Category: Appetizers

Appetizers on Decadently Fit

Buffalo Blue Cheese Stuffed Eggs – PLUS a Kerrygold Giveaway!

devil eggs4_Fotor 640 Deviled eggs are a pretty popular contribution to Easter celebrations.  Mostly because of the crazy tradition of hiding and finding hard boiled eggs in grass and dirt.  Who started this crazy tradition?  The germaphobe in me cringes. If your household is like mine there is an abundance of hard boiled eggs looking for new uses after the binge eating is over.  There is the obvious egg salad, or as an ingredient in a cobb salad.  My favorite use is the deviled egg. Usually I am a very simplistic lover of the deviled egg.  The less fuss and simpler the ingredients the better, but I love a challenge. I was recently asked to take part of an amazing giveaway with  Kerrygold cheese and butter.  If you have never have a KG product you need to remedy that situation ASAP.  Their products  are made from cows that graze on grass in the hills of Ireland.  Happy cows.  Grateful cows, that make their product with love that you can taste.

photo courtesy of

I’m sure you are wondering if cows eating grass makes a difference.  I can say empathically that it does.  The old saying “You are what you eat”, not only applies to the cows, but to us as we eat the byproduct of what they eat.  The taste is cleaner than butter and cheese made from a grain fed cow. Not only is the taste better, but there are health benefits to eating the products of grassfed cows.  The butter is yellow in color due to the high levels of beta carotene and is hormone-free.  Did you know that there is a significant amount of Vitamin K2 in the butter made from grassed cows?  K2 is responsible for decalcifying our arteries.  Consuming grassfed butter can lower heart disease, (authority  

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A better question begs to be asked.  Why in the world would you consume anything else?  Especially when you can buy Kerrygold products almost anywhere these days, even Costco. They have some amazing flavors in their cheese line.  From their infamous Dubliner to different types of cheddars, swiss, or the more complex Dubliner with Irish Stout, or Aged-Cheddar with Irish Whiskey and the Irish Cashel Blue Cheese.  Click here to learn more about each cheese.

photo courtesy of

After receiving a rather large assortment of happy cow cheeses and butters I was challenged to make an appetizer for our monthly Inland Empire Food Bloggers Meeting.  As a group we are giving away a gift basket of KG cheese and butter valued at $175!  Each of us was asked to come up with a recipe show casing the cheeses. Since Easter is on it’s way, and like I discussed earlier I am always looking for a way to use hard boiled eggs, I came up with this version of deviled eggs.  I guess they should be called buffalowed eggs though.  The eggs are stuffed full of Kerrygold Irish Cashel Blue Cheese.  There is zero mayo in this recipe, using protein packed, tangy greek yogurt instead.  The addition of buffalo sauce in the eggs leaves a spicy finish on the back end.  Diced celery gives the eggs a lovely crunchy texture.  My favorite part of these spicy, cheese filled eggs?  There are only 84 calories for two of these babies. This is what the other members of our IEFB group made with their cheese and butter:

From Sue at It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake A Dubliner Cream Scone

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Cottage Pies from Sara at My Imperfect Kitchen

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Kerrygold Beer & Cheese Pairing from Natalie at The Devil Wears Parsley


Dubliner Judge made by Christy at Confessions of a Culinary Diva

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The recipe for the eggs is below, but before I get to that I want to share what is in the Kerrygold gift basket!

2 wedges Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese

2 wedges Kerrygold Swiss Cheese

2 wedges Kerrygold Blarney Castle Cheese

2 wedges Kerrygold Aged Cheddar

2 wedges Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar

2 wedges Kerrygold Red Leicester

2 wedges of Kerrygold Skellig

2 packs Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter

2 packs Kerrygold Unsalted Butter

2 packs of Kerrygold Garlic and Herb Butter

2 packs of Kerrygold Softer Butter

A $175 estimated retail value!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5.0 from 2 reviews
Buffalo Blue Cheese Stuffed Eggs
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8
  • Serving size: 8
  • Calories: 84
  • Fat: 4.2
  • Saturated fat: 1.4
  • Carbohydrates: .8
  • Sugar: .6
  • Sodium: 241
  • Fiber: .1
  • Protein: 6.5
  • Cholesterol: 164
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A playful, twist on deviled eggs. Cashel Irish Blue Cheese is paired with spicy buffalo sauce and topped with crunchy celery.
  • 8 eggs, hard boiled, peeled
  • 5 tablespoons plain 0% greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • ¼ cup Kerrygold Irish Cashel Blue Cheese
  • 5 tablespoons finely diced celery, reserve one for garnish
  • ⅛ teaspoon celery salt
  • cayenne or chili powder for garnish
  1. Slice each egg in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks to a medium size bowl, mashing yolks with a fork.
  2. Add in the yogurt, hot sauce, blue cheese, salt, and 4 tablespoons of celery into the mashed yolks. Combine ingredients till smooth, adding more greek yogurt 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture reaches desired consistency. It should not be too dry, but easy to pipe out of plastic bag.
  3. Scoop the blue cheese mixture into a piping bag or ziploc bag. Pipe about a half tablespoon of the mixture into each egg white half.
  4. Garnish the eggs with remaining celery, and sprinkle cayenne or chili powder on top of each.
  5. Refrigerate till ready to serve. Can be made up to a day before.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

