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Appetizers

Antipasto
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Complexity: easy

Antipasto

The foods offered before the meal is called the Antipasti. The plates are colorful with a variety of meats, olives, artichokes, eggs, anchovies and other ingredients to create a mini-feast.

An Italian tradition is to create an antipasti with a selection of color, flavor, texture and how well each complements each other. An antipasti is also considered a great way to get everyone socializing together.

*Cindy's Note* Antipasti or Antipasto? I get this question all the time. Here is the literal definition, Antipasto (plural) means "before the meal" and is the traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. Traditional antipasto includes cured meats, olives, pepperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, artichokes, cheese, picked vegetables or meats and drizzled with oil and vinegar! 

 

Artichoke and Spinach Balls
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Complexity: easy

Artichoke and Spinach Balls

I love keeping frozen vegetables handy in the refrigerator.  We were invited to a friends house and came up with these to bring.  I had all of the ingredients.  Enjoy!

PS - I made these, packed them up and they vanished.  I totally forgot to take a photo of the finished balls.  New time...  

 

Artichokes in a lemon and herb sauce
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Complexity: easy

Artichokes in a lemon and herb sauce

I grew up with my Nana steaming the large pot of artichokes on Sunday's and we would sit around the table before dinner with our bowl and just eat them with lots of laughter and smiles.  My Nana was very smart and she knew if she was making artichokes we would all sit around the table with her and that is all she wanted.  I came up with this recipe to add a different twist to artichokes but I still enjoy them steamed with olive oil and tons of chunky pieces of garlic!

You can also find this recipe in my cookbook: Paleo Italian Cooking.

**Cindy's Tip!  We all want to get to the heart of the artichoke.  Enjoy each leaf peddle by putting in your mouth then using your teeth to get the delicious flesh in your mouth.  Enjoy each leaf and don't hurry for the heart!  When you arrive to the bottom of your artichoke, there is a little "fuzzy hair"--just remove them and cut around the heart.  Put on your plate, cut it into pieces and just lightly dip and take a bite and enjoy that flavor in your mouth.  Enjoy with your family and friends! **

Bacon Deviled Eggs
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Complexity: easy

Bacon Deviled Eggs

Every time I make these deviled eggs it is a last minute decision. (The Italian in me … there is not enough food) They are always gone and I always think to myself – If there are any left I will make egg salad for lunch the next day but I have not had the opportunity yet. Maybe I should take some out before I set them out next time!

 

Bacon Wrapped Artichokes
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Complexity: easy

Bacon Wrapped Artichokes

Artichokes and Bacon together make the perfect appetizer!  Try this recipe on your Paleo table!

 

Bacon Wrapped Salmon
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Complexity: medium

Bacon Wrapped Salmon

I love salmon!  Wrapping in bacon and dipping in my spicy guacamole was amazing!  

 

 

Baked Individual Ricotta
  • Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
  • Complexity: medium

Baked Individual Ricotta

Basil Infused Fried Tomatoes
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Complexity: easy

Basil Infused Fried Tomatoes

My friend Rosemarie gave me a beautiful planter of fresh basil and this recipe just happened in my kitchen.

Beef Stuffed Heirloom Round Zucchini
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Complexity: medium

Beef Stuffed Heirloom Round Zucchini

I found this beautiful round zucchini at the Coventry Farmers Market and had to grab one!  I was home alone for dinner and made this perfect dinner for one!  You can buy more and double the recipe or cut in half and share but I enjoyed this Beef Stuffed Heirloom Round Zucchini all by myself.

I stuffed with ground sirloin but you can use your favorite ground meat or even keep it all vegetables and some sweet potatoes!  (I may try it that way next week)

Enjoy this amazing Paleo Italian Recipe today!

 

Caprese Stuffed Zucchini

Caprese Stuffed Zucchini

I just love the summer months and all of the fresh vegetables we have available to us! We are very lucky to have so many farmers that share their harvest with us! This is a great appetizer and only a few fresh ingredients!

In my caprese stuffed zucchini you will find all of my favorites in just one bite! This is a great paleo version. If you are using cheese then add in chopped mozzarella.  Also, add any other fresh vegetables you have handy such as jalapeño peppers, red onion, artichokes, etc!

Tip:  I baked up an entire eggplant and used only 2 slices for this appetizer then used the rest to make my favorite grilled skirt steak salad!

I hope you enjoy! xo

 

Cauliflower and Scallion Pancakes
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Complexity: medium

Cauliflower and Scallion Pancakes

This is a great recipe to use leftover roasted cauliflower or you can cut up a fresh one and cook. I am including the leftover version below. 

