When thinking of appetizers, cauliflower and potatoes smashed together make a great combination, while adding a little more nutrition. Your family and friends may figure out that there is something a little different about the potatoes, but only a little different. I went a little further to make it healthy, by cutting down on the sodium. I added a little chevre, some herbs and bread crumbs.
Bread is one of the worst when it comes to sodium, and regular bread crumbs are really bad. In order to still have a breadcrumb that works, I buy my own low sodium bread (there are a couple of gluten-free rice bread brands that work), and then make my own breadcrumbs. Bake the bread on low until it hardens, and then using mini-blender or smoothie maker grind the toasted bread into crumbs.Diana
Jalapeno poppers – done right are not super hot and just have a little bit of a bite. I wanted to create something low sodium for my husband that has that bite because a lot of low sodium foods are flavorless, but this is not. We’re using goat cheese and swiss cheese in the stuffing because they are lower in sodium and in the list of acceptable cheeses to use. The chicken and goat cheese mixture can be prepared a day or so in advance, placed into a zippered plastic bag, and then refrigerated overnight. To pipe, just cut off the corner of the bag you have already filled. We tried the poppers two ways. Whole, they were filled and stood up to bake melting the cheese inside. The cream cheese mixture stays warm inside and falls to the bottom as you eat because it is so soft. The other way was to slice the pepper in half and have a jalapeno boat. You can toast the top better that way, but you are getting more cream cheese and less pepper. We couldn’t decide which we liked better. The boats had quite a bit of cheese, but it covered up the pepper taste more. I guess it depends on how much heat you like.
Don’t forget to scroll down after looking at the recipe for the giveaway information and a list of other great appetizers.Diana
I am working on low sodium appetizers for this season’s Superbowl gathering (that so far we haven’t received an official invitation to). My husband is on a low sodium diet and while I can make something for everyone else, I find that unless I bring those dishes that Mark can eat – he might not get much to munch on. Other people may be in the same boat and I’m sharing what I’ve figured out. You can add sodium to the dishes by adding salt, or soy sauce, or even by changing the cheese. Other cheeses have much more flavor but pack the sodium in. Today, I introduce you to low sodium swiss cheeseburger stuffed mushrooms. My husband wasn’t a fan of mushrooms but I’ve converted him by using fresh crimini mushrooms, perfect for stuffing and accent the beef flavor wonderfully. This is a pretty fast appetizer to make, but make plenty because they quickly disappear.Diana
Pea in a name or description other than soup is strange. Trying to figure out what to call this, had my family laughing. They didn’t like pea dip – at all, my daughter kept changing it to Pita dip. I thought pita dip was misleading and could be anything. Pea spread is not so wonderful either. Pea sauce? This came out like hummus, only with really fresh english peas from the farm market and dill from the garden and a little garlic, lime and olive oil. It’s prettier than regular hummus because it is bright green but goes really well with pita. Father’s Day is coming up and this makes a great vegetable dip for the family gathering – but don’t call it pea dip because no one will eat it.
English peas are similar to chickpeas in that they don’t break down super smooth just by using the food processor. First I used the food processor to break it down, then I used a magic bullet to make it more fine and velvety smooth. The blender might work a little better, but the mash comes out thick, not runny so it doesn’t pour. The dill taste becomes a little more pronounced if it sits over night or for at least a little while in the fridge before serving. We demolished the bowl of peas that we ate – it was so good. Fresh picked peas are one of our favorite treats.
- 2 cups peas
- 1 -2 cloves garlic
- 1 lime
- Nice size bunch of fresh dill
- Olive oil
- In a food processing bowl place english peas, garlic, and pour over with olive oil.
- Pulse and add oil, then pulse again – keep doing this until you get a smooth dip consistency.
- Add in dill and juice of one lime, pulse again.
This spread is an incredibly easy, but so tasty and pretty and very springy. My idea came from two places – one from my sister in law who uses violets on spread for crackers almost every year for Easter when the violets are in bloom. The first time my brother in law asked if he could remove the yard from his cracker before he ate it. The second from Hounds in the Kitchen’s Rachel who recently reposted about redbud blossoms being edible.
I didn’t have a recipe but had an idea and ran with it. I found most of the herbs in my herb beds, nice new little leaves of thyme, mint, chives, parsley – all plants that come back every year. The flowers were violets and redbuds . I use the flowers out front away from the dog run, she doesn’t climb trees, so I don’t worry about that as much. I zested lemons and limes, but I think if you used an orange it would be pleasant as well. The combination of lime zest, and mint leaves made for a mojito cream cheese flavor on a cracker – that was my favorite. The others with lemon zest and pretty flowers are very delicious too. You can prepare the crackers ahead, or make a spread with the herbs, and zest and leave the flowers and mint for each person to sprinkle on top themselves. Lest you think this spread to girlie girl, my husband and son gobbled it up… all gone.
- 1 – 2 tbs Various herbs
- Edible Blossoms
- -redbud buds
- -1 lemon
- -1 lime
- 8 oz Chevre (goat cheese)
- Throw herbs (except Mint) into herb grinder – or magic bullet, small food grinder and mince.
