Holiday Bites: 5 Easy Recipes for Entertaining
The holidays are supposed to be frantic, right? Well, with the right recipes and a little kitchen confidence, they certainly don't have to be. These holiday appetizers are healthy, easy to make, and sure to please even the pickiest eaters.
Each of these hors d'oeuvres will use just a few ingredients to create wholesome and balanced nibbles that are delicious and easy to prepare. These sensible yet festive hors d'oeuvres will help remind you what a balanced snack looks and tastes like so that you can actually begin to incorporate these elements into your daily diet. These recipes should be easy for beginner chefs, while still having the look and feel of a high-end dining experience.
Crispy Prosciutto Melon Bites
- 1-2 packs of good quality prosciutto
- ½ cantaloupe or honeydew diced into small chunks
Heat a medium pan with a touch of olive oil. Lay prosciutto sheets in the pan and cook for a 2-3 minutes per side just until slightly crisped. Remove from the pan and slice into bite size pieces. Working over a cutting board, top each piece of melon with a piece of salty prosciutto and secure with a toothpick. If making for a crowd, serve these adorable mini spears on a platter.
Sweet and Savory Stuffed Dates
- 30 large dates, preferably Medjool
- ¼ - ½ pound soft fresh goat cheese
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
Using a small knife, make a small lengthwise incision in each date. Carefully remove the pits. Using a zip lock bag as your pastry bag stuff 1 tablespoons of the goat cheese into the cavity left by each date's pit by. Arrange the dates, with the goat cheese side facing up, in the prepared dish. Sprinkle the slivered almonds evenly over the top and serve.
Spicy Cajun Crunch Snack Mix
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 pound bag of mixed nuts, salted
Heat a large sauté pan or wok to medium heat with oil. Add the spices to the oil and cook for a few minutes just to warm through. Add the mixed nuts and mix well, stirring constantly to coat the nuts well with the seasoning. Remove from the pan when the nuts begin to look and smell toasted. Enjoy warm or room temperature.
Spinach Parmesan Dip
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 (8 1/2 oz.) can water chestnuts, chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Squeeze any excess liquid out of the spinach. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, yogurt, Parmesan, garlic, water chestnuts, salt and pepper. Serve with whole wheat crackers, raw vegetables or blue and yellow organic corn tortilla triangles for a delicious gluten free option.
Turkey Sliders with Cranberry Mustard
- 1 lb ground lean turkey
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 cup cranberry jelly
- Mini buns, Hawaiian rolls or toast points
- Crispy shallots or onions
Preheat a large sauté pan on high heat. In a large bowl, mix the turkey meat with the granulated garlic, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried lavender buds, black pepper and kosher salt and mix well. Heat a bit of olive oil in the hot sauté pan and shape the sliders into mini patties. Place the patties in the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes or so, depending on the size of your sliders, just until the turkey is cooked through and the juices run clear. To make the cranberry mustard, combine the Dijon and jelly together and mix well.
Serve the turkey burgers as normal sliders, or stacked open-faced on a toast point "bun" with Dijon cranberry sauce and crispy shallots or onions.