Category Archives: Appetizers


Over the holidays I was gifted a copy of Nava Atlas’s Vegan Holiday Kitchen by my parents and I absolutely love it.  I was recently offered a copy of the book to review and when I mentioned that I already owned it we agreed that it would be wonderful to give a copy to one lucky Veggie Grettie reader.

Nava Atlas is the author and illustrator of many books on vegan and vegetarian cooking, most recently Vegan Holiday Kitchen, Vegan Express, Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons, The Vegetarian Family Cookbookand The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient GourmetA book on leafy greens, Wild About Greenswill be published in June 2012.

I have been given permission to share three of the recipes from Vegan Holiday Kitchen with you…the hardest part was choosing which ones to share!


Click HERE for the printable recipe


Click HERE for the printable recipe


Click HERE for the printable recipe


ASHLEY won the giveaway with the following comment-

I would really appreciate this book because I have recently been diagnosed with Lupus and as a part of keeping myself healthy (as well as my family) I have changed to a vegetarian/vegan diet as it helps keep my symptoms better controlled.

All recipes and images reprinted with permission from Vegan Holiday Kitchen © 2011 by Nava Atlas, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.  Photographs by Susan Voisin


Filed under Appetizers, Cake, Dessert, Dip, Giveaways, Holiday, Main Dish, Recipes, Sauce / Spread / Jam / Yogurt, Vegan, Vegetarian


I am not very versed in football.  That may not seem unusual or sad to you until you learn that I was a songleader from 7th grade through my Junior year of high school (Why am I always so embarrassed when I admit that?).  It is really criminal how little I know about the actual rules of the game.  Shouldn’t they have taught us the rules at one of the gazillion cheerleading camps I attended?

All I can say is thank goodness for Lisa Bognanno!  That girl knew the game…I mean she REALLY knew the game.  Without her we would have been stuck up there on our stools yelling out generic offense or defense cheers exclusively.  Enjoy the game Lisa (I am sure she will actually be watching the game).  I on the other hand am really looking forward to the commercials, though truth be told I do wish I understood the game!

Confessions aside, the food is always really fun at Superbowl parties, though usually not vegan…yay for guacamole!  On New Years day I made a spread for us to nosh on that would be perfect for game day.  I didn’t even plan on photographing it, but my sister-in-law forced my hand and now I am glad she did.  These pictures would have been much more “artsy” if I actually planned on taking them (and I probably would have removed the paper towels from under the strawberries!), but I guess this gives you a real glimpse into our home and what I serve when we have private occasions.

I made chocolate fondue (recipe to follow in a later post) which I served with fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas, cut apples, and sliced pear) and a 7 layer dip (which was technically 6 layers).

For the layered dip I used (listed bottom layer to top):

  • Amy’s Organic refried black beans (my favorite refried bean)
  • My vegan queso (click HERE for recipe)
  • Homemade guacamole (made with my salsa fresca)
  • Tofutti Sour Supreme
  • Salsa fresca (click HERE for recipe)
  • Sliced black olives

This layered dip was seriously enough to feed an army.  I am not sure what I was thinking, but the left-overs made awesome taco salads for days.

I served the dip with different chips (baked tortilla, regular tortilla, and TJ’s corn chip dippers) and crudites.  Personally I prefer to eat it with the sliced veggies (celery being my favorite for this), but I also do like baked tortilla chips.

What are your must have’s food-wise for the game?


Filed under Appetizers, Events, Gluten Free, Holidays, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

DESSERT HUMMUS – PB Chocolate Chip

About a week ago my daughter’s teacher and I were chatting when she mentioned that another teacher at the school just made a sweet hummus that she said was really good.  She found the recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie whose blog I adore.

I decided to give the sweet hummus thing a whirl and came-up with a recipe that I am a bit obsessed with.  I have seriously made 5 batches in the last 5 days (some of which was given away, but not much)!

This hummus is free of added salt, oil (just natural peanut butter), and refined sugar.  The dates add such a nice sweetness to the hummus without leaving you with the crash and burn that follows a traditional sugar rush.  Thanks to the fiber and nutrients in the dates your body will be happy.

While this may taste like cookie dough, you won’t be able to eat the whole bowl because the chickpeas will fill you up so quickly.  My favorite ways to eat the hummus are with either a banana, some sliced apples, or celery spears.

This recipe is dedicated to you Nicole!  Thanks for the inspiration.


