4 Healthy Recipes for Your Reception

Food is an integral part of the wedding celebration.

Diets don't have to be hard.

Naturally, food plays a central role in most gatherings. But whether your motivation is for healthier eating or saving cash, you have options when preparing and serving food for your upcoming nuptials.

One option for wedding food that often gets overlooked are those foods traditionally considered appetizers. These foods, which many consider to be good healthy snacks at home, can be made quickly, easily, and many times inexpensively.

While choosing to go this route won’t keep your guests rooted in their chairs for a few hours, they will offer them the opportunity to wander around, visiting with the bride, groom, and likely friends and family they haven’t seen for years.

Favorite Wedding Recipes

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

So with that in mind, I picked some of my favorite healthy hors d’oeuvres (or at least relatively healthy) to share with you.

These recipes are lower in fat and calories than some of the standard fare, with the added benefit of being easy and inexpensive to prepare. Enjoy.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe

Hot, rich and creamy spinach and artichoke dip is always a hit and one of my personal favorites. It’s versatile – can be served in a bread bowl with bread or in a festive container with carrots, celery, tortilla chips or even crackers. Spinach offers the added benefit of being one of nature’s natural metabolism boosters, but the fat and calories in the traditional dip can be a show stopper though. Here’s a recipe for a reduced fat and calorie version that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small box (8-10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 oz (¾ block) 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 6 oz (¾ block) fat free cream cheese
  • ½ cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 ½ cup part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, divided

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thaw and drain spinach. In large mixing bowl combine sour cream and cream cheeses with a mixer until smooth and creamy. Add spinach, mozzarella, artichokes, pepper, garlic & ¼ cup of the Parmesan. Stir all ingredients together until combined well. Put mixture into a 1 ½ quart baking dish. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan on top. Bake 30 minutes or until mixture is bubbly. Remove from oven & let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Each ½ cup contains approximately 135 calories and 7 grams of fat.

Note: A full cup of Parmesan makes this dish even richer and creamier but also adds more fat and calories.

Tomato Basil Skewers Recipe

These are SO easy and quick! And they’re yummy. Arrange them on a platter, or insert the skewers into a cheese ball or pot with foam insert for a beautiful arrangement. You can also use different colored cherry or grape tomatoes if they’re available for a more colorful treat.

Ingredients:

  • wooden skewers (1 for each serving you wish to make)
  • cherry tomatoes (1 for each skewer)
  • fresh basil leaves (1 for each skewer)
  • small mozzarella ball (1 for each skewer)
  • extra virgin olive oil or Italian dressing to drizzle
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:
Roll up mozzarella balls, about ½ – ¾ inch in diameter. Slice tomatoes in half and layer pour ingredients; place onto skewer ½ of one tomato cut side up, basil leaf, mozzarella ball, and another ½ tomato cut side down. Drizzle with olive oil or Italian dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Each skewer has approximately 46 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1 carb, & 3 grams of protein if using the extra virgin olive oil. Nutritional content will vary depending on whether you use oil or dressing and how much of either you drizzle.

Smoked Salmon and Cheese Mini Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

If you’re looking for something “different” from the standard party fare to serve, give this recipe a try. It requires a little more prep time, and is a bit more expensive, but well worth both.

Ingredients:

  • 6 small Yukon gold or red potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt divided
  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 TBSP fat free milk
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • ½ tsp black pepper (freshly ground is best)
  • ½ cup (2 oz) finely grated white cheddar cheese
  • 2 TBSP finely chopped smoked salmon

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Rub potatoes with oil & sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Place potatoes on sprayed baking pan. Bake at 400 for 35 minutes or until tender. When potatoes are tender in the center, remove them from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Cut potatoes in half crosswise. Cut off a small portion of the rounded edge so the potato will stand upright. Carefully scoop out about 1 tsp pulp from each half, leaving the shells intact.

Combine potato pulp, milk, butter, pepper, cheese, and remaining ¼ tsp salt in a bowl. Spoon about 1 heaping tsp of the potato mixture into each potato shell. Place stuffed potatoes back onto pan and top with ½ tsp chopped salmon. Bake for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Each ½ potato contains approximately 96 calories, 2.9 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrates.

Bruschetta Recipe

One of my all time favorites. It makes a wonderful presentation and the flavor just explodes in your mouth and it’s so easy to make! Dried basil can be substituted for fresh, but the fresh really does make a huge difference in taste.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, stems removed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 French or Italian baguette
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preparation:
Preheat the oven on broiler setting. In a large bowl, combine the Roma tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Cut the baguette into ¾ inch slices. Arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil for 1-2 minutes, just until lightly toasted. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the toasted baguette slices. Top slices with mozzarella cheese. Place slices back in oven and broil for approximately 5 more minutes, or just until cheese is melted.

Each slice contains approximately 215 calories and 9 grams of fat.

About the Author
Greg Hayes is the author of Live Fit Blog, where he writes about making healthy snacks out of nature’s best metabolism boosters for fitness, strength, and weight loss.

Photo Credits
Marissa Garza via Flickr

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