Appetizers & Snacks

Apple Nachos

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy 2019! I’m kicking off the new year, and Lemon and Mocha’s month of healthy recipes, with a quick and easy snack. Everyone defines healthy differently, but when I’m trying to eat well I try to minimize processed food as much as possible. This is one of the biggest challenges for me, especially when it comes to snacks. However, when I have fun snacks like these Apple Nachos, especially if there’s some chocolate involved, it makes everything so much easier.

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I had seen variations of apple nachos on Instagram and Pinterest, but I never got around to making myself some. I don’t know what took me so long since I love dipping my apples in peanut butter.

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I wasn’t sure how everything was going to stay on the little apples slices, but from the first wedge I was completely hooked! The peanut butter drizzle helped the chopped almonds and mini chocolate chips stick to the apple wedges and I cut them really thin so I would have even more “nachos” on my plate.

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

You all know by now how I feel when it comes to food variations and these apple nachos are the perfect vessel to get creative with your toppings. You can use any nut or seed butter you like – I have a little almond butter drizzled on there as well – and then the rest of the choices are up to you! Some other topping ideas are Greek yogurt, any type of nut, shredded coconut, granola, berries, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds… I could go on forever! When I first made these, my initial plan was to save half for Matt, but once I started eating them there was no way they were surviving until Matt got home.

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I hope this recipe helps inspire your snack time! I have a dinner recipe I’m sharing tomorrow that has already been on repeat in our house so stay tuned.

Apple Nachos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Apple Nachos
 
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 large apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or preferred nut/seed butter
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds
Directions
  1. Lay the apple slices down on a plate. Drizzle the peanut butter over top. If your nut or seed butter is too thick to drizzle, warm it for 20-30 seconds in the microwave. Top with the mini chocolate chips and chopped almonds.

 

Antipasto Puff Pastry Bites

Antipasto Puff Pastry Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

I know I say this all the time, but you need to try these Antipasto Puff Pastry Bites! This perfect party appetizer has all your favorite flavors of antipasto packed into one creamy bite. I love making appetizers with store-bought puff pastry because they look so fancy, but are actually incredibly easy. The puff pastry does all the work resulting in a buttery and flaky vessel for all the antipasto fixings.

Antipasto Puff Pastry Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m not sure if you can tell from the photos, but these bites are made in a mini muffin pan so they’re really small, like a one bite deal. Since we are working with limited space inside these little flaky cups I decided to incorporate the artichokes and roasted red peppers by turning them into a simple artichoke dip. The artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers are chopped up then mixed with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and a secret ingredient to make the easiest and creamiest artichoke and red pepper dip ever.

Antipasto Puff Pastry Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

Then on top we have some salami and a mini mozzarella ball to round out our antipasto flavors. You can add in some olives if you like, but Matt and I aren’t olive fans so I left those out. Top with some fresh basil or Italian parsley and you’ve made a delicious twist on a classic antipasto!

Antipasto Puff Pastry Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

Make sure you read the instructions through and do not put the mozzarella on until they are out of the oven. Mozzarella melts really easily so if you put it in the oven each bite will just be covered in a pool of melted mozzarella. Since we’re using fresh mozzarella balls you really want to be able to taste them so we’re adding them after the bites are all baked.

Antipasto Puff Pastry Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

My Crab Dip Puffs recipe is working overtime around here because that, along with my love for antipasto platters, inspired this recipe, too! I hope you all enjoy this one!

