on high until simmering, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add 6 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/4 cup minced rosemary to the syrup. Stir well. Strain, let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 week. Makes 4 cups.


Combine 2 oz. of lemon rosemary syrup and 2 oz. sake over ice in a martini shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini or wine glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig on the side of the glass and drop 1 cranberry into glass. Place 3 pomegranate seeds into glass and watch them sink to bottom of the glass. Enjoy.