This year, spend your holiday party relaxed and enjoying your company! A little advanced planning and effort will have your guests amazed at how easy you make it all look.
These three quick, make-ahead spreads can easily serve double duty: For one version, pair some good, high quality breads with the spreads on a platter. Arrange sliced deli meat and cheese, leafy greens or sprouts, sliced tomato and onion, or your other favorite sandwich toppers for a fabulous and “gourmet” build-your-own-sandwich buffet!
On the other hand, these spreads are equally as delicious arranged on a pretty platter surrounded by a variety of crackers, high quality cheeses, and dried fruit.
No matter how you decide to serve these easy appetizers, you and guests can enjoy the party effortlessly – while still enjoying some delicious and unique starters!
SUN-DRIED TOMATO SPREAD
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 whole roasted red pepper, (drained if from a jar)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 small shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours (or until well chilled).
Makes 1 cup ( 16 servings). Per serving (1 tablespoon): 36 calories, 3 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 g added sugar, 1 g protein, 80 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol.
CRANBERRY ORANGE SPREAD
4 ounces fat free cream cheese
1/2 cup canned whole cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons finely diced onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Zest from one large orange
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 – 2 teaspoons horseradish
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well with a spoon to combine. Refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours (or until well chilled).
Makes 1 1/2 cups (24 servings) Per serving (1 tablespoon): 39 calories, 2 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 g added sugar, 1.5 g protein, 41 mg sodium, 2 mg cholesterol
ALMOND CILANTRO SPREAD
1 cup almonds
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fat free or low-fat sour cream
2 large garlic cloves
1 medium jalapeno, diced (seeds and membrane removed)
1 cup fresh cilantro
Zest of one medium lime
Juice from 2 limes (about 2 tablespoons)
salt and pepper to taste
Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours (or until well chilled).
Makes 2 cups (32 servings) Per serving (1 tablespoon): 34 calories, 2 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 1 g carbohydrate, 1 g Fiber, 0 g added sugar, 1 g protein, 70 mg sodium, 0.5 mg cholesterol