Thanks to one of my best friends and fitness inspiration, Trish Kinsman, we have four fantastic, healthy, festiveand most importantly, DELICIOUS party snack ideas. She wooed her guests at her annual white elephant holiday party and I had to pass them on. I hope you use these as wonderful additions to your party menus!
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries
- 3 pounds Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves o Garlic
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Trim/clean the Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half. Arrange on 2 baking sheets and toss with the olive oil, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Roast until brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Combine the Brussel sprouts and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and reduce until very thick.
- Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the roasted sprouts, then sprinkle on the dried cranberries.
Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Cups
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp fresh orange zest
- Pour one and a half cups of the chocolate chips into a glass bowl and melt in the microwave for 2 minutes, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted. Stir in the last hafl-cup of the chocolate chips and mix together until all the chocolate is smooth and glossy.
- Drop a spoonful of the melted chocolate into 8 cupcake liners. Use a spoon to spread the chocolate into an even layer and bring the chocolate up the sides of the liners to help keep the filling in the cup.
- Put the chocolate cups in the fridge while you mix the filling. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with a 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar. Taste. If you want it a little sweeter, add some more powdered sugar and mix until there are no more lumps.
- Mix the greek yogurt and orange zest into the cream cheese mixture.
- Once the chocolate cups have set, take them out of the fridge and drop a spoonful of the cream cheese filling into each one. Spread the filling into an even layer. Place the cups back in the fridge for about 5 minutes to let the cheesecake filling firm up a little bit.
- Take the cups back out, stir the rest of your melted chocolate (reheat for a few seconds if you need to), and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the cheesecake filling. Gently spread the chocolate over the filling, then put the cups back in the fridge for 5-10 minutes until the chocolate has hardened. Remove from liners and serve.
Mini Grilled Artichoke Hearts with Low-fat Spinach and Artichoke dip
- 2 (14-ounce) cans extra small artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained and patted dry (recommended: Reese)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 1 cup fresh spinach, cut into julienne
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (recommended: Fage 2 percent)
- 1/2 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
- 4 tablespoons Parmesan
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into julienne
- Dash ground nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees F.
- Halve all but 2 of the artichoke hearts and grill the rest over medium-high heat on an oiled grill (a grill pan may be substituted) until lightly charred and warmed through. Keep warm in the oven while preparing the spinach and artichoke dip.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the spinach and cook until wilted and all the moisture in the pan has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
- Chop the reserved whole artichoke hearts and add, along with the Greek yogurt, mozzarella and Parmesan. Cook until cheese has melted.
- Add the basil and nutmeg, season with salt and pepper, and serve on top of grilled artichoke hearts.
Stuffed Mushrooms with Goat Cheese
- 40 medium white mushrooms (about 1 ¾ pounds), cleaned; stems removed
- 4 ounces goat cheese softened
- ¼ cup chopped roasted red pepper
- 10 ounce bag chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed well to removed excess water
- 1½ cups fresh breadcrumbs, divided
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place mushrooms on baking sheet (stem side up) and set aside.
- In a food processor fitted with a steel blade combine goat cheese, red pepper, spinach, 1 cup breadcrumbs, ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. Pulse until well combined.
- Stuff each mushroom with a heaping teaspoon of spinach mixture and sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 20 minutes, cool slightly and serve.