Healthy Party Appetizers

Citrus SalsaThere is plenty of research out there – scientific papers, clinical studies, etc – about the specific chemicals and substances in certain foods that can prevent cancer, make you live longer bla bla bla…

No doubt it’s all true, but these foods also taste good. So, why not combine some simple cooking with added health benefits and serve up these appetizers at your next party? Your guests might not know that you’re secretly making them healthier as they enjoy these yummy starters.

Tomato, Corn And Black Bean Salsa

Ingredients

  • I cup seeded, finely chopped fresh tomatoes
  • ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • ¼ cup finely minced red onion
  • ¼ cup finely minced cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • a few dashes of Tabasco (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Citrus Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled, sectioned, membrane removed
  • 1 lime, peeled, sectioned
  • 2 oranges, peeled, sectioned
  • 1 lemon, peeled, sectioned
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint, chopped

Method

Cut the fruit sections into small pieces. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Refrigerate, allowing the flavors to mix.

Tabouleh

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur or couscous
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • boiling water

Method

Cover bulgur/couscous with boiling water and soak until soft, about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how fine the bulgur/couscous is.

Drain well, add remaining ingredients and chill. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chunky Cranberry Dip

Ingredients

  • 8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 to 2 tbsp low fat milk
  • ½ cup chopped dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped blanched almonds
  • ½ tsp orange zest, preferably fresh

Method

In a medium bowl, place cheese and allow to soften at room temperature. Mash and work with a fork until texture is light enough to combine easily with other ingredients.

Gradually add milk until cheese becomes soft and spreadable. Mix in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days ahead or let stand at room temperature one hour before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Cinnamint Green Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 small bunch mint, about 15 sprigs, preferably spearmint
  • 4 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1 to 2 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 4 tea bags green tea
  • sugar to taste

Method

Place mint, cinnamon sticks and ginger in large saucepan. Add water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, mint, ginger and cinnamon sticks. Sweeten to taste. Pour into mugs, add cinnamon sticks for garnish and serve.

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