Category: Appetizers

Crispy Oven Baked Eggplant Flowers

Crispy Oven Baked Eggplant Flowers are golden brown and deliciously crispy on the outside, yet tender on the inside. Fun, festive, and full of parmesan flavor! This recipe can be adapted to make easy eggplant parmesan too - with no messy stove-top frying! | QueenofMyKitchen.com

For this month’s Recipe Redux challenge (creative cuts – fruits and vegetables) I chose to highlight one of summer’s most abundant vegetables – eggplant. The humble eggplant is among the most versatile of vegetables. It can be grilled, roasted, baked, fried, diced, stuffed, and rolled. You can put it on pasta or pizza, make a sandwich or dip with it, and use it in soups and stews. Eggplant takes center stage in a variety of classic dishes from divergent cultures such as Italian (eggplant parmesan), French (ratatouille), Mediterranean (moussaka), and Asian (stir-frys). And even as I’m writing this I know that I’m barely scratching the surface of the many uses and recipes for which eggplant is well suited. Since eggplant is so delicious and so plentiful this time of year, I’m sure no one will mind that I am adding to the unending list of uses for eggplant with this fun and festive recipe that’s perfect for summer – Crispy Oven Baked Eggplant Flowers. Flower shaped eggplant slices are dipped into a savory egg and olive oil mixture, then breaded and oven baked. The result is golden brown and deliciously crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside, pieces of eggplant that will knock your socks off! (more…)

Sweet Potato Black Bean Avocado Salsa

Sweet Potato Black Bean Avocado Salsa – sweet and spicy, healthy and delicious. Great with tortilla chips or on top of grilled fish, chicken, or pork. Makes a nice, simple side dish too. This is not your average salsa! | QueenofMyKitchen.com

In my recent quest to create a simple summer salsa I relied on three of my favorite foods  – sweet potatoes, black beans, and avocados.  These foods never disappoint me, no matter what recipe I put them in, so I knew they’d make a fantastic salsa.   Sweet Potato Black Bean Avocado Salsa is a sweet and spicy salsa with vibrant colors and a wonderfully zingy taste.  It’s great as an appetizer when served with tortilla chips and crackers, but it’s just as good as a topping for grilled fish, chicken, or pork.  The cool, refreshing ingredients scream “summer” but you can easily make this salsa all year-long. (more…)

Gluten-Free Spicy Cheese Straws

Gluten-Free Spicy Cheese Straws – A classic cocktail snack! These are clean tasting Parmesan cheese straws made with coconut oil instead of butter. Crispy and delicious, they go great with wine and mixed drinks. Perfect to set on the bar while entertaining or as an accompaniment to your favorite dip. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

Most cheese straws are made with gobs of butter and cheese making them very rich. They’re likely to crumble a bit when you eat them (especially the puff pastry ones) and they’ll usually leave your fingers really greasy. Gluten-Free Spicy Cheese Straws are quite different.  They’re made with just two tablespoons of coconut oil instead of butter, and contain only a small amount of Parmesan cheese. The result is a clean tasting, crispy cheese straw that won’t crumble when you bite into it, leaving you free to hold a drink in the other hand!  They’re the perfect gluten-free appetizer to set on the bar when you’re entertaining or to serve as an accompaniment to your favorite dip.

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Roasted Garlic Avocado White Bean Dip

Roasted Garlic Avocado White Bean Dip - Vegan, gluten-free and infused with fresh basil. Packed with protein, fiber and only 111 calories per 1/4 cup serving. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

Recipes for white bean dip abound in cookbooks, magazines, and the food blogosphere, and it’s easy to see why.  White bean dips have huge appeal because they are healthier and lower in calories compared to appetizers made with cheese, cream cheese, pastry, bread, and nuts.  Still, I have found most white bean dips rather bland, consisting only of pureed white beans, garlic, olive oil, and lemon. However, with a few simple recipe tweaks it’s easy to turn a basic, unexciting dip into a sensational, savory one.   Roasted Garlic White Bean Avocado Dip contains fresh basil, avocado, and roasted garlic – ingredients not commonly found in white bean dip, but ones that make this dip truly exceptional.   (more…)