- Add chevre to herbs and pulse together.
- Split the chevre/herb mixture up into half.
- Add lemon zest to half and lime zest to the other half and combine.
- If you wish to thin out the chevre a little, add a little of the juice to the spread.
- To the lemon zest half – sprinkle top with blossoms
- To the lime zest half – sprinkle top with mint and even mix a little in
Photos by Mark Hayes used with permission.Diana
Here’s a really fast and I think pretty healthy dip. Unlike sour cream dips, legume dips fill you up faster so you’ll eat a little less of the not so good stuff. My suggestion is to start with the bean dip with veggies to leave a little less room for those fattening things. You can revisit last years dip suggestions to see healthier alternatives for your gatherings.
Lentils – are a type of legume, and are very high in proteins. They cook relatively quickly and when mashed are similar to chickpeas used for hummus. You can substitute lentils for chickpeas in your hummus, or use it instead of refried beans in your bean dip. The red lentils have more of a mild flavor and aren’t as high in protein as the dark green, but I used them because I thought they would go well with the red peppers. Use this dip for crackers, raw veggies, pita or just chips. Serve warm or cold and to keep from drying out you can pour a thin layer of oil over top – and sprinkle with red hungarian pepper as you do with hummus.
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 cups water
- 4 – 6 garlic cloves
- 2 red peppers (I used jarred)
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tbs red pepper oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- olive oil
- Place lentils and water in small sauce pan and simmer until the lentils are soft.
- Drain lentils and put into food processor and pulse until pasty.
- Add red peppers, garlic, cumin, red pepper oil, lemon juice and pulse.
- Slowly add olive oil while pulsing until it reaches a dip consistency.
- Add a little salt if desired while pulsing.
- Add a thin layer of olive oil over top to keep air from getting to the dip until it is used.
Today was the second time I bought this salad from work. As I was going through the line, the cashier asked me why they put the green stuff on the watermelon. I told her it was cilantro and I thought it was tasty. She obviously disagreed.
I’m not a cilantro fan, but watermelon as a salad with a little heat is actually yummy.
The ingredient list is easy:
Chunks of watermelon – bite size
Jalapeno – diced really itty bitty
Red Onion – diced really small
Toss and serve.
Recently, we were discussing breakfast. It came out that one person ate her breakfast as a salad. She cooked up her eggs and bacon, and ate it over salad. Well, here we were a week later, and out of bread, rolls, wrap, pita, etc. I thought, well, what the heck – let’s try breakfast as salad, because well, heck it’s salad season. So I cooked up my breakfast and put it over some nice greens with avocado, and salsa. The salsa is difficult to see under the egg, but it’s there. I really enjoyed my breakfast this way though I will let my salsa warm up a little first next time. Really cold salsa with warm eggs is too much of a temperature difference. A zap in the microwave or letting it come to room temp would be a little better.
- Salad Greens
- Home made Salsa
- Miscellaneous Herbs
Prepare your eggs and Pancetta in your favorite way. Create a salad and place the cooked eggs and pancetta on top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Enjoy!Diana
Peppers – rough chopped
Tomatoes – rough chopped
Onions – rough chopped
Throw it all into a food processor, along with a hot pepper (if desired) a splash of apple cider vinegar and a touch of salt.
Cover with lid
Pulse until it’s the consistency you like….
Stop here (or if you like continue)
For Guacamole -
Slice Avocado in half.
Twist the two halves apart.
Smack the knife into te pit and twist to remove the pit.
Twist the knife to help pop out the pit.
Score Avocado in both directions on both halves.
Scoop out into a bowl.
Add Salsa and mix together.
Voila – takes longer to read this than to actually do it. Happy Cinco De Mayo. Add herbs, lime or anything else you want. This is my really fast worknight version that my kids, my husband and I love to nosh.
Oh yeah – and there are leftovers…Desiree
Whether you are rooting for the Packers or Steelers you will have to agree that part of watching the Super Bowl is deciding on what food you will be serving during the game. My husband and I recently purchased a large screen television for our basement rec room. The kids use it for video games, we watch movies on it and this year, he is having the guys over to watch the Super Bowl on it.
I have already decided that I am making Diana’s Chipotle Baked Beans and Kolbasz in the crockpot for the guys to enjoy. I am also making one of our super bowl munching favorites, Nachos Grande. Nachos Grande is basically a baked nacho dip. It is messy, but oh so tasty finger food.
- I bag of nacho chips
- 1 can of refried beans
- 1 bottle of salsa
- 1 container of sour cream
- 1 can sliced black olives
- 2 cups of cheddar cheese
Spray a 9×15 pan with cooking spray.
Place a generous layer of nacho chips in the pan.
Sprinkle cheese over the nacho chips.
Spread refried beans over the chips and cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 – 15 minutes until the beans are warm and cheese is melted.
Take the pan out of the oven and spread salsa over the beans.
Cover the salsa with sour cream.
Place olives on top and serve.
Serve this while it is warm. I use a spoon and serve it on plates. The guys like to eat it with their hands, but you may want to use a spoon.