Megan Callahan, MS, RD, LD
Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian

November 14, 2020

This holiday season, virtual gatherings are the name of the game. Incorporating delicious and nutritious appetizers while entertaining your virtual guests will reduce mindless munching and add spirit and fun to your party.

Try these tips to improve mindful eating and easily entertain guests:

Focus on protein and fiber – together they fill us up and help us avoid overindulging on non-nutrient-dense items. These appetizers star grapes, plums and tomatoes! Fresh grapes are a good source of K, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in blood clotting and bone health. Tomatoes contain vitamin A critical for vision. And all three – grapes, plums and tomatoes – are high in vitamin C, important for immune function.

Substitute alcohol or soda with water or club soda. Liquid calories add up fast, so toss in some fruit slices or cucumber to liven up your water or sparkling water, and stay hydrated! You can even enjoy a mocktail hour prior to diving into dinner with your virtual guests and use the time to reconnect through conversation.

Mail invitations to your virtual guests’ homes prior to sending out the virtual meeting link via email. This can add spirit and tradition to the gathering. You can also include the recipes you will prepare so that guests can prepare the same items in their homes, and increase a sense of togetherness!

Follow these tips and you’ll be ready to serve up these crowd-pleasing party appetizers to showcase to your guests or even drop off on their doorstep before your virtual gathering this year!

Tomato-Burrata Endive
All You Need:
Endive leaves
Burrata cheese
Sliced cherry tomatoes
Toasted pine nuts
Fresh oregano and Gustare Vita olive oil, for garnish

All you do:
Fill an endive leaf with a strip of salami, a spoonful of burrata cheese, cut-up cherry tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. Garnish with fresh oregano and drizzle with Gustare Vita extra-virgin olive oil.

How to toast pine nuts: Place pine nuts in a dry frying pan in a single layer. Turn heat to medium-low and cook until fragrant and golden brown, keeping them moving (stir frequently or constantly). When they’re golden brown, immediately transfer them to a plate to stop cooking and prevent burning.

Dill Havarti Grape Skewers
All You Need:
Prosciutto, thinly sliced
Dill Havarti cheese, cubed
Red or green grapes
Skewer with a party pick
Fresh dill, for garnish

All you do:
Wrap a ribbon of prosciutto around a cube of dill Havarti and a red and/or green grape(s) and skewer with a party pick. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs, if desired.

Goat Cheese Plum Toasts
All You Need:
Hy-Vee Bakery walnut-raisin bread
Hy-Vee Select soft natural goat cheese
Plums, thinly sliced
Hy-Vee honey, to drizzle
Fresh thyme, for garnish

All you do:
Toast Hy-Vee Bakery walnut-raisin bread at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Spread Hy-Vee Select soft natural goat cheese on toasted bread. Top with fresh plum slices and drizzle with Hy-Vee honey. Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.