Once a month I have a book club meeting. These meetings are usually very fun, given that they involve copious wine consumption and surprisingly little discussion of the book we all just read, but they’re also a little stressful, in that everyone is supposed to bring some sort of appetizer/dessert/side dish/whatever. Normally, I enjoy making food to take to parties, but book club is always on a week night, meaning I have to head there straight from work. This means that I have to find something that I can make the night before, transport to work on the train, and then schlep to the hostess’s house. With these limitations, I often end up making cookies. Or wine. I said wine, right? Yeah, we like wine.
This month I wanted to make something quasi-healthy, so cookies were out. Wine, though tempting, was probably out, too. So, I decided to put on my fancy pants and make these tea sandwiches. They’re light and delicious and full of veggies. As a bonus, I lightened up the original recipe by using Neufchatel instead of regular cream cheese and nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Plus – they’re just so fancy! In fact, my only beef with these guys was all the chopping. I wanted everything to be diced really finely, which made for a pretty long slog in front of the cutting board. It’s hard work being fancy!
VEGETABLE TEA SANDWICHES (adapted from Southern Living)
1 medium cucumber
1 medium red bell pepper
6 carrot sticks
4 celery sticks
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 8-ounce packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened (also called Neufchatel)
2 tbsp nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
20 thin rye bread slices
1. Peel and seed cucumber. Dice cucumber, red pepper, carrots, and celery very finely.
2. Combine first nine ingredients in large bowl, stirring until well blended. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread mixture on half the bread slices, topping with the other half. Cut how you like.
The veggie measurements are approximate; you can feel free to throw whatever you like in there. I actually think it would be good with pecans or some other kind of nut to give it extra crunch. Do your pants feel fancy yet?