Recently I was contacted by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen about receiving a review copy of their new book Vegan Finger Foods and doing a giveaway as well. I excitedly agreed. I love the recipes I’ve tried from their earlier Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day and Tami’s American Vegan Kitchen. With a bakesale and baby shower coming up I knew that I’d get a lot of opportunities to try out recipes.
Upon cracking the book open the first thing I noticed was all the lovely photos take by Celine and the very modern ideas. I had a hard time deciding what I would try because so many different recipes were appealing. I think the recipes in this book would appeal to all the different kinds of vegan diets out there. There are recipes that feature whole foods, are soy free, soy heavy, gluten free, bread based, raw, baked, complicated, easy, cupcake heavy, sugar free, comfort food, or chocolate based.
The first chapter is a short primer on finger foods and any types of special ingredients they use. Then it goes into “Veggie-Centric Finger Feasts” with recipes like “Kale Cucumber Cups” and “Snacking Chickpeas” these were all vegetable heavy and on the easier side. Next was “Stuffed and Dipped” with recipes like “Sauerkraut Stuffed Seitan Rounds” and “Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites” which I think most excited me. Then “Bread-Based Bites with recipes like “Pull Apart Pesto Bread” and “Spinach Swirls with Quicky Marinara” and finally “Sweet Little Somethings which includes recipes like “Creamsicle Ice Lollies” and “Goji Berry Cacao Bites”.
The first recipe I tried was the Tahini Caramel Popcorn. The first batch came together like magic. The second batch went awry when I dropped my fork into the caramel and then tried to retrieve it with my fingers. I learned that you NEVER put your fingers in hot caramel, it sticks right to your skin and burns burns burns. So, while I was dealing with that, I wasn’t stirring and the caramel cooked too long. Also, I think because of the humidity here I had trouble with the caramel really solidifying because the popcorn never became rock hard until I tried putting it in the fridge. So, I ended up selling them as Tahini Caramel Popcorn Balls at the bakesale. They were a hit! The tahini really added an interesting element. My friends that tried them loved them and they are GF so a perfect bakesale treat.
The one recipe that kept calling my name every time I flipped through the book was the Nacho Potato Skins. I found this recipe a bit overly complicated for me, like instead of calling for a small chopped onion they call for something like a half a cup of finely chopped onion. I know most folks prefer this kind of precision but for me, in something like a black bean salad, I just want it to be super simple. But then, I also thought the step of coating the potatoes with adobo and then crisping them again seemed like an unnecessary step but I am so glad I didn’t skip it. Just that little bit of flavor and crispness made the recipe for me. We used big russet potatoes and had one each for dinner. Dan couldn’t believe I ate mine with my hands but I told him it was a Vegan Finger Food! They were totally delicious and hit that junk food note even though they were, dare I say, healthy nacho potato skins using fresh vegetables, beans, and homemade vegan queso. They were very fresh tasting and had lots of flavor, I loved them.
Next, I had to decide which recipes to use for a taco themed baby shower. I wanted things I could mostly make ahead of time but that would go with the overall menu. I knew that my guest of honor is way into jalapeno poppers so these were definitely in from the start. Actually, this recipe probably turned out to be my favorite from the book and I would definitely make it again. I even used their tip of using gloves when dealing with the jalapenos (whenever I’m doing a cookbook review I try to actually follow all the directions). Somehow, I had never used gloves before. As an incredibly lazy person I always thought it was easier to be super careful when de-seeding hot peppers than to find some gloves. Boy, was I wrong. With gloves you can go a thousand times faster. And you are probably a lot less likely to touch your eyes (or other sensitive areas) with gloves on accidentally. For this recipe you hollow out the jalapenos, make a cashew cheese, plop a tablespoon of it in each jalapeno half, and then invert it onto a plate of panko and cornflakes, and bake them in the oven. They had all the crunchy cheesiness of traditional poppers without having to deep fry or use cheese. And they were super easy. A total win.
Finally, I decided to also make the Baked Lenteja Taquitos instead of the Pulled Jackfruit Mini Tacos because I figured that growing baby would need some extra protein. These seemed super easy; you cook up french lentils and then mix them with some mashed potatoes and spices, roll the filling in tortillas, and then bake them in the oven. When shopping at Fiesta I came across their homemade corn tortillas that were nopale flavored so I kind of had to try them. They did not work well at all in this recipe, however. I think fresh flour tortillas or even store-bought corn tortillas would have held up much better in the rolling process. They tasted good though! And they were crowd-pleasers as well.
There are still many recipes I want to try! The Brewpub Cauliflower Dip, Tiny Tomato Pies, and the Portobello BLTs are all going to be coming out of my kitchen sooner rather than later. And if you are worried about getting the book because you don’t entertain, never fear! Many of the recipes can easily be scaled up for dinner (like those BLTs) or used as side dishes like the Green Beans Jalfrezi. It also seems like a GREAT book for coming up with things to bring to a potluck, and God knows, if you’re vegan you have to go to potlucks all the time. They back section of the book has sample menus like “Hot Summer Nights” and “Extra Easy Entertaining”. You can check them all out on the Amazon Preivew. I really do think this book has something for everyone. I think some vegan millionaire should buy a ton of copies and send this book to every bar because bars here never have interesting vegan options.