Roasted Red Pepper Involtini

Roasted Red Pepper Involtini – a no cook appetizer that’s delicious, easy, elegant, colorful, gluten-free, and low in calories. Great on antipasto platters. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

If someone told you they had a recipe that was delicious, easy, elegant, colorful, low in calories, and required no cooking, you’d want to know about it pronto, right?  Well, here is that recipe – Roasted Red Pepper Involtini.  Sweet, smoky, roasted red peppers stuffed, roulade style, with prosciutto, mozzarella, and fresh basil, then cut into pieces called “involtini”, which, roughly translated means “a small bite of food” in Italian. (more…)

Potato Skins Pizza

Smashed, roasted baby potatoes masquerade as pizza crust in this seriously addictive rendition of loaded potato skins. You’ll find all of the signature ingredients you associate with classic potato skins in this delicious pizza – cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and chive infused sour cream. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

Potato Skins Pizza is my newest recipe remix and I’m so pleased with the results! Smashed, roasted baby potatoes masquerade as pizza crust in this seriously addictive rendition of loaded potato skins. In addition to the potato/potato skin base, you’ll find all of the signature ingredients you associate with classic potato skins – cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and chive infused sour cream. I’m not kidding when I say that Potato Skins Pizza takes “delicious” to a whole new level. (more…)

Basil Avocado Yogurt Sauce

Basil Avocado Yogurt Sauce - a light and refreshing sauce. The perfect condiment for grilled meat, seafood, and veggies. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

Basil Avocado Yogurt Sauce is my new favorite condiment. It’s deliciously cool with a pleasant tang, and because it’s made with Greek yogurt instead of cream or mayonnaise, it’s light and refreshing. With the warm weather fast approaching here in New England, it’s natural to gravitate toward recipes that are suitable for picnics, backyard barbecues, and all manner of summer time celebrations. This means lots of grilled meat, seafood, and vegetables with accompanying side salads and sauces. Basil Avocado Yogurt Sauce is the perfect summer time sauce for almost anything grilled and can be prepared in a matter of minutes. (more…)

Pumpkin Lentil Flax Crackers

Pumpkin Lentil Flax Crackers - perfect for a Thanksgiving gathering. Vegan, gluten-free and made with super healthy ingredients. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

These Pumpkin Lentil Flax Crackers would be perfect as an appetizer for a Thanksgiving gathering. They’re festive and chock-full of healthy ingredients like lentils, flaxseed, coconut oil, and beets – yes, beets! This recipe was a bit of an accident. Earlier this year I was trying to make a cracker in honor of Valentines Day and wanted to use a natural ingredient to color the dough red so I added beets, which did in fact make the dough a beautiful shade of red. The only problem was that when baked the color of the dough faded to orange. The crackers still tasted delicious so I posted the recipe anyway but they were not what I had envisioned. I did, however, make a mental note to recycle this recipe for Thanksgiving because the crackers turned out to be the perfect shade of pumpkin orange! If you don’t like beets I hope you won’t shy away from making these delicious crackers. I don’t like beets but I love these crackers. I know it sounds odd to use beets as an ingredient in crackers but you don’t really taste them – they just give the crackers a hearty, earthy quality that would be lacking without them. (more…)

Quinoa Cannellini Cakes

A gluten free quinoa recipe that is healthy, delicious, and versatile. Serve as an appetizer, main course, or on top of a salad. Quinoa Cannellini Cakes are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and protein packed. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

Over the past several years the food blogosphere has been completely overrun with quinoa recipes, so I was reluctant to publish this post but these little Quinoa Cannellini Cakes are so delicious I just had to share! The first time I had ever heard of quinoa was probably about 10 years ago. Back then it was being touted as a revived ancient grain and a nutrient dense alternative to rice and beans. Since then quinoa’s popularity has exploded and now it seems every food blog, cookbook, lifestyle magazine, and restaurant is espousing the virtues of quinoa and using it in new and different ways. People are making desserts, muffins, and pizza crusts with quinoa, and even drinking it. Quinoa’s versatility and nutritional value has made it a darling of the health food world. It’s a gluten-free superfood and is considered a “complete protein” because it has all 9 essential amino acids, making it appealing to vegans and vegetarians, as well as those who are simple trying to eat less meat. So if you haven’t yet incorporated quinoa into your diet start now! (more…)