Recipes for Appetizers with Chia Seeds

By Barrie Rogers, Debbie Dooly

Appetizers should be light (so they don’t fill you up) but tasty. There’s no reason you can’t add some highly nutritious chia seeds to these tasty morsels to get your meals off to the right start.

Spicy Ginger Prawns

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Amandaliza]

Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Amandaliza

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

One 4-inch piece fresh ginger

6 cloves garlic

2 red chilies

2 tablespoons olive oil

24 raw jumbo shrimp, cleaned, peeled, and deveined

1 tablespoon whole chia seeds

Pepper, to taste

Crusty bread, to serve

  1. Peel the ginger and chop into long, thin strips. Try to cut them as thin as you can.

  2. Peel the garlic and chop roughly into small pieces. You should get 4 to 5 pieces from each clove.

  3. Deseed the chilies and cut lengthways; then chop sideways into small slices.

  4. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

    Add the ginger strips to the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp to the frying pan and cook for around 3 minutes, tossing occasionally so they cook well. Add the garlic and chilies to the frying pan and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.

    [Credit: Illustration by Elizabeth Kurtzman]

    Credit: Illustration by Elizabeth Kurtzman
  5. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the whole chia seeds over the contents of the pan. Grind black pepper over the pan to serve.

  6. Serve with your favorite crusty bread, using the bread to soak up the oil.

Per serving: Calories 225 (From Fat 86); Fat 10g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 239mg; Sodium 1,077mg; Carbohydrate 7g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 27g.

Bean Stuffed Chia Peppers

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

6 small red or yellow bell peppers

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

6 large ripe tomatoes

One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika

2 tablespoons whole chia seeds

Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Blanch the whole peppers in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes to soften them a little.

    Carefully cut around the stalks of the peppers to make lids, making sure to keep the peppers intact and remove all the seeds.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  3. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat; add the onion to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, score an X on the bottom of each tomato, place them in a large bowl, and pour boiling water over them; leave for approximately 4 to 5 minutes, until the skins come away easily.

    Remove the skins from the tomatoes and chop the flesh roughly. Add the tomatoes to the frying pan and simmer for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

  5. Add the beans to the pan and roughly mash a few of them with a fork, leaving most of them whole.

    Add the chopped cilantro, cumin, paprika, chia, salt, and pepper and stir well. Stuff this mixture into the peppers and replace their lids.

  6. Oil a baking sheet with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Lay the stuffed peppers on the baking sheet and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot from the oven.

Per serving: Calories 190 (From Fat 61); Fat 7g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 226mg; Carbohydrate 27g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein 7g.