Clean and Easy Appetizers for Memorial Day

Clean and Easy Appetizers for Memorial Day | Higher Level Living Blog

Memorial Day is just around the corner. Before we get into healthy memorial day appetizers, I want to say thank you to all those who have served and pay respects to all those that have passed in the United States Military. Memorial day is usually filled with family, friends food and drinks. It always feels like the unofficial kick off to summer! Here are six delicious and healthy appetizers for your Memorial Day celebration!

Clean and Easy Appetizers for Memorial Day | Higher Level Living Blog

Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh corn, approx 3 corn cobs

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed is best

  • 1 tablespoon honey, if vegan, use brown rice syrup

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • salt, to taste

  • hot sauce, optional

Directions:

  1. You can use frozen corn, canned corn or fresh corn. If you use fresh corn cook the corn cobs in boiling water for about five minutes, let them cool a little then cut the corn off. Make sure you have all the silks removed before you do that, you don't really want them in the salad.

  2. If you use frozen corn there's no need to defrost it, just add it as is and it will defrost quickly and help chill the rest of the salad.

  3. Cut the vegetables as directed.

  4. Mix beans, corn and vegetables together in one bowl.

  5. Mix the remaining ingredients together (except the salt) to make the dressing, then pour over the bean salad and mix well to combine. Add hot sauce if you want to give it a little kick, my kids won't eat it like that so I left it out. If you like more lime juice in the dressing you can adjust that up or down to suit your taste.

  6. Season with salt and chill before serving.

 
Clean and Easy Appetizers for Memorial Day | Higher Level Living Blog

Cucumber Bites

Ingredients:

  • 12 cherry or grape tomatoes

  • 12 slices prosciutto about 5 ounces

  • 1 large cucumber

  • Aged Balsamic vinegar to taste

  • toothpicks

Directions:

  1. Take out a platter for the bites, and toothpicks. Set both aside but in easy reach.

  2. Cut the cucumber ribbons by placing a cucumber on a cutting board and using a vegetable peeler to slice thin pieces off the cucumber, length-wise. Start at one end and go all the way to the other end of the cucumber. Keep making thin slices of cucumber until you start to see the seeds. Then flip the cucumber over (so the flat part is facing down on the cutting board) and do the same on the other side. Do the same to the other two sides.

  3. As you’re slicing the ribbons, place them on a paper-towel lined plate in a single layer to absorb any excess moisture out of the cucumber. When you run out of space, add more layers of paper towels.

  4. While the cucumber is on the paper towels, slice cherry tomatoes on a cutting board with a sharp knife. Once done, set aside.

  5. Start assembling the bites, beginning with the prosciutto. Take one large piece of prosciutto and pull it apart into two long piece. Take one of those pieces and start to roll it together (in a flat piece) into roughly a one inch sized piece. Once all the way rolled up, set it aside.

  6. Take one slice of cucumber and fold it back and forth onto itself into roughly that same one inch sized piece. You will likely need to do this with two hands so the cucumber folds don’t slip out.

  7. Assemble the bites by taking the prosiutto, laying the cucumber ribbon on top of it, then place half a tomato on top of the cucumber. Take a toothpick and carefully pierce all three ingredients starting with the tomato. Be sure to put the toothpick all the way through the prosciutto - this will prevent the prosciutto from slipping off the toothpick.

  8. Place the bite on the platter and repeat the assembly process until all of the bites are put together.

  9. Once all the the bites are assembled on the platter, drizzle balsamic vinegar on top of them, making sure to get a little on each bite (about a quarter of a cup total, or more if needed). Serve immediately.

 
Clean and Easy Appetizers for Memorial Day | Higher Level Living Blog

One Pot Summer Vegetable Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Pasta of your choice- I love lentil pasta for Gluten Free

  • 3 cup Water, cold

  • 1 cup Onion, diced

  • 1 Tbso Olive oil

  • 2 Zucchini, sliced

  • 2 Yellow Squash, sliced

  • 1 pint Grape tomatoes

  • 1 cup Basil, fresh

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 cup Marinara Sauce, you may add more sauce if you like

Directions:

  1. Add olive oil and onions to a 12 inch skillet and cook over medium high heat until softened.

  2. Add the box of pasta, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, and basil to the skillet.

  3. Pour 3 cups of cold water and salt into the pan ensuring that the water covers the pasta (it does not have to cover the vegetables).

  4. Turn the heat up to high and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the water is absorbed.

  5. With about 1 minute left add the sauce then remove the skillet from heat and top with cheese. Serve immediately.

 
Clean and Easy Appetizers for Memorial Day | Higher Level Living Blog

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground chicken

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 cup corn kernels (if frozen, thawed)

  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

  • 12 square (7-inch) egg roll wrappers

  • Olive oil or cooking spray, for coating

  • Guacamole or salsa, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

  2. Add the ground chicken to a medium nonstick sauté pan set over medium-low heat and cook it, breaking it apart with a spatula, until it is no longer pink. Add the garlic powder, ground cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until combined.

  3. Transfer the meat mixture to a large bowl then stir in the black beans, corn and cheese.

  4. Arrange the egg roll wrappers on a dry work surface so that the corner of each wrapper is closest to you. Add a small amount of water to a dish.

  5. Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture in the lower third of each wrapper then beginning at the bottom, roll the wrapper up and fold the edges inward. Before your final fold, wet your finger with the water and rub it around the edges. Roll the wrapper shut, pressing lightly to seal the edges together.

  6. Arrange the egg rolls, seam side down, on the baking sheet then brush them lightly with olive oil or coat them with cooking spray. Bake the egg rolls for about 15 minutes or until they’re golden brown and slightly crisped. Remove the egg rolls from the oven and serve them with guacamole or salsa for dipping.

 
Clean and Easy Appetizers for Memorial Day | Higher Level Living Blog

Berry Orange Spinach Salad

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 6 packed cups baby spinach

  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned

  • ¾ cup (3 oz) raspberries

  • ½ cup (3 oz) blackberries

  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

  • ¼ cup walnuts

Ingredients for the vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tbsp fresh (mandarin) orange juice

  • 1 tbsp honey

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until well combined. Taste and adjust the dressing to your preference. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients, then drizzle the desired amount of vinaigrette on top. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.

 
Clean and Easy Appetizers for Memorial Day | Higher Level Living Blog

Avocado Cilantro White Bean Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cannellini beans (approx. 15 oz)

  • 1/2 large ripe avocado

  • 1/2 jalapeno (seeds/veins removed)

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach (just grab a handful!)

  • 2-3 TBSP fresh lime juice

  • 2 TBSP fresh cilantro plus extra to taste

  • 2 TBSP olive oil plus extra to garnish

  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse your beans and combine in a food processor [or blender!] with all of the above ingredients.

  2. Whip until creamy, scraping down the sides as needed.

  3. Serve a room temperature with your favorite dippers and a drizzle of olive oil!

These recipes are quick, easy, healthy and delicious anytime, not just for Memorial Day! How do you celebrate the “kick off of summer?” I am so excited to be outside and enjoy this nice weather!

 

Here are some other healthy recipes you might enjoy!