Appealing Appetizers

I love appetizers!  In fact, many times I will make appetizers the main meal, especially when dining out.  I also love a casual get-together where instead of a formal dinner party, drinks and fun appetizers are served.  I know some folks tend to shy away from appetizers because some of them are diet disasters–loaded with fat and calories.  However, there are plenty of healthy alternatives available if you do your research.  Plus, some of those naughtier options can be reworked to create a lighter version.
These Sweet Potato Avocado Bites are perfect for a party as they are delicious and eye catching.  An extra bonus is they’re 100 percent vegan.  Spices like cumin, smoked paprika and fresh lime juice give these appetizers a great flavor.

sweet potato avocado bites
Photo courtesy of Blissful Basil
Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Reduction is one of my favorite appetizers and with the summer season approaching, tomatoes will be in their peak season.  This is really such a simple dish to prepare–you just need fresh, large tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and fresh mozzarella cheese.  Another terrific thing is you can assemble this dish ahead of time, refrigerate and then pour the balsamic dressing on it just before serving.

Photo courtesy of Little Broken
Zucchini Pizza Bites are like pizza without the guilt!  Plus, you can easily pop them into your mouth in one bite.  Again, a great appetizer for the summer months as zucchini comes into season (and you’re looking for something to do with all the zucchini your garden is producing).  An extra bonus on this appetizer is that your kids will most likely go for it as well.

Photo courtesy of The Comfort of Cooking
Another terrific vegan option are these Cucumber Avocado Rolls.  The spread is really zesty, made with avocado, garlic, lime juice, basil leaves and salt/pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with a little paprika for extra flavor and color.

Photo courtesy of It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Mushrooms are one of the most popular appetizers, but many of the options include high calorie stuffing mixes.  Instead, try this recipe for Garlic Mushroom Kabobs and you’ll keep all the flavor, but lose the calories and fat.  Plus, they are really easy to prepare.  These mushrooms are quickly marinated in a blend of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and herbs and then roasted to bring out their natural flavor.  You can also grill them if you prefer.

garlic mushroom kabobs
Photo courtesy of Damn Delicious
Give these appetizers a go for your next party or even as a starter for dinner one night.  I’m sure they’ll be a hit.  Next week I’ll cover some meatless options for a festive Cinco de Mayo.
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