Simple and healthy appetizers for summer

By: Health Local Staff Jun 25, 2014
healthy appetizers

These appetizers are quick and easy to make, perfect for getting your party off to a tasty and healthy start.

Few of us want to spend hours sweating over a hot stove in the middle of summer. We want easy and healthy meals full of the fresh flavours that are so plentiful this time of year. These appetizers are quick and easy to make, perfect for getting dinner or a party off to a tasty and healthy start.

Polenta Pizzas


  • Polenta
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Goat Cheese

The no-fuss version of this recipe uses the pre-cooked polenta sold in tube-shaped plastic casings. Cut thin slices of polenta and lay them on a cookie sheet. Add a dollop of sun-dried tomato and a small lump of goat cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for several minutes until the polenta is warm and slightly crispy, and the cheese is soft. If you want your polenta browned and crispier, bake the slices for several minutes before adding the toppings. Adding a bit of pesto sauce or a basil leaf can add even more flavour to this recipe.

Pear & Cream Cheese Salad


  • Fresh pear
  • Cream Cheese
  • Walnuts

Slice a fresh pair in half and remove the stem and core. Use a melon-baller to scoop a single, neat crater into the middle of each pear half. Then, use the melon-baller to scoop a round sphere of cream cheese and place it inside the pear. Chop your walnuts into small bits and sprinkle them over the cream cheese ball. For an even healthier variation on this recipe, use reduced fat cream cheese.

Cherry Tomato & Mozzarella Skewers


  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Bocconcini (Bite-sized Mozzarella Balls)

This recipe is as simple and quick as they come. Using toothpicks as skewers, simply string a whole cherry tomato with a single bocconcini and lay the skewers out on a plate. Bocconcini can vary in size, and you may need to cut them into two or four pieces to make them bite-sized. For more colour and flavour, string a basil leaf between the tomato and mozzarella.



  • Plum Tomatoes
  • Baguette French or Italian Bread
  • Olive oil
  • Basil Leaves
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Garlic Cloves

Parboil the tomatoes, remove the skin and seeds, and dice them. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes with 1 Tbsp olive oil, one or two cloves of minced garlic, and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar. Slice the baguette at a diagonal angle into pieces between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Toast the pieces for a minute or so on a griddle until they are golden brown and crispy. Score each slice three times with a knife and rub garlic into the grooves. Finally, drizzle olive oil over the top of each slice. You can add topping to each slice and season them with salt and pepper, or leave the topping in a serving bowl for people to spoon out themselves.

Prosciutto Wrapped Mango


  • Thin-sliced Prosciutto
  • Mango
  • Arugula and Basil Leaves
  • Optional: Jalapeños & Provolone Cheese

There are two variations on this sweet and salty combination. For the quick and fresh version, simply wrap slices of mango and a mix of arugula and basil leaves  with a strip of prosciutto. To spice things up, replace the arugula and basil with slices of jalapeño and provolone cheese, and grill the wraps until the prosciutto is crispy.

Broiled Artichoke Hearts


  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Lemon Juice

Fresh artichokes are a great reason to savour the summertime. However, it can be time consuming to cook up enough fresh artichokes for an appetizer, and frozen artichoke hearts will also work for this recipe. For a simple snack that highlights the flavour of the artichoke, broil the hearts for 15 minutes with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

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