11/11/2013 08:52 am ET

4 Healthy Fall Appetizers -- Flexitarian Style

Next time you are asked to bring something to a party, office potluck or family gathering -- try one of these fast flexitarian recipes. You'll get plenty of compliments on how delish everything is plus you will have a clean conscience knowing you are serving food that's wholesome and nourishing.

Simple Vegan Antipasto Tray: This is the perfect vegan version of a cheese plate! Roasted garlic and roasted tomatoes are plated with seasoned slices of bread and assorted olives. Since it's not tomato season, roasting cherry tomatoes brings out more natural flavor.

Spiced Chickpea Nuts: This crunchy snack has three times fewer calories than mixed nuts, is a good source of fiber and contains protein for added fullness. You can season them with your favorite herbs and spices. My favorites are chili powder or a cumin-allspice blend.

Polenta and Spinach Bites: They taste so flavorful you'll be surprised these bites are made from just a few simple ingredients: olive oil, frozen spinach, garlic, cornmeal, broth and spices. They are gluten-free and vegetarian. Dunk them into hot pasta sauce and leftovers (if there are any) can be enjoyed with eggs for breakfast.

Pumpkin Pie Turnovers: Pumpkin pie is one of the healthiest choices when it comes to seasonal desserts. This version is even more waistline friendly than the classic, since the crust is made from low-calorie wonton wrappers!

For more by Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, CSSD, LDN, click here.

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