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Bite-Size Treats: Healthy Appetizer Recipes

Make your next dinner party diet-friendly with these easy, healthy appetizer recipes.

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Evan Sklar
Sweet and Smoky Pecans
Evan Sklar
Evan Sklar
Evan Sklar
Evan Sklar
Evan Sklar
Joyce Oudkerk Pool
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Prev 1 of 10 Next

Cheese, Bacon, and Cranberry Endive Boats

Ingredients
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
6 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
12 endive leaves
4 thin slices turkey bacon, cooked until crisp, crumbled
2 tablespoons dried cranberries

Make It
In a bowl, combine the blue cheese and sour cream, mashing together roughly with a fork. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of the blue cheese mixture into each leaf. Top with crumbled bacon and dried cranberries and serve.

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Smoky Pecans

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne

Make It
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients; mix well. Spread the nuts on the baking sheet; roast, tossing halfway through, until browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the nuts cool. Serve.

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Goat Cheese and Apple Canapes

Ingredients
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoon honey
1 large red apple, cored and cut into 24 thin slices
24 watercress leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Make It
In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese and honey. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture onto each apple slice and top with a watercress leaf. Arrange the canapes on a platter and sprinkle with black pepper.

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Artichoke Dip

Ingredients
1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Make It
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a rough puree (the texture of bean dip). Spread the dip in a shallow 8-inch ovenproof serving dish and bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with pita chips.

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Wild Mushroom Crostini

Ingredients
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
12 slices whole wheat baguette
Olive oil spray
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Make It
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss the mushrooms with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper to taste. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil and spread the mushrooms in the pan. Roast, tossing every 5 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are beginning to crisp in spots, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly spray the baguette slices on both sides with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until the tops are golden, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle each toast with 1/2 teaspoon Parmesan cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is melted. Pile the mushrooms on the toasted baguette slices; serve.

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Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole

Ingredients
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch rings
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Make It
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a piece of aluminum foil and roast until they can be easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly. Trim the ends and pull off the peels; slice into 1/2-inch rounds.

Butter a small (3-1/2-quart) casserole with half the butter. In a bowl, stir together the cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Arrange half the apple rings and sweet-potato rounds in alternating layers in the dish; sprinkle with half the spice mixture and half the maple syrup. Layer in the rest of the apples and sweet potatoes, ending with the apples. Sprinkle with the remaining spices, drizzle with the remaining syrup; dot with the rest of the butter. Cover and bake until the apples are very tender, about 45 minutes.

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Crackers & Chevre

Ingredients
1/2 ounce goat cheese
6 whole-grain crackers

Make It
Spread cheese evenly on crackers.

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Tropical Seviche

Ingredients
12 ounces fresh or frozen bay scallops
1 large orange
1 grapefruit
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large mango or papaya, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 tablespoons snipped fresh mint

Make It
Thaw scallops, if frozen. Rinse scallops; pat dry. Place scallops in a medium bowl.

For marinade, finely shred 1 teaspoon peel from the orange; set aside. Peel, seed, and section the orange and grapefruit over a small bowl to catch juices. Stir the orange peel, onion, jalapeno pepper, and garlic into the orange and grapefruit juices. Pour over scallops, stirring to coat. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Drain scallop mixture, discarding marinade.

In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add scallop mixture. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until scallops are opaque. Transfer scallop mixture to another medium bowl; cool slightly. Drain and discard any liquid that has accumulated. Add the orange and grapefruit sections, mango, and mint to scallop mixture; toss gently to coat. Spoon into small bowls. If desired, garnish with additional mango.

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Chips and Guacamole

Ingredients
6 tortilla chips
1/6 avocado
3 tablespoons salsa

Make It
Mash avocado with salsa. Enjoy with chips.

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, October 2009.

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