It’s that time of year, folks. Stores are bustling with customers searching for the perfect gifts for their loved ones and holiday parties are in full swing!
For this post, we decided to feature healthy party friendly foods that will impress your guests without keeping you in the kitchen all day! This post features Dr. Joe Esposito’s recipe for vegan potato pancakes as well as vegan buffalo bean dip, chicken skewers with a chimichurri sauce, and a sweet treat of vegan kolacky cookies!
Dr. Joe’s Potato Pancakes
These pancakes turned out to be a little on the thick side BUT they were delicious and VERY easy to make!
Just look at those beauties resting before being placed in the pan to cook! The addition of the scallions adds a subtle hint of onion, along with a pretty pop of green!
One of the best things about these pancakes is that they hold up VERY well and don’t fall apart when moved. They make a wonderful finger food, which is good news for both the guests and the host! Fewer dishes!
Here is the recipe for Dr. Joe’s Potato Pancakes:
3 potatoes, cleaned and shredded
2 cups cooked brown rice
3 Tbsp. scallions, minced
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup brown rice flour
Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. With a large spoon or by hand, scoop out approximately 1/2 cup of the mix at a time. Shape the mix into 3”diameter pancakes. Continue until batter is finished. In a heated, non-stick skillet, over medium-low heat, place as many cakes as possible. Make sure all cakes are flat in the pan. Cook 25 minutes. Check to be sure they are not burning. Turn and cook an additional 25 minutes. Remove from pan, and start another batch. Reserve prepared cakes in warm oven.
Short Cut Preparation: Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Transfer to a 9”x 13”baking dish, and cook covered in 375° oven for 45 minutes, and cut into squares and serve plain or with vegetarian sour cream and/or apple sauce.
This recipe for the potato pancakes can be found in his book: “Eating Right…For the Health of It!”
Now bring on the meat!
Chicken Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce
Skewers are a great option for party food! This chicken had a slight kick and went amazingly well with the fresh chimichurri sauce. A quick marinade left this chicken moist and FULL of flavor!
Sharon used organic breast meat for the skewers and let them marinate in Greek yogurt, chili powder, salt, pepper, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and a hint of mint. After marinating she placed it in a hot frying pan with a bit of olive oil and sauteed the chicken until completely cooked.
As for the chimichurri sauce, the recipe can be found here.
We took a sneak peek from the blender lid before everything was combined. Looking delicious already!
We left our chimichurri sauce on the chunky side, which is why it appears white and not green like traditional chimichurri sauce. The cool chunks of onion and garlic add a wonderful crunch to the warm pieces of chicken.
Skewers make for great party food! Guests can just grab it and go. The sauce can be placed on top of the meat, or used for dipping!
Speaking of dipping….
how about some vegan buffalo bean dip!
As huge fans of buffalo chicken dip, we wanted to find a vegan alternative!
We used this recipe, but used an extra can of white beans in place of the cashews.
Here it is before being placed in the oven:
All vegan ingredients were used for this dip, including the cheese! This dip is also unbelievably easy to make. Everything is mixed and blended in a food processor! After pouring the mixture into a bowl, mix the cheese in the dip and place some on top and bake! This dip would also be delicious if you wanted to use real cheese in place of the vegan cheese.
Frank’s Red Hot is used for the buffalo flavor which goes along well with the beans! Nutritional yeast was used for additional cheese flavor.
This dip was a hit!
And now for the sweet stuff!
Vegan Kolacky Cookies
Kolacky are cookies that include jam or pie filling wrapped in a buttery dough. The dough is simple to make as it only has three ingredients: flour, butter and cream cheese. These kolacky were made using vegan butter and vegan cream cheese. The filling provides these cookies with sweetness, as there is no sugar added to the dough.
Fair warning….these are ADDICTIVE.
We chose to use black cherry and pear preserves to fill the kolacky.
These cookies are super fun to make. A rolling pin comes in handy with this dough to roll it out in out an even layer for cutting.
Here are the cookies before going into the oven:
Just look at that jam!
Do be careful not to overfill like we did. It didn’t cause any problems, but it makes them a little messier. Any flavor of jam or pie filling will work for this! You can also fold the dough into squares over the jam OR make thumbprint cookies and place the jam in the middle!
You can find the recipe for vegan kolacky here.
We found it difficult to resist a taste of these as soon as they came out of the oven! They are light and full of flavor despite having so few ingredients!
All together, we have some awesome options for party foods! Each of these were quick, easy, and DELICIOUS!
Forgive the poor lighting. We were enjoying the sunlight of a beautiful Saturday.
For the month of December, Dr. Joe Esposito’s book “Eating Right….For The Health Of It” is on sale for $10! Within its pages you can find many vegan recipes and healthy eating tips! To order, go to drjoeesposito.com where you’ll also find information if you’re interested in becoming a patient for nutrition or chiropractic care. You can also find links to Dr.Joe’s radio show!