No Cook Tricolor Vegetable Pate

Tricolor vegetable pate will be a hit at your next party – surprise: it’s healthy!

Tricolor Vegetable Pate

Tircolor Vegetable Pate is the answer to the question: Can a dish be decadent and good for you at the same time?

And with New Year’s Eve coming this beautiful party spread will look so festive for your party spread.

It was truly shocking to me how great this recipe was. I mean, c’mon, its vegetables. Who would think of vegetables as a luscious party spread? But it is my favorite party spread of all time. Layers and layers of flavor. Bright and refreshing. The raw garlic adds a nice bite. So good on toasted baguette slices. I just can’t say enough good things about this amazing spread!

You could use toasted baguette slices, or use cucumber or other vegetables if you’re going grain-free. Either way, this will be the first spread to go at your party, I promise.

The list of ingredients makes this recipe look a little daunting, but all you do is dump each layer’s ingredients into your food processor and whirl it. It’s easy, really.

Happy Feasting All

Tricolor Vegetable Pate
Yields one 10 by 5 inch terrine or loaf pan

Line your pan with plastic wrap, overlapping sides.

White Bean Layer

2 x 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained thoroughly
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 garlic cloves, pressed

Mash beans in large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom of prepared pan.

Red Pepper Layer
7-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, chopped
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Combine peppers and feta in processor and blend until smooth. Spread pepper mixture evenly over bean layer in prepared dish.

Pesto Layer
2 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

Mince garlic in processor. Add basil, parsley and pine nuts and mince. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Mix in ricotta. Spread pesto evenly over red pepper layer.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To unmold, invert pate onto serving platter. Peel off plastic wrap from pate. Garnish with herb sprigs and serve with sourdough bread slices.

NOTE: Additional chopped roasted red bell peppers can be used for a final layer on top if desired, as in the photo with this recipe.

No Cook Tricolor Vegetable Pate
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 36 appetizers
Ingredients
  • White Bean Layer
  • 2 x 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained thoroughly
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • Mash beans in large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom of prepared pan.
  • Red Pepper Layer
  • 7-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, chopped
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • Combine peppers and feta in processor and blend until smooth. Spread pepper mixture evenly over bean layer in prepared dish.
  • Pesto Layer
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup low-fat ricotta cheese
Instructions
  1. Yields one 10 by 5 inch terrine or loaf pan, or an 8 inch spring form pan. Line your pan with plastic wrap, overlapping sides.
  2. Mince garlic in processor. Add basil, parsley and pine nuts and mince. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Mix in ricotta. Spread pesto evenly over red pepper layer.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least four hours.
  4. To unmold, invert pate onto serving platter. Peel off plastic wrap from pate. Garnish with herb sprigs and serve with sourdough bread slices.
  5. NOTE: Additional chopped roasted red bell peppers can be used for a final layer on top if desired, as in the photo with this recipe.

 

Cranberry Cheddar Cheese Ball

Cranbery Cheddar Cheese Ball

I know it is Old School – but I love a good cheese ball as a party appetizer. I can’t help it – I came of age in the 70’s and these were wildly popular in the Bell Bottom Days. These days I am more adventurous than just stirring ranch dressing mix into cream cheese, and I love to mix up the sweet and salty combo.

Cheddar and cranberries go so well together, it turns out. And I love a good dash of Worcestershire sauce for rich saltiness. Cheese balls are a perfect take-along dish for a party potluck – just plop them on a plate and pile some crackers nearby and – VOILA! – instant party.

This cheeseball is pretty and festive with the Craisin coating. Be careful when you process them in the food processor – if you just whirl them  alone, they will clump up and get stuck. You have to add the walnuts and process them together so they will become tiny bits.

Cranberry Cheddar Cheese Ball

Cranberry Cheddar Cheese Ball
 
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Serves: Serves 24
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces dried cranberries
  • 2 ounces toasted walnuts or hazelnuts
Instructions
  1. Mix together the cream cheese, lemon juice, cayenne pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese and green onions. Roll into a ball.
  2. In a food processor, process the raisins and walnuts until very fine crumbs. Spread on a plate. Roll cheese ball in the cranberry mixture.
  3. Chill for at least two hours. Serve with crackers.

