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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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.

 

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!

 

Poppin’ Pumpkin Seeds

Poppin’ Pumpkin Seeds

I’m a Trader Joe’s fan.  If you are too, you’ll like this savory treat.  It is hard to resist the temptation to munch on them right from the pan as they smell so good.  Let them cool completely before serving though.  You can store for up to a week — Only if you have some left!  Yum!

Poppin’ Pumpkin Seeds

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

Mix salt, paprika, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne together in a small bowl. Set aside. Warm butter (or oil) and sugar together in a large skillet over medium heat; add pumpkin seeds and spice mixture to pan and stir until sugar is melted and the seeds are fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes (add a lid when seeds start to pop). Remove from heat, add fresh rosemary and sprinkle on additional salt (if desired) and toss. Immediately spread seeds out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cool completely before serving.

BBQ Chicken Flatbread

BBQ Chicken Flatbread

Need an easy appetizer for a party?  Try this one.  It’s always a crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients:

2 flatbreads (sold at specialty stores and some grocery stores)
1/4 cup shredded chicken breast
2-4 T. BBQ sauce (I like Trader Joe’s Bold and Smokey Kansas City Style)
5-8 sprigs of fresh cilantro
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3-4 thin slices of a small red onion (peeled)

Directions:

Place the flatbread on a cookie sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from oven and spread a thin layer of bbq sauce on the flatbread.
Add shredded chicken and red onion slices.
Add a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and edges of bread are lightly browned.
Remove from oven and add fresh cilantro leaves.
Slice and place on a serving dish and serve immediately. Enjoy!

PSST! Shred the chicken from a leftover piece of grilled chicken breast from the night before or cut from a roasted chicken from the deli section of most grocery stores.  If you can’t find flatbread, you can use a lavosh bread instead.

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Goat Cheese with Lemon Garlic and Rosemary

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Fresh and light, this Goat Cheese with Lemon and Rosemary is an easy and tasty appetizer you can serve in both in the summer and winter.  I first enjoyed this when my sister served this before a holiday meal.  Bring it to a potluck or a party.  Your guests will Ooo and Ahh!

The secret is fresh rosemary.  I have it growing in my garden and I love the aroma as well as the flavor it brings to so many dishes.

Goat Cheese with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary

6 ingredients
1 5 oz. log of goat cheese
zest of one lemon
1/8- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients but the goat cheese together. Place the goat cheese on a small dish with a lip and pour the mixture over the cheese. Marinate for 4 hours to allow the flavors to mingle. Sprinkle with a little more rosemary to taste and garnish with a sprig. Serve with water crackers. Enjoy!

Apricots with Basil, Goat Cheese, & Almonds

apricots-cheese-su-xIngredients

4 ounces fresh goat cheese such as Laura Chenel, at room temperature

About 2 tsp. milk

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

40 dried apricots

40 almonds, preferably Marcona 

2 teaspoons honey

Preparation

1. Mix together cheese, 2 tsp. milk, and basil with a wooden spoon until spreadable. Thin with more milk if necessary.

2. Spread a heaping 1/4 tsp. cheese on each apricot and top each with an almond. Drizzle with honey.

Psst!  You can make this healthy appetizer up to one day ahead.  Refrigerate and then bring to room temperature (30-60 minutes before serving). Drizzle with honey  just before serving.