Rolling Up Holiday Appetizers

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - November 17, 2010
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Thanksgiving is next week, so I decided to feature two recipes: one for an appetizer and one for a main dish using “the other white meat” as an alternative to traditional turkey, or to serve alongside your holiday bird. Vegetables, stuffing, rolls and sweet potatoes complete the meal. The sauce has a nice tang from the mint, and flavors of orange and apricot meld to form a sweet, yet pungent flavor.

The apricot is very high in vitamin A, especially when dried. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, mucous membranes and good sight. Apricots also are rich in potassium and a good source of vitamin C. They are said to stimulate the appetite and help fight anemia. Dried apricots have a higher concentration of nutrients, making them rich in vitamin A, potassium, iron and riboflavin. They also are a good source of copper and magnesium. When dried, apricots are mildly laxative and should be consumed in moderation.

These appetizers are easy to make. Get the keiki involved so the whole family can enjoy being part of the preparation of the holiday meal! I like to serve with a picante sauce for dipping, but they are good plain as well.

Chives give these a tangy flavor as they belong to the same family as garlic, onion and leek. The chive is the smallest member of the onion family, and the thin, hollow stems grow back continuously when cut. Chives are easily grown and can be grown in pots or in gardens.

When purchasing fresh chives, choose those with evenly green leaves and no yellowing.

Happy Thanksgiving!


* 2 (8 ounce) packages low-fat cream cheese
* 1 small jar sliced pimentos, rinsed and drained
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
* 1 small, sweet Maui onion, finely chopped (or pulsed a few times in food processor)
* 1 carrot, peeled (pulse in food processor until finely diced)
* 10 large fat-free flour tortillas

In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, pimentos, chives, onion and carrot. Spread the mixture onto tortillas. Roll up the tortillas, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours. Slice each roll-up into six pieces, stick a toothpick in each piece and arrange on platter. Serve with picante sauce for dipping, if desired.

Makes 60 pieces.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Slice:

Calories: 56
Fat: 1 gram
Cholesterol: 4 milligrams
Sodium: 70 milligrams


* 1/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots
* 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon orange juice
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint leaves
* 3 teaspoons honey
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
* 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
* 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 4 lean, boneless pork tenderloin cutlets (about 6 ounces each)
* mint sprigs, for garnish

In saucepan, combine apricots, juice, mint, honey and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until simmering and the apricots soften. Add cornstarch mixture and stir well to combine. Continue stirring until sauce thickens a bit.

While sauce is cooking, rub pork tenderloins with curry and olive oil. Grill on both sides until cooked through and not pink in the middle. Remove from heat and serve with sauce spooned over pork. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Makes four servings, and may be doubled or tripled, etc.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 385
Fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 260 milligrams
Cholesterol: 68 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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