The Final Four Basketball games are upon us. So, I have put together some good healthier finger food options while you’re enjoying the basketball games. I wanted to be creative in using some of the ingredients so on the list for appetizers are Beyond Meatless Sliders, Cauliflower Hot Wings, a Walnut Dip with an assortment of fresh Veggies, Kale Chips and Spanish Popcorn.
Healthy Nutrition on Cauliflower, Kale and Walnuts!
Cauliflower is a Cruciferous veggie. It has an ability to detoxify our bodies in multiple ways offering a host of health benefits including several potent anti-inflammatory compounds. It is a good source of vitamin K, which has been shown to directly modulate the body’s inflammatory response. It also contains substances that the body can convert to sulforaphane, which supports blood vessel health and may offer other cardiovascular benefits. It also has been shown to have significant anti-cancer effects. It provides a broad-spectrum antioxidant protection from free radical damage. Along with vitamin C and manganese, it contains phytonutrients including beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin, kaempferol. All of these appear to work together to lower oxidative stress on cells.
Kale is among the most nutrient-dense commonly eaten vegetables. One cup provides 1,327 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin K, 192 percent of DV for vitamin A, and 88 percent for vitamin C.
Walnuts are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a fatty acid similar to the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Enjoy nuts as part of a healthy diet. Sample a variety, avoid nut products full of salt or artificial flavorings, and don’t worry about minor nutritional differences when making your choices. Enjoy them in moderation.
Beyond Meatless Sliders
Gluten free slider buns
¾ cup of vegan mayonnaise, Hampton Creek Just Mayo
1 teaspoon organic hot sauce
2 patties from the Meatless Beet Burger recipe*
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cups of lettuce; spring mix, arugula, spinach or kale
Toast the slider buns, if preferred. Mix together the hot sauce and mayonnaise to desired taste. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on each bun. Add coconut oil to pan. Place the patties in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Place each patty on the slider buns. Top with avocado, lettuce and the other half of the bun. Enjoy!
Cauliflower Hot Wings
1 head of cauliflower
½ cup gluten free flower
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups warm water
3 tsp egg replacer
¼ cup organic hot sauce or Tessemae’s Mild Buffalo Sauce
1 tsp coconut oil, if using only the hot sauce
Tessemae’s Organic Creamy Ranch sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces. Combine all of the dry ingredients into a medium size bowl. Add the water and mix until lump free. Prepare a cookie sheet with wax paper. Dip each cauliflower bite into the wet mixture, letting the excess drip off and place on cookie sheet. Cook for 30 minutes then flip them over and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes or so. Toss the cauliflower bites in the hot sauce mixture or Buffalo Sauce. Serve cauliflower wings with carrots, celery, bell pepper, fennel and the Organic Creamy Ranch Sauce.
1 cup walnuts
1 medium bell pepper, any color
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp diced sweet onion
3Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp raw honey, coconut nectar or maple syrup
¼ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp salt
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Serve with fresh veggies. Can also be used to coat the kale chips before baking. Enjoy!
Rinse kale and remove as much of the moisture as possible. If using the Walnut Dip, place the kale and dip in a large bowl and mix well with your hands to ensure all the leaves are well coated (skip this step if not using Walnut Dip). Arrange kale on 2 baking sheets with parchment paper in a single layer, and bake at the lowest temperature typically 170 degrees for 1.5-3 hours (this is an alternative way to dehydrating), with the oven door cracked open (each oven cooks differently so check at 90 minutes and continue if not crispy). Stir the kale chips half way through the baking process to ensure all parts are crispy. Season with salt. Enjoy!
Heat oil in pan over high, add the kernels in an even layer and place lid on tight. When kernels have started to pop turn heat down to medium low. Keep covered for 30 seconds or until all kernels have popped. When rapid popping has slowed to almost nothing, remove from heat. Transfer to a medium bowl, toss popcorn with salt and spice mix. Enjoy!
*Meatless Beet Burger
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 medium yellow oinion, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of carrot, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup cooked/steamed beets – any color
4 cups cooked lentils
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup gluten breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons egg-free mayonnaise, such as Hampton Creek Just Mayo
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil over medium-low heat in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add the onions, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, garlic, thyme and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the carrots are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. Blend the beets and 2 cups lentils until smooth in a blender. Transfer the pureed beets and lentils to a medium bowl. Add the remaining 2 cups lentils, 1/3 cup gluten free breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, lemon juice and the carrot mixture. Form 1/3-cupfuls of the mixture into eleven 3/4-inch-thick slider patties (1/4-cupfuls can get you 22 thin patties). Sprinkle 1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs on a baking sheet. Place the burgers on top of the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup breadcrumbs on top of the burgers. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat in the skillet. Cook the burgers until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
To your health,