vampire blood

There are so many reasons I love fall.  The cooler weather.  The sporadic but present Southern California rain.  The Halloween candy bags filled with Reese’s Peanut Butter cups left for me to steal from my own children.  Yes, I steal candy from my children, don’t judge, you know you do it too.

My absolute favorite part of fall is the ability to make soup and grilled cheese for dinner without breaking out in an unattractive sweat.  Yes, that is important.  No one wants to start eating a hot bowl of creamy tomato soup and start sweating into it.  Yuck!

I am sure you are wondering how in the world do I eat tomato soup and grilled cheese while still making it healthy.  I do and don’t at the same time.  Yes, very contradictory.

As I mentioned in my last post, all of October, and now into November, I am eating all unprocessed foods.  I was eating mostly ‘clean’ foods before, but I still consume a lot of processed healthy and unhealthy foods.  I didn’t realize the amount of processed foods I was putting into my body until I completely took them out.

In the October Unprocessed challenge I didn’t eat anything I couldn’t make in my kitchen.  I made tortillas for the first time and loved them!  They were thicker than store-bought, but incredible.  I made wheat bread (from for my kid’s school lunches.  They went crazy for it because it was pretty much the tastiest, healthy wheat bread we have ever had.

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It was hard at times to keep on the unprocessed route.  I ate more peanut butter than I ever have in my entire life to fuel myself.  I love me some PB so it was fine by me.   I have never felt better in my life.  I have never had more definition and fewer headaches.  I never post ‘progress’ pictures, but I felt this time it was appropriate.  This is what eating unprocessed for 30 days can do:

bekah unprocessed

I’m pretty proud of myself!  I’m actually starting to see ab muscles!

Because I was making everything unprocessed, some nights I was tired of cooking by the end of the day.  Plus I had a lot of events that I was attending that needed new recipes or required me to cook.  One night I was over it.  I wanted something simple.  So I grabbed one of the home-made loaves of whole wheat bread, some Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, roasted jalapeños and Kerrygold butter.  The marriage of these ingredients created a melty, crunchy grilled cheese baby that I dipped into a pool of creamy tomato soup.

I loved the combo so much that I brought it to share at my monthly IEFB (Inland Empire Food Bloggers) meeting at fellow member Natalie Orozco’s (The Devil Wears Parlsey) house.  Of course I had to dress it up for the event, since our meeting was a Halloween theme.  Vampire blood test tube shots with Frankenstein and Bat grilled cheese fit in nicely among my fellow member’s awesome contributions.

choco bones myimp_Collage

Top:  Silly Cupcakes from My Imperfect Kitchen, middle left:  Autumn Harvest Croissants from It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake, middle middle:  Meatloaf Skulls from The Devil Wears Parsley, middle right: Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, bottom:  Halloween Cookies with assorted frosting from The Devil Wears Parsley.

I hope you all had a healthy and fun Halloween.  Do those two words even go in the same sentence with Halloween?  Sure, why not?  Even if they don’t I hope I have inspired you to take an unprocessed challenge of your own.  It doesn’t have to mean only fruits and vegetables.  Just make your own clean foods and see what changes take place.  I dare you.


Disclosure:  I was not compensated for any portion of this post.  The Kerrygold cheese and butter was supplied to me by Kerrygold.  All opinions and ideas are my own unless otherwise stated.

Dairy Free Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4-6 servings
  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 129
  • Fat: 6.8
  • Saturated fat: .9
  • Carbohydrates: 13.2
  • Sugar: 7.9
  • Sodium: 977
  • Fiber: 3.8
  • Protein: 4.8
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from Nordstrom Cafe's Tomato Basil Soup A hearty tomato soup that will stand up to your pickiest grilled cheese accompaniment.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 3, 28 ounce cans organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add carrot and onion and cook until beginning to soften, 10 minutes, then add basil and cook until vegetables are completely soft, about 5 minutes more.
  2. Add tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Allow the soup to cool somewhat, then purée until smooth in a blender or food processor or using an immersion blender.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve warm.


