Holiday Recipe Redo: The Best “Healthified” Appetizers for the Holidays

Served these lower-calorie appetizers at your next holiday get-together.

By Debra K | Posted November 20, 2013 | Originally posted on

healthy apps

Yes, it is coming; the opulent and effusive holiday season.  Have you taken the time to put into place strategies to stay healthy?  There’s a good chance you’ll be working harder, you’ll find your energy going outward more to help others and you might feel additional financial strain.  It is important during these busy times to find ways to put yourself first by getting plenty of rest, eating well, moving your body and finding quiet moments to relax and appreciate yourself.  Make this year the season of “YOU”, you’ve earned it.

To help you eat well this holiday season, Debra K, host of the Journey into Wellbeing has partnered with some of the top chefs in the country to offer you healthier choices. Click now and follow the Recipe Redo Blog to receive every healthy recipe being offered.

Today’s Offering:  Happy Apps

Lighter, Yet Still Creamy Spinach Dip

This traditional holiday appetizer can wreck your lightened up holiday plate due to the huge amount of saturated fat and calories (coming from the full-fat cheese, mayo and sour cream). Substituting lower calorie versions and adding in artichokes and lots of spinach will help lighten this dish yet still preserve the flavor. Serve with baked tortilla chips, or whole grain pita crisps or better yet, raw veggies!

Yield: 5 ½ cups (serving size: ¼ cup)


  • ½ cup fat-free sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 can (14 oz) water-packed artichoke hearts (drained and chopped)
  • 8 oz. block light cream cheese
  • 8 oz. block fat-free cream cheese
  • 16 oz. bag frozen cut leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 8 oz. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Combine all ingredients listed above mozzarella cheese and stir until well blended. Spoon mixture into 1 ½ qt. casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Nutritional Information per Serving (1/4 cup):
Calories: 90, Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 10 mg, Sodium: 330 mg,
Carbohydrate: 5 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 8 g

This recipe is compliments of Dr. Janet Brill.  Nationally recognized nutrition, health and fitness expert and published author Dr. Janet Brill is the director of nutrition for Fitness Together, the world’s largest organization of personal trainers. Dr. Janet specializes in cardiovascular disease prevention and has authored three books on the topic; the most recent is Prevent a Second Heart Attack (Three Rivers Press, Feb 2011.)

Broiled Goat Cheese Crostini with Minted Grapes

Try this healthy appetizer from Golden Door Spa in California next time your entertaining or want to make a delicious snack for yourself! The flavors and textures are mouthwatering!


  • 12 (1/4 inch thick) diagonally sliced whole grain baguette
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (chevre) or other soft, spreadable goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1-1/2 cups red seedless grapes, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons green onion, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and the garlic; brush on bread. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 12 minutes or until bread is lightly golden.
  2. Remove toasted bread slices from oven and change oven setting to broil. Spread goat cheese evenly over each crostini and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes or until goat cheese is melted.
  3. In small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over low heat. Add minced shallot and cook until golden brown. Transfer shallot to medium mixing bowl. Add grapes, green onion, mint, and balsamic vinegar. Toss to combine.
  4. Spoon heaping tablespoon of grape mixture over each crostini and serve. Makes 6 servings (12 crostini).

DON’T MISS A SINGLE RECIPE: From now until the New Year, Chefs from all over the country are providing you with their best healthy holiday recipes. Follow the Recipe Redo Blog to receive as they post.


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