Category Archives for "Appetizers"

Karalynn’s Super Scrumptious Kale Chips

My daughter has fallen in love with kale chips. Brookford Farm’s CSA program delivers a large bag of kale to us each week. Before it even gets into the house, she is asking to make kale chips. Since they take about 15 minutes to make, the kale chips at our house will be devoured in less than 45 minutes after it arrives fresh at our door. In short, my kids love them!

  • 1 large bag of kale, washed
  • ¼-½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the kale by taking the large rib out of each leaf. We do this by holding the leafy part of the plant and pulling the stem up towards our hand until it breaks off. Depending on the size of the leaf, we might break the leaf in two pieces.

Lay the leaves out so that none are overlapping each other on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil across the leaves and then use your hands to mix the olive oil around on the kale. Again, lay out the leaves so they aren’t overlapping each other. Sprinkle garlic powder on top. You’ll have to judge how much you want to your taste. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the leaves are crispy. My kids eat them right off the pan as soon as they are cooled!

Simple Garden Tomatoes

Right now is the perfect time for some tomatoes fresh out of the garden! Pick a few of your own and dress them up with this simple but delicious recipe!

  • 3 garden fresh tomatoes (or however many desired)
  • Olive oil
  • Mrs. Dash’s Garlic & Herb seasoning

Slice tomatoes and lay out on plate or serving dish. Brush on olive oil with a pastry brush. Sprinkle on Mrs. Dash’s Garlic & Herb seasonings (all Mrs. Dash seasonings are salt free). Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature.

Smoky Cauliflower Hummus

This hummus has a great smoky flavor and is sure to be a favorite. Try this as a dip for cucumbers and carrots or as a spread for your favorite burger this summer.

Smoky Cauliflower Hummus

  • ½ head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 2-in. florets (about 4 cups florets)
  • 4½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3½ tablespoons well-stirred tahini (sesame seed paste)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put cauliflower florets in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon oil, the paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, the cumin, chili flakes, and garlic. Toss to coat thoroughly.

Spread florets evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 18 to 20 minutes, stirring once, until florets are cooked through and a little crispy. Let cool.

Put ½ cup water in a blender with roasted cauliflower and garlic, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the tahini, and remaining 1½ teaspoons salt. Blend, adding more water if needed and scraping sides often, until you have a creamy purée, about 4 minutes. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if you like.

Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of smoked paprika. Make up to 3 days ahead and chill in an airtight container.

Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Dressing

This salad will get you ready for the warmer weather. It's the perfect dish for a summer barbecue. It's excellent with grilled shrimp or chicken, and you can also place this salad on top of lettuce greens.

Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Dressing

by Coach Nancy

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • Black pepper, to taste

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Spread two-thirds of the watermelon on a serving platter. Top with red onion and mint, then season with pepper. Pour dressing over salad and garnish with remaining watermelon cubes.

No Fry Chicken Wings

Just in time for the Big Game (or anytime), this wing recipe rocks!

Wing Sauce

  • 2/3 Cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted. Whisk and enjoy!

Frozen Yogurt Bark

I was totally fooled when I first saw this recipe. It looked just like a dessert bark. A friend of mine had brought this to a breakfast get together. It was like enjoying dessert at breakfast. Now my kids enjoy making this simple recipe for a snack later in the day.

Frozen Yogurt Bark

by Coach Nancy

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh raspberries

Optional toppings:

  • More raspberries
  • Shredded coconut
  • Cocoa nibs
  • Pecans, almonds, or any other nuts (chopped finely)

Mix the yogurt and protein powder together in a bowl until well mixed. Add in the raspberries and stir. Some of the berries will break apart and the juice will swirl in the yogurt to make a wonderful color to the bark.

Pour the yogurt mixture on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread to about 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle with additional toppings, if desired. Top with another sheet of parchment paper. Freeze for 2-4 hours or until frozen solid. Break apart the bark until you have pieces to handle, and put those pieces in a Ziploc bag. Keep in the Ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to serve.

You can very the type of berries you use to make different flavors of FroYo bark.

Strawberries on a Stick

Check out this recipe that makes a great appetizer or fun snack! My friend Helen sent this recipe she created for her son. They are delicious, fun to make, and look delightful.

Strawberries on a Stick

by Coach Nancy

  • 1 pound of strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, or a mix of them all)
  • Lollipop sticks or bamboo skewers

Combine the yogurt and the protein powder in a bowl. Insert a lollipop stick or skewer into each strawberry. Frost each strawberry in the yogurt mixture, then roll in the nuts. Lay each frosted strawberry on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours.

You can try this with smaller berries as well, like raspberries. Instead of a "nut cluster", you make a "berry cluster" with nuts sprinkled on the outside.

