Apricot Bites with Goat Cheese and Pistachio

Looking for a healthy low carb appetizer for your next party?  Try this simple recipe.  It has just 4 ingredients and is a perfect snack or appetizer.  Dried apricots topped with creamy goat cheese, nutty pistachios and just a drizzle of honey make a perfect combination.

Ingedients
18 dried apricots (I like the larger Turkish ones)
2 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
1-2 T of honey, for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Place apricots on a platter or serving tray
  2. With the back of a spoon, spread a small dollop of goat cheese onto each apricot
  3. Sprinkle a pinch or two of crushed pistachios onto each
  4. Drizzle with honey*
  5. Enjoy!

Tip: To avoid putting too much honey on each apricot bite, place honey in a ziplock plastic baggy.  Cut off a small corner of the baggie and squeeze honey from the hole onto each apricot to add just the amount of sweetness to each bite.

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Creds to Jess @ jessfuel.com for this yummy recipe.  Her recipe is for a larger crowd and yields 3 dozen of these yummy treats.  I simply cut the recipe in half.  Check out all her other easy recipes.

 

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Homemade Yogurt Sauce / Tzatziki

Homemade Tzatziki
Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions: 

Wash produce (lemon and cucumber)

Grate the cucumber and squeeze out as much liquid as you can and set aside. This prevents your yogurt sauce from being to runny and watered down)

Cut 1/2 lemon into quarters

In a medium bowl, combine the drained cucumber, yogurt and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow flavors to mix.

Try it with Moroccan Lamb Meatballs, Curry Spiced Chicken Thighs, or Ras El Hanout Chicken Breasts below.

autumn gingerbread cakeletsCurry-Spiced ChickenChicken and tabouleh

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs

I  stumbled upon this recipe for Moroccan Lamb Meatballs and made it last night after browsing Pinterest and I will definitely make these flavor packed meatballs again.  These lamb meatballs are simple to make and there are some fabulous spices in them.  I served them with a simple salad and homemade yogurt sauce.  Store-bought Tzatziki is great too.  Shout out to Claire @Sprinklesandsprouts for the recipe.

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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 small onion (I used a red onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of white bread ( I used a slice of whole wheat bread)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 500 g /1.1lb lamb mince (ground lamb)
Instructions
  1. Peel the onion and garlic and place them in a food processor, then blitz until you have an onion mush. Use a spatula to push the mixture down from the sides.
  2. Crack in the egg and pulse mix until you have an egg mush.
  3. Remove the crusts from the bread, rip it into small pieces and add it to the food processor.
  4. Measure in the cinnamon, oregano, parsley, cumin, allspice, paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper and salt, then pulse chop until everything is well mixed. Remove the blade.
  5. Place the ground lamb in a medium bowl.  Add the mixture from the food processor using a spatula. Use your hands to squish and squash the mixture together until it is well mixed.
  6. Once the mixture is well mixed, use two teaspoons to measure out a ball of mixture. Roll it around in your hands and then set the ball aside on cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

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  1. I aim for 36 meatballs.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan. Once it is smoking hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the meatballs. (Use a screen to prevent splatters and ease in cleanup).
  3. Cook for 2 minutes and then roll them all about to cook the other sides. They will take about 5 minutes in total to cook.

Hint: I have a pretty packed spice cabinet so I had all the ingredients.  If you don’t, you can take a shortcut and buy spice mix.  Williams-Sonoma has  Ras El Hanout in a jar that has a similar but not equal combination of moroccan spices that you could use instead.  Just replace the cinnamon, cumin, allspice, paprika and smoked paprika and pepper with 1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon of Ras El Hanout.

 

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

DFTSI Roasted Cherry Tomatoes_5709Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

I love roasted vegetables! It seams to bring out the sweetness and also carmelizes the outside.  These roasted tomatoes are super easy and delicious too.  You can easily double or triple the recipe if you are serving more people.

Serving: 2
Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 15-20 minutes
Total Time 20-25 minutes

Ingredients
1 pint cherry tomatoes (Try the heirloom tomatoes if you like a variety of colors)
1-2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
4-5 large basil leaves cut into chiffonade (with scissors)

Instructions
1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread the tomatoes  on a cooking sheet with an edge (or jelly roll pan) lined with foil
3. Sprinkle with the olive oil and toss the tomatoes gently.  Sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper.
4. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
5. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the fresh basil and a little more salt to taste.

Autumn Gingerbread Muffins

Celebrate Fall and the Holidays by serving these adorable gingerbread muffins. These molasses and ginger treats are easy to make and add a festive look to any table. Serve them alone or with lemon curd. Trader Joe’s offers a great gingerbread mix that makes serving these cuties a snap.

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Autumn Gingerbread Cakelets

Yield: 16 Cakelets (144 calories each)

Ingredients
1 box Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Baking Mix
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola oil
¾ cup water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray cakelet pan with Trader Joe’s Canola Oil spray and sprinkle lightly with a few pinches of flour.
  3. Combine egg, oil and water in a bowl and then add mix. Fold together gently until ingredients are moistened. (don’t over-stir as the cakelets will become more dense).
  4. Fill the molds of the cakelet pan no more than ¾ full to avoid overflow. I use a tablespoon and then spread mixture to level tops and fill corners of each shape. Tap the pan firmly a few times on countertop to remove air bubbles.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of a cakelet comes out clean.

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  1. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack.
  2. Serve with lemon curd if you wish.   Yummy!

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Note: My cakelet pan is made by Nordic Ware.  Any muffin or cakelet pan works well too.

Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

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Savor every last bit of summer with this delightful combination of ripe summer peaches and fresh tomatoes. This beautiful salad is both simple and delicious. The tart accents of balsamic vinegar and the sweet peaches are devine!
Servings: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes

Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

Ingredients
1 large (or two small) peach sliced into wedges (select ones that are just a little bit firm, not too soft)
1 handful of cherry tomatoes sliced into quarters
4-5 fresh mint  or basil leaves chopped (slice them with scissors)
¼ cup  good EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/8 cup good balsamic vinegar (I like 41 Olive’s lemon-infused balsamic, apricot-infused balsamic))
¼ cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts
Salt and Pepper

Directions
Arrange the nectarine and tomato slices on a platter.
Drizzle with oil and vinegar followed by the nuts and mint.
Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Note: You can chop fruit and plate it up to an hour in advance but wait to dress it and add mint just before serving.  You can also serve this salad on individual salad plates or a family platter.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Pear Snack Bites

DFTSI Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Pear Bites_6428Sometimes you just need something sweet and crunchy. It’s tempting to reach for something pre-packaged that’s easy and tasty but makes you feel guilty right after you put it in your mouth.  Not these.  They are crunchy and satisfying while also being high in nutrition Get your snack fix with this easy to prepare treat that you can feel good about.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Servings:  2
Ingredients: 4
Calories: 200/serving

Ingredients

1 medium pear
4 Tablespoons  PB2 (Powdered Peanut Butter)
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons shredded coconut (I like it toasted)

Preparation

In a small bowl, mix PB2 with 2 Tablespoons of water.

Slice the pear into 8 -10 wedeges

Spread peanut butter mixture thinly onto pear wedges and place on either a serving platter or 2 individual salad plates.

Sprinkle with coconut and chocolate chips. Enjoy!