Grilled Shrimp – Turn up your nose at the popcorn shrimp or fried crab claws and give a grilled shrimp appetizer some love. A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked shrimp contains about 99 calories, less than a gram of fat and 24 grams of protein, making it a low-calorie, high-protein option. Don’t fry or bread anything, instead try grilled shrimp, chicken or grass-fed beef on mini skewers for healthy bite-sized appetizers. Add some zing to shrimp without piling on a bunch of calories by skewering them with grilled vegetables and marinating the combination in a mixture of cilantro, chives, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil.
Stuffed Mushrooms – Instead of jalapeno poppers, chicken fingers, Buffalo wings and other fried snacks laden with fat and calories, add a plate of stuffed mushrooms to your New Year’s Eve party spread. Containing nutrients like copper, potassium, and niacin, mushrooms add a boost of nutrition, especially when stuffed with other vegetables. For a tasty side that is easy on the scale and offers some healthy nutrients, sauté a mixture of onion, chopped mushroom stems, your favorite veggies and garlic. Mix with cottage or ricotta cheese and cracker crumbs and season to taste. Spoon this delectable combination into mushroom caps, top with a sprinkle of zesty cheese and bake until golden at 350 degrees. This savory snack will be a favorite with party guests.
Vegetable Skewers – Raw and cooked vegetables can play understudy to the high-calorie, high-fat regular cast of New Year’s party food characters. Try mini grilled vegetable skewers as a healthy holiday dish. Find the freshest veggies at your local grocer and create a nutritious combination with squash, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, onions, artichoke hearts and other favorites. Johnson suggests dressing up vegetable skewers with a small piece of fresh mozzarella cheese. If you choose to add meat, go for lean options such as grilled chicken. Include a tasty sauce such as a lemon scallion dip or one of the many soy-sauce-based ones. Make sure to use light soy sauce to cut back on sodium.
Zucchini Chips – Forgo the fried mozzarella sticks and instead indulge in this healthy and tasty treat. Sure to be a party favorite, these finger foods are delicious dipped in marinara sauce and can hold their own by themselves. Zucchini is a good source of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins C, B-6, riboflavin and K. It also contains respectable amounts of vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, folate and phosphorus. To whip up some zucchini sticks, simply cut zucchini into slices and dip in a mixture of egg whites, salt and pepper. Place them in a zip-close bag with breadcrumbs, cheese and garlic powder and give it a good shake. Spritz with cooking spray, and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 20 to 25 minutes until crispy and brown.
Bean Dip – Creamy ranch or French onion dip and a bowl of potato chips are staples at most New Year’s Eve parties. However, 2 tablespoons of dip and 15 chips (about a 1-ounce serving) can contain more than 200 calories and 15 grams of fat. Try experimenting with different types of bean dips for an appetizer that is low in calories and high in protein and fiber. Whip up a quick and healthy bean dip by combining black beans (cooked), chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, oregano and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a blender and then add chopped tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Serve with baked pita chips or vegetables for a healthy spread.
Shingletown Medical Center Board Members and Staff wish you a “healthy” and “happy” New Year!!