‘Tis the season to wrap foods in puff pastry. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle, this time of year can be a challenge. While there are usually a few good options at the dinner table, appetizers are notorious for being unhealthy.
If you’re not hosting the event, ask if you can bring something. Focus on meat and veggies to create some balance with those carb-heavy, high-fat holiday meals. If you’re looking for ideas, try these EMP180 recipes to ease your mind and fill your plate.
Salmon and Chickpea Crepe Pinwheels
1/2 cup chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour)
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp water
Squeeze of lemon
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 oz smoked or cured salmon (gravlax-style salmon is great!)
Mix chickpea flour with 1/2 cup water, a squeeze of lemon, salt, dill, and onion powder.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes to let the flour absorb the water. Stir with an additional 1-3 Tbsp water to thin to a runny consistency (think thick soup).
Heat a small nonstick pan over medium heat.
Pour 1/4 cup mix into hot pan, turning to distribute batter in a thin layer over the bottom of the pan.
Flip after 2-3 minutes. Bottom should be golden brown. Repeat. Batter should make 3-4 crepes.
Lay crepe on a cutting board and let cool slightly. Top with salmon and roll up.
Cut roll into 3/4-inch slices, creating pinwheels.
1 head cauliflower
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp hot sauce (like Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 pinches salt
Optional: 2 additional Tbsp hot sauce and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 400.
Cut cauliflower into florets.
Mix olive oil, hot sauce, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl.
Add to cauliflower and toss to coat. Spread coated cauliflower on a baking sheet.
Roast cauliflower for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through.
For added heat, mix extra 2Tbsp hot sauce with 1/2tsp cayenne pepper, and toss cooked cauliflower in the mix.
Serve with celery sticks and low-calorie bleu cheese or ranch dressing.
Prosciutto Quiche Cups
1 bunch asparagus
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to grease muffin tin
2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
2 cups raw spinach (may not use full amount in recipe)
2 Tbsp half and half
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350F.
Slice asparagus into thin slices.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add asparagus and a small pinch of salt. Cook until the asparagus turns bright green, then set aside to cool slightly.
Generously spray or grease a mini muffin tin with olive oil.
Cut prosciutto slices to line a mini-muffin tin. (This will probably mean cutting each slice in thirds.)
Line each muffin cup with a bit of prosciutto, trying to keep the slice together. Top each slice of prosciutto with a few leaves of spinach.
Whisk eggs with half and half, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix in cooked asparagus.
Pour egg and asparagus mix into prosciutto/spinach cups.
Top each cup with a pinch of grated parmesan cheese.
Bake egg cups for 8-12 minutes. Be careful not to overbake- eggs may be a bit wobbly in the center but will continue to cook out of the oven. Serve warm.
Grilled Veggies with Tzatziki
2-3 small-medium zucchini
1 medium eggplant
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 pinches salt
Few grinds black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
For tzatziki dip:
1 medium cucumber
1 single-serve container of plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cut strips or rounds of zucchini and eggplant.
Toss veggies with olive oil, the juice from 1/2 a lemon, salt, pepper, and oregano.
Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
For dip, peel and seed cucumber. Grate the cucumber flesh on a fine grate.
Squeeze water out of the cucumber, and add it to the yogurt. Stir in garlic, lemon, and a pinch of salt.
Dip will become more garlicky as it sits, and can be made up to 2 days in advance.
Squeeze half a lemon over veggies just before serving.
The Back Up Plan
If you don’t have the time to cook your own hors-d’oeuvres, not all is lost! A chilled seafood platter (think cocktail shrimp, crab, and/or lobster) is a great option, and the protein should keep hunger pangs at bay.
A veggie platter is another easy option- just try to portion any accompanying dip to 2 Tbsp or less. You can estimate one tablespoon by taking a portion as big as your thumb.
Talk to your EMP180 health coach about what options are best for you to meet your goals- we’re here to help you succeed!
Not sure where to start?
Come into EMP180 to begin your weight loss journey. In addition to planning meals and snacks, we can help you explore the reasons behind over-eating and teach you how to manage difficult social occasions. Let’s work on establishing healthy habits that work for you and your lifestyle!
At EMP 180° we offer a personalized approach to nutrition and weight loss. We support you throughout your weight loss journey, giving you the tools to lose the weight and EMPowering you to keep it off—forever.