February 21st, 2020

From Our Table: Send off 2019 with one last hurrah

By Joanne Smith on December 31, 2019.

Another year is wrapping up. In fact another decade is also coming to an end as we get ready to welcome 2020. It’s a super fun year to say! I don’t think I’ve ever had a column that landed right on the last day of the year. I debated if I should write about Christmas dinner leftovers or make it a New Year’s resolutions topic or New Year’s Eve. Given my love of parties and celebrating everything I decided we need one last hurrah to send out the old year and welcome in the new.

If you read this first thing in the morning you will have plenty of time to whip up the easy to grab the ingredients and make the recipes I’m including today for your New Year’s Eve celebrations tonight. Both recipes are delicious with the bonus of being nutritious.

You might remember a column I recently wrote about eating healthy at parties. Things like drinking plenty of water; including veggie options; enjoying your favorite treat foods in all their glory, not a low fat less satisfying version; leave the guilt behind and let yourself enjoy the celebrations and of course the all important moderation.

Having protein choices was another aspect I mentioned. Protein is an important part of a healthy diet and plays a vital role in many parts of our body’s functions. It also helps us to feel full which is great in curbing appetites and preventing overeating.

I also talked about mixing in a variety of veggies in your food choices. I like to have a plate of veggies when I’m basically full but still feel like munching. That way I’m getting some vitamins and minerals without a lot of calories and I tend to be less likely to over eat and get to bed groaning with a terrible tummy ache.

Here are a couple family favourite recipes that are perfect to make and take or have at your own New Year’s Eve party. Even better they have lots of protein and lots of vegetables. That way you will be getting nutrient rich vitamins and minerals as well as satisfying, powerful protein. And even better, they taste delicious! Feel free to make them your own with your choice of veggies or cheese, spice them up with hot sauce or hot peppers. Your family and friends will be sure to love them.

From my family to yours I wish you the most fun New Year’s Eve celebrations as you ring in the new year.

Happy New Year everyone!

Joanne Smith is a registered dietitian.

Layered Veggie Dip

1- 8 oz package cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 cups small- or medium-size cooked frozen tailless shrimp

1 1/2 cup seafood cocktail sauce

3 cups chopped bell peppers (yellow, orange and red)

3 finely chopped green onions

2-3 cups diced and drained ripe tomatoes

2-3 cups shredded marble cheese

1-2 tsp dried dill

Blend together cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise until smooth and well mixed. Spread evenly in bottom of a 12 inch flan pan. A clear one looks nice if you have one.

Thaw shrimp slightly but not as warm as room temperature. Rinse under cold water and drain well then sprinkle evenly over cream cheese mixture. Layer seafood sauce evenly over the shrimp. Top with a layer of bell peppers, green onions, tomato and finish with an even layer of cheese.

Sprinkle with dried dill. Refrigerate until serving.

Adapted from Roberta Wenzel

Bean Dip

1 can refried beans

1 8 oz package cream cheese

3 cups salsa

3 cups chopped bell peppers

2 cups chopped tomatoes

2-3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese or marble cheese

Spread refried beans in bottom of 9×13 glass Pyrex pan or a round flan pan.

Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy.

Drop teaspoonfuls of whipped cream cheese evenly over refried beans and spread slightly to cover as evenly as possible.

Add an even layer of salsa then a layer of peppers, a layer of tomatoes and top with a layer of cheese.

Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 30 minutes or until heated throughout and cheese is melted and bubbly on top.

Serve warm with nacho chips.

Can be made ahead and refrigerated then baked or can be frozen, thawed then heated.

Recipe adapted from Lois Taylor

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