Angela Majerle was a guest on FOX 8’s New Day Cleveland to talk about healthy party snacks. Watch the video!
Eeek! You’ve committed to hosting a festive gathering or been invited to a last-minute Super Bowl party. How do you put together a dish that’s both healthy and a crowd pleaser?
“You can quickly change up traditional party favorites with healthy ingredients, often from items you already have on hand in your fridge or pantry,” says Angela Majerle, a clinical dietitian at MetroHealth. She recommends the following four appetizers.
Warm Spinach Dip: It’s always a favorite, but this time try it without the full-fat ingredients. Opt for light mayo, fat-free Greek-style yogurt, part-skim mozzarella and just a touch of Parmesan to create this creamy dip. Load it up with fresh spinach and roasted red peppers. Serve your dip with fresh pepper strips and baby carrots instead of potato chips or crackers.
Cauliflower Pizza Bites: While mini pizzas with lots of cheese are so tempting, try a healthier option that’s great for party goers avoiding gluten or refined carbohydrates. Combine riced cauliflower, which you can find in the freezer section of your local grocery store, with eggs and oil, add some pizza toppers and bake in muffin tins. Serve with marinara sauce and be surprised by how quickly they disappear.
Baked Chicken Tenders: Buffalo wings are popular, but they’re high in fat and calories. Instead, cut lean chicken breasts into strips, dredge in beaten egg whites, then in seasoned breadcrumbs mixed with a bit of grated Parmesan. Bake in the oven and serve with barbecue sauce or hot sauce on the side.
Individual Nachos: This appetizer is all about portion control with lots of flavor. Create stacks of four or five tortilla chips, top them with black beans, red peppers, green onion, and a little shredded cheddar and heat them in the oven. You can even finish them with a dab of part-skim sour cream. Not only are they healthy, they’re easier for guests to eat, too.
5 Tips for Sticking to Healthy Eating at Parties
- Eat a small meal before you leave home so you don’t arrive hungry.
- Once at the party, indulge in only one or two high-calorie items and put those on your plate last.
- Fill most of your plate with raw vegetables like broccoli florets and carrots and go light on the dip.
- Watch your beverage intake. Flavored seltzer is a great alternative to punch, soda and alcohol.
- Fit your workout in early in the day so it’s out of the way for evening gatherings.
Warm Spinach Dip
½ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
½ cup light mayonnaise
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
¼ grated parmesan
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
¾ cup bottled roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the yogurt, mayo, mozzarella, half of the Parmesan and flour in a bowl. Add the spinach, red peppers and half of the scallions and stir. Spread the dip in an oven-proof casserole dish or pie plate, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the rest of the scallions.
Baked Chicken Tenders
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 egg whites lightly beaten
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp water
½ cup seasoned breadcrumb
¼ cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the water and lemon peel. In another bowl combine the breadcrumbs and cheese. Cut each chicken breast into 3 or 4 strips, then dredge each one in the egg whites, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place on the baking sheet and lightly coat the top with cooking spray for browning. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with barbecue sauce.
Cauliflower Pizza Bites