Holiday Party Snacks and Appetizers
Holidays mean celebrations with family, friends and co-workers and what’s a celebration without some terrific food and sharing of recipes. Of course we all have our creamy, cheesy and chocolaty favorites, but it might surprise you that your guests will appreciate you for providing some yummy healthy snacks as well. Plus all this will give your friends a reason to enjoy dessert!!
Mini Brie & Apple Quiche
- 30 mini phyllo shells (two 1.9-ounce packages)
- ½ medium apple, peeled and finely diced
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 4 ounces Brie (½ small wheel), cut into 30 squares
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Arrange phyllo shells on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Divide apple among the shells.
- Whisk eggs, mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture over the apple (do not overfill the shells). Place a Brie square in each shell.
- Bake until the egg is set, the Brie is melted and the phyllo is starting to brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
Yields 30 quiches. Each quiche contains: 39 calories, 2 g fat, 39 mg cholesterol, 0 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 0 g fiber, 65 mg sodium.
Pear-Pecan Cheese Ball
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1¼ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 medium firm ripe pear, finely chopped
- 1 scallion, white and green separated, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ⅓ cup finely chopped toasted pecans
- Stir cream cheese, cheddar, pear, scallion white, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl.
- Coat a large piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray. Scoop the cheese mixture onto it. Using the plastic wrap to help you, form the cheese mixture into a ball, then completely wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
- Just before serving, combine pecans and the reserved scallion greens in a shallow dish. Roll the cheese ball in the mixture, pressing to adhere.
Serves 24. Each serving contains: 63 calories, 5 g fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 2 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 0 g fiber, 117 mg sodium.
Little Lighter Clam Dip
- ½ cup 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup clam juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 (8-ounce) package ⅓-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 (6.5-ounce) cans chopped clams, drained
- 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch thick wedges
- 8 ounces mini bell peppers, quartered lengthwise
- Place first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Stir in chives, black pepper, salt, and clams. Serve with fennel and bell peppers.
Serves 18, each 2 tablespoon serving contains: 92 Calories, 3.4 g fat, 9 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 25 mg cholesterol, 1 mg iron, 134 mg sodium.
Spicy Stuffed Tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 18 large cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking dish with ½ teaspoon of the butter.
- Slice the tops off of each tomato, and, using a small spoon or melon baller, a garnishing knife, or a tomato shark, scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp. Be careful not to break the skin.
- Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it bubbles, add the shallots and garlic. Stirring regularly, sauté until softened, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, parsley, red and black peppers, and salt. Stir to mix. Add the cheese and mix again. Taste, and adjust the salt and peppers if desired. Spoon the mixture equally into the tomatoes. Place the stuffed tomatoes in the baking dish.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the tops are just slightly brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Creamy Mushroom Triangles
- ¾ cup dried porcini mushrooms (about ¾ ounce)
- 1 pound button mushrooms
- 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 6 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
- ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 24 (18 x 14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
- Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
- Cover porcini mushrooms with boiling water in a bowl. Let stand 1 hour. Drain well; chop.
- Place half of button mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped. Remove from processor. Repeat procedure with remaining button mushrooms. Add onion to processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add button mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are tender and liquid evaporates (about 10 minutes). Stir in porcini mushrooms, oregano, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheese; stir until cheese melts. Stir in parsley.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying). Cut sheet in half lengthwise; lightly coat with cooking spray. Fold each phyllo piece in half lengthwise to form a (3½-inch wide) strip. Spoon a level tablespoon of mushroom mixture onto 1 short end of each strip, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold 1 corner of edge with 1-inch border over mixture, forming a triangle; continue folding back and forth into a triangle to end of strip. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, cooking spray, and mushroom mixture. Place triangles, seam side down, on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat tops with cooking spray.
- Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
Yields 48 triangles, 2 triangles per serving. Each serving contains: 49 Calories, 2 g fat, 1.5 g protein, 6.2 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g fiber, 3 mg cholesterol, 0.6 mg iron, 97 mg sodium, 7 mg calcium.