Stuffed Mushrooms & Antipasto Sausage Skewers

Now is the time of year with holiday party after holiday party with friends, family, and at work. Appetizers are endless at these parties, and sometimes it can be hard to find healthy options. Fear no more - you can bring these appetizers and know you'll still be eating well!

Stuffed Mushrooms

by Coach Nancy

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 portabella mushrooms
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove ribbing in mushrooms, cut ribbing and stems off mushrooms. Add oil to a sauté pan. Sauté onions, diced mushrooms, nutmeg, and pepper in the veggie stock, then add garlic until aromatic. Add the feta cheese and stir to combine. Stuff mushrooms with mixture, sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Cut each portabella mushroom into quarters to serve.

Antipasto Sausage Skewers

by Coach Nancy

  • 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces if large
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 12 ounces fully cooked Italian-style sausage, cut in one inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage; cook, turning 2 or 3 times, until warmed through and browned, about 8 minutes. Thread 1 small or ½ large basil leaf onto a small wooden skewer. Add a piece of roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, artichoke and sausage, arranging them on the skewer so that it can stand up on the sausage end. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make about two-dozen skewers.

Holiday Survival Tips – Appetizers

Okay, now let's talk food. We're kicking off our Thanksgiving suggestions very fittingly -- with the dish people think of first, appetizers.

As if Thanksgiving doesn't have enough calories associated with the dinner alone, we always start it off with hors d'oeuvres or appetizers. My friend’s toddler calls, HAPPYtizers.

Now these can play a critical role, especially if there are hours between when your guests first arrive and when the REAL meal is served. But the calories can also quickly add up, particularly if you are snacking mindlessly.

So here are my strategies for handling appetizers, food and drink that is tempting, and that will be around for a good bit pre-meal. Note: these strategies are good for later that evening with dinner and dessert as well.

5 Tips when It comes to Appetizers

1.Survey your options before eating. Eye everything down first without a plate and determine what you will eat.

2. Skip any food that you can get anytime. A bowl full of M&M's? Who needs them? Not when you can drive past any gas station later that evening and pick some up (That is if you decide your Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without them. And I’m betting that won't happen.) 

3. Fill up on low-calorie options like veggies (watch the dip) or salads (careful on the dressing). Then, look at the entire selection and determine what you'd REALLY like to enjoy. Allow yourself to have some of that -- enjoy it and move on.

4. Don't hang out next to food. C'mon that's just asking for trouble. Once you've enjoyed some appetizers, put your plate away and situate yourself away from the food.

5. Bring your own HAPPYtizers if you're a guest (ones that won't wreck your diet) and if you are hosting, keep the crowd happy with some of these options that AREN'T low on taste!

I'm a people person. One thing I love to do is to make people smile. These two recipes are sure to bring smiles to you and your guests.

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 small white onion

4 portabella mushrooms

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, fine diced

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch black pepper

¼ cup Vegetable stock

1 cup feta cheese

Parmesan cheese

Chop onion with 1/8 dice, remove ribbing in mushrooms, cut ribbing and stems of mushrooms. Add oil to a sauté pan. Sauté onions, diced mushrooms and nutmeg through veggie stock, then add garlic until aromatic. Add the feta cheese and stir to combine. Stuff mushrooms with mixture, sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Cut each portabella mushroom into quarters to serve.

Antipasto Sausage Skewers

1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces if large

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

​12 ounces fully cooked Italian- style sausage, cut in one inch pieces

1/2 cup ​Lightly packed fresh Basil leaves

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage; cook, turning 2 or 3 times, until warmed through and browned, about 8 minutes.

Thread 1 small or 1/2 large basil leaf onto a small wooden skewer. Add a piece of roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, artichoke and sausage, arranging them on the skewer so that it can stand up on the sausage end. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make about two-dozen skewers.

Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Patties

Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Patties
Recipe Type: Main Dishes
Author: Coach Nancy
These yummy patties can be eaten hot or cold, as a snack or as part of a meal, and are great on the go! You can also add chili powder to give it a little kick. Shout out to rockstar Marcy for sharing this recipe!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound bag kale, chopped finely
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, fresh or dried
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1-3 pounds ground chicken
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour
  • Coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Chop kale in a food processer.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add green onion, kale, salt, garlic, paprika, and rosemary. Cook for a few minutes until kale is soft.
  3. While that is cooking, microwave the sweet potatoes until soft, about 10 minutes. Then chop the sweet potato into small cubes.
  4. Add kale mixture, sweet potatoes, ground chicken, eggs, and coconut flour to a large bowl.
  5. Once cooled enough to handle, mix everything together with hands until well combined.
  6. Form mixture into patties.
  7. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add patties to the pan. Cook about 5 or 6 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
  8. OR, spray muffin tins with coconut oil and fill each with mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.