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Did you resolve to eat better in 2013? After a month of cookie overload, I’m ready to make some healthier choices, too. It’s easy enough to honor resolutions during the week, but weekend party foods are often heavy on cheese, cream and calories.

Luckily, a few simple swaps can lighten up your appetizer spread without sacrificing great flavor. Here are some recipes to try this weekend.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot-Ginger Soup Shooters
This vegetarian carrot-ginger soup is flavored with vibrant curry spices and fresh ginger. Pureed carrots give the soup a velvety texture without high-calorie cream. Spoon hot or room temperature soup into shot glasses for the perfect party-sized portion. Pressed for time? Pick up a box of prepared carrot-ginger soup, then top each shot glass-sized serving with Greek yogurt and a fresh mint leaf.

Eggplant Chips With Cilantro Pesto

Eggplant Chips With Cilantro Pesto
Baked eggplant chips are sweet, crunchy and delicious, and make a surprising alternative to classic potato chips.  For a seasonal twist, swap the basil in the pesto for kale, arugula or spinach.

Whole-Grain Bruschetta

Whole-Grain Roasted Garlic Bruschetta
Swap white bread for the hearty whole-grain variety in this classic appetizer; whole-grain breads typically have fewer calories and help you feel fuller, longer. To make the most of winter tomatoes, buy the oblong Roma variety, and let them sit with salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic and herbs for about 20 minutes before serving. Or, swap in high-quality canned tomatoes for a different flavor.

Homemade Hummus Recipe

Homemade Hummus
Store-bought hummus is a party standby, but it’s super-easy to make your own. If you don’t have time to soak and cook dried chickpeas, sub in 2 cans of garbanzo beans. Serve with whole-wheat pita pieces and vegetable sticks.

Sushi-Style Tuna Appetizer Recipe

Blackened Tuna Bites
This sushi-inspired appetizer swaps the typical ratio of rice to veggies: A few kernels of rice sit atop blackened tuna, with a thick cucumber slice in place of a cracker. Top each one with a chunk of avocado and a dollop of hot sauce.

Dark Chocolate Trail Mix

Apricot Dark Chocolate Trail Mix
Every party needs something sweet, so swap cookies and brownies for this delicious and nutritious trail mix. With dried fruit, toasted nuts and dark chocolate, this treat is actually as good for you as it tastes.

What about you? Do you have a go-to healthy appetizer? Do tell.



19 Responses

  1. Carlee W. says:

    The Bruschetta looks delicious.

  2. LMF says:

    That carrot/ginger soup looks so good.

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  5. Benita says:

    I roast many vegetables, but find it difficult to judge how long and at what temp. I like different kinds of sliced squash, carrots, green beans, onions, yams, etc. I spray the pan with a non-stick no calorie or low calorie spray and then trust to luck. I have tried various temps and times, but some pieces are burnt and some not cooked enough. Any suggestions about where to get help?

    • jessicaykr says:

      Hi Benita!

      I'm no pro-chef whatsoever, but pending on your veggie choices, some are definitely probably cooking faster/slower than others. Potatoes and squash take about 30-40 minutes to roast while tomatoes, onions and peppers take about 20 – 30 minutes. Try cooking them on different baking sheets (or even just separating them on the pan) that way you can take out the veggies that get done first. Thanks for reading!

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Liz GrayLiz is a senior editor at HGTV.com and an co-editor-in-chief for Design Happens. She lives in a midcentury tri-level that’s stuck in the ‘70s…for now. When she’s not working on...


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