Posts Tagged ‘Appetizers’

Cauliflower Hawaiian Balls (Paleo)

This week has been ridiculously cold. To the point where I have been rather unproductive; my survival instincts have taken over and I rather curl up in a ball under the covers than do homework. Unfortunately, my professors didn’t get the memo 😦

The only comfort I got was the space heater in my basement. My brother and I would come home from school, crank the heater on high and sit in front of it until our skin literally turned red. That is, until this week when it no longer turned on. Apparently my dad did get the memo (the bill) that we were using it and he shut off the heater 😦 😦

And so, to mentally escape the cold, I am posting a rather tropical recipe today. Hey, if I can’t live in Hawaii right now, I can pretend with food, right?

(The answer to that is a resounding “yes”).    

Cauliflower Hawaiian Balls

Cauliflower Hawaiian Balls (Paleo)

Ingredients:

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets

1 egg

1 cup pineapple, divided

2 tbsp cilantro

1/2 tbsp garlic powder 

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup bell pepper (any color), chopped into small pieces

2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup precooked ham, chopped into small bits

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and oil a baking sheet.

In a food processor, process cauliflower until it resembles rice. Add in egg, a 1/2 cup of the pineapple, cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and process until evenly mixed.

Transfer cauliflower mixture to a bowl and mix in bell pepper, the rest of the pineapple, shredded coconut, and ham.

Roll into small balls (I get anywhere from 35-40 balls) and place on baking pan.

Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from tray (NOTE: Use a spatula for removal- it gets until the Hawaiian balls and lifts them with leaving anything behind).

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Pear and Cheese Tarts (Grain-Free and Paleo Crust)

I now officially love Superbowl Sundays. But not for the typical American reason. In fact, this year I lied to several people about having too much homework to do to attend Superbowl parties (sorry mom and dad).

As a result, I had the house to myself and full reign in the kitchen to try out some “inventions” I’ve been itching to try.

With the Superbowl playing in the background (I had to see if I was winning any block games!), I set to work. By the time 4th quarter rolled around, I had my own array of Superbowl foods to eat all by myself. Including this

I believe a new tradition has just been born 🙂

Pear and Cheese Tarts (Grain-Free and Paleo Crust)

Pear and Cheese Tarts (Grain-Free and Paleo Crust)

Ingredients:

1 cup tapioca flour

1/2 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

pepper

1 egg

1/4 cup water

——-

1 cup shredded cheese (I used a mixture of mozzarella and gorgonzola)

1 large pear

optional: balsamic vinegar

optional: basil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine tapioca flour, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add in the egg and water and mix altogether for about 20 seconds (do NOT add extra water). The dough will be oddly gooey and slippery (don’t worry- it doesn’t stay this way). Transfer dough to a greased baking pan and allow to spread. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Take out, add on a layer of cheese and then top with pears. Place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. If desired, top with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper before serving.

Sweet Pepper Nachos (Grain-Free)

Every Tuesday evening, I visit my mom. If school and work isn’t bogging me down, I try to plan and prepare a nice meal. Just a small way to say thank you for feeding me for the last 2 decades (and, of course, I love having free reign of a kitchen 🙂 ) 

And the last Tuesday before school starts up calls for an extra special meal. This meant appetizers, side dishes, and a dessert. 

And nachos. 

But not with chips (I restrict my grain intake). Rather, I used mini peppers! 

Recently, raw peppers have graduated to the Top 10 List of my favorite foods. I down those babies like it’s my job. 

Anyway, I actually prefer the peppers to the chips. Plus, the bright yellows, oranges, and reds make it much more appealing!    

Sweet Pepper Nachos (Grain-Free) Sweet Pepper Nachos 

Ingredients: 

1 lb ground meat 

1 purple onion, chopped 

2 medium tomatoes, diced 

2 tsp cumin 

2 tsp garlic powder 

2 tsp paprika 

1 tsp chili powder 

1 tsp dried oregano 

salt and pepper

Mini sweet peppers 

Cheddar cheese (or any other cheese you desire) 

Directions: 

Cook meat and onion over medium heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and spices and cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut sweet peppers in half and stretch out. Place in a single layer on a baking pan (make sure peppers are pressed close together!). When the meat is finished, spread on top of peppers. Top with desired amount of cheese and place in a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes.

Eggplant Chip Nachos in Wasabi Sauce (Cheese-less)

When I go on vacation, I often have trouble finding something to eat at a restaurant.

Most places serve something over an abundance of pasta. I’ll eat a little pasta here and there, but not when it makes up most of my meal. I don’t eat meat when I’m out cause 95% of the time it’s not organic and shot up with god knows what. Normally I do grilled seafood, but at the place we went, it was rather expensive. So I ended up picking…

nachos!

Something I thought I’d never get.

Not a fan of the yellow mystery cheese.

But these nachos had no cheese. Instead, it had a bit of some wasabi sauce mixed in. There was so much stuff in the nachos that I dug my way around the chips (my family ate those) and still had left overs! It was so good that I had to recreate it.

Unfortunately, I do not have the money to grill me up some tuna steak, so I had to use canned tuna instead. Oh well, still tasted amazing. I also made eggplant chips instead of using tortilla chips. They came out of the oven nice and crispy, but when I mixed them in at the end, they kinda grew soft. Therefore, I advise just serving them on the side and using them as dippers if you want a “nacho” feel. Either way, it tastes amazing!

Eggplant Chip Nachos in Wasabi Sauce (Cheese-less)

Eggplant Chip Nachos in Wasabi Sauce (Cheese-less) 

Ingredients:

1 Eggplant

salt

pepper, to taste

5 (or more) large romaine lettuce leaves

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 large heirloom tomato, finely chopped

1 tbsp jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

1 5oz can of tuna, drained

Optional: Mashed avocado and/or salsa

         Wasabi Sauce:

1 and 1/2 tbsp wasabi

1 tbsp sour cream

1 tsp horseradish

1 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions: 

Spray baking pans with cooking oil. Cut the eggplant into thin coins, as thin as you can make them. Quarter the coined slices. Lay the slices on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes. Afterwards, blot up water that forms on top of the eggplant with another paper towel. Arrange slices on baking pans and spray with cooking oil of choice. Sprinkle with pepper and bake at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes, removing individual eggplant chips if they become crisp earlier.

Meanwhile, take several leaves of lettuce at a time, twist together, and cut into strips with kitchen shears. Spread out on serving platter. Top with chopped shallots and place in fridge.

In a small bowl, mix together wasabi ingredients. Also place in fridge.

Right before serving, add black beans, tomatoes, pepper, tuna, and wasabi sauce. Toss together. Add in eggplant chips and toss again (or just leave on the side to keep crisp). Mix in mashed avocado and/or salsa, if desired.

Eggplant Chip Nachos in Wasabi Sauce (Cheese-less)

Bruschetta

I had given up on my garden. To me, it just looks like a weedy wasteland. Yet, my dad trekked on through there and, what do you know, my tomato and bell pepper plants seem to have come back from the dead. My “zombie” tomatoes (in the spirit of the season) went to good use in order to make this basic bruschetta. (Note: no mutations have occurred from eating this as of yet).

Bruschetta 

Ingredients:

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 shallots, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp basil

1/4 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper  

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve on top of toasted bread or crackers (a lot of times, I’ll just eat it with a spoon) and sprinkle on more basil.