Exciting Vegetarian or Diet Finger Foods?
November 29, 2012 3:41 PM   Subscribe

Recommend me some good, veggie oriented or diet friendly finger foods for a holiday party.

I've been searching around and found this previous askme and the link down in there to a very long list of finger foods, but... most of them are meaty or cheesy. Personally I have nothing against meaty or cheesy things, but I want to have some options for my vegetarian and dieting friends that isn't just raw veggies with dip. I imagine a veggie going person finds them as boring as I find a simple cheese and cracker sort of spread so I want to make it a little more interesting. (because while cheese and crackers/veggies and dip are just fine, its that season for parties and how many of the same thing do we really want to see at a party?)

Degree of effort and cooking skill isn't really a factor. I'm willing to expand my horizons for something tasty.

I imagine I'll have some veggies and dip anyway, because sometimes safe things are nice. If there's that thing that people always put on the veggie platter but no ones eats please let me know. I sort of avoid raw veggies when scoping out finger foods. I'm also thinking about doing some homemade sweet potato fries (baked).
posted by Feantari to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
These little mushroom toasts are incredibly good and we routinely eat them even though we aren't vegetarians.

I also recommend melon balls as a festive and diet/vegetarian friendly party option, maybe dressed in some sort of herb syrup.
posted by Saminal at 4:12 PM on November 29, 2012

I often see these mozzarella, tomato, & basil skewers at parties and I always go for them. Much more ambitious but undoubtedly yummy would be something like spring rolls...
posted by lovableiago at 4:20 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Bruschetta is an easy, appealing option. There are things like samosa or spring rolls (fresh rolls if you don't want to deep fry anything) that could work too. Veggie sushi rolls (avocado is a hit) are also great but are a little fussy and don't keep well.

Olives are also a good option -- easy but feels "fancy." Tapenades -- either store-bought or homemade -- are a savory alternative to the typical veggies-and-hummus or chips-and-salsa and such that show up at these sorts of things.

Stuffed mushrooms (this recipe is just an example) are also good.

Along the idea of sweet potato oven fries, roast some veggies! Roasted asparagus can be a nice "finger" food and there are plenty of other options (even oven kabobs would work).

I may have more ideas. Let me think about it.
posted by darksong at 4:28 PM on November 29, 2012

I served dates stuffed with goat cheese and roasted at 450 until just carmelized at thanksgiving, and people raved. Easy, vegetarian, and relatively healthy I think?

If you wanted to go vegan maybe you could stuff with some kind of nut--almonds? Macadamia?
posted by justjess at 4:36 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

It's more along the lines of thing with dip, but to keep it from being boring, maybe you could try this. I've had a lot of people (both veggies and meat-eaters) love Crazy Feta with Baked Pita (or any other bread like Lavash, Naan, etc.) The dip is pretty low calorie, and instead of bread, you could always do standby veggies.

I also will make spicy/sweet almonds or pecans to put out for people to munch on. I don't have my recipe handy, but Deb's from Smitten Kitchen - Sweet and Spice Candied Nuts are close to my recipe.

What about flatbreads with pesto, black olives spread or tomato spread with roasted veggie toppings? You could also do small falafels with a tzatziki dip.

Maybe make a Spanish tortilla, cut into individual wedges and serve at room temp? It's a simple recipe and doesn't require a lot of 'stuff' in it - really just potatoes, good olive oil, eggs and if you have it handy, onion or garlic. Along the same lines, sweet plantains are crazy good - though you may need a fork for them.

I've made Blue Cheese Biscuits with Roasted Tomatoes from Joy The Baker. I cut the biscuits in half, stuffed them full of the juicy tomatoes, and had a ball. They were delicious and not overly cheesy.

A last thought is perhaps an Indian Style Fritter? I've not tried these yet from Smitten Kitchen, but they are on my to-do list.
posted by carmenghia at 5:05 PM on November 29, 2012

These maple delicata squash rings are delicious, vegan and completely amazing and you can toast the seeds up as a side appetizer.
posted by jessamyn at 5:07 PM on November 29, 2012

Oooh yeah, roasted dates! I had some recently stuffed with roasted almonds, then brushed with maple, sprinkled with sea salt (smoked sea salt if you can get it). So good.

Vietnamese fresh rolls are always a hit. Once you get the hang of them (i.e., I always mess up the first 2), they're not difficult to make at all.

Everyone I know loves guacamole, even AskMe.

The NYT sesame cured broccoli can work as finger food, if you leave the florets big enough.

Pan-fried/grilled halloumi is a treat.

