Four Nourishing and Tasty Holiday Appetizer Recipes



Kale Chips
(Adapted from Paleo Perfected by America’s Test Kitchen)
Make this recipe the day before Thanksgiving as a time saver.

12 ounces Lacinato kale, stems removed and torn into 3-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 200 degrees. Set wire racks in 2 rimmed baking sheets. Dry kale thoroughly between clean dish towels, transfer to a large bowl, toss with oil and massage gently with your fingers to break the tough cells of the kale for about 1 minute.

Arrange kale evenly on prepared racks, trying to limit overlap as much as possible. Combine salt, onion powder and sea salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle kale with seasoning mixture and bake until very crisp, 1 to 1 ¼ hours, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.

Let chips cool completely on racks about 10 minutes. Serve or store in an airtight container for 1-2 days.

Experiment with different seasonings such as dill, lemon pepper, black pepper or a pinch of cayenne pepper.


Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Dates
(Adapted from Paleo Perfected by America’s Test Kitchen)
Combine sweet and salty. The best part of this recipe is it is quick to prepare.

2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped fine
½ cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons EVOO
½ teaspoon grated orange zest
Sea salt and pepper to taste
12 large pitted dates, halved lengthwise
12 thin slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise

Combine walnuts, parsley, oil and orange zest in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mount 1 generous teaspoon of filling into center of each date half. Wrap prosciutto securely around dates. Serve or refrigerate for up to 8 hours before serving.

Omit orange zest. Substitute 2/3 cup shelled pistachios for walnuts and ¼ cup fresh basil for parsley. Reduce oil to 1 tablespoon and add 1 tablespoon balsamic or apple cider vinegar.


Roasted Beet Hummus
(Inspired by Wynne Maggi, a friend in Berthoud, Colorado, who made this as an appetizer for a meeting.)

4 medium sized beets scrubbed clean, sliced in ½ inch rounds and roasted*
½ cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 6-8 hours in filtered water and drained
2 tablespoons tahini sesame seed paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 small garlic cloves, diced fine or pressed
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

*To roast beets: preheat oven to 3750 F. Cut off leaves and stems, scrub the roots clean, slice them about ½ inch thick, brush with 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, arrange on a cookie sheet and roast for put them for about 35 minutes or until fork tender. Cool to room temperature.

Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients as desired. Chill for 3-4 hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve with crudités such as sliced cucumber, carrot sticks and/or celery sticks.


Spiced Nuts
(This recipe uses a low oven temperature and longer baking time. This helps avoid damaging the healthy fats in nuts.)

1 large egg white, lightly beaten
¼ cup maple sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound cashews, pecans, walnuts and/or whole almonds

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 275o F. Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper. Whisk together egg white, sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and cayenne in a medium-size bowl. Add nuts and toss to coat well. Spread nuts evenly on parchment paper. Bake, stirring about every 10-15 minutes until nuts are dry and crunchy, 45-50 minutes. Switch the pans about halfway through baking. Remove from oven, cool completely. Serve or store for up to one week at room temperature.


Blessings from Tracey Long, MPH, RDN Big Picture Health