Instant Appetizers

Who hasn’t had to throw together party food in a matter of minutes? Sure, it’s easy to just grab that bag of chips and ye olde cheese tray. But here are some healthier options that are just as quick, and a lot more tasty:

Assemble antipasto from ready-prepped supermarket items. Line a large tray with lettuce and top with olives, marinated artichokes, cherry tomatoes, small pickles, baby carrots, whole radishes, reduced-fat cheeses, shrimp, ready-to-eat low-fat smoked sausage and low-fat Italian deli meats. Serve with assorted crackers. (You can also prepare the antipasto a day ahead, wrap well, and refrigerate. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.)

Hummus comes in many flavors, including dill, roasted red pepper, garlic-chive and lemon-black pepper. Choose a few and transfer to pretty bowls. Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley. Serve with crispy pita chips and a colorful array of raw vegetables. Nutrition bonus: Chickpeas (the basis of hummus) are loaded with cholesterol-lowering fiber.

What you have in your mind?