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

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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!

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585 comments

Comments

Mary Otto says …

Holiday bites recipe - Caprese salad bites Ingredients: Fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry Grape or tiny heirloom tomatoes, washed and dried Fresh mozarella balls, small size Good quality Balsamic vinegar Wooden tooth picks, soaked in water Assembly: Wrap a basil leaf around the mozarella ball, and skewer with the tooth pick. Skewer two of the tomatoes, one on either side of the basil-wrapped cheese. Drizzle completed skewers with the balsamic vinegar. Viola! Tasty, healthy, inexpensive, fresh and, in green, white, and red, festive!

kelly j says …

Slice a couple of large vidalia onions super thin. Cook over very low heat for 20 minutes in a couple tablespoons of butter. Add a couple tablespoons of brown sugar, white balsamic vinegar, half cup of dried cranberries. Cook for a couple more minutes. Pour over a warmed brie. Garnish with chopped nuts. Spread over sliced baguette or crackers. Hah. So good.

Rebekah says …

To be honest I am sort of a fancy schmancy recipe connoisseur, but if I am off to a party and I want to make something quick and inexpensive I always opt for the one thing I know will be a hit! Ingredients: Cream cheese Deli meat of choice (I love turkey, but ham works well.) Veggies: I love green onions, carrots, pickles, cucumber etc. Almost any veggie works. Usually I think of what I might have already (being a single lady I tend to not eat bunches of anything) Cut the meat in half, spread a thin layer of cream cheese on it, toss your veggie in and roll it up! This also makes a great presentation. Happy Holidays! (It's closer than we think ;))

Meenakshi Tripathy says …

FISH CUTLETS 2 Albacore Tuna Cans (spring water packed) ½ Pound Potatoes (boiled) 1 medium Red Onion (finely chopped) 1-2 Green Chillies ( I use serranos) Ginger and Garlic paste, Salt to taste 1 cup frozen peas 1 Egg for Egg Wash Garam Masala ½ Cup of Cilantro ½ Cup of Bread Crumbs Vegetable Oil to Pan fry Saute the Onion, Ginger & Garlic Paste. Add the Boiled Potatoes, the tuna and the salt and Garam Masala. Finally add in the Frozen Peas. Let it cool. Then mix together well with hands . Make into Balls – Makes about 40 balls, Slightly flatten it out and roll in the Egg Wash and then roll in the bread crumbs. Panfry, You can have them with Ketchup or Cilantro Chutney. Cost is about ~ 15 cents a Cutlet :)

Tim O'Rourke says …

Olive Caper Spread (Recipe Doubled) 1 Cup Black Olives 6 Tbsp Olive Oil 2 Tbsp Basil 2 Tbsp Capers 4 Cloves Garlic Place all ingredients in a food processor until blended. Chill for a few hours before serving. Spread on small bread toasts.

Lynne Austin says …

Parmesan, Basil and Lemon Bars are very easy to make and costs about 38 cents each to make. It takes about 15 minutes and will be a sure-fire hit. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Ingredients: 1 cup shredded Parmesan, 2 tablespoons shredded basil leaves and 1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Transfer a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan mixture onto a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly pat down. Repeat with remaining cheese mixture, spacing the spoonfuls about 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool and use a flat spatula to transfer. Makes about 12 wafers. Will become a family favorite.

Marsha Merten says …

Mix one small can of drained crab meat with a small jar of cocktail sauce. Pour this over a small package of cream cheese. Serve this with sliced party rye bread or crackers. It's very fast and easy to fix and is always a welcome appetizer.

Michele Miller says …

Holiday Quinoa Salsa. 1. 1 Cup of Cooked Quinoa, 2. 1 Large Can of Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes. 3. 3 finely sliced green onions (Optional). Mix all ingredients together, and serve with organic tortilla chips or lightly toasted pita wedges. Your guests will constantly ask you, "what is in this, it's so delicious?!" They do not expect such a zesty taste and hearty texture. Perfect to dazzle their pallets, and fill their tummies with just a few pennies.

