Party Hearty and Healthy

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Party Hearty and Healthy: You can with these three recipes.

Christmas may be over, but there are more parties in your future! In a few more days you may be celebrating New’s Year Eve. If not then, I bet many are gathering to enjoy football all day long (and into the night too). Before long it will be Superbowl Sunday. Clearly many reasons to party and celebrate.

If you are like me, you have had plenty of treats the past few weeks, between the big family dinners, Christmas parties, and the candy and cookies we love to bake in December. After Christmas it’s time to start eating better once again. Raw vegetables are a tasty way to get back to that. Low in calorie, high in taste and variety, plus they are very filling.


Fresh, Crisp Vegetables in a Spicy Dip

Here’s a recipe that is easy to put together for a party or for your family.

Veggies with dip are perfect to nibble on during the nervous moments when it is the last down. Of course they taste great plain, but with a spicy buffalo dip they are even better.

It’s also easy to replenish when the vegetables or dip are running low. When you are prepping the vegetables cut up lots of extras, then store in separate ziplock to pour onto serving platter when they are needed.

Kids love snacks like this too, especially when they can dip them. Do a separate one for them even, if you have a bunch of kids running around. You may want to use regular ranch dip for theirs, though I do love the buffalo spicy version.

You can use a big variety of different veggies. The ones featured here are my favorites, but the article above suggests plenty of others.


Homemade Cocktail Sauce for Shrimp

For another easy and low calorie appetizer, serve a shrimp cocktail. With one bag of frozen or a pound of fresh cooked shrimp, it’s another quick and easy appetizer that is so satisfying. Doesn’t every love shrimp cocktail? I even have it for lunch every so often.

Make your own cocktail sauce—it’s so easy—with this recipe.

You can make it as hot as you like that way—a definite plus in my opinion.

We like ours served with sliced celery. The celery is so good in cocktail sauce and adds a nice crunch.


Ham and Cream Cheese Roll-ups

Lastly, for a somewhat richer appetizer, try this one.

It’s easily lightened up with fat free cream cheese and low fat ham, always preferably when I am shopping.

Ask the deli to slice up 95 to 99% fat free ham thin enough that it is easy to roll. Spread with cream cheese and chives or green onion, then roll snuggly. If you have time, let them chill awhile, then slice the rolls into bite sized pieces of about an inch.

They look pretty and taste delicious. Anytime we serve them they are a hit in our household. They make excellent finger good at any party.

Have you seen my Marinated Olives and Mushrooms recipe here on Jaquo? If not you can see it here

I serve this at every gathering we have. Partly because it’s always one of my favorites, and partly because it always goes quickly.

These are a few appetizers that will delight guests and still get you back to your better eating habit. Sometimes it’s fun to have a party that is all appetizers. Everyone can nibble away while chatting or watching the game. With a variety like this, you’ll always have something that pleases everyone.

Happy New Year to you all, and I hope your team wins!



Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Jackie Jackson

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