Everything bagels are my favorite bagels. That is all I used to eat, and I didn’t branch out until I got a little older. I love the flavor combination, it is so delicious. It is comforting and perfect. I have been wanting to make my own everything bagel spice blend for a while, and use it in an imaginative way! When I finally realized that the best thing to go with this particular spice blend, is cheese. A cheese ball with everything bagel spice mixed in, and then crusted in the spice was what I decided, and it is so G.D good. …
My husband loves fried pickles. He calls himself a connoisseur of fried pickles, and tries them everywhere we go. He has given them bad reviews, good, and excellent. I wanted to top them all though, and make the most delicious fried pickles he has ever had, that just happen to be vegan. He hates fried pickle spears, and I can understand this. To get maximum crunch, your really need the a chip, it is thin and you can get the ultimate amount of batter on them. So they had to be dill chips! These vegan fried pickles with Mississippi comeback sauce are his favorite fried pickles thus far….
Have you ever been to Wingers? They have this chicken appetizer called Sticky Fingers. The sauce looks and smells amazing. I have always wanted to try all their sauces, but alas, they have no fake chicken. Come on everyone. Every place should have a vegan option for me, geez. Well, I can just do it myself then. Here is my take on their signature chicken made vegan. The sauce is out of this world, I baked them instead of frying them. Paired with the best damn vegan blue cheese sauce. YES!…
Have you ever had satay? It is super fun, and from what I remember, super delicious. There was a little Asian restaurant that my dad used to take us to when I was a kid. They had chicken satay with peanut sauce, and they would bring you a little burner with a tiny grill to cook it yourself. I loved it! I thought it was so much fun. I saw a beef satay on a menu the other day, and thought what a great idea it would be to use black beans to mimic beef would be. My husband and I were discussing how to make this happen, and we figured on there was only like a 20% chance it would work. Well, I worked out completely and amazingly! It is so friggin’ delicious….
Americanized Chinese food, love it or hate? I used to love it! I guess I still kind of do, it just depends. One thing I always loved as a kid was Crab Rangoon. Our special occasions usually consisted of either ordering a pizza or Chinese food. I would always ask for Crab Rangoon as an appetizer to share, and it is so bad and so good! I had not had Crab Rangoon in very long time, but I have been lying in bed at night thinking about food (as usual), and I have been pondering all my childhood favorites which is when I decided to veganize Crab Rangoon.
This morning, vegan Crab Rangoon was born! Thank me later, and I promise you will. I went through a bunch of different possibilities of how to go about this, and settled on something so incredibly easy, I am pretty sure any one can handle it! I used a vegan cream cheese, instead of a homemade cashew cheese, because I wanted it to taste as authentic as possible. I added shredded carrots to make it look like bits of crab, and then mixed in a bit of kelp powder to give it a little seafood like flavor!
After I decided on all that, I also wanted to give it more flavor, and added sesame oil, soy sauce, agave and scallions. These little pockets of heaven are insane! I dipped them into soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, and a sweet chili sauce. I don’t know which I liked better, all I can say is, I didn’t mean to eat so many! Ahhhh!
This recipe can be made in about 15 or 20 minutes, is only 10 ingredients and one of the tastiest things I have had in a long time. I folded mine into triangles to make it an even easier recipe, but you can fold them however you want! I am so excited I get to relive my childhood, these are perfect and taste exactly like I remember the real ones tasting. Have fun kids, and kids at heart!
- 1/2 C. Vegan cream cheese, I used Daiya
- 1/4 C. Carrots, shredded fine
- 1 tsp. Kelp powder
- 1 tsp. Sesame oil
- 1 tsp. Agave nectar
- 1 tsp. Soy sauce
- 2 tsp. Scallions, chopped
- Dash of Salt and Pepper
- 12-18 Vegan wonton wrappers
- Oil for frying
- Small bowl of water
- In a medium mixing bowl, add all the filling ingredients and whisk, or beat with a hand mixer until fully combined.
- Heat about 1/2 an inch of oil in a frying pan on medium high heat.
- Assemble the crab rangoon by taking a wonton wrapper and placing about 1/2 tsp.-3/4 tsp. of filling in the center. Using your small bowl of water, wet all the edges of the wrapper and fold point to point making a triangle. Make sure all the edges are sealed together by pressing really well.
