Tag Archives: appetizer

Corn Salsa


Ah, another week, another Monday… time sure does fly when you’re immersed in graduate school!  I thought I’d pop in here today though to share with you a recipe for corn salsa.  Yeah, corn salsa, as in Chipotle-like corn salsa!

I guest posted over on Erin’s blog yesterday, The Spiffy Cookie, and figured I’d post the recipe here as well.  Erin is in the process of wrapping up her doctoral studies, so she needs all the help and encouragement she can get right now! 🙂

Anyway… for more on the corn salsa, head over to Erin’s blog.  I’ve posted the recipe below!


[print_this]Corn salsa

Makes about 4 cups of salsa

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: n/a

  • 1 pound frozen corn kernels
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 to 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine.  Refrigerate in a covered container until serving.[/print_this]


Garlic Basil Hummus

Happy November!  Happy day-after-Halloween!

I figured — since most of us probably nibbled on one or two too many pieces of candy yesterday — I should lighten things up a bit here today.  For you, not for me.  I’m going to stock up on discounted candy as soon as I publish this post. 😉

Let’s talk hummus.  I’m pretty sure it creeped me out until age… 22?  I wanted nothing to do with a healthy dip made from ground beans, especially if ranch dip was an alternative.  But then I stumbled upon Trader Joe’s hummus, and all of the wonderful flavors — and I haven’t looked back since.  Hummus is delicious!

I usually buy my hummus, but since I’m now a doctoral student on fairly limited funds, I decided a couple weeks ago I should invest in some tahini and try to make my own hummus.  I once made hummus without tahini, but it wasn’t very creamy.

Oh, what a difference tahini makes. 🙂

I have a hugeeee basil plant — that is on its last legs because I keep forgetting to water it! — so I decided to make a simple garlic basil hummus.  It may be simple, but it’s delicious.

I’ve been enjoying it with crackers and pretzels, veggies, and even on top of salads.

Yay for homemade hummus!  I can’t wait to start making other homemade varieties.

[print_this]Garlic Basil Hummus

Simple homemade hummus flavored with garlic and fresh basil.  

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: n/a

  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • Dash of salt

Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Mix until smooth.[/print_this]

Chipotle BLT Sweet Potato Skins

I have such a split personality diet.  One day I’m blogging about Doritos brownies — not exactly exemplary of healthy eating 🙂 — and next thing you know, I’ve got a nutritious appetizer to share today.  Basically, there are two of me — indulgent “devil” Little Bitty (that’s the one who made those cheesy brownies), and healthy “angel” Little Bitty.  Lucky for you they both enjoy deliciousness. 😉

Let’s talk potato skins.  I bet you’re instantly thinking lovely thoughts of melty cheese, crisp bacon, and rich sour cream.  Oh, and the little green onions on top!  Yeah, those are “devil” Little Bitty’s potato skins.

But what if “angel” Little Bitty wants a potato skin?  She’s not going to settle for eating just a naked potato skin.  What’s the point?  No, “angel” Little Bitty will round up a bunch of healthy yet flavorful ingredients, throw ’em together, and make chipotle BLT sweet potato skins. 🙂

I brushed spicy chipotle mustard on the skins of cooked sweet potatoes, then filled the skins with low fat cheese, smoky turkey bacon, and sweet sun-dried tomatoes.  After a quick trip in the oven, they’re sprinkled with shredded lettuce and dolloped with a cool yet spicy chipotle mustard yogurt sauce.  All said, these are spicy and sweet at the same time.

I actually entered these in a contest!  Saucy Mama is holding a “Skinny Mama” recipe contest using their line of mustards, and I jumped at the opportunity to take part.  Mainly because I’m still waiting for the day I’ll finally win a recipe contest… but also because I actually tried these products last year and loved them… and I’m not even much of a mustard person! (shhh)

Anyway, the recipe contest called for healthy/diet-friendly recipes using one of the Saucy Mama mustards.  And although I briefly gave thought to throwing some mustard on a bun-less fat-free hot dog and calling it a day, I thought better, and have these potato skins to show for it. 🙂  The skins are actually gluten free, but they’re also just an all-around good choice for anyone watching calories.

…and if that’s not you — if you’re not a dieting person — don’t worry, I’m sure “devil” Little Bitty will be back soon. 😉

PS – for entering the contest, I get to give away 3 bottles of Saucy Mama mustard.  Just leave any old comment here and you’ll be entered!

