It's the season for joy and merriment and thanks and giving... it's also the season for eating. I find that I go weak at the knees for some of the incredible hors d'oeuvres and appetizers that are passed around this time of year. Whether you're entertaining family for Thanksgiving Dinner or planning to host a holiday party, there are plenty of healthy and delicious alternatives to the calorie dense nibbles out there that won't affect your waistline or fill you up before a large holiday meal.
Unless we are having a cocktail party we are not big hors d'oeuvres folks. I prefer my guests to save room for the meal I've prepared though still, it's nice to offer something light and easy to nibble on - something light, not too filling and bite-sized so that people can easily carry on conversations. There are obvious choices like shrimp cocktail, crudites, cheese straws... But these tend to be, well... .overdone and, frankly, boring. I'm always looking for new ideas that are slightly different. I want to serve food that looks good and tastes good that requires minimal effort. I would rather be enjoying my guests than working away in the kitchen. Even with the help of caterers, it's still easy to get caught up in the minutia. Following are some elegant, simple and healthy ideas to offer your guests as light bites this holiday season.
Oysters on the half shell are always elegant, always light and always a crowd pleaser. Offer them with a mignonette sauce or cocktail sauce and horseradish.
Bite sized canapes prepared with cucumber slices instead of bread or crackers make a colorful and healthy way to serve smoked salmon, dill and creme fraiche.
Deviled eggs are always a good idea. Paleo friendly, low carb, festive and always delicious. This version of the classic incorporates a little bit of vinegar to give the yolk mixture a classic French vinaigrette taste. Hop on over to the Left Side of the Table for the recipe.
Kick your shrimp cocktail up a notch by grilling it first. Not only does it look more elegant but the layers of flavors from the spices and the grill will make the classic version seem so boring by comparison.
Try these Fig, Chevre Canapes over at the Nugget Market. The figs serve as the perfect vehicle for this savory and sweet delight.
I only recently had my first "rollatini" - These simple, light treats are made from grilled zucchini, goat cheese, peppers and capers. But you can roll anything in them you wish - herbed cheese or ricotta with fresh dill and capers. You could even add a little prosciutto or smoked salmon for a hint of color. We're all about color this holiday season!
Spiced olives are always a fun idea and a great little nibble. Feasting at Home has a recipe for Warm Rosemary Olives with Chilli Threads. Olives look beautiful in little silver dishes. Spiced nuts and even crispy potato chips look elegant in little silver dishes.
These little BLT bites are pretty and festive. Although a bit more labor intensive than some of the other ideas I have shared, with a little prep these petite bites can add some color and cheer to your holiday table. For recipe hop on over to The Endless Meal.
I think the endive is the perfect addition to any holiday party. The leaves are dainty, pretty and can serve whatever you desire. In fact, I love these little leaves so much I wrote an entire piece on them. For more ideas and recipes, please visit here.
I hope that this has inspired your canape creativity... that you'll think outside of the typical appetizer box. Do you have any healthy, lite bites that you like to serve? We'd love for you to share them with us!