Category Archives: Appetizers

Zucchini Pizza Bites

These are a great way to satisfy a craving for pizza with a low carb twist.  Use them as an appetizer, healthy snack or main dish with a side salad.  You can easily change up the toppings to make them your own.  Try adding fresh basil, pepperoni, olives or mushrooms.  Go ahead and eat some pizza while leaving the guilt at the door.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini sliced on a diagonal (1/4″thick)
  • spray olive oil (I used a Misto)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup skim shredded motzzarella cheese
  • parmesean cheese for topping

Directions:

1.  Cut zucchini about 1/4 inch thick on a diagonal.  Place on cookie sheet.

2.  Spray zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle each piece with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Flip zucchini pieces over and repeat process.

3.  Broil zucchini for about 4 minutes, flipping over half way through.

4.  Top each piece with 1 teaspoon marinara sauce and cheese.  Broil for 1 more minute.

 

5.  Sprinkle with parmesean cheese and enjoy.

Adapted from: skinnytaste

Cauliflower Poppers

I am usually a fan of vegetables in their raw form, but this recipe for cauliflower poppers could change my mind.  These could be used as a side dish or a delicious guilt-free snack, combining great texture and spice.  Cauliflower is my favorite  go to low-carb alternative.  I use cauliflower for making healthy mashed potatoes and now these poppers could be a substitute for chips or fries at any gathering.   I made this as a side dish for a football Sunday BBQ.  Nothing beats a beautiful Colorado afternoon (Go Broncos!), the air filled with the smell of ribs grilling on the BBQ.  As, I ate the messy ribs, licking my fingers clean, the cauliflower was a perfect fit.  This meal needed no spoons or forks, it was a full on finger food extravaganza.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized head uncooked cauliflower
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  Wash cauliflower and cut florets into bite-sized pieces.  Place in medium sized bowl.

3.  Place cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and black pepper in small bowl.  Mix well.

4.  Sprinkle spice mix onto cauliflower.  Toss well to coat.

5.  Spread cauliflower onto prepared cookie sheet in single layer.
6.  Bake cauliflower for 10-12 minutes, or until desired tenderness is reached.   Stir mixture halfway through cooking time.

Avocado and Cilantro Deviled Eggs

Who doesn’t love a good deviled egg?  But after realizing a typical deviled egg is packed with not so thigh slimming saturated fat, you begin to think, “are they really worth it?”  Well, discover this recipe for avocado, cilantro deviled eggs.  I know looking at the picture your thinking, a little Dr. Seuss is in store, maybe green eggs and ham?   Nevertheless,  these green eggs are delicious.

This recipe contains no mayonnaise;  therefore eliminating the “bad” fat part of the recipe.  Considering the health benefits of avocados, including vitamins and monounsaturated fats (decreased cholesterol, lower risk for heart disease and decreased risk of breast cancer) using them in this recipe makes this a healthy protein rich side dish.  Plus, it is always good to give a new twist on an old recipe.

Also, on a side note, because of the natural browning process of avocados, I suggest making them up right before serving or taking them to a party.  However; if your not afraid of a brown deviled egg, feel free to eat them as leftovers, I did.  They still tasted just as good.  If your wondering how to make easy hard boiled eggs here is how I make them  How to: Hard-Boil an Egg.

Yield:  12 deviled eggs

Ingredients:
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • A few dashes of Cholula sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • extra cilantro for garnish


Directions
:

1.  Cut eggs in half lengthwise.  Carefully scoop out yolks and put into medium mixing bowl.  Place remaining egg white halves on plate and put into fridge.

2.  Cut avocado in half and remove pit.  Scoop out flesh of avocado from both halves and place in bowl with egg yolks.  Using a fork mash egg yolks and avocado until creamy.

3.  Add onion, cilantro, lime juice, Cholula, salt and desired pepper to avocado mixture.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

4.  Retrieve eggs halves from the fridge.  Using small spoon, scoop avocado, yolk mixture into egg halves.  Garnish with an extra cilantro leaf if desired.

5.  Serve immediately, before avocado begins to brown.

Adapted from: Rookie Cookie

Zucchini Tots

Well, I just bought my first mini muffin pan.  So, immediately I came home and was on a mad search for what to make in my new found pan.  All sorts of muffin and cupcake recipes appeared, but I thought hey, why does a muffin pan only have to be for muffins?  So, I began another search that lead me to this fabulous recipe.  Zucchini + mini muffin pan = Fabulous.  Plus, how easy these were to make with such simple and basic ingredients, I was sold.  I used these as a side dish when making hamburgers, but they would also be a great fit for breakfast or that Sunday brunch. 

Yields:  12 mini tots

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

1.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

2.  Grate zucchini into a clean dish towel.  Then by wringing towel, remove all excess water out of the zucchini.  This helps to keep your tots from turning into mush.

3.  In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and season with desired amount of salt and pepper.

4.  Fill each muffin section to the top w/zucchini mixture.  Making sure to push down on mixture so it’s nice and compact, so they keep to their tot form when taking them out of the tin.

5.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until tops start to golden.  After baking, run a plastic knife around the edge of each tot to make removing them much easier.

My only advice to you after making these is to make sure your sharing them with someone else, otherwise;  it could be very easy to eat them all yourself.  Although I guess it would still be better than eating an entire super-sized serving of McDonald’s french fries.  Hope you enjoy.
Adapted from: The Two Bite Club