Tasty Vegan Appetizers

Silken Tofu and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

This combination of silken tofu and dried tomatoes makes a delicious appetizer, served with whole grain crackers and raw veggies. It’s also wonderful as a spread for sliced fresh baguette. more→

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Pistachio Pesto

Pistachio nuts

This is an intriguing alternative to standard pesto; the secret ingredient is arugula, also know as rocket, which adds extra bite. Pesto loses some of its magic if it is turned into a puree, so be sure to keep the texture chunky. Recipe from Raw Food Celebrations: Party Menus for Every Occasion!* by Nomi Shannon and Sheryl Duruz. more→

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Tortilla Spirals

These pinwheels are so pretty if you use different-colored flour tortillas. Tortillas come in a variety of colors, such as red, green, and yellow, and flavors including sun-dried tomato, pesto, spinach, and whole wheat. Try the different fillings and combinations suggested as variations. more→

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls (Goi Cuan)

One of Vietnam’s most popular menu items, goi cuon, or summer rolls, are full of fresh, crispy textures and wonderful herbaceous aromas. Goi cuon literally translates into English as “mix salad rolled.” For a twist, we dip our rice paper in jasmine tea, which gives the finished product a great aroma. more→

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Rosemary Roasted Mushrooms

Heres’ a delicious mushroom appetizer that can also be used as a first course. more→

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Broiled Mushrooms Teriyaki

Served in small side portions, this aromatic preparation complements Asian noodle or rice dishes and can also be used as a hot appetizer. more→

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Nasu Dengaku (Japanese Eggplants Broiled with Miso)

Japanese miso eggplant appetizer

Japanese eggplants are broiled (or grilled, if you have the time), spread with a sweetened miso mixture, and then broiled again for a few seconds. The results are creamy, smoky eggplant with a sweet and salty sauce. You’ll notice that my recipe contains agave nectar, which is hardly a traditional Japanese ingredient. You can choose to substitute sugar, or you can try another natural sweetener, but you may need a little more because agave is sweeter than sugar and much sweeter than, for example, rice syrup or barley malt syrup.

Stay away from maple syrup or any sweetener that’s strongly flavored, though; the sweetener’s just there to sweeten, not to deliver any flavor. Recipe and photos contributed by Susan Voisin, FatFree Vegan Kitchen. more→

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Vegetable Fritters

This preparation is similar to tempura, except that the batter-dipped vegetables are sautéed in a small amount of oil, rather than deep-fried. Though this is presented as an appetizer, it would also be a welcome vegetable side dish, especially for enticing picky eaters. more→

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