Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday Appetizers

Each month a group of ladies from our church get together for a cooking class. As we have many countries and cultures represented in our church these are usually recipes and foods from other lands. This month I was asked to be the guest cook. It won't be to international but I am going to make and share the recipes for several appetizers. It seems that during the Holidays there are always occasions to take a yummy appetizer. Here are some of the recipes I will be making and sharing tonight.

The first one is a low fat Hummus. I love Hummus but always balk at buying the pre-made ones because of the fat content. I found this one in one of my WW cookbooks and love it! It is really very tasty! I serve it with Baked Pita Bread. One of the keys to this recipe being good is the yougurt. I use Nancy's. I have tried other ones but it has not tasted as good. It needs to be a good quality plain yogurt.


1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a food processor or blender, puree all the ingredients until blended, but still a little chunky.

Serve with Baked Pita Chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each bread round horizontally in half, then cut each half into 8 wedges. Arrange pita triangles on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. If you like, before baking spray olive oil on wedges and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and/or garlic powder.

I love this recipe for Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash ground pepper

Boil spinach and artichoke hearts in a cup of water in small saucepan over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Heat cream cheese in small bowl in microwave on high for 1 minute. Add spinach and artichoke hearts to the cream cheese and stir well. Add remaining ingredients to the cream cheese and combine. Serve hot. Serve with crackers, chips or sliced, toasted bread.

I have a little crockpot that I like to put this in. I can keep it warm and take it with me if the party is away.

Another recipe that is a nice low fat one and maybe more a summer recipe but I like it anytime of the year is Chunky Artichoke Salsa

1 jar (6.5 oz) marinated artichoke hearts
1/4 cup pitted black olives, chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
3 medium plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, snipped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Drain marinade from artichokes into medium mixing bowl. Chop artichoke hearts, olives, onions and tomotoes; add to marinade in bowl. Press garlic into vegetables; add basil and mix gently. Season with salt and pepper.

This one is great served with the Baked Pita Chips as well!

I will add a couple more later. Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!