5 Vegetarian “Make Ahead” Super Bowl Sunday Snack Ideas

February 05, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Snacks/Appetizers

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You’re geared up for Super Bowl Sunday, you’ve set-up the giant tv and invited your friends over. But, now your faced with feeding this crowd. Don’t worry, your game watching experience doesn’t have to be filled with boring potato chips and cheezy poufs. You also don’t have to spend all your time in the kitchen worried that you’ll miss the game winning touch down. Make these vegetarian snacks ahead of time and you can cheer on your favorite team with these unique treats to munch on.

1. “Figgy Crack” (Fig and Pecan Tapenade with Goat Cheese)

This dish is so named because once you eat it, you’ll be addicted. This recipe has taken on a life of it’s own since served at several get togethers Folks try it for the first time, fall in love with it and ask for the recipe because it’s so unique and satisfying.fig tapenade

fig and pecan tapenade

2. Cheese Ball

It’s not a party without a cheese ball, right?

3. Marinated Goat Cheese

This marinated goat cheese tastes like you spent a lot of time in the kitchen making it. You don’t have to. Admittedly, it’s not the prettiest looking dish, but who cares? It’s durn good.

4. Vegetable Pan Bagnat

Assemble these layered vegetable sandwiches on Saturday evening and they’ll be good to go the next day. All the ingredients meld together into an explosion of flavors.

5. Buttery Roasted Pecans and Punjabi Masala Peanuts

Rather than serving mixed nuts or plain peanuts, change it up a bit with these unique recipes. The pecans are indeed buttery and the peanuts are spicy.

A Vegetarian Fall Potluck on Halloween Night

November 02, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Article, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Snacks/Appetizers

On Halloween night, we held our first vegetarian potluck in Washington DC. The theme: Halloween/Fall Spooktacular.

For starters, I made some fig, pecan and goat cheese tapendade served with spooky halloween pita crisps as an appetizer. (This dish has now been deemed “Figgy Crack” because once you start eating it, it’s really really hard to stop.) I altered the recipe a bit and used crumbled goat cheese in the mix rather than spreading it on the pitas. For the pita crisps, I used whole wheat pita, used Halloween shaped cookie cutters, then pulled the layers apart. I brushed a little olive oil on each side, placed them smooth side down on a baking sheet and sprinkled them with some coarse salt. I put in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes until crisp. (Keep an eye on them, they quickly burn.)

fig tapenade

We had a side Autumn Millet Bake from Mark Bittman’s cookbook “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.”  This butternut squash, cranberry, pumpkin seed, and millet dish is both beautiful, sweet and savory. I would proudly add this unique side to any Thanksgiving table.

autumn millet bake

Our host then set the bar high by adapting this pumpkin stuffed with vegetable stew recipe from epicurious. She adapted some of the vegetables and saved some time by using some pre-made vegetable stock and added the mushrooms and wine to make it a bit heartier. I wish I had a picture of what the pumpkin looked like before it was baked because it was a pale in hue but blossomed into a gorgeous bronze color after baking. The pumpkin cooked perfectly and you could take hunks of the pumpkin from the insides which added a touch of roasted sweetness to the stew.

pumpkin with vegetable stew

Our desserts were cupcakes that were devoured so quickly….I didn’t get a picture!

We hope to hold our next potluck in December. I will be hosting and the theme will be Indian cuisine.

Fig and Pecan Tapenade with Goat Cheese

January 01, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Other, Snacks/Appetizers

This fig and pecan tapenade made a unique addition to a New Year’s brunch we attended. It’s also pretty versatile in it’s presentation. You can either pre-assemble the crackers or have everyone create their own. The sweet figs, balsamic vinegar, olives and capers are a savory combination and go very well with the fresh goat cheese. Preparation couldn’t be easier. Just some chopping and a few minutes on the stove. And, you’re done!

Fig and Pecan Tapenade with Goat Cheese
Adapted from: Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped stemmed dried Calimyrna figs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other oil-cured black olives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 5.5-ounce logs soft fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted and salted pecans
  • 1/4 cup toasted and salted pecan halves
  • Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
  • Assorted breads and/or crackers
[Edited to add: Use a container of already crumbled goat cheese – it’s easier to add to the mixture when it’s cooled off.]

Combine chopped figs and 1/3 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes.

Transfer to medium bowl. Mix in olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, and chopped thyme.

Season tapenade to taste with pepper. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Stir chopped pecans into tapenade. Assemble crackers by adding some goat cheese to cracker. Spoon tapenade over goat cheese. Or, for assembling a platter, cut goat cheese into 1/2 inch rounds. Spoon tapenade into middle of platter. Arrange overlapping cheese rounds in circle and add the crackers or breah around the edge. Garnish with pecan halves and thyme sprigs.


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