With the holiday season upon us and Christmas less than a week away, you probably have a few holiday parties in your future.
Michelle Dunaway and Grace Derocha show us some great party platter ideas for a fun and festive way to celebrate Christmas or ring in the New Year.
Polar Express Festive Veggie Train with Feta Avocado Dip
- Variety of bell peppers
- English cucumber
- Variety of vegetables or bread/crackers/tortilla chips
Feta Avocado Dip:
- 1 avocado – diced and removed from peel
- 4 oz feta cheese
- 1 lemon – juiced
- 2 or 3 scallions – roughly chopped
- 1 large handful of parsley
- 8 twists of black pepper (from a pepper mill)
- Get creative. Hollow out and clean bell peppers. Cut into cups to be train cars.
- Cut cucumbers into circle slices for wheels. Attach to pepper train cups with toothpicks.
- Chop vegetables and place in pepper train cups. Save one pepper cup for feta avocado dip.
To make dip:
- Add avocado, feta cheese, juice of one lemon, scallions, parsley and pepper to food processor.
- Pulse food processor until desired consistency. Put in bell pepper cup.
- Serve with veggies, bread, crackers or tortillas. Enjoy!
Healthy Holiday Wreath with White Bean Artichoke Spread
- Whole wheat baguette or loaf of garlic bread, sliced
- Broccoli, finely chopped
- Red pepper, chopped (optional cut a small red bow out of red bell pepper)
- Green pepper, chopped (optional cut two holly leaves out of green bell pepper)
- Tomato, diced
- Cauliflower, riced
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained and rinsed
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or lime juice)
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on top
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup (about ¼ ounces) finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Several grinds of fresh pepper
- Combine the cannellini beans, artichoke hearts, garlic, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. With the machine running, drizzle in the 3 Tablespoons of olive oil.
- Blend in the rosemary and Pecorino Romano, then salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Serve at room temperature.
- Cut garlic bread or baguette into slices. Place in a circle to illustrate a wreath. Spread white bean and artichoke dip over the bread in wreath.
- Sprinkle vegetables, bell peppers, tomato, broccoli and cauliflower on top of bread and spread.
- Place red bell pepper bow and green bell pepper leaves on wreath. Serve and enjoy!
Mini Christmas Tree Snacks
- Naan, cut into triangle shapes
- Yellow pepper stars
- Carrots, diced
- Red and green bell peppers, diced
- Pretzel sticks
Pesto cream cheese spread:
- 8 ounces of low fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp pesto
- Mix cream cheese and pesto. Spread on naan triangles.
- Insert pretzen stick into bottom of triangle. Decorate holiday tree with carrots and bell peppers. Enjoy!
Grace Derocha is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and certified health coach with . For more tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle, .
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