Category Archives: Appetizers

Spicy Baked Plantain Chips

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Spicy Baked Plantain Chips | healthishappiness.com

Plantains, oh how I love you so! Especially when crispy and delicious! If you aren’t too familiar with plantains, these spicy baked plantain chips are a good place to start.

This was my first time making plantain chips at home. No, not because I don’t eat plantains often. On the contrary, my gf and I are quite addicted to making tostones which are another delicious snack made with green plantains.

Green plantains! That’s right. Make sure you buy the green ones if you want your chips to be crispy and delicious. The ripened yellow ones will not work for making chips or tostones.

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Basic Guacamole Recipe and Tostones

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tostones and guacamole

Guacamole seems to be one of the most popular appetizers around. Everybody loves a good guacamole, and it is so simple and quick to make, not to mention good for you. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to making guacamole. Some like it creamy, others chunky. Some people like lots of onion, and garlic, others not so much.

I tend to gravitate to a basic guacamole recipe most of the time. Avocado, lime, cilantro, salt and pepper with some diced tomato. More recently I have started adding a very little finely chopped shallot. Sometimes I will add a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it a little kick.

How do you like to make your guacamole?

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Jamie Oliver’s White Bean Crostini Recipe

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white bean crostini

This White Bean Crostini recipe is one that I have been making for years. It’s a recipe that I make when I have guests for dinner, and it is always a home run! The recipe comes from one of the first cookbooks I ever owned, and still to this day it is one of my favourite cookbooks to look through. The book is Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver.

I remember my parents buying this book for me for Christmas. I think I had seen the book at Chapters, and asked for it. Going to the bookstore to browse through cookbooks is something I still love doing to this day.

That was 2006. I only know that because my mom was smart enough to write it on the first page. This was when I was starting to really get into cooking. I was 22 then. Do the math and you will know how old I am.

Cooking is something I have always enjoyed. When I was young, I would sit in the kitchen, and watch my dad prepare meals, from curries to homemade pasta. I started preparing food for myself once I started high school, because I would get home from school and wanted to eat. I say preparing, because there wasn’t much cooking involved, as it was mostly frozen food, or ready made soups.

Over my teenage years I started to cook more and more, until I moved out at 18! By then I had developed a small passion for cooking, and was experimenting with different dishes.

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Appetizer Guaranteed to Please the Party: Tomato Basil Bruschetta

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Undeniably delicious. Scrumptiously satisfying. Tantalizingly tasty. Straight up really good!

A few simple ingredients come together on a crispy piece of bread for a party in your mouth. A party that will keep the guests at your party coming back for more. This is one of the most crowd pleasing appetizers in my repertoire. My smoky black bean dip being another one vying for top spot.

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Bruschetta is simply grilled bread rubbed with olive oil and garlic. Tomato basil is probably the most popular topping here in North America for bruschetta. Another one of my favourite toppings is mashed white beans with garlic and rosemary. So many possibilities!

I wonder what they do in Italy. I will have to investigate when I go there for the first time in a week! That’s right, I am going to Italy! Continue reading

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Make Your Own Hummus; Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Hummus Recipe & Video

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If you love hummus, and have never tried making it at home, now is the time to try. It is incredibly simple, easy, and quick. You can start with a basic hummus recipe or even the recipe I am sharing here with you today which is sun-dried tomato, basil hummus with roasted garlic.

Hummus is a traditional Lebanese appetizer (mezze) that has become very popular here in North America. I am convinced that when I was growing up hummus wasn’t nearly as popular. Why do I think this? Because there are so many more brands and different flavours to choose from in the grocery store today. I think this is great, because hummus is healthy and incredibly delicious. Continue reading

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Filed under Appetizers, Blog, Gluten-Free, Recipes, Videos

White Bean & Dill Dip Recipe

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This is one of the easiest dips I have ever made. It doesn’t require many ingredients and takes very little time.

The idea for this dip came to me when I was standing in front of the dill at the grocery store.  I was thinking to myself, “I love dill but never  manage to use it all up before it goes bad”,  which is why I don’t buy it that often.  Then I thought, why not make a dip using a whack load of dill.  A real blast of dillicious flavour. Get it?  Cheesy, I know. Continue reading

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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Recipe

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This was my first time buying tomatillos.  It was actually my first time seeing them at the market but maybe, I had never really looked.

Tomatillos are like little green tomatoes. They come covered in a papery husk. Just peel of the husk and you have a little green tomato ready to be made into some delicious salsa.

Green spicy salsa was my mission and thats what I got.  I  bought a variety of hot peppers at the market so I had a few different ones to choose from for this salsa. You can change the type of hot pepper you use depending on what is available to you and how hot you want it.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

14 tomatillos (approximately), husks removed
1 fresh green cayenne pepper (or another type of fresh hot pepper)
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Place the tomatillos in a baking dish and roast for about 15 mins.

Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10-15 mins.

In a food processor, combine the tomatillos with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.

Serve with organic corn tortillas. If you can find baked tortillas I recommend trying them.  I prefer unsalted or lightly salted tortillas.

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Homemade Baba Ganoush Recipe

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Baba ganoush, baba ghanoush, baba ganouj.  However you choose to spell it.  I don’t really care how you spell it.  I just care how it tastes and it tastes incredible. Smokey Lebanese eggplant dip.

If you are one of the many who think they don’t like baba ganoush or eggplants at all please continue reading. Continue reading

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Pepper, Onion, Artichoke, Arugula Pizza on the BBQ

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Summer is typically a time to spend lots of time outdoors and gather with friends on patios while barbecuing some delicious food.  Unfortunately the most common food found on people’s barbecues tend to be hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, chicken and steaks.

I will admit that I have enjoyed my fair share of meat off the barbecue, but since changing my diet I have discovered more ways to use the barbecue in the summer.  My friend Justin told me about some barbecued flatbread, good for making pizza, which sounded delicious.  Continue reading

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Avocado, Parsley, Roasted Pine Nut Dip

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Guacamole meets pesto in this dip. If you like either guacamole or pesto you will love this dip. If you don’t like guacamole or pesto, hopefully you will still love this dip.

The creaminess of the avocados, with the roasted taste of the pine nuts, and freshness of the parsley come together nicely and are given a helping hand from a little lemon, garlic and olive oil.

Great to snack on while while barbecuing on a summer’s day.

Enjoy.

Avocado, Parsley, Pine Nut Dip

2 avocados
2 cups flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup roasted pine nuts
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: top with some thinly sliced portobello mushrooms sautéed with olive oil, salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients together in a food processor and process until smooth.

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