New Year’s Eve parties often go several hours and include buffets of food. If you’re throwing a party this year, try this lighter menu to keep your guests satisfied without weighing them down with lots of fat and calories.
8 cups popped popcorn
Oil for spraying
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
Salt or salt-substitute
Lightly spray the popcorn with an oil mister. Sprinkle the popcorn with the nutritional yeast and salt or salt-substitute. Toss to evenly coat.
Thread various fruits onto skewers or large toothpicks. Good choices include fresh strawberries, pineapple, apple chunks and melon pieces.
Black Bean Salsa
1 can no-salt-added black beans, drained
1 can no-salt-added corn, drained or 1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 4 oz. can green chilies or 1 fresh jalapeno chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped red onion (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Mix the ingredients and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve with low-fat tortilla chips.
Don’t forget the veggie tray. Find a pretty platter and fill it with carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, pepper strips or any other raw vegetable you enjoy. Serve with hummus for a healthier alternative to sour cream dips.
For dessert, serve these healthier date balls.
1/2 cup peanuts
7 pitted dates
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup water
Put the peanuts, dates, cocoa and honey in the food processor. Process until the dates and peanuts are ground into very small pieces. With the food processor running, slowly add the water a tablespoon at a time. Stop adding water as soon as the mixture forms a sticky ball. Scoop out dough and form into 1-inch balls. Now comes the fun part. Use your creativity to “decorate” the date balls. You can roll them in chopped peanuts, coconut, more cocoa powder, sprinkles or anything you think would be tasty and attractive. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes about 18 date balls.
For a fun, low-calorie beverage, serve sparkling water with just a splash of fruit juice. If you want to serve cocktails, opt for wine or light beer as they tend to have fewer calories than fancy mixed drinks. Always make sure you have designated drivers or cab service for any party goers that are drinking alcohol.
Make sure you have fun decorations and noise-makers. Include some confetti or a sparkly centerpiece on your food table. Play some lively music and have some fun games planned for your guests. Take some of the focus off of food, and have fun just being with your friends!