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.

Banana Chips

These banana chips are a yummy, easy to make, healthy, crunchy snack. For this batch, I just lightly salted the banana slices, but they can be customized with your favorite spices for different flavored chips. They’re also vegan and gluten-free.

Banana Chips (inspired by Home Made Simple)

Makes about 30 small chips (easily multiply the recipe for more chips)

  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 200 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with non-stick spray.

Cut banana into very thin slices, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Dip each slice into lemon juice and lay on baking sheet. Once all the banana slices are on the sheet, sprinkle each one lightly with salt.

Bake for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, turning chips over halfway through. Remove from oven when chips are light brown and seem mostly dry. They’ll crisp up even more as they cool.

Portabello Mushroom Pizza

If you’re looking for a tasty low-carb, low-fat, or gluten-free meal, these portabello mushroom pizzas are perfect. They’re great for you, but still satisfy that pizza craving. Plus they’re a snap to throw together for a quick dinner or lunch.

Portabello Mushroom Pizza (inspired by Prevention RD)

Makes one portabella pizza (multiply as necessary for more servings)

  • One portabello mushroom, approx. 4-inches in diameter
  • 1/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped green peppers (or topping of your choice)
  • oregano for topping (optional)
  • basil for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

With a spoon, scoop out the gills of the mushroom and cut the stem down as small as possible. Set mushroom cap side down on the baking sheet.

Spoon crushed tomatoes into mushroom. Sprinkle cheese over sauce and add toppings.

Cook for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with oregano and basil, to taste.