Vegan Munchies

All the recipes below are easy to make and appropriate to serve either during a quiet family evening at home or for special guests.

Mixed Veggie Platter

Select your favorite raw vegetables - such as carrot or celery sticks, cucumber slices, red or green bell pepper strips, or cherry tomatoes - and chill them well. Just before serving, arrange them on a serving platter. Crisp, well-chilled fresh veggies don't really need a dip unless you especially want one. In case you do, here are some suggestions:

Simple Bean and Tomato Dip

(Makes approximately 3 cups or twenty-four 2-Tablespoon servings)

Serve this dip with tortilla chips or other chips of choice. This recipe also makes a terrific side for burritos, tacos, or a simple rice dish.

  • One 1-pound can vegan refried beans
  • One 10-ounce can mild diced tomatoes with green chilies, not drained
  • A few drops of hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Texas Pete), to taste

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, blend together the refried beans and the tomatoes with chilies. Stir in the hot sauce a little at a time, tasting as you go, until you reach the degree of heat you want.

Total calories per serving: 28 Fat: < 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 6 grams Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 100 milligrams Fiber: 2 grams

Pizza Dip

(Makes approximately 1½ cups or twelve 2-Tablespoon servings)

Serve this dip with raw vegetables of choice or with pita bread cut into 1-inch strips and toasted.

  • ¾ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • Dash garlic powder
  • ¼ cup grated vegan Parmesan-style 'cheese'

Put all ingredients, in the order listed, into a small mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Cover and chill well before serving.

Total calories per serving: 48 Fat: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 2 grams Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 188 milligrams Fiber: < 1 gram

Chili Dip

(Makes 1 cup or eight 2-Tablespoon servings)

Serve this dip with raw vegetables, such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, or red or green bell pepper strips. Itís also excellent with crisp, lowfat corn chips.

  • 1 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together well and chill.

Total calories per serving: 85 Fat: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 9 grams Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 160 milligrams Fiber: < 1 gram

Smokey Hummus

(Makes approximately 1½ cups or twelve 2-Tablespoon servings)

Serve as a dip or spread on crisp crackers. Also, try a dollop on crisp greens. In addition, it tucks well into pita pockets.

  • One 6-ounce package hummus mix (such as Fantastic or Casbah)
  • Dash ground red chipotle
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke

Blend the hummus mix and the ground red chipotle together in a one-quart mixing bowl. Whisk in the water and liquid smoke until mixture is thickened and smooth. Chill thoroughly.

Note: Liquid smoke is available at many grocery stores, usually in the condiment section near the ketchups and barbecue sauces.

Total calories per serving: 60 Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 200 milligrams Fiber: 7 grams

Hummus with Dill, Mustard, and Garlic

(Makes approximately 1½ cups or twelve 2-Tablespoon servings)

Serve with warm pita triangles, spread on rice cakes, or offer as a dip with chips or raw vegetables. Also makes an excellent sandwich filling.

  • One 6-ounce package hummus mix
  • 1½ teaspoons dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cups water

In a 1-quart mixing bowl, blend together the dry ingredients. Add the water and mix with a fork or a wire whisk until smooth (no lumps remain). Cover and chill thoroughly before serving.

Total calories per serving: 60 Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 200 milligrams Fiber: 7 grams

Pecans Roasted with Tamari and Garlic

(Makes approximately 4 cups pecans or thirty-two 1/8-cup servings)

These are excellent to munch on as they are, but they are also terrific scattered on a tossed salad.

  • 4 cups pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup soy tamari

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the pecans in a 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan. Sprinkle with the garlic powder and pour in the tamari. Stir gently until pecans are well-coated. Shake pan gently to distribute pecans evenly.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and shake to distribute evenly again. Bake for another 5 minutes and repeat stirring and shaking. Return to oven for another 5 minutes and again shake pan to redistribute nuts evenly. Bake for 5 more minutes and repeat stirring and shaking. Return again to oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven again, stir again, and set pan on a wire rack to cool.

Total calories per serving: 87 Fat: 9 grams
Carbohydrates: 2 grams Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 126 milligrams Fiber: 1 gram

Seasoned Roasted Sunflower Seeds

(Makes 2 cups or eight ¼-cup servings)

These roasted seeds are excellent to have as a snack or to sprinkle over salads in place of croutons.

  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Generous dash cayenne

Put all ingredients into a 10-inch skillet. Pan roast, stirring often, over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes or until seeds are dry and golden. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Total calories per serving: 207 Fat: 18 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams Protein: 8 grams
Sodium: 227 milligrams Fiber: 4 grams