Healthy appetizers for holiday entertaining

Tis’ the season! Holiday parties are in full force so why not put a healthy spin on your holiday entertaining and serve your guests appetizers that they can feel good about eating.

 

Artichoke and Parmesan stuffed mushrooms

INGREDIENTS

  • 24 medium white mushrooms
  • 4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat or spelt bread crumbs, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to low and coat a 9×13-in metal baking pan with cooking spray
  2. Remove and finely chop mushroom stems. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in medium skillet over medium heat and add stems, shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring until liquid is evaporated
  3. Transfer to a bowl and stir in artichoke hearts, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, Parmesan, mayonnaise and thyme.
  4. Toss mushroom caps in another bowl with 2 teaspoons oil, salt and pepper. Stuff each with filling and place in prepared pan. Combine the remaining tablespoon of breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon of oil and sprinkle on mushrooms.
  5. Broil on upper rack for 15-20 minutes, until mushrooms are soft and breadcrumbs are golden.

Serves 8

Nutritional analysis: 60 calories, fat 5g, carbohydrates 4g, fiber 1g, protein 2g

 

Avocado bruschetta

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 6 sliced whole wheat baguettes or whole wheat crackers

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, add lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, sea salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, black pepper, olive oil, cilantro, parsley and avocado and mix together.
  2. Top onto baguette slices or whole wheat crackers.

Serves 6

Nutritional analysis: calories 230, fat 22g, carbohydrates 11g, fiber 5g, protein 2g

 

Feta and herb dip

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can white beans, rinsed well
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place beans, yogurt, feta, lemon juice, garlic powder, and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. Add  parsley, dill, mint and chives and puree until incorporated.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.

Serves 8

Tip: serve with cut up veggie sticks or healthy crackers (i.e.,Mary’s crackers, Finn crisps, Ryvita crackers)

Nutritional analysis: calories 176, fat 3g, carbohydrates 27g, fiber 6g, protein 12g

 

Baked zucchini sticks with marinara sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat or spelt bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Slice zucchinis into 3″ x 1/2″ sticks. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a Ziploc bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese and shake well. Prep cookie sheet with parchment and set aside.
  5. Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat.
  6. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Serve with 1/2 cup marinara sauce for dipping (see recipe below).

Serves 4

Nutritional analysis: calories 90, fat 4g, carbohydrates 7g, fiber 2g, protein 8g

 

Marinara Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 small bay leaf

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 20 minutes.

Serves 4

Nutritional analysis: calories 23, fat 1g, carbohydrates 3g, fiber 1g, protein 1g

 

Tip: Serve in individual cups with marinara sauce at the bottom and a zucchini stick in it! Easy to serve and eat!

 

Salmon holiday cakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 slices of whole grain bread
  • 2 cans of salmon
  • 1 egg white, beaten lightly
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Break bread into rough pieces and put into food processor; pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. In bowl, mix together salmon, egg white, green onions, mint, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper and 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the bread crumbs until well combined.
  3. Place remaining crumbs in a shallow dish or pie plate. Form the salmon mixture into 12 patties. Lightly press the patties into the crumb mixture, turning to coat evenly.
  4. Arrange salmon cakes in a large non-stick skillet lightly sprayed with non-hydrogenated olive oil cooking spray. Cook over medium high heat, just until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining patties. Serve warm, room temperature or cold with low fat plain yogurt.

Serves 12

Nutritional analysis: calories 130, fat 5g, carbohydrates 5g, fiber 1g, protein 16g

 

Black bean sliders

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, well-drained
  • ¾ cup quinoa, cooked
  • ¼ cup peppers, diced finely
  • 2 tablespoons onion, very finely chopped
  • ½ cup whole wheat or spelt breadcrumbs
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Roughly mash black beans with a fork (there should be some whole black beans left in a sort of paste).
  3. Stir in quinoa, peppers, onions, breadcrumbs and garlic. Stir in seasonings. Stir in egg.
  4. Form into 12 sliders.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping half way.

Tip: Add a toothpick into each slider, making them easier to pick up and eat or use a mini whole wheat bun.

Makes 12 sliders

Nutritional analysis: calories 145, fat 3g, carbohydrates 24g, fiber 5g, protein 8g

 

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