March Madness Tasty Bites

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BY LAUREN HILTON

 

With March Madness just around the corner, here are some simple and delicious
game day bites to keep your teammates happy. Keep in mind you can always
double or half the recipes.

Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

This recipe can be altered many ways: with jalapeño or sweet peppers or large peppers for a dinner.

For the sausage, choose Italian, turkey or chicken.

Ingredients:
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
5.2 oz. Boursin garlic & fine herbs cheese, half pkg.
16 oz. bag mini sweet peppers or jalapenos
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage
¼ cup pine nuts – toasted (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cut peppers lengthwise, remove seeds and place in bowl, add olive oil and toss lightly to coat.
Place peppers cut sides up on baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes to soften. Remove from oven to cool.
While peppers are cooling, cook sausage in skillet over medium heat, breaking into crumbles with spoon. Drain, set aside.
Toast pine nuts in dry skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted.
Mix cream cheese, Boursin cheese and blend together.
Add cheese mixture and pine nuts to cooled crumbled sausage and mix well.
Fill pepper halves and place back in oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

Bacon-Wrapped Butternut Squash
A Paleo and carb-friendly recipe.

Ingredients:
1 regular-sized butternut squash
1 packet or 10 slices of bacon
(preferably without nitrates)
Olive oil
Chili powder
Garlic Powder
Paprika (smoked if possible)
Pepper
Toothpicks

 

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Sometimes you can find butternut squash pre-cut in the produce section. If you buy it whole, you’ll need to trim and peel it. Microwaving it for about 5 minutes with a little bit of water in the dish will make slicing easier.
Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes, discarding the seeds and pulp.
Place the squash in a bowl and drizzle with oil and sprinkle with chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper to taste.
Toss to coat.
Cut the bacon in half, width wise.
Wrap half a bacon slice around one squash cube and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Repeat.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Flip the bites over carefully and bake for another 20 minutes or until the squash is tender and the bacon is thoroughly cooked.
If you want the bacon crispier, set the oven to broil for the last 3 to 5 minutes of baking, keeping a watchful eye.
Add toothpicks and enjoy!

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