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

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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?

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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

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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.

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

thanksgiving drinks, menu, dessert, table and leftovers!

In the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, it seems to be impossible to talk about anything else. Obviously I’m guilty. Next Thursday can’t come soon enough!

And as much as I love our LA Thanksgivings, I have to admit that I’m also really missing our annual “Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving” with friends this year. Things would definitely be different (think more babies and less drinks) but oh what fun we had! (Whine over.)

What are you cooking this year? I’m making a challah stuffing for my work potluck this week and probably some sort of vegetable next week. Still need some inspiration? I’ve rounded up the best drinks, menus, desserts, and my favorite – leftovers! 

1. Thanksgiving Drinks via Food & Wine 2. Pacific Northwest Thanksgiving via Epicurious 3. Table Settings for every dish via Real Simple 4.Thanksgiving Desserts via Martha Stewart 5. The Five Best Leftover Turkey Recipes by Chefs via Epicurious 

More fun:  Martha’s Thanksgiving Tips | How to Set a Thanksgiving Table 

PS: This Thanksgiving is also the first night of Hanukkah…and THANKSGIVUKKAH was born! (It’s been a fun holiday on pinterest – think sweet potato latkes and pumpkin pie sufganiyot!)

 

lentil, beet & goat cheese salad

I’ve been making great little “bento box” lunches lately. It’s worth mentioning that I don’t have a real bento box. It’s a gladware plastic container.

But it serves the same purpose and I’m kind of obsessed with these lunches. The biggest portion is reserved for vegetables – usually grape tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers or green beans; the small portion is for seaweed salad (I know, such a random Costco purchase); and the medium is for a lentil salad. And then I’ll add a chicken sausage or hard-boiled eggs on the side. Sometimes I keep it simple and toss the lentils with green onions, an easy dressing and some quinoa. And sometimes things get a little fancier.

Like beets, goat cheese and shallots fancier. I can’t take the credit for the idea, it came from a cafe near my office (clementine) but it is a delicious mix of slightly sweet + savory. In this particular lentil salad, beets are diced as finely as possible and tossed with lentils, shallots, goat cheese and a mustardy vinaigrette.

Side note: lentils are my favorite bean of all time. Please say you love them as much as I do!

This salad makes the perfect side dish (and could totally work as a main salad too) for lunches or dinners and if you buy pre-cooked lentils and beets, it comes together quickly! Because I tend to make rather involved packed lunches, I usually take any shortcuts I can get. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we have!

Lentil, Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: salad side gluten-free high fiber high protein kosher vegetarian beans cheese fall

 

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • 16 oz (about 3 cups) cooked lentils
  • 8 oz (about 1 1/2 cups) beets, diced as small as possible
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • optional: sliced green onion for garnish

Instructions

Soak sliced shallots in cold water for at least 10 minutes. (To make them a little less potent.)

Whisk together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard and salt & pepper. Toss with salad.

Toss together with remaining ingredients.

Top with crumbled goat cheese and garnish with green onion.

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