Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN

Small Bites Before the Big Meal

vegetable platter cruditeYou spend all Thanksgiving day stuffing, roasting, basting, peeling, stirring, and mashing. Meanwhile, the family is snacking their way through the football game. Is anyone still hungry by the time you’re ready to serve dinner? Here are some tips for light, easy, and healthy snacks and appetizers that won’t blow your calorie budget—or kill anyone’s appetite for the big meal!

 

Instead of greasy chips, put out a bowl of steamed and lightly salted edamame (green soybeans, served in the shell). They’re  just as addictive, but not as filling or fattening. Look for them with the frozen vegetables.

 

Lighten up guacamole by mixing it, half and half, with red or green prepared salsa. Just for good measure, put out a couple of bowls of straight salsa, too. It’s low in calories and high in nutrition. Serve with baked tortilla chips.

 

Celery and carrot sticks are healthy but a little boring. Add interest to your  raw vegetable platter by adding raw jicama sticks, halved baby zucchini, raw mushrooms, and lightly steamed asparagus or green beans. Separate a head of Belgian endive into “scoops” for dip or salsa.

 

Try some hummus instead of the usual ranch or onion dip. Check out one of these great hummus recipes or, if time is tight, you’ll find a wide assortment of flavors at the grocery store. Unlike most dips,  hummus fills you up (but not out) with fiber and protein.

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