party food

Vegan Fried Cheese Grits

In the south, we eat grits. In the south we also love to fry all kinds of things that were not originally intended to be fried! So cheese grits are no exception to that rule! These grits are crispy on the outside, and cheesy creamy perfection on the inside. We dipped ours in  vegan ranch  but I think they would be super delicious dipped in some marinara sauce as well. They are perfect a tasty snack, party food, or even a creative brunch side! I have not attempted to air fry these treats, but I think it would work just fine if you gave them a spray of oil and cooked them for 10-15 minutes or so on 375 degrees. And if you are one of those people in the sweet grit camp, I urge you to step over to the other side and give these a try. I promise you don’t have to be an absolute convert..just a little open minded..although I will never put sugar on my grits..like, never :)

In the south, we eat grits. In the south we also love to fry all kinds of things that were not originally intended to be fried! So cheese grits are no exception to that rule! These grits are crispy on the outside, and cheesy creamy perfection on the inside. We dipped ours in vegan ranch but I think they would be super delicious dipped in some marinara sauce as well. They are perfect a tasty snack, party food, or even a creative brunch side! I have not attempted to air fry these treats, but I think it would work just fine if you gave them a spray of oil and cooked them for 10-15 minutes or so on 375 degrees. And if you are one of those people in the sweet grit camp, I urge you to step over to the other side and give these a try. I promise you don’t have to be an absolute convert..just a little open minded..although I will never put sugar on my grits..like, never :)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup dry old fashioned grits

  • 2 cups plant milk ( we used almond)

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable Better Than Bouillon

  • 1 cup vegan cheddar shreds, homemade or store bought

  • 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese

  • 2 green onions, finely diced

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs, regular or gluten free (make sure they are vegan, many brands are not)

  • 1/2 cup plant based milk

  • 2 tablespoons vegan plain yogurt or sour cream ( we used kite hill plain yogurt)

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour, or gluten free flour blend

  • oil for frying ( we use grapeseed)

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Bring milk, water, and Better Than Bouillon to a boil in a medium/ large pot over medium heat.

  2. Once the liquid is boiling, add in the grits and stir. Reduce heat to low, and allow the grits to cook and thicken for about 15 minutes Be sure to stir the grits several times to avoid them sticking to the bottom of the pot.

  3. Once grits are done, stir in the cheddar, cream cheese, salt pepper, and green onions.

  4. Spray a 9 inch baking pan with some oil and transfer the grits to the pan. Place pan in the fridge for about 4 hours or until the grits seem firm. You can also do this the day before you want to make these. They will be fine hanging out in the fridge for a day or so.

  5. Once grits are firm, turn the pan over onto a cutting board. You may have to tap the pan on the counter to get the grits out, but if you sprayed the pan well, they should come right out.

  6. Cut the grits into sticks that are about 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches long. They will be a little soft still so just handle them gently to avoid them breaking.

  7. Place flour in a shallow dish. In a separate dish wish the milk with the yogurt. In another dish, add the panko.

  8. Start by dipping the grit sticks first into the flour, next the milk yogurt mixture, and finally into the panko. Repeat with all of the grits sticks.

  9. Heat a large deep skillet with about an inch of oil over medium heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, fry the grits sticks 3 or 4 at a time, turning them with tongs to make sure they get crispy on all sides. They only need a few minutes in the oil to get them nice and crisp. Line a baking sheet with some paper towels and place a cooling rack on top. Place finished grits on the cooling rack while you finish frying the rest.

  10. Serve fried cheese grits with vegan ranch or marinara sauce.

Reheat fried cheese grits in a 350 degree oven until crisp

If you like this recipe, then try these:

Southern Tofu Scallops and Grits

Fried Vegan Mozzarella Bites

Vegan Gorgonzola Fried Brussels Sprouts

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Tofu Banh Mi Rice Cups

Tofu Banh Mi sandwiches are on constant rotation in our house. Everyone loves them, even the kids. What’s not to love about perfectly seasoned tofu, crispy  pickled veggies,  and spicy Sriracha mayo. In a recent effort to change things up , I decided to pile up tofu Banh Mi filling into these easy little rice cups. These are perfect if you are gluten free, looking to change up your favorite sandwich, or to serve at your next get together. These light and fresh tofu Bahn Mi rice cups work work great for meal prep because they keep well in the fridge for several days. Who knows, you may end up loving these as much as we do, and may find yourself making them more often than a Bahn Mi sandwich!

