simple & sophisticated appetizers

Appetizers are, by far, my favorite thing in the world.

If I invite you over? We’re having lots of appetizers. (I think I’ve only hosted two actual sit-down dinners).

If I offer to bring something over to you? It’s always appetizers.

When I eat out, I always choose appetizers over dessert. And often, I order a bunch of appetizers instead of an entree.

So, you get the point, right? I. love. appetizers.

And this time of year, it seems there’s endless opportunities for appetizers.  Whooooowooo!

But as much as I love spending time in the kitchen, it’s important to have an arsenal of recipes that can be made ahead of time, don’t require cooking and can sit out at room temperature. These are some of my favorites!

 simple & sophisticated appetizers | a nutritionist eats

Links: prosciutto wrapped figs | wine bar nut mix | warm olives with rosemary, garlic & lemon |beet-pickled deviled eggs | smoked salmon with potato chips and lemon crème fraîche | parmesan shards (cut chunks of high-quality parmesan)

What are you making this holiday season? 

leftover stuffing quiche

quiche11final

I’m back for more Thanksgiving chat. But this time around it’s all about leftovers.

How do you feel about them? Love them? Too soon to talk about them?

quiche2final

Personally, I have a lot more fun with the leftovers than the actual meal. Last year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we picked up a whole turkey just so I could play with leftovers (Curried Lentil Turkey Soup!). Who knows if we’ll end up doing the same this year, but I’ve already gotten to play with stuffing leftovers so we’re off to a good start.

leftover stuffing quiche

Let’s rewind. Last week I made brown-butter challah stuffing for our work potluck. Not to brag or anything (I’m from the midwest after all, we don’t do that!) but it was really good. Like so good my husband said it was the best he’d ever had. It could have been the challah or it could have been the brown butter… I went all out. #worthit

photo (79)

And I made extra to ensure there would be leftovers. Then I combined some of the world’s best foods – bread, butter, eggs and cheese – in one perfect quiche. (Technically, quiche has a custard base, but I didn’t need to add anymore cream to this dish, so I left it out.)

I don’t want to tell you what to eat on Friday, but….this would be a perfect choice. Just sayin’.

Leftover Stuffing Quiche

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: bake bread breakfast entree eggs cheese Thanksgiving fall

 

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 5 eggs
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups stuffing, crumbled
  • 1 cup shredded cheese like cheddar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together eggs and season with salt & pepper.

Layer the stuffing in a greased 8×8″ pan.

Sprinkle cheese on top of stuffing.

Pour egg mixture over stuffing and cheese and bake for about 30 minutes or until eggs have set.

Powered by Recipage

PS: I’ll be back next time with something healthy!

spicy smoked gouda dip

I recently heard a statistic that Americans eat, on average, 23 pounds of cheese per year. I’m taking full responsibility for the high side of that average. It’s not a fact I’m especially proud of, but I just can’t quit cheese. Or dairy for that matter. You can take the girl out of Wisconsin but you just can’t take Wisconsin out of the girl.

And to put fuel on my I-eat-too-much-cheese fire, there are very few cheeses that I don’t love. Smoked gouda is one of them. It’s not that I dislike it, but I don’t love it. (And why eat a cheese you don’t love?)

What I do love? The spicy gouda dip from Whole Foods Market. Which is made with smoked gouda…go figure. It also costs like, $1 million/pound.

So I had to recreate it at home.

It’s reminiscent of pimento cheese, at least in its preparation but tastes smoky, spicy and cheesy. Obviously. (?!) We managed to eat the entire batch with crackers, but oh my would this be amazing in a grilled cheese.

It’s also the perfect football food…just in case you’re watching any these days. (I suppose this cheese-fueled post is a good time to officially deem myself a Packers fan. :))

 

Spicy Smoked Gouda Dip

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients (8 servings)

  • 2 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese (a 6-8 oz block should be plenty)
  • 4 oz light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 small jalapenos (less if you don’t like spice!)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • few drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • season to taste: salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Instructions

Stir together all ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

Serve with crackers or crostini.

Powered by Recipage

summer harvest salad with grilled chicken {trader joe’s copycat}

I don’t buy salads from Trader Joe’s on a regular basis, but every once in a while, when they look particularly good and fresh, I’ll grab a few for a convenient lunch.  A few weeks ago I tried one that I loved.

Today I’m here to recreate the Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken. This is a perfect salad for summer, as it takes advantage of summer produce and is nice and light- perfect for summer lunches or dinners. Salad greens are topped with green beans, corn, hard boiled egg, white cheddar cheese and some freshly grilled chicken, all dressed with a creamy dijon dressing. YUM!

Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll raise your eyebrow at the white cheddar cheese. On a salad?! I’ll take my cheddar with summer sausage and crackers please…but on this salad, it totally works so don’t be too nervous.

And now I’m obsessed with corn…

 

 

Summer Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: grill entree salad gluten-free high protein chicken summer

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

For the Salad

  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs
  • 3 heads romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
  • 12 oz hericots verts, lightly steamed
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted corn
  • 2 oz white cheddar cheese
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

For the Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • salt, pepper

Instructions

For the Salad

Grill chicken until cooked and roughly chop.

Start building salads by topping romaine with green beans, corn, chicken, hard boiled eggs, cheddar and green onions.

Drizzle with dressing.

For the Dressing

Blend together all ingredients until smooth.

Powered by Recipage