During this season of so much indulgence, why not mix it up a bit with some healthy h’ors d’ouevres. Flavour and tastiness are not sacrificed in this selection of appetizer recipes, even though the calorie and fat count is much lower than the typical offerings at a cocktail party. Your friends may not thank you for considering their health and well being but with these offerings, you’ll have the satisfaction of gift giving anyway.
Guacamole, or any of the tofu dips are wonderful snacks or appetizers on a rice cake or with a potato bun or other yeast free bread. Other appetizers, like the artichoke hearts with whipped tofu dill filling, cucumber arcs with celery cream tofu filling, miniature tofu broccoli quiche, mini potatoes with garlic cream tofu filling are fancy appetizers, perfect to serve at your Christmas Open House or to take along to a friend’s. party.
ARTICHOKE HEARTS WITH WHIPPED TOFU DILL FILLING
Serves: 6 Prep. Time: 10-15 mins, Cook Time: 40-50 mins
6 artichokes hearts
16 oz firm tofu
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 bunch of dill, chopped
½ tsp of dry mustard
2 heaping Tbsp Tofu mayonnaise
Juice from 1 lemon
Cucumber, paprika and parsley for garnish
Artichokes are one of the leading liver cleansers and its helps to drink the biter water from steaming the artichokes.
The liver benefits from being cleansed with bitter foods such as artichoke, dandelion and rapini.
ARTICHOKES – Steam the artichokes until done. This may take up to 40 to 45 minutes depending on their size. Remove all the leaves (these may be eaten at another time with the dip). Using a sharp knife cut out the needles in the middle of the artichoke hearts. Cut the stem off to allow the artichoke heart to stand on a platter. Decorate a large flat platter with a bed of lettuce and arrange the artichoke hearts on it.
TOFU WHIPPED STUFFING – Whip the Tofu in a food processor until creamy. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend well. Spoon a little stuffing into each artichoke heart. Garnish with a twist of cucumber, paprika or a sprig of parsley.
CUCUMBER ARCS WITH CELERY CREAM TOFU FILLING
Serves: 6 10-12 pieces, Prep. Time: 15-20 mins
3 Tbsp health mayonnaise
8 oz firm tofu
1 tsp lemon juice
½ cup celery finely chopped
3 scallions finely chopped
1 tsp Herbamare
paprika for garnish
Cut the cucumbers in half and then into 1½” pieces and spoon out the middles with a melon spoon or tiny spoon, making sure not to make a hole in the bottom.
Mix the mayonnaise, tofu, lemon juice, celery, scallions, and Herbamare in a food processor. Spoon the mixture into the cucumber arcs, and sprinkle with paprika.
Arrange on a nice platter decorated with a bed of lettuce, red cabbage, fresh flowers or sprigs of fresh herbs.
Presentation Tip: Parsley sprigs make a bright seasonal garnish for your platters, but parsley can also be incorporated into many dishes to take advantage of its many healthy properties. To make a refreshing and cleansing parsley tea: boil 3 teaspoons of fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dry parsley in two cups of water. Simmer at a low heat for 20 minutes until fully steeped.
Serves: 4-6 Prep. Time: 10-15 mins
2 ripe avocado pitted, peeled and chopped
½ cup red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lime juice
Dash of sea salt
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional for a spicier dip)
Mash the avocado with a potato masher to achieve a greater consistency than putting them in the blender. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Serve with rice crackers or rice cakes, or alongside fresh rice and refried beans.
MARINATED VEGETABLES ON MINI SKEWERS
Serves: 4-6 , Prep. Time: 15-20 mins, Cook Time: 10-12 mins
½ cup onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp each thyme, marjoram and basil
1 tsp dry mustard
2 bay leaves
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 cup 1″ squares of butternut squash
½ cup of 1″ pieces of onion
1 cup of 1″ pieces of zucchini
1 cup of 1″ pieces of carrot
1 cup of 1″ pieces of cauliflower
1 cup of 1″ pieces of broccoli
Instructions: Mix the marinade ingredients well. Make up interesting colour combinations of the vegetables on mini toothpick skewers and marinade them for at least eight hours or overnight. Roast on a hot BBQ grill or in the oven at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve at once.
