Healthy Tapas

What are tapas? Tapas are small plated servings, like a snack or appetizer, except you eat them as your whole meal. They are brought out one after the other, not all at once. The word “tapa” translates to “cover,” and the dish started out as a way to cover a glass of wine or sherry. Tapas have evolved from meat and bread to incorporate varied ingredients and even other cuisines.

Because tapas are small and you can use almost anything to make them, they can be made very healthy. Here are some of our favorite healthy tapas:

Smoky hummus-filled cucumbers

  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 1 container hummus
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

Wash the cucumbers thoroughly and slice into 1-inch-long pieces.

Using a melon baller or small spoon carve a bowl shape into the cucumber, making sure to leave a bottom to hold in the hummus.

To add the hummus, load the filling into a sandwich bag and cut off the end to pipe it in, or use a small spoon to drop the filling in. They should hold a little less than a teaspoon each.

Lightly dust the tops of the filled cucumbers with smoked paprika if desired.

Garlicky mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4  cloves garlic, sliced
  • 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • salt

Heat the oil in a large skillet over low heat.

Add garlic and cook until slightly transparent. Add mushrooms to the skillet and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring sparingly.

Pour wine to deglaze the pan and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are cooked. Season with salt, if needed, and stir.

Caprese salad stacks

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 12 mini mozzarella cheese balls, or pieces of larger mozzarella
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • toothpicks
  • salt & pepper

Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until it reaches a slightly syrupy consistency. Pour into a heat-proof bowl and let cool.

Slide mozzarella, basil and tomato onto toothpicks. Repeat until there are 12 stacks. Put the stacks on a plate, drizzle with the balsamic reduction and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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