As each holiday approaches, I eagerly look forward to creating festive (and healthy) holiday appetizers, snacks, or sweet treats. Weeks and sometimes even months go into the planning of the original creations. My creations have varied from individual snacks (like this Jack O’Lantern Cheese Bites) to larger platters (like these Healthy Halloween trays) that serve a group of people.
Today I share with you an original festive Thanksgiving appetizer – a Thanksgiving Vegetable Platter made into the shape of a turkey. Hummus is used as the face and center of the platter, with several vegetable varieties (peppers and carrots) placed around the hummus dip to form the turkey’s feathers. Cheese, peppercorns, and a cracker help to form the facial features.
The holidays are notoriously known to be associated with weight gain. Some media articles suggest the average weight gain during November and December is anywhere from 7 to 10 pounds. Every year as the winter holidays come near; I work diligently with my weight loss clients on preventing the dreaded weight gain.
How to handle holiday parties and get-togethers is one of the key areas I cover with my clients during our weight loss counseling sessions. Holiday parties are typically packed with higher calorie and sugar options available in endless portions. Taking a healthier dish is one way to ensure healthier food options will be available at your holiday gathering. Show your friends and family how healthy holiday eating can be fun with a festive vegetable or fruit tray like the one I am sharing today. Trust me they will be extremely impressed and talk about your platter for hours!
Here are some additional tips on how to navigate a holiday party while keeping your waistline in check:
- Don’t go to a holiday party hungry. You will have less control to make healthier choices.
- Survey all of the food available before you fill up your plate. Avoid going back for multiple plates by including your favorite foods from the start.
- Avoid sitting in the food or kitchen. You will be tempted to go back for multiple servings if the food is in eyesight.
- Stock up on vegetables and protein-rich foods. These types of foods will help to provide greater satiety.
- Don’t deprive yourself. Balance small portions of your favorite higher calorie foods with lots of fruits and vegetables.
Thanksgiving Vegetable Platter
- 1 bag of mini carrots
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1-2 cups hummus
- 1 small cracker
- small piece of cheese
- 2 small peppercorns
Spoon hummus into a small dipping dish
Slice the peppers horizontally to form hollow round slices. Slice the rounds in half (to make half-circles)
Place the hummus on a square plate near the bottom corner (place plate in diagonal angle). Arrange the first color of peppers around the hummus dish for feathers. Arrange the second color of peppers above the first color of peppers.
Place the carrot sticks above the peppers for the final layer of feathers.
Cut cheese into small circles for eyes. Place cheese and peppercorn on hummus for eyes.
Cut cracker in half and place in the center of hummus dish to form a nose.
Cut a small piece of red pepper for a gobble. Place adjacent to the cracker.