With the Superbowl game just around the corner, the host might be strapped for party food ideas. Many appetizers may not include a vegetarian or vegan option for their fellow party goers. A host might put out a vegetable plate, but that can be typical and boring. A few of my friends are vegetarians and I always take their dietary restrictions into consideration when I make food. I like to make sure that I have a few food options for them to choose from. Here are some simple and easy to prepare appetizers for your fellow vegetarian or vegan friends.
1. Stuffed mushrooms
These are delicious and addicting. When you’re making stuffed mushrooms, make sure you find button or bella mushrooms that have a big enough opening to stuff. I like to stuff the mushroom with cooked diced bell pepper, onions, tomatoes, and the mushroom stems. You can also add oyster crackers (not made of oysters) as a crunch element. Pre-make it the night before and bake the day of.
2. Vegetarian spring rolls
This beloved Vietnamese item is usually made with pork and shrimp or grilled pork patties and served with a fish sauce or peanut sauce. It can be easily turned into a vegetarian roll instead. The perfect spring roll is when it’s been wrapped tightly and not overfilled. So for a vegetarian version, try these variations of veggies. I like these vegetables as they have a nice crunch to them. Enoki mushroom, carrots, bean sprout, lettuce, arugula, snow pea sprouts, and jicama. Any vegetable you like can be added. You can even add some julienne apples for a sweet tart crunch. Feel free to even add vermicelli noodles.
3. Pasta salad
You can make this into any version. My favorite of this is the antipasto salad. I love olives in this salad. Here’s a recipe for a Red Wine Vinaigrette: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/antipasto-salad-recipe.html?oc=linkback
4. Potato or corn salad
Although potato salad is mainly used with mayonnaise, you can now buy vegan mayo or make it yourself. Potato salad a little too heavy on the stomach? How about a corn salad instead. If corn is not available at your supermarket, use frozen or canned corn. My simple recipe for this is: diced red onions, cilantro, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and squeeze some lemon in it. You can even “grill” the corn in the oven to get that charred flavor.
5. Vegetarian Pot Stickers
Buy these at any Asian supermarket, or feel free to make it yourself. Add to your filling: leek, noodles, chives, or vegetarian meat. Unfortunately, I’m not a pro at making pot stickers and haven’t attempted since a disastrous wonton soup night. I don’t have any techniques here except to not overfill the wonton wrapper and make sure the wonton is sealed properly.
6. Chips & Salsa
My sister recently learned a technique of getting salsa that smooth consistency without blending it. She cooked a can of whole tomato and added diced onions. She then added diced jalapeno and cilantro after the mixture cooled. Salt to taste. Make it a day or two ahead so it can sit. This is simple and you spend less money than buying a pre-made salsa.
7. Pigs in a Blanket
If your guest’s children are vegan or vegetarian as well, you can make the classic pigs in a blanket with vegan hot dog instead. Most kids I know love this. They just gobble it all up. Fun finger food for the kids. Wrap the pigs in the blanket the night before and bake them the day of.
8. Frozen fruit yogurt
Freeze some fruit ahead of time then top it on yogurt. This would be a fun dessert. Freeze any of the berries like strawberry, blueberries. You can even freeze banana. Buy yogurt and have your guest put the frozen fruit on top of it. Add some granola clusters. Refreshing on the palate and healthy!
I like these little fun foods that you can put on a small plate or napkin and eat as you chat or watch the game. I also like that most of this can be prepared in advance so that you don’t feel so stressed the day of. You just have to take it out of the refrigerator a few hours before your guest arrive to take the chill off. For the items I’ve listed that need to be baked, they don’t need more then 2-3 hours to bake. We hope you have a great Superbowl weekend if you’re watching the game. I can’t wait to see all the Superbowl commercials and the halftime show. If you’ve hosted a party for sports games before, what were some of your favorite appetizers to serve? Let us know in the comments below!
Recipe for Vegan Mayo: