Easy to Make Summer Appetizers
Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe provided below, (adapted from Julia's Album)
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
- ½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 can artichokes chopped (14 oz)
- 1 cup cooked spinach
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Cayenne pepper
- In a medium pan, combine cream cheese, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella cheese, and stir, over medium heat, until cream cheese melts.
- Stir in cooked spinach and chopped artichokes and cook for 1-2 minutes over low-medium heat, until everything is well combined and creamy. Stir in minced garlic, and remove from heat.
- Season with Cayenne pepper and salt, to taste.
Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Garlic-Cilantro Sauce recipe provided below, (adapted from the Medditeranean dish)
- 1.5 lb uncooked prawns
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Roasted garlic-cilantro sauce:
- 1 small head garlic, top trimmed off
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, juice of
- 1 tbsp dry white wine
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp chili sauce (or 1 tbsp dry chili flakes)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Peel, devein and rinse the prawns or your choice of shrimp. Pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Place the prawns in the fridge until ready to grill.
- Trim the top of the garlic head off, but leave the garlic intact. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Roast the garlic in the 400 degree F-heated oven for about 10-15 minutes or until slightly tender and fragrant. When ready, remove from the oven. Let cool briefly. Peel and crush or chop the roasted garlic as finely as possible.
- Now prepare the roasted garlic-cilantro sauce. In a small bowl, combine the roasted garlic with the remaining sauce ingredients of cilantro, lime juice, white wine, olive oil and chili sauce. Whisk together and set aside.
- When ready, lightly oil and heat a cast-iron grill or griddle to medium-high. Dress the prawns with a little olive oil and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. You want to achieve some char, but be careful not to overcook the prawns.
- Remove the prawns from the grill to a bowl and coat well with the roasted garlic and cilantro sauce. Transfer to a serving platter. Alternatively, transfer the grilled prawns to a serving platter and simply add the roasted garlic-cilantro sauce on the side.
- Serve with pasta or rice and a green salad for dinner; or simply as a party appetizer. Enjoy!
This is great warm or at room temperature.
Baked Zucchini Fries with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce recipe provided below, (adapted from Cookin Canuck)
- 1 medium zucchini
- ⅔ c whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- ¾ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- Olive oil cooking spray
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp basil pesto
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and set a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet. Coat the cooling rack with cooking spray.
- Cut the zucchini into 3-inch long and ¼-inch thick pieces.
- Spoon the flour into a medium bowl. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl. In a third bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Working with several zucchini pieces at a time, dredge the zucchini in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip the zucchini in the egg, then place it in the bread crumb mixture, covering completely.
- Transfer the coated zucchini pieces to the prepared rack, in a single layer. Repeat with remaining zucchini pieces.
- Light coat the zucchini with the cooking spray.
- Bake in the oven until the zucchini is tender and the breading is browned and crisp, about 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
- In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, pesto sand salt.
Honey Sesame Chicken Skewers recipe provided below, (adapted from Rasa Malaysia)
- 8 oz chicken thigh and leg meat (dark meat), cut into small pieces
- Bamboo skewers
- Oil, for brushing
- White sesame seeds
- Scallion, sliced into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese rice wine
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
- 3 dashes white pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- Rinse the chicken and cut into small pieces. Pat dry with paper towels. Soak the bamboo skewers for 30 minutes before using.
- Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients in the Marinade for 30 minutes. Make sure the Marinade nicely coat the chicken meat.
- Thread 3-4 pieces of chicken onto the bamboo skewers. Set aside.
- Heat up the grill and grill the chicken skewers on both sides, until nicely cooked and slightly charred. Brush some oil on both surfaces while grilling.
- Top the honey sesame chicken skewers with sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Serve warm.
Garlic Parmesan Yellow Squash Chips recipe provided below, (adapted from DIETHOOD)
- 4 yellow squash (small to medium), sliced into ¼-inch to ½-inch rounds
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- cooking spray (I use Organic Olive Oil by Pam)
- Serve with Non-Fat Plain Yogurt
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine squash, olive oil, salt and pepper; mix until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and garlic powder.
- Dip slices of squash in cheese mixture and coat on both sides, pressing on the coating to stick.
- Place the squash in a single layer on the previously prepared baking sheet.
- Lightly spray each slice with cooking spray. This will help with achieving a crunchier texture.
- Bake for 10 minutes; rotate pan and continue to bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until chips are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and serve with a dollop of Non-Fat Plain Yogurt.