Tasty Vegan Appetizers

Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos

Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos

Here are some super-tasty nachos that can be made with pantry and refrigerator staples in a matter of minutes. Nachos are fun fare no matter what, whether as a snack for a small party, or even as an emergency dinner. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. © 2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

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Potato & Pea Samosa Cakes with Tamarind Sauce

Pototo & Pea Samosa Cakes with Tamarind Sauce from But I Could Never Go Vegan.

Samosas are a traditional savory Indian pastry, usually stuffed with spiced potatoes and other vegetables. These cakes are basically samosa filling without the pastry. The tart and sassy tamarind sauce makes the perfect accompaniment. The patties would be well received as finger food or as a side, but you could also pile four or five (or nine) on your plate for an unforgettable main course. Recipe from But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over Dinner,* copyright © Kristy Turner, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. more→

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Spinach or Arugula Strudel

This spinach or arugula and potato strudel makes a lovely, easy appetizer for special occasions. I say special occasions, as puff pastry isn’t the kind of thing you’d want to eat every day—a bit high in fat, and not all-natural. But some major brands are vegan (including Pepperidge Farm) and anything made with it is festive and delicious. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→

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Farinata with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

Farinata with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

Made with chickpea flour, farinata is actually more of a savory pancake than a bread. It’s easy to make this Ligurian specialty that can be served as an appetizer or as part of the main meal. Farinata is often prepared without embellishment, but I sometimes add a fresh herb such as rosemary or sage, or chopped olives and sun-dried tomatoes, as in this recipe. Recipe from Vegan Without Borders* by Robin Robertson/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC ©2014, reprinted by permission. Photos by Sara Remington.

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Forbidden Rice Spring Rolls

Forbidden Rice Spring Rolls from Leslie Cerier

Colorful carrots, black ramen noodles, sliced avocado and garden fresh herbs makes for a beautiful and satisfying appetizer. Serve with peanut sauce for a special gluten-free, vegan lunch for two. Recipe contributed by Leslie Cerier; photo by Tracy Eller. more→

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Spicy Olives

Olive varieties

You can use a combination of black and green olives, if you like. Just make sure the olives are good-quality imported olives, as they have the best flavor. From Hot Vegan: 200 sultry & full-flavored recipes from around the world by Robin Robertson/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC © 2014, reprinted by permission.

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Vegan Nachos with Chile con Queso

Vegan Nachos with Chile con queso

A southwestern appetizer that’s become popular everywhere, this is an enticingly rich dish of melted cheese and chiles enveloping crisp tortilla wedges. Though customarily made with jalapeños, you can substitute mild green chiles if you prefer a tamer flavor. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

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Skillet Spiced Chickpeas

Skillet roasted spiced chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas are all the rage as a snack, but I’m reluctant to heat up an oven for 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas, if nothing else being baked! I also find that oven roasting chickpeas can dry them out, and occasionally even make them explode. I’ve had better luck with skillet roasting, which gives me good flavor and texture every time. These are good eaten out of hand as a snack, in place of far more caloric nuts, make a tasty salad topping, as well. more→

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