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3 Make-Ahead Holiday Appetizer Recipes

Avoid the last-minute rush with these healthy holiday appetizer recipes.

Pesto Parmesan Cheese Bites

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 serving of low-fat crackers OR 1 slice of bread

1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons water, warm or room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons molasses

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon fresh, finely chopped basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1 tablespoon fresh, finely chopped oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour

1 cup unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 ounce (1 packet) rapid rise or bread machine yeast

6 tablespoons store-bought or homemade pesto

6 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

  • Add water, molasses, olive oil, garlic, basil, and oregano to bread machine pan (unless a different order is recommended by manufacturer). Add both types of flour to pan, and add the salt in one of the corners. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast.
  • Select the DOUGH cycle and press start. After a minute or so of mixing, look into the bread machine pan. If it looks like the dough needs a teaspoon or two of water, add that now.
  • When the dough cycle is complete, about 1 hour and 40 minutes, divide dough into 8 pieces. Cut each of these pieces into 6 small pieces.
  • Coat mini muffins cups with canola or olive oil cooking spray and press each small piece of dough into the muffin cup to make a bit of a shell. Spoon a slightly heaping 1/4 teaspoon of pesto into the center and sprinkle a slightly heaping 1/4 teaspoon of shredded Parmesan over the top of each.
  • Bake the bread bites in a 400-degree oven until crust is golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Yield: 24 servings (2 bites per serving)

Per serving (2 bites): 62 calories, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 1.5 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 118 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 36%.

Cheddar Cheese Bite-Size Biscuits

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 slice bread OR 1 serving crackers

3/4 cup unbleached white flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup light cream cheese

2 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (an 8-ounce bag of pre-shredded cheese works perfectly)

4 tablespoons margarine with 8 or 9 grams of fat per tablespoon

1/4 cup low-fat milk or fat-free half-and-half 

  • Place whole-wheat and white flour in food processor. Add cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and margarine to food processor bowl. Pulse for about 5 seconds to blend well.
  • Drizzle milk over the top of the mixture and pulse until a dough forms (about 3 seconds). Add another tablespoon of milk if necessary.
  • Use about a tablespoon of dough to roll into a ball and place on a cookie sheet coated with canola cooking spray.
  • Cover and refrigerate cookie sheet while preheating oven to 400-degrees.
  • Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Store cheese bite-size biscuits in an airtight container or in a sealable gallon-size plastic bag. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed up when ready.

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