Serves: 8-10 Prep. Time: 15-20 min. Cook Time: 15-20 min.
2 cups pinto or black beans, pre-cooked
¼ cup onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
dash of sea salt
dash of cayenne pepper as desired
1 Tbsp tofu parmesan cheese for garnish
Instructions: Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion and garlic until golden. Add the beans, sea salt and cayenne pepper and mash the mixture with a metal potato masher until a smooth consistency is achieved. Continue cooking until all the water from the beans has evaporated and a dry consistency is reached. Serve on a platter surrounded by rice crackers and dusted with the tofu parmesan cheese.
MINIATURE TOFU BROCCOLI QUICHE
Serves: 8-10 Quiches
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 onion, chopped
1 cup broccoli, cooked and chopped
1 tsp each of dill and basil
16 oz firm Tofu (squeeze out excess liquid)
1 egg or equivalent egg replacer
1 cup Soy milk
Instructions: Heat the oil and sauté the garlic and onion until the onions are translucent. Add the broccoli, dill, and basil. Turn off the heat and set aside. Mash the tofu with the egg, Soy milk, wheat free Tamari and dry mustard. Add the broccoli mixture to the Tofu and stir well. Pour into the mini quiche pastry shells and bake for 45 minutes at 375°F or until a knife inserted into the quiche comes out cleanly.
Mini Quiche Pastry Shells Ingredients:
1 ½ cups oat or spelt flour
½ cup rolled oats
1/8 tsp sea salt
¼ cup olive oil
¼ to ½ cup apple juice
1 tsp Wheat Free Tamari
2 tsp dry mustard
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the flour, oats, salt and oil in a large bowl. Stir with a fork, and slowly add the apple juice while kneading to form a wet ball. Roll the dough out on a piece of wax paper and cut out a 3” circle (e.g. use the top of a glass). Prepare a small cupcake pan lined with wax paper, trimming off any excess wax paper. Press the dough into each cup of the prepared pan. Decorate the edge by fluting with a fork or by pinching the dough between the thumb and two fingers. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake at 375°F for 5 to 7 minutes.
MINI POTATOES WITH GARLIC CREAM TOFU FILLING
Serves: 8 -12 40 pieces Prep. Time: 20-25 mins Cook Time: 20-30 mins
20 2″-3″ small new red potatoes
16 oz firm Tofu
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Tbsp health mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Dash of sea salt
Lettuce leaves, parsley, flowers and/or fresh herbs for garnish
Instructions: Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. Let cool and proceed to cut in half. Scoop out the middle with a small spoon or a round spoon designed to make melon balls. Cut the bottom of the potato in such a way that it will stand on its own.
FILLING – Mix the tofu, celery, garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice and sea salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Fill the mini potatoes with the filling until it comes to a mound. Top each one with a small sprig of parsley. Arrange the potatoes on a tray of red and green lettuce leaves, and decorate with flowers or sprigs of fresh herbs.
MINI ZUCCHINI BOATS WITH SWEET PIMENTO TOFU FILLING
Serves: 4 10-12 pieces Prep. Time: 15-20 mins Cook Time: 10-12 mins
3 pimiento (sweet red peppers)
2 garlic cloves finely minced
½ cup Spanish onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
16 oz firm Tofu
Paprika and parsley for garnish
Instructions: In a large pot steam the zucchini for 7 to 8 minutes. Cut the zucchini in half and then into 2″ pieces and spoon out the middles with a melon spoon or tiny spoon, making sure not to make a hole in the bottom. Sauté the red peppers, garlic, and Spanish onion in hot oil. Stir until the peppers are soft and slightly browned. Puree this sweet pimiento mixture with the two blocks of tofu in a blender or food processor. Fill the zucchini mini boats with the Sweet red pepper filling. Garnish with paprika and a sprig of parsley.