If you would like to win a copy please comment below and answer this question: If someone was throwing a party for you, what would you want on the menu? Make sure you add your email when you leave the comment in the form so that I can contact you if you are the winner!
Besides those amazing Jalapoppers, I’m a sucker for nachos. If I’m lazy I just use HeidiHo Chipotle, amazing.
Buffalo Tofu is my weakness!
I love nachos, buffalo tempeh, queso with chips and jalapeno poppers.
Any kind of vegetable covered in breadcrumbs and fried or baked and I’m yours 🙂
I would love a brunch party! Quiche, potatoes, veggie bacon/sausage, biscuits & gravy, pancakes, fruit–the works!!
I’d want sliders! And nachos, and pretzel wrapped not-dogs, and…all of the foods.
I am pretty sure I would want those jalapeno poppers!!
Jalapeno poppers and seitan buffalo wings sounds great. Those potato nachos would be awesome too.
Finger Foods NOT Fingers! Anything in Phyllo Dough, Vegan Cheeze and Spicy Dips.
Holy crap I am so hungry right now. If someone was throwing a party for me, I would want all spicy foods, for sure. And, tons of napkins! If this shindig is being thrown in my house, I don’t want spicy, vegan fingerprints everywhere.
hmmm. quiche. I am all about the quiche 😀
but I will not be remiss to having buffalo tofu!
pizza! i love a good ol’ pizza party!
I love a good, sausage-y stuffed mushroom cap. Shrooms!!
Any type of dessert – I could sometimes skip the meal and go straight to dessert!!
As if you’d eat a potato skin with anything other than your hands! If someone was throwing me a party I’d totally want there to be fancy homemade vegan cheese on the menu.
I would always want cake to be on the menu. I don’t eat it regularly but for a party, it’s totally necessary.
Tacos, tacos, tacos! 😉
Quesadillas are a really easy and tasty party food that I like.
Classic Guacamole. Palomas. Vegan Mexican Wedding Cookies.
Potato skins! And whatever those little black bean salad cups are on the cover!
Sounds like a great book! To be honest, I would be just happy to go to a vegan food party. Though if forced to decide I’d say vegan sausages..vegan fish and chips, HUGE bowls of kale chips and gluten free bread to make butties! Then some dainty hors d’oevers to nibble.
I miss Green Island Catering’s potstickers, but those Nacho Potato Skins and the Jalapeno Poppers look yummy, so either of those would work too (wanna know when my birthday is?!). 😉
My go to party foods are always Indian food. Pakoras, samosas, and dhosas. But really, feed me stuffed or fried mushrooms and I am happy.
Nachos, stuffed mushrooms, tempeh wingz, and margaritas!
Brinner all the way, because there’s nothing better than breakfast foods followed by cake.
I’m a sucker for regular foods made mini – sliders, mini-quiche, mini-cupcakes…all mini-foods. Those mini-tomato pies sound amazing and right up my alley!
A dessert buffet 🙂
Hummus and veggies!
I’d really like a roll-your-own party where you can make vietnamese summer rolls, spring rolls and sushi: vermicelli, sticky rice, seaweed, pickled radish, mint, marinated tofu, cabbage, carrots, honeycrisp apples, bean sprouts, avocado, asparagus, chili sauce and wasabi, with wine and sake pairings.
Ooh. Definitely nachos with a heavy dose of guacamole. Spanakopita and mini quiches!
If someone were throwing a party for me I’d like guacamole, tortilla chips, stuffed mushrooms, hummus and vegetables.
I’d appreciate a vegan Ethiopian spread with Yeshimbra Assa (http://www.food.com/recipe/yeshimbra-assa-ethiopian-chickpea-fish-and-sauce-133101) and more common dishes like Misir Wat, Tikil Gomen, and Azifa.
I am so excited about this cookbook! I leafed through the book at Barnes and Noble, and it is laid out beautifully. Plus, those poppers look amazing! If someone was throwing me a party, I would love homemade cinnamon rolls since that’s the kind of time consuming thing I wouldn’t likely make for myself.
some sort of spicy bean dip and guacamole & chips!
I think I’d like to try those jalapeño poppers…
ohhhh, I’m a sucker for finger foods….especially dips! Guac, artichoke dip, hummus, baked dips. Ha! Maybe we could call it a Dip Party, I’m thinking of all the cute ‘dip’ themed items already! 🙂 Oh and PIE! Preferable cherry (btw, the cherry pie you posted the other day looked ahhhhmazing!).
Mac and cheese, pizza, and ice cream – my own personal vegan trifecta!
bruchetta…I could eat that every single day!
I’d go for portobello pizzas, curry bean balls, lots of fruits and veggies with dips and mini vegan cannoli. 🙂
I would love those nacho potato skins!
Vegan sushi! And lots of vegan desserts. =)
there would HAVE to be olives. cocktails/mocktails with citrus would be nice, too. 😉
I would want guac, salsa, hummus, tortilla chips, and raw veggies! I like snacks at parties. Also brownies for dessert!
Dips and fondue! I would want creamy dips such as spinach and artichoke, French onion and any kind of bean dip. I’d want crispy potato chips, pretzels and veggies to dip in them. For dessert, vegan chocolate fondue with fruit and vegan cookies to break up and dip in it!
Pingback: Vegan Recipes | Food Recipes