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? 

daily eats: 11.11.13

Hello, hello! How is everyone? In shock that its mid-November like me? Good because I’m in major denial. I’m back for a daily eats post, not with any theme…just a healthy day of food. :)

coffee: totally deserves its own food group, no? I had mine with 1/2 & 1/2. I tried to switch back to coconut creamer (to reduce the dairy in my life) but I just can’t. Coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures and I love it so much more with 1/2 & 1/2. So that’s what I drink it with.

Today I got up early (well, the same time I would get up to go to the gym) and instead of working out, I got ready and went to Starbucks instead. It saves me time on the commute and gives me an opportunity to write, work on the blog and create other content, it’s such a nice way to start the day.

breakfast: protein pancakes + maple syrup + creamy nutzo. This was the first time trying the banana hazelnut flavor of flapjacked protein pancakes – SO good.

lunch: chicken shawarma + greek salad (lettuce + cucumber + tomato +  feta + olives + olive oil + red wine vinegar + oregano). The shawarma recipe, though slightly involved, didn’t take too much time and was delicious. I would recommend it!

Normally I get really snacky in the afternoon, but I spent the afternoon at the doctors office so I wasn’t able to think too much about food. I did however have a smoothie prepared and ready to go. :)

snack: smoothie (vanilla tera’s whey + 1/2 banana + 1 cup frozen berries + 1 cup almond coconut milk) 

workout: now that I’m no longer training for my half marathon, I’ve pretty much stopped running. I think I’ll get back into it, but I’ve been looking forward to mixing it up again. I was still sore from two rounds of the 7-Minute Workout on Saturday (a good indication I need more lunges, squats and triceps dips in my life) so I kept it easy with 25 minutes elliptical + 25 minutes incline walking on the treadmill.

dinner: per usual, I changed our dinner schedule this week. It never fails! Steak + veggies was on the menu, but we ended up with Chipotle. I had a chicken salad + fajita veggies + salsa + greek yogurt (for sour cream) with some chips + guacamole.

dessert: two dark chocolate peanut butter cups

approximate nutrition stats: 1,750 calories, 82 grams fat (41%), 135 grams carbohydrates (30%), 28 grams fiber, 70 grams sugar, 130 grams protein (29%)

Thinking about those in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan – the destruction is heartwrenching. Give something if you can, they need it. 

super bowl food ridiculousness

It seems that this is the week of super bowl food. Forget the commercials, it’s all about the food. Is the game even worth a mention anymore? I’m not sure…

Pinterest is FULL of cheesy dips, party foods and sweet treats. Which is pretty standard, but I swear there are more than normal! (super bowl recipe pins)

There is a full-fledged shortage of chicken wings – buy them sooner than later and you will be paying a premium!

Every article and headline is either low-calorie recipes so you don’t gain weight, or the opposite – drool-worthy, cheesy, gooey recipes that are begging to make your super bowl party food list.

Commercials are getting us geared up to think that we absolutely couldn’t watch the game without: soda, beer and a pizza delivery.

And I’ve even joined a #superbowlplus hangout on google+.

It’s a bit ridiculous, right? But what are we to do? Go completely overboard and indulge in everything we’ve seen online or on tv? Or serve some boring grilled chicken breasts with veggies and a low-fat greek yogurt dip? Don’t even get me started on soup – so not super bowl food. Ugh.

I’ve never been one for making things too healthy, and I’ve never been one to have a snack spread lacking some sort of vegetable. And even though I think it is all a bit ridiculous, I’ll still have to partake in the super bowl food fest. :) My spread will look something like this:

A balance of healthy and indulgent, fun and veggies.

What is on your super bowl food menu this year?  

*image via what the health magazine

summer crostini

Otherwise known as pesto goat cheese with fresh tomatoes on….crostini.

I thought the latter was a little long.

Few things scream summer like garden-fresh tomatoes and flavorful pesto.

And few things taste as good as summer tomatoes and pesto made from a fresh bunch of basil. Or you know, pesto from a jar – sometimes convenience rules.

It is the combination that never gets old: basil, tomato and bread. Cheese never hurts.

This summer appetizer is great because it can be made ahead of time and then just compiled when you are ready for it. If you are short on time you can always buy pre-made crostini or use melba toasts.

And I totally used jarred pesto – I just didn’t tell.

 

Summer Crostini

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: appetizer cheese July 4th Italian summer

 

Ingredients (12 servings)

  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • 8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 4-5 Tbsp pesto
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 baguette
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

Prepare crostini: thinly slice bread, brush with olive oil and broil or grill until golden brown.

Let goat cheese and cream cheese soften in bowl.

Stir to combine until smooth.

Stir in pesto.

Spread mixture on plate or platter.

Layer chopped tomato on top of cheese mixture.

Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

Serve with crostini.

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