Tasty Vegan Appetizers

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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Eggplant and Tomato Spread

Bruschetta with Eggplant and tomtato spread

This spread featuring eggplant with a hint of tahini is reminiscent of baba ghanouj, but gives tomatoes a starring role as well. It makes a lovely late-summer appetizer. Serve with Bruschetta, wedges of whole grain pita bread, or pita chips.

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Garlicky Asparagus with Mushrooms

Garlicky asparagus with mushrooms

This tasty veggie appetizer is inspired by the garlicky Spanish tapas dish, champiñones al ajillo, which relies on mushrooms alone. Asparagus makes it a more substantial dish, and benefits nicely from the dry red wine and other seasonings. This is traditionally served with slices of warm, fresh bread. And since you’ve already opened a bottle of red wine, serve it with this appetizer as well. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin.

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Olive Bar Medley with Tofu “Feta”

Olive Bar Medley with Tofu "Feta"

Colorful and briny, small servings of this appetizer go a long way. Choose two or three different varieties of pitted olives from your supermarket’s olive bar. Add one extra item, as listed in the last ingredient suggestions, in this list, such as  pickled peppers or garlic, to spice up the mix. If you’d like to pair this up with another appetizer, my suggestion would be something mellow, such as Green Pea, Parsley, and Pistachio Dip with raw veggies, plus fresh sliced baguette. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin.

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