3 Fabulously Healthy New Year’s Eve Hors D’oeuvres

Meatless balls

Are you looking for some last-minute New Year’s Eve party food ideas?

If you’re hosting a soiree this New Year’s Eve or attending one, you may be in need of one or several dishes to share. And while it may seem easy to put out some cheese dip and Swedish meatballs, you also may be feeling enough bloat and blah from heavy holiday foods. Why not kick the holiday health factor up a notch (or three!) with one of our delicious, health-promoting recipes below. They are also simple to make, will get rave reviews and won’t leave you feeling like you need someone to roll you home.

Walnut Meat-less Balls

Yield: makes 1 dozen balls

These are flavorful and filling, and completely meat-free (think walnuts!). Enjoy as an appetizer or in your favorite tomato sauce.

1 tablespoon plus 1/4teaspoon olive oil

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

6 button mushrooms, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup walnuts

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons wheat germ

3 tablespoons quick oats

2 teaspoons tamari

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon freshly ground

black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, mushrooms and garlic for about four minutes, or until soft. Transfer the sautéed onions, mushrooms and garlic to a food processor; add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Form into small balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake covered for thirty minutes. Then uncover, flip meatballs and bake for an additional ten minutes uncovered. Let them cool for five to ten minutes before serving.

Spicy Hummus

Dip some veggies, crackers or crusty artisan bread in this hummus and kick up your evening with a little heat!

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup sesame tahini

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon red pepper

1/2  teaspoon salt

1 whole lemon, juiced

In a food processor, puree ingredients until smooth.

(To make a milder version, omit red pepper. If garlic is too intense, less garlic may be used, or else roasted garlic adds a milder, richer flavor.)

Avocado Frites

This is a fun new way to enjoy an avocado or to create a healthier version of French fries.

2 large avocados, ripe but not too soft, pit removed and peeled

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon arrowroot

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Preheat the oven to 400º F. Place a cooling rack on which to bake the fries on top of a cookie sheet.

Cut the avocado into lengthwise slices. In one bowl, mix the vegetable broth and arrowroot. In another bowl, combine the cornmeal and spices. Dip an avocado slice into the broth mixture, then dredge it in the cornmeal and place it on the baking rack. Repeat with remaining slices.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the cornmeal turns brown and crisp. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.