Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Appetizers

Christmas is almost here and that means lots of delicious food. With indulgent sweets and savories everywhere in sight, why not try offering some lighter fare at your next holiday party? Lighter doesn't have to mean unappetizing. These appetizers are super flavorful and allow you to save room for a Christmas cookie (or two).

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas 

Yields 3 cups (Serves 16)

3 (15 oz) cans garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1  tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt

       Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.      Toss chickpeas with the olive oil, maple syrup, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt.

3.      Place in a single layer on a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

4.      Roast for 40-45 minutes or until chickpeas are toasted and crunchy.

5.      Allow to cool and serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 90, Total fat 2.5g, Saturated fat 0g, Cholesterol0mg, Sodium 520mg, Carbohydrate 12g, Fiber 4g, Protein 4g

Caprese Flatbread 

Serves 16

4 whole grain flatbreads
3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
6 oz. sundried tomatoes, julienned
2 tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced thin
Salt and pepper, to taste

1.      Preheat oven to 500.
2.      Top each flatbread with pancetta slices, mozzarella cheese and sundried tomatoes. Lay on a baking sheet or pizza stone.

3.      Bake 5-10 minutes until crispy. Drizzle with olive oil and top with fresh basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 180, Total fat 9g, Saturated fat 3g, Cholesterol15mg, Sodium 360mg, Carbohydrate 20g, Fiber 3g, Protein 7g

Chicken Apple Sausage and Brie Flatbread 

Serves 16

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lb yellow onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
4 whole grain flatbreads
1 large apple, sliced thin
1 (12 oz) package Sweet Apple Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage, sliced thin
4 oz. brie cheese, sliced into thin rounds

1. In a large skillet coated with olive oil, cover and sweat onions over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. After15 minutes, remove cover and add brown sugar. Continue to cook to an additional 5 minutes until the onions are well caramelized.

2. Preheat oven to 500.
3. Top each flatbread with caramelized onions, apple slices and sausage. Finish with brie cheese.

4. Bake on a cookie sheet or pizza stone for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 150, Total fat 8g, Saturated fat 2.5g, Cholesterol25mg, Sodium 320mg, Carbohydrate 25g, Fiber 3g, Protein 8g

Cucumber Cups with Vegetable Ceviche 

Serves 20

4 cucumbers, each sliced into 5 thick rounds (do not use end pieces)
1 (10 oz) container roasted red pepper hummus

Vegetable ceviche:
1/2 red pepper, diced very small
1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced very small
1 carrot, peeled and diced very small
1/2 red onion, minced
1 TB fresh cilantro, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste

1.      Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop the seeds out of each cucumber round (make sure not to go all the way through).

2.      Fill each round with a small amount of hummus (using a piping bag or small spoon).

3.      Combine ceviche ingredients. Top hummus with ceviche. Squeeze extra lime juice over the top of the cucumber cups (if desired) and serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 35, Total fat 1.5g, Saturated fat 0g, Cholesterol0mg, Sodium 85mg, Carbohydrate 5g, Fiber 1g, Protein 1g

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