Other food bloggers do cheese balls:

Pomegranate Jeweled Cheese Ball, How Sweet it Is
Snowman Cheeseball, Eating Richly
Pinecone Cheeseball, Food Wishes
Holiday Cheeseball, The Healthy Apple

Holiday Cucumber Hummus Bites

Genius healthy holiday bites in just minutes.
Cucumber Hummus Bites

Lighten up your holiday spread with these cute Cucumber Hummus Bites – ready in just minutes.

Confession time: This time of year I look for shortcuts. I mean, not to the extent of buying cookies at the bakery and running home and arranging them on a platter as if I had made them myself. NOT saying I have done this, but. = = cough = = cough = =

I like to look for shortcuts that are healthy-ish. Store bought hummus and cucumbers fit that perfectly. I love the hummus at Costco, and we always keep some on hand this time of year. Just. In. Case.

All you do for these pretty little yummy bites is slice some cucumber and spoon some hummus on top. Then, just top with festive foods – I like green and red. So, sliced green onions, sliced jalapenos, smokey paprika, diced roasted red peppers, pesto – red or green = these are all perfect toppers. And, you can have a plate ready in five minutes. NOT making that up!

Happy << easy >> holidays, all!

Cucumber Hummus Bites

Holiday Cucumber Hummus Bites
 
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Healthy holiday cucumber bites - ready in just minutes!
Author:
Recipe type: aPPETIZERS
Serves: 24 appetizers
Ingredients
  • One English Cucumber
  • 1 cup of hummus
  • Assorted toppings, such as sliced peppers, green onions or pesto
Instructions
  1. Slice cucumber into ¼ inch thick slices. Press slices with a paper towel to dry completely (toppings won't slide off this way!)
  2. Spoon a little hummus on top, then top with your favorite toppings.

 

Five Minute Christmas Tree Appetizer

An impromptu party appetizer – ready in just five minutes!
Cream Cheese Appetizers

Holiday gatherings are the best thing about the holiday season.They can be large or small, with or without gifts and elaborate events filled with gourmet foods and Martha-like decor or simple foods that you put together mostly from your pantry. I love them all.

Impromptu parties can be the most fun of all – especially when you keep ingredients on hand to make things festive even when thrown together at the very last minute.

I will be serving this Christmas tree appetizer made with just three ingredients that looks so pretty on a platter. All these years I never knew that you can turn a block of cream cheese into a Christmas tree with one simple cut: you slice it from corner to corner diagonally and then put the two straight sides together on a plate and then add toppings. So easy and flavorful and fits you holiday gathering theme – in five minutes or less.

Let the holiday party season begin!

Five Minute Christmas Tree Appetizer
 
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Surprise guests? No Problem at all with this 5 minute appetizer!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Christmas
Serves: 10 to 12 appetizers
Ingredients
  • 1 block (8 ounces) low fat cream cheese
  • 2 medium sized pickles (I used garlic dill)
  • 2 tablespoons sun dried tomato pesto
  • Assorted crackers for serving
Instructions
  1. Cut the block of cream cheese down the middle diagonally. Flip one side over and place next to the other side, forming a tree shape.
  2. Cut pickle lengthwise into thin slices. Lay diagonally across the cream cheese tree. Spoon on the sun dried tomato pesto.
  3. Insert a cinnamon stick at bottom to form a trunk for the tree. Serve with crackers.

Other bloggers do easy holiday appetizers:

Quick and Easy Holiday Appetizer, Always Order Dessert First
 Cucumber Feta Rolls, Good Life Eats
Easy Healthy Holiday Appetizers, Mother Rimmy
Rosemary White Bean Dip, Good Life Eats
Holiday Easy Cheese Appetizers, Cafe Johnsonia

Slow Cooker Spiced Nuts

2 minutes of prep time for spicy mixed nuts at your fingertips!
slow cooker spiced nuts
The spiced nuts are usually the first thing to go on a holiday party buffet. I always find a crowd gathering around the food table within grabbing distance of the spiced nuts.

You might want to make a few batches of these to keep on hand during the holidays – they are sure to be a hit at any holiday party and they also make a nice last-minute gift in a pretty glass jar tied with a ribbon.

I love the use of the slow cooker for this recipe, because using a skillet, or even the oven is risky. I mean, nuts can go from toasty and perfect to burnt in just a matter of minutes. And nuts have a strong bitter taste when they are even a bit burnt – too risky for nuts which are not cheap. The slow cooker is gentle heat and works perfectly for this recipe – your nuts can go for a few minutes early or late, and they will still be perfectly toasty and flavorful.