Tofu Banh Mi sandwiches are on constant rotation in our house. Everyone loves them, even the kids. What’s not to love about perfectly seasoned tofu, crispy pickled veggies, and spicy Sriracha mayo. In a recent effort to change things up , I decided to pile up tofu Banh Mi filling into these easy little rice cups. These are perfect if you are gluten free, looking to change up your favorite sandwich, or to serve at your next get together. These light and fresh tofu Bahn Mi rice cups work work great for meal prep because they keep well in the fridge for several days. Who knows, you may end up loving these as much as we do, and may find yourself making them more often than a Bahn Mi sandwich!

INGREDIENTS:

You will need a muffin tin for this recipe. This recipe yields around 2 dozen cups. You can easily half the recipe for less cups.

  • 3 cups sushi rice (follow package cooking instructions)

  • 1 package extra firm tofu

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos

  • 2 teaspoons sriracha

  • juice from 1 lime

  • 3/4 cups quick pickled veggies

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Sriracha Mayo:

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo

  • 2 tablespoon Sriracha

  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions. I use my rice cooker and use 3 actual cups of rice, not the scoop that comes with the rice cooker, and fill the water to the 4 cup line. Again you can half this amount if making less cups. Allow the rice to cool. It’s gonna be kind of sticky and thats what you need. Once the rice has cooled enough to handle, scoop about 1/4 cup of rice into each muffin cup and press the rice to form the shape of the cup. I keep a cup of water on the counter to dip my fingers in. If your hands are wet it will be easier to press the rice down. You will get around 24 cups, give or take. Pop the muffin tin in the fridge and for 30 minutes.

  2. Drain tofu and wrap it in either a clean kitchen towel or a few paper towels. Place a few books on top to allow the excess liquid to press out for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Cut the tofu into 1/4 inch cubes. Whisk together soy sauce, Sriracha, and lime juice in a shallow dish and add the tofu. Allow it to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Heat a large skillet with a little oil over medium heat. Add the the tofu along with the marinade to the pan. Let the tofu cook until all of the liquid has absorbed and the tofu has began to get a little crisp and brown around the edges.

  5. Whisk the mayo, Sriracha, and lime juice together in a small bowl. If you like it spicy, add a little more Sriracha!

  6. Carefully remove the rice cups from the muffin tin. They should just peel out. Divide the tofu among the cups, and top with some pickled veggies and chopped cilantro. Add a little of the Sriracha Mayo to each cup to serve.

  7. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for serval days.

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Bitesize Vegan Taco Dip Cups

I love party food, and I love to host parties!!! 7 layer taco dip being one of my favorite party foods. I mean it’s a bowl full of all the the most delicious taco-y things all stacked up together! What is not to love there? Recently I found these adorable little street taco tortillas and my oldest daughter suggested we use them to make little taco dip cups. I am so proud of our genius offspring and their brilliant ideas!! We have raised them well!! So as she requested, we made these bitesize vegan taco dip cups! Not only are they super tasty, they are so super cute…I mean if a food can be cute, then I am standing by these being the cutest! Make them for a snack, make them for a party, make them because eating tiny food is normally more fun to eat! I made them for lunch and our family plowed through them! But I am still rooting for another party in the near future to show off these adorable little bites.

I love party food, and I love to host parties!!! 7 layer taco dip being one of my favorite party foods. I mean it’s a bowl full of all the the most delicious taco-y things all stacked up together! What is not to love there? Recently I found these adorable little street taco tortillas and my oldest daughter suggested we use them to make little taco dip cups. I am so proud of our genius offspring and their brilliant ideas!! We have raised them well!! So as she requested, we made these bitesize vegan taco dip cups! Not only are they super tasty, they are so super cute…I mean if a food can be cute, then I am standing by these being the cutest! Make them for a snack, make them for a party, make them because eating tiny food is normally more fun to eat! I made them for lunch and our family plowed through them! But I am still rooting for another party in the near future to show off these adorable little bites.

