Eating Well With Kim: Healthy Holiday Appetizers

By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

This topic actually causes me stress. How do I tell you something fun and exciting about healthy appetizers that you have not already heard before?

This year, I will talk a bit about presentation and quick, stress-free appetizers focusing on two of my favorite presentation ideas.

Fillo cups: I love these because they look a touch fancy, they are low in fat and can be picked up and consumed in one hand (which is how an appetizer should be handled). They are also easy and you can stock up on them when they go on sale! Now for the appetizer part.

There are many things you can put in these little cups, so I’ll give you a couple ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Chicken salad + cranberry relish, chutney or sauce
  • Chopped apple + brie (maybe topped with a touch of apple jelly or honey after heated to melt the brie cheese)
  • Artichoke, sautéed spinach and garlic with brie (heat just enough to melt the brie)

Skewers: I like the skewer concept too because it allows for single-handed eating. As with the fillo cups, you can get as creative as you wish here.

Here are a couple ideas geared toward healthier skewers to get your ideas flowing:

  • Fruit with yogurt dip
  • Shrimp and pineapple with sweet and sour sauce (this can be a dip on the side OR you can glaze the skewer and broil to caramelize)
  • Grape tomatoes, basil leaf and a mozzarella ball

Both of these ideas require a little assemble but are very easy.

However, if you are really on a time crunch and are on the way to a party and need to pick something up on the way, here are a couple ideas:

  • Hummus (traditional or edamame hummus) + baby carrots and sliced cucumbers
  • Herbed goat cheese or other light cheese + whole grain crackers
  • Fruit plate + nuts + vegetables and cheese (try the Marcona almonds in the deli section of Kroger -- they are worth the extra money)
  • Dried fruit + nuts + dark chocolate
  • Shrimp cocktail

Thinking of having a party at your house? Looking for a lower-cost way to entertain? How about easier AND lower in cost? Instead of making a lot of little appetizers, why not set up a food bar? I love the idea of doing a mashed potato bar or a chili bar.

Here you prepare the food and the toppings and let your guests fix their own. You can keep your toppings on the healthier side by including vegetables. Toppings for your mashed potato bar can be traditional (mushrooms, scallions, reduced fat cheddar cheese, broccoli) or perhaps you would prefer a Mediterranean spin (olives, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, reduced fat feta cheese). For the chili bar, be sure to include vegetables, like avocados, tomatoes, red onions and some reduced fat cheese and sour cream.

I hope this has given you a few ideas on how to enjoy stress-free quick, delicious and healthy appetizers this year.

As always: eat well, live well.

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