Baked Mozzarella Bites

A tasty, crowd-pleasing appetizer that’s easy to throw together; what’s not to love?

Baked Mozzarella Bites (based off of Eat Yourself Skinny and altered slightly)

  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 12 (1-ounce) sticks part-skim mozzarella string cheese
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes (for dipping)

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Add panko breadcrumbs to a small saucepan and toast lightly for a couple of minutes. Mix with seasoned breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl/plate.

Cut mozzarella sticks into thirds. One at a time, dip each mozzarella piece into the egg and dredge in the crumb mixture. Place each piece onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 3 minutes, until cheese is soft/cooked through (mine started to melt a bit).

Pour crushed tomatoes into a microwavable bowl and heat in a microwave (for about 1 minute). Serve with mozzarella bites.


Baked Onion Rings

These onion rings are crunchy and flavorful without any of the heavy greasiness of traditional onion rings. They’re perfect for some Sunday football and they’ll disappear from the serving plate before you know it.

Baked Onion Rings (taken from Skinnytaste and altered slightly)

  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk (I subbed with 4 cups skim milk and 1/4 cup lemon juice)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup crushed corn flake crumbs

Line 3 baking sheets with foil, spray with non-stick spray, and set aside.

Slice onions into 1/4 inch rings and place in a medium/large bowl. Pour buttermilk over onions and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine panko and seasoned breadcrumbs and corn flake crumbs. Pour about 1/4 of the crumb mixture to a large dish. Reserve the rest for when the first batch is used up (only using some of the mixture at a time helps prevent clumping and lets the crumbs stick better to the onions).

Dip each soaked onion ring into the crumb mixture and coat well. Place rings onto the cookie sheets. Bake about 12 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Ricotta Asparagus Fillo Triangles

These appetizers are made of flaky pastry wrapped around a cheesy ricotta filling (nom nom nom). Fillo dough is kind of difficult to work with but it gets easier and they’re worth the effort.

Ricotta Asparagus Fillo Triangles

Makes 24 triangles

  • 20 sheets fillo dough (one 8-oz roll)
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 12 spears asparagus
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Olive oil for brushing on dough sheets

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Cut asparagus spears in half and boil for 10-15 minutes. When done, puree in a food processor. Combine in a bowl with ricotta and basil.

Place 1 phyllo sheet on clean work surface (cover remaining phyllo sheets with damp kitchen towel to prevent drying). Brush phyllo sheet with oil. Stack 2 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil. Cut phyllo stack lengthwise into 4 strips.

Spoon heaping tbsp ricotta mixture 1/2 inch from the end of 1 phyllo strip.  Fold upper corner over filling to make a triangle. Continue folding triangle onto itself, across, and down to make triangle packet. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo strips, then repeat entire process with remaining phyllo sheets and ricotta mixture.

Brush triangles with oil. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad Wraps

The quinoa, chickpea filling for these wraps was delicious, but in the future I’ll probably choose a different green because collard greens have a somewhat bitter taste (the original recipe actually calls for kale, but I used collard greens just because I had them on hand). These wraps are great as healthy appetizers (if using half of a leaf for each wrap) or a full meal (if using full greens and more filling). Plus they’re both gluten-free and vegan!

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad Wraps (taken from Scandi Foodie and altered slightly)

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch collard greens (or another green), stemmed.

Rinse quinoa before cooking according to package directions (boil in 2 cups of water for about 12 minutes and then turn off heat and cover for another 5 minutes).

To prepare filling, combine quinoa, chickpeas, lemon juice, onion, olive oil and red pepper flakes.

Stem collard greens. For the larger greens, slice them in half along vein; this is unnecessary for smaller greens. Scoop some filling onto each green. Tuck in sides and roll up each end.