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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.

10 Healthy New Year's Appetizers You Must Try

Stumped about what to serve this New Year’s Eve? Well, fear not! To keep the festivities alive and your weight in check, here are some healthier options to serve this New Year's.

10 Healthy New Year's Appetizers You Must Try


Ready for a new year but feeling unprepared with the celebration menu?

Prepare these unique New Year’s Eve appetizer recipes! Not only can these be prepared in a pinch, but most are perfect if throwing a post-COVID party.

Without further ado, here are some of our dietitian’s favorite holiday recommendations that are delightfully appetizing and surprisingly healthy!

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Mozzarella and Basil

Festive in color, this vibrant red finger food recipe gives a delicious spin on a cherry tomato.

Ingredients:

• 1/2 pound of fresh mozzarella, cut into tiny shavings (yields about 1 1/4 cups)
• 3 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
• 1/2 tsp 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

Instructions:

1. In a medium bowl, stir the mozzarella cheese, oil, basil, zest, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

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

3. 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.

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

5. 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.

Grilled Zucchini & Goat Cheese Roll-Ups

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

Ingredients:

• 3 small zucchini
• Olive oil
• Kosher salt
• 3 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
• 1 Tbsp finely chopped oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes, well-drained
• 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
• 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Instructions:

1. 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.

2. Cut the remaining zucchini into lengthwise strips, each about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly brush both sides of the strips with 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.

3. 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.

4. In a bowl, combine the goat cheese with 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.

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

Fresh Tomato Salsa

For a fresh recipe for a fresh start this new year, whip up a flavor and nutrient-packed tomato salsa.

Ingredients:

• 1 cup of fresh diced tomatoes, seeded and drained
• 1/3 cup diced onion
• ¼ cup diced jalapeno pepper
• 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro
• 1 tsp fresh lemon juice or lime juice
• 1/4 tsp salt
• Black pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Simply combine all of these ingredients in a medium bowl and serve! For max flavor, make the night prior to the New Year’s Eve party to let ingredients marry together.

Serving Tip:

If sharing amongst others outside of the household, consider rationing the dip and dippers into individual serving containers. This goes for the dips below, that you do not want to miss out on!

Roasted Red Pepper & Caramelized Onion Dip

This roasted red pepper and caramelized onion dip might be simple to prepare, but oh is it elegant!

Ingredients:

• 1 tsp olive oil
• 2 large sweet onions, sliced a 1/2 inch thick
• 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1 tsp salt
• Black pepper to taste
• 1 cup of reduced-fat sour cream (8 ounces)
• 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
• 1/2 of a jarred roasted red pepper, patted dry

Instructions:

1. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring a few times, for about 10 minutes

2. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover, and then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. The onions are done when the liquid has evaporated, the mixture is dark and sticky, and it measures about a cup. If you still have liquid in the pan after 3 hours, just raise the temperature and cook uncovered until the liquid evaporates.

3. Remove from the heat and transfer to a dinner plate to cool. Place the cooled onions in a food processor fitted and add the sour cream, yogurt, and red pepper after patting it dry. Process until smooth then refrigerate before serving.

Extra New Year’s Appetizers

Other easy appetizers to prepare include a unique twist on spinach dip and chicken wings. Oh, and find out an innovative way to use pretzel sticks for one delicious bite!

Indian Creamed Spinach

Spinach and artichoke dip is a fan favorite, but we think we can do one better!

This Indian creamed spinach features nutrient-rich ingredients, including Greek yogurt for a punch of protein, all without sacrificing flavor!

Grilled BBQ Chicken Skewers

Chicken wings are crowd-pleasing finger foods, but not always the cleanest and healthiest to eat. So if looking for an unmessy and healthy option, we have you covered (but without the messy sauce and fingers)!

Start by preparing grilled BBQ chicken then cut into bite-sized pieces. Thread chicken bites onto a skewer, along with bell pepper, onion, and other veggies for a healthy dose of nutrients and freshness.

Herb Beef Sirloin Skewers

These simple and tasty herb beef sirloin skewers are flavor-packed with fresh herbs and lemon juice. And with 29 grams of protein per serving, you will be pleasantly satisfied all night long!

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Rather than dropping the ball with a standard store-bought cheese ball, prepare these mini cheese ball bites!

The recipe uses softened cream cheese, blue cheese crumbles, and dried cranberries for the ultimate ball of flavor. Each mini ball is then rolled in toasted pecans and innovatively skewered with a pretzel stick.

Double Decker Taco Cups

Taco ‘bout a unique New Year’s appetizer… These double-decker taco cups make for the perfect single-serve appetizer with no assembly required for guests.

Also feel free to tweak ingredients as desired, including using these best taco toppings!

Brownie Bites

To cap off the night and year, relish on a fudgy brownie bite! Simply prepare this brownie recipe (with one healthy twist!) then cut into bite-sized squares. Skewer onto a pretzel stick for the ultimate salty and sweet combo!

Sarah Asay's Photo
Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on December 30, 2020.

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