Healthy appetizers for Christmas

Cranberry stuffed pinwheels

This tasty Christmas appetizer is packed with calcium from the cheese and protein from the spinach tortillas. The color combination of green tortillas and red cranberries make these pinwheels as festive as they are delicious. This is a great recipe if you need appetizers for Christmas.

1 small package dried cranberries
1 regular container cream cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
4 large spinach tortillas

Mix filling ingredients and distribute among the tortillas. Roll tightly and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least one hour and cut when ready to serve. Each pinwheel should be approximately 1/2 in. thick.

Pimenton & Sherry Shrimp

Having shrimp appetizers for Christmas allows you to serve a crowd-pleasing food while still keeping it healthy. Sauteed in olive oil and loaded with garlic, this appetizer will be a hit at your next holiday gathering. This starter is best for small groups, as it tastes best served warm.

2 lbs large frozen shrimp
Kosher salt
4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. sweet pimenton
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 tbs. sherry
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
chives for presentation
Lemon juice from grated lemon

Defrost shrimp according to package. Saute shrimp in oil and garlic. Add pepper flakes, salt, and pimenton and cook until shrimp are done. Deglaze the pan with the sherry. Add the lemon zest and juice. Serve in a festive bowl with red and green toothpicks.

Chicken & Black Bean Croquettes

Croquettes are traditionally a minced meat patty, deep fried until crispy. For a healthier version skip the fatty meats, extra bread crumbs, and frying. This holiday treat will have your guests eating healthier without sacrificing flavor. For this recipe try to keep all ingredients finely chopped and use a very well-oiled cast iron skillet for frying.

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup shredded sweet potato, uncooked
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
2 cups precooked chicken breast, chopped
3 tsp lemon juice
pinch of dried oregano, thyme, salt and black pepper
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

Cook the potatoes with bell peppers and onions until soft. Remove vegetables from the pan. Lightly oil pan or coat with cooking spray. Add chicken, seasonings, and lemon juice. Mix in the egg whites and sour cream. Pour bread crumbs into a separate dish. Roll the meat mixture into a dozen equal-sized balls. Cover in bread crumbs and add to the hot pan. Press flat with a spatula. Cook on both sides until brown and crispy.