Nutrition Discussion and CookingDemonstrationPARTY PERFECTFestive party appetizers without the guiltCranberry Chicken Salad CupsGarbanzo GuacamoleMini Spanakopitasrecipes available at cancerperspectives.org
Party PerfectMother’s Day is just around the corner, and let’s face it, holidays happen all yearlong and we’re always looking for something interesting and tasty to serve to thepeople we care about. What better time to treat your party guests to some newhors d’oeuvres while showing off your culinary skills. In addition to selectingitems that were uncommon, the real challenge was to make sure the itemsprepared were healthy, as this is the primary goal in the cooking studio.Borrowing from Asian food preparation, wonton skins were formed into cups tobe used as containers or holders for a variation on chicken salad. Instead of deepfat frying the wonton skins, they were baked, thereby cutting down on the fatcontent. The chicken salad contained chopped mandarin oranges and crystallizedginger, which added a real “kick” to the flavor. Chopped fresh cranberries wereused as a colorful, festive garnish!
Mini Spanakopitas were also selected for this demonstration. A fewmodifications were made to the spinach mixture: the feta and cottage cheesesused in the preparation were low-fat. Additionally, only egg whites were used inthe mixture. The toughest challenge, however, was handling the phyllo dough.Once the airtight packaging around the dough is opened, steps need to be takento prevent the dough from drying out. As one peels off the sheet of dough to beused, the remaining dough needs to be covered with a moist paper towel.Typically, phyllo is layered and brushed between the layers with copious amountsof butter contributing significantly to the calories of phyllo based recipes. Wemodified this by brushing the layers with a mixture of egg white and water. It leftus with a flakey and tender product without the added fat calories! Afterlayering, the dough is cut into narrow strips and approximately one tablespoon ofthe spinach mixture is placed at one end. One corner of the dough is folded overthe mixture, forming a triangle. And you keep folding back and forth, similar to aflag being folded, until you get to the end of the strip. And presto, it is ready forthe oven. Once baked, allow the golden brown phyllo pastry to cool beforepopping the Spanakopita into your mouth! Delish!!!
The final item prepared on this day was an interesting hybrid of guacamole andhummus, both very popular party dips. Garbanzo beans were pureed with theavocado which increased the protein and fiber content and added some texture.Using slightly less avocado had the added benefit of decreasing the overall fatcontent. Whether one dips pita bread, Melba toast, or raw veggies into thegarbanzo guacamole, it was a new and tasty variation on an old standard!
Cranberry Chicken Salad CupsTime: Prep 20 minutes; Cook 8 minutesPer Appetizer: 1 ½ diced cooked chicken breast (skinned before cooking andcooked without salt)½ cup canned mandarin oranges in water, drained¼ cup nonfat mayonnaise2 tablespoons minced green pepper3 tablespoons jellied whole-berry cranberry sauce1 teaspoon minced crystallized ginger2 teaspoons honey½ teaspoon prepared horseradish32 fresh or frozen wonton skins, thawedVegetable cooking sprayFresh parsley sprigs (optional)Fresh cranberries (optional)
Cranberry Chicken Salad Cups Cont.1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Cover and chill.2. Place 1 wonton skin in each of 32 miniature (1 ¾-inch) muffin cups coatedwith cooking spray. Press wontons against bottoms and up sides of cups. Coatwontons with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or untilwontons are crisp and golden. Let cool completely in pans.3. Spoon chicken mixture evenly into wonton cups. Remove wonton cups frompans, and serve immediately. If desired, garnish with parsley sprigs andcranberries.Yield: 32 appetizer (42 calories each).Per Appetizer:Carbohydrate 5.8gProtein 3.3gFat 0.5gFiver 0gCholesterol 8mgSodium 72mgCalcium 7mg
Mini-Spanakopitas (Greek Spinach Pies)Recipe from Cooking Light June 2001Yield: 20 appetizers (serving size: 1 triangle)Filling:1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach, coarsely chopped1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled1/4 cup 1% low-fat cottage cheese2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese2 teaspoons olive oil1 1/2 cups chopped green onions1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon black pepper2 large egg whites, lightly beatenRemaining ingredients:1 tablespoon olive oil1/4 teaspoon salt1 large egg white5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Mini-Spanakopitas (Greek Spinach Pies) Cont.Preparation:Preheat oven to 350°.To prepare filling, place spinach in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Place overmedium heat; cook until spinach wilts. Place the spinach mixture in a colander,pressing until barely moist. Combine the spinach and cheeses in a bowl; set aside.Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add thegreen onions; sauté for 2 minutes or until soft. Stir the green onions and the next5 ingredients (green onions through 2 egg whites) into spinach mixture.Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 egg white in a smallbowl, stirring with a whisk. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time, cut each sheetlengthwise into 4 (3 1/2-inch-wide) strips; lightly brush phyllo sheet with eggmixture (cover the remaining phyllo dough to keep it from drying).Spoon about 1 tablespoon spinach mixture onto one end of each strip. Fold onecorner of the opposite end over mixture, forming a triangle; keep folding backand forth into a triangle to the end of strip.Place triangles, seam sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutesor until golden.
Garbanzo GuacamoleTime: Prep 15 minutes; Chill 30 minutes2/3 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained1 tablespoon lemon juice1 large clove garlic, halved3/4 cup coarsely chopped onion1/2 cup peeled, cubed avocado2 tablespoons canned chopped green chiles1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon pepper1 cup seeded, finely chopped tomato1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
Garbanzo Guacamole Cont.Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add first 3 ingrediants. Poricess 20seconds, scrapping sides of processor bowl once. Add 3/4 cup chopped onionand next four ingredients; pulse 5 times or until mixture is chunkyTransfer mixture to a medium bowl; stir in tomato and green onions. Cover andchill thoroughly. Serve with commercial baked tortilla chips.Yield: 2 cups (13 calories per tablespoon)Per Tablespoon:Carbohydrate 1.9gProtein 0.5gFat 0.5gFiber 0.4gCholesterol 0mgSodium 20mgCalcium 5mg
Fat Facts About AvocadosMost fruits and vegetables are virtually fat free – except avocados. A mediumavocado contains about 300 calories, with a whopping 88% of those calories fromfat. Although this fat is monounsaturated (the kind that may help lower bloodcholesterol levels), you can’t ignore the fact that avocados are mostly fat.But you don’t have to eliminate this fruit from your diet. Instead, use avocados inreduced amounts by combining them with other ingredients-like we’ve done inGarbanzo Guacamole. You’ll still enjoy the flavor but without all that fat.