Holiday parties are soon going to be in full swing. The food, merriment, and cheer often make them a highlight of the season. But many of the savory finger foods and festive treats that are served up at cocktail parties and family gatherings are high in fat, sugar, and other processed ingredients. To keep the celebration tasty and light, personal chef Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple has shared a party perfect recipe for a healthier appetizer that doesn’t sacrifice on taste, captures the rich flavors of the traditional dishes you love, and won’t derail your diet.

Healthy Holiday Recipes - Savory Appetizers

Savory Rice Bites
Makes 24

Ingredients (try to use organic food and produce when possible — the EWG Shopper’s Guide is a great resource for choosing organic)

  • 1 cup uncooked organic wild rice (you can also substitute organic quinoa)
  • 2 large organic, cage-free eggs
  • 1 medium organic white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup reduced fat organic mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh organic basil, finely chopped
  • 1 small organic tomato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 chives, finely chopped, for garnish
  • 1 cup organic tomato sauce, for serving

Directions

1. Cook wild rice according to package directions. Prepare muffin pan with non-stick baking spray (olive oil spray is a great option).

2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice with remaining ingredients, except chives and tomato sauce; mix well to combine.

4. Transfer rice mixture to prepared muffin pan. Using a tablespoon, fill each muffin cup to the top, then using a spatula, press down on the mixture to create a flat surface.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Using a teaspoon, gently remove rice bites from the muffin cups.

6. Transfer to a serving platter; serve with a sprinkle of fresh chives and a side of organic tomato sauce for dipping.

7. Enjoy!

– Amie Valpone of TheHealthyApple.com 

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