Artichoke Goat Cheese Dip


artichoke dip12_Fotor resize
It’s that time of year again.  Football season has made its way into almost every American home.  That means it’s also the time of year where winter weight starts appearing.  Game day food is the culprit for much of the winter weight football lovers and haters gain.  I added ‘haters’ or shall I say I ‘could not care lessers’.  Unless it is USC, I could care less.  So how is it that I can still gain weight during this ‘football widow’ season?  I would rather eat than watch the game.

Before everyone starts giving me a hard time, I have tried to get into football for my husband’s sake.  He’s tried teaching me.  We even did our own Fantasy Football League one year.  I lost interest half way through and admitted defeat.  It’s just not my thing.  Trying to figure out who is injured, who is good/bad, and ugly is a lot of work.

So what is a girl to do that doesn’t want a fatty winter coat?  Bring healthier options.  Lets face it, most people don’t care or think about healthier options when football is involved.  So you are going to have to do it yourself.  Or not.  There is a quote that I love, “Summer bodies are made in the winter”.  Keep that in mind as you attend a multitude of game day parties.

strawberry hot wings

Options, they are plenty.  You can always go with a standard crudite platter (veggies and dip) but I like to fancy up my apps.  You can’t go wrong with my baked Strawberry Hot wings.  Or my Assyrian family recipe for Jajic dip.  But I’d like to introduce you to an upscale, lightened version of the artichoke dip.  I call her Artichoke Goat Cheese Dip.

This spicy, creamy, yet chunky dip is everything I look for in a crowd pleasing appetizer.  I combined lightly caramelized shallots, with garlic, red pepper flakes and a touch of sea salt. Then added the savory combination to goat cheese and 0% greek yogurt.  As if the mixture wasn’t already to do for, I added in chopped artichoke hearts.

I feel compelled to share with you my newest find in the realm of already steamed artichokes.  Raise your hand if you hate veggies in a can.  I raised both, because I hate them that much.  Canned veggies contain added salt, BPA, and sulfites.  Nothing you want in your body if you are trying to eat clean.

artichoke dip8

Melissa’s Produce has recently come out with a new way to buy cooked artichokes.  No cans!  The artichokes are steamed then vacuumed sealed and packaged in a cute little box. No nasty chemicals to rinse off.  What I loved the most about the product is there is no chemical after taste, just pure artichoke goodness.  I measured out over a cup of artichoke hearts in the package.  Due to the lack of liquid in the packaging the weight is all artichokes!

I only used half the package in the dip.  I have scrumptious plans for the other half.  Stay tuned.

Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.  Artichokes were provided by Melissa’s Produce.  

5.0 from 1 reviews
Artichoke Goat Cheese Dip
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 16
  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 32
  • Fat: 2.1
  • Saturated fat: 1.2
  • Carbohydrates: .8
  • Sugar: .5
  • Sodium: 106
  • Protein: 2.5
  • Cholesterol: 3.3
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The perfect solution to your unhealthy game day options. A lightened up, upscale version of traditional artichoke dip.
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Butter or Olive Oil
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed (I used the bottom of a glass)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 oz plain goat cheese
  • ⅓ cup 0% plain greek yogurt (I like Fage)
  • 1 cup Melissa's Steamed Artichoke Hearts, chopped
  1. In a small saucepan heat the butter or oil
  2. Over medium-low heat sauté the shallots, garlic cloves, salt, and red pepper till the shallots turn a golden brown color. About 10 -15 minutes. Do not over cook them. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, using a fork, smash the goat cheese with the yogurt till combined. Fold in the artichoke hearts.
  4. Add the cooled shallot mixture into the goat cheese mixture, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  5. Serve with sliced cucumbers or Fig and Olive Crackers from Trader Joe's. They are delicious!



7 Minute Hummus

hummus 5Being partially of middle eastern decent you would think I grew up on hummus.  Unfortunately, I did not meet hummus till I was 22 years old.  I will spend the rest of my life making up for its 22 year absence.

I’m going to assume that it was never present in my home due to the regional differences in my heritage.  Or it may have been considered hippy food.  My parents were and are far from being hippies.  How I ended up with a hippy soul I am not sure.


Fortunately, not only has it become a mainstream staple, but it is even easier to make.  Ingredients like tahini paste are no longer only sold at health food stores.  Olive oil, is present in most homes, and lemon trees seem to be gracing more properties than ever.

