Options for: Vegan | Dairy-Free | Gluten-Free
by Jenna Garcia
In the weeks leading up to New Years, I am sharing some of my favorite holiday recipes focusing on specific dietary constraints. If you adhere to a vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free diet (or even if you are just a health-conscious eater), you know that traditional holiday cuisine is full of heavy, unhealthy ingredients. A quick search of holiday recipes online brings up lots of recipes reliant on butter, cream, cheese, meats and glutinous carbs. Of course, there may be room for some of these items in your diet (“everything in moderation,” right?) but even so, we have to conscientious about how and when we indulge.
Last week, I shared three recipes for holiday shortbread, all of which can be adapted to be gluten-free and/or dairy-free. This week I am pleased to share my recipe for a Holiday Appetizer Board.
Appetizer Boards (a modern version of charcuteries) are fast becoming popular with home cooks and foodies alike, and for good reason, they’re essentially all the appetizers you love put together on one platter or board. Traditionally charcuterie includes cheeses, cured meats, breads and crackers, and perhaps some olives or other antipasto. In addition to these, modern appetizer boards also include fresh fruits, vegetables, tapenade, jams, and almost anything you can think of!
The best part of appetizer boards is that they are totally customizable and easy to assemble. You can include a variety of different options for all different eaters. They