Quick bites » Appetizers

Category: Appetizers

Pizza Squares with Cauliflower Crust

Pizza Squares with Cauliflower Crust- Perfect for entertaining, this low carb, gluten-free cauliflower crust pizza is easy to make, has simple ingredients and tastes so good!
Perfect for entertaining, this low carb, gluten-free cauliflower crust pizza is easy to make, has simple ingredients and tastes so good!

“I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes. I was not additionally compensated for my time.”

If you haven’t noticed already, there’s a cauliflower craze going on! Who knew this simple cruciferous vegetable would be so versatile? Lately I’ve seen recipes for roasted cauliflower, cauliflower gratin, rice, breadsticks, cheese sauce, tater tots and mashed cauliflower! I’ve even tried a few and they are all so good.   What a great way to sneak in some veggies or just enjoy them in new ways!

I was excited to try out these Pizza Squares with Cauliflower Crust for the January Recipe ReDux contest sponsored by Cabot Cheese. The lovely folks at Cabot Creamery sent us a variety of samples of their amazing cheddar cheeses. Wow. What a treat! My husband and I happen to looooove sharp cheddar. I will definitely be buying more in the future!

The challenge of this contest was to create lightened up snacks/apps/finger foods for entertaining. Even though the holidays are over, we’ve still got the Super Bowl next week and what could be more delicious than munching on homemade pizza, guilt free! You seriously can’t even tell you’re eating cauliflower.

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Loaded Apple Nachos

These Loaded Apple Nachos are drizzled with a mixture of nut butter and honey, and then sprinkled with California Raisins, white and dark chocolate chips, granola and strawberries. Perfect for your next holiday party for after school snack for the kids. Very simple, sweet, colorful, fun and healthy!
These Loaded Apple Nachos are drizzled with a mixture of nut butter and honey, and then sprinkled with California Raisins, white and dark chocolate chips, granola and strawberries. Perfect for your next holiday party for after school snack for the kids. Very simple, sweet, colorful, fun and healthy!

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

I’m excited to participate in this month’s Recipe ReDux contest sponsored by California Raisins. The theme is “Naturally Sweet for the Holidays with California Raisins”. We were challenged to create a delicious and nutritious holiday recipe using wholesome California Raisins. Challenge accepted!

It’s now that time of the year when we are all faced with the temptation of eating masses of indulgent sweets. Cookie exchanges, work parties, holiday meals, food gifts, baking traditions! Today I am sharing a delicious and fun recipe you can feel good about serving at your next holiday party. Loaded Apple Nachos! They would also make a great snack for after school snack or a special occasion for the kids.

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Sweet Corn & Pea Tomato Pesto Bruschetta

Sweet Corn & Pea Tomato Pesto Bruschetta-Two simple bruschetta recipes that are flavorful, quick and sure to impress a crowd.
Two simple bruschetta recipes that are flavorful, quick and sure to impress a crowd!

“I received free samples of Libby’s new Vegetable Pouches mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Libby’s and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

I’m excited to participate in my second monthly Recipe Redux contest. Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables is sponsoring this month’s challenge. They have a new product coming out to the shelves January 2015 and are challenging us to create healthy and delicious appetizers, soups, salads and side dishes, which can be made in ten minutes or less!

Let me introduce you to….Libby’s Vegetable Pouches! They are a time efficient and healthy source of shelf-stable vegetables that can be warmed up in their packaging within seconds! Not to mention they are environmentally friendly (the bag uses less energy to produce and compresses nicely for disposal), BPA free and are easy to open. The vegetable pouches will be available in five varieties: sliced carrots, sweet peas, cut green beans, mixed vegetables and sweet corn.

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Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries- Crispy baked sweet potato fries tossed in flavorful Cajun spice seasoning.  Makes a tasty yet healthy side dish or game-day snack!
Crispy baked sweet potato fries tossed in flavorful Cajun spice seasoning. Makes a tasty yet healthy side dish or game-day snack!

