Super Tapas

One of our subscribers called and requested healthy appetizers for the Super Bowl. We got to work right away on the project and decided to have a little fun with a tapas theme. Tapas means little plates and these dishes originate from many Mediterranean countries. So, we started making many small plates of vegetables and fruit and stored them away. We note that it is better to make many small plates rather than one big platter because the smaller plates are more palatable. You can also make the display more interesting with an eclectic array of dishes.

We had some people over the next day and exclaimed that they were getting our Super Bowl fare. The end result? Empty plates! That is always good.

Now, these are very simple. Simple enough for kids to make. And they are healthy.

Veggies with Cucumber Yogurt Dill Dip

1 cup strained non-fat yogurt (you can buy this in the dairy section of your grocery store or strain nonfat plain yogurt over night in a strainer with a paper towel on the bottom)

1/2 cup diced cucumber

1 tsp fresh chopped dill

dash garlic powder

Mix the dip and place in a small serving bowl. Surround with cucumber sticks, baby carrots and bell pepper rings.

Chips with Low-Salt Salsa

We figure everyone loves chips so we know we will not get away with leaving them out. We picked tortilla chips and salsa because the salsa is made from veggies. And the blue corn chips have plenty of anthocyanin which is good.

We made the salsa quickly from low-sodium canned tomatoes.

1 14 ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

dash hot pepper sauce

Place in food processor and pulse until the salsa is chunky. Pour into serving dish and surround with white and blue corn chips.

Tomato Pinwheels

Tomato Pinwheels look impressive but they are very easy to make.

1 whole wheat tortilla (we tried to find one that is lower than 300 mg of sodium)

2 tablespoons prepared hummus (we tried to find one that is not too high in sodium - the varieties in our deli varied so it paid to read the label - this one was less than 100 mg of sodium per serving)

1 chopped plum tomato

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes

Spread the whole wheat tortilla with the hummus. Place the diced tomatoes on one end and roll tightly. Cut in 1 inch pieces and arrange in a circle on a plate. Place the grape/cherry tomatoes in the center.

Veggies With Hummus

Here is another small veggie plate that is not the standard stale veggie platter you find in most grocery stores - and it is a way to use up the hummus from the pinwheels.

1 cup hummus
1 cup celery sticks
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup broccoli florets (tops)
Arrange the veggies on a plate surrounding the hummus. If you want a little red color on the hummus you can add a little tomato paste.

Fruit Tapas

Dried fruit is popular in the Mediterranean. We made a platter with figs (cut them in half so they look better), dried cranberries, dried plums (this is a sneaky word for prunes), and apple wedges. We cheated and used the apple wedges that are already cut and in bags in the grocery store.

By making these 5 small plates and arranging them around the room you have a nice appetizer spread or great snack plates in your refrigerator. Use them for the Super Bowl or for any time of year - for parties or after school snacks. Everyone loves the variety!

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