Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

The Value Guru Wants You...if You Want a Prize

By Susannah Simone, September 30, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Susannah Simone

Are you a fan of The Whole Deal in-store value guide? If so, here's a sneak preview of the special December issue we're putting together. It will focus around giving and entertaining on a budget and feature several recipes for amazing "small bites" party food that cost less than 50 cents per piece-many much less than that!

I know, I know, it seems awfully early to be talking holiday parties, but to be ready to inspire and assist you when the time comes we have to start Christmas in July, so to speak. And this year we also want some help from you! Simply use the comments space below to share your own favorite value-focused "small bites" holiday appetizer recipe that costs less than 50 cents per piece. If your favorite is selected as our favorite of all the entries, we'll send you a $50 gift card and print your recipe in The Whole Deal. But, hurry up, the deadline is October 5th!

Good luck...I can't wait to get a taste of your ideas.

And, if you haven't already, be sure to sign up for The Whole Deal e-newsletter. You'll hear from us a few times each month about in-store specials and money-saving tips…and future contests, too.

Tune in to our Whole Story blog each Wednesday in October for a special value-focused weekly contest!




Barbara Bucknam says ...
Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms 2- 14oz cans artichoke bottoms, rinsed, drained, dried 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese 1/2 cup mayo 3 large cloves garlic-minced 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (1 lemon) 1 tsp grated lemon peel zest 1/4 cup pine nuts chopped fresh parsley-optional Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease 8-inch square baking dish. Place artichokes rounded side down in dish. Combine cheese, mayo, garlic, lemon juice and zest in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mound this mayo mixture into artichoke bottoms. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake until heated thru about 20 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve. Note-larger artichoke bottoms can be cut to bite size if needed. This recipe can be used as an appetizer or a side dish with the bigger artichoke bottoms.
10/01/2009 3:34:39 PM CDT
Fiona Blasius says ...
When company drops in unexpectedly I put together a few simple things that require no cooking and are not only tasty, but very healthy. Dates stuffed with almonds or cashew butter, celery stuffed with cashew butter or hummus, warmed brie served with apricot jam, candied nuts, olive tapenade and crackers/pita bread, and whatever fresh fruit I have on hand. I also put out whatever dark chocolate I have on hand. Folks think I went all out, but I didn't. :)
10/05/2009 3:30:54 PM CDT
Stacy Reis says ...
So good you can't stop! 4 Cups, sharp, shredded, cheddar cheese. 1 small bunch of scallions, whites and greens chopped. 3 TBS. Real Mayo and 1 small can of small size shrimp crushed with a fork. With a spoon, blend the contents together, make the day ahead so the flavors develop. Serve with your favorite crackers or baguette.
10/05/2009 5:32:19 PM CDT
Hannah Wang says ...
Ritz cookies topped with a mixture of imitation crab, mayonaise, and some sweet corn.
10/05/2009 4:39:42 PM CDT
Thomas says ...
WOW! This is easy. We like to take a pitted date and slip a walnut, or pecan inside. That's all! Enjoy!!
10/06/2009 8:16:21 AM CDT
Andrea Register says ...
I like to take a whole wheat cracker, add a dollop of spaghetti sauce and top it with a slice of pepperoni. Make a plate and microwave for 20 seconds to heat it up. YUM!
10/06/2009 6:14:43 PM CDT
Kelly S says ...
3 B's Turkey Dogs Always a holiday hit! Cut 2 packages turkey dogs into chunks and throw them in a crock pot. Add BBQ sauce (enough to cover the top of the cut dogs), some BEER(about 1/2 cup any kind) and 1/4 cup of BROWN SUGAR. Stir all ingredients and simmer in crock pot until sauce is thick and dogs are plump. Add more or less of ingredients based on your taste. Use toothpick or spoon to serve. YUM!
10/03/2009 6:35:08 AM CDT
Anupa says ...
