Smoked Salmon Sandwiches
Spread pumpernickel-style bread or thinly sliced wholemeal bread with cream cheese. Add thinly sliced cucumber and top with smoked salmon slices. Squeeze with lemon juice and sprinkle with black pepper, then cut into bite sized squares.
Baked Pitta Squares
Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/gas mark 9, then spread one side of wholemeal pitta breads with a tomato-based pasta sauce, sun-dried tomato paste or tomato puree. Top with any of the following pizza toppings: cherry tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, sliced courgette, diced peppers, pitted black olives, cooked chicken goujons, cooked prawns, strips of lean (unprocessed) ham, sliced mozzarella, grated Cheddar or Parmesan shavings.
Cook for 10 minutes or until the pitta is crispy and vegetables have softened or the cheese melted, as appropriate. You can also add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, torn fresh basil leaves or dried oregano and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper, before cutting into bite-sized squares.
Filled Little Gem Leaves
Break of the leaves from a Little Gem lettuce and place a spoonful of hummus or guacamole inside. Sprinkle with a few freshly chopped chives.
Feta, Cucumber and Olives Sticks
Cut fairly thick slices of cucumber and top with a cube of feta cheese and a pitted olive or sun-blush tomato.
Lightly toast pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds in a large, dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes until they just start to turn crisp and pop. Season with a little tamari, soy sauce or sea salt. A tasty alternative to crisps without the high fat and starch content, these are also rich in protein and minerals such as zinc, to help skin condition and libido!
Spiced Cashew Nuts
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Scatter 200g (7oz) of raw, unsalted cashew nuts on a baking tray and drizzle with a tablespoon of mild or medium (not extra extra virgin) olive oil. Sprinkle with a teaspoon each of mild curry powder, smoked paprika and a pinch of salt, then roast for 15 minutes, shaking the tray to turn them over halfway through. Leave to cool then taste, adding a little more salt if necessary. These are a spicy alternative to the ubiquitous peanuts and crisps.
Marinated Chicken Skewers
Marinate bite-sized pieces of chicken in tamari or soy sauce, grated fresh ginger and lime or lemon juice for an hour. Then thread the chicken onto metal or bamboo skewers (if using bamboo, pre-soak in water for 30 minutes to prevent the wood from burning) along with cubes of vegetables, such as pepper, mushroom, red onion or spring onion. Brush the kebabs with the residual marinade to coat the vegetables, before cooking under a hot grill for around 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked through (the juices should run clear) and the vegetables have softened.