Holiday appetizers that won’t sabotage

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The 5 weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's are filled with holiday parties and lots of temptation to over indulge on delectable appetizers. No need to sabotage yourself. Kim Galeaz has bite-size and nutrient-rich ideas to help you maintain and not gain.

Recipes below:

Cranberry Pesto Goat Cheese Crostini

1 clove garlic

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup fresh, packed basil

1/4 cup toasted walnuts

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Italian Parsley, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

Goat Cheese, spreadable, or cream cheese

Baguette Rounds, toasted 24 each or Whole Grain Crackers
(or cucumber slices and endive leaves as Kim used.)

Capers for garnish, if desired


Pulse garlic in food processor until finely diced. Add Cranberries, basil, walnuts and red pepper flakes. Pulse until blended but chunky. Place mixture in medium bowl. Stir in parmesan cheese, parsley and oil until blended. Spread 1 teaspoon goat cheese or cream cheese over cracker/baguette and top with 1 tablespoon of the Cranberry pesto mixture. Garnish with capers if desired. Makes 24 appetizers.

Recipe courtesy and the Cranberry Marketing Committee USA


Zesty Cranberry Salsa

1 bag (12 oz.) fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup cranberry juice cocktail or 100% cranberry juice*

½ to 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar*

1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in natural juice

Zest and juice from one lime (about 2 teaspoons zest and 2 tablespoons juice)

½ of a large jalapeno pepper, finely minced*

½ teaspoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro


In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring cranberries, cranberry juice and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir in entire can of pineapple, lime zest, lime juice, minced jalapeno and cumin. Continue boiling gently, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and cranberries pop, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and set aside to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with Tortilla Chips.

*If using light cranberry juice, start with only ½ cup sugar; use more for 100% cranberry juice.

*Use more jalapeno pepper for hotter, spicier sauce. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe created by culinary dietitian nutritionist Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

Cranberry Horseradish Dip

1 cup whole Cranberry Sauce (from can)

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 green onions, chopped

2 T chopped celery leaves

2 T prepared horseradish

1 T prepared mustard

1/4 tsp. garlic salt


Combine all ingredients in container of an electric blender; process until smooth. Serve with cooked chilled shrimp. Makes 2 cups.
Recipe courtesy of by Shirley Johnson for Best of Cranfest Cranberry Recipes.


Mini Cranberry Cheesecakes

12 vanilla wafer cookies

16 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 cup sweetened, dried cranberries

12 fresh cranberries or dried cranberries for optional garnish


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with 12 foil liners. Place one vanilla wafer in each liner. In a medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Use a hand mixer to blend well; then stir in dried cranberries. Fill each liner 3/4 full with cheesecake batter. Top each cake with a fresh cranberry, if you'd like. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.

Recipe courtesy and the Cranberry Marketing Committee USA


Oatmeal Cranberry Double Chip Cookies

¾ cup white whole wheat flour

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 heaping teaspoon orange zest (from 1 medium orange)

3 cups quick-cooking oats (dry)

1½ cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

2/3 cup each butterscotch and chocolate chips


Heat oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk together both flours, baking soda and powder and salt. Set aside. In large bowl of electric mixer, combine butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until nearly blended. Mix in orange zest. Stir in flour mixture. Mix in oats. Add cranberries and both chips and mix again just until thoroughly blended. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 8-9 minutes for a chewier cookie (slightly browned) or 9-11 for a crispier cookie. Cool cookies on cookie sheet about 1-2 minutes before removing cookies to wire racks to completely cool. Store in tightly covered container. Makes about 48-52 cookies.

Recipe created by culinary dietitian nutritionist Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

Cranberry Sundaes

1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce

1 pint vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup whipped cream

Set out four sundae dishes. Place 1/2 tablespoon of cranberry sauce in the bottom of each sundae dish.

Layer scoops of ice cream and cranberry sauce, ending with cranberry sauce. Top each sundae with 1 tablespoon of whipped cream. Serve immediately. Makes 4 sundaes.

Recipe courtesy and the Cranberry Marketing Committee USA