Girls Happy Hour recap + 4 healthy appetizer recipes

This past Friday, we participated in a girls happy hour by providing healthy appetizers. The event was hosted at Cacao and Cardamom, a gourmet chocolatier in the Galleria area of Houston. This shop is unlike any other we have been to! The flavors are unique – Caramel Apple, Mango Caramel, Cardamom Rose, and Blueberry Lime, to name just a few. The shop uses natural, fresh, and high quality ingredients to create a healthier indulgence. Check out their Instagram and Facebook for more details, and be sure to stop by for a taste.  But, one of the best parts of the event was being able to share our love of healthy eating with the wonderful women that were there!

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In preparation for this event, our goal was to create healthy and tasty appetizers. We also wanted items that were easy to transfer to the shop, and most of all, easy to create and assemble. I used to only associate tasty appetizers with melted cheese, high calorie dips and salty chips. But, just because the food is healthy, does not mean the flavor has to be compromised! With the holiday season approaching, what better time to share four appetizer recipes?! We promise your guests will LOVE all of these!

1) Apple, Goat Cheese and Pomegranate Crostini

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When I think of appetizers, bruschetta is one of the first foods that comes to mind. We wanted to add a fall spin to the typical bruschetta, and this recipe was a huge hit with the women at the event! And, as you can probably tell from my fall superfoods bowl recipe, pomegranate seeds are my favorite fall and winter fruit! So, they had to be a part of this appetizer.

Ingredients: 1 baguette (sliced in 1/2 inch slices), olive oil, salt & pepper, 1 clove garlic, 6 ounces goat cheese, red chili pepper flakes (1 teaspoon or less), 1-2 Fuji apples, 1/4 cup finely diced walnuts, arils from 1 pomegranate and honey.

Directions: 1) Preheat oven to broiler setting.  2) Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil, salt and pepper. 3) Cook under the broiler for about 1 minute per side until brown. 4) Slice apples into thin slices (I used my mandoline to slice the apples).  5) Once the bread is ready, rub the garlic clove on top of each slice.  6) Let cool slightly, then spread with the goat cheese. Lightly sprinkle with red chili flakes.  7) Top with apple slices, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and honey. Enjoy!

2) Vegetable/ hummus cups

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Hummus is a great, healthy option for an appetizer. But, it can be difficult to eat without standing right next to the bowl the entire time! For a different spin to the typical vegetable dip, we used our Avocado Lime Hummus recipe and cut up bell peppers, celery and carrots in bite sized pieces. We then spooned a small amount of hummus in each clear cup, and placed a colorful mixture of vegetables into the dip. Helpful hint: if made a day or more ahead of time, the avocado can brown. For this happy hour, we made the hummus ahead of time and eliminated the avocado from the recipe.

3) Pesto Chicken Salad Cucumber Bites

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Our third appetizer used our recent recipe for pesto chicken salad. Once the chicken salad was prepared, we created the appetizer by washing and peeling strips off of a cucumber. We then sliced the cucumber up and topped with a small spoonful of chicken salad. This is a great recipe to make and assemble ahead of time!

4) Herbed goat cheese stuffed peppers

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Goat cheese was definitely the theme for our happy hour on Friday, and it did not disappoint! Another favorite appetizer for the group were these goat cheese peppers.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds of mini bell peppers, 12 ounces of garlic and herb seasoned chèvre goat cheese and 1 tablespoon honey.

Directions: 1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2) Cut all of the peppers in half lengthwise and remove any seeds. Lay them cut side up on the baking sheet. 3) Spoon the seasoned goat cheese into the center of each pepper half. 4) Lightly drizzle the peppers with honey (and salt if desired). 5) Bake for 10 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or top with other herbs and toasted nuts for additional flavor!

We hope you enjoy these appetizer recipes as much as we do! Thanks Mariam for letting us be a part of your incredible event!

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  1. […] option that fits within your healthy eating plan! We have shared a few of our favorite appetizer recipes that would be perfect or even a fruit and veggie tray would be a healthy and fresh addition to the […]

  2. […] option that fits within your healthy eating plan! We have shared a few of our favorite appetizer recipes that would be perfect or even a fruit and veggie tray would be a healthy and fresh addition to the […]

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