Christmas Wreath Fruit Party Tray with Spiced Honey Yogurt Dip

On My Plate (1)

ChristmasFruitWreath

Just the other night, I performed in a Christmas cantata for my church. After the concert, we had refreshments. I had signed up to bring a fruit tray and decided to be creative with it.

Here’s a tip if you are trying to eat healthy and lighter around the holidays. It can be a tricky business during a time with lots of parties and food temptations. If you are asked to bring a tray to a party and you’re given some options, bring a fruit or veggie tray, and you will know that there will at least be some lighter fare available. I’m not saying you can’t indulge a little bit, but you can have some fruits and veggies and a few of the more indulgent choices.

Christmas Wreath Fruit Tray with Dip

I thought I could form my wreath on a round platter around a central dip bowl. I used a white ramekin for the dip and put it in the center before filling it, just to help me form the wreath shape with the fruit. Green grapes — I found giant ones! — made the basic green wreath, and then I added some red fruits for accents. I made somewhat flower-like clusters with strawberries and red grapes and then scattered a few more red grapes along with some blueberries to break up the green. You could certainly come up with your own variations of this, with different fruits for accents and other types of shapes.

TraywithFruits

I then added a bow made with Fruit by the Foot fruit leather. I was considering another option before I found the Fruit by the Foot. There were some Marlowe brand sour candy belts that looked like ribbons. One variety even had green and red stripes. These ribbons were much shorter than the Fruit by the Foot, but I thought I could make a different style bow, like the sort you stick on Christmas packages, with multiple loops of candy. That may be another option. In the end, I was very happy to find the fruit leather.

WreathFruitbytheFoot

I took these photos before I took my tray to the church. I made the mistake of tucking up my ribbons and leaving my nice little bow on the tray while it refrigerated overnight and most of the next day and then stayed in the church fridge during our one hour concert. I gave instructions to the ladies on kitchen duty to adjust the bow before putting it out, but by then, my ribbon was sticky, had stuck itself to the fruit and couldn’t move without tearing. So, if you do this, don’t put on the fruit leather bow until the last minute. Bring your fruit leather wrapped and separate.

I created a yogurt dip to go with the fruit. It’s sweet enough that the yogurt is no longer tart and just has a little punch of cinnamon and ginger.

Spiced Honey Yogurt Dip Recipe

2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

You can print my Spiced Honey Yogurt Dip recipe card here.

When You Don’t Have Those Little Taco Seasoning Envelopes …

On My Plate (1)

tacos
Photo by bari abakar on Unsplash

The other day, I did find myself in a position where I had every ingredient for tacos but none of those little packets of store-bought taco seasoning. I decided to mix up my own with good results. You may notice that the photo above is not my own. I did not think about taking food photos at the time.

My mix is about the same heat level as those that you can buy, and gives a little spice but is still fairly mild. Some of the others in my family do not have the same tolerance for heat that I do, so I have to keep that in mind.

Susan’s Taco Seasoning

1 Tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Print my Susan’s Taco Seasoning┬árecipe card here.

Here are some additional healthy tips if you want to enjoy tacos and cut back on calories.

  1. Watch your portion. You can enjoy two or three, but don’t go totally loco.

2. Use lean ground beef. You can find 90% lean beef, but I usually use 85%.

3. Limit or cut back on the fatty toppings like cheese, sour cream and guacamole/avocado. You can have as many veggie toppings like onion, lettuce and tomato as you like. Avocados are a good source of healthy fats, but they still need to be somewhat limited.

goodfat
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4. Replace regular sour cream with reduced-fat sour cream or …

5. Replace sour cream with nonfat Greek yogurt. You’ll still get that tart taste. Possibly, you could add a little lemon or lime juice to thin it out.

6. Salsa can give a lot of flavor to tacos without adding many calories. I prefer fresh salsa much more than the jarred kind. Some grocery stores sell freshly made salsa or pico de gallo in the produce department or you could make your own at home with chopped tomatoes, onions, sweet and hot peppers.

7. One idea is to limit your toppings to guacamole and fresh salsa. The flavors will balance each other out, a little cool and a little heat, and you’ll get nutritional benefits from the fruit and veggies. If you’re an avocado lover like I am, I don’t think you will even miss the other fats.