Perfect appetizers for weddings

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Festive without fat: Among the engaging, yet healthy appetizers recommended for weddings and engagment parties is shrimp cocktail with lemon mint pesto. | Photo by

Shrimp Cocktail with Lemon Mint Pesto

32 Servings


1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on (about 32 shrimp)

1⁄4 cup pine nuts

1½ cups packed fresh mint leaves

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, finely minced

3 Tbsp canola oil

1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


1. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add shrimp, return to boil, then cook until shrimp are pink and just cooked through, three to four minutes. Drain and place in refrigerator to chill completely, at least two hours and up to one day.

2. In dry skillet, toast pine nuts over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about two minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. In food processor, place mint, lemon juice, garlic and pine nuts and process until chopped, stopping to scrape sides down once or twice as needed. With processor running, drizzle in canola oil. Add black pepper and pulse a few times to combine. Pesto may be made up to three days ahead and stored in airtight container in refrigerator.

4. To serve, place about one teaspoon sauce in each of 32 shot glasses, then set one shrimp on top of sauce in each glass.

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Weddings and en­gage­ment parties go hand in hand with festive fare. To help celebrate — while being mindful of everyone’s waistlines — say “I do” to CanolaInfo’s “Engaging Appetizers” recipe collection, an elegant marriage of health and flavor.

“Traditional appetizers are often heavy and loaded with saturated fat, but these dishes taste great and leave you feeling good, too,” says Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D., host of the Cooking Channel’s “Healthy Appetite,” who developed the recipes.

To cut calories and saturated fat, Krieger uses better-for-you ingredients such as nonfat yogurt, seasonal produce and canola oil, which has the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all common cooking oils.

“These recipes show how easy it is to prepare truly delectable dishes that are ‘wedded’ to nutrition,” says Krieger. “Canola oil keeps saturated fat in check and lets all the bright flavors shine through.”

The engaging appetizer recipes average about 100 calories per serving and are low in saturated fat and sodium.

Among those with a healthier twist is a shrimp cocktail to please both bride and groom and their guests. Check out the recipe below.

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