- Once the oil is hot, fry 2 to 3 rangoons at a time, fry for about 1 minute on one side, flip and fry for another minute on the other side until both sides are nice and brown.
- Serve immediately when all of them are done, I recommend serving with soy sauce and sweet chili sauce!
- You should be able to find kelp powder easily, in the International food section at the store. Or at any health food store.
- I found vegan wonton wrappers at my local Asian market, but if you don't have one, I have seen them at Whole Foods and other health food stores.
A fairly new tradition my family has started is to have a cheese, wine and appetizer party on Christmas eve. We have been doing this for about 5 or 6 years, and I love it. I also love trying new vegan options to have, that not only I fall in love with, but that also keeps the omnivores coming back for more. I love making different cheese balls with various nuts, coming up with flatbread pizza, tiny skewers of delicious bite sized appetizers, and last year, my husband made vegan carrot and tomato soup shooters with vegan grilled cheese dippers. This year though, I may have developed something that will top all other years. A crispy baguette sliced and perfectly toasted, topped with outstanding cashew ricotta, roasted grapes and fresh thyme.
Literally a flavor explosion, I don’t think I have tasted much better. This year, these beauties will be placed alongside regular cheese and bread and crackers, and I promise it will hold it’s own. Crispy, creamy, chewy, sweet, and salty. The ultimate handheld food. I like to peruse old Southern Living magazines and cookbooks, and a while ago I came across something similar, of course with regular ricotta. I though what a great appetizer to try to veganize, and what a perfect time to try. This would be great for any holiday party, and I am convinced it would be perfect for New Years Eve paired with crisp, bubbly champagne!
What are your beloved holiday family traditions? Or do you love to spend the holidays with friends? Either way, give this a try. Just casually incorporate it into any holiday potluck, and be the biggest hit at the party. For real.
This is a really easy recipe, it is just sightly time consuming and a bit involved. Just the cheese making process, the roasting of the grapes is a very quick and easy thing that you can do right before serving. The cheese though, I suggest making in the morning, or it would be very easy to make a day or two ahead of time and be kept in the fridge. Then you can just toast the bread, roast the grapes and take the cheese out when it is assembly time! The cashews also need to soak for at least 8 hours, but overnight would be better. So also something you can do a few days in advance. After the cashews soak though, all you have to do is throw everything in a blender. Easy peasy. Place in a cheesecloth and let drain. Ready to go!
I love bites of food I can have ready before guests arrive, so that I don’t have to spend time in the kitchen once friends and family are there. To me, the holidays are about remembering what and who are important to me. Make the best of my time with loved ones is the most important thing, and being ready at party time is a perfect way to do just that. These can be served room temperature, so you can do this when the time is best for you! I want a cocktail in my hand and my favorite people by my side!
I hope you enjoy! Happy holiday parties to you, and here’s to showing everyone you can happily make it through the holidays living an all plant based life.
- 2 C. Cashews, raw (soaked for 8-24 hours)
- 4 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 4 Tbsp. Almond milk
- 3 tsp. Salt
- 2 tsp. Pepper
- 2 tsp. Garlic powder
- 2 C. Purple grapes
- 2 tsp. Olive oil or grape oil
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 2 Baguettes (make sure they are vegan, there are also some good gluten free baguette options of you want)
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh thyme
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 8 hours, I like to just leave mine over night.
- When the cashews are ready, drain and place in a blender with the remaining cheese ingredients.
- Blend on high for a few minutes until it starts to become creamy. You still want a little texture, so stop when it looks like there are no more cashew chunks, but not so creamy that it looks like sauce. This should only take a couple minutes.
- Pour into a cheesecloth and tighten, tie off and place in a colander over a bowl. Let drain at least three hours, but this can be done overnight as well.
- When the cheese has drained, you can squeeze a bit of liquid out yourself as well, it should look like a ricotta texture, place in the fridge.
- When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the grapes on a baking sheet and toss evenly with oil and salt.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes.
- Slice and toast the baguette while the grapes are roasting.
- When grapes are ready, they will burst a bit.
- To assemble, spread cashew ricotta on toast, place a few grapes on top and top that with thyme, serve when ready!
- Want this to be gluten free as well? There are some really great gluten free baguette options as well!