Tag: appetizer

Turkey and Hummus-Wrapped Pears

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, December 30, 2012

turkey and hummus wrapped pears
It’s almost 2013 — make this the year you try new and exciting gluten-free recipes. Why not play on your flavor palate by combining fresh and delicious ingredients? One of my favorites is organic sliced turkey, hummus and pears: it’s not exactly the most common of food combinations but when wrapped together, it can be one of the tastiest!

Pears and hummus are both common go-to gluten-free foods. If you’re gluten-free or have Celiac disease, it’s important to purchase gluten-free turkey, such as Applegate Farms and gluten-free hummus such as Sabra to ensure you are making a safe and healthy gluten-free meal you can enjoy. Also included in this recipe is one of my favorite fruits, pears, which are deliciously sweet and nutritious, not to mention they are a rich source of essential vitamins and dietary fiber. Still not convinced? If you’re worried the subtle flavors of turkey and hummus may make for a bland meal, you are surely in for a treat. The addition of chili powder (one of my favorite gluten-free condiments), ground pepper and orange zest will add the satisfying tang you are looking for.

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Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

by in Thanksgiving, November 21, 2012

quinoa-stuffed peppers
Meet the tastiest, most nutritious Thanksgiving appetizer around. This easy dish comes together in under an hour and makes delicious use of beautiful poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are mild chili peppers from Mexico, and their spiciness helps to bring out their taste. If you aren’t a fan of spicy foods you can always use bell peppers instead. Flax seeds and veggies offer meaty texture and flavor while quinoa and chickpeas pile on the protein. I added a touch of marjoram for garnish as it adds extra flavor, plus pretty flecks of color. Serve hot out of the oven or bake ahead of time and reheat before your guests arrive. If you have any extra cooked quinoa leftover try my tasty little Quinoa Bites, which make great hors d’oeuvres and are the perfect finger food for kids to munch on.

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Pumpkin-Apple Soup

by in Thanksgiving, November 17, 2012

The beauty of this autumn soup is its adaptability; you can easily use pears instead of apples if you prefer. This recipe makes enough to serve four people when served as an appetizer or a side dish. If you are serving a large group of people for Thanksgiving, you can scale up the recipe accordingly; try adding in a pinch of allspice for an extra kick. Making your own soup is a tasty and healthy way to blend your favorite fall fruits and veggies into your holiday meal. In this recipe, which uses fresh pumpkin, you can feel good about getting the extra dose of vitamin A and fiber in every bite. Serve this soup with gluten-free croutons or ladle it over a baked sweet potato. If you’re in the mood for some more seasonal accompaniments, sip on my Homemade Maca Apple Cider.

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New Play on Cottage Cheese

by in Healthy Recipes, October 3, 2012

white bean dip
Everyone’s familiar with the classic diner combo of cottage cheese and pineapple (or peaches).  Whether you’re a fan of cottage cheese on its own (or with fruit) or not, here’s a new way to use this   with this lighter creamy white dip recipe. We pureed reduced-fat cottage cheese with white beans to make a satisfying, low-calorie dip. Enjoy it as a healthy snack or serve it for game day. Enjoy!

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Robin’s Healthy Take: Better-For-You Potato Skins

by in Robin's Healthy Take, September 3, 2012

Are you sitting down? You should be when you read the nutrition numbers for restaurant-style potato skins with cheddar and bacon. Ready? Here goes:

Calories: 1270
Total Fat: 83 grams
Saturated Fat: 38 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 97 grams
Protein: 33 grams
Sodium: 690 milligrams
Fiber: 12 grams

And let me remind you, potato skins are considered an appetizer. A single baked potato has 94 calories and zero fat, so what the heck happens in the restaurant kitchen? I’ll tell you what happens: the chefs take a nutrient-rich vegetable and give it the fat equivalent of 9 chocolate frosted doughnuts. Well, I’m not that kind of chef. Dig into my recipe revamp and enjoy the loaded potato skin in all its glory.

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Bite-Sized Appetizers Cups (Cup-a-tizers)

by in Robin's Healthy Take, July 17, 2012

People always ask me for quick and easy recipes that they can bring to parties. They want to share something homemade, something personal. But those same people also tell me they have NO time, NO patience and practically NO cooking ability. Game on, I say.

I’ve got you covered and you’ll knock the socks off of every party-goer at your next soiree.

The best appetizers for a party, whether the soiree is held inside or out, are handheld munchies you can tackle in a bite or two. The goal is simple: gourmet flavors that come alive in one small portion. That’s basically my mantra.

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Baked Mozzarella Sticks

by in Robin's Healthy Take, June 25, 2012

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Since most Americans dine out more than four times each week, we’re only in complete control of what we eat less than half of the time. In an ideal world, we’d know exactly what we’re consuming both at home and out — right? Consider one of America’s favorite appetizers, fried mozzarella, and read the stats:

Restaurant Fried Mozzarella Sticks
Nutrition Info Per Serving (range in numbers reflects different restaurants)
Calories: 660-770
Total Fat: 35-46 grams
Saturated Fat: 15-24 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 54 grams
Sugars: not listed
Protein: 32-36 grams
Sodium: 1510-2040 milligrams
Cholesterol: not listed
Fiber: 1-7 grams

And it’s usually eaten as a starter, even though it maxes out your fat and sodium intake for the entire day. For those days when you’re home but want a restaurant-style treat, I’ve got the perfect solution. My baked mozzarella sticks have less than half the calories and 1/3 the fat and sodium of their restaurant counterparts. Even better – they boast the same herb-infused, crispy exterior and soft gooey cheese center. Try ‘em this week and let me know what you think!

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Eggplant, Your Summer Friend

by in Robin's Healthy Take, June 8, 2012
eggplant
Use eggplant for more than just eggplant parm.

Eggplant is often relegated to two things: eggplant parmesan and ratatouille. Don’t get me wrong, I love both (and I’m sure I’ve blogged about and written recipes for both), but there’s much more to the beloved aubergine (French for the gorgeous purple vegetable).

Eggplant is a sponge and absorbs the flavors of anything it’s partnered with. It soaks up garlic, wine, tomatoes, herbs — you name it. It’s a chameleon in purple clothing. Nutritionally speaking, eggplant has loads of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients with powerful antioxidant properties. One phytonutrient, nasunin, is found in the purple skin and is a potent free-radical scavenger that protects cell membranes from damage.

Caponata is another popular dish featuring eggplant, so I’m not taking a giant leap when it comes to recipe development. BUT, it’s summer party time and caponata makes an excellent addition to your appetizer and h’ordeuvres assortment. My recipe boasts a thick and rich blend of eggplant, onion, garlic, tomatoes, capers and red wine vinegar. Right before serving, I fold in basil for a burst of fresh flavor. Traditional caponata is served with pine nuts sprinkled on top but I chose toasted slivered almonds for their sweetness – they pair perfectly with the tanginess of tomatoes, vinegar and capers.

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“Fried” Calamari the Healthy Eats Way

by in Robin's Healthy Take, May 7, 2012
baked calamari
Robin's crispy, baked calamari: packed with nutrients, but not fat and calories.

A basket of calamari is, no doubt, one of the most delicious ways to start a meal. Nutritionally speaking, calamari (Italian for squid) is crammed with copper (one 3.5-ounce serving has 90% of your RDA). Why should you care? Copper is essential for all this: proper growth of the skeletal, nervous and cardiovascular systems; reducing inflammation and arthritis symptoms; pigmentation of hair, skin and eyes; building connective tissue; stimulating the brain; absorbing iron; stalling aging; producing energy in the body; inhibiting bacteria such as E-Coli; reducing cholesterol and boosting immunity. Copper is the third most prevalent mineral in the body yet we can’t produce it on our own (meaning we need to get copper from food). As if that’s not enough, calamari is also rich in protein (16 grams per 3.5-ounce serving), B vitamins and vitamin C.  I learned all this while researching for this blog. I might eat calamari every day now.

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5 Ingredients: Stuffed Mushrooms

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, December 28, 2011


A light, flavorful and bite-sized app that’s perfect for your next soiree. You can’t go wrong with savory stuffed mushrooms.

Here’s why they’re healthy:

Mushrooms
Earthy and low in calories, these vitamin and mineral-filled delights make a terrific vessel for finger food. Read more about why we love them.

Goat Cheese
Have you tried goat cheese? You only need a little of this creamy soft cheese to get big flavor.

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