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Healthy Snack Foods? Yes, Please!
by Danielle Omar, MS, RD
I absolutely love finger food. There’s nothing better than “app night” for dinner at our house. We stand around eating cheese and crackers, hummus and veggies, roasted veggies with dip, and my favorite warm roasted shrimp with cocktail sauce. We do this every few weeks and it’s always a different mix, depending on what I have stocked in the fridge. My sister and I are planning a Labor Day barbecue. We love to step up the fancy-factor with the appetizers and snack foods, whether it’s serving them in a martini glass like I did with this layered dip or just using fancy colored toothpicks. My husband is all about the presentation. Shrimp never just gets piled on a plate. They each must be individually and perfectly arranged on a bed of leaf lettuce. Cheese and crackers are laid out by type on a special cheese board with the crackers displayed in a perfect fan. My mom will be mixing up her famous Moscow Mules or a few fun //foodconfidence.com/2014/07/22/healthy-cocktail-citrus-mint-kiwi-bubbly/">healthy cocktails. We take our Labor Day festivities seriously over here! Refried beans are typically always on the menu one way or another, as they are a long-time favorite of mine. When I was in high school, a group of us would meet after school at a friend’s house and her mom would whip up a batch of refried bean dip. It was warm and cheesy and hit the spot after a long day at school. This 7 layer dip incorporates two of my loves, appetizers and refried beans! I made it by heating the refried beans with about 4 oz. of shredded cheese. I used black refried beans this time for a different flavor. Instead of using a typical serving dish, I created individual servings using these fun martini glasses. I love this appetizer for parties because you can get creative with each layer, using your favorite ingredients. I health’d it up a bit by adding a layer of shredded leafy greens and I used Greek yogurt mixed with salsa in lieu of sour cream. The individual serving glasses also help a lot if you’re like me and prone to eating way too much of this stuff! In addition to this tasty 7 Layer Dip, we’ll be grilling up the last of the summer corn to make this zesty //foodconfidence.com/2015/06/01/the-best-ever-grilled-corn-recipe-roundup/">corn salad. Although not finger food, it’s the perfect addition to the appetizer spread. I love that it packs a little bit of heat! No menu is complete without a salad side dish. It’s important to create a balanced plate! This //foodconfidence.com/2015/07/27/red-salad-with-lemony-vinaigrette/">red-themed salad has been my obsession for a while, so it will definitely be on the menu. No barbecue is complete without a little something sweet! I will round out the menu with these amazing no-bake //www.wildblueberries.com/blog/mini-wild-blueberry-cream-pie-recipe/">Wild Blueberry Cheesecake Bites. They totally fit the finger food theme and are a huge hit at our house. If you’re trying to increase your Calcium and Vitamin D intake, you can easily sneak a //www.cal-ez.com/products">packet of Cal-EZ into your 7 layer dip. Try stirring it into the warm refried beans or mixing it into the Greek yogurt and salsa layer. You won’t even know it’s there and you’ll feel good knowing you’re getting the nutrients you need. Okay, now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite go-to appetizer for parties? Wish you could try Cal-EZ? Now you can. Click below to request your free sample.