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Low carb spring appetizers

As the days get longer and temperatures rise, your cravings tend towards smaller meals composed of fresh-picked ingredients. Succulent seafood, bright herbs and crisp veggies are low carb stars in these lip-smacking delicious appetizers ideal for the warmer days of spring and longings for lighter yet satisfying fare.

Shrimp, Clementine and Avocado Salads

Smoked Salmon Cucumber Bites

Makes 16

1 cucumber (about 9 inches long)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of your choice
6 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper

1. Trim off the ends of the cucumber and cut crosswise into 16 evenly sized slices. Place these on a serving platter.

2. In a food processor, blend cream cheese and herbs until smooth. Using a spoon or a piping bag, top each cucumber slice with cream cheese mixture.

3. Using your fingers, top cream cheese with smoked salmon, pressing flakes into cheese to secure. Season with pepper. Serve.

Tuna Olive Spread and Endive

Makes 12

1 (6-ounce) can albacore tuna packed in olive oil, undrained
1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 medium-sized red or green endive leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or dill

1. In a food processor or blender, combine tuna, peppers and olives, pulsing until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Spoon a scant tablespoon of tuna mixture onto the larger end of each endive leaf. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with parsley or dill.

Shrimp, Clementine and Avocado Salads

Makes 8

2 small ripe but firm avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, diced
Juice and grated zest of 1 lime
3 clementines
2 cups salad shrimp (or chopped, cooked shrimp meat)
3 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place avocados in a medium-sized bowl. Add lime juice and zest and gently toss to coat.

2. Peel 2 clementines, segment and dice. Set aside. Cut 1 clementine into 8 wedges. Set aside.

3. Add shrimp, diced clementines, red onion and cilantro and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Evenly divide shrimp salad into 8 cocktail glasses and garnish each with a clementine wedge.

More low carb spring recipes

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