On The Menu: Toast to a New Year

A Toast to the New Year

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - New Year's is the time when many people traditionally make resolutions to break bad habits or start good ones.  But New Year's Eve is also a time to celebrate with friends and family reflecting on everything that has happened in the past year; toasting to the New Year!

With that in mind, Party rule no. 1: Never underestimate the amount of flavor you can pack into a small bite- specifically toast. You may have noticed "toast" popping up everywhere like on your favorite restaurant's appetizer menu.

For today's On the Menu segment, Katie Francisco, registered dietitian, from Mercy Health, is here to share a delicious twist on traditional toast appetizer recipes for your New Year's celebration!

TIPS: 

Start with a healthy base toast, like sprouted grains or 100 % whole-grain bread. Check the Nutrition Facts Label: look for at least 3 to 5 grams of protein and fiber per slice and no more than 3 grams of sugar per slice.

  • Choose reduced fat or nonfat cheese and spreads to keep the calories to a minimum
  • Load up on the veggies and fruits when topping your toast
  • A lot of the prep can be done in advance to limit your party-day stress
  • Many of these recipes can be modified for breakfast instead of an appetizer

RECIPES: 

Brie and Pomegranate Avocado Toast

Ingredients

  • 6 mini-slices sprouted bread
  • Brie cheese
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Avocado
  • Chia seeds
  • Raw honey (*optional)

Instructions

  1. Toast the bread (either the toaster or broiler works well)
  2. Spread on the Brie cheese, and top with avocado, pomegranate seeds, and chia seeds.
  3. Add a drizzle of honey for a sweeter toast.

*Recipe modified from Spinach for Breakfast

Chili Lime Shrimp and Guacamole Crostini

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of bread (we used Barely Bread)
  • Guacamole (store bought or homemade)
  • Shrimp (pre-cooked)
  • Olive oil
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Slice bread and place on baking sheet.
  2. Broil on high until toasted.
  3. In a pan, add olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Add shrimp to the pan (if frozen, defrost before) and season with garlic powder and chili powder until well coated. *Use more of less chili powder based on spice preference. Or you can use Trader Joe's Chili Lime Seasoning instead.
  5. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime over the shrimp, and then sauté until the shrimp has fully heated.
  6. Spread guacamole onto each piece of toast.
  7. Top with one piece of shrimp and a dash of red pepper flakes.

 **Recipe modified from Spinach for Breakfast

Asparagus and Mushroom Toast

Ingredients

  • 25 small slices sour dough or baguette of choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, and thinly sliced (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 T Parmesan/Romano Cheese

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the bread by grilling until it gets crispy in your broiler. (~2-3 minutes per side).
  2. Spread about 1 teaspoon Ricotta cheese on each toast; set aside.
  3. Mix chopped vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Place vegetables on cookie sheet in single layer. Broil until tender ~ 5 minutes (you may need to turn the vegetables for even cooking)
  4. Stir in tarragon and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Spoon about 1 tablespoon veggie mixture over each cheese toast, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.    

*Recipe modified from Kate Ramos

Triple Berry Bruschetta with Honey

  • 4 slices baguette bread
  • 2 oz. goat cheese (optional; if omitted increase yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey (plus additional for drizzling)
  • 4 strawberries
  • 12 raspberries
  • 12 blueberries
  • basil leaves (small)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the bread by grilling until it gets crispy in your broiler. (~2-3 minutes per side).
  2. Whip together the goat cheese, yogurt and honey
  3. Divide mixture between the 4 slices of baguette
  4. Cut strawberries into slices
  5. Top baguette with berries
  6. Drizzle honey
  7. Garnish with small basil leaves and serve.

*Recipe modified from Cooking on the Front Burner

Peaches and Cream Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of gluten free or sprouted bread
  • nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 peach, sliced
  • Granola (we used One Degree Organic)
  • Raw honey

Instructions

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Top with yogurt and peaches.
  3. Sprinkle with granola and a drizzle of raw honey.

*Modified from: spinach for breakfast

Resources

www.eatright.org

www.chowhound.com

www.spinach4breakfast.com

www.cookingonthefrontburners.com

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