Lettuce Party! 8 Healthy Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

Eight Healthy Appetizers - TheFitFork.comRing in the New Year without all the “oh I shouldn’t have eaten all that” guilt. Whether watching the ball drop in Times Square at home in your jammies or hosting an elaborate cocktail party, all your clean-eating resolutions can start early thanks to my eight healthy appetizer ideas – each under 100 calories!

blue diamond natural almond and apricot snackApricot Almond Chocolate Bites – It’s hard to believe that this little trio of tasty goodness has only has 20 calories, but it’s true! Plus, dried apricots are rich in iron, so there are no worries about having a few!

Mini Gorgonzola Cheese Balls - TheFitFork.comMini Gorgonzola Cheese Balls – Each little ball of bold, beautifully creamy cheese has just 85 calories – even less if you substitute fat-free cream cheese for the gorgonzola.  You can check out the full recipe along with variations I put together for the Living Litehouse blog.

litehouse roasted chickpeas title

Lime Coconut and Basil Roasted Chickpeas – With 95 calories for ¼ a cup (a handful), you get loads of Thai-inspired taste plus a bonus of fiber and protein.

Southwestern Shrimp & Avocado Starters - TheFitFork.com

Southwestern Shrimp and Guacamole Starter –    You’ll say “ole” to this avocado and shrimp pairing, especially when you find out it only has 55 calories (and that includes licking the little cup).


mushrooms stuffed with pepper jack, hatch green chile and kaleHatch Green Chile Stuffed Mushrooms –  Mushroom caps are the perfect healthy vessels to be stuffed with delicious ingredients — that’s because mushrooms sop up flavors like little sponges, have virtually no calories, and are packed with tons of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Each one of these succulent, almost meaty (although no meat – vegetarian recipe) mushroom caps has only 67 calories!

carrot beet parsnip firesBaked Root Vegetable Fries –  A fantastic substitute for traditional chips or fries, these root vegetable “fries” are baked in the oven and have only 53 calories per serving. If you add in 1 tablespoon of a light dip (I like the OPADIPITY line by Litehouse Foods made with Greek yogurt), you add only another 35 calories, bringing the grand total up to 88 calories.

Grape Blue Cheese Walnut Bites - TheFitFork.comGrape, Blue Cheese and Walnut Bites – This recipe was inspired by a much-requested fall fruit salad with the same ingredients.  No official recipe to follow, just skewer up a single grape, small hunk of blue cheese and raw walnut half on a little toothpick for a big explosion of flavor —  only 30 calories each!

Veggie Cups with Dip - TheFitFork.comVeggies-‘n-Dip Cup – Another “no-recipe” recipe, just place 1 tablespoon of your favorite light dressing (again, I used OPADIPITY Greek Yogurt Ranch) into a condiment up and add in the veggies of your choice. This fun finger food assortments has only about 50 calories per cup, depending on your exact dressing and produce selections.

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?  What do you reach for first when it comes to party food? 

Halloween Appetizers so Healthy, It’s Scary!

For most, Halloween is a valid excuse to eat fun-size chocolate bars and candy corn until falling into a sugar coma – and I’m not immune. Aside from chocolate anything (natch), my favorite “kid” candies are banana Laffy Taffy, Tootsie Rolls and Hot Tamales!  There’s a reason why I don’t buy Halloween candy until the day before; if it’s in front of my face, I’m going to eat it! Actually, I’m repeating my treats last year and giving trick-or-treaters SunRype Fruit Strips (100% all-natural, no preservative fruit leathers). To prevent being “tricked” by ticked off pre-teens, I also offered candy under the obligation that each kid must take taking at least one healthy treat. (Nov. 1 update — the SunRype were actually very popular as Halloween handouts!)


My older boys are having some friends come over for a scary-movie and video game party! I’m setting up a bone-chilling buffet similar to this one I created for Litehouse Foods. Look closely and you’ll see that this deconstructed platter of goblin parts is actually quite healthy, and could even be called a well-balanced meal. There are blood shot eyeball eggs, baked shrimp goblin fingers, molded intestine noodles and creepy crudities. Rattle your bones and get on over to Litehouse Foods to get the recipes for the Bloodshot Eyeball Eggs and Shrimp Goblin Fingers – your family will be screaming . . . with delight!

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jennifer fisher litehouse goblin platter whole eggs

Make these bloodshot eye eggs by gently tapping them to crackle shell and soak overnight in beet juice.





Now, I’m not that mom who refuses to serve something sweet and sinful. I’ll also be making this Halloween Trash recipe I found floating around on Facebook – it certainly looks to die for! So, for whomever is keeping score out there, this one is NOT as healthy! But, enjoy!

halloween trash

Here’s my take on throwing it together (plus I’m adding m&ms and pretzels) — 8 cups popped corn using my microwave brown paper bag method, 2 cups mini pretzels , 1 cup fall-colored M&Ms, 1 cup candy corn, 1 pound vanilla bark, Halloween sprinkles. Mix popped corn, pretzels and candy together on wax-paper lined, rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with vanilla bark melted according to manufacturer’s directions. Toss to coat evenly. Finish up with Halloween-colored sprinkles.