Jyoti H: says …

Small bites party foods: Low cal, high in flavor,mouth watering visual, on budget appetizer. Serves 20. Ingredient list purchased from Whole Foods. Vermicelli bits on Parmesan and Olive Crositini To make spread: 1/2 packet of wheat vermicelli, broken to 1/2 inch pieces 1/2 red capsicum,diced to small 1/4 inch pieces 3 small shallots, finely diced 1/2 cup yellow corn 6 large button mushrooms, finely diced To make roux: 2 tsps whole wheat flour 2 tsps all purpose flour 1 cup 2% reduced low fat milk (room temp) 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsps low fat neufschatel cream cheese Sprinkle of nutmeg powder (1/8 tsp) 1/2 tsp of salt (adjust to taste) 2 tsp fine chopped dill 40 pcs Crostini (2pcs per person) Dill sprigs for garnish. Boil water in a 3 quart saucepan, with 1/2 tsp of salt. Add vermicelli, bring to a boil till el dente. Drain and keep aside. In shallow fry pad, add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil , saute the shallots for 3 mins on medium low flame, add red capsicum, mushrooms, corn. Add salt to taste, saute and keep aside. Use the same fry pan and add 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, flour mix and saute on low flame, add milk and stir in till a smooth sauce is formed. Add the cream cheese, nutmeg and salt. Add in the sauted veges and vermicelli. Remove from flame. Keep aside to cool. Serve on Crositini and garnish with dill. Enjoy!

David Romportl says …

Here's one that's super-easy, and except for vegans or others who can't eat dairy, EVERYONE will like the taste: just wrap a slice of apple in a slice of mozzarella cheese and spear with a toothpick....or just stack the two slices if flat and skip the toothpicks. This is for the laziest and the pickiest....but I still think it's super-good. Thanks!

mary dininni says …

texas shooters shrimp-medium -devined. sprinkle with cayenne pepper or jerk seasoning. wrap with 1/3rd piece of bacon-any flavor. grill or broil on both sides till bacon crisp. enjoy!!!! make lots!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa Horine says …

These tasty little bites are wonderful. You can really make tons of these tarts and no one will be able to imagine that it not only was a budget friendly recipe, but it also is a simple hand-made treat. You can platter them up on a beautifully decorated tray or platter and impress the masses. They will never believe that plain white bread is the crust for these pastries. I have also used multigrain breads or cinnamon raisin bread to change it up a bit. You can drizzle with a dab of honey and add peacans also for an alternative to the jam. Raspberry-Brie Tartlets Recipe Ingredients 20 white bread slices 1 (8-oz) wedge Brie, cut up (remove rind) Melted butter 1 (13-oz) jar raspberry jam or apricot jam (can substitute other desired fruit jams) Directions Remove crusts from bread with a serrated knife. Roll & flatten each bread slice with a rolling pin. Cut 4 even squares out of each bread slice Brush mini muffin pans with melted butter. Press bread squares on bottom & up sides of muffin tin. brush bread cup with melted butter. Bake at 350° for 7 mins or until lightly toasted. Remove bread cup from muffin pans, & place on ungreased baking sheets. Fill cups evenly with cheese pieces; top each with 1/4 tsp jam. Bake at 300° for 10 mins or until cheese is melted. Note: To make ahead, freeze toasted bread shells up to 1 month in advance. Thaw at about room temp about 30 mins. Assemble tartlets, & bake as directed.

Kim says …

Sugarcane Shrimp Rolls

Kim says …

Pumpkin quesadilla

Peg Champion says …

HOLIDAY HAYSTACKS Delicious, festive (and easy and inexpensive!) Preheat oven to 400° Purchase good quality Parmesan Reggiano (or other Italian hard cheese, such as pecorino) Using round holes of a box grater, grate cheese into 1" pieces - cheese pieces will resemble broken spaghetti Line baking pan with Silpat Take pinches of grated cheese and pile into small "haystacks", about 1.5" high Optional: Lightly sprinkle with Tony Chachere's, pimenton or dried, powdered Mexican chilies Bake for a few minutes until cheese sticks together and is lightly browned. Remove from oven. Cool, carefully lift with spatula and arrange haystacks on platter. Happy holidays!

