Central Valley Moms

Food

family
Dec21st2012

Family Meals Matter: Appetizing appetizers

There’s no hard and fast rule saying that family meals must include a main course, side dish and dessert. Just like dining out, sometimes it’s fun to combine a variety of small plates or appetizers together to make a balanced meal.

Whether you’re eating at home as a family or hosting a holiday gathering, this week’s recipes are healthy small plate ideas that include all five food groups. Serve an appetizing meal of Grilled Salsa Steak Appetizers, Roasted Pepper and Basil Skewers and a fruity Sparkling Sangria.

Keep the small plate theme going all week long (or expand your party menu) with Aged Cheddar with Apple Wedges and Cider Reduction, Spinach Balls, Shrimp and Lime Tostadas and individual portions of Basmati Rice Pudding with Oranges.

“Family Meals Matter” features registered dietitian-approved recipes from Dairy Council of California.

SHOPPING LIST

Includes ingredients to make at least four servings of each Featured Family Meal recipe

GRILLED SALSA STEAK APPETIZER

2 beef shoulder top blade (flat iron) steaks (about 8 ounces each)

1 cup prepared thick-and-chunky salsa

1 to 2 tablespoons Fresh chopped cilantro, divided

24 large corn tortilla chips

One-half cup prepared guacamole

24 fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

ROASTED PEPPER AND BASIL SKEWERS

1 package (16 ounces) mozzarella cheese, cut into 16 cubes

16 fresh basil leaves

2 medium yellow or red peppers, roasted, cut into 16 small squares

16 small cherry tomatoes

16 toothpicks or small wooden skewers

One-third cup Italian vinaigrette dressing

SPARKLING SANGRIA

1 can (12 ounces) frozen fruit punch concentrate

1 can (6 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate

3 cups water

1 orange, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

2 cans (12 ounce size) lemon-lime soda

Ice cubes

FEATURED FAMILY MEAL

Grilled Salsa Steak Appetizer

http://www.mealsmatter.org/recipes-meals/recipe/73191

2 beef shoulder top blade (flat iron) steaks (about 8 ounces each)

1 cup prepared thick-and-chunky salsa

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, divided

24 large corn tortilla chips

1/2 cup prepared guacamole

24 fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Preparation : Place beef steaks and one-half cup salsa in food-safe plastic bag; turn steaks to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours. Combine remaining one-half cup salsa and chopped cilantro, as desired; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 10 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 12 to 16 minutes) for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.

Carve steaks into thin slices; cut slices into bite-size pieces. Arrange chips on platter. Top each chip evenly with reserved salsa mixture, beef and guacamole. Garnish with cilantro leaf, if desired. Serve immediately.

Roasted Pepper and Basil Skewers

http://www.mealsmatter.org/recipes-meals/recipe/12352

1 package (16 oz.) mozzarella cheese, cut into 16 cubes

16 fresh basil leaves

2 medium yellow or red peppers, roasted, cut into 16 small squares

16 small cherry tomatoes

16 toothpicks or small wooden skewers

1/3 cup Italian vinaigrette dressing

Preparation: Skewer 1 cheese cube, basil leaf, pepper square and tomato with each toothpick; place in small shallow dish.

Pour dressing over skewers. Let stand 20 minutes to marinate, turning occasionally.

Remove skewers from marinade just before serving. Discard marinade.

Sparkling Sangria

http://www.mealsmatter.org/recipes-meals/recipe/7310

1 can (12 ounces) frozen fruit punch concentrate

1 can (6 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate

3 cups water

1 orange, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

2 cans (12 ounce size) lemon-lime soda

Ice cubes

Preparation: Pour undiluted fruit punch, lemonade and water into 2-3 quart pitcher. Add orange and lemon slices, mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Stir in soda and ice cubes just before serving. Makes 2 quarts.

Other Featured Recipes

Aged Cheddar with Apple Wedges and Cider Reduction

http://www.mealsmatter.org/recipes-meals/recipe/72542

2 cups apple cider

2 teaspoons chilled butter

8 (1-ounce) slices walnut or other nut bread, toasted and halved

1/2 pound cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

2 Granny Smith apples, cored and each cut into 16 slices

Preparation: Bring cider to a boil in a large saucepan; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat. Add butter; stir with a whisk until butter melts.

Place 2 bread halves on each of 8 dessert plates. Divide cheese evenly among bread halves. Place 2 apple slices on each bread half. Drizzle 1 tablespoon cider reduction around each serving.

Spinach Balls

http://www.mealsmatter.org/recipes-meals/recipe/7044

2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

3/4 cup melted butter

2 cups bread crumbs (Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned stuffing mix preferred)

1 onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. thyme

1 pinch garlic powder

6 eggs, beaten

Preparation: Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and chill.

Roll into balls and bake on cooking sheet for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Shrimp and Lime Tostadas

http://www.mealsmatter.org/recipes-meals/recipe/6906

9 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 1/2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined

3 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

6 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt

6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 1/2 teaspoons minced seeded serrano or jalapeno chili

Preparation: Preheat oven to 325. Place tortilla wedges in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Bake until crisp, turning once, about 30 minutes. Cool on baking sheet.

Spray small baking dish with oil spray. Add garlic; cover with foil. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Peel garlic; mash in small bowl.

Heat small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Grind in spice grinder or in mortar with pestle. Add to garlic.

Bring large pot of water to boil. Add shrimp and lime peel and cook until shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes. Drain shrimp and lime peel in fine strainer. Cool. Coarsely chop shrimp. Transfer shrimp and lime peel to bowl.

(Tortillas, garlic mixture and shrimp can be made 1 day ahead. Store tortillas in airtight containers at room temperature. Chill garlic mixture and shrimp separately.)

Add lime juice, yogurt, chopped cilantro, chili and garlic mixture to shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon atop tortilla chips and serve.

Basmati Rice Pudding with Oranges

http://www.mealsmatter.org/recipes-meals/recipe/39876

3/4 cup basmati rice or any long-grain white rice

3 large navel oranges

1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

4 cups fat-free evaporated milk

1/4 cup low fat sweetened condensed milk

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (optional, for garnish)

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (optional, for garnish)

Preparation: Boil 2 cups of water in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Add rice, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook rice for about 20 minutes until it is tender and most of water has been absorbed. Grate, finely, 1 teaspoon of zest from one of oranges; set aside. Halve that orange and juice it; reserve the juice. Peel the remaining 2 oranges, removing the pith (white part). Cut sections between the membranes; set aside.

Add to rice, when it is tender, 1/2 cup of orange juice, orange zest, vanilla bean, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and sugar. Cook rice mixture over medium heat, uncovered, stirring frequently until is has a creamy consistency, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and divide the rice mixture among bowls to serve warm, or cover and refrigerate to serve chilled. Garnish with a few orange sections, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds, if desired.

For more healthy meal planning made simple, go to www.mealsmatter.org

2012, Dairy Council of California

See more at www.MealsMatter.org

Leave a Reply

Author