Category Archives: Appetizers

Fresh Spring Rolls!

Fresh, flavorful, filling… good for you?? SO good. I could eat asian food every day, but I am usually not the most successful in cooking it. However, no cooking is required here, simply chopping and assembling. And they end up looking so festive, colorful, fancy even. 8 rolls feeds 2-3 people, they are very satisfying. Making them at home is way cheaper than buying them out (the ingredients are not expensive) and they are not hard to make, I promise. These would make a super impressive party or pot luck tray, note to self 🙂

8 rice paper wraps (vietnamese, i found mine at target!)
15-20 tiny cooked shrimp (*optional) (i sautéed them in coconut oil, liquid aminos, and garlic)
Green onion
Red bell pepper
1/2 avocado

Cut all veggies (except greens) into thin slices.

Prepare a wide shallow bowl with warm water for dipping the rice paper sheets into one at a time.

1/2 jalapeño, chopped (i love spicy)
3tbs natural peanut butter
1tbs vinegar (i used TJs muscat vinegar)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1tsp liquid aminos
1lemon juiced
Blend the sauce ingredients well, using a wisk or small blender.

Assemble spring rolls by dipping one rice paper at a time into the water, taking time to make sure all sides are completely wet, spend some time to make sure all surfaces are wet or they will be too fragile to wrap. Place on your cutting board/work surface. Lay some greens/lettuce in the center in a linear fashion as if you are making a burrito. Add layers of your ingredients over the greens to taste, putting the avocado for vegan or shrimp on top for appearance. Tuck one long side over the toppings and in, stretching slightly to keep it tight. Tuck in the sides on the ends of your “burrito” and then fold the other long side over, pulling taught but not too tight. It will “stick” to the rest of the wrap and you can plate. Repeat and dip in sauce! Keeps well if sealed well in tupperware overnight, but will dry out if left too long. Not that any leftovers will make it to the fridge…



















Spinach Artichoke Dip with Butternut Squash “Chips”

This was a yummy Christmas Eve treat! I have a vegan version using cashews instead of dairy, but I was prepping for family in a nut-free household, so opted for low fat dairy instead. This recipe is high in protein and flavor!

For the dip I used:
1 bag frozen spinach
1 can un-marinated and 2 small jar marinated artichoke, drained
8oz low fat cottage cheese
8oz fage non fat Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
handful basil
1/4 red onion
crushed red pepper
garlic powder

Over medium heat, sauté all ingredients except garlic, cottage cheese, and yogurt. Blend those 3 ingredients on high in a blender or food processor.

Meanwhile, wash and cut your butternut squash into even strips or shape of your choice. Spray with olive oil or coconut spray. Shake some oregano and sea salt on and roast at 375 for about 40min until crisp on the edges.

Combine your cream from the blender with all other dip ingredients. Serve and enjoy!









Vegan Phyllo Dough Pockets

These are so versatile, and almost as fun to make as they are to eat in all their flaky goodness! I used SEVERAL variations of this recipe, and really the sky is the limit with these little babies! Fill em with whatever your hearts so desires!

I made one basic recipe using tofu, spinach, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and peppers sauteed on the stove before stuffing.

I did one with peppers onions and cabbage with a lemon tahini sauce.

I stuffed some with my dal recipe (recipe to come…) and veggies.

And then finally the sweet ones! I did one with apples cinnamon and chocolate, and one with banana, coconut, cinnamon, and chocolate! The chocolate “sauce” I made by combining cocoa powder with coconut milk, boom, no sugar added!

Actually in all of these fillings, there was zero sugar added, and only a little coconut oil in the pan for sauteing onions and garlic. That’s it. And while most recipes I have read using phyllo involve oil/butter/spray between ever layer, i found a tiny sprits of olive oil spray between every other layer did the trick! So there’s some healthy tips for your own creative endeavor!

Another tip is to cover the dough not in use at the moment with a very light weight damp towel. They are so thin that they dry out very easily, and weight will make them stick together. You’ll see and learn how to handle them delicately 🙂

I used Trader Joe’s phyllo from the frozen section. I used 4 sheets of dough, cut into 4 quadrants to make mine, (so nutrition-wise, each “pocket” is one sheet of phyllo and one tiny sprits of olive oil spray). Stuff em, press the corners together, and bake! I did 375 for about 20 min until tops golden brown, but this will depend both on your oven, and how full you fill the little guys. Enjoy!!!

PS: my personal favorites were the cabbage/onion/pepper ones, and the banana, chocolate, coconut. Try these and invent your own to share with me 🙂