Healthy Holiday Hors d’Oeuvres
With the holiday season in full swing, there may be more time for eating and less time for preparing healthy meals. Many of us may either entertain family and guests or attend other holiday parties and be asked to bring a dish to the party. Instead of buying something maybe not as healthy or already made at the store give these a shot. These three excellent healthy hors d’oeuvre recipes are offered up by Lisa Cooper, Registered and Licensed Dietitian with the Orlando Health Center for Health Improvement will bring a little healthy to your holidays. Remember small choices can lead to a healthier and happier you. We’re here to help!
2 quarts of cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, separated
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced or chopped
1 whole grain French baguette or similar whole grain Italian bread from bakery
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450°F with a rack in the top slot of the oven.
Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and squeeze out most of the juices and seeds.
Toss tomatoes with garlic, 1 Tbsp olive oil, vinegar and basil
Stir in the thinly sliced basil and add salt and black pepper to taste.
Use a bread knife to slice the baguette on the diagonal making half-inch thick slices. Brush one side of each slice with olive oil and place olive oil-side down on a baking sheet or roasting pan.
Place the slices in the oven on the top rack and toast for 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned around the edges.
Arrange the toasted bread on a platter, olive oil side facing up. Top each toasted bread slice with some of the tomato mixture. Serve immediately.
Yield: Makes 24 small slices
Nutrition per slice
57 calories, 3g fat, 0g saturated fat, 54mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g protein
Nutrition per 4 slices
171 calories, 10g fat, 1g saturated fat, 161mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g protein
Adapted from: https://www.wellplated.com/garlic-feta-dip/
Nutrition per serving
66 kcals, 4g fat, 2g saturated fat, 232mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 4g protein
Garlic Feta Dip
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
4 ounces light cream cheese — Neufchatel cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Whole grain crackers, baby carrots, cucumber slices
Place feta, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, garlic cloves, lemon juice, oregano, and black pepper into food processor. Blend until smooth.
Transfer the dip to a serving bowl. Just before serving, sprinkle with diced bell pepper, and parsley. Serve immediately with crackers and a variety of raw vegetables.
NOTE to lower sodium – use a low sodium feta or substitute goat cheese
Lemon-Garlic Shrimp Skewers
1 1/2 lbs. shelled and deveined shrimp
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
20 small skewers
Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray 2 large nonstick baking trays with cooking spray.
Toss the shrimp, garlic, oil and crushed red pepper in a bowl.
Skewer the shrimp onto wooden skewers (3-4 per skewer).
Arrange the shrimp on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Roast 6 to 8 minutes or until the shrimp turns opaque.
Squeeze lemon over the shrimp and garnish with parsley.
Yield: 8 servings
Nutrition per serving
89 kcals, 2g fat, 0g saturated fat, 101mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 17g protein
Food. Glorious Food!
The holidays are the time to enjoy family, friends, and food. But having a strategy to keep it fun and healthy is the key. Over-indulgence can ruin a good thing. Try a little of everything and make small choices to mix a little healthy in your holidays.
December’s theme is “Healthy Holidays”, so let’s keep sharing our recipes with each other to enjoy the holiday season healthier together.
About the Author
Lisa Cooper is a dietitian specializing in prevention and wellness at Orlando Health. She is a registered and licensed dietitian with a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University and a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University.