BuckeyeBites: Healthy holiday appetizers

December is here which means holiday party invitations are arriving in our email inboxes. Not sure what to bring? You need appetizer ideas that will satisfy any holiday party-goer.

Chef David Brue with Nutrition Services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center shares three go-to appetizer recipes that party guests will love.


 Chocolate and Peanut Butter Stuffed Strawberries


  • ¼ cup powdered peanut butter
  • 6 large strawberries
  • 1 teaspoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. In a medium bowl, combine powdered peanut butter with 2 tablespoon water. Mix until smooth, uniform, thick, and creamy. If needed, add water in 1 teaspoon increments and mix again.

2. Slice the stem ends off the strawberries, about ½ inch below the stem, revealing an opening in each berry. Use a narrow spoon to remove about half of the flesh inside each berry, allowing room for filling.

3. Spoon peanut butter mixture into the bottom corner of a plastic bag, snip off the tip of that corner to create a small hole, and pipe mixture through the hold into the strawberries.

4. Lightly press chocolate chips into the filling. 

Tiny Taco Salads


  • 12 small square wonton wrappers (stocked with the tofu in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)
  • 6 ounces extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less)
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • ½ cup refried beans
  • 1 ½ cup shredded lettuce
  • ½ cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons chopped tomatoes, chunky salsa, or pico de gallo
  • ¼ cup light sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.

3. Place each wonton wrapper into a cup of the muffin pan, and press it into the bottom and sides. Lightly spray with nonstick spray.

4. Bake until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

5. Let cool completely, about 10 minutes.

6. Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add beef, and sprinkle with taco seasoning.

7. Cook and crumble until fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Add beans, and cook and stir until hot, about 1 minute.

8. Evenly fill wonton cups in this order: lettuce, beef-bean mixture, cheese, salsa, sour cream, chopped olives.

Crab Cakes


  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup cholesterol-free egg product
  • 1 pound lump crab meat


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

3. Combine bread crumbs, baking powder, chopped parsley, mustard powder, pepper, and seafood seasoning; set aside.

4. Stir together mayonnaise, butter, Worcestershire, and egg product until smooth. Fold in crab meat and then bread crumb mixture until well blended. Add lemon juice.

5. Shape mixture into 12 crab cakes, about ¾ inch thick, and place onto prepared baking sheet.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn the crab cakes over.

7. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until nicely browned.

8. Garnish with sliced lemon and parsley.

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