8 Medjool Dates, soaked (I buy mine at Costco)
Soaking water
15 oz. can Eden Organics Salt-Free Garbanzo Beans (aka chickpeas)
1/3 cup organic peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla
2-3 Tbs. Enjoy Life mini-chocolate chips (optional)

Pit the dates and put them into a bowl.  Press the dates down into the bowl and cover them with filtered water until they are JUST covered (it is ok if a tiny bit of the dates peak out through the water).  Soak the dates in the water for at least 30 minutes.

Once the dates have soaked, place all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) in the food processor and process for 1-2 minutes.  Stop and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.  Repeat this process a total of three times until the hummus is very smooth.  I usually use this time to catch-up on dishes or mail… multi-tasking rules!  Note that the hummus will be thinner than you are used to since it is warm from the processing.  Rest assured the hummus will firm-up a bit once refrigerated.

Pour the hummus into a bowl and mix in the chocolate chips if so desired.  That’s it.  You are done.  Place the completed hummus in the fridge to firm-up.  Personally I always have a little serving of the hummus at this point with some apple or banana since I don’t have the patience to wait for it to set.

I also prefer to make the hummus without the chocolate chips and keep the plain version in the fridge since I don’t like to have chocolate chips in my dessert hummus if I will be eating it with sliced apples.  In general I prefer the hummus without the chocolate chips, so I just mix the chocolate chips in for the kids at serving time.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.


Filed under Appetizers, Beans/Legumes, Dessert, Dip, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian


I have to apologize for the fact that the picture for this post is not up to par, but I had to put my pride aside and post this recipe anyway because it is SO GOOD!

What would New Years Day be without nachos???  The other day I had a craving for nachos and with the New Year coming-up I decided to figure this one out…How do you make a yummy vegan nacho cheese sauce?  It turns out the answer is really easy.

My family had so much fun building their own nachos and I think everyone was happy that mama had a nacho craving!

1 bag Daiya Cheddar Cheese
1 ½ cups So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/3 cup Trader Joe’s Serrano Salsa Fresca (so good!)

Warm all ingredients over medium to medium-low heat until completely melted and incorporated.

I really encourage using a good quality salsa as it will have a big impact on the final product.  Trader Joe’s Serrano Salsa Fresca is seriously good.

This would also be really great in a vegan 7 layer dip.

What do you like to serve on New Years Day?

For a printable version of this recipe click here.


Filed under Appetizers, Cheese, Dip, Gluten Free, Holiday, Holidays, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Sauce / Spread / Jam / Yogurt, Vegan, Vegetarian

GUEST BLOG – Crunchy and Healthy Jalapeno Poppers by Veg Obsession

Another blog that I frequent is Veg Obsession.  Isobelle created the site as a means to share the delicious vegan recipes she makes with her friends and family.  Through Veg Obsession Isobelle wants to show people that delicious, mindful, and compassionate eating is easy to achieve.  One of the main reasons Isobelle is vegan is for her daughter and her future…it is clear that she is a very committed mommy!

While cruising through Isobelle’s site I came across her recipe for Crunchy and Healthy Jalapeno Poppers.  I contacted her and she has graciously agreed to share the recipe on Veggie Grettie.  Traditionally jalapeno poppers are laden since they are loaded with cheese and fried.  Isobelle fixed that problem by filling the jalapenos with hummus and baking them.

Enjoy this healthy variation!

My husband and I love spicy!  We have a jalapeno plant in the back yard that has been producing plenty of peppers.  And, of course, all of them are used.  I used to make jalapeno poppers with Toffuti “cream cheese” (which are a lot healthier than the traditional fried poppers with the greasy/fatty real cheese).  But, my husband suggested trying to make it even healthier.  So, he gave me the idea of hummus in the jalapeno, and I am so glad he did, because this is wonderful and delicious!

*Jalapeno peppers are very good for you.  It helps cure headaches, congestion, and it even helps fight off cancer!

*Garbanzo beans are also super healthy!



Slice the top off the jalapenos, cut them in half (lengthwise), remove seeds and placenta.

Note: if you like REALLY spicy poppers, you can add the seeds and jalapeno placenta to your hummus.

Spoon hummus into jalapenos.

Dip the jalapeno in the unsweetened nut milk (almond milk).  Then, roll the jalapeno into the whole wheat (or gluten free) flour.  Dip it into the nut milk again.  Then, roll into the panko bread crumbs.  Place onto a slightly greased cookie sheet and spray a little bit of olive oil onto the poppers (just a little bit!).

Bake for 25 minutes and then enjoy!

For a printable version of this recipe click here.


Filed under Appetizers, Guest Blog, Recipes, Sides, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian