Holiday appetizers can be good for you and delicious too.

Love Holiday Appetizers? They Can Be Healthy Too

Delicious appetizers are the secret to any holiday party or gathering. But traditional holiday foods can be rich, filling, and not friendly to a healthy diet. At my next Thrive Kitchen class on Wednesday, December 11, I’ll be demonstrating how to cook holiday appetizers your friends and family will love so much, they won’t even notice they’re healthy!

My favorite healthy holiday appetizers include veggie-topped crostini and polenta bites with red chard. For an example of one of my festive holiday dishes, try this Thanksgiving kale salad I whipped up this week.

The Thrive Kitchen offers cooking classes once a month on Wednesday evenings at the Kaiser Permanente Mission Bay Medical Offices, 1600 Owens St., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Classes offer instruction and hands-on practice in healthy cooking techniques as well as the chance to enjoy a delicious meal made from scratch.

Advance registration required and opens in November. The fee is $30 for Kaiser Permanente Members and $40 for non-members. For more information, email the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Health Education Department at or call 415-833-3450.

I will also be giving a demonstration of healthy holiday appetizers at Macy’s Union Square on Saturday, December 8th.

To learn more about my cooking and see more of my recipes, check out my Facebook page, The Doctor’s Spicebox, and my blog, Spicebox Travels. I also contribute recipes and articles to Kaiser Permanente’s Food for Health website, which offers new recipes and meal planning tips every month.

Linda Shiue, MD, is a primary care doctor and professionally trained chef who believes that the best medicine is prevention, based upon a healthy lifestyle. As Director of Culinary Medicine at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, she is developing a teaching kitchen to empower patients with a new set of skills and knowledge to improve their health and wellness--nutrition applied through cooking skills. Classes are offered through the Health Education Department at (415) 833-3450. In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Shiue offers cooking demonstrations and hands-on workshops in which students learn to prepare seasonal produce lavishly flavored with spices and fresh herbs. Her food writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Remedy Quarterly, Salon, Culinate, and online editions of The New York Times and Smithsonian Magazine. She also has her own website,