Cucumber Crab Bites | Easy Appetizer

Put your hands in the air if you like sushi!  [Stands up, waves hands wildly, shouting, “Me! Me!”]  I love sushi.  However, I’ve never made it, nor do I have a real desire to attempt it.  It seems way too labor intensive for a short return, although incredibly delicious.  I’d probably spend an hour creating a roll that takes me four seconds to shove in my mouth.  Yeah, I’ll just enjoy my sushi out at restaurants or for take out.

So when I picked up Crab Classic at the grocery store, the first thought that came to mind was SUSHI!  And then I remembered my aforementioned thoughts about the reality of actually trying to make sushi and decided, instead, to think about what ingredients I love best paired with crab in sushi.  Well, that’s easy.  Avocado.  Cream cheese.  Cucumber.  Because any roll that includes those is sure to be a winner.  Topped with some sweet chili sauce?  Oh yeah, now we’re talkin’!

cucumber crab bites

Easiest appetizer (or Sunday afternoon snack) ever.  The cucumber crab bites are actually a lot like sushi… without the intense labor or the rice, which is a win in most people’s book.  You’ve even got to cram the whole bite in your mouth, just like sushi, because it’s too hard to just eat half of or take a bite.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Very ladylike, I know.

So here’s the deal with how to “make” these delicious little cucumber crab bites.  You slice a cucumber.  You give each slice a shmear of cream cheese.  You add a hunk of crab.  You add a bit of avocado.  And you pour a dollop of sweet chili sauce on top.  Eat.  Repeat.

cucumber crab bites appetizer

What’s this Crab Classic that so wonderfully sat on top of my cucumber bites? Crab Classic is the #1 surimi seafood brand nationally, made from wild Alaskan Pollock and King Crab meat. It is also gluten-free, fat-free and certified by the American Heart Association as heart healthy. Besides that, Crab Classic is also certified by the MSC as a sustainably sourced seafood.

Crab Classic comes in a variety of different forms including flakes, chunks, legs, shreds, and single servings, though my grocery store was limited and just had chunks.

crab classic

The legs would have been perfect for a roll-up type thing I made with the same ingredients as the cucumber crab bites just wrapped up in lettuce.

crab rollup

And not nearly as dainty or pretty. 😉

cucumber crab bites recipe

Have you ever made your own sushi?  What must-have ingredients would you pair with crab?

Disclaimer: I received coupons for Crab Classic free of charge.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Café de Paris Dip Recipe

You know me when it comes to recipes… they must be easy.  Well, I’ve got a new one for you that passes my “easy to make” test.  It’s the Café de Paris Dip Recipe.  It’s an extremely flavorful, creamy, yet healthy dip that is delicious with raw vegetables, white meat, or as a salad dressing.

cafe de paris diprecipe

Through my partnership with SimpleRecipes.club, I received two products from Vom Fass that pair perfectly together: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Café de Paris Dip Spice Blend.  The olive oil came in a funky shaped bottle which was unique and fun.  The spice blend had a recipe on the jar which is what I made.  It’s super simple, but crazy flavorful.  The flavors in the spice blend are garlic, onion, turmeric, parsnip, coriander, cumin, chillies, fenugreek seeds, paprika, pepper, allspices, mustard speeds, ginger, fennel, cardamom, and sea salt.

cafe de paris recipe

Café de Paris Dip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tsp Café de Paris Dip spice blend
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp VOM FASS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Mix Café de Paris Dip spice blend with water and let stand for three minutes.
  2. Add olive oil and Greek yogurt.  Stir.
  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

cafe de paris dip recipe

What is your favorite dip?

Greek Six-Layer Dip Recipe

Everyone loves dips.  They’re so versatile, can be eaten as an appetizer, snack, or meal, and there’s a million different ways to make them.  They can be healthy or not, eaten with chips, crackers, or fresh vegetables.  Many times, dips have a Mexican flare.  Nothing against that; I love Mexican style dips.  However, this Greek Six-Layer Dip recipe is a new twist on an old favorite and absolutely perfect for the summer.

greek-six-layer-dip

Greek Six-Layer Dip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (6 oz) container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 (8 oz each) containers roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced Greek olives

Directions:

  1. In small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice and salt; set aside.
  2. Spread hummus onto a 12-inch platter.
  3. Layer yogurt mixture over hummus.
  4. Top with cucumber, tomatoes, olives and cheese.

Delicious served with Lemon-Basil Garlic chips.

This recipe, and many more, can be found on Hy-Vee’s Homegrown Pinterest page.

