PUBLISHED: 11:11 AM on Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Little Bites, Big Flavors
Easy Appetizers for Entertaining

  From left: Mushroom Bruschetta, Spicy Beef and Mushroom Brochettes, and Cream Cheese and Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms
Venture beyond the traditional chips and dip or a cheese ball and create easy hors d'oeuvres that will leave guests looking for more. Turn to "little bites" that deliver big flavor, look fabulous and are healthy, too! A few key ingredients make all the difference.

Fresh mushrooms just naturally look and taste great as appetizers. You can stuff them with a wide range of savory fillings or thread them onto skewers for delicious grilled fare. One serving (five medium-sized white mushrooms) has only 20 calories. Mushrooms are also low in carbs and free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.

For that savory filling or brochette, use heart-healthy canola oil, the lowest in saturated fat of all popular vegetable oils. With its light flavor and clear color, canola oil allows the flavor of other ingredients to come through. High in vitamin E, canola oil is also a good plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.

And to add big flavor without fat or calories, seasoning blends work their special magic. Instead of just using salt and pepper, seasoning blends can be sprinkled on to add flavor to meats, fish, shellfish, chicken or vegetables. Look for all-natural herb and spice mixtures that contain no MSG or preservatives. Simple changes that create big impact.

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