Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Vegetarian Baby Shower - Part II - Avocado Sandwiches, Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers, and Rum Runner Punch

It's part deux of the baby shower goodies that graced my sister's party! Here we have miniature avocado sandwiches with tomato pesto, sweet peppers stuffed with Indian-flavored quinoa and served warm, and the non-alcoholic punch meant to mimic a rum runner. Enjoy!

Avocado Sandwiches

2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced thinly
1/4 c fresh lime juice
30 slices whole wheat cocktail bread, toasted
1/2 c prepared sun-dried tomato pesto
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c broccoli sprouts

Toss the avocado slices with lime juice. Spread 15 slices of bread with pesto. Top the pesto-covered bread with avocado, onion, and sprouts. Top with remaining slices of bread and secure with a toothpick. Makes 15 mini-sandwiches.

Quinoa-Stuffed Sweet Peppers

1/4 lb (about 15) sweet peppers
1 tbs peanut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c carrot, finely shredded
1/2 cup spinach, washed patted dry and roughly chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs pine nuts

To prepare the peppers, cut a slit in the pepper lengthwise from the stem to the tip. Gently open the pepper and pull out the seeds and ribs.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté about a minute (don't allow to brown!). Add remaining vegetables and sauté until the spinach is wilted down, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garam masala. Add the quinoa and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Stuff each pepper with the quinoa mixture and place on a baking sheet, cut side up. Heat in the oven for 15 minutes. Serves 4-6 (I doubled the recipe for the party).

Rum Runner Party Punch

2 c pineapple juice
2 c orange juice
2 c blackberry juice
1 c pomegranate juice
4 tbs rum extract (1 oz)
2 tbs coconut flavoring
2 bottles sparkling white grape juice
1 liter club soda
Orange and lime slices

Chill all juices and the soda before making. Combine all liquids in a large punch bowl and garnish with fruit. Makes about 20 1-cup servings.

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