Antipasto Puff Pastry Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

Antipasto Puff Pastry Bites
 
Yield: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted, but still cold
  • 3 artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • ⅓ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • ⅓ cup Hellman’s real mayonnaise
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 ounces hard salami
  • 6 ciliegine size mini fresh mozzarella balls
  • Chopped fresh basil or parsley for serving, optional
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. On a lightly floured surface unfold the puff pastry sheet. Roll into a rectangle about 10” by 15”. Cut the rectangle of puff pastry into 24 squares. Press each square into a cup of the prepared mini muffin pan. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven.
  3. While the puffy pastry bites are in the oven, mix together the chopped artichokes, chopped roasted red peppers, mayonnaise, Parmesan and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut the salami into 6 thick rounds then cut each round into quarters.
  4. When the puff pastry comes out of the oven, gently press a spoon into the middle of each bite to lightly deflate the middle and make room for the artichoke dip. Spoon the artichoke dip into the puff pastry bites, about a teaspoon per bite. Keep dividing the dip among the bites until all the dip has been used up. Add a piece of salami to the top of each bite, but off to the side to leave room for the mozzarella. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  5. While the bites are in the oven, cut each mozzarella ball into quarters. When the bites come out of the oven let them cool slightly then use a spoon to help you remove them from the pan and place on a platter. Top each bite with a quartered mozzarella ball and the fresh basil or parsley, if using. Serve hot.
Notes
If you want to roast your own red peppers, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a pan or line with nonstick aluminum foil and roast a whole red bell pepper for 20 minutes. Flip the pepper then roast for another 20 minutes. When it’s cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and discard along with the stem and seeds.

 

Shrimp Rangoon Wonton Bites

Shrimp Rangoon Wonton Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

Today I am writing this post and I’m not hungry, but I have a feeling by the time I’m done talking about these Shrimp Rangoon Wonton Bites I’m going to be starving! I wanted to share a shrimp appetizer since firstly, shrimp is delicious, and secondly, I like having seafood as an appetizer especially if the main course is meat.

Shrimp Rangoon Wonton Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

My inspiration for this recipe was the Crab Dip Puffs I posted forever ago. Also, can we briefly talk about those photos? I think I need to re-make and re-photograph them because that post is not doing the deliciousness of the Crab Dip Puffs justice! Anyways, I’m a sucker for crab rangoons and lately I’ve been seeing lobster rangoons on menus so I thought why couldn’t we just make shrimp rangoons?!

Shrimp Rangoon Wonton Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

This recipe is so simple and the bites taste creamy and cheesy. Plus, they look extra fancy because of the little wonton cups. If you wanted to save time you could always bake the wonton cups the night before, but you don’t really need to save time because the whole recipe cooks in under fifteen minutes anyways.

Shrimp Rangoon Wonton Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’re mixing up shrimp that we’ve cooked, cooled and chopped up, cream cheese, scallions, sour cream, shredded cheddar and garlic powder. I didn’t chop the shrimp too small because I wanted to get big bites of shrimp here and there. Feel free to use low fat cream cheese and sour cream if you would prefer.

Shrimp Rangoon Wonton Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

Also, you can definitely use more shrimp if you would like. I only did four ounces because I was trying to keep it cost effective – cooking for a crowd can get expensive fast! If you aren’t concerned about that though feel free to pack in the shrimp. And like I thought, now I’m hungry! Happy Monday, everyone!

Shrimp Rangoon Wonton Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

Shrimp Rangoon Wonton Bites
 
Yield: 24
Ingredients
  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 4 ounces shrimp, cooked and chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a mini muffin pan then place the wrappers into the cavities so they create little wonton bowls. Lightly spray the wonton wrappers in the pan then bake for 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
  3. While the wrappers are in the oven, combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, setting some of the sliced scallions aside for topping.
  4. After the wontons have baked on their own, spoon the mixture into the wontons in the mini muffin pan, evenly dividing between them. Bake for 6-8 more minutes. Top with the reserved sliced scallions then serve hot.

 

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Quinoa Pizza Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Monday and happy December, everyone! I’m making the mistake of writing this post while I’m hungry and just thinking about these Quinoa Pizza Bites is making my stomach rumble! I should get up to go eat something, but I’m going to use it as motivation to finish writing this post!

Quinoa Pizza Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m interrupting my Christmas and holiday dessert posts to bring you this Quinoa Pizza Bite recipe. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more chocolate and desserts to come, but today we’re all about this easy, cheesy and healthy-ish appetizer.

Quinoa Pizza Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love using pizza flavors in appetizers because they tend to be universally loved and nothing tastes better than some gooey cheese when you’re hungry.

Quinoa Pizza Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

These little bites are made right in a mini muffin pan sprayed with nonstick spray so you can pop them right out and serve them hot. The base of the bite is some cooked quinoa. Mixed in with the quinoa is shredded mozzarella cheese, chopped roasted red peppers, grated Parmesan, an egg and some pizza seasonings. Don’t forget the marinara for dipping!

