Autumn has finally arrived. Leaves are changing colors and the air is turning cool and crisp. If you have been considering throwing a get together, why not try your hand at preparing some fall-themed finger foods? Here are 3 recipes that are sure to please friends and family.
Break out your indoor grill pan and make some kabobs. A mix of colorful, fresh vegetables and a simple yet delicious marinade will be certain to impress your guests. Serves four.
5 cups of various vegetables such as eggplant, onions, zucchini squash, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Tofu cubes can also be added for protein.
¼-cup balsamic vinegar
¼-cup olive oil
¼-cup chopped tomatoes
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs like basil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 cloves minced garlic
Chop the vegetables into bite-size cubes and place in a bowl. Mix together the marinade ingredients and then pour over the vegetables, coating thoroughly. Place in the refrigerator for anywhere from 1-24 hours. The longer the vegetables marinate the more flavorful they’ll be when cooked.
Once marinated, place the vegetables on skewers, alternating the vegetables as they are threaded on the skewers. (If you are using bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to prevent them from burning.) Finally, place the kabobs on your grill over medium-high heat and turn once or twice to ensure the kabobs are evenly heated. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until light grill marks appear.
Chocolate Fruit Fondue
A warm fondue dessert provides the perfect finish for chilly nights. Here’s a recipe that is easy and quick to prepare and provides 2-4 servings:
½-cup of nondairy milk (soy, rice, almond or hemp)
8-9 ounces of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
½-teaspoon of chili powder (optional, for a little “kick”)
Graham crackers, fresh fruit chunks for dipping
Heat the milk in a saucepan until it simmers, then reduce the heat and add the chocolate. Slowly stir until the chocolate is fully melted. Add the chili powder and cinnamon and stir until fully combined and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a fondue pot with a low flame and serve with graham crackers, a variety of fruit for dipping.
Butternut Squash Dip
Butternut squash is one of the vegetables that remind many of us of autumn. Pair this dip with pita chips and pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) for a healthy and delicious appetizer. Yields 1 full cup.
1½-cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (approx 1 pound)
1-teaspoon olive oil
½-cup diced onion
1½-teaspoons chopped fresh sage
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Dash of crushed red pepper
¼-cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
2 tablespoons unsalted pumpkinseed kernels, toasted
Place the squash in a medium saucepan; cover with water so that it rises 2 inches above the squash. Bring the water to a boil; cover, reduce the heat, and cook 15 minutes or until tender and then drain.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan and sauté until tender. Add sage, salt, black pepper and red pepper and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes.
Place the drained squash, onion mixture, and sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor and process until smooth. Add a tablespoon or 2 of water if needed to get a smooth consistency. Spoon the mixture into a medium bowl and sprinkle pepitas on top. Serve with pita chips.
About the Author
Vegan chef Audrey Summers loves having her kids join her in the kitchen, and enjoys teaching them safe and healthy habits. Audrey is also a content contributor for cliqstudios.com, a kitchen makeover site featuring hundreds of choices for kitchen cabinets and accessories such as knobs and pulls, and crown molding.