You wanna party, but you don’t wanna pack on the lbs., right?  Here are a few tasty treats that will spice up your party, but won’t haunt you for weeks afterward when you try to zip your jeans.

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups 1½-inch cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Frank’s RedHot
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

  1. Coat a baking sheet or your black iron skillet with cooking spray.
  2. Toss cauliflower, oil, and salt in a large bowl. Spread on the prepared baking sheet; reserve the bowl.
  3. Roast the cauliflower until it’s starting to soften and brown on the bottom, about 15 minutes.
  4. Combine hot sauce, sriracha to taste, butter, and lemon or lime juice in the large bowl. Add the roasted cauliflower stir until thoroughly coated.
  5. Return the cauliflower to the baking sheet and continue roasting until hot, about 5 minutes more.

These are sure to be a big hit!

Sweet Potato Skins with Guacamole

These are a real crowd pleaser!  And the sweet potatoes are full of good nutrition and fiber.

Makes 8 Potato Skins

Ingredients:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese or any other tasty cheese.  Monterey Jack is good too.

For the Guacamole & Toppings:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

  1. Tightly wrap sweet potatoes in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until very tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Carefully unwrap and set aside to cool.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a ¼-inch border (save the scooped-out flesh for another use).
  4. Place the sweet potato halves skin-side up on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake until browned and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Cut each skin in half widthwise and return to the baking sheet, skin-side down. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon cheese.
  7. Return to the oven and bake about 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Easy Guacamole: Mash avocado in a medium bowl. Stir in lime juice, garlic, salt, tomato, and cilantro. Top each sweet potato skin with guacamole.

Garlic-Ginger Shrimp with Spicy Cooked Tomato Salsa

You won’t be able to get enough of these wonderful little bites.

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

For the Cooked Tomato Salsa:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner bulb only, minced
  • 1-1/2 pounds tomatoes—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the vegetable oil with the parsley, garlic, basil, ginger, lemon juice, salt and crushed red pepper. Toss in the shrimp to coat.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Stir in the ginger, garlic, and lemongrass and cook over moderate heat about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Let cool to room temperature.  Add the lime juice, cilantro, and salt.
  6. Skewer the shrimp onto 10 skewers. Grill over moderately high heat or under the broiler, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through about 5 minutes.

Serve with the tomato salsa.