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6 Festive Holiday Appetizers For Your Holiday Table

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6 Festive Holiday Appetizers For Your Holiday Table
Festive Holiday Appetizers
Whipping up a batch of festive holiday appetizers can be a tricky business, and these treats need to wow your guests, healthy enough to not put you in a food coma, and easy enough to prep en masse. It sounds like a lot of work for something that'll just “warm up” your guests' bellies, but to help you deal with all this kitchen drama and spend more time with your friends, we rounded up six of our favorite holiday appetizers that take minutes to put together and are bound to amaze your guests.

  1. Baked Mashed Potato Balls


One dish that screams “holiday” – mashed potatoes. Even though it's a must, the festive holiday appetizer is the reason behind a pile of dirty dishes and potential carpet stains. To spare yourself the hassle, serve your mashed potatoes in the form of these bite-sized balls – delicious!
Ingredients:
2 cups freeze dried potatoes
2 medium eggs, beaten
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
½ tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400o
  2. In a large bowl add the potatoes and pour just enough water to see the dices float. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes or until they are fork-tender.
  3. Once that happens, remove the water and mash them until they are smooth.
  4. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and stir until they are evenly combined.
  5. Place the breadcrumbs and eggs into two different bowls and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Using your hands, form small balls with the mashed potato puree and dredge them first in egg and then in breadcrumbs.
  7. Place them on the baking sheet and put them in the oven.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they turn gold.

 

  1. Red Bell Pepper Feta Bites


Let's be honest: Feta makes everything taste betta – this yummy appetizer deserves a spot on your holiday menu. The treat also packs a great nutritional punch thanks to feta's protein(1) and red pepper's vitamin C(2).
Ingredients:
1 cup feta cheese, cubed
1/3 cup dehydrated red bell peppers
Directions:

  1. Cut the cheese into bite-sized cubes.
  2. Then, add the red bell peppers into a bowl.
  3. Dunk the feta cubes into the bowl piece by piece, making sure each cube is completely coated with the flakes.
  4. Put a toothpick in each cube for easy picking.

 

  1. “Bacon” and Caramelized Onion Crostinis


Ask any foodie, and they'll tell you that crostinis are the perfect holiday appetizer. The bread-and-smear combo is a huge time-saver, but also a great way to “prep” your guests for the main course. If you ran out of healthy topping ideas, this delicious crostini recipe is here to save the day. Swapping regular bacon for TVP Bacon Bits, this take on the classic treat gives you an early start on those healthy eating resolutions.
Ingredients:
1 loaf of rustic bread, cut in ½-inch slices
1 cup TVP bacon bits
5 tbsp olive oil
3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400oF and brush the bread slices with 3 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Place them onto a baking sheet and bake them for 2-3 minutes or until they turn gold.
  3. Remove them from the oven and set them aside.
  4. Add the remaining olive oil to a pan and bring to a simmer.
  5. Then, stir in the balsamic vinegar and the sliced onion, and cook until it's translucent.
  6. Once it's cooked thoroughly, add the TVP Bacon Bits and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  7. Then, remove the mixture from the heat and set it aside.
  8. Once it's cool, scoop some of it on top of your baked bread slices and serve.

 

  1. Hasselback Potato Bites


Between their layers and nose-tingling aroma, roasted Hasselback potatoes are a thing of beauty. What happens when you add a bunch of drool-worthy ingredients to the mix: bacon, sour cream, and chives? You’ve got yourself a festive holiday appetizer for your everyone to devour, that's what happens. Are you ready to dig in?
Ingredients:
6 small potatoes, rinsed
1 tbsp TVP Bacon Bits
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dehydrated chives
A pinch of salt, for seasoning
Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400oF and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. After rinsing them thoroughly, make several vertical cuts through the potatoes without reaching all the way to the other side.
  3. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and season with a pinch of salt.
  4. Roast for about half an hour until they are fork tender.
  5. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.
  6. Then, place a few of the TVP Bacon Bits between the slices, coat with sour cream, and sprinkle with dehydrated chives and the remaining Bacon Bits.

 

  1. Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower


It's no secret that we're big fans of cauliflower here at MEP HQ. From reducing inflammation to improving digestion, the cruciferous vegetable boosts our health in more ways than. This roasted parmesan cauliflower recipe takes minutes to put together, plus it's delicious. Top with chopped parsley or pomegranate seeds for a slightly festive vibe.
Ingredients:
1 cup of freeze dried cauliflower pearls
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Directions:

  1. Add the cauliflower pearls to a bowl. Then, pour just enough water to make them float.
  2. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes until they are rehydrated.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400oF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Once the pearls are hydrated, remove them from the water and add them in a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Stir well until they are evenly combined.
  5. Then, place them onto the baking sheet and roast them for about 20 minutes or until they're fork-tender. Toss with a spatula halfway through to make sure they're evenly cooked.

 

  1. Red Bean Hummus with Pita Chips


Hummus may not exactly be what you'd call “festive.” But, this go-to dip can turn into a bonafide magnet for your crackers and crudites if you add the right ingredients. Don't believe us? Let red bean hummus recipe change your mind.
Ingredients:
2 cups of dehydrated red beans
2 tbsp dehydrated celery
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
The juice of 1 lemon
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
½ tsp dehydrated chives, for serving
Directions:

  1. Add the red beans, celery, and garlic to a pot along with 4 cups of water.
  2. Simmer the veggies over low heat for about 20 minutes, and then using a sieve, drain all the water. Reserve 1-2 cups of the water.
  3. Add the red beans, celery, and garlic to a food processor as well as the rest of the ingredients and pulse for a few minutes.
  4. If the mixture is too thick, add some of the water you reserved or 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Serve with baked pita chips or crackers.

So, which of these festive holiday appetizers would you add to this year's Christmas menu list? Let us know in the comments below!
References:

  1. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/19
  2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

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