I’m so excited to announce my partnership with Hy-Vee for an upcoming Twitter Party on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm CST

hyvee

Details:

Get all the health benefits of homegrown produce with Hy-Vee’s Local Homegrown Twitter Party July 22nd at 3pm MT with #WinFreshWinLocal

Want to know why fresh, local watermelon is always bursting with sweetness and flavor? Or how to perfectly prepare sweet corn at your next family cookout?

A team of Hy-Vee’s in-house health experts will be on-hand and ready to answer all of your fresh, local, homegrown questions at our upcoming Twitter Party!

Whether you’re looking to eat more nutritiously or to support your local growers (or both!) we’ll be tweeting all things FRESH, LOCAL, and HOMEGROWN and we want to hear from you!  When you share your questions with #WinFreshWinLocal during the Twitter Party you’ll automatically be entered to win 1 of 4 Hy-Vee Gift Cards valued at $250 each! A great opportunity for you and your family to enjoy all the fruits and vegetables grown within 200 miles of Hy-Vee stores across the Midwest!

Don’t Forget: keep your eyes out for the Local Homegrown program logo when you’re shopping at Hy-Vee!

For more information and to reserve your space at the Twitter Chat Tweet @Hyvee with #WinFreshWinLocal and you’ll be entered to win a $250 gift certificate to the store!

What do you buy local? What are your favorite recipes using homegrown ingredients? Do you have a Hy-Vee near you?

Cheesy Buffalo Bean Dip Recipe

I’ve got a delicious post for you today! Let’s jump right into it. After all, itz What I Ate Wednesday over at Peas & Crayons, so make sure you pop over there.

Breakfast: Plain Chobani Greek yogurt with Muesli Fusion & peanut butter

chobani muesli fusion

Healthy blend of fats, protein, and carbs! Itz mighty tasty, too!

Lunch: Peppers & celery with cheesy buffalo bean dip & roasted red pepper hummus

veggies

Lots of snacks were eaten before and after, which is why lunch was on the smaller side.  But it sure is pretty, isn’t it? Colorful meals are the best! (And the healthiest!)

Cheesy Buffalo Bean Dip Recipe is below!

Snack: Fiber Love Bars for Wellness Wednesday at school

fiberlove

Wellness Wednesday at school is back which means I find different sponsors to provide healthy on-the-go snacks for our staff. We need to lead by example as we teach the kiddies, and properly fueling our bodies is definitely important. Fiber Love Bars are my favorite fiber bars ever. Not only do they provide 48% of your daily fiber needs, but they come in absolutely AWESOME flavors!  Check it out: Peanut Chocolate Chip, Banana Walnut, Blondie Bar, Blueberry Cobbler, Chocolate Brownie, and Cinnamon Raisin.

Mmm, so good!  Also, they’ve got a Fiber Love Club that you can sign up for free to receive 30% off regular priced bars and free shipping.  Fiber Love bars are also kosher and Non-GMO Project verified. All Fiber Love bars – except Blondie, which contains whole milk powder – are also vegan.

Dinner: cheese tortellini with peas and Parmesan cheese

tortellini peas

The tortellini came from Trader Joe’s and I feel like peas and parm compliment tortellini so well.  There were about fifty-five bowls of this eaten last night. 😉

And now for that recipe….

The Superbowl may have passed, but our love for dips certainly has not!  This cheesy buffalo bean dip recipe is sure to please – itz packed with protein, flavor, and spice!

Cheesy Buffalo Bean Dip Recipe

cheesy buffalo bean dip

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package (4 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 can (16 oz) refried beans
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese mix

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in small pot.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat, pour in serving dish, garnish with additional chili powder.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy!

Itz so easy to make!  (Those are always the best recipes.)  And it can be considered lightened up.  I used light cream cheese and Mexican cheese.  (I would not recommend nonfat cream cheese or Mexican cheese.) I used nonfat plain Chobani Greek yogurt, and I suppose low fat or full fat would work just fine, too.  Use more or less chili powder and buffalo sauce depending on your preference of spice.

What would you dip in the cheesy buffalo bean dip? (Face or fingers don’t count!) 😉

Creamy Fire Roasted Red Pepper Aritchoke Dip

Oh hello and happy Thursday to you, my friends.  I’ve got a recipe to share with you today.  It all started in Pennsylvania during the Runner’s World Half & Festival Weekend.  There were numerous vendors who were all so wonderful.  One of them were a couple of people working the Mediterranean Snacks booth; they were passing out samples of their lentil crackers.  I really liked them so when Ali e-mailed me asking if I’d like to try their new line of Hummuz Crispz, I quickly obliged.

