Move over lettuce, sautéed kale is a new match for crispy bacon and juicy tomato slices. Served over toasted baguette slices, my BKT Bites make a hardy appetizer or light dinner. It’s an easy dish to make with two summer favorites from your farm share or local Farmers’ Market. This dish pairs well with an earthy Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley Oregon. Just make this simple recipe, open a bottle of vino and you are ready to entertain.
Ingredients: 1 bunch kale 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons water ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more for serving ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper ½ whole grain baguette, cut into ¼ inch slices 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 2 medium tomatoes, sliced 10 slices bacon, cooked to desired level of crispy
Remove stems from kale and roughly chop. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add kale and water. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler to high. Broil for about one to two minutes per side, until lightly browned on the edges.
In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise and balsamic vinegar. Spread balsamic mayonnaise on baguette slices and top with bacon, kale and tomatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top of the tomato slices and serve.
Keep canned beans in your pantry and garlic and lemon in the fridge to make this a go-to dish when you want a delicious homemade snack. It is so easy to make and tastes much better than the store-bought variety. Serve it with carrots, celery, tortilla chips or whatever you like to dip. Make it a meal by spreading hummus in a wrap or on a slice of bread topped with your favorite roasted vegetables.
Ingredients: 1 (15 ounce) can no salt added black beans 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon cumin ¼ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Rinse and drain beans.
Fit a food processor with the steel blade. Add all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
Grilling intensifies the delicious flavor of pineapple, adding an extra burst of caramelized sweetness. The deli ham and grilled bell pepper complement the sweet fruit, turning this appetizer into a sweet and salty snack on a stick. This is a great appetizer for game day, especially if you’re a Green Bay Packer fan and want to add a little green and gold to your plate. Leftovers make a wonderful salad topping, just add lettuce and your favorite dressing.
Ingredients: 1 medium pineapple 4 medium or 3 large bell peppers 1 tablespoon olive oil toothpicks 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, divided 4 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt, divided 2 tablespoons dijon mustard 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
Trim and core pineapple, and slice into four large sections. Remove stem and seeds from the bell peppers and cut each into two halves. On a large platter, brush both sides of pineapple and bell pepper with olive oil.
Heat a gas grill or prepare a charcoal grill to medium heat. Place pineapple and pepper on the grill and cook for four to five minutes per side, until produce is tender with lightly browned grill marks. Remove from grill and set aside until cool enough to touch.
Lay ham flat on a cutting board and cut into 1 inch strips. Starting at one end, roll each piece into a tight roll. Cut pineapple and pepper into bite-size pieces.
Prepare tangy mustard sauce by combining 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, yogurt and dijon mustard in a small bowl and stirring until well combined. Similarly, combine and stir the remaining mayonnaise and yogurt with the BBQ sauce to create the creamy BBQ sauce.
Thread toothpicks with bell pepper, ham and pineapple. Serve with two dipping sauces.
Radishes are a root vegetable you may not think of roasting, but be prepared to kick the potato, carrot, turnip and your other favorite root vegetables aside. I think radishes are meant to be roasted, which brings out a sweetness that mellows their peppery heat. Serve this earthy dish as an appetizer or side.
Ingredients 1 bunch watermelon radishes or red radishes, cut into thin slices 2 teaspoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced ¼ teaspoon course sea salt ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried 3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place radishes in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Toss to evenly coat.
Place radishes on a medium baking sheet and cook for about 20 minute, stirring occasionally.
One of my favorite BBQ restaurants in Memphis serves a dish called the Idaho Pig, which is a giant baked potato stuffed with pulled pork and a lot of cheese and barbecue sauce. It is one of my favorite indulgences and the inspiration for this lighter version that is just as satisfying. These potato skins are a crowd pleaser and perfect appetizer or meal for the big game.
I love barbecue sauce, but most bottled sauces are high in sodium. This recipe uses only two servings of sauce for the entire recipe, keeping the sodium down while still delivering a sweet and tangy punch that will make you feel like you are hanging out in your favorite BBQ joint.
8 small potatoes
2 cups pulled pork (from Slow Cooker Drunken Pork)
¼ cup barbecue sauce
½ cup yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
16 hot and sweet jalapeño pepper slices Optional: light sour cream for serving
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce potatoes a few times with a fork and bake for 30 minutes.
2. Remove potatoes, leaving oven on. Let potatoes cool enough to touch and cut each in half. Scoop out a small amount of potato, leaving a divot like space in the potato halves.
3. In a small bowl, toss pulled pork with barbecue sauce and stir to evenly coat. Add equal amount of pork to potato halves and top with two types of cheddar cheese and 1 jalapeño pepper slice.
4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until cheese has melted. Serve immediately with light sour cream if desired.
Note: You can reserve the potato that you scoop out and add to mashed potatoes or potato soup for another meal.
Servings: 4 to 8 ~ Serving size: 4 for a meal and 2 for an appetizer
The inspiration for this dish came from a restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky that serves a honey bourbon and sugar glazed bacon appetizer with peanut butter. My version is lighter, but still captures the wonderful combination of bacon and peanut butter. I know it sounds a little odd, but once you have tasted it you will forget all about peanut butter’s famous sidekick — jelly. Peanut butter and bacon is the new duo in town.
This appetizer is a perfect pairing with your favorite Kentucky bourbon. It brings out the whiskey’s sweet notes of vanilla, caramel and honey. Cheers to good bourbon, an appetizer your friends will love and adventurous food combinations.
1 pound center cut bacon, cooked
1 large apple, sliced
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon skim milk
1. In a blender or food process, combine peanut butter, Greek yogurt, honey, vanilla and milk. Blend or process until smooth.
2. Serve immediately with bacon and apple slices or refrigerating until ready to serve.
Servings: 6 ~ Serving size: 2 bacon slices, 4 apple slices and 1½ tablespoons dip