BE Savvy

3 Healthy Appetizers for Your Next Dinner Party

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ChefRudy-37B (Image: Chef Rudy, LLC)

Invited to a dinner party and don’t know what to bring? Want to bring something healthy, but still delicious? BlackEnterprise.com and chef Rudy Straker have you covered with these healthy appetizers.

Whether you’re hosting or visiting a dinner party, it’s understandable that you want to impress the guests. If you are aiming to live a healthy life or to be fit and “snatched” for the summer, then traditional apps like deviled eggs or loaded nachos just will not do, while these healthy appetizers will.

To help come up with delicious healthy appetizers that will wow your friends, we asked chef Straker to give us a few of his favorites. A celebrity chef to the stars, Rudy Straker provides healthy appetizers inspired by his Cuban and Bajan roots filled with inspiration, flavor, and passion.

After being recruited by chef Max Hardy in Miami, Straker came back to his roots in NYC to work with Hardy and NBA star Amar’e Stoudamire. Straker then worked as the executive chef at the world-renowned Madison Square Garden for two years, before leaving to focus on his own private chef and catering businesses full-time. His client list includes A-listers such as Drake, Ben Stiller, Liam Neeson, Taylor Swift, Tyrese, Sarah Jessica Parker, and more.

BlackEnterprise.com caught up with him to provide a few healthy appetizers our readers could enjoy.

Curried Cauliflower

Serves 6-8

1 head of cauliflower

1 tbsp. garam marsala

1 tbsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. tumeric

1 tbsp. sea salt or kosher salt

1 tsp. fresh black pepper

¼ cup of grape seed oil

Method

Place garam marsala, coriander, tumeric, and pepper in a small frying pan and heat on medium heat, shaking frying pan until spices are fragrant—this awakens the essential oils in the spice blend.  This should take no more than two to three minutes. Turn off heat and place the spices in a bowl to cool down.

Cut cauliflower into four quarters, cutting florets out of each quarter. Wash florets.  Rinse in cold water and dry with paper towel.  Place florets into a bowl. Add grape seed oil, salt, and spice blend. Toss until all cauliflower is coated. Roast mix in 350 degree oven until cauliflower is soft and tender. Place on platter and serve.

Beef Satay with Spiced Peanut Sauce

Serves 8

Steak Marinade

3 lbs. of flank steak cut into strips

3.5 oz. of garlic

1.5 oz. of chopped green bird chili

5 cups of low sodium soy sauce

4.5 oz. of fish sauce

1.4 oz. of brown sugar

1.5 oz. of orange zest

12 oz. of chopped cilantro

1 oz. of grape seed oil

Peanut Sauce

3 oz. lemongrass

10 oz. chopped shallots

2.5 oz. chopped garlic

1 kaffir lime leaf

½ oz. green Thai chili pepper

1.5 oz. chopped ginger

28 oz. coconut milk

2.5 cups sweet soy sauce

9.5 oz. rice vinegar

26 oz. chopped roasted peanuts

½ oz. kosher salt

10 oz. palm sugar

3oz. lime juice

3 oz. extra virgin olive oil

Method

Combine all ingredients of marinade, except steak and cilantro, in a blender and purée until smooth. Add cilantro and continue purée. Place steak strips into a mixing bowl. Add marinade. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Prepare Peanut Sauce pureeing all ingredients except olive oil and peanuts in a blender until smooth. Place puree on side. Heat a wok or heavy sauce pan. Add olive oil and purée and fry until fragrant. Add peanuts and cook for two minutes. Next, add remainder of ingredients and cook on high heat for five minutes. Place into a blender and purée lightly. Be sure to keep some texture of the peanuts.

Remove steak strips from marinade. Add strips to skewers and cook on a hot grill or grill.  Serve with peanut sauce. Enjoy.

Lobster Summer Rolls

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 lb. cooked lobster meat, chopped

½ cup scallions

1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

1 cucumber, peeled/cut into strips

1 ripe avocado

32 Thai basil leaves

½ cup cilantro leaves

Rice paper round wrappers

½ cup shredded carrots

1 lime, juiced

Method

Combine lobster, ginger, scallions, lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Quarter and peel the avocado and place on the side.

Fill a medium bowl with lukewarm water. Dip a rice paper into water until soft. Remove and spread open on flat plate or counter top.

Place basil leaves across the middle of softened rice paper. Place two ounces of lobster meat mixture on. Next, add a few cucumber strips. Cut 1/8 of avocado into chunks and place on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and press down to compress.  Lastly, add carrots and a few cilantro leaves.

Fold sides of rice paper towards the middle overlapping the filling by one inch. Starting at the bottom, form a tight cylinder by rolling the wrappers towards the top. Repeat to make all of the rolls. Put on a tray, cover, and refrigerate for an hour.

Dipping Sauce

½ cup lime juice

1 tbsp. grated ginger

1 tsp. fish sauce

1 Thai chili sliced thinly

1 tbsp. roughly chopped roasted peanuts

In a small bowl, add lime juice, sugar, ginger, fish sauce, and chili. Stir peanuts into sauce. Cut each roll into three to four pieces. Serve with sauce. Enjoy.