BEWARE OF THE BBQ… Not a typical saying you see posted on the side gate as you enter the Memorial Day Cookout huh. With the average caloric intake at nearly 3000 calories over the course of the BBQ, it’s a good idea to have a game plan before heading into the festivities.
If your family’s anything like mine, we go all out for the BBQs. Grandma is a shoe in for bringing her infamous
Mayonnaise Noodle Salad, while Aunt Marie of course will bake up one of her decadently delicious famous desserts. My dad wouldn’t be satisfied if the main course was just the turkey burgers (nice job Mom!) and must throw a John Zabel into the mix. Needless to say, we never have a shortage of food. No worries though guys, I understand you just don’t mess with tradition!
How then does this Simple-Swapper survive the madness? Enter… Memorial Day Recipe Makeover! Zabel BBQ’s usually start at the snacking hour and we can easily consume a few hundred calories on cheese, chips and a variety of different dips. Thus, my mission was to create a Simple-Swap original to healthify our appetizer scene.
Since the key to a great appetizer combines a lean protein, fiber filling vegetables and a hint of healthy fats, this Frijole Pepper Popper is a win! Check out the Simple-Swap original recipe below.
- 20 sweet mini bell peppers
- 1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp garlic powder (or fresh)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/3 cup chopped tomato
- 2 tbsp. cilantro
- 1/3 avocado, chopped
- cheese of choice (optional)
- plain, fat free yogurt (or light sour cream)
- Place beans with garlic, cumin, onion and cilantro in food processor.
- Process until slightly chunky so you can still see some whole beans.
- Wash and slice mini peppers in half, length wise.
- Spread 1 tbsp. of black bean mixture in pepper.
- Top spread with chopped avocado, tomato and cheese.
- Optional: Bake at this point for 8-10 minutes in oven at 350* to melt cheese and warm the dip.
- Top off with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt!
Not only are these poppers a low-fat, low-calorie option to bring to your next summer BBQ, but they also add a fun finger food for the kids. If your not into the raw veggies, you can also pre-bread the peppers using an egg white with panko crust to give that fried food kind of feel. Stay tuned, I will try this tweak soon. Have something delicious you made? Please share your recipes here!