As a follow up to our recent article “Healthy Holiday Recipes,” we have compiled some of our favorite simple healthy holiday appetizers for you to use this holiday season.  These simple recipes will please your family and friends, without sacrificing good nutrition.  The holidays are a time of celebration, so this year, focus on good food AND good health!  Remember, you can also never go wrong with simple vegetable platters with hummus!

Stay tuned for the final installment of our holiday eating recommendations “Healthy Holiday Baking!”

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A rich and garlicky dip that tastes great with everything from vegetables to rice crackers to pita chips.  This healthy alternative to traditional ranch dips not only tastes great, but also contains healthy fats and immune-boosting garlic.

Ingredients:

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  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Goat Cheese
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic (Crushed)
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  • 1/4 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • Sea Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Raw Vegetables and/or Rice Crackers
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Directions:[list type=”bullet”]

  • Crush 2 garlic cloves and let sit 5 or more minutes
  • Mash avocado and goat cheese together until smooth
  • Add garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne to mixture and stir well
  • Cover and chill in fridge for at least one hour
  • Serve with raw vegetables and/or rice crackers
[/list] [/toggle_item] [toggle_item title=”Healthy Chicken Nuggets” active=”false”]

Bit sized chicken nuggets are a fun and easy appetizer at any party.  These baked, gluten and egg-free nuggets are always a hit, and are healthy alternatives to the greasy, deep-fried options.  Serve with a sweet chilli sauce or honey. 

Ingredients:

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  • 2 Large Chicken Breasts (skinless/boneless)
  • 3-4 Cups Brown Rice Crispy Cereal (crushed)
  • 1 Tsp. Sage
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  • 1/4 Cup Flax Seed (ground)
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste
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Directions:[list type=”bullet”]

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Cut chicken in to 2 inch squares
  • Place crispy rice cereal in sealed bag and roll with rolling pin to crush
  • Combine ground flax seed, water, salt, pepper, and sage together, whisking thoroughly
  • Dip chicken in to flax seed mixture, then into rice cereal
  • Place chicken on lightly greased backing dish and bake 20 minutes or until cooked throughly, turing part way through
  • Serve hot
[/list] [/toggle_item] [toggle_item title=”Hummus &Veggie Wraps” active=”false”]

Hummus is naturally anti-inflammatory and consists of a significant amount of protein from the chick peas.  Hummus can be made at home or bought from the grocery store.  A great alternative to traditional dairy-based dips, hummus can be served simply with crackers and/or vegetable sticks, or as a spread on wraps.  Rice paper wraps and rice vermicelli are found in the Asian section of the grocery store and are gluten-free.  If gluten is not a concern, you can replace the rice paper wraps for tortillas. These tasty and nutritious wraps can be served alone or with a sweet chilli sauce to spice them up.

Ingredients:

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  • Hummus
  • 1 Cucumber, cut in thin strips
  • 1 Carrot, cut in thin strips
  • 1 Sweet Pepper, cut in thin strips
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  • Rice Vermicelli (prepare as per package directions)
  • Alfalfa or Broccoli Sprouts
  • Basil Leaves
  • Rice Paper Wraps
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Directions:[list type=”bullet”]

  • Thinly slice vegetables into long strips
  • Soak rice paper wraps in water as directed on package
  • Prepare rice vermicelli as directed on package
  • Using 1 rice paper wrap, place 2-3 strips of each vegetable in the centre of the wrap
  • Add 1 Tbsp. hummus on top of the vegetables
  • Place a few sprouts on top of hte hummus and then a few vermicelli noodles
  • Add 1-2 basil leave on top of the pile
  • Fold rice paper over the ends of the vegetables and then roll
  • Chill covered with damp paper towel for 1-2 hours
  • Slice in half or a pin wheels and serve
[/list] [/toggle_item] [toggle_item title=”Yam Fries” active=”false”]

Yam fries are a healthy alternative to traditional white potato fries and can be served as appetizers for a fun and healthy change.  This baked version is simple and easy to prepare and the use of coconut oil will make them crisp without adding unhealthy trans-fats.

Ingredients:

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  • 2 Yams, peeled, slided into wedges
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
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  • 1-2 Tbsp. Rosemary, crushed
  • Sea Salt and Pepper, to  taste
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Directions:[list type=”bullet”]

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Cut Yams into wedges
  • Heat coconut oil on stove until completely melted
  • Add salt, pepper, and rosemary
  • Toss wedges in oil and spices
  • Place on a cookie sheet, and bake 25 minutes, turning frequently, until wedges are crip and cooked through
  • Serve hot
[/list] [/toggle_item] [toggle_item title=”Quinoa Salad” active=”false”]

This anti-inflammatory version of gravy tastes identical to the cornstarch variety.  Simply altering the thickening agent in your gravy will improve the fibre content.  Arrowroot flour has 3x the fibre content of cornstarch, is hypo-allergenic and is anti-inflammatory as well.  Make the switch and see if anyone can tell.

Ingredients:

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  • 2 Cups Cooked Quinoa
  • 1/4 Cup Cucumber, slided
  • 1 Can Chickpeas or Black Beans
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  • 1/4 Cup Green Beans, slides
  • 1/4 Cup Brocoli, chopped
  • 3 Green Onions, sliced fine
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Dressing:

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  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil or Hemp Seed Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice
  • 1 Clove Garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tsp. Sea Salt
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  • 1/2 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp. Honey
  • 6 Leaves of Fresh Basil (1/2 Tsp. dried)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Dried Rosemary (or fresh)
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Directions:[list type=”bullet”]

  • Cursh garlic cloves and let sit 5 minutes
  • Combine salad ingredients
  • In a jar, combine ingredients for dressing and shake vigorously
  • Pour dressing over salad and mix well
  • Chill over night
  • Serve alone or with rice crackers
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