[print_this]Chipotle BLT Sweet Potato Skins

Potato skins made healthy.  Sweet potato skins are brushed with spicy chipotle mustard, then filled with low-fat cheese, turkey bacon, and sun-dried tomatoes.  Topped with shredded lettuce and a chipotle mustard yogurt sauce, they’re a sweet and spicy twist on traditional potato skins.  

Makes 8 skins (serves 4)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Saucy Mama’s Chipotle mustard
  • 4 small sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (optional)
  • 2 slices turkey bacon, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded lettuce

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  In a small bowl, stir the Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon mustard until smooth, then set set aside (reserve remaining mustard).

Pierce the sweet potatoes a few times each with fork tines, then loosely wrap each potato in aluminum foil.  Place on a baking sheet and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Allow to cool 5 minutes, then slice each potato in half, lengthwise.  Allow to cool 10 minutes (cut side up), then scoop out the inside of potatoes.

Rub the outside (skin) of each potato with the reserved mustard, then sprinkle sea salt over top (if desired).  Bake the potato skins, skin side up, 5 minutes.  Remove from oven, flip the potato skins over, and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Sprinkle the turkey bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, and cheese inside the potatoes; bake 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted and toasty.

Nutrition Information (per 2 potato skins): 130 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated, 0g trans), 520mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (2g fiber, 6g sugar), 8g protein[/print_this]

NaCHO Cheese Dip

It’s not dessert, but oh you guys, do I have a good one for you!

Yesterday, I hit the jackpot big.  No, I wasn’t at the casino.  I’ve actually never gambled at a casino or bought a lottery ticket, for the record.  I hit a different jackpot — the Super Bowl delicious recipe jackpot! 😉

With the big game this weekend, I’ve been doing a little recipe brainstorming, trying to think of a simple, delicious, and (semi) nutritious game-time snack.  Because I don’t know about you, but the Super Bowl is all about food, fun commercials and half time shows.  Those guys just run up and down the field in-between to kill time while we prep more food. 🙂

Anyway, these days, when I’m making something that I want to meet those (simple, delicious, nutritious) criteria, Chobani Greek yogurt usually ends up in the recipe.  It’s low in fat and packed with protein, yet its thick, creamy texture allows it to hold up in quite a few dishes that are traditionally unhealthy.

Since it’s Syracuse basketball season, my mind instantly turns to nachos when I think of game-time snacks.  Walk into the Carrier Dome on any given (game) day and I’m pretty sure you’ll see upwards of 30,000 fans dipping tortilla chips in nacho cheese sauce.  But it’s *that* nacho cheese… the processed, I-have-no-idea-what’s-in-this-and-please-don’t-tell-me, nacho cheese.

Chobani, to the rescue!  No, really…

I had a good feeling I might be able to make some sort of nacho cheese dip/sauce using Greek yogurt, but I had no idea just how good it would be.  I was worried it would taste a little, well, yogurty.  Oh no no, the cheese shines here, and the yogurt sneakily assists!  Assists win games, you guys!

…plus, it’s more fun to tell people you’ve made naCHO’s. 😉

Parmesan cheese and assorted spices definitely give this cheesy dip an extra little kick.   My family tends to be a bit more on the mild side of the spice/heat scale, so the recipe as I’ve written it will lend you a fairly mild dip.  Oh, I also used a full-fat cheddar cheese.  But this is a fairly forgiving recipe, so you can play around with spices, cheese types, add-ins, etc., to get it to your liking.

Happy Super Bowl snacking! 🙂

[print_this]NaCHO Cheese Dip

Thick and creamy nacho cheese dip made with Greek yogurt.  Add extra spices or diced tomatoes to make it your own!  

Makes 2 cups

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces plain Greek yogurt (you know I love my CHO)
  • 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Stir in the flour, using a wire whisk to stir until smooth.  Add the yogurt; stir until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients; stir constantly until cheese is completely melted and smooth.

Serve warm with tortilla chips and/or fresh vegetables.  (you can keep it on the stove on very low heat, or put it in a crock pot on warm, until serving).

Nutrition stats per 2 tablespoons: 90 calories, 6g fat (4g sat), 130 mg sodium, 1g sugar, 6g protein[/print_this]