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
I like spaghetti squash, it’s one of my favorite vegetables, but I’m not a fan of covering up it’s flavor and texture with spaghetti sauce. To me, it’s not a replacement for spaghetti, it just mimics the texture but it’s so great tasting and yet low carb. When Filippo Berio sent me samples of Olive Oil, I ran to my cold food storage area (aka the unheated basement), and brought up the spaghetti squash. Squash is a great long storing vegetable, so for us right now this dish is very seasonal and from the local farm market.
My son assisted me in cooking this day. I was covering for someone on vacation all week, so I appreciated his help. Funny note: in my directions I told my son to cut the squash in half – which he did – staight across instead of lengthwise. He scooped it out to look like a bowl. Along with the squash, he roasted turip, carrots fennel and onion, all found in our marketbag. When I came home and checked on everything, we recut the squash lengthwise si it cooked more evenly.
After we removed the vegetables from the oven and let cool just enough to handle, we scraped the squash fibers out to look like spahetti, then sliced the other veggies snd tossed. For a little lightness we added fresh parsley and cut up some pea shoots and tossed along with the juice of a lemon.
PS – don’t forget to enter the giveaway… Filippo Berio GiveawayDiana
Last week, in our Food News, we told you about Filippo Berio’s Olive Oil Facebook Contest. Filippo Bero US was looking for the best Olive Oil tips, tricks and suggested usage. This week the voting on the best one is happening (It actually started Monday). The winner gets a trip to Italy to enjoy Cooking classes. I entered, but I didn’t make the top 5, which are presented on their Facebook page.
Filippo Berio US sent me a couple of bottles to try out and to giveaway, both were extra virgin olive oil and the one that makes me really happy is organic. I am a regular user of of olive oil – and make my own dressing because I can easily tailor it to the meal I’ve prepared without having to store 20 bottles on the fridge door. In fact, one day this fall my kids did an oil swap – my son taught his sister to change the oil and my daughter taught her brother to make dressing. One of them didn’t go well and resulted in spillage but not the one in my kitchen. (FYI- we caught it in a tarp no environmental damage done.) Thank goodness making a salad dressing is easier than changing the oil in your car.
Olive oil is great for marinades, dressing, roasting, pestos, hummus, dips – hopefully we’ll get to see all of the tips at the end of the promotion. I’m going to share a recipe tomorrow with spaghetti squash that I made using the Filippo Berio Olive Oil. It worked out well for me in the recipe, and I’ve used it to make a lime dressing for steak salad last week that was delicious.
Filippo Berio is offerring the same duo of Olive Oil to one of our Cookerati readers. We’re going to use Rafflecopter once again to keep track of the entries.
Disclosure: I received a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a bottle of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil to review and to giveaway. My opinions are my own and the review is representative of how I feel. I thank Filippo Berio US for doing a giveaway on Cookerati.
01/02/2014 - Happy New Year. I’m trying out a new format to update this page monthly. The next update will be in the first week of February. If you have any news updates send them to me to evaluate before the end of January.
This month brings you…
- A really easy contest by Filippo Berio US with a great big prize – hurry quick though it ends early on January 9th. The contest app is on their Facebook Page. All you have to do is fill out a form share your favorite tip using olive oil and add your own photo.
Happy New Year! I’m going to start the year off, by telling you about my last year and why my goal this year is to be consistent.
Last year, I decided to get back on the exercise bandwagon. I wanted to get back into decent shape, but I’m not big on diets. In fact, I am a hater when it comes to the diet word. I’m a believer in moderation in everything. Food should taste good, should sustain you and should not make you feel like you are starving, or denying yourself – that’s how I feel anyway. I do not sit in judgement on food others are eating, I’m not going on the lecture circuit about what a person can or can not eat. Each person must decide for themselves along with their doctors what they can and can not do. My husband is on a low sodium diet, and so my food sometimes centers around that, but it is our journey, and you can modify to suit your needs. We are in our 50s, and have lower caloric needs than someone who is more active or has a higher metabolism. So our goal is to be consistent in our food choices, based on our needs. (more…)Diana
At one family gathering, I brought a salad with beets. My husband’s Aunt upon hearing there were beets in the salad asked if they tasted like dirt. I responded that they had an earthy flavor, and she said, ” Well, they taste like dirt to me.” Orange pairs well with beets, and helps to give the beets a less earthy flavor, as evidenced by my daughter’s statement when she tasted this year’s beet salad. I handed her a plate and told her the beet salad was my offering. She took a bite and said she liked it because, “it doesn’t have that really rustic flavor that beets sometimes have. ”Diana
Okay guys - this season is really packed with lots of running around looking for the perfect gift for someone else. This is my gift to a Cookerati reader. Sometimes we’re the person who tries to figure out what everyone likes, but if you have a spouse like mine, no one wants to get you the stuff you want so you’re stuck living with the old pans. This holiday season, I’m giving away a Pure Living Skillet by WearEver.Diana
There is still time to run into your favorite bookstore and pick up a nice book-related gift (or two) for your foodie friends and family, and this Holiday Guide contains a few book suggestions for your favorite foodie. Some of these books are also in ebook form, if you want an extra for yourself. In fact a great gift for reading recipes is an Ipad Mini or a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. My husband has the tablet – and uses apps to read kindle, nook and other eReader type books. It’s also perfect for taking photos of your food and for looking at photos, much better than a cellphone. Enjoy! I hope you get to experience a new recipe or foodie inspiring book to help you throughout the new year. By the way – Amazon says the last time for overnight is Midnight Monday December 23rd, EST.
The following books were sent to me this year and these are the ones that I feel would make nice gifts:
- Superfood Kitchen: Cooking with Nature’s Most Amazing Foods (Superfood Series) by Julie Morris- This is a recipe book using superfoods. So this is a vegan book – but it’s really a specialty vegan book using superfoods. I’ve done some of the recipes in the book, and though some are very involved, they are great recipes. The positives – Use of great superfoods, unusal ingredients, and healthy recipes. The downside – unusual can mean inaccesible, or not easy to find. I wish the recipes had nutrition values listed. This book would be a great gift for someone adventurous who would like to try something new, but this person also needs to be able to afford the ingredients, which can be cost prohibitive for the regular college student. (more…)