Light & Festive!



When the whole family gets together for a holiday meal, it can be difficult to keep everyone happy while trying to modify traditional family dishes to make them healthier. You can’t change great grandma’s macaroni & cheese recipe unless you want a full-on family revolt!

Those looking to serve lighter holiday fare will have much more success sprinkling in some healthy appetizer options to balance out a heavy holiday meal. Appetizers are also a convenient way to provide additional options for our vegetarian and gluten-free friends and family. You can make it as simple as some homemade veggie dip and crudité, or opt for something a little fancier, like the dishes here. Just be sure to make enough for the rest of your dinner guests – curious omnivores will want to try some, as well! For more ideas, check out


Lentil Pâté


To Make

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup lentils
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
1 Tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tart apple
 Cook lentils in water until soft. In a small, nonstick skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add shallot; sauté until soft and lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. In a mini-food processor, combine 1/4 cup pistachios and a pinch of salt; pulse until finely chopped. Add lentils, vinegar and shallot mixture; season generously with salt and pepper, combine. Add 2 to 3 tsp. water; pulse until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in butter, parsley and thyme. Just before serving, core and cut apple into thin wedges (about 24 pieces). Spread 1 tsp. pâté over each wedge. Chop remaining pistachios, sprinkle over apples and serve.

Avocado & Lime in Bok Choy Spoons


To Make

1 large avocado, cubed
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
Salt & pepper
¼ cup feta cheese (omit, if vegan)
2 Tablespoons pomegranate seeds
2 baby bok choy, leaves separated
Drizzle of honey (optional)
 Combine avocado, lime juice, chives, salt and pepper. Stir in feta and pomegranate seeds. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and/or lime juice to your liking. Spoon onto bok choy leaves, drizzle with a little bit of honey (optional) and serve.


Photography by Kayce McClure


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