Quinoa Pizza Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

The outside gets really crispy and crunchy, while the inside stays fluffy from the quinoa. You can use whichever pizza topping you prefer for the inside; Matt and I love roasted red peppers on our pizza so that’s what I used. I was also trying to keep them healthier where I could, but if you weren’t concerned about keeping it healthy, cooked crumbled sausage or mini pepperonis would be really good in these as well.

Quinoa Pizza Bites  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s nice to have some crowd-pleasing go-to appetizers around the holidays whether you’re hosting, asked to bring an appetizer or have a holiday potluck to attend. Or, as I mentioned in the Leftover Turkey Pull-apart Sliders with a Maple Mayo and Cranberry Barbecue Sauce post, if you just want a Friday night snack. I have a few more tasty holiday appetizers to share with you this month, but in the meantime below are some of my favorites! Okay, now I’m off to go eat!

Best Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs

Best Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto

Sweet & Sticky Honey Baked Wings

Sweet & Sticky Honey Baked Wings

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread

Aunt Jen's Chicken Ginger Dumplings

Aunt Jen’s Chicken Ginger Dumplings

Honey Walnut Baked Brie

Honey Walnut Baked Brie

Caramelized Onion & Apple Dip

Caramelized Onion & Apple Dip

Cheesy Corn & Chorizo Dip

Cheesy Corn & Chorizo Dip

Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls

Southwest Turkey Baked Egg Rolls

Quinoa Pizza Bites
 
Yield: About 20
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup cooked quinoa, see note
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers, or other preferred topping
  • ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Marinara, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cavities. You will fill about 20. Make sure you press down to compact the mixture in each cavity.
  3. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan before eating. Gently use a spoon to help remove them from the pan if necessary.
Notes
If you don’t already have cooked quinoa, bring ½ cup uncooked quinoa to a boil with 1 cup water, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

Recipe from Live Well Bake Often.

Apple, Brie and Bacon Bread

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Yes! The day is finally here! I made and photographed this life-changing Apple, Brie and Bacon Bread in August and I finally get to share it with you! Of course the reason I kept from posting it was my neurotic schedule I have planned months in advance, but now it will be fresh on your mind for the holiday season so it was worth the wait.

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

I don’t even think I need to describe the bread for you to grasp how crazy delicious it is; I’m sure the title alone does it all, but let me dive in anyways. Remember my Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto? This is the same idea, just with a different flavor profile – and one that could not be more perfect for fall.

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

The base of the bread is a quick homemade honey mustard sauce. It’s creamy, a little tangy and a little sweet. Next we have some crispy cooked bacon. Bacon makes everything better. Then we have some brie cheese that gets a little gooey. Gooey-ness is cheese perfection and brie melts really well. Brie is a creamy and more mild cheese that I love pairing with some sweet elements. Remember my Honey Walnut Baked Brie? Pure heaven. That’s why the brie goes so well with the honey mustard sauce and the apple.

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used a granny smith apple to bring in some tartness as well as sweetness and I love the texture it has in the bread. The apple is very thinly sliced so that it almost cooks through in the bread.

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve already been requested to make this Apple, Brie and Bacon Bread again and I’m sure I’ll be making it for plenty of gatherings for the next foreseeable future. I am totally, definitely on board with that. I love this bread because like the Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto you can make it ahead of time and reheat it to serve as an appetizer or snack. I have even more variations of this bread planned so get excited for more deliciousness!

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread
 
Yield: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 16 ounces pizza dough
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked
  • 4 ounces sliced brie cheese
  • ½ granny smith apple, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
Directions
  1. Set the dough out to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, mayonnaise and mustard until combined to make the honey mustard.
  3. Using flour so it doesn’t stick, roll out the dough on a clean surface until it is roughly the shape of an 11” x 14” rectangle. I usually hold it then let gravity stretch the dough to get it started. Leaving a 1” border, evenly spread the honey mustard on the dough. Next, evenly lay the cooked bacon. Top with the sliced brie and sliced apple.
  4. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg on the border you left. Gently fold the short edges in then, working carefully, tightly roll the dough up lengthwise. You want to be rolling from long edge to the other long edge, being sure to tuck in the short edge sides as needed. When you’re done rolling, pinch the dough at the seam to seal it. I like to pinch it twice to make sure it’s really tight. Carefully place the bread roll seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly brush the egg on all exposed top and sides of the roll.
  5. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool slightly then cut into slices and serve.