INGREDIENTS:

*You will need a muffin tin for this recipe.

  • 24 (1 package) corn street taco tortillas

  • 1 can refried beans

  • 1/3 cup vegan cream cheese

  • 1/4 cup vegan cheddar shreds (homemade or store bought)

  • 2 avocados

  • 1 lime

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder, divided

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, divided

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Handful of chopped lettuce

  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper

  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup diced red onion

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • optional: hot sauce

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INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat over to 350 degrees

  1. Spray the inside of a cupcake tin lightly with some cooking oil. Take a tortilla and press it into the muffin tin so that it forms to the shape of the cup. You will have to overlap it some to make it fit. Corn tortillas tend to tear when you are trying to press them into the pan.No big deal, just overlap at the tear if that happens. Repeat with remaining tortillas. If you only have a 12 cup muffin tin, then you will have to do this in batches.

  2. Place the pan in the preheated oven and allow the tortillas to bake for 10-15 minutes. Just make sure they are crisp around the edges and down the sides before removing from the oven. Once they are done remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Mix cream cheese and cheddar shreds together with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder. Set aside.

  4. For the guacamole, remove avocado from peels and add them to a medium size bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork until they are relatively smooth. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, juice from the lime, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and set aside.

  5. Remove the tortillas from the muffin tin and place them on a platter.

  6. Begin layering each tortilla by first adding a few teaspoons of refried beans, then the cheese mixture, lettuce, tomato, onions, peppers, and guacamole. Top each on with a sprinkle of cilantro and a drop of hot sauce if you like a spicy kick!

If you like this recipe, try these!

Grilled Watermelon Tofu Tacos

Alabama White Sauce Tempeh Tacos

Vegan Beer Battered Fish Tacos

Vegan Gorgonzola and Balsamic Glazed Chips

As much as I love french fires, my love for loaded chips is probably just as equal. Lets be real, offer me a fried potato of any kind and I will eat it. That being said, this recipe is my all time favorite chip recipe. A local restaurant we used to frequent served a non vegan version of these chips, and I was obsessed. It took me a while to get a convincing vegan gorgonzola sauce, but once I did, it was game on. These chips are salty, tangy, sweet, and perfect. You can top them with chives, but we like to chop up cilantro stems and sprinkle on top for a bright, fresh contrast! I promise you, these will be one of your new favorite chips, too!

As much as I love french fires, my love for loaded chips is probably just as equal. Lets be real, offer me a fried potato of any kind and I will eat it. That being said, this recipe is my all time favorite chip recipe. A local restaurant we used to frequent served a non vegan version of these chips, and I was obsessed. It took me a while to get a convincing vegan gorgonzola sauce, but once I did, it was game on. These chips are salty, tangy, sweet, and perfect. You can top them with chives, but we like to chop up cilantro stems and sprinkle on top for a bright, fresh contrast! I promise you, these will be one of your new favorite chips, too!

Ingredients:

  • 4 - 6 russet potatoes

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 - 2 tablespoons agave

  • oil for frying (air fryer instructions also given)

  • optional: chives or chopped cilantro for garnish

Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

  • 1/2 cups cashews

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 2 tablespoons tapioca or corn starch

  • juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon light miso paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup plant based milk

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter

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Instructions:

  1. Wash Potatoes but do not peel. Using a kitchen mandoline, slice the potatoes on the thinnest setting. You can also use your food processor with the slice attachment, or use the side of box grater that has one horizontal blade. Whatever you use, you want a super thin slice.

  2. IF USING AN AIR FRYER: Toss the potatoes in a teaspoon of oil and a few shakes of some salt, then add them in batches to your basket. Cook on 360 degrees for 15 minutes. Half way through cooking, move the chips around in the basket; they like to stick together so you may have to peel some apart. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until all of the slices are crisp like a chip.

  3. IF PAN FRYING: Fill a large skillet with a few inches of your preferred oil for frying. Heat the pan on medium heat until the oil is sizzling. Begin adding chips in batches and allow to cook for several minutes until they are browning and crisp. Place finished chips on a wire cooling rack that you have placed on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Lightly salt the chips.

