Buffalo Cauliflower

Talk about a healthy and spicy snack! This take on anything buffalo style takes cauliflower to the next level! These little bites of goodness are also baked and not fried which makes them that much healthier!

Buffalo Cauliflower

buffalo cauliflower

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower (or 1 bag of cauliflower florets)

For the batter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
dash of Frank’s Wing Sauce or Frank’s Original Hot Sauce (or any hot sauce of your choice…I am partial to Sambal chili sauce)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried onion

For the buffalo sauce
1/4 cup Frank’s Wing Sauce (or any hot sauce of your choice…still partial to Sambal)
3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

Wash your head of cauliflower and cut into florets. You can make a variety of sizes. Or buy your cauliflower already cut into florets.

In a medium bowl, mix together the batter ingredients. It will be fairly thick.

Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter until fully and evenly coated. Place onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 15 minutes until the batter just hardens.

In a small bowl, mix together the buffalo sauce ingredients.

Once the cauliflower are done, remove from the oven and brush them with the buffalo sauce. Again, fully and evenly coat each piece.

Put back into the oven and bake for a few more minutes (5-7 minutes), until the sauce has mostly dried and the cauliflower is crispy.

Remove from the oven, let cool, then enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.persnicketyplates.com/2013/04/buffalo-cauliflower.html

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White Bean and Eggplant hummus

I made this Giada recipe a long time ago and just happened to come across it recently. It is a quick, healthy appetizer and it is yummy! My husband claims he doesn’t like eggplant but he LOVED this hummus! There are more ingredients than just eggplant which make this particular hummus addicting. Also any leftover hummus can be used as a spread on sandwiches (I am a sandwich addict).

White Bean and Eggplant Hummus

white bean and eggplant hummus

Ingredients

1 (1 1/2-pound) eggplant or 3 Japanese eggplants, trim off the top, and cut into 2-inch round pieces
Olive oil, for drizzling, plus 1/3 cup
Kosher salt, for seasoning, plus 1/2 teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
1 clove garlic
1 hothouse cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (for dipping)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place the rack in the middle.

Place the eggplant on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, combine the cooled eggplant, beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/3 cup of olive oil until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place the hummus in a dipping bowl and serve with cucumber slices or your favorite chip.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/white-bean-and-roasted-eggplant-hummus-recipe.html

Spinach Balls

I got this recipe from my aunt and I have officially declared this the easiest appetizer (and healthiest) of them all! It is a simple mix, form, and bake routine. You can have these as a side or as an appetizer but either way you can’t get any better than these bite size morsels of goodness!

Spinach Balls

spinach balls

Ingredients

2 packages of frozen chopped spinach; thawed and drained (I used frozen whole spinach in the pic above because that it what I had on hand)
2 cups italian breadcrumbs
1 medium onion, diced
4 eggs
3/4 cup melted margarine or butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Form into balls with your hands (however big or small you prefer). I usually make these as a side, so I half the recipe (because there is only 2 of us), and form the balls about the size of my palm.
Bake on a baking pan for approximately 20 minutes or until golden. Do not let them brown.

Grilled Eggplant

We have girl’s nights often and girl’s night usually equals tons of food. We all make an app or dessert and nosh on that for the evening. Me, being indecisive, can never just go to girl’s night with 1 dish. I also know I am not the only one of my girlfriends that has the same mentality. With that said, there always ends up being more than enough food for all of us. We are all pretty health conscious so I have been trying to figure out my decisions based on how healthy (and easy) they are. I found this grilled eggplant recipe and fell in love. Needless to say it was a huge hit!

Grilled Eggplant

Grilled Eggplant

Ingredients

3 eggplants, in 1 inch wide slices
⅓ cup fresh basil, chiffonade cut
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 oz crumbled goat’s cheese
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup toasted pine nuts
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

Toss the eggplant in half the olive oil and grill it over a medium hot gas or charcoal grill for about 4 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.

Arrange the grilled eggplant on a serving platter.

Sprinkle the basil, pine nuts, and goat’s cheese over the top and drizzle the balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and remaining oil over the salad.

Recipe source: http://www.grilledvegetablerecipe.com/Grilled-Vegetables/vegetable-side-dish-recipes/recipe-for-grilled-eggplant.php#.UtRtPGRDs00

Avocado Crostini

I love a good guac but I wanted to amp it up for Valentine’s Day last year. I found this recipe and I haven’t made guac the same since.

Avocado Crostini

Avocado Crostini

Ingredients

  • 1 french bread baguette, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese (secret weapon!!)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2  cup grape tomatoes, finely chopped
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake until toasted, but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
2. Using a fork, mash avocado, lime, jalapeño, cilantro, scallion, garlic, goat cheese, oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
3. Spread 1 to 2 teaspoons avocado mixture on each crostini and top with tomatoes.
Tip: Make these up to 1 hour ahead of time and keep covered at room temperature.

The source of this recipe:
http://www.recipe.com/avocado-crostini/?socsrc=recpin08912avocadocrostini

Antipasto Skewers

This recipe originally called for sausage. I like to keep my appetizers light and also have a lot of vegetarian friends so I made this into a vegetarian skewer. I replaced the sausage with mozzarella balls, and also added my own twist with a balsamic drizzle!

Antipasto Skewers

Ingredients
Cooking spray
12 ounces mozzarella balls
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
Balsamic vinegar, or cream of balsamic

Directions
Thread 1 small or 1/2 large basil leaf onto a small wooden skewer. Add a piece of roasted red pepper, mozzarella ball, and artichoke, and arrange them on the skewer. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make about two-dozen skewers. Drizzle the balsamic over all the skewers right before serving.

If you would rather have the meatier version of this recipe, visit:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/antipasto-sausage-skewers-recipe
where this recipe is originated from.