 

Cheesey, Jalapeño and Bacon Cornbread
  • Time: 30 Minutes
  • Complexity: medium

Cheesey, Jalapeño and Bacon Cornbread

This recipe started because my girlfriend is making chili.  I thought making a cornbread would go great but I wanted to make it extra special and have plenty.  Plus I also looked at this way - I had all of the ingredients and had to purchase a quart of buttermilk so why not use it all now.  Any leftovers (which I doubt can be frozen and saved for another time).

As I was starring at my paella pan  from Le Creuset that is when it came to me!  This paella pan would make a great cornbread and look amazing too! I also love my OXO kitchen essentials.  I just couldn't imagine using anything else.  In this recipe I used mixing bowlmeasuring cupmeasuring spoons and oven mits!  I am a happy girl in the kitchen.

For our breakfast I made bacon and reserved 4 pieces so you can omit the bacon if you don't  have it handy but I always make extra "just in case" or Jake gets to enjoy it during the week.

This is what I did! Now remember this is for a large paella pan - If you are making in a standard cast iron pan or 8x8 baking dish then cut the ingredients in 1/2 except for the baking soda (use 1 tablespoon)

 

Chicken, Apple and Sage Sausage Patties
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Complexity: medium

Chicken, Apple and Sage Sausage Patties

These go great with simply made scrambled eggs or if you prefer over easy!  

All of the ingredients came from Shop Rite, E. Hartford and I just love my Le Creuset Skillet!  I love cooking but most of all I really enjoy feeding people!

 

  • Time: 1 hour
  • Complexity: easy

Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Great make-ahead appetizer for you next dinner party!

 

Chunky Eggplant Dip in Endive Leaves
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Complexity: easy

Chunky Eggplant Dip in Endive Leaves

If you love eggplant as much as I do then go and make this amazing Paleo appetizer.  If you have any of the chunky eggplant leftover then go and add to your eggs in the morning!  OMG Paleo is so good.

Enjoy!

 

Easy and Delicious Tomato Salad
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Complexity: easy

Easy and Delicious Tomato Salad

My grandmother would make this salad from the tomatoes in her garden. The simple balsamic dressing was perfect for dipping Italian bread. Each time we shared this, we would eat the entire bowl of tomatoes!

 

Easy Grilled Spicy Shrimp
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Complexity: easy

Easy Grilled Spicy Shrimp

Try my new easy grilled spicy shrimp has been a summer favorite and so easy with all of the entertaining we do at the lake house!  I even made some guacamole with a bunch of fresh avocados I had on the counter!  WOW what a hit...

At the lake we love to entertain but I love EASY! I also want to enjoy the water activities, sitting with my friends and family and just loving life. I want to make something that will dazzle my guests without a lot of fuss. I created this appetizer with leftover shrimp I had in the freezer, 2 avocados in the refrigerator and 1/2 jar of salsa that I just love!

 

  • Time: 30 Minutes
  • Complexity: easy

Easy Salmon Cakes

Dinner in a hurry! Make these easy salmon cakes and enjoy with a green salad loaded your favorite vegetables. You can find all of these ingredients at Shop Rite (E. Hartford and Manchester, CT)

 

Eggplant Roll-Ups
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Complexity: medium

Eggplant Roll-Ups

These are always a hit when we have guests over. Glenn likes to grill them to get that authentic grilled look and smoky flavor. They can also be made in advance, put in a large ziplock bag, and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.

 

Eggplant Salad
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Complexity: medium

Eggplant Salad

This is a summertime hit, yet great anytime! Make this salad a day in advance if you have the time. The flavors will be even better.  

 

Feta with Roasted Red Peppers and Olives
  • Time: 20 mintues
  • Complexity: easy

Feta with Roasted Red Peppers and Olives

When I was at Stop and Shop looking around for an appetizer for our lake friends the block of Feta cheese stood out!  The Boar's head was on sale and was I glad as it made this appetizer perfect! I will be making this over and over again this summer!  

Here is my recipe for roasted red peppers!

 

 

Figs with Goat Cheese wrapped with Prosciutto
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Complexity: easy

Figs with Goat Cheese wrapped with Prosciutto

These beauties will wow your guests but the big smiles will come after they take a bite! The sweetness of the fig with the melted goat cheese and the almost crispy prosciutto makes a fabulous combination for the perfect appetizer. This also goes great with a glass of red wine!

Fried Zucchini Squash Blossoms

Fried Zucchini Squash Blossoms

I have been eating and making zucchini blossoms for as long as I can remember.  My nana would make sure my grandfather picked them as soon as they were perfect!  As a little girl we would fill them with ricotta and mozzarella cheese but I am going to share a delicious paleo recipe for you to enjoy.  You can opt to just fry them but I feel adding a little goat cheese and scallions make this a little extra special.

I have been using tapioca more and more and really love how they come out! I also just love scallions so this combination was perfect for us.  Enjoy

 

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