This holiday season, whether you’re entertaining for a dinner party, having friends over for a glass of wine, or just spending the afternoon with extended family, there’s going to be a point in the night when a light snack is in order. Traditionally most holiday snacks are coated with butter or dripping with lard. But, there is no reason you can’t have a healthy, low-calorie snack without sacrificing flavor or appearance.
Have a vegan holiday this year and start the evening off with something light and festive like these roasted red pepper and hummus cucumber rounds. If you’re looking for food for the masses, spinach artichoke dip is always a crowd-pleaser. And, if you’ve got children, or you just have a sweet tooth, try some vegan friendly ginger-snaps.
1 c. dried chickpeas
3 cloves of garlic
1 large red pepper
¼ small red onion
1 whole cucumber
1 tsp of Tahini (sesame butter)
Olive oil and salt
- Pre-heat your oven at 450°F
- Start with your chickpeas. If you’re feeling up to it, and you want to get started the night before, you can use dried peas. Soak overnight to soften, then put in a small saucepan and boil for five minutes before setting to cool. If you haven’t had time to prepare, you can always fall back on canned chickpeas, but you’ll need two cups instead.
- Peel the garlic, and chop the red pepper. Try to cut the pepper into about twenty slices. Dip the slices of red pepper and the cloves of garlic in olive oil, and then set in a small baking tray to roast. Bake for roughly 10-15 minutes.
- To make the hummus, take the roasted garlic and chickpeas, and put them in a blender. Add a teaspoon of tahini. jalapenos and a squeeze of lemon juice will add a bit of a kick if that’s what you want. Blend so it’s creamy and smooth and then set it aside.
- Assemble your hors d’oeuvres by slicing the cucumber into thin discs. Pile them with a tablespoon worth of hummus, and garnish with the roasted red pepper and finely-chopped red onion.
- A sprinkle of salt on top and you’re ready to go for your vegan holiday. Try pairing them with a sweet red wine like Malbec or a Syrah.
½ diced yellow onion
12 oz spinach (frozen chopped, thawed drained and squeezed dry)
8 oz marinated artichoke hearts
1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz firm silken tofu
½ c. nutritional yeast flakes
3 garlic cloves
2 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
- Start by preheating your oven to 350°F.
- Sauté your onions, spinach and artichoke hearts in olive oil until the onion is soft.
- Pulse tofu, nutritional yeast, garlic, vinegar and spices in blender until the combination forms a smooth paste.
- Combine all of your ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Feel free to add a little salt, or extra nutritional yeast, for flavor.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes in a non-stick baking dish, or until lightly browned on top.
Serve warm with warm pita-bread or tortilla chips.
Vegan Ginger Snaps
Makes 2 dozen
2 c. sugar
¾ c. butter alternative (like Earth Balance)
2 tbsp molasses
1 ½ tsp egg replacer + 2 tbsp water
2 c. all purpose flour
¼ tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking powder
- Mix your sugar, butter alternative, molasses and egg replacer together in a large bowl. Ensure that the contents are fully combined and ensure that the buttery spread doesn’t leave any lumps.
- Sift your flour, spices and baking powder into the wet mixture. It helps to have two people here, one to sift and another to mix. You should end up with soft dough.
- Roll your dough into a ball and refrigerate it for 4 hours. This allows the dough to firm and makes it easier to work with.
- When you’re ready to start baking, preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, grease two cookie trays with vegetable oil (preferably canola).
- Dust a section of your countertop with flour, and roll out the dough to ¼” to ½” thick. Take a cookie cutter, something with a Christmas theme, and then start cutting.
- Bake the cookies in over until golden brown; this should take about 8-10 minutes.
- Allow them to cool for five minutes, and then enjoy!
by Paul Kasasian and Emily Holtorf-Ma
This series on living fantastic for the holiday season is a collaboration between Greenster and the students of the Langara Publishing Program, who as a team produce Pacific Rim Magazine. Enjoy!Photo Credit: Troy Tolley, Heather Kennedy, VeganBaking, Kate Hiscock