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With the festive season drawing close, this can only mean one thing: parties. As your house begins to fill with hustle and bustle, the pressure to whip up tasty dishes for your guests also rises.

Before you pull your hair out over what to serve your guests - or worse, guests who show up without warning - amidst all the festive hustle, read to find out more about how to prepare the following appetisers that are sure to be a hit. These are the perfect solution to your worries, and are simple and quick to make without being too heavy on the waistline.

Instead of opting for caterers and breaking the bank, simply prepare these fuss-free appetisers which are packed with nutrients and and flavour. Wait no longer to impress your friends with your prowess as a domestic goddess with these easy recipes! Read on to find out more.

 

Enoki bacon wrap

These insanely addictive enoki bacon wraps will definitely be a hit amongst your guests, with the savoury, juicy bacon complementing the sweetness of the enoki mushroom. The best part? This appetiser doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to prepare, and is also a low-calorie snack.

Image cred: Wikimedia Commons

Wrap each slice of bacon with a small handful of enoki mushrooms and roll it up tightly. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.

  1. Garnish with pepper if desired.
  2. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius, or until the bacon is cooked.
  3. Remove toothpicks and serve.

 

Rainbow fruit skewers

Not only are these a treat for your tastebuds, these are also an aesthetic treat for your guests. These eye-catching rainbow fruit skewers are incredibly simple to make, and add a refreshing touch of juiciness to your party.

  1. Dice up strawberries, oranges, pineapples, kiwis, red grapes and blueberries, and thread them according to the colours of the rainbow onto a few wooden skewers.
  2. Optional: Lay skewers out in a bed of ice to keep the fruits cold and fresh.

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

This classic Italian appetiser is a must-have at every party. The medley of flavours of tomatoes, garlic and basil come together in a mouth-watering combination that whets the appetite and makes your guest hungry for more!

  1. Blanch tomatoes in boiled water for 1 minute and peel off the skin after the tomatoes have cooled.
  2. Cut tomatoes into quarters and remove seeds and most of the juice.
  3. Chop tomatoes into fine pieces and mix in minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Serve the tomato mixture on toasted baguette slices, and garnish with fresh basil.

 

Mango and avocado salsa

This tangy and fresh salsa is great for eating on its own, but is also delicious when served with grilled meat - your guests will be spoilt for choice!

  1. Dice up an avocado, a ripe mango, and a small red onion and place in a medium bowl.
  2. Chop up ¼ cup of fresh cilantro leaves and ½ a habanerro and add to the bowl.
  3. To the bowl, add 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and ½ a teaspoon of sea salt.
  4. Mix well and serve.

 

Smoked Salmon and Dill Cream Cucumber Cups

Best served chilled, these cucumber cups are a refreshing snack for your guests to cleanse their tastebuds before digging in!

  1. Cut a cucumber into ¾-inch-thick slices and form a depression in each slice with a small ice cream scoop to form cups.
  2. Drain cucumbers on paper towels for 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare 4 ounces of cream cheese (softened to room temperature), 2 tablespoons of chopped dill and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
  4. Mix the cream cheese, dill, black pepper, and fresh lemon juice in a bowl.
  5. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the cucumber cups and top with a slice of smoked salmon.

Ah, bacon. Salty, streaky strips of pork that makes our mouths water and our knees weak. There’s no doubt that bacon is a tasty treat but all that fat, sodium and cholesterol may cause trouble in the long term. Hence, we’ve put together 5 easy, bacon-infused recipes that will not wreck your waistline or health, yet allow you to indulge in the goodness of bacon.

 

1. Bacon Broccoli Salad

Perfect for parties and potlucks, the Bacon Broccoli Salad is a great make-ahead recipe with an Asian influence. The tender crisp broccoli florets, rocket leaves and bacon bits tossed in a sweet soy-sesame mix creates an irresistible salad combination. For extra jazz, we like to add toasted almond silvers and dried cranberries.

 

Ingredients

Boil the broccoli florets in a large pot of salted water for 1 minute and plunge the florets into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain well, set aside and start to crisp bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove, drain on kitchen paper towels and roughly chop. Then, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, seasoned rice vinegar and minced ginger in a large bowl. Add in the bacon, broccoli florets and rocket leaves. Toss well and serve warm or chilled.

 

2. Bacon Bean Bundles

Plain green beans meet bacon – a wonderful treat to serve as canapés at your social gathering or as an accompaniment to your weeknight main meal. If you’re not a fan of beans, replace with asparagus spears.

 

 

Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 190°C and grease your baking tray. Steam the green beans till tender and set aside. Wrap 6 green beans with a halved strip of bacon and transfer to baking tray. Repeat with all green beans then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until bacon is crisp. Sprinkle some kosher salt and coarse black pepper over each bean bundle to taste.

 

3. Bacon & Egg Muffins

Is there anything more delicious and fun for a quick breakfast? These muffins include all the breakfast foods that will shake up your wake up.

 

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 200°C and grease your muffin tin well. Cook the bacon for 5 minutes over medium heat, aim for a flexible but not raw texture. Then, cut circles of bread with a cookie cutter to fit your muffin tin and lay a circle of bread in each muffin cup. Wrap a bacon rasher around the edge of each muffin cup and add tomatoes. Last but not least, crack an egg into each cup and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. For a more cooked yolk, bake for a longer time.

 

4. Bacon & Pea Pasta

Need more inspiration for the bacon in the fridge? Try the Bacon & Pea Pasta recipe. Al dente spaghetti, garden peas and crisp bacon bits are tossed in a beautiful mint and lemon sauce that’s light on the stomach but full of flavour.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Boil the spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted water until al dente. Add the peas in the final 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, set aside pasta and reserve ¼ cup of pasta water. In another large pan, crisp bacon over medium heat. Remove, drain on kitchen paper towels and roughly chop. Toss bacon back into pan and add onion, garlic, lemon rind and reserved pasta water. Simmer ingredients for 8 minutes or so, then add the mixture to pasta. Combine the mint, stir well and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

 

5. Pan-roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Apple Cider Vinaigrette

These Brussel sprouts are pan-roasted until golden, then doused in a tangy cider vinaigrette and topped with crisp bacon. They are so addictive, it’s hard not to join the ranks of Brussel sprouts lovers and eat the entire lot before you serve them. Leftovers (if any) make delicious additions to salads!

Ingredients

Crisp bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove, drain on kitchen paper towels and roughly chop. In the same pan with all the bacon grease, melt butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussel sprouts (cut side down), cook for 10 minutes or until sprouts turn golden brown. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and toss bacon back into pan for a minute more. Serve warm.

 

 

Let us know which recipe was your personal favourite and do share your food photos with us. For the extra health-conscious individual, wash down the bacon grease in your belly with some of our herbal teas. A warm mug of Ginger Rooibos or Blue Ocean tea should do the trick!

Written by Valerie Tan

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