This healthy comfort food is also chocked full of health benefits.  Fiber, protein, and healthy fats make it a great way to snack.  I love dipping assorted vegetables in the creamy goodness.

Did you know chickpeas can help maintain your blood sugar?  They can also help prevent cholesterol from sticking to the walls of your blood vessels.

hummus 4

Apart from all of the omega 3’s and myriad of good for you reasons, hummus is super easy and fast to make.  Seven minutes may be an exaggeration in time it takes to make it.

For all of my lent practicing friends, hummus is a great alternative to meat on Fridays.  I suggest slathering some hummus inside a whole wheat pita, then stuffing it with roasted mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini.

Now that I am drooling, here is the recipe.


7 Minute Hummus

Serves 5

1 – 15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons tahini

1 garlic clove

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons water

paprika, to sprinkle on top


Rinse the chickpeas in a mesh strainer with cold water.  Set aside to drain.  Then pat dry.

Put all the ingredients in a food processor, minus the water and paprika.  Process till combined.

Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula then add the water. Process again till smooth.

Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with paprika.  Traditionally olive oil is drizzled over the hummus to serve.  I do not because I do not want the added calories.

Can be refrigerated up to a week in an air tight container.

Servings: 5• Size: 1/4 Calories: 165• Fat: 9.3g • Carb: 15.4g • Fiber: 4.6g • Protein: 5.1g • Sugar:  1g Sodium: 600mg • Cholesterol: 0mg

Strawberry Hot Wings (baked)

strawberry hot wingsIn four days Americans will gather to watch the Seahawks and Broncos battle for the coveted Lombardi Trophy and declare themselves World Champions.

For us non-NFL lovers, thankfully Superbowl parties are not just about watching the game.  It’s an excuse to hang out with friends and of course eat.  Next to Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the second highest eating day.  On average, 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat are consumed by fans of pig skin chasing.

Domino’s Pizza has reported they deliver 11 million pizzas on game day.

11 million pounds of chips are consumed, 4 million pounds of pretzels, and 51.7 million cases of beer will be purchased for the day.

Among the more popular, traditional foods are hot wings.  More than 1.23 billion wings and drumettes will devoured by cheering fans this Sunday.  A successful Superbowl party must have these among the smorgasbord.

As much as I love a spicy, sauced covered wing, I cringe at the nutritional facts.  In only five Hooter’s wings, there is 866 calories, 63g of fat, and 25g of carbs.  Lord help us.  You would have to run 95 minutes, maintaining a 10 minute mile pace the entire time to burn those calories.  Not even in moderation would these be beneficial to your waist line.

In my super skinny version of the North American favorite, there is only 172 calories, 7.8g of fat, and 6.1g of carbs for the same serving.  A huge savings in your calorie bank.

How did I reduce the calories that dramatically?  I removed the fatty skin and I baked them.  There is zero butter in the sauce.  Instead I replaced it with Melt rich and creamy spread.  Melt contains only good fats, like virgin coconut oil, and ghee.

This spicy, sweet, hip friendly version of wings would be a great addition to any Superbowl party.  Even if your team loses at least you will have won bragging rights to the best tasting, healthiest dish of the day.  You also won’t have remorse for what you ate.

What ever team you are rooting for I hope you have a fun, safe, calorie friendly day!  Go Trojans!


Strawberry Hot Wings

Serves 6 – 3 wings each

30 chicken wings/drumettes, skin removed (half of each)

salt, pepper & chili powder to season

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 flats of strawberries, you need 1 1/2 cups of pureed strawberries

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

4 tablespoons Melt buttery spread

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon tabasco (more or less to your desired heat level)

Organic Canola oil in a Misto sprayer (preferred) or store bought non-stick version

green onions, diced (optional for garnish)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Rinse and dry the chicken completely.  Sprinkle each side of the wing with a small amount of salt, pepper and chili powder.  Set chicken on a wire rack that is resting on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper.  Spray each piece of chicken lightly on both sides with canola.  Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and crispy.

When chicken is done remove from oven and baste both sides with sauce.  Return back to oven for 1 minute.  Remove from oven and baste one more time.  Serve hot.  Garnish with green onions.


Melt the buttery spread in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat.  Add in the strawberry puree, garlic powder, garlic, pepper, worcestershire, onion powder, honey, tabasco, mustard, and vinegar.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce by half.  Remove from heat.

Servings: 6• Size: 5 pieces Calories: 172• Fat: 7.8g • Carb: 6.1g • Fiber: 1g • Protein: 21.3g • Sugar:  4.9g Sodium: 239mg • Cholesterol: 0mg