Healthy Holiday Hors d’Oeuvres

Holiday gatherings ’round these parts mean one thing: potluck parties. The promise of endless dips and chips, spreads and breads, and crunchies and munchies poses a fun challenge for the party goer living lean, clean, and green – whip up a deliciously healthy dish that is sure to please all taste buds in the room.

These healthy holiday hors d’oeuvres have it all: easy to prepare ahead, guilt-free ingredients, and down right tasty.

Mini Pepper Hummus Boats (makes 24)

Ingredients:
12 mini bell peppers
16 oz. of your favorite hummus (I used the Hummus Quartet from Trader Joe’s for flavor variety)

hummus

Directions:
Wash and dry mini bell peppers. Cut in half length wise and carefully deseed. Arrange halved mini bell peppers on your serving tray and spoon hummus into the cavities. Voila! When it comes to the hummus, try making your own and experimenting with flavors or toppings.

Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Bites (makes 12)

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa (dry)
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
3 bunches chopped spinach
1 cup shredded almond or vegan cheese
2 egg whites (or 1/2 cup liquid egg whites)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Dash of sea salt
Zero sodium seasoning blend to taste
Cooking spray

quinoa

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook quinoa according to instructions on package, adding a dash of sea salt and your favorite zero sodium seasoning blend to taste. (I love to prepare mine in a rice cooker with 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth and 1 cup water). Allow quinoa to cool. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped spinach in batches until completely wilted down. Combine cooled quinoa and spinach in a large bowl. Add almond (or vegan) cheese, dried oregano, and garlic powder. Fold in egg and egg whites and thoroughly mix ingredients with hands. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Form quinoa mixture into 12 evenly sized balls and place in muffin tin, lightly patting down to fill mold. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from tin. If you make these ahead of time, warm in the oven before serving!

Protein Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls (makes 12)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup vanilla Perfect Fit protein (if you are using a whey based protein, start with half the portion and add as needed)
1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

pb-bites

Directions:
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with hands. Fold in chocolate chips and form mixture into 12 evenly sized balls. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

*recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

Happy noshing!

fitlicity tip: Eat a satisfying meal prior to parties where food is the star of the show. With a full belly, you’re more likely to make healthy choices. And if you’re anything like me and can’t avoid your best friend’s lip-smackingly-good buffalo chicken dip… don’t! Set yourself a portion limit (for me, it was 3 dunks into the ramekin with wheat crackers) and stick to it.

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