Other food bloggers’ spins on spiced nuts:

Curry Spiced Nuts and Dried Cherries, Cookin Canuck
Candied Spiced Pecans, Eat the Love
Buffalo Spiced Nuts, All Day I Dream About Food
Candied Harissa Spiced Nuts, Shared Appetite
3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Spicy Nuts, Simple Nourished Living

slow cooker spiced nuts

Slow Cooker Spiced Nuts
 
Prep time
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Two minutes of prep time is all it takes to have delicious spiced nuts at you fingertips. And your house filled with savory fragrance.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Holiday Party
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces raw cashews
  • 8 ounces raw almonds
  • 8 ounces raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Toss all ingredients together and cook on high in a slow cooker for about 2 hours.
  2. Remove and spread on a platter or baking sheet to cool.
  3. NOTE: I have also added minced rosemary to the nuts, and loved this added flavor - totally optional.

 

Healthy Holiday Appetizers: Goat Cheese Brussels Sprouts Bites

Turn Brussels Sprouts leaves into a healthy and festive appetizers with goat cheese and pomegranate arils. 
Goat Cheese Pomegranate and Brussels Sprout appetizer

Brussels sprouts leaves make the perfect tiny cups to hold festive holiday appetizers. This easy healthy app is ready in 5 minutes flat – and that includes the blanching! And, if you blanch Brussels sprouts leaves for one minute in boiling water, they turn bright green and look so pretty on a serving platter.

Holiday food – especially party food – can be so rich and heavy and high-calorie, and so these little bites are bright and light and even healthy! They are a burst of fresh, tart flavor for your holiday table.

I like to think about Christmas colors for food this time of year. As proof, check out my White Bean Christmas Soup and Christmas Eve Shrimp Salad.

Brussels sprouts’ green color is perfectly seasonally appropo. Then, goat cheese is white and pomegranate arils are bright red, hence: Christmas colors. POM has even made it easy for us and now sell little cups of harvested arils. How easy is that?!

These healthy little bites can be ready in just minutes. The blanching takes the most work, and I am guessing you could also microwave the leaves for a few seconds, making prep even easier. I haven’t tried that, but plan to soon.

I like the tartness here, but if you like to balance the tartness with a little sweet, you can add a few drops of honey or agave.

Let the Holiday Appetizer Season begin!

Brussels sprouts appetizers

 

Goat Cheese Pomegranate and Brussels Sprouts Bites
 
Prep time
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Healthy, easy and festive holiday bites for your party fare.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 24 appetizers
Ingredients
  • 12 large Brussels sprouts
  • 2 ounces goat cheese (plain or with added herbs)
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate arils
  • Optional: one teaspoon of honey or agave
Instructions
  1. Bring a small pan of water to a boil. Remove 2 outer leaves from each of the Brussels sprouts and cut off excess stem end, forming a round cup shape. Blanch for one minute in boiling water and then remove and place in a bowl of cold water.
  2. Fill each leaf with a little goat cheese and a few pomegranate arils. (Add a drop or two of honey or agave, if desired.)
  3. Serve.

Other bloggers’ healthy apps:

Smoked Salmon Kale Wraps, Taste Food
Spicy Tuna Cucumber Avocado Appetizers, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Hummus and Roasted Pepper Phyllo Bites, Cookin Canuck
5 Easy Healthy Appetizers, Eating Made Easy
Endive Stuffed with Old Bay Crab, Jeanette’s Healthy Living

5 Minute Miracle Thanksgiving Dishes

Seriously easy, seriously delicious holiday dishes.
grape walnut salad

Last minute holiday dishes that are ready in 5 minutes are such a joy when you are exhausted and frazzled and out of time.

One of my very favorite easy fruit salads is a perfect example. Grape Salad with Walnuts has only four healthy ingredients, takes 5 minute to stir together and – most importantly – is so, so delicious. The textures and flavors are amazing – soft grapes, crunchy walnuts and pomegranate seeds and then a creamy vanilla yogurt. YUM.

This salad has become a must on the Kelly family holiday table.

Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Bites

If you need a quick, easy appetizer, these Cranberry Pistachio Goat Cheese Bites will save you! There are just five ingredients and take just a few minutes to roll. And, bonus: they look so festive on a platter!

