Looking for the perfect holiday party app to whip up for friends and family? We asked Jeanine Donofrio of award-winning food blog Love & Lemons for a few recipes to help you spruce up your spread. Enjoy!
Let’s face it, the holidays are all about celebrating with indulgent, delectable bites (oh, and friends & family too). Even though I won’t be hopping on the treadmill until January, I love to take a slightly healthier approach to party appetizers by using colorful produce and natural ingredients.
Mini sweet potato pizzas make a hearty tasty bite, guacamole is made more festive with little pomegranate seed “ornaments,” and desserts are made green with my foodie food coloring of choice: matcha.
Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas
- Part of a sweet potato, peeled into ribbons
- 4 mini naan breads (like mini Stonfire naan) or pizza crust of your choice
- Olive oil, for brushing on the dough
- 1/2 clove of garlic
- Ricotta cheese – a few tablespoons per pizza
- Shaved red onion
- Shaved brussels sprouts
- A few pieces of kale
- Pinches of red chile flakes
- Grated pecorino cheese
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Toss sweet potato ribbons with a tiny bit of olive oil and salt. Brush a little bit of oil on each crust or flatbread and rub it with the open side of a ½ clove of garlic. Top each pizza with a slather of ricotta cheese, a few slices of red onion, a few shaved brussels sprouts, kale and a few ribbons of sweet potato.
- Top generously with grated cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender and cooked through. (tip: check after 15 minutes – if the sweet potatoes are cooking slower than the other veggies (and/or your pizza crust), cover loosely with foil).
Avocado Pomegranate Crostini
- Baguette, thinly sliced
- Drizzle of olive oil
- 1 large avocado, sliced into cubes
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives (or scallions)
- Salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup feta cheese (omit if vegan)
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- Drizzle of honey (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. Brush baguette sliced with olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Toast until golden brown around the edges.
- Mix together avocado cubes, lime juice, chives, salt & pepper. Stir in feta and pomegranate seeds. Taste & adjust seasonings – adding more salt and/or lime juice to your liking. Spoon onto toasted crostini pieces, drizzle with a little bit of honey (optional) and serve.
White Chocolate (& Matcha)
Almond Butter Cups
- 10 oz. bag white chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- About 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/4 – 1+ teaspoon matcha
- Over a double boiler on the stove (or a saucepan filled with a few inches of gently boiling water with a glass bowl on top), melt the chocolate and coconut oil together. Remove from heat, scoop half of the white chocolate mixture into a second bowl and whisk in the matcha until smooth. (Add as much matcha as you like – I like mine pretty matcha-ey).
- Prepare a mini muffin tin with paper liners. Add about 1 teaspoon of white chocolate into each cup, swirling it a little to coat the bottom completely. Chill in the freezer until set. (about 20 minutes).
- Scoop about 1/2 teaspoon almond butter into each cup and cover each with remaining chocolate. Freeze until set. (about 20 more minutes).
Jeanine is the voice behind Love & Lemons, an award-winning cooking blog inspired by vibrant seasonal produce. She and her husband Jack create and photograph recipes in their Austin, Texas kitchen. Love & Lemons was named 2014 Best Cooking Blog by Saveur Magazine, and has appeared on Food52, Refinery 29, and SELF Magazine, among others.