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Seasonal Diet Tips

Explore our expert knowledge on topics such as healthy eating during the holidays, and how to live into a happier and healthier you in the New Year. Discover tips and tricks on how to avoid weight gain at holiday parties and while on vacation.

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Healthy Appetizers for New Year's



Healthy Appetizers for New Year's

Stumped about what to serve at your New Year’s Eve party?

Well, fear not!

To keep the festivities alive and to keep your weight in check, here are some healthier options to serve at your New Year's bash.

Here are some of our dietitian’s favorite holiday recommendations that are delightfully appetizing and surprisingly healthy.

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Mozzarella and Basil

Show the holiday spirit of red in your food with this delicious spin on a cherry tomato.

You will need:

1/2 pound of fresh mozzarella, cut into tiny shavings (yields about 1 ¼ cups)

3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated lemon zest (from about a quarter of a lemon)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pint (about 18) cherry tomatoes, rinsed with the stems removed

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, stir the mozzarella cheese, oil, basil, zest, ½ teaspoon of salt, and a ¼ teaspoon of pepper.

Refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours before assembling and serving.

When ready to assemble, slice each cherry tomato in half, and scoop out the insides with a melon baller or a teaspoon. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Invert on to a paper towel, and let the tomatoes drain for at least 15 minutes.

Fill each tomato half with one scant teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Arrange on a serving tray. Serve immediately or wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Makes about 3 dozen hors d’oeuvres. Serves about 10-12 as an appetizer.

Grilled Zucchini and Goat Cheese Roll Ups

Here is a unique twist on the classic roll-up that your holiday guests will love.

You will need:

3 small zucchini

Olive oil

Kosher salt

3 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature

1 tablespoon finely chopped oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes, well drained

Heaping ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Preparation:

Trim off both ends of the zucchini, and heat a grill to high. Trim just a little off the two long sides to even their shape; discard the trimmings.

Cut the remaining zucchini into lengthwise strips, each about ¼ inch thick. Brush both sides of the strips with plenty of olive oil and season with a touch of salt. Put the slices on the hot grill at a 45 degree angle to the grates and grill, covered, until well-browned and limp, 3-4 minutes per side.

Check the zucchini as they cook and gently move the slices around with tongs for even browning; be careful not to overcook.

When done, drape them over a cooling rack to keep them from steaming as they cool.

In a bowl, combine the goat cheese with the sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and a 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Spread one heaping teaspoon of the filling over one side of each zucchini strip (use a mini spatula or your fingers to spread). Roll up the zucchini, but not too tightly. Put the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil.

Heat the broiler. Sprinkle with a little of the grated Parmigiano and brown under the broiler, for about one minute.

Makes about 8-10 roll-ups.

For more healthy ideas from our chefs, please click on one of the related recipes below.

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