Hummuz Crispz

The first thing I noticed about these Hummuz Crispz were that they were packin’ 5 grams of protein per serving (about 14 crispz).  Crispz with protein?  Yessir, I do appreciate that!  They’re also gluten-free (a perk for some).  I liked their slogan for these, “Lighter than a cracker; sturdier than a chip.”  The crispz are definitely light; that’s for sure, but they are sturdy as they were able to hold the thick dip I made.

Hummuz Crispz cracker

As you saw, the crispz come in three Mediterranean cuisine-inspired flavors: Olive Tapenade, Roasted Red Pepper, and Roasted Garlic.  All of the flavors are very mild; there’s just a hint of the flavor in each bite which makes it easy to pair them with any type of dip.

After I finished the first two bags of crispz, I knew I wanted to make a dip to go with the last bag I had left: Olive Tapenade.  Creamy and semi-healthy were my goals and I do believe I accomplished just that.  I grabbed a few products from Trader Joe’s and got started.  Here’s what happened:

Creamy Fire Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip

Creamy Fire Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jar fire roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/3 jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • dash of sea salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper
  • sriracha to taste

Directions:

  • Place all items in food processor and blend until desired consistency is reached.

Easy enough, eh?  I loved how creamy it turned out, and no one would ever even guess there were beans in it (Jonny sure didn’t).  The beans don’t add flavor, but they do add bulk, protein, and fiber.  I imagine this dip will get made again, especially during football season when many dips are prevalent.  I also would like to try this dip as a spread on a veggie sandwich or wrap.  That would be killer.  But merely pairing it with the Hummuz Crispz was a really great option and would be wonderful to serve as an appetizer with guests.

Hummuz Crispz dip

What type of dips do you like?  Have you tried any of the Mediterranean Snacks?

*Disclaimer:  While I was sent the Hummuz Crispz free of charge, I was not compensated for this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday Massage

My busy and productive weekend continued yesterday as it was another jam-packed day!  It began with a typical quick 30-minute cardio session at the gym.  (The elliptical was my cardio of choice.)  Then Jonny and I went to see one of my students in his religious performance.  They were learning about the life cycle and put on a mock wedding.  Very cute.

I helped throw a baby shower with my mother-in-law and a couple of other ladies for a good family friend.  She is having a girl, so it was all things pink.  So cute and so fun.  My friend is adorable and looks like she has a miniature basketball underneath her shirt.  All belly!

Straight from the baby shower I raced home to prepare a dip for our Superbowl party we were going to.  I had made the dip once before and it was a major hit with my family, so I assumed it would go over well again.  It is a Cheesy Chorizo Dip, recipe taken from The Vegan Slow Cooker.

The first time I made it for my family, they were all like “What’s in it?  Is it tofu?”  (I may or may not have a habit of cooking with tofu and not telling them it’s tofu.)  I told them, nope it was all regular ingredients and they dug in and loved it!  Then I told them it was a vegan dish and they couldn’t believe it!  I used soy chorizo and soy cheddar cheese (Daiya, of course) and then added black beans and diced tomatoes!  It was a major hit, especially when eaten with Trader Joe’s Veggie & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips!

They’re still chips and the dip is still “cheese” based, but it was a healthier spin on an otherwise super unhealthy appetizer!  Plus, it was delicious and sometimes that’s all that really matters!

This morning I began my Week 3 of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer.  The original Week 3 Day 1 workout can be found here, but listed below are my own modifications and weight selections.

Week 3 Day 1: Legs

  • Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 15 (45 pounds)
  • Widestance Barbell Squat: 3 sets of 15 (40 pounds)
  • Walking Barbell Lunge: 3 sets of 15 lunges each leg (30 pounds)
  • Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift: 3 sets of 12 each leg (25-pound kettlebell)
  • Kneeling Leg Curls: 3 sets of 10 each leg (10 pounds)
  • Seated Calf Raises: 3 sets of 20 (75 pounds)
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets of 20 (40 pounds)

This was very similar to Week 1 and 2’s Day 3 workout with a couple of different exercises.  I went up in weight in the squats and standing calf raises.  The walking barbell lunges and kettlebell one-legged deadlifts were new-to-me exercises that left my legs screaming!  Lunging with a barbell is very different than lunging with dumbbells.  Plus, I usually use 10-pound dumbbells and today I had a 30 pound barbell!  The kettlebell deadlifts were hard and challenged my balance and reminded me the importance of STRETCHING!  I needed to stretch in between each set because my hamstrings were so tight.  (Hence the reason I had to go down in weight and reps during the kneeling leg curls.)

After school, I’m headed to get a massage!  I’m so excited and think this will help a full five-day workweek get off to the right start!  I never buy massages for myself as I think they are incredibly expensive and I just can’t justify them.  However, I can justify paying half price when using Groupon or LivingSocial!

Do you splurge for massages?