Jena DeMoss: Holiday appetizers

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

No matter how you celebrate, your favorite foods often appear this time of year. Here are a few tips to help you navigate holiday gatherings while sticking to your health goals!

Plan ahead

While you can’t control everything, having a plan can help you stay on track and stick to your goals.  Don’t skip meals in anticipation of a gathering but try eating a healthy snack with a good source of fiber to fill you and protein to sustain you. Bring a healthy dish to share when invited to parties, and take inventory of the buffet prior to filling your plate so you can choose where you want to indulge in and where you can cut back.

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Build in activity

Stay active by carving out time to move despite hectic schedules. Physical activity can help make up for increased holiday portions and can reduce stress levels. Try creating new family traditions like going on a family walk or hike.

Mindful and moderate

Be careful to not fall into party grazing. Calories can add up quickly when we are grabbing bites here and there. Instead, eat from a plate, be mindful in your choices using portion control and, if you slip up, get right back with healthy eating at your next meal.

Lighten up your next gathering with holiday fare that is full of nutrition and flavor! Try these party-ready appetizers to ring in the New Year.

Crostini with White Bean Spread and Beef Tenderloin

All you need

• 1 (14oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained

• 1 clove garlic

• 1 tbsp Hy-Vee select olive oil, plus additional for brushing

• 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

• Sea salt and freshly cracked Hy-Vee black pepper to taste

• 1 lbs beef tenderloin

• Crackers or lightly–toasted Take & Bake French baguettes for serving

All you do

1. To make white bean spread, place beans, garlic, olive oil and parsley in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. To prepare steak, pat dry with paper towels, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Grill steaks to preferred doneness and thinly slice.

4. Spread bean spread on crackers or toasted bread slices. Top with sliced beef. 5. Brush with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe source:

Mini Taco Cups

All you need

• Taco Cups

• 1 Hy-Vee large egg½ cup finely chopped yellow onion

• 1 (1.25-oz.) packet Hy-Vee taco seasoning

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 lb lean ground beef

• Hy-Vee canola oil, as needed

• 20 wonton wrappers

Optional Toppings

• Hy-Vee taco sauce

• Hy-Vee sour cream

• Hy-Vee finely shredded Mexican cheese

• Jalapeños, sliced

• Tomatoes, chopped

• Red onion, chopped

All you do

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a bowl, combine egg, onion, taco seasoning and garlic. Add beef and mix well. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place meatballs on a baking sheet and bake 20 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature of beef reaches 160 degrees.

3. Meanwhile, brush wonton wrappers with vegetable oil, then nestle into nonstick mini muffin tin cups. Bake cups until crisp and golden brown, about 6 minutes.

4. Place a meatball in each wonton cup and garnish with desired toppings.

Recipe source: