Healthy-snack

10 Quick and Easy Appetisers

Next time you’re throwing a dinner party, why not serve a few different appetisers instead of a main course? Not only are they quick and easy to prepare (seriously, each appetiser takes about 10 minutes), but they taste amazing and are so versatile!

RELATED: Clean Spaghetti Bolognese With Zucchini Noodles Recipe

Here is a few of our go-to appetisers which are appropriate for any type of occasion:

Spring garden salad

Try a classic spring salad featuring seasonal crunchy vegetables with a delicious dressing – perfect for the entire family. If you want to add a little extra texture to this salad, feel free to add some some asparagus and peas into the mix.

1

Crostini

Who can resist a classic crostini? They’re bite-sized, easy to eat standing up and taste amazing! Experiment with some of your favourite toppings such as salmon, chicken, turkey and even vegetarian options.

2

Prawn stir fry

Prepare a delicious prawn stir fry for your guests for lunch or even a late dinner. Make sure you don’t forget to add the soy sauce before serving, and add something sweet such as grapefruit or orange essence for a sweet taste.

3

Tomato, feta and green beans

A classic green bean salad is a standard dish for most households, especially during the warmer months of the year. To make sure your salad has a little extra crunch, add the green beans at the end and cook for only 3-5 minutes.

4

Zucchini ciabatta

Zucchini are so quick and easy to prepare, especially if time is not on your side! Drizzle the ciabatta bread with some olive oil and grill until golden brown.

5

Vegetable frittatas

Combine the best of eggs, red onion, parsley, chives and basil into a fine paste, then grill into small patties. Cook until golden brown, then serve with fresh vegetables at room temperature.

6

Red cabbage salad

There are few things which are healthier than a red cabbage salad, but we’re keeping things tasty here! For a light, tangy flavour, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top and add some of your favourite summer fruits into the recipe. We recommend sliced strawberries or red apples.

7

Cucumber and avocado rolls

To really impress your guests, create this easy cucumber roll recipe featuring delicious avocado. Simply slice the cucumber, then add one tablespoon of mashed avocado into the centre.

8

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

For a quick appetiser to enjoy on-the-go, nothing beats this amazing prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Grill for just a few minutes, then drizzle some olive oil and lemon over the top.

9

Fig and cheese flatbread

Finally, we’re finishing up with this delicious flatbread. Buy it made, warm it over a hot pan, and add some sliced gorgonzola cheese, fig and drizzled honey over the top.

10

Images via Sunset, Style and Cheek, Taste, J Bean Cuisine, BBC Good Food, Good To Know, The Perfect Pantry, Pure Ella, Eight Wild Boars

April 29, 2015

Healthy Snack Alert: Hummus

What do you usually reach for at snack time? Is it a piece of fruit, or some nuts? Or is it more along the lines of a little chocolate bar (or 3) and a packet of chips? Whatever your go-to snack is, listen up, because I have a delicious, healthy snack that will make you excited for snack time!

RELATED: Meet The New Supermarket Superfoods

Hummus is an often overlooked dip that is perfect for snack time. Combined with some sticks of carrot or celery, having hummus as a snack is very beneficial for your bod.

Hummus is made from chickpeas, which are often referred to as a super food, due to their extensive list of healthy benefits. The delicious dip is packed full of fibre, which helps your digestion, and protein, which keeps you fuller for longer. This also helps to control your cravings and keeps your hair and nails healthy. These benefits make hummus good for weight control, so switching up your snacks could really help out your goals.

Hummus also contains all the good fats, which can help to lower your cholesterol and can improve your iron levels. The creamy dip is also full of antioxidants and helps to keep skin and hair looking healthy, making you beautiful on the inside and the outside.

All these benefits of hummus are great for you and your body, and there is a huge range to choose from in the super market, including heaps of different flavours. But sometimes, there can be nasty ingredients lurking within them, so it’s a good idea to check the label.

However, one of the other benefits of hummus is that it is really easy to make! Made of chickpeas, tahini, garlic and olive oil, the ingredients can be put into a food processor and blended until smooth. The result? A a creamy dip perfect for those carrot sticks or used as a substitute to butter on bread.

Image via greciandelight.com

April 20, 2015

Avocado Summer Rolls Recipe

Take advantage of the summer to create quick and easy dinner rolls for the entire family. All you really need is a handful of avocados, mixed with some of your favourite vegetables or sweet fruits for a delicious filling.

RELATED: Chicken Avocado Patties Recipe

Ingredients

4 tbsp smooth almond butter

2 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp soy sauce

2 medium ripe avocados (peeled, pitted, sliced)

1 lime

3/4 cup pistachio nuts (chopped)

1 tsp hazelnut oil

Sea salt

Handful of baby spinach

15 rice paper wrappers

3 medium peaches (pitted and sliced)

1 cup mixed fresh basil and mint leaves

Method

  1. Create the sauce by whisking together the almond butter, tamarind paste, maple syrup, ginger, and soy sauce until you have a smooth consistency.
  2. For the wraps, place the avocado slices into a dish, and squeeze the lime juice over. Then, mix the pistachios with hazelnut oil and a pinch of sea salt.
  3. Combine the spinach leaves with the rest of the hazelnut oil, and toss gently.
  4. Fill a flat dish with warm water and gently soak the rice paper one at a time. Place 1-2 peach slices in the middle of each wrapper, then 2-3 avocado slices, a few spinach, basil, and mint leaves, then with a spoonful of pistachios.
  5. If you’re having some trouble rolling up the paper, fold at the bottom then wrap on each side firmly.

