Savor and Flavor

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→

8 Easy, Amazing Vegan Appetizers – VegKitchen’s Favorites

Smoky vegan cheddar cheez recipe

For winter gatherings, my favorite food theme for entertaining is a delicious vegan appetizer buffet with wine, cocktails, and/or mocktails. After that, who needs dinner? You can then skip to coffee/tea and light desserts. Here are 8 tasty dips and finger foods, our absolute favorites from VegKitchen’s vast array of Vegan Appetizer Recipes. Choose 5 or 6 of these and serve with your favorite beverages. Above, Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheez. You’ll find the way to the recipe with the 4th link below, along with its spreadable version. Photo above by Hannah Kaminsky. more→

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→

Steel-Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles

Vegan sausage crumbles

This is one of my favorite staples and I keep some in the freezer all the time for last minute pizzas.  The spices give these vegan crumbles a traditional Italian sausage flavor. The oats give it a chewy texture and the spices even turn the oats the color of sausage. Its at home on a pizza or sprinkled over biscuits and gravy. This is gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free. From OATrageous Oatmeals by Kathy Hester; photos by Kate Lewis. Reprinted with permission of Page Street Publishing, ©2014. more→

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→

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→

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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