Healthy Holiday Finger Food, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

Need a dish to pass? Planning a party? Want to do it without all the carbs and fat that are usually in the hors d’oeuvres and appetizers? Us too. Forgo the usual cheese spreads and  heavy dips. Leave the battered and fried fare off the list this year. You can do more than just a veggie tray to provide healthy options for munching guests.

On our table spread today we have a classic spinach dip, but we’re eating ours clean and without the cream. It’s amazing how far low-fat cottage cheese can go! Next we have  sweet potato quinoa cakes with blackberry salsa. Warm, whole foods bring a fantastic new take on old potato cakes and they are filling too! Lastly, we aren’t letting our shrimp cocktail get tired, try this savory new twist. And we’ll give you all the recipes too.

Clean Eating Spinach Dip
(Makes approximately 6 cups)

Ingredients
1 (16 oz.) container low-fat cottage cheese
10 oz. container frozen spinach, thawed
8 oz. can water chestnuts, chopped fine
2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

Step 1 – Using a blender, blend the cottage cheese until it is smooth and creamy.

Step 2 – Put the cottage cheese in a large mixing bowl, and add all other ingredients. Stir well.

Nutritional Content
1 serving = 1/2 cup

Calories: 64
Total Fat: 1 gm
Saturated Fats: 1 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Sodium: 151 mg
Carbohydrates: 7 gm
Dietary fiber: 1 gm
Sugars: 1 gm
Protein: 6 gm
Estimated Glycemic Load: 4

From: thegraciouspantry.com

Sweet Potato Qunioa Cakes w/ Black Berry Salsa

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet potato (about 6 oz), peeled and chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add in sweet potato, onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potato is soft. Remove lid and add garlic, cooking for 30 seconds.

Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl (slightly mashing potato with a fork) and add quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, remaining salt and pepper and mix well. Once combined, add in egg, then mix until moistened. Using your hands to bring it together, form four equally-sized patties.

Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Serve with blackberry salsa.

Blackberry Salsa

1 pint fresh blackberries, chopped

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/2 jalapeno, finely diced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

the juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix.

From: howsweeteats.com

Lemon Garlic Shrimp

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/4 pounds cooked shrimp

PREPARATION

Place garlic and oil in a small skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss with shrimp in a large bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 73 calories; 3 g fat ( 0 g sat , 2 g mono ); 92 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 10 g protein; 0 g fiber; 154 mg sodium; 108 mg potassium.

From:eatingwell.com