Recipe Redux’s October challenge theme is “Spooky Spices”: “You know they are lurking there: Way in the back of your spice drawer. There lie the herbs, spices, or rubs that are getting dusty because you’re afraid to use them… you simply don’t know what to do with them! Well, pull them out and show us a recipe you created to deliciously conquer that fearful spice. (Or maybe the recipe was a flop – and the spice still give you nightmares?!)”

So as instructed, I went digging in the back of my spice cabinet and found this container of Slap Ya Mama” Cajun seasoning my grandpa gave me a while ago.

My grandpa is one funny guy. He’s a pretty simple man but also has certain favorite things he labels as “the best”, whether it’s a particular brand of pajamas or type of mustard. He goes on and on why it’s “the best” and will stay very loyal to it.   

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Savory Butternut Squash Soup with Homemade Croutons

Savory Butternut Squash Soup with Homemade Croutons- The perfect bold and savory soup for fall time, and it’s so simple to make!  The croutons are the cherry on the cake ☺
The perfect bold and savory soup for fall time, and it’s so simple to make! The croutons are the cherry on the cake. ☺

What better way to start celebrating fall then enjoying a cozy bowl of Savory Butternut Squash Soup? And then top if off with the most amazing delicious homemade croutons! Yeah, I’m still pretending we’re having fall weather over here in Arizona (it’s still 100 degrees). But a girl can dream right? It was actually the perfect day for soup when I made this because we were having a cooler rainy day. Hence the light looking rainy-ish in my photos. Maybe it worked out in my favor though?

This soup has such an amazing flavor. With the onion, garlic, vegetables and herbs it has more of a bold and savory taste vs. a sweeter apple or pear butternut soup. Plus, the added chopped vegetables heighten the flavor and give it a little more texture.

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Summer Fruit Salsa

Summer Fruit Salsa- A fresh and juicy salsa made up of strawberries, mangos, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro and avocado
Summer Fruit Salsa- A fresh and juicy salsa made up of strawberries, mangos, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro and avocado

Here is another light and summery recipe for you! I’ve been making this summer fruit salsa for a few years now and it is SO fresh, juicy and yummy. It’s the perfect refreshing snack to munch on while lounging out by the pool on a hot day. Well at least I imagine I’d be doing that if I had my own pool. 🙂 It also makes a fun and unique appetizer, instead of your typical salsa, to bring to your next gathering. Some fruit salsas are also made with homemade cinnamon chips, but I actually prefer it with regular chips because of the tasty sweet n salty combination. Pair it with a tasty marg and you are good to go!

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Zucchini Pizza Boats

Zucchini Pizza Boats- Crispy zucchini topped with garlic, cheese, tomatoes and basil, and then baked until golden and bubbling with cheesy goodness.
Crispy zucchini topped with garlic, cheese, tomatoes and basil, and then baked until golden and bubbling with cheesy goodness.

These crispy zucchini boats are topped with garlic, cheese, tomatoes and basil, and then baked until golden and bubbling with cheesy goodness. They would make an excellent side dish, snack or appetizer.   I just  them because they are so easy and have the flavors of a pizza or garlic toast, without the bread!

You’ll likely have all of these ingredients in your kitchen already, so this makes a quick veggie side dish to whip up real quick! It bet it would taste amazing to even put a little pizza sauce on there too or any other toppings you may have.

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Cilantro Hummus

Cilantro Hummus
Cilantro Hummus- a tasty twist on traditional hummus, easy to make, and tastes so much better homemade!

I had my first taste of hummus about 10 years ago when my brother-in-law took us to this small Middle Eastern restaurant in Tempe called Haji-Baba. I was hesitant. Dipping pita bread in this light brown paste did not look appetizing. But then I had my first taste and I was surprised how flavorful and amazing it was! Besides just eating it with pita bread, it is delicious as a spread in a sandwich or wrap, on pizza, or served with fresh or grilled vegetables. This is also a fun dip for kids and a great way to sneak in some veggies 😉

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