We could all stand to eat more fruits and veggies on a daily basis which is why we've teamed up with Half Your Plate, a new initiative to get Canadians incorporating more fruits and veg into their diets. And it doesn't have to be that hard - simply fill half your plate with veggie and fruit goodness at every meal or snack!

Beet and Halloumi Skewers

Tis the season for entertaining! Whether it's sit down dinners, open houses, casual gatherings or cocktail parties, there will be eating! Nothing can derail healthy eating faster than all the sweets and treats that are tempting us from every counter top this time of year.  But if you remember the very simple "half your plate" rule, you'll get through the holidays just fine with lots of energy and a little give in your stretchy pants!

The Half Your Plate Rule

What is the "half your plate" rule?

It's so simple! Whenever you're eating, make sure that half your plate is full of fruits or veggies.  Whether it's breakfast, lunch, dinner or, my personal favourite, snack time!

Half Your Plate Friendly Appetizers!

Appetizers are a perfect example of how you can keep guests clamoring for more but still feel great about what they're eating.  And it can be so easy.  Alanna Lipson from One Tough Cookie created these simple roasted beet and halloumi skewers which will do triple duty - they'll taste delicious, look gorgeous and they're Half Your Plate friendly!

If you're short on time or don't dig beets, she's got some time saving tips and some great veggies you can sub in if needed.

And be sure to check below for some more great veggie packed appetizer ideas from FBC Members that take you way beyond that veggie and dip platter

Roasted Beet and Halloumi Skewers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 12 skewers
Ingredients
  • 450g baby beets (roughly 5-6 beets)
  • 250g halloumi cheese
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice from ⅓ of a lemon
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Wash your beets thoroughly, then place them in a pyrex dish, cover with aluminum foil, and roast for 25-35 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a knife. It might take slightly longer for larger beets.
  2. While the beets are roasting, mince the fresh parsley leaves until they are very fine. Transfer to a small bowl and add the ¼ cup olive oil and the juice from ⅓ of a lemon. Stir together.
  3. In a large pan on medium-high heat, fry the halloumi for a couple minutes on each side, until it develops a nice golden-brown colour. Remove from heat, and slice the cheese into even-sized cubes — I tend to cut them into 18 rather than 12 pieces, so I have some extra for snacking! Toss the cubes in the parsley sauce, and allow to marinate for a few minutes.
  4. When the beets are done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool before handling. Remove the skins (they should rub off quite easily; otherwise, you can use a vegetable peeler) and the tough area where the stem was attached. Slice into quarters/thirds depending on the size of the beets.
  5. Assemble each skewer by adding a slice of beet, followed by a piece of halloumi, followed by a fresh mint leaf, followed by another beet. Repeat. Best served while the halloumi is still slightly warm.
RELATED:  #LentilsLoveVeggies Twitter Party!
Notes
Tips and tricks:

-Pressed for time? You can roast and peel the beets a day in advance and store them in the fridge, or you can even buy preserved baby beets that come pre-cooked.
-This recipe can be easily adapted to other seasonal vegetables. Try roasted carrots or butternut squash in place of the beets.
-If you have any leftovers, chop the beets and cheese into smaller pieces, and use as a salad topping.

Even More Delicious Holiday Appetizers!

Half Your Plate Friendly Holiday Appetizers

By Food Bloggers of Canada

 

  • Zucchini, pea and mint fritters

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Isabelle at Crumb Blog

  • Avocado Feta Dip

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Louisa at Living Lou

  • Mediterranean Couscous Salad in Endive Leaves

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Ilona at Ilona's Passion:

  • Little Caesars on Parmesan Crisps

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Lisa at Food Well Said

  • Raw Cauliflower Nigiri Sushi

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Janet at The Taste Space

  • Eggplant Bruschetta Bites

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Sugar, Love, Spices

  • Salad Toast Cups

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Wanda at Bakers Beans

  • Beet Chips With Homemade French Onion Dip

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from The Girls On Bloor

  • Cucumber Canapes with 2 Cream Cheese Fillings

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Amy at Family Feedbag

  • Baked Squash Wontons with Sriracha Ginger Dipping Sauce

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Hilary at Cocoa Bean The Vegetable

  • Spinach and Onion Pakoras

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Ginni at The Spicy Eggplant

  • Sweet Potato and Walnut Baked Falafel

    By Food Bloggers of Canada

    from Melanie at A Virtual Vegan

Work With Half Your Plate!

Are you an FBC Member?  Would you like an opportunity to work with Half Your Plate this winter?  We have a great paid Members Only Opportunity (you must be logged in to access the link) that is open until December 9th.  If you are chosen for the campaign you will also be eligible to be chosen to attend the Canadian Produce and Marketing Trade Show and Conference in Calgary from April 12-14, 2016!

Be sure to check out HalfYourPlate.ca for more great recipe ideas as well as tips on selecting, storing and prepping fruits and veggies you can use all winter long.  And remember, getting all the fruits and veg you need is as simple as filling half your plate at every meal and snack!

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