Appetizer – Maryland Crab Cakes

crab cakes

MARYLAND CRAB CAKES:

INGREDIENTS:
1 large egg
2½ tablespoons mayonnaise (I like Hellman’s Real)
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard (I like Maille brand)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup finely diced celery (you’ll need one stalk)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 pound lump crab meat*
½ cup panko (I like the Whole Foods 365 brand for this recipe)
Canola oil

DIRECTIONS:
1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Combine the egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay, salt, celery, and parsley in a large bowl and mix well. Add the crab meat (be sure to check the meat for any hard and sharp cartilage) and panko; gently fold mixture together until just combined, being careful not to shred the crab meat. Shape into 6 crab cakes (about ½ cup each) and place on prepared baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Preheat a large nonstick pan to medium heat and coat with canola oil. When oil is hot, place crab cakes in pan and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side. Be careful as oil may splatter. Serve immediately with tartar sauce or a squeeze of lemon.

Quick Tartar Sauce

Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
1½ tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

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Appetizer – Pumpkin Fondue

You absolutely have to make this pumpkin fondue! It is so melty and gooey and delicious and it would be perfect during the Thanksgiving holiday…either as an appetizer to the big meal or at some other point throughout the weekend. And despite the large number of steps, it’s actually really easy and looks totally gourmet.

Ingredients:
– 1 small sugar pumpkin
– 15-inch baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
– 1/3 lb Emmentaler cheese, rind removed and shredded
– 1/3 lb Gruyere cheese, rind removed and shredded
– 1 tbsp flour or cornstarch
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– salt + pepper
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– 1/2 cup broth (chicken or veggie)
– 2 tbsp dry white wine
– 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
– 1/2 tsp dry mustard
– pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
– paprika (for garnish)
– onion powder + garlic powder (for roasting pumpkin seeds)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange 8-10 baguette slices on sheet pan and bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Cool and crumble into bread crumbs.

Start with a small sugar pumpkin (NOT the big kind you use for jack-o’-lanterns).

Cut a 3-inch circle around pumpkin stem and remove top.

Scrape out pumpkin seeds and fibers from interiors and tops. (Save the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds!)

Mix olive oil and garlic and rub on the inside of the pumpkin.

Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20-30 minutes.

Whisk cream, broth, nutmeg, dry mustard, wine, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl.
Freshly grated nutmeg is best

Place shredded cheeses in a large ziplock bag with flour or cornstarch and shake to coat cheese. (This will help it be less stringy).

Remove pumpkin from oven and stuff them by making 3 layers in each pumpkin in the following order: toasted bread crumbs, cheese, cream mixture. Repeat until pumpkin is filled.

Depending on the size of the pumpkin, you might not use all of the cheese or cream.

Cap pumpkin and roast for an hour. Give it a stir, and continue roasting if needed.

When everything is melted and pumpkin is tender, remove and arrange on a platter with remaining baguette slices.

Sprinkle with paprika and roasted pumpkin seeds (if using).

(*Note: this won’t be smooth like a traditional fondue, more like a cheesy spread).

Main Course or Appetizer – Spaghetti Squash Cup Cake HEALTHY

sp squash with meatball spa meat ball cups
This is really a pretty healthy dish, served with a side salad it is a meal, perfect for dieting on the go and weight watchers
Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 1lb Ground Beef, or to continue to keep it light use 1/2 Turkey/ 1/2 beef
  • 1 (14oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 egg whites, whisked
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • shredded cheese Mozzarella, Provel or Parmesan
Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, use a spoon to remove the seeds and excess threads.
Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Make sure not to overcook!!

Add your ground beef/turkey to a large bowl and add ½ tablespoon of parsley, basil, and thyme and a bit of salt and pepper. Combine.
(See tip below on Fennel and Sage)
******TIP FENNEL can add a whole new flavor to your meat so try using just turkey meat with Fennel and Sage you will be AMAZED at how much flavor the meat has.
  • Make your ground beef into small bite-sized meatballs.
  • Now place a large skillet under medium heat, add a little olive oil then small meatballs.
  • Then add your can of tomato sauce, extra herbs, and salt and pepper.
  • After meatballs have cooked for about 3-4 minutes, flip them and let them simmer in the sauce.
  • While the meatballs are cooking through, remove your spaghetti squash from oven and use a fork to de-thread the squash. (Scrape it and it will shred and look like spaghetti)
  • Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
  • Spray your muffin pan then add your spaghetti squash threads  pressing down in the middle of the cup for the meatball to sit.
  • Once the meatballs are done cooking, remove them from the sauce, and place each one in a muffin pan
  • Sprinkle a little Parmesan or provel or mozzarella cheese as your taste requires
  • Now pour just a little bit of beaten egg white on top of each muffin, spaghetti squash and the meatball.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until egg is completely cooked through.
  • Extra Sauce can be served in a side dish or added to the top before baking

Main Course or Appetizer – Lasagna Cup Cakes

lasagna cupsIngredients:
2 cups of marinara sauce
1 lb of ground beef
24 wonton wrappers
3 cups of shredded mozzarella
1 cup of shredded Parmesan
4 oz of ricotta
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
Brown beef and season with salt and pepper.
Cut wonton wrappers into circle shapes using a biscuit cutter (I just used my kitchen cooking scissors)
Start layering your lasagna cupcakes. Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin.
Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese, Ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese.
Top with a little meat and marinara sauce.
Then layer with another wonton wrapper and repeat the layers.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove use a knife to loosen the edges then pop each lasagna out.
Then enjoy!

Main Course – Tropical BBQ Cup Cake – Weight Watchers

Tropical Main Course Cup Cakes

Hawaiian BBQ “Cupcakes” 
Source: Emily Bites Original
 

Ingredients:
1 2/3 cups cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped up small or shredded
½ cup chopped fresh pineapple (if you can’t find fresh you can use canned NO SYRUP)
4 T  barbecue sauce
1 T chopped scallions
16 wonton wrappers
4 oz (1 cup) reduced fat 2% shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.    Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly mist 8 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
2.    In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, pineapple, scallions and barbecue sauce. Stir to combine until fully coated.
3.    Push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each of the eight sprayed cups in the muffin tin. Using about half of the chicken mixture, spoon evenly into the wonton wrappers. Sprinkle about half the cheddar cheese evenly over the top of each cup. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat the layering steps with the remaining ingredients.
4.    Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Yields 8 “cupcakes.” WW P+:  4 per cupcake
139 calories, 11 g carbs, 3 g fat, 12 g protein, 0 g fiber

Main Course – Taco Cups – Weight Watchers

taco cup cake

  • 1 ½ t chili oil (found near the Asian ingredients)
  • ½ lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 T taco seasoning
  • ¾ c canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16 wonton wrappers
  • 5 T + 1 t of queso dip or salsa con queso
  • 1 c chunky salsa
  • 1 c reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese

 

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly mist 8 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside

2. Heat chili oil in a sauté pan or large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground beef and taco seasoning and brown beef, breaking it up with a spoon. Add black beans and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until warm.

3. Push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each of the eight sprayed cups in the muffin tin. Spoon a teaspoon of queso dip into each wonton wrapper and spread across the bottom. Follow by spooning some of the meat/beans mixture into each cup (using about half the total mixture) and then splitting ½ cup of the salsa evenly into each cup. Sprinkle about half the shredded Mexican cheese evenly over the top of each cup. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat the layering steps with the remaining ingredients.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Yields 8 taco cupcakes. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 4 per cupcake

Nutrition Information per cupcake from myfitnesspal.com: 164 calories, 12 g carbs, 7 g fat, 12 g protein, 1 g fiber

Appetizer – Crab Rangoon Dip

crag ragoon dip

Crab Rangoon Dip

Ingredients:

-2 cups crab meat
… -16 oz. cream cheese (2 blocks)
-1/2 cup sour cream
-4 green onions, chopped
-1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
-2 Tbsp powdered sugar
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp lemon juice

First, soften the cream cheese in the microwave for about a minute.
Chop your green onions. Add them and your two cups of crab meat .
Add the sour cream, Wosterschire sauce, powdered sugar, garlic powder and lemon juice.
Mix all the ingredients and bake for 30 mins at 350 degrees. Serve hot with chips or fried wontons or pork rinds.

Appetizer – Bacon Stuffed Jalapeno

One of the best grilled appetizers is bacon wrapped jalapeno peppers. THIS CAN ALSO BE BROILED IN THE OVEN

This recipe is so easy to make and it only consist of 3 ingredients; fresh jalapenos peppers, cream cheese, and bacon.  The jalapeno peppers are first sliced in half then seeded, stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped with bacon and grilled.

Ingredients:
6 fresh jalapeno peppers (halved lengthwise and seeded)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
12 slices bacon

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Pre-heat an outdoor grill to high heat. OR BROIL in OVEN on HIGH

Spread the cream cheese into the jalapeno halves. Wrap bacon around the stuffed jalapenos and secure with a toothpick.

Step 2: Place onto the grill and cook until the bacon is crispy.
(Makes 6 Servings)