Appetizers

BBQ Sweet Potato Hummus

bbq sweet potato hummus with plate of veggies

 

This weekend was our first true forecasted snow storm of the year.  One of those, “batten down the hatches” type storms, so get where you need to go cause you’re staying there for the weekend.  WELL…my dearly beloved had already gone wheels up on his flight out to Puerto Rico for a bachelor party, leaving Tito and myself to fend for ourselves in the icy abyss of Ohio.

So that was right around the time I called my super wonderful, yet autoimmune-food-restricted BFF, and made plans to get snowed in at her place!  We had this grandiose plan to stay in with our pooches and wait out “the storm to end all storms” by way of food and Netflix.  And you know what happened?

The storm never exactly came.  (Although, 24 hours after its predicted arrival, it came in the form of ice.)  Sick, right?

So we sat around all day Saturday, seeing as though we’re not quitters, and stuck to our “snow day” plan.  Four documentaries, and the start of a new Netflix original series later, we started to dabble in some culinary experimentation. 

 

bbq sweet potato hummus with plate of veggies

 

I will admit, we had the odds stacked against us.  With loads of sleep in our system, lethargy due to extended length of immobilization, limited cognitive function as a result of “Netflix and chill”, and a finite supply of ingredients due to my BFF’s autoimmune protocol diet…the odds of yielding an edible substance were looking bleak.  

In short, here were our options…a handful of sweet potatoes, lemons, garlic, and one can of chickpeas that was going to waste ever since my BFF started her AIP diet.  So in the spirit of not being wasteful, I set out on an adventure to make HUMMUS!

 

bbq sweet potato hummus with plate of veggies

 

This hummus ultimately combines two ingredients I hold very near and dear to my heart…chickpeas and sweet potatoes.  All in all, a simple recipe, it does require 60 min of baking time to get the sweet potato spectacularly mushy 🙂

Once the sweet potato is finished softening, all thats left is to throw all ingredients into a blender and give it a go!  I found that my original idea of just a plain sweet potato hummus, actually came out rather bland.  I was stewing over what I could use to spruce it up a little bit, and thats when I saw it (in the pantry)!

It was as if Moses himself had parted the sea of autoimmune protocol ingredients, showing me a clear path to…the BBQ SAUCE.  I added a 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce to give it some TANG, and oh what wonderful TANG it was!

 

BBQ sweet potato hummus with plate of veggies

 

Alas, the creation of BBQ Sweet Potato Hummus!  Which, by definition means: a snack entirely suitable for munching during ones Netflix binge sesh.  

Before serving, I added a little extra BBQ drizzle to the top, with some scallions and that was about the extent of my productivity on Saturday…and Sunday (I blame the new Netflix series for that though).    

And in case anyone is wondering…Tito survived the storm too, 

 

bernese mountain dog sitting on a couch

 

but just barely…    

 

bernese mountain dog holding a donut toy

 

BBQ Sweet Potato Hummus

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: bbq, gluten free, hummus, sweet potato

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato cut in half, long ways
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas rinsed
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup EVOO or avocado oil
  • 2 lemons juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 tbsp bbq sauce
  • scallion garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Take sweet potato and cut in half long ways and place over foil.  Drizzle avocado oil over front and back of each half.  Wrap tightly in foil and place on baking pan.  Bake for 60 min.
  • Remove potato from oven and let steam in the foil for 10 min before unwrapping.
  • While the sweet potato is steaming, take all ingredients and add to blender or food processor.
  • After sweet potato is finished steaming, scoop out the inside flesh (leaving skin) and add to blender with rest of ingredients.  You can either use a spoon to remove flesh, or take a sharp knife and cut around the inside edge of the potato.  Proceed cutting down the length, then across the width of the potato to create cubes.  Pull out cubes with a fork.
  • Add sweet potato to blender and blend all ingredients together until smooth.  Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with extra BBQ sauce and scallions.  Serve with fresh veggies or pita chips!
Appetizers, Vegetarian Meals

Greek Mini Bell Pepper Boats

multi color baby bell pepper boats filled with greek filling

 

To keep this mediterranean vibe going, here is a little somethin somethin for you to serve up as a healthy and fun appetizer!  These mini bell pepper boats are so fun, colorful, and of course…hella YUMMY.  But be careful, because from what I experienced they go fast, so don’t be afraid to make extra!

As you can see, these little lovelies are beautiful to look at, and make your spread look like something out of a magazine, but they are totally healthy for you too!  Gluten free, vegetarian, heart healthy, and filled with greek goodness…and if you aren’t already sold, there is no cooking required!  These little boats are easy to make and take very little time.  All ingredients are raw, which means just some chopping and mixing are in order.