  4. Add balsamic and agave to small sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. You can start with 1 tablespoon of agave and if the glaze is not sweet enough for you, add more. It will thicken some as it sits, so if it is too thick and sticky when you are ready to use it, add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar back in and whisk.

  5. To prepare the cheese sauce, drain the cashews and add them along with remaining cheese sauce ingredients, minus the milk and butter, to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend on high until mixture is completely smooth.

  6. Transfer mixture to a sauce pan and heat on med/low heat. Whisk the sauce as it is cooking. Once the sauce begins to thicken, add in the milk and butter, and cook for one more minute. If the sauce gets too thick, you can always add a little more milk to thin it out.

  7. To serve, pile chips on a plate. Drizzle with cheese sauce, balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with diced chives or cilantro.

serves 4-6

Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Growing up, spinach and artichoke dip was my favorite dip, especially if it was served in a bread bowl! Luckily this classic dip is super easy to veganinze, and once again you will likely fool just about anyone who tries it into thinking its not vegan at all. You can serve this dip in a bread bowl, or with a side of bread and veggies for dipping. No matter how you serve it, I promise you are gonna love it!

Growing up, spinach and artichoke dip was my favorite dip, especially if it was served in a bread bowl! Luckily this classic dip is super easy to veganinze, and once again you will likely fool just about anyone who tries it into thinking its not vegan at all. You can serve this dip in a bread bowl, or with a side of bread and veggies for dipping. No matter how you serve it, I promise you are gonna love it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 container of plain vegan cream cheese

  • 2 14 oz cans of artichoke hearts

  • 9 oz container of fresh baby spinach

  • 1 small/medium yellow onion

  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo

  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic

  • juice from 1 lemon

  • 2 teaspoons all purpose seasoning ( I use Trader Joes 21 season salute)

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • OPTIONAL, 1 round loaf of vegan bread to use as a bread bowl

Instructions:

  1. Drain the artichoke hearts and chop them up a bit.

  2. Dice the onion and sauté in a medium pan with a teaspoon of oil until it becomes soft, and translucent.

  3. Place the spinach in a large microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 2-3 minutes, just long enough for the spinach wilt. Allow the spinach to cool, and place in a clean kitchen towel. Wring out the spinach in the towel to remove as much liquid as you can. Remove spinach form the towel, and chop it up a bit.

  4. In a large bowl combine spinach, artichokes, onion, and remaining ingredients. Stir well.

  5. Transfer mixture to a medium sized casserole dish, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. You just want it to get nice, and bubbly hot.

  6. If you are serving the dip in a bread bowl, but the center out of the bread make a bowl for the dip. Save the scrap bread for dipping. Transfer dip to the bread bowl and serve with extra cut up bread, crackers, or veggies. Otherwise, serve in the dish you baked it in with bread, cracker, or veggies for dipping.

Vegan Buffalo "Chicken" Dip

Every time I make this buffalo “chicken” dip for a party, there is not a single bite left. Non vegans can not believe this dip is actually vegan and aways marvel at how well the jackfruit mimics the texture of chicken. This classic dip is spicy, cheesy, gooey, and always a crowd pleaser. I also like to whip up a batch of this tasty dip for sandwiches or for my  Vegan Buffalo “chicken” bites !

Every time I make this buffalo “chicken” dip for a party, there is not a single bite left. Non vegans can not believe this dip is actually vegan and aways marvel at how well the jackfruit mimics the texture of chicken. This classic dip is spicy, cheesy, gooey, and always a crowd pleaser. I also like to whip up a batch of this tasty dip for sandwiches or for my Vegan Buffalo “chicken” bites!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can jackfruit in brine

  • 1 8oz container vegan cream cheese

  • 3/4 cups of buffalo sauce (I use Franks)

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 tablespoons corn or tapioca starch

  • 1 plus 1/2 cups vegan cheddar shreds (like Follow Your Heart)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Drain jack fruit and chop the pieces, or shred them using you fingers into a medium sized bowl. The fruit pulls apart easily, and I find using my fingers easier than chopping.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except 1/2 cup of cheese, to the bowl and mix well.

  3. Transfer mixture to a small baking dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

  4. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until cheese on top is melty.

  5. Serve with bread, crackers, carrots, or celery sticks.