Sundried tomato, roasted red pepper, and goat cheese dip is easy and tasty. Take a log (~11oz) of goat cheese, crumble it. Then take a jar of sundried tomatoe slices (I like the kind in oil), then stick a pair of kitchen shears in the jar and snip away until the pieces are chopped up (way less messy than using a knife). Do the same thing to a jar of roasted red pepper strips. Drain both of those, and mix snipped tomatoes & peppers into the goat cheese. Chop up some basil and mix it in too, if you're feeling fancy. This can just be a dip for crackers/pita bread, or you can spoon it onto mini pitas/bread rounds and bake a bit, to make mini pizzas or canapes.

Finally, I once marinated some extra-firm tofu in a mixture of teriyake & soy sauces, grated ginger, minced garlic, and wasabi paste (I just threw it together, so no measurements, I'm afraid. Press the water out of the tofu before marinating.) I cut them into nuggets or 'fingers', and grilled up on the barbecue. I'd make that again for a vegetarian cookout. (I imagine you could just pan-fry them or broil them in the oven, if you don't want to/can't grill.)
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 5:07 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

My co-workers (a) love having potlucks (b) often request vegetarian food, so I have quite a few suggestions that fit the bill:

-Cucumber bites with garlic herb filling
-Mediterranean Cucumber Cups
-Any hummus & veggies/pita/crackers - especially sriracha hummus
-Cranberry Pear Salsa
-Blueberry almond crostini
-Caprese skewers
-two alarm tofu dip
-soba noodle slaw

Other ideas:

mini cornbread muffins

I also love making baked zucchini bites in the oven. Cut a zucchini into fat sticks, coat with an egg wash & panko and bake until crispy. Serve with marinara.

Also - blackbean & pineapple quesadillas can be cut into small bites. Make refried black beans, add in a minced jalapeno or two. Spread onto tortillas, top with diced red pepper & chunks of pineapple. Bake in the oven til crispy, cut it up like pizza slices.
posted by nuclear_soup at 5:45 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

My favorites are Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes (from Post Punk Kitchen) and tempeh hot wings with ranch dressing or blue cheese dip (they are a little messy, but soooo delicious). Both are very easy to make, and cheap to boot. For these recipes, I just sub yogurt for the vegannaise and butter for earth balance, since I am not a vegan and looove dairy products. But if you have vegans around, these are both vegan-friendly recipes. Meat eaters love them too.

Also good: a plate of assorted marinated olives, fried mac & cheese balls (OM, these are a pain to make but the frozen ones at Trader Joe's are actually awesome), spinach & artichoke dip. Seconding halloumi, though it's pretty expensive.

Bruschetta is great, and you can have a few different varieties - we usually have some meat and some veggie - the traditional tomato one, plus some with cream cheese & olive tapenade, goat cheese & sundried tomato pesto...etc. If you're ambitious, we have some pals who make amazing homemade soft pretzels, which they serve with assorted mustards and beer-cheese dip.

And you know, no one hates a cheese plate. Just saying.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 6:33 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Kale chips. I check on mine every 10 minutes and adjust my temp down because my oven runs hot--they are great but can burn easily.

Quinoa balls. These were easy and turned out well.

Feta, watermelon, and basil skewers. These were fiddly but tasted good. Next time I'd make them bigger (I made 1 centimetre cubes, which was ridiculous in retrospect).
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:43 PM on November 29, 2012

These vegan sausage rolls are very tasty, and easy as well. I make them smaller than pictured for a party. Their recipe section has a whole bunch of veggie snack foods that I often scroll through for parties.

I also really like dolmades too - been meaning to try this recipe but haven't yet.
posted by emilly at 7:37 PM on November 29, 2012

Tempeh hotwings: definitely. My sister makes those for get-togethers a lot. They always get eaten, even in a room full of carnivores. Her variation uses Frank's Red Hot.

Stuffed grape leaves? I've never had stuffed grape leaves and not thought "these are amazing".

Seaweed-as-a-snack has been marketed a lot more heavily lately in the US, so might be available even at x-random supermarket. Both tasty and still a little bit unusual.

What about edamame?

Fancy popcorn? Even people who claim not to like popcorn frequently eat it.
posted by brennen at 10:12 PM on November 29, 2012

Spanakopita, easy, filling and delicious.

Stuffed mushrooms

Skewers of lean meats (chicken breast, shrimp) with dipping sauces (for dieters)

Silver Palate Winter Vegetable Salad (I've been making this for 25 years. It's a terrific break from a veggie platter, it can be made ahead and kept in the fridge and is extra-yummy.)

You can take leaves of endive, fill them with a mixture of cream/blue cheese, then top with a walnut.

There are my party standbys and they are gobbled up regularly.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:51 PM on November 30, 2012

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