Deceptively Healthy Appetizers

Flavour and comfort plus vitamins and minerals. Yes, please!

Spicy Sweet Potato Skins

Serves: 6


  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper, minced
  • ½ tsp each dried oregano, chili powder & cumin
  • 2 cups spinach leaves, shredded
  • 5 oz sharp white cheddar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes. Prick all over with fork. Place in baking dish and bake 50–60 minutes. In medium bowl, combine all other ingredients except spinach and cheese; set aside. Wilt spinach in the microwave. When potatoes are done, remove, cut in half lengthwise, and let cool 5–10 minutes. Turn oven up to 400 degrees; then brush skins with a bit of the chipotle sauce and bake again 5–10 minutes to crisp. While baking, mix spinach with sauce. Pull potatoes out one last time and top with spinach mixture and cheese; broil to melt cheese.

Make-Ahead: The first step of baking potatoes can be done a couple of days beforehand.

Cauliflower Dip

Boil 1 bag cauliflower florets with a couple of garlic cloves until florets are soft. Sauté 1 medium onion (thinly sliced) on medium heat with 1 tsp each ground cumin and salt until translucent; then increase heat to medium high and cook until browned. Transfer onions to blender and add drained cauliflower along with 3/4 cup Greek yogurt, 3 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 1 Tbsp dried parsley. Endive leaves are healthy options for scooping, or use your favourite bread, sliced thin and toasted.

Make-Ahead: Covered and chilled, dip stores for up to 5 days.

Blend 1 lb hummus with 10-oz jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, 2 Tbsp tomato paste and 1½ tsp smoked paprika; serve with better-for-you baked pita chips or raw veggies.