Let’s face it…

Eating healthy during the holidays can seem impossible at times. Between having family in town, people bringing delicious treats into the office, and even our family/friend gatherings, there seems to be just an abundance of food!

I know first and foremost, I personally did not eat very healthy this past week (yes, even fitness coaches are guilty of eating bad sometimes!) Motivated by this, I wanted to give you some healthy options that you could use during this Holiday season. I hope you enjoy!

Healthy Holiday Appetizers

Stuffed Mushrooms:

• 24 large button mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed, reserving stems
• 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup unsalted organic butter
• 2 cups bread crumbs (whole wheat)
• Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
• 2 tablespoons dry sherry (or substitute apple juice)
• 2 teaspoons dried parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Arrange mushrooms, cavity facing upwards, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Set aside. Finely chop the reserved mushroom stems. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat; melt butter and sauté the mushroom stems, onion, and celery until soft, about 3 minutes.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, lemon juice, sherry, parsley, garlic powder, salt, basil, oregano, pepper, and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Mix well. Add sautéed vegetables and mix well to combine.

4. Using a small spoon, stuff the prepared mushrooms. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until stuffing starts to brown. Remove mushrooms from the oven and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Turn the oven to broil and return the mushrooms to the oven, until the cheese has browned nicely.

Serve warm from the oven. Makes 24.

Herbed Tomato Cheese Spread:

• 1-cup low-fat cream cheese
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon freshly snipped or frozen chives
• 1 tablespoon snipped dill or seasoning
• 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

Directions: In a medium bowl, combine cheese, garlic, chives, and dill. Add tomatoes and mix well. Good as a spread for Triscuits or whole grain crackers.

Lemon-Garlic Marinated Shrimp:

• 3 tablespoons minced garlic
• 2 tablespoons EVOO
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• ½ teaspoon pepper
• 1 ¼ pounds cooked shrimp

Directions: Place garlic and oil in a small skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper. Toss with shrimp in a large bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

Serves 12. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

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