 

tray of baby bell peppers filled with greek salad mixture

 

This recipe includes olive tapenade and olive oil, a component of the mediterranean diet that makes it so good for you!  Oil from olives has shown to reduce risk of periphery artery disease, decrease blood pressure and inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease.  Making this appetizer heart healthy!

For preparation of this appetizer, you will need a large bag of mini bell peppers rinsed, and cut down the middle long ways.  For this recipe I used 25 peppers.  The best way to do this is to dump the peppers on a table to see where they lay naturally.  Take the side of the pepper facing up and cut above the stem all the way down to the bottom (this will help them lay better when they are filled with veggie mixture). 

 

orange mini bell pepper cut long ways to create a boat

 

Once you remove the top, set aside for later use, and proceed by scooping out the seeds and insides of your “boat” under running water.  Do this to all of you pepper boats and then set aside.

 

red, orange, and yellow baby bell peppers cut into boats laying on a white table

 

Take the tops from your pepper boats and chop into small pieces, before throwing into a large mixing bowl.

 

tops of baby bell pepper boats chopped and in a mixing bowl

 

Add the rest of your finely chopped veggies, EVOO, tapenade and cheese.  Mix together, add some spices, then scoop into your boats before serving!

 

chopped bell peppers, onion, cucumber, basil, feta, and tapenade in mixing bowl

 

I eat mine like sushi…all in one bite, but my husband is more civilized than I am and will eat over a few bites.  Whichever level of sophistication you are, I’m sure you will very much enjoy!

 

greek baby bell pepper boats with empty bell pepper boats in background on white table

 

Baby Bell Pepper Boats

Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: appetizer, bell pepper, gluten free, mediterranean, vegetarian
Servings: 5 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 25 mini bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup cucumber chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive tapenade
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper each

Instructions

  • Take 25 mini bell peppers and slice in half, starting above one end of the stem, and slicing all the way down to the bottom, creating a "boat". 
  • Spoon out seeds and interior of bell pepper, and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  • Take leftover tops of bell peppers, dice them and throw into a mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Spoon filling from mixing bowl into bell pepper boats, plate and serve!
Appetizers

Lulu’s Famous Buffalo Chicken Dip

buffalo chicken dip on a chip

Put this on the list of food I could eat every day for the rest of my life!  This is a house favorite for us because its super freaking YUM-MY.  So much so that our pup, Tito, tries to sneak bites while we’re not looking (lucky for us he’s not very sneaky).

dog eyeing buffalo chicken dip on a chip

We usually see this dip every weekend during the fall as a tailgate appetizer, but today it’s being made for a New Years Eve party we’ll be attending!  Between NYE celebrations, and football playoff season, now would be a perfect time to give this recipe a try! Plus I can pretty much guarantee you this will be the crowd favorite.

It’s really simple to make and the two different methods of cooking make it versatile to better fit your schedule.  For today’s Buffalo Chicken Dip, I made it on the stovetop before baking it in the oven for 15 min.

The other option is in the slow cooker, which is SO FREAKING EASY it’s crazy.  I have done both ways, and they turn out just as addicting whichever way you decide.  For the slow cooker option, just dump all your ingredients in and set on HIGH for 40-45 min, stirring periodically.  Once all ingredients are melted and blended together, then you can set the temp to WARM and leave in the slow cooker for people to serve themselves.  So easy right?!

buffalo chicken dip on sauce pan before baking

If using stovetop, I like to melt my cream cheese, hot sauce, ranch and cheese together to create the sauce, before mixing in my shredded rotisserie chicken.  Once everything is blended, I transfer to a greased baking dish and top with some extra cheese!

Can’t wait for you guys to give this classic recipe a try, you will not regret it!  And don’t forget to grab a bag of chips, or some celery sticks to scoop it with!

buffalo chicken dip in a casserole dish with chips

Lulu's Famous Buffalo Chicken Dip

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: appetizer, buffalo chicken, dip
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup ranch
  • 3/4 cup pepper jack cheese shredded
  • 1 cup chicken shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a small casserole dish.
  • Take a medium sized sauce pan and add hot sauce, cream cheese, ranch, and pepper jack cheese.  Cook over medium heat.
  • Stir occasionally until sauce becomes smooth and fully blended.  Stir in chicken.
  • Transfer to greased casserole dish and cook for 15 min.
  • Serve with chips and/or celery sticks.