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week108Sweet, salty, crunchy, soft, gooey, hot or chilled, who doesn’t love tempting appetizers to pick at and on before your long awaited dinner is served? I am definitely guilty as being one of those dinnertime eaters who will indulge in so many appetizers that by the time the main course arrives I am way too full to eat any further (Doggie bag, please?). Why even order an entrée when you can make a meal just on eating delicious apps when you are sitting at the table famished, right? Or perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who can eat both appetizers and a main course meal with plenty of room still for dessert! Whichever eater you may be, just make certain the apps you devour are healthy and nutritious like some of my favorite Paleo appetizer recipes below. Inbox me with your own favorites!

Avocado Deviled Eggs
This recipe can easily be doubled! Peel 3 omega-3 hard-boiled eggs. Slice long ways in half. Give a gentle squeeze into a small bowl to pop out the yolk. Use a fork to mash the yolk, 1/2 avocado and salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lime and add hot sauce to taste. Mix well and spoon mixture into a Ziploc baggie. Cut off the tip and piped it into the egg halves. Sprinkle with a little paprika for garnish. Chill until ready to serve.

Bacon Meatballs with Mango Honey Mustard Sauce
These are always a hit! Preheat your oven to 350° F. Place 6 slices of pork or turkey bacon (cut into 1 inch pieces) into a large skillet and cook over medium heat. Once bacon has rendered some fat in the pan, add 1/2 diced yellow onion. Mix together and poke at it randomly to be certain the bacon and onions don’t brown too much or burn. Once bacon is cook through, place bacon and onions on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up some excess fat and cool. Next place 1.5 pounds ground beef or turkey into a large bowl. Add cooled bacon and onions, along with 1 omega-3 egg, 1/4 cup almond flour, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Use your hands to mix together thoroughly. Then roll into little bite size balls and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for around 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the meatballs. Enjoy!

Shrimp Cocktail
Great for dinner parties!Combine 6 ounces tomato paste, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup water, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice and salt to taste to create a Paleo ketchup. Add 1 tablespoon grated horseradish root. Taste and adjust seasonings to suit your taste. Chill until ready to serve with 30 to 40 pre-cooked deveined shrimp.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Spinach
This is a good amount of prep but worth it in the end. Preheat oven to 400° F with the rack in the center of the oven. PART 1: Place a foil-lined baking sheet onto the rack to preheat. Wipe the tops clean of 5 medium Portobello mushrooms with a damp cloth. Remove the stems then the gills with a spoon. With a sharp paring knife, cut a shallow “X” on the top of each mushroom. Brush avocado oil (or your favorite fat) all over the mushrooms and season the tops and bottoms with salt and pepper to taste. Place the mushrooms on the preheated baking sheet in the oven, gill side up, and baked for 10 minutes. Flip each mushroom and bake gill side down for 10 additional minutes. Remove tray from the oven and let the mushrooms cool to room temperature. PART 2: While the mushrooms are baking, make the stuffing. Heat a couple tablespoons of ghee (or your favorite fat) in a large skillet over medium heat and sautéed 1/2 small onion minced with salt and pepper until soft and translucent. In a medium bowl, add 1 pound raw pork or chicken sausage (removed from casing) plus the following seasonings: 1 teaspoon green peppercorns, 1 teaspoon dried chives, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon tarragon, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon dill weed and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Mix in 2 large omega-3 egg lightly beaten, 8 ounces fresh spinach, 1 tablespoon coconut flour (optional), salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mushrooms onto another baking sheet lined with foil and tope with stuffing on each cap. Pressing stuffing down to make more compact. Baked at 350° F for 45 minutes. Top with your favorite marinara sauce and serve immediately.

Zucchini Roll Ups
This recipe is super delish! Heat grill. Remove ends and slice 2 zucchinis into 1/4 inch thick strips lengthwise with a knife or mandoline. Place zucchini in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Mix using your hands, coating the zucchini. Place 4 Italian sausages on the grill along with zucchini. While the zucchini and sausages are cooking, make the pesto. Add 1/2 cup walnuts, 1 garlic clove and1 cup fresh basil to a food processor. Add 1/3 cup olive oil while the food processor is running. Next add juice of 1 lemon and salt and pepper to taste. After zucchini has cooked 4 to 5 minutes and has begun to show grill marks, flip over. Once zucchini and sausage are completely cooked through, remove and cool. After cooling, use a spoon to spread the pesto down the center of the zucchini strip and cut off an inch or so piece of sausage. Place the sausage in the middle of the zucchini so the cut sides are facing toward the outer ridges of the zucchini. Wrap the zucchini around the sausage and use a toothpick to hold it in place. Makes 11-12 rolls.

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