Smoky Pumpkin Seeds
Smoked paprika and garlic powder punch up the flavor in this easy roasted pumpkin seeds recipe.
Baked Broccoli-Cheddar Quinoa Bites
These savory muffin-like quinoa bites are low in carbs and a good source of protein--plus we love their cheesy flavor.
Broiled Oysters with Anchovy-Almond Butter
Topped with a buttered-up blend of toasted almonds, savory anchovy and fresh herbs, this broiled oyster recipe is rich, intense and downright delicious. Serve the oysters as a first course with a dry amontillado sherry and crusty bread.
Apricot-Honey Mustard Sausage Bites
Let your slow cooker do the work of making these tasty appetizers.
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).
Creamy Spinach Dip
Try this light spinach dip made healthier with reduced-fat cream cheese, nonfat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese instead of full-fat cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream. It will save you a whopping 84 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving when compared to traditional versions. Serve it with pita chips and crunchy vegetables or spread it on a sandwich.
These spicy nuts were inspired by ones sold by street vendors across Mexico. If you can only find salted peanuts, omit the added salt. Add the maximum amount of cayenne pepper if you want an extra hit of spice.
Cured or Smoked Salmon Appetizer Platter
This smoked salmon platter requires little effort but the spread makes a big impression. Served with all the fixings--capers, hard-boiled eggs, cucumber and more--a smoked salmon platter is the ultimate make-ahead appetizer. Lay out everything listed in the ingredients below or just a few of the elements along with an assortment of crackers, cocktail bread and/or sliced baguette.
Cranberry-Almond Granola Bars
There are plenty of granola bar options at the grocery store, but they're also easy (and often healthier) to make at home. Feel free to vary the add-ins to your taste, swapping 2 cups of any combination of small (or chopped) dried fruit, nuts, seeds and/or chocolate chips for the dried cranberries and nuts in this version. We tested several sticky sweeteners, including maple syrup and honey, but found brown rice syrup held the bars together the best.
Mix chopped dried cranberries together with your meatball mixture to add a hit of sweetness in every bite. These meatballs start in the skillet but finish in the slow-cooker, making them an easy make-ahead meal.
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.