Leah FitzGerald says …

My favorite holiday treat is Italian Hot Chocolate. It's what Santa gets instead of cookies on Christmas Eve and what my kids get when they come home from an afternoon of sledding! This will cure your kids forever of that nasty stuff out of a box that's loaded with Hydrogenated Oil...! One 1/2 gallon Shatto WHOLE milk 2-3 heaping Tablespoons of Coco powder ( I use Ghirdelli) 1/4 package of 365 chocolate chips (or 1 small Green and Black's 50%-60% cacao bar) 2-3 Tablespoons of Sugar (omit if chocolate powder is already sweetened) 1 teaspoon of Arrowroot Whipping Cream: 1 pint Shatto Cream 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon Vanilla Make the whipping cream first: Take Shatto cream and beat in mixer, fold in the sugar and vanilla. Once it is whipped, set it aside (in the Fridg). To Make the Hot Chocolate: Take 1/2 cup of the milk and mix the arrow root powder into it and set it aside. Take the remaining milk and mix cocoa, sugar and simmer on the stove. As soon as it starts to simmer, fold in the arrowroot/milk mixture and wisk until it thickens, then turn off the heat and add the chocolate chips or chocolate bar until it has melted. The final consistancy should be like runny pudding. Pout Hot Chocolate Mixture into cups and spoon the whipping cream over it. ( I like to finish with shaved chocolate pieces from the Chocolate bar.) Variations: Add Ginger, More Vanilla or Orange Extract to chocolate mixture after removing from the heat. TIP - I keep the dry ingredients mixed together and ready to go so it doesn't seem like so much work. Sometimes I even plan ahead and have a small container of the arrowroot/milk misture in teh fridge so it is litterelly as easy as the "stuff out of a box"

Vicki Rafferty says …

This is a simple, inexpensive, healthy appetizer that is great for gatherings where kids are present. The fruits used can be varried depending on the colors you want to use to represent an upcoming holiday and/or what is in season or looks good at the store. Fruit Ribbons Ingredients: Fresh fruit chunks or slices (grapes, berries, bananna, melons, apples, oranges, pears, pineapples, etc.) Small skewer sticks Lime or orange quarters (optional) Method: Simply skewer the fruit onto the sticks in a colorful pattern to match whatever holiday or season you are into. My kids also enjoy skewering their own fruit. Squeeze lime or orange juice onto the skewers after if desired for more flavor and to help prevent browing of apple and pear chunks. Enjoy!

Keow Essig says …

My kids like bread but they don't like eating sandwiches for some odd reason. So, I make phyllo sandwich bites for my kids. I put together 3-5 sheets of phyllo dough using cooking spray. I score the sheets to get 3 long lines. Next, I take a little drop of veggie puree (steamed cauliflower, cooked butternut squash, and cooked peas is what I use but it could be just 1 veggie you have available), very finely chopped up ham or turkey, and a little cheese and thyme mixture and put it on one phyllo strip. Then I fold up the strip and form triangles with it. My kids love this meal. I get meat, veggies, dairy, and some carbs into them too!

Jaime Waller says …

For a simple, fresh appetizer we slice cucumbers and top with goat cheese, thyme, a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt. You could also top with a little roasted red pepper and cut scallions. Serve immediately.

Carolyn Haesoon Park says …

Happy Holidays! I would like to have a gift card to purchase your specialty goods and promote your business in the process! I will be coming to your special event soon; perhaps, you could provide it via gift bag for Halloween, at cooking demo, sample of new (gourmet or special) appetizer(s), snack(s), dessert(s) to promote the product upon attendance of the event or purchase. Please note beneficiary (self) claims non-receipt of giftcard provided at (old) Tustin store over one year ago. RSVP at event or upon visitation.