Cranberry Chutney on Sliced Baguettes Pour *2-3 tsp cooking oil in a pan. Add * 1" peeled, shredded ginger * 1-2 cloves finely chopped garlic * 1/4 of a finely chopped onion (I prefer Vidalia) * 3-8 freshly sliced finger finger hot pepper (or 1-3 jalapeno) Stir till translucent. Add * 1.5 cups fresh whole cranberries * 1/4 cup raisins (golden or Thompson) * a splash of orange juice * upto 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or jaggery - Indian raw sugar) * a dash each of turmeric, cumin powder and chilli powder * salt to taste Stir and cook on low heat until the cranberries pop and the whole mixture is of spreading consistency. Add water by the teaspoonful if it starts to get dry and catch on the bottom of the pan. Adjust seasonings so you can taste subtle sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours in the chutney. Can serve warm or cooled on lightly toasted baguette slices or whole grain crackers of your choice. Cover tightly and store in fridge for upto 2 weeks. A wonderful addition to your sandwich for lunch if you have leftovers.
10/03/2009 7:38:05 AM CDT
lisa says ...
I love cranberry dishes this time of year...warm, sweet and a little tart...yum! Ok so here is the deal I dish out an orange infused cranberry quinoa with a pomegranite reduction....and it goes like this... 1. Follow the directions on your box of regular white quinoa and substitute orange juice for the water...make four cups cooked quinoa 2. Toast a half cup of slivered almonds and toss into the warm quinoa. 3. Pour one half cup of sweetened dried cranberries into a bowl and add boiling water to refresh the berries for five minutes. Drain water and toss into the quinoa. 4. Zest a tablespoon of orange rind and one of lemon rind directly into the mixture and toss. 5. In a small sauce pan bring one half cup of pomegranate juice and a few tbsp of refined white sugar to a boil and stir constantly to avoid burning. Once the sauce cooks down turn off the heat and leave on the stove to cool. Do not worry if it is a little liquidy...once it cools the reduction will thicken. Since this is a "small bites" recipe instead of plating in a large white bowl and drizzling over the reduction and sprinkling over a little more almonds, cinnamon and zest do the following... 6. Using any type of spoon you like...(toss the quinoa once more to incorporate everything) fill the spoons with a bite size portion and line up the spoons on a long white platter however you like. Drizzle the bites (and if you get it on the plate too it's ok... as a matter of fact it looks nice!) with the reduction, zest a little more orange onto the plate and dust the plate and bites with cinnamon...enjoy!!!
10/05/2009 5:03:10 PM CDT
Dakota says ...
Pumpkin Pie Dip: 1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin 8 oz Neufchatel or cream cheese, softened 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1/2 tsp cinnamon With a mixer, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve with any combination of sliced apples or bananas, pretzels, and toasted wheat or zucchini bread.
10/05/2009 3:45:05 PM CDT
Mary C says ...
Grill the awesome Habenero Sausage (seemingly only available at WF boulder) for 10-15. Grill hot, then move to the cooler part of the grill to cook through. Do not poach or it removes the heat of the chili. Make a dipping sauce by mixing dijon mustard 50-50 with honey or apricot jam. Slice into rounds and serve with dipping sauce. Hold on to your hat!
10/05/2009 6:16:09 PM CDT
Marisa Horner says ...
My mother has always made these delicate Guava Empanadas since I can remember. In fact, when my oldest daughter had her first Communion, my mother brought a pink box with these little tasty turnovers for after the church ceremony. I remember the look on my daughter's face when she opened the pretty pink box to reveal these family favorites. This year on her 21st birthday, my mother brought her another box of these for her to share with her friends and family after dinner. Mother makes the guava jam from fresh guavas her friends give her from their own guava trees of different varieties(used to be from her own trees in the Imperial Valley, but these trees did not survive a winter frost a few years back) She makes the pastry from pastry flour and cold butter. The guavas she peels, cooks over the stove with sugar and pectin as you would for jam. Then you roll out the chilled pastry dough, and use a very small buscuit cutter for each empanada. You fill with a little bit of jam, then bake at 350 for a few minutes until light brown. Of course, dust them with powdered sugar at the end but they are delicious naked as well. If you are fortunate enough to have friends that have guava trees, these little empanadas would not cost more than a few cents to make, as you would only spend money on pastry flour and butter. Of course, you will share these with those who gave you the guavas and they will be awaited with great anticipation in the years to come.
09/30/2009 10:40:27 AM CDT
Ann Sharma says ...
Tuscan Fig & Gorgonzola Bruschetta 1 ½ C. of chopped fresh figs (¼ inch) and variety. 1 C. Crumbled Gorgonzola ½ C. toasted chopped walnuts ¼ C. balsamic vinegar 1/3 C. XV olive oil 1 T. Honey ½ Tsp. Salt Black pepper to taste Baguette of your choice cut into ½ slices. Chop figs and crumble Gorgonzola, place in bowl. In a mixing bowl add honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oils. Mix well, add salt and pepper. Pour over the figs and cheese, lightly mix. Spoon into a shallow bowl. Top with chopped walnuts. Serve with toasted baguettes brushed with XV olive oil or good crackers.
09/30/2009 2:45:26 PM CDT
Dawn Simpson says ...
I love making (and eating!) appetizers. One of my go-to appetizers is corn tortillas - cut in quarters and brushed w/olive oil. Lightly sprinkle on your favorite seasonings. I typically use dry parsley and cumin. Form each piece of tortilla into a small cup in a mini muffin tin. Fill each cup with homemade spinach hummus and top with a little piece of grape tomato. Bake until tortillas are lightly browned and crispy.
09/30/2009 2:41:24 PM CDT
Paul Winans says ...
I buy a bag of small sweet peppers, red, yellow, orange. Split them in half, clean out seeds, purchase one container of flavored cream cheese your choice and fill peppers and you have a quick inexpensive snack bite.
09/30/2009 6:45:59 PM CDT
Nikki says ...
This recipe combines 2 of my favorite fall fruits. I have a habit of just eating the fruit mixture out of the bowl rather than preparing to share it with others in the phyllo cups... Pear & Pomegranate Bites: 45 mini phyllo cups (3 packages) 3 pears, cut into small chunks Arils (seeds) from 1 pomegranate 2 tbsp light brown sugar 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/3 cup of your favorite chopped nuts: pecans, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts (optional) To prevent browning, toss the pear chunks with 1 tbsp of pineapple juice. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, combine the pears, pomegranate arils, nuts, and sugar mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. Prepare the phyllo cups as directed on the package. For a hot appetizer, scoop the pear and pomegranate mixture into the cups during the last 5 minutes of baking. For a cold appetizer, allow the cups to cool before filling.
10/05/2009 8:34:38 PM CDT
Nikki says ...
Cheesy Bacon Balls: 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or any other favorite cheese) 2/3 cup flour 1/3 cup butter, softened 1/3 cup crumbled turkey bacon 1/4 tsp pepper (or other favorite seasoning) Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients and form into bite-size balls. Place on greased cookie sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes. You can also add diced vegetables to the balls for added nutrition and flavor.
10/05/2009 8:44:14 PM CDT
Anna Rubin says ...
My daughter loves these tasty little roll-ups she learned to make at her after school program. They make a perfect little appetizer--lovely to look at, healthy and inexpensive. After School Party Roll-Ups 1 package whole-wheat tortilla (8) 1-2 bunches watercress (washed, trimmed and dried) 1 8-oz tub light cream cheese 1 package instant vegetable soup mix (Whole Foods/365 or Knorr brand recommended) Directions: Mix soup mix and light cream cheese together. Let sit for 20 minutes. Spread 1/8th cream cheese mix to cover one tortilla. Add 1/8 watercress. Roll up. Slice roll into 6-8 pieces (depending on size of tortilla). Repeat steps until desired number of appetizer slices is prepared. Recipe makes approx. 48-64 pieces. Can be doubled for larger parties.
10/01/2009 12:24:15 PM CDT
Susan Kreusch says ...
Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms 1 package button mushrooms or baby bellas 1-2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, all moisture squeezed out Feta Cheese 1 Medium Onion, diced Olive oil In a frying pan heat olive oil, add diced onion and the diced stems of the mushrooms sauteeing until onions are clear. Add to chopped spinach and mix well. Add crumbled feta cheese to spinace mixture and mix well. Place mushroom tops on cookie sheet, stuff with spinach mix, drizzle with olive oil and bake 350 degrees 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms start to sweat. This can also be made casserole style by layering sliced mushrooms and spinach mix. Top with buttered bread crumbs.
10/01/2009 12:22:39 PM CDT
Lori Megginson says ...
One of my favorite appetizers for holidays is to take a block of cream cheese, put it on a colorful plate and pour a jar of the Fischer-Weiser Raspberry Chipotle sauce over it. Serve it with one of Whole Foods yummy crackers and its an instant hit. It not only looks beautiful but serves a lot of people for less than 50 cents per serving, and it tastes delicious.
10/01/2009 12:22:51 PM CDT
Stacee Green says ...
GAZPACHO IN CUCUMBER CUPS Makes 4 dozen 1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 1 medium jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 1 English cucumber, peel on, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 1/2 cup tomato juice, or more if needed 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 48 Cucumber Cups Directions In a medium bowl, combine 1/3 cup bell pepper, 1 teaspoon jalapeño, 1/3 cup red onion, 1/3 cup tomatoes, 1/3 cup cucumber, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro; set aside. Set aside 1/2 cup cucumber for garnish. In the bowl of a food processor, combine remaining bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro. Add tomato juice, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; process until smooth. Stir into reserved mixed ingredients in medium bowl (not the 1/2 cup cucumber). Transfer gazpacho to an airtight container. Chill gazpacho for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Thin soup by adding more tomato juice, if desired; season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon about 1 tablespoon gazpacho into each cucumber cup. Top each cup with reserved cucumber. CUCUMBER CUPS Makes 2 dozen 5 English cucumbers, each about 10 ounces and 11 inches long, ends trimmed Directions If cucumbers are waxed, peel them. Cut each crosswise into five 1 3/4-inch pieces. With a small melon baller, carefully scoop out the insides of each piece, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edge and a 1/2-inch border on the bottom. The cucumber cups may be prepared up to 4 hours in advance, arranged on damp paper towels, tightly covered, and refrigerated.
10/01/2009 12:32:45 PM CDT
Elizabeth Emery says ...
place 1/2 dried apricot outside face down, put a dab of blue, gorgozola type cheese on it, top wth toasted pecan 1/2. bite-sized mix of tastes.
10/01/2009 1:17:03 PM CDT
Elizabeth says ...
This is my all-time favorite appetizer. It's easy to make and everyone loves them. Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes (makes at least 36) INGREDIENTS: ~36 cherry tomatoes ~1 8 oz package of Neufchatel cheese (or low-fat cream cheese) ~1 Tablespoon dry Italian salad dressing mix ~2-3 Tablespoons of skim milk ~Garnish (see directions below for ideas) DIRECTIONS: 1. Place washed tomatoes stem-side down; make an "X" cut down to about 1/4 inch from the bottom of each tomato. Spread carefully to open and let sit on a paper towel. 2. In a small bowl combine: cheese, dressing mix, and milk. Blend well. You can add more or less milk until it reaches the desired consistency. 3. Fill each tomato with about 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Lightly sprinkle tops with desired garnish. In the fall I use paprika for a red and orange look. For Christmas I use chopped, fresh dill or parsley for a red and green look.
10/01/2009 1:14:16 PM CDT
Becky says ...
For a sweet treat, I like to cut a pound cake in half (the long way - like you were cutting it to make a pound cake sandwich), spread 1 side of the sliced cake with Nutella and the otherside with a berry-based jelly. I then put them back together and slice, so that you get both Nutella and berry togehter. I also roast pumpkin seeds with olive oil, cumin and kosher salt.
10/01/2009 1:06:42 PM CDT
Lelia Yin says ...
Cool blog, loved it!
10/01/2009 1:08:05 PM CDT