Monday, October 8, 2007

Appetizers Take One

I signed on as the only vegetarian/vegan caterer for a children's benefit on October 20th. The event will feature 10 local chefs all serving at least 2 appetizers for 250 guests. That's 500 appetizers folks! So I put my thinking cap on trying to think of the easiest, tastiest and most eye appealing appetizers and I am seriously coming up blank. I have mastered the art of making something taste great, but my presentation has left something to be desired.

Before I turned to the ppk, I tried a few things out myself. But, alas, the ppk'ers have given me such great inspiration, that I think these two may fall of the list and I will try some of their ideas out this week.

What would you make? I wanted to make one sweet and one savory, and for the sweet I was thinking of a mini one bite lemon cupcake with lemon creem cheeze frosting topped with lemon zest and a rasberry...but someone said that cupcakes don't count as appetizers. So now what?

These are two of the ideas I came up with:

This is a mushroom and garlic rissotto atop a garlic, herb and cheeze cracker (I used this recipe, and added garlic and dill.) garnished with a fresh basil leaf.

This is a fire roasted red pepper and garlic creem cheeze sauce on a small bed of alfalpha sprouts atop the same cracker, also garnished with a fresh basil leaf.


  1. Wow, that's a lot of appetizers! That's awesome though, vegans need to be represented!

    I liked the cupckae idea too ;-) But those look good....

  2. No fake cheeze products-- just because you're the vegan caterer means that you have to fall into the pit of using fake dairy products. I vote for the mushroom and garlic risotto although the presentation needs to be vamped up with some more color. Small diced pieces of red and yellow peppers perhaps? And for the sweets, something lemon might be the right direction, even if it's not a cupcake.

  3. Fair fake dairy. I can live with that.

    I was tinkering with phyllo cups instead of the crackers (the only cheeze in the crackers in nutritional yeast.) I was also toying with the idea of a creamy type couscous mixture.

  4. Joni.. i love your recipes and these look amazing and im sure they are super yum (can i have one right now, please?) BUT my 2 cents are they on the non-vegan visual appeal scale, these will screen as "healthy" or "ew". i know it sounds harsh, but i think you should try to go with something less on the green/brown scale and something more colorful. how about stuffed mini peppers? or sundried tomato something? or stuffed mushrooms? everyone loves mushrooms!

  5. demian...your too cute. i know these are ugly. that's for sure. that's why i asked all of you, my dear internet friends, to help!

    SOOOO...thanks for your brutal, yet welcomed, honesty.

  6. I like the phyllo idea from the PPK, the cups made in mini muffin trays would be great! Also, the mushroom risotto looks better than the cream cheeze sauce, less runny looking, more visually appealing.
    I still think the mini cupcakes are a good idea. People LOVE cupcakes & treats & lemon is refreshing. It'll be a great way to show people dairy free desserts are delicious!

  7. I think it would be cool if you could make the cream cheeze one thicker and them pipe it on with a big star pastry tip. The phylo cups sound like a great idea. You could always browse through some non-veg appetizer books and see what you might be able to easily veganize. If the books had photos that might give you some ideas for presentation.

  8. What about tiny lemon tarts instead of cupcakes? It seems like it would be too hard to whip up a giant batch of tart filling, considering you'll have to make such a large quantity. You could even pair it up and do a savory tart, too.

  9. I'm throwing in another vote for a sweet item like mini cupcakes or tarts. Cupcakes are suitable for any occasion and anyone who disagrees is clearly insane. ;)

  10. I think miniature cupcakes totally count as appetizer!

  11. thanks guys, for all of your input. tonight i am going to make phyllo cups, and fill them with a variety of stuffs...I'll post 'em and you can let me know what you think!


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All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, or remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni