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Happy, healthy hosting

Posted: September 14, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: September 14, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Italian-Style turkey meatball skewers

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Healthy eating and great entertaining can go hand in hand when you have a few delicious tricks up your sleeve.

Appetizers, tapas, hors d’oeuvres — whatever you want to call them, small bites are a great way to help control portions while putting big flavor on the plate. Here are some ideas for a small bites menu that will leave guests so satisfied they might not even realize just how good they’re really eating.

--    Raid the farmers market. Fresh produce looks, smells and tastes fantastic. Set out a colorful veggie tray, some berry skewers with a Greek yogurt and honey dip and a bright caprese salad. You can even make a beautiful centerpiece with fragrant citrus in a pretty bowl.

--    Make your own dips. When you make it yourself, you can control what goes in it. Try making a black bean salsa, fresh guacamole, savory hummus, or your own olive tapenade. You can adjust recipes for a lower fat content or lower sodium and still make sure they taste great.

--    Embrace whole grains. From bruschetta breads and grain-based salads to crunchy dippers and ingredients in heartier recipes, whole grains add great taste and good nutrition. These party-friendly recipes use the natural whole grain goodness of Roman Meal bread to put a delicious spin on some traditional favorites, while also adding good-for-you complex carbohydrates and fiber.

For more delicious recipes for entertaining and healthy living, visit

Whole grain panzanella bread salad
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 Minutes
Servings: 8

4 slices Roman Meal
3 tablespoons olive oil,
2 tablespoons
Parmesan cheese,
or grated
3 cups cherry
tomatoes, cut in half
2 cups cucumbers,
seeded and diced
1 cup chickpeas,
rinsed and drained
1/2 cup red onion, finely
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil

Preheat broiler to 400°F. Foil-line one baking sheet.

Brush bread lightly on both sides with one tablespoon olive oil; place on baking sheet. Broil about two minutes, turning once, until golden. Watch carefully to avoid burn­ing.

Remove from oven.

Sprinkle cheese on one side of toasted bread; return to oven for about 20 seconds until cheese is melted and bubbly; cool com­pletely.

Cut bread into one-inch pieces. Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, onion, vinegar, basil and remaining two tablespoons olive oil in large serving bowl.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Top with bread pieces just prior to serving.

Nutritional information per serving: calories: 104; total tat: 6g; cholesterol: 0mg; sodium: 84mg; total carbs: 11g; dietary fiber: 2g; protein: 2g; whole grains: 5.5g

Whole grain caprese sandwich bites
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Servings: 4

8 slices Roman Meal
bread, toasted or
2 tablespoons pesto
8 ounces mozzarella
cheese, cut into 1/2-
inch pieces
8 Roma tomatoes, cut
into 4 slices each
32 fresh basil leaves
8 8-inch bamboo

Trim crusts and cut each piece of toast into quarters for a total of 32 pieces. Spread pesto onto each toast quarter.

Assemble on each skewer: toast quarter, two basil leaves, one tomato slice, one cheese slice and toast quarter.

Repeat for a total of two sand­wich bites per skewer.

Nutritional information per serving: calories: 325; total fat: 14.7g; cholesterol: 39mg; sodium: 664mg; total carbs: 30g; dietary fiber: 3g; protein: 19g; whole grains: 11g

Raspberry hazelnut truffle toast bites
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Servings: 12

4 slices Roman Meal
bread, toasted
1/4 cup chocolate
hazelnut spread
36 fresh raspberries
Trim crusts and cut each slice of toast into three even pieces for a total of 12 pieces. Spread one teaspoon chocolate hazelnut spread on each piece. Top with three raspberries.

Nutritional information per serving: calories: 53; total fat: 1.9g; cholesterol: 0mg; sodium: 47mg; total carbs: 8.4g; dietary fiber: 0.9g; protein: 0.9g; whole grains: 2g
Italian-style turkey meatball skewers
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Servings: 12

6 slices Roman Meal
bread, toasted
1 pound lean ground
2 egg whites
1 small white onion,
1/2 cup fresh basil,
1/4 cup sun dried
tomatoes, packed in
oil, diced
2 teaspoons garlic,
1/2 teaspoon ground
black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
36 4-inch bamboo
36 fresh basil leaves

18 cherry tomatoes,
2 cups marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Foil-line one baking sheet.

Break bread slices into pieces; place in blender or food processor.

Process until finely ground into crumbs. Remove 3/4 cup, reserve remaining bread crumbs.

Combine turkey, 3/4 cup bread crumbs, egg whites, onion, chopped basil, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, pepper and salt in medium bowl.

Divide turkey mixture into 36 1-inch balls; roll in remaining bread crumbs. Place on baking sheet.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from oven.

Assemble meatballs, basil leaves and tomatoes on skewers.

Serve with marinara sauce.

Nutritional information per serving: calories: 120, total fat: 3g, cholesterol: 15mg, sodium: 380mg,
total carbs: 12g, dietary fiber: 2g, protein: 12g,
whole grains: 3g



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