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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

750 Best Appetizers

Being healthy does not mean skipping meals, nor does it mean that you should sacrifice enjoying any part of the meal. I used to think of appetizers as something you should either skip to save calories, or something you should indulge in because they do not come around that often. However, in my quest to get healthy, I realized I have to look at everything a little differently. Maybe there is a middle ground when it comes to appetizers?

750 Best Appetizers got me rethinking my approach to food. With the holidays here, we all know that appetizers are on the minds (and plates) of everyone who cooks, plans, and enjoys parties. With 750 recipes to choose from, we are off to a good start to finding something we enjoy.
Here’s what I did to review this book: First, I grabbed a pad of sticky notes and handed it to my pickiest eater-my 13 year old. He had to go through the entire book, and mark all of the recipes that he would be willing to eat. WOW! He had to get a second pad out. Then, we chose 3 recipes each from a different section of the book (there are 16 sections) and went shopping. I found it quite simple to shop for mostly organic ingredients! Then, we made a meal out of the choices. This is what we made:

From Crackers, Crostini, Toasts and Pizza we made: Not-Your-Average Garlic Bread. This vegetarian friendly food really was above average! With only a handful of common ingredients, and only 2 steps to making it, my 12 year old tackled the task. It turned out great….hot, bubbly cottage cheese inside a loaf of Italian bread…of course, then there is the garlic; we all know my house was smelling great!

From Sticks and Picks, my son chose Bacon Wrapped Sausage Rolls…uh oh, that doesn’t sound too healthy…But, we made it better by using hormone-free turkey sausage and natural bacon. We also limited the amount we ate. That’s what it’s all about - moderation and modification.

From Panini, Sandwiches, and Tartines, we made Mini Falafel Sandwiches. What? I never even had falafel! Why did he choose this? I think he just liked the name. Turns out, these get praise from me because the main ingredient in falafel are chickpeas - a fiber and protein packed bean. I found a new meat free dish.

We only tried 3 of the 750 recipes. We picked out over a 100, and started a new weekly goal of making a whole meal of appetizers. Next week, we are testing all vegan and/or vegetarian recipes. Doesn’t Pizza with Grape Jelly and Walnut Hummus on red pepper strips sound yummy?

Do you have a cook or a picky eater on your gift list? I think you should consider getting them 750 Best Appetizers by Robert Rose Publishing. It’s easy to find at nationwide retailers, and online. I’m sure they will enjoy the book, and who knows, maybe even start a new weekly tradition!
* Robert Rose Publishing provided Cathy this product to review, and she was under no obligation to write this post. *


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