Thank goodness the holidays are almost here, but as much as we look forward to Santa’s arrival, our diet goals don’t really align with his. Below are five low-calorie appetizers to festively satisfy your cravings this Christmas.
1. Christmas “Tree”
Recipe / Image Credit: This Healthy Table
- 1 cup cheese cubes
- 4 piquanté peppers
- 1 cup green and red grapes
- 1/2 cup mixed olives
- 3 ounces sliced salami
- 5 to 8 small pretzel sticks
- 2 tablespoons rosemary sprigs
- Place a few cheese cubes at the top of a large platter or board in a triangle shape.
- Then add a layer of peppers below it, then a layer of green grapes, a layer of cheese cubes, a layer of salami, a layer of red grapes, and a layer of olives.
- Add the pretzel sticks to create the trunk of the tree.
- Finally, tuck several rosemary sprigs into the edges of the tree.
2. Nutty Stuffed Mushrooms
Recipe / Image Credit: Taste of Home
- 20 large fresh mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- Dash cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°. Remove stems from mushrooms; set caps aside. Finely chop stems. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add chopped mushrooms and onion; saute until liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
- Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients; add mushroom mixture. Stuff firmly into mushroom caps. Bake, uncovered, in a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan until tender, 15-18 minutes. Serve warm.
3. Baked Zucchini Fries
Recipe / Image Credit: Lil Luna
- 2-3 zucchini
- 1 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp Basil
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 2 eggs
- olive oil spray
Recipe / Image Credit: Lil Luna
- 1 16 oz can of Italian diced tomatoes
- 3 Roma tomatoes chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 4 TB olive oil
- 3/4 c basil chopped
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan optional
- 1 baguette
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix right before serving. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
2. Add butter and Parmesan cheese to sliced baguette and broil on HIGH for 2-5 minutes (watch carefully, because every oven is different!)
3. Scoop bruschetta onto slices right before serving.
5. Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Recipe / Image Credit: Food Network
- 14 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thirds
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup firmly-packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the water chestnuts and soy sauce in a resealable plastic bag and let marinate at room temperature, tossing and massaging the bag occasionally, for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap each water chestnut in a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Set a cooling rack into a rimmed baking sheet and arrange the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts on top. Bake until the bacon renders its fat and is crisp, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir together the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and 1/3 cup water in a bowl to make a sauce.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully lift the cooling rack off the baking sheet. Drain away any fat in the baking sheet and wipe dry with paper towels. Line the baking sheet with foil and lightly spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully transfer the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts to the bowl with the sauce, swirling to fully coat, then spread out on the baking sheet.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake, tossing every few minutes, until the sauce is reduced to a sticky glaze, about 15 minutes. Immediately transfer the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts to a warm serving platter. Sprinkle with pepper and serve while hot.