Bite-size comfort foods
Many of us turn to our favorite foods when we're feeling a little down. These bite-size versions of popular comfort foods will perk you up without weighing you down.
"It's all about the vessel," says personal chef and culinary nutritionist Diane Henderiks. Henderiks likes soup shots in espresso cups, twice-baked potatoes in scooped-out new potato halves and these mac and cheese bites in muffin tins.
Diane Henderiks' mac and cheese bites
- Olive oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 1 percent milk
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup shredded Edam cheese
- 1 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 egg whites, beaten
- 5 cups cooked whole wheat elbow macaroni (about 2-1/2 cups uncooked)
- 3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (about two slices crumbled whole wheat toast)
- 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grease two mini-muffin tins with olive oil. Dust with flour, turn over and tap out the rest.
- Pour milk in a medium sauce pan. Heat slowly over medium heat until just under a boil. Do not boil.
- Reduce heat to low and whisk in flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until thick and smooth, whisking continuously. Add more flour as needed until consistency is creamy.
- Whisk in cheese and continue to whisk until cheese melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat and whisk in egg whites. Gently fold in macaroni.
- Spoon into prepared muffin tin and evenly top with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until top is browned.
- Remove from oven and let cool a bit before removing from tin so they hold their shape.
Roberta Beach Jacobson is an author and humorist from Karpathos, Greece. "Our fave bite-sized food is waffles cut into tiny squares," says Jacobson. "The best part is they can be eaten warm or cold. Forget messy syrup! Sprinkle on powdered sugar if you must, but really they are very tasty plain."
Mini pigs in a blanket with honey-mustard sauce
This all-American party favorite is just one of the delightful dishes in A Reader's Cookbook, the latest from three-time James Beard award winner Judith Choate. Wrap cocktail franks in refrigerated crescent roll dough and add homemade honey-mustard sauce for a real crowd pleaser.
Individual pizza rollups
Busy working mom of three and author of The Compliment Quotient, Monica Strobel says her family loves to make personal pizzas with crescent dough. Just add a little cheese and pepperoni to refrigerated crescent dough, roll it up, bake and serve with pizza sauce for dipping.