Three Shockingly Easy, Heart Healthy (and Delicious!) Appetizers!

By Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD

The Spanish LOVE to eat tomatoes and according to Fruittoday Euromagazine, they eat almost 40 pounds per person annually! As with all Mediterranean cuisines, the tomato is an essential ingredient of Spanish cooking. Spaniards eat tomatoes every day and prepare them in a variety of ways, including fresh, crushed, stewed or simmered in a sauce.

And you know what? Spain has one of the lowest risks of heart disease, while the United States is one of the leading countries with poor ticker health.

Americans, follow Spanish suit and bring on the tomatoes! One could go so far as to say that if we eat more tomatoes, we could help put a dent in the prevalence of heart disease in the U.S.!

Try incorporating more tomatoes today with these three super quick and easy appetizers, great for snacking or bringing to an event!

Tomato-Lover Appetizers!

Low-fat Tomato and Mozzarella Bites


  • 1/2 lb low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • Basil leaves
  • Toothpicks


  • Cut mozzarella cheese into 1-inch cubes
  • Lay a whole basil leaf down and place a cube of cheese and a cherry tomato in the center
  • Use toothpick to pin basil leaf, cheese and cherry tomatoes together
  • Place mozzarella bite onto a serving platter and enjoy

Health benefits of tomato bites: Low fat, good source of fiber, heart healthy, abundance of antioxidants!

3-Layer Greek Yogurt Dip


  • 2 cups fat free Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cup your favorite salsa
  • 1/3 cup of reduced fat cheddar cheese

Directions: Layer in order listed above. Try it with baked whole grain chips or raw veggies for added fiber!

Health benefits of 3-layer dip: Low fat, high protein, heart healthy, low calorie

Sweet + Salty Kale Chips



  • 1 bunch kale, washed and de-stemmed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar


  • Whisk sauce together
  • Massage into kale
  • Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until they are crispy
  • Note: When using a sauce like this, it takes longer to crisp them.  I normally bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, but that isn’t enough time to crisp them up with this sauce.  A lower oven temp plus longer cook time solves this problem.

Health benefits of kale chips: Packed with fiber, heart healthy fats, antioxidants, low saturated fat


To see Corinne show you some more healthy snacks, check out this video:

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 About Corinne:

Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a leading nutrition counselor, writer, and speaker and trusted nutrition source for the media. She believes that optimal health starts with the activity that you do every day—eat. Corinne is a Registered Dietitian (RD) with a Masters in Nutrition who adores helping people find health through nutrition. You can find Corinne in the San Francisco Bay Area counseling, speaking, and writing about nutrition. She specializes in weight management, sports nutrition, and disordered eating. To learn more please visit  You can also connect with Corinne on Twitter and Facebook.