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)

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


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


Sweet Potato Qunioa Cakes w/ Black Berry Salsa


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.


Lemon Garlic Shrimp


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


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.


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.

Bake a Better-For-You Pie, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

A lot of what makes pie an indulgence and why we shy away from it while on a serious diet is the pastry crust. Truth be told, the crust is usually the best part! If you’ve done your research, you know that low-fat or low-carb translates to a lot of added chemicals, not something you want to partake in if you’re preparing a clean meal. We’ve found and are passing onto you crust creations to fill everyone’s sweet tooth and not their waistlines (yes, even the highly allergic and the pickiest of eaters).

The Whole Wheat Kind

Found at The Cheeky Kitchen

1 C whole wheat

1/2 C white flour

2 t sugar

1/2 t salt

½ c. cold butter, sliced

4-5 Tbsp. cold milk

In large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, and salt. Cut in slices of butter using a pastry cutter (or fork) until the largest pieces resemble peas. It’s important that you don’t touch the crust with your bare hands, no matter how tempting that mixing option might be. You want the butter to stay as cold as possible and your hands will warm it up and make the crust less flaky. Pour the milk over the mixture, one tablespoon at a time, just until moistened enough to hold the dough together. Use a fork to stir the dough after you’ve added each Tablespoon of milk. Quickly form the crust into a ball. Refrigerate until ready to use.

The Graham Cracker Kind

Found at Chocolate Covered Katie 

1 1/2 cups crumbs of Homemade Graham Crackers, or 10 graham cracker sheets

3 tbsp milk of choice (Oil or Earth Balance will work, too.)

In a food processor, process crackers into fine crumbles. Add milk and process again to combine. Pour now-sticky crumbs into a prepared pie pan, and smush down very firmly with your hands or a sheet of wax paper. (Be sure to smush down VERY hard, as the lack of fat will make this crust crumbly if you don’t.) You can go up the sides if desired, and if you need a larger crust simply add more graham cracker sheets and milk of choice (I used almond milk) until it reaches the same consistency as the original recipe. There’s no need to pre-bake; just pour desired pie filling on top and then bake the pie according to whatever particular recipe you’re making.

The Gluten Free Kind

Found at Paleo Spirit 

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup toasted pecan halves

3 large eggs

8 tablespoons chilled pastured butter or coconut oil

2 tablespoons coconut sugar (coconut crystals)

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Combine the coconut flour, 1/2 cup toasted pecan halves, fat (either pastured butter or virgin coconut oil), coconut sugar and salt in food processor and pulse until combined and pecans are finely chopped. Add the eggs and pulse until a dough is formed. Spread the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9 1/2 inch tart pan. 

The Grain Free Kind (also gluten free)

Found at Deliciously Organic Makes one 9-inch crust

2 cups almond flour

4 tablespoons coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (this provides structure for the crust. I prefer Bernard Jensen’s or Great Lakes)

1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

2 tablespoons honey

8 tablespoons unsalted butter cold, cut into tablespoons.

Place almond flour, coconut flour, gelatin and sea salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add honey and butter to the flour mixture and pulse for eight 1-second pulses and then leave the processor on until the dough forms into a ball. Press the dough on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Top with this great Coconut Whipped Cream from Angela at Oh She Glows. 

And if you are still searching for a gluten free pumpkin pie look no further than here. 

We’ve got you covered so there can be something for everyone.