Here we take the elements of a vegetarian lasagna filling--ricotta, spinach and Parmesan cheese--and nestle them into roasted portobello mushroom caps. The recipe works best with very large portobello caps; if you can only find smaller ones, buy one or two extra and divide the filling among all the caps. Serve with a tossed salad and a whole-wheat dinner roll or spaghetti tossed with marinara sauce.
BBQ Chicken Tenders
These crispy chicken “wings,” made with boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, stay crispy with only a light coating of oil--no deep-frying needed. Serve as an appetizer or try them for dinner with crunchy vegetables and dip on the side.
Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers
Instead of batter-dipped, deep-fried nuggets, we coat chicken tenders in a seasoned almond and whole-wheat flour crust and then oven-fry them to perfection. With half the fat of standard breaded chicken tenders, you can enjoy to your (healthy) heart's content.
Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole
These bean burgers will even please carnivores. The cornmeal coating gives a pleasant crunch and smoked paprika, cumin, cilantro and guacamole add Southwestern flavor.
Ranch Dip & Crunchy Vegetables
Adults and kids alike love the tanginess of this ranch-style dip. By using nonfat buttermilk and low-fat mayonnaise for the creamy base we've cut the fat substantially and eliminated the saturated fat. It only takes 15 minutes to make and keeps for 3 days so it's perfect for a healthy snack in a pinch.
Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls
These bite-size pimiento cheese balls from Jamie and Bobby Deen are a huge hit with kids (of all ages). They're the perfect appetizer to bring to a summer picnic. Jamie and Bobby share a passion for great home-cooked food with a Southern flair with their celebrity-chef mom, Paula Deen. These brothers are following in their mom's footsteps with their own TV shows, books and website. Our favorite part of what they're up to: healthy makeovers of some of Paula's recipes! Recipe adapted from The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up, by Jamie & Bobby Deen and Melissa Clark (Ballantine Books, 2011).
No-Bake Monster Pita Pizza
This no-bake pizza is so easy to make, and it's even more fun to eat! Kids will love the spooky monster eyes made from cucumbers, cheese and beans for this cute Halloween snack.
Green Chile & Goat Cheese Dip
This creamy, cheesy dip is spiked with green chiles and smoky chipotle pepper. Be sure to drain the ricotta the day before you want to serve the dip. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.
Turkey Fingers with Maple-Mustard Sauce
Popular with both children and adults, these crispy, low-fat turkey fingers will disappear faster than you expect. For a fruity alternative, substitute apricot jam for the maple syrup in the dipping sauce.
Blue Corn Botanita
Top blue corn tortilla chips with mango slices, cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime juice for a colorful appetizer. Blue corn tortilla chips make these Mexican-style appetizers pretty, but any variety will work. Look for cotija cheese, a type of aged Mexican cheese, near other specialty cheeses or in Mexican grocery stores. You may also find it labeled “queso añejo” or “queso añejado.” Finely crumbled Parmesan cheese can be used as a substitute.
Creamy Herb Dip
A perennial favorite with kids, this all-purpose dip can also be used as a sandwich spread.
Sweet-&-Sour Turkey Meatballs
Ground turkey makes tender meatballs. If you do not have Italian seasonings on hand, substitute a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram and 1/4 dried teaspoon basil.