Appetizer Recipes

Carrot Cake Smoothie

In the spring, I find myself wanting carrot cake; it just seems like a spring dessert.  Yet when the craving hits, I sometimes don’t want to go through the trouble of making the time consuming cake, so it is nice to have an alternative.  I recently made a carrot cake smoothie, and it had all the delicious flavors of a carrot cake without having all the sugar or flour.  It was smooth, non-dairy, spiced just like carrot cake and I even included some protein powder for an extra boost.  It would be a good breakfast or snack…who says you can’t have cake for breakfast?  You can, if you have it this way!

Appetizer Breakfast Drink Beginner Child Friendly Easy Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Heart Healthy Paleo Vegan Vegetarian

Macadamia “Ricotta” Cheese

I often get asked by customers, or people looking to be dairy free, ‘what are good cheese substitutes’?  Although there seem to be a lot of them out there, opinions vary on what is the best.  One of my favorites actually is not purchased in a package, it is a super easy home made recipe,  Macadamia ricotta cheese.  Although you can buy non-dairy ricotta, it tends to be made from soy, and often times people are looking to avoid it.  This home made version however, contains only 3 ingredients and tastes like ricotta plus has the light fluffy texture.  It can be used on top of salads, as a spread paired with jam or served with fruit and can also be used in pasta like lasagna.

Appetizer Snack Beginner Easy Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Heart Healthy Paleo Raw Vegan Vegetarian

Spicy Coconut Chili Kale Chips

We all crave something salty, crunchy and sweet sometimes. But why not get some nutrients and healthy oils with it while you are at it instead of going for the bag of potato chips or cookies?  I recently made some Spicy Coconut Chili Kale. I recently shared a recipe for Chili Kale Chips, but thought I would share another since I have been getting a lot of questions at Fresh and Natural Foods on how to make kale chips.  Plus, these are not like any kale chips I have ever tasted.  They are coconut based, so slightly sweet with heart healthy fats; they have a kick from the chilies, and they are quite satisfying.  If you enjoy Thai food, then you will love these with flavor similar to Thai red curry.

Appetizer Side Dish Snack Allergen Friendly Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Heart Healthy Paleo Raw Vegan Vegetarian

Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Looking for a healthy app that is not the average run of the mill? This app is not only paleo-friendly, it is heart friendly. These gluten-free, dairy-free little devils pack a whole lot of omega-3 fatty acids. The cayenne pepper added to the guacamole holds this recipe to its deviled (devil usually associated with heat, get it?) name but really they are just heavenly.

Appetizer Breakfast Beginner Easy Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Heart Healthy Paleo

Mango Black Bean Guacamole

Since the Super Bowl Sunday is approaching fast, I thought it would be appropriate to share a game day worthy appetizer.  There are plenty of recipes for wings and pizza out there; but since people love their chips and dip, why not guacamole?  Instead of the usual plain guacamole, I whipped one up with plenty of delicious add-ins: some black beans for protein, mango for sweetness, and jalapeno for a kick!  It is the perfect balance of flavors, and your guests will love it! It is perfect served with our blue corn chips.

Appetizer Side Dish Snack Beginner Easy Allergen Friendly Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Heart Healthy Paleo Vegan Vegetarian

Raw Southwest Sushi

I have always loved sushi.  It is so light and delicious; for me, it is wonderful reminder of summer even when it is the dead of winter.  When I became vegan, I thought that I would not be able to enjoy delicious sushi, but I have been experimenting with my own and I now know that I can!  While traditional sushi is delicious, I like to experiment with unique veggies and swap out the rice for sprouted grains like quinoa or just sprouts.  I do not miss the rice, and it makes it a bit lighter.  I thought I would share my easiest recipe with you, in case you are craving something light after all of the heavy holiday foods.  This is a wonderful appetizer for any social event!

Appetizer Entree Side Dish Snack Beginner Easy Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Heart Healthy Paleo Raw Vegan Vegetarian

Chili Kale Chips

I cannot get enough of kale lately.  Thrown into soups, tossed into salads, blended into smoothies, you name it!  Another way I love it is kale chips.  Although you can simply buy them, it can be fun to make your own. I love having the freedom to make my own new flavors.  One of my favorite is simple chili “cheese” kale.  I use soaked cashews to create a non-dairy cheese like coating, spiced up with a bit of chipotle, lime, garlic, and chili powder.  These kid friendly snacks are a great alternative to traditional chips.  You can make them in either the oven or a dehydrator depending on your nutritional needs, and either way, they turn out delicious!

Appetizer Snack Beginner Easy Gluten-Free Vegan Vegetarian

Vegan Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Being vegan, gluten free or dairy free does not mean you have to give up warming winter foods like meatballs!  I have made many vegan meat balls; I have shared them with people who are neither vegan or vegetarian, and they ended up liking them better than the meat  ones.  If you are looking to reduce your meat intake, or just go meatless on Mondays, I have a recipe for you!  Sweet and sour vegan meatballs taste like takeout, but are much lighter and just as delicious.  They are wonderful served with some brown rice on the side, or even just alone with a salad.

Appetizer Entree Intermediate Moderate Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Vegan Vegetarian

Filo Wrapped Squash Triangles

Anything wrapped in filo is always a hit.  At least that is what my mother says.  She has asked me to make her filo wrapped appetizers for work parties a couple of times now.  Although I made spanikopita once, a cheese and spinach pastry, my favorite was a veganized squash and cheese filled appetizer.  I originally made them with chevre, but they work just as well with Tofutti cream cheese.  The filling is creamy and scented with a touch of cumin and thyme, as well as sweet from the squash and apples.  It may look like it is a little complicated to prepare, but once you get the hang of wrapping it is really quite easy.  The best part is that they can be prepared the day before and baked when needed!  Serve these at your holiday party and you will wow your guests.

Appetizer Snack Intermediate Vegan Vegetarian

Pumpkin and Red Lentil Dal Hummus

When I was a kid, dip was only option veggies were served with in my house.  Of course, as with many kids, I had little veggies with my dip (if you know what I am saying).  Now, there is nothing wrong with a little dip with your veggies, after all, you do need a little fat to absorb the nutrients in them.  But if I had been offered a flavorful healthier option, I know I would have taken it.

Hummus is my current favorite; I love it with raw veggies of any sort. It packs protein, so it really is a win win!  If I had been offered this as a veggie dip, I would like to think I would have given up regular old dip long ago.  I consider it a staple now in my fridge, and keep a big batch of it on hand as a sandwich spread and veggie dip.  Although I have many different recipes that I enjoy making, this is my favorite for the fall months!

Appetizer Snack Beginner Easy Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Vegan Vegetarian