White Bean Kale and Sausage Soup

Soup as a first course turns a meal into a feast, wouldn’t you agree?

This White Bean, Kale and Sausage Soup is packed with flavor, has just five ingredients and takes only 5 minutes. Yes, I do believe in miracles.

This soup has become one of my weeknight go-to dinners – it is amazing that it takes only a few minutes, and that includes opening the cans of beans! My family asks for it over and over again.

Happy, relaxing Holidays is my wish for you!

 

 

Last Minute Halloween Spider Food

Spider Deviled Eggs

Who wouldn’t want to make spider DEVILED eggs for Halloween? I have been making these deviled eggs for 30 years – it just isn’t Halloween at our house without them!

We have enjoyed making lots of spider-themed treats forever on Halloweens, and these spider ideas are so easy that they are perfect for adding spookiness to your Halloween celebrations. Even at the very last minute! We hope this reprise of some of our favorites will make your day more fun and festive.

Happy All Hallow’s Eve to you all ~

Donna & Anne

Spider Web Pizza

If you’ve got black olives and string cheese, you can instantly turn any pizza into a Spider Web Pizza.

Halloween spider punch

 

Beverages should be festive, too – make this easy Halloween Spider Punch.

spider cheese ball

And what’s a party without a cheese ball? A festive Halloween spider cheese ball.

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Fries

Pumpkin Fries

Healthy Halloween just got even more delicious: PUMPKIN FRIES.

I was going to attempt to make butternut squash fries today, but I didn’t have one and I just got back from the pumpkin patch yesterday with the sweetest punkin’ in the patch (see photo below). Ruby picked out a small pumpkin and carried it to the car all by herself. I decided to make it into pumpkin fries and then of course, I’ll buy a new one for her to carve later.

pumpkin patch

My experiment was a huge success! Pumpkin fries are really SO good – lots of flavor and a great texture – and so many less carbs than potatoes. The Hubs and I ate the whole batch after shooting photos. I must add here that if you let them sit, they get a little soggy – so it is best to eat them straight out of the oven if possible.

This is a great healthy treat to make to use up that Halloween jack-o’-lantern that you always feel guilty about throwing away, but don’t know what to do with. Make some pumpkin fries on November 1 – I promise you lots of swoons!

pumpkin fries

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Fries
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Snacks/ Appetizers/Side Dish
Ingredients
  • One small sugar pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Peel pumpkin, scoop out seeds and strings and then cut into fry shapes - about ⅓ of an inch thick. Toss in oil. Place on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at top of oven. Then, remove from oven and turn fries over. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes of so, until fries are fork tender and browned and crispy.
  3. Stir together the smoked paprika, cumin and salt.
  4. Remove fries from oven and sprinkle with spice mixture.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. (NOTE: Fries tend to get soggy if they sit too long, so eat them right out of the oven - for rave reviews!)

Other Healthy Halloween treats:

Carrot Rice Ball Jack O’ Lanterns, Apron Strings
Boonanas, Eating Richly
Bloody Brains Roasted Cauliflower, Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Firecracker Fruit Skewers

Firecracker Fruit Skewers

Fruit kebabs made with watermelon, jicama and blueberries make a festive holiday appetizer. Just in time for the Fourth of July. Just cut watermelon and jicama into small circles with cookie cutters and then hold together with skewers and a few blueberries. Oh, and spread a little blueberry jam on the serving platter. Instant festiveness!

Yes, I know. Cute food is frowned upon by many in the food world. But in my defense I must say that there are some holidays that just cry out for fun food. Take the Fourth of July for example. A holiday that has parades, fireworks and watermelon seed spitting contests really should have festive food, I say.

Fruit appetizers

And these little festive appetizers come together in just minutes. Even tiny kids can help make these. (Shameless grandchild bragging ahead) Like my BFF and darling granddaughter, Ruby, dressed in holiday attire below. I know. You’re welcome.

Ruby Fourth of JulyWe are no strangers here at Apron Stings to festive food, and so we continue the tradition of Fun on the Fourth.

Last year we did Flag Skewers with Easy Lemon Curd.

Fruit Skewers 3And, remember those easy festive Red White and Blueberry Cookie Tarts?

Berry cookies

We wish you water balloons, sparklers and all things festive for fun on the fourth!

— posted by Donna