Inviting friends and family over this Christmas? We’ve got some easy and delicious vegetarian and vegan nibble ideas that'll have your guests coming back for seconds.
1. Courgette wrapped artichoke (vegan or veggie)
These courgettes wraps are packed full of nutritious ingredients and bring a refreshing twist to Christmas nibbles.
Thinly cut the courgettes lengthways into ribbons and toss with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Fry the courgette strips in a hot griddle pan for 2-3 minutes each side (a griddle pan gives the courgettes lovely griddle marks). I would recommend frying the courgette strips in advance as they are served cold. Once cooled, place a slice of artichoke (from the deli counter or a jar), a piece of buffalo mozzarella or feta (or you favourite vegan cheese), a dollop of pesto and a few leaves of rocket or pea shoots onto one end of the strip. Roll into a wrap and stick a cocktail stick through it.
2. Griddled halloumi with mango salsa (veggie)
It wouldn’t be a vegetarian nibble without some halloumi. We’ve topped the halloumi with a fresh mango salsa which can be prepared in advance.
To make the salsa finely dice a small mango and add to a bowl with the juice of half a lime, 1 small handful of finely chopped fresh mint leaves and half a small red chilli finely chopped. Halloumi tastes best when it’s just been fried, so do this when you’re just about to serve. Fry the halloumi in a hot and dry griddle pan on a medium-high heat on each side for 2-3 minutes until it begins to brown. Remove from the pan and top with the salsa before serving
3. Brie & cranberry filo parcels (veggie)
These are my go to Christmas nibble at parties. I used to stock my freezer up with them in the run up to Christmas, until I realised how easy they are to make at home.
All you need is filo pastry, butter, camembert and cranberry sauce. Cut the filo pastry into 8x8cm squares. Arrange 3 on top of each other at an angel to form a star, brushing each layer with butter. Place a 1cm piece of brie or camembert and teaspoon of cranberry sauce in the centre of the star. You can either draw the edges up to form a parcel or place open in a mini muffin tray. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C fan for 10-15 minutes until they’ve just started to turn golden brown (be careful as they will be piping hot when they come out the oven).
4. Mini hasselback potatoes (vegan or veggie)
Everyone loves a potato but these mini hasslebacks bring something different to the party and are easy to pop in your mouth.
Using new potatoes or small potatoes, thinly slice the potatoes three quarters of the way through in roughly one-eighth of an inch intervals. Drizzle the potatoes with extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic and sea salt. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C fan for 30-40 minutes until their beginning to golden and crisp up. Transfer to a warmed plate and add a little dollop of crème fraiche to each potato (or coconut yogurt or guacamole for a vegan friendly nibble) and slices of spring onion or chives.
5. Parmesan & poppy seed crisps (veggie)
These are really easy to make in a hurry and only require 2 ingredients.
In a bowl toss 80g of finely grated Parmesan cheese with a teaspoon of poppy seeds (or sesame seeds). On a baking tray lined with baking paper and greased, sprinkle a tablespoon of the cheese mixture into a circle (you could use a cookie cutter or any shape you like), leaving a few centimetres in between each one. You do not need to pat it down as the cheese will melt. Place under the grill for 3 minutes or in the oven for 5 minutes until slightly golden and bubbling (keep an eye on them as they can burn easily). Allow to cool before removing from the baking tray and serving.
6. Falafel with houmous & parsley (vegan)
You will often see a pot of houmous at a party but we’ve gone one step further and served it with falafel. Falafel and houmous both contain chickpeas which are a good source of protein.
For quick and easy falafel I would recommend buying them premade or if you have a good recipe you could make them in advance. The falafel can be warmed in the oven or served cold. On a serving plate, spread the houmous out with a spoon to create a bed. Top with the falafel with cocktail sticks through them and a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of chopped parsley.
7. Pitta bread bruschetta (vegan)
Bruschetta’s are a great party nibble as they can be topped with anything you have in your fridge. Instead of traditional bread we’ve chosen to use The Food Doctor pitta breads, which are high in fibre and a good source of protein.
Toast the pitta breads or place them under the grill for a few minutes. Cut the pitta breads into triangles or any desired shape Top with anything of your choice such as:
• Black olive, diced tomato and shredded basil leaves
• A dollop of fresh guacamole and chilli flakes
• Crushed peas, mint and lemon
• Fried chanterelle mushrooms with garlic and parsley
Speak again soon,
Gemma, The Food Doctor nutritionist