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Grilled appetizer recipes

Brandi is natural born food lover of anything from gourmet cheeses and wine down to plain baked breads. When not in the kitchen cooking, she loves to be outdoors, especially near the ocean. She puts her focus mainly on healthy organic ea...

A grilled take on appetizers

Fresh jalapeños are stuffed with a cream cheese mixture and then grilled rather than deep-fried. Serve these spicy peppers with the cool cilantro lime dipping sauce for a wonderful appetizer.
Grilled stuffed jalapenos with fresh cilantro lime sauce recipe

With summer here everyone enjoys being outdoors and being outdoors means firing up the grill!

Jalapeño poppers are one of our favorite appetizers but they can be very unhealthy because they are deep-fried. For this version we stuffed them with a light mixture of whipped cream cheese, lime zest and garlic, then threw them on the grill until they were nicely charred and the cheese was bubbly. They are served up with a cool and creamy cilantro lime dipping sauce. Following this recipe are several more great grilled appetizer options that you can enjoy at your next barbecue.

Grilled stuffed jalapeños with fresh cilantro lime sauce recipe

Lightly adapted from yumsugar.com

Yields 12 servings (two halves per person)

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces whipped cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Small bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 12 fresh jalapeños, halved lengthwise, seeds and veins removed (wear gloves)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In a bowl mix the cooked bacon, whipped cream cheese, Jack cheese, chives, lime juice and zest, garlic, and salt and pepper making sure everything is well combined.
  3. With a small spoon, evenly fill each jalapeño half until it is stuffed.
  4. Oil a grill pan with a light coating of oil or nonstick cooking spray. Place the pepper halves in the grill pan and grill for about 10 minutes or until the peppers are nice and charred and cooked through and the cheese is brown and bubbly.
  5. Remove from the heat and carefully place the peppers on a serving dish. (They will be very hot inside.)
  6. Drizzle with fresh cilantro lime sauce or use the sauce as a dip and serve.

Fresh cilantro lime sauce recipe

Yields about 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

  • 3 limes, juiced and zested
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed clean
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. In a food processor add the cilantro (try to get only the leaves leaving the steams out) the lime juice and zest, agave nectar, garlic cloves, greek yogurt and salt.
  2. Turn on the food processor and let it run until everything has pureed leaving no whole pieces of the cilantro or garlic.
  3. Add the sauce to a serving bowl and set aside.

Grilled asparagus bacon bundles recipe

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 pounds asparagus spears, trimmed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 slices applewood smoked bacon
  • Coarse sea salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. If baking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Lightly drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Separate the asparagus into six bundles (maybe four to five spears per bundle depending on the size). Gather the asparagus bundle and gently wrap one slice of the bacon around the bundle so they stay together. Repeat with remaining asparagus.
  4. Place each bundle on the grill and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the asparagus is nice and tender and the bacon is cooked through. For the oven method, arrange the asparagus bundles on a baking sheet and baked for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the grill (oven) and serve.

Grilled basil shrimp skewers recipe

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Juice of 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons
  • 3 tablespoons good Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned into thin strips
  • 3 fresh cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-1/2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Skewers (if using wood skewers remember to soak them for at least 1 hour before grilling)

Directions:

  1. In a shallow bowl, mix together olive oil and melted butter, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, basil and season with the salt and the pepper.
  2. Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for two hours.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and carefully skewer them.
  5. Lightly oil the grate on the grill with a grill spray or olive oil. Add the skewers and grill for about four to five minutes, turning once halfway through. You will know they are done when they are bright pink, are no longer opaque and have a slight curl. Remove from the grill and serve with fresh lemon wedges.

More appetizer ideas

Greek cheese appetizers
Low carb appetizers
5 Spring appetizers

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