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 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.
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!
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.