Images and Recipe via Katie At The Kitchen Door

November 17, 2014

Healthy Pumpkin Dip Recipe

‘Tis the season to eat pumpkin! This fall favorite has a place in every meal, am I right? The healthy pumpkin dip is both great as an afternoon snack for you and your kids, or with nibbles at your Halloween party. The best part? It is so easy to make! All you need are a few ingredients, ten minutes and a blender!

RELATED: Pumpkin Pecan Maple Granola Recipe

Ingredients

1 small fresh pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes (you will need just over half a pound)

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the pumpkin in a pot and cover with cold water. Place on stove on high heat until the water boils, then lower the heat to simmer. Cook the pumpkin for approx. 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add a tablespoon of oil and the cumin seeds to a small frypan and cook on low heat. Once the cumin seeds start to sizzle, take off heat and add chilli flakes. This allows both the flavours of the cumin and the chilli to infuse into the oil.
  3. Put the cooked pumpkin and half of the cumin and chilli mixture into a food processor (or bowl, if you have a stick mixer). Blend till smooth. You can add the olive oil, 1 spoon at a time, as necessary to help blend. The mixture shouldn’t be too runny, but smooth and dense.
  4. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a small bowl or dish, garnished with the remainder of the cumin and chilli mixture.
  5. Serve pita bread, or a crusty baguette.
October 31, 2014

Healthy Snack Recipe: Falafel

Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food which can be served as a snack, or as part of a larger meal. It is a healthy vegetarian meal, comprised mostly of chickpeas, and full of fiber and protein. Falafel can be served on its own, but is also often served in pita bread or wrapped in flat bread with salads and sauces, usually with tahini or hot sauce. Yum…

RELATED: 5-Minute Hummus Recipe

Makes approx 30

Ingredients

1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas

1 small brown onion, roughly chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

4 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tbsp flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Pinch of ground cardamom

Vegetable oil for frying

Hummus or tahini to serve

Method

  1. Put dry chickpeas into a large bowl, cover in water and soak overnight. Drain the next day when ready to continue with recipe.
  2. Pour the chickpeas into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom. Blend mixture, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as required. Continue until you achieve a coarse paste.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, mixing through with a fork. Remove any large chickpea chunks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  4. Fill a skillet with vegetable oil (roughly 1 1/2 inches deep), heat over medium heat. Using wet hands or an ice-cream scoop (there is a special falafel scoop, if you have one), mould the mixture into balls. Before shaping and frying the whole batch, do a test one first. If the balls don’t stick together, put the mixture back into the blender and blend a bit longer.
  5. To fry, place falafel in oil and cook until brown on each side, rotating when needed. It should take 2-3 minutes to brown the falafel on each side. If it browns a lot quicker than this, your oil is too hot and the falafel may not cook through to the center. When you have it right, you can cook more than one falafel at a time.
  6. Once they are cooked, remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to remove some of the excess oil.
  7. Serve while hot – but not too hot! – with hummus or tahini.
October 6, 2014

Make Your Own Healthy Nutella

You may not have realized, but hazelnut spread is so easy to make at home. Not only is it healthier that the sugar-filled versions available in supermarkets, but it will also be cheaper in the long-run. This quick and easy recipe is a great for kids and adults, and is a killer cure for those sweet-cravings.

RELATED: Home made muesli bars recipe

Ingredients

2 cups roasted hazelnuts

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup cashew milk

1/4 cup cacao powder

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 tsp sea salt

Method

  1. Put hazelnuts into a food processor and blend for a few minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and keep blending at medium speed, scraping down the sides if need be. It should take up to 10 minutes before it turns into a smooth, delicious butter.

TIP: The key to making the best spread is to blend it well – unless, of course, you enjoy a bit of texture.

September 30, 2014

Savoury Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

Some kids don’t like sandwiches so this muffin is a great alternative. It is a nutritious lunch or even breakfast option as it is high in fibre and low sugar and salt.

Makes 12

Ingredients

1 cup grated Japanese pumpkin

150g butter

1 1/2 cups self-raising wholemeal flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 zucchini, grated

2 eggs

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Cook pumpkin and butter in a saucepan for around 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Then place mixture in a patty case-lined muffin tray.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops have browned.

Recipe via The Healthy Mummy

August 27, 2014

Best Baking Recipes: Little Pear and Vanilla Cakes

How sweet are these lovely pear and vanilla cakes? They make a wonderful alternative to your morning muffin, or serve as an elegant afternoon tea treat. The aroma of baking pears and warm vanilla is heavenly!

Makes 12

Ingredients

2 litres water
2 2/3 cups (370g) caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
12x 125g Beurre Bosc pears, peeled and cored

Vanilla cake

125 g butter, softened
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups (190g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk

Method

1. Place the water, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Add the pears, cover with a round of non-stick baking paper and a lid, and cook for 25–30 minutes or until tender.

3. Drain on absorbent paper, set aside and allow to cool.

4. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until pale and creamy.

5. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition.

6. Fold in the flour and milk.

7. Line 12x 1 cup (250ml) capacity muffin tins with paper cases and spoon ¼ cup (60ml) of the mixture into each case.

8. Carefully push in the pears and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

Recipe: Australian Pears

What’s your favourite morning tea treat?

September 16, 2013