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Healthy Party Appetizers

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Question: What can I bring to parties that's more healthy than chips and dip?

Answer from: Maggie Gilbert, cooking expert

Tired of bringing chips and dip to parties? Try making easy turkey tortilla roll-ups. They disappear fast, so you won't be bringing home any leftovers.

The comments shared by experts in Ask the Expert do not reflect UnitedHealthcare views nor benefit plans. It is general educational information only, is not intended as medical advice, and does not replace consultation with a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Contact an appropriate health care professional with any questions and to determine what may be right for you. Check your health care benefit plan for specific coverage details.
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Meet Maggie Gilbert, Cooking Expert

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Answering your questions about healthy cooking

Maggie Gilbert is a lifetime cooking expert who has spent more than 25 years in corporate test kitchens. She has a degree in home economics and education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a certificate from the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London. She has catered and taught cooking classes. As a mother, she is also experienced at cooking for and feeding kids.

The comments shared by experts in Ask the Expert do not reflect UnitedHealthcare views nor benefit plans. It is general educational information only, is not intended as medical advice, and does not replace consultation with a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Contact an appropriate health care professional with any questions and to determine what may be right for you. Check your health care benefit plan for specific coverage details.
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The comments shared by experts in Ask the Expert do not reflect UnitedHealthcare views nor benefit plans. It is general educational information only, is not intended as medical advice, and does not replace consultation with a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Contact an appropriate health care professional with any questions and to determine what may be right for you. Check your health care benefit plan for specific coverage details.
Transcript

Ask the Expert: Maggie Gilbert I get asked to bring food to parties. Do you have any go-to ideas that aren’t chips and dip? – UHC TV I got a question about bringing food to parties that is not chips and dip, and do I have any go-to ideas. Sure I do! These little pinwheels are one of my favorites. They’re really easy. They’re fun. People really like them – kids, adults, everybody. I’ll going to show you a basic one, and while I’m doing it, I’ll give you a couple tips on what else you can do. I’ve started with a tortilla. You can get these in all kinds of flavors. I’ve even seen wraps that are kind of like tortillas but they’re square, which is really a good idea for making something like this. Any flavor. They come in spinach, tomato, plain. Anything like that is great. I’m going to be doing turkey with a little bit of dried cranberries, and some spinach, which is really good. What I really like about the dried cranberries is they add a little touch of sweetness. I just got an idea to do honey, and drizzle a little bit of that. You could use a little raspberry or strawberry jam in there. It’s just a nice little unexpected thing to have a little sweetness with the turkey and the greens. You can also add cheese, like a sliced cheese, but I feel like with this creamy cheese – and this is one of these light, herbed cheeses that you can buy. Or you could use cream cheese. You could flavor your own cream cheese. The beauty of this is that anything goes. You can do a lot. You see I’ve spread this around and it’s gone right to the edges. I need it to the edges because it kind of glues the whole thing when you’re done. So now I’m going to take these little dried cranberries and sprinkle them all over the place just like that. I do it first so they stick to the cheese. Then I have some smoked turkey slices. I’m going to put these sort of down the middle. I’m going to lay down some baby spinach. You could do lettuce. I like a green in there. I think it adds pretty color and crunch. Again, you could go back and do your asparagus – something that adds some color and some texture. Obviously, it’s nice to get vegetables. Now all you do is wrap and roll it. The key is to roll it as tightly as you can. Now, we’re done! Can you see how many of these you can make at once if you’re doing a big party? It would be so easy, and they’re really fun. I have one I made earlier because I want to refrigerate it a little bit. They’re easier to slice. What I would do with this one is to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours. It will be easier to cut. So we’ll just lay that there. Sometimes you have to cut a little off the end. You just slice as thickly as you like. Some of my little cranberries are popping out. These are really yummy. So that’s my pinwheels. They’re pretty, huh? You can do any flavors you like – mix it up, have some fun. Another quick idea that I’m just going to talk you through is baked brie – really classic, really good, everybody goes crazy for this. You take a round of brie cheese, which you can buy almost anywhere. Do the big ones or the ones about this size (small). You take either puff pastry or refrigerated crescent kind of pastry, lay it out, put your brie on it, and wrap it up. Make sure you pretty much seal everything so your brie doesn’t start to ooze out. You just make a package out of your pastry on your brie. I should mention that before you put the pastry on you may want to put on a layer of chutney, or cranberry sauce, or apricot jam, or something again that has that little unexpected sweetness. Put that right on top, then wrap it in the pastry. Now you have your wrapped pastry. Put it on a cookie sheet. Lightly brush it with egg wash, which is a little bit of beaten egg with a tablespoon of cold water. Beat that up, gently brush it on top. You can decorate it with little leaf shapes if you want, or leave it plain. Pop it in the oven. If you’re having a party at home, of course do it in your own oven. If you’re bringing it to a party and it’s not far, bake it at home and bring it warm. Or you can certainly bake it when you go to someone’s house. I’m going to give you a quick tip. When you go to someone’s house, always ask if they have oven space and you can actually do a little cooking. It’s not nice to go to someone’s house and say, “I need an oven, and I need to wash dishes, and create a commotion.” Always ask about it. It’s such a great go-to thing. You can bake it and serve it warm. You can serve it with apple slices. You can serve it with crackers, French bread slices. That’s another one that beats chips and dip, which are great, but I think that beats it any day. Have some fun, and get yourself to a party!