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This time of the year is especially challenging for most people when it comes to eating healthy. Decadent food is always on offer and healthier options are rarely available. Exercise usually wains off and eating sugary, fatty foods goes up. Not a good equation for healthy hearts, bodies or minds. That’s why during this time of the year, I like to focus on easy, healthy New Years Eve appetizers that you can either offer to your guests or bring with you to a party.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks experimenting with different recipes for New Years Eve so I could offer some different options this year. I’ll also be highlighting some popular choices from other blogs so you’ll be sure to find something that tickles your fancy. The titles in red indicate a link to these fab recipes that will leave your guests or friends thinking you’re brilliant. Well you are!

Most recently:

Tapas Style Roasted Peppers with Almonds
from Beyond The Peel

 

Now I love this one. Joanne from Eats Well With Others created a fall/wintery bruschetta that is not only unique but flavorful. The colors are gorgeous and a must for any party spread. Joanne is a vegetarian food blogger from New York. Not only is her writing entertaining but her creations are usually healthy (desserts are the exception) and always delicious. And she always takes great photos that make you want to leap into the dish.

Fall Bruschetta 
by Joanne Eats Well With Others 

Green Beans with Paprika Spiced Pine Nuts
from Beyond The Peel

 


Cheese Pennies (crackers mandatory at any party)
by Girli Chef

Heather is the creator of Girlichef, a food blog with tons of great book and recipe reviews, amazing Mexican creations and so much more. Both recipes Heather is sharing with us today come from a series of posts entitled “50 Woman Game Changers-in food.” She (along with some other bloggers) are exploring the top 50 woman in food that have shaped where we are today. I encourage you to take a look around. Most recently she has posted a recipe for Finnish Mustard and Baked Ham. Yum.

Crackers are an easy solution to an elegant appetizer. Serve with a dollop of fig jam and a sliver of brie or try onion jam and a blue cheese. Of course there’s always a ton of dips to choose from as well. This Roasted Red Pepper Hummous is one of my favorites.

Olive Oil and Seed Crackers
by Girli Chef 

Spicy Garlic Prawns with Avocado Sour Cream
by Beyond The Peel 

Walnut Feta Dip

Millet Nut Salad with Pears and Feta

I like to include salads that don’t wilt. I have a ton to choose from but I especially like this nutty gluten free salad. The lettuce used here is only a garnish so feel free to serve this in Asian soup spoons for a more elegant affair or in a big bowl so people can help themselves.

Last years recipes for New Years Eve included Strawberry Gazpacho (recipe to follow), Grilled Haloumi with Mint and Lime and Ground Turkey Wontons with an Apple Cider Glaze.

Grilled Haloumi with Mint and Lime.

Amazing. This is so easy it’s stupid.  It’s best served warm, but it’s so delightful that it will disappear even if it gets to room temperature…which I seriously doubt it will. Take a block of Haloumi (I get mine from the local Thrifty’s but specialty stores or organic stores also usually carry it) and slice it into 1/4 inch slices.  At this point you can grill it, but I find it’s simpler to fry it in a heavy cast iron pan. Set the heat to medium high put the cheese in the pan and wait until it becomes golden brown, about 2 minutes, flip and repeat on the other side. Plate immediately and squeeze lime juice all over it. At this point you may want to cut it into bit size pieces (have toothpicks to serve on the side) or allow people to cut off the amount they want.  Sprinkle with chopped mint and VOILA! Marvelous. No really, if you’ve never had this dish before it will blow your socks off! I can’t recommend it enough.

 

Spiked Strawberry Tomato Gazpacho

  • 796 ml can of plum tomatoes
  • 2 roasted red peppers skin and seeds removed (from a jar works fine)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen plain strawberries thawed (not the ones in the sugar syrup please!)
  • 1 english cucumber peeled, seeds removed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar plus 2 tsp
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large jalapeno seeded and diced 1/4 cup vodka (optional)
  • 350 ml tomato juice or V8
  • lots of fresh ground pepper to taste
If you have a food processor, this is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Drain the tomatoes and throw everything in the processor except juice and vodka. Pulse until finely chopped. Add vodka and juice, pulse until well blended and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but best overnight.  Serve in whatever pretty vessel you have. 50 Calories per 1/2 cup serving…not bad. And you even get in your veggies!
I hope that you all have the most amazing New Years and that we’ll see plenty of you next year.
For the love of Food,
France and Joshua
I’m sharing this with Frugal Fridays, Foodie Friday and Food Friday.


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