Start the Party Off Right

13 12 2013

Appetizers can be such a tease when you walk into a party! They are meant to give you a little taste of the deliciousness that is to come, but are

Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

often very high in fat, calories and sodium- fried mozzarella, meatballs, cocktail wieners (ugh!), bacon wrapped everything, should I go on? There is nothing like a calorie laden appetizer combined with a cocktail (or 3) to set us up for some serious overindulgence, and yes, a belly ache too.

So this holiday season, if you decide to have or serve appetizers, choose light and tasty foods with strong, satisfying flavors for few calories. Recipes centering around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and even lean proteins like fish and poultry can be satisfying without being over filling, and much lower in calories.

Some big tips for managing appetizer anxiety?
• Try having a small snack before the party so that you are not starving when the appetizers appear.
• Go easy on the wine, beer, and cocktails. These can add hundreds of calories and decrease your inhibitions when it comes to food- you know how appetizing food looks after a couple of glasses of wine!
• If you don’t know what is being served, prepare something fantastic and healthy to take with you to share.

Here are some great appetizer ideas for your next gathering:
• Fresh fruit with vanilla Greek yogurt for dipping
• Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate
• Baked tortilla chips with homemade guacamole or salsa
• Roasted red pepper strips with thin sliced, fresh mozzarella
• Turkey summer sausage with spicy mustard
• Roasted vegetables drizzled with balsamic vinegar with pita bread triangles
• Shrimp with cocktail sauce
• Scallops wrapped in turkey bacon or prosciutto

For a few excellent appetizer recipes, click the links below. They are easy, healthy and full of flavor!

Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta (adapted from Southern Living – a personal favorite!): http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2630468

Prosciutto rapped Asparagus (adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentis):
http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2630476

Lemon-Garlic Marinated Shrimp (from Eating Well):
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/lemon_garlic_marinated_shrimp.html

What will you do to make your party treats awesome additions rather than belly busters? Let us know your plans! We love to share great ideas here at the PEIA Weight Management Program!

Roasted red Pepper Bruschetta Picture

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