Ali Margello says …

My favorite small bites appetizer that meets my budget as well is little salad bites. I simply buy a couple of endive heads and break them off into individual pieces and fill them as I would a salad. They're always my most popular plate and look pretty as well. Guest favorites include: goat cheese, mandarin oranges broken into pieces, raspberries, broken pecan pieces drizzled with a bit of balsamic. I seasonally change the fruit and cheeses. For the fall I'm thinking pumpkin seeds, goat cheese and either a blueberries or chopped squares of squash (acorn, pumpkin, butternut) for a burst of flavor.

deidre says …

My quick and easy appetizer that is cheap and easy .. fun for everyone is Cream cheese and Jelly ... I use a jar of my homemade hot pepper jelly the link to that can be found on my website. a brick of cream cheese placed on a oven safe plate and warmed just a bit can of baby shrimp mixing the baby shrimp with the jelly pouring it over the brick of warmed cream cheese .. using crackers or some lovely BRUSCHETTA bread made at whole foods. Simple , you have most on hand or I do after needing the recipe quickly a few times ..

Sally Milo says …

Another of my favorite appetizers is stuffed roasted green chiles. The ingredients are: 10 roasted Anaheim or Hatch green chiles - peeled & de-seeded 1 8oz. pkg. softened cream cheese 4oz. goat cheese 3 tbsp. minced cilantro 1/4 cup cooked bacon - crumbled Mix last 4 ingredients, put into chiles, back 15 min. at 350. Spiciness depends on the spiciness of the chiles. Yummy stuff!

John Beyer, Jr. says …

A favorite here is bacon wrapped water chestnuts. Drain them from the can and rinse. Soak in soy sauce for 30 min.'s and then roll them in light brown sugar, coating well. Then wrap half bacon slices around, overlapping, hold together with narrow, round pointes toothpicks. In a pre-heated 350 degree oven bake in a shallow pan for approx. 30 min.'s, turning once. Better make a lot, they go fast! Enjoy.

Stacy Reis says …

Hot, salty and sweet Walnuts, covers all the tastes we crave! heat oven to 350, cover large baking sheet with parchment and cooking spray. in non stick large pan simmer 1/4 c orange juice concentrate, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cyan pepper 2 TBS. Sugar in the Raw, 2 Tbs honey. Add 2 C. Walnuts until coated and caramelized. Pour on to baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp dried rosemary and 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes ( or to taste) heat until candied looking and toasted, aprox 8-10 min. Cool. They are yummy

Ron says …

The Leaning Tower of Scallops, Mangoes & Avocados Ingredients: * 2 avocados, diced * 1 mango, diced * Handful of bay scallops * Olive oil * Cracked pepper Instructions: 1. Dice the avocado and push it to the bottom of a circular glass 2. Dice the mango and add these on top. Squish it a little, but don’t pulverize the poor fruits 3. Flip the glass over on the serving plate, give it a tap so the mango and avocado come loose 4. Lightly grill or pan-fry some scallops and carefully place these on top of your tower 5. Dust with cracked pepper to taste 6. Serve with sliced baguette Super delicious!!!!!!

Jack Brown says …

Spasagna Bites Ingredients ---------- 4 ripe plantains 6 large eggs 1 lb. ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey 1 cup grated cheddar cheese ---------- 3 tablespoons olive oil 4 medium green peppers, seeds removed 1 red sweet pepper, seeds removed 1 large tomato 2 medium onions, peeled 3 heads of garlic, peeled 1 bunch cilantro leaves 1 teaspoon oregano leaves 1 jar olives with pimentos ---------- Directions ---------- * Peel and quarter plantains * Beat eggs * Dice onions * Dice green peppers and red sweet pepper * Mince garlic * Chop cilantro * Combine peppers, garlic and cilantro in a bowl, add oregano and olives (including liquid), mix and set aside ---------- * Add olive oil to a saucepot and heat over medium heat * Add plantains and brown on all sides * Remove plantains, add to baking dish and mash to form a base layer ---------- * Add onions to saucepot and cook until translucent * Add ground beef and brown * Add pepper mixture, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes ---------- * Pour over plantain base layer * Pour egg mixture over beef mixture * Top with cheese ---------- * Bake in 350F oven for 30 minutes * Let cool and slice into squares * Serve with hot sauce/spicy dipping sauce ----------

Lesleigh Rutherford says …

Warm Bacon Dip Ingredients: 1 round loaf (1 pound) sourdough bread (optional) 1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 3/4 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled 3/4 cup chopped green onions Assorted crackers If using the bread as a bread bowl, cut the top fourth off the loaf of bread; carefully hollow out the bottom, leaving a 1-inch shell. Reserve the removed bread for other purposes. Otherwise, grease a large serving dish. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese. Add the sour cream, cheddar, and Worcestershire sauce until combined; stir in bacon and onions. Spoon into bread bowl or dish. If using bread bowl, wrap filled bread bowl in heavy duty foil. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until heated through. Serve with crackers. Yield: about 4 cups of dip, so it goes a long way!

Mia Russo says …

I get requests for my Caramel Cream Cheese Dip. Unwrap 16 – 20 caramels and cut into small pieces. Place in a small saucepan and add a small amount of water or milk and melt on low heat. Stir often. Put one softened 8 oz. block of cream cheese in a medium bowl. Add a ¼ cup of brown sugar and cream with hand mixer. When the caramels have melted and are smooth, add to cream cheese and mix thoroughly. Serve with apple slices or any favorite fruit.

maggie dillard says …

Start with a puff pastry.Brush with a beaten egg. Cut the pastry into bite size squares. Bake until golden brown. However, halfway through baking, push down the center of the puff to make an edge ( works best with your thumb, just be careful!!) While the puffs are cooking take a frying pan and add raw almonds or pecans ( just enough to cover bottom of pan). Add enough water to cover the nuts about half way. add a little less than 1/4 raw sugar, a teaspoon of chili powder and a little fresh ground black pepper. Gently simmer until all the water has dissolved and the nuts are coated. In the center of the puffs add a few small pieces of gorgonzola cheese and a couple nuts!! I promise you will be addicted!! tip: it is best to work with the nuts while still warm. If they begin to stick together just warm them up again.

Denise Musser says …

My favorite appitizer is saurkraut balls: One small canned ham chopped, One Can drained saurkraut, 3 garlic cloves, One small onion, One block, small, cream cheese, Blend in food processor, roll in balls, dip in beaten egg and milk, roll in bread crumbs, deep fry till golden brown, serve hot. For people that don't like the saurkaut, I call them ham balls, they never really know the difference, they are to die for, My mom made them every year, for the holidays.

Jayme H. says …

Baked Prosciutto Jalapeno Wraps These are simple, delicious, and can be made in a flash. I always keep a stash of frozen jalapenos from my garden, so I can assemble these appetizers quickly, if I have unexpected guests. 1/4 to a 1/2 pound La Quercia American Prosciutto, sliced thinly 8 ounces cream cheese 15 or so jalapeno peppers (each pepper makes two servings) Preheat oven to 350. Cut off the stems of the jalapenos, slice the peppers lengthwise, and spoon out the seeds (wash hands thoroughly before you touch your eyes!). Fill cream cheese inside the hollowed peppers, slightly mounded over the top. Wrap the stuffed peppers with a piece of prosciutto and line on a baking sheet. Bake about ten minutes to cook. Next, set the oven to broil and broil until the prosciutto slightly crisps. Flip each pepper to crisp the other side. This can be easily done in small batches in a toaster oven.

Donna says …

Do you know what Shoepeg corn is and if so, do you carry it? I am in AZ, Phoenix area. Thanks

InnLing says …

nutella on sliced baguette! yum yum. easy and delicious.

Carol Castaneda says …

I like your organic unbleached white flour but I would like more value for my money. Why don't you sell larger bags of flour at a cost savings for your customers. I like to make bread

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