Whenever I'm invited over to a friend's house for a backyard BBQ, game day food fest or just a get-together with my friends, I try my best to bring something healthy. With three kids, sometimes the easiest thing to do is run to the store, grab a bottle of wine and a fun pre-made appetizer. But lately I've been trying to re-commit to making everything myself. For one, it's almost always healthier; I know what's in the food I'm making. It's also easy. Sure, recipes can be complex, but I happen to be a big proponent of the "easy" button.

Bunch of cucumbers

When it comes to bringing appetizers, I lean on vegetables to pull me through. They're versatile, can get paired with so many different types of other foods or spices and are good nearly any time of year. Cucumbers are no exception.
Hallowed Cucumbers

I made these Cucumber Hummus Bites for an afternoon Labor Day BBQ. After a little bit of peeling, slicing and scooping, my Bites were plated and ready to go in 10 minutes.

red pepper _olives_cucumber

Cucumber Hummus Bites
Yields 12

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into 1" circles
5 olives, halved
1/4 red pepper, julienned into small 2" pieces
1/2 cup hummus (try my recipe right here)

  1. Peel one cucumber and slice into 1" circles.
  2. Using a teaspoon, gently create a cucumber boat by scooping had the seeds out of each slice. Be sure not to dig too deep into each slice as you don't want to make the base too thin.
  3. Spoon a dollop of hummus into each cucumber bite.
  4. Garnish your cucumber bites with a couple olive slices or strips of red pepper.
  5. Refrigerate or serve immediately.