Collegiate Culinaire: Spring Fresh Cucumber Hors D’Oeuvres
“It’s like biting into a taste sensation!” Why, thank you…
But before I give the recipe for these tasty rounds, I need to get something off my chest.
It’s hard to call any potluck a problem, but the teeniest, tiniest problem with the beloved potluck is that clean-eating advocates are forced to choose between two difficult options. Either you can politely decline noshing on not-so-good-for-you dishes and risk alienating friends and colleagues, or you can give in. And usually, I’ve found, by giving in you risk feeling not so hot after the party’s over. On a personal note, a buttery sloppy joe from last Friday’s potluck left me feeling blah for several hours—hence, the philosophizing in this post.
I think we bring these dishes because, in keeping with the highly social nature of sharing a meal, we want so badly to contribute something delicious to the group’s experience, so sugary, buttery, or over-processed foods step in. That’s not to say that these foods shouldn’t show up at a potluck ever; they certainly have their place. But wouldn’t it be so great if we privileged the nutritional quality of the foods we serve over the immediate gratification of indulging on something bad? And we did this because we also cared about the health of those close to us? And then—getting a little crazy with these ideas now—these actions rippled out with more and more of our nearest and dearest bringing healthier alternatives for all of us to enjoy? Dream big, right?
I think this is very realistic and I keep working at it with every potluck. For every potluck I’ll be contributing to in the next two weeks (‘tis the season), I’ll keep bringing healthy alternatives and blogging about them here.
Now where did I leave off? Oh, yes. These cucumber rounds were an easy to make alternative, and one that I created myself 🙂
-1 container of hummus (or make your own, I did a red pepper spread)
-1 container plain, non-fat Greek yogurt (I used Oikos)
-salt, dill, and caraway seed
First, cut the ends off the cucumbers. Then use a potato peeler to to create a striped pattern, peeling lengthwise. Slice into rounds.
Second, lightly (very lightly) salt the rounds. Spread them with one creamy layer of hummus.
Third, “dollop” each round with Greek yogurt.
Fourth, sprinkle with dill and caraway seed. You can use different seasonings if you like, but I thought the combination of these two worked well for spring. Serve chilled and not too long after prepared as the liquids in the spreads will settle and shift after a few hours.
And that’s it! I did the math, too, and based on the 35 hors d’oeuvres my lot yielded, these were only a whopping 13 calories each. You could even make one big meal out of this fresh and creamy appetizer if you really wanted to.