Thursday, September 1, 2011

Veggie Dipsticks

This is such a simple idea, it seems almost elementary to post it.  Recently when I was in need of an appetizer, I was tired of the common veggie tray.  I’ve seen this idea in various forms, and it was usually in a special cup or container.  Here you can utilize an inexpensive, small clear plastic cup, with a scoop of homemade Ranch - loaded with those crisp vegetables standing at attention.

Serving buffet-style for showers or other celebrations is always a little tricky.  Will you have enough?  Will they like it?  What do you do with leftovers when it’s over?

This is simpler than a veggie tray - in that you make just enough for who you expect to come.  Granted, they may not LIKE vegetables and dip - but if you have extras, it’s not hard to just hand a few to your friends as they leave.  I’ve never enjoyed cutting off my conversation with guests in order to prepare a tray of leftovers for someone. 
Serving veggies and dip pre-assembled also saves time in a buffet line.  No decisions to make on which items to take, no spills that inevitably happen as people serve themselves, no need to refill the vegetables that run out first. 
They are also great to keep in the refrigerator for yourself (or your kids) to fight the urge to snack when that 3:00 slump hits.  Individually wrap the cups in a small sheet of plastic wrap, or they even fit in a ziploc sandwich bag (just keep them UPright, so the dip doesn’t escape)

I’ve always thought that homemade ranch dressing or dip tastes so much better - but you can’t beat the convenience of bottled dressing.  

To save time, do your prep work on the veggies the night before - keeping them bagged and ready in the refrigerator to assemble just before serving.  They also hold up pretty well if you assemble them the night before - just be sure to generously wrap them in plastic wrap so they stay fresh.
Don’t toss out the center leaves in your stalk of celery - they look great added to the mix.  Add other vegetables that are your favorites - peppers (all colors), zucchini spears or rounds, olives... you name it.  More colorful choices make them even more appealing.

For directions, hints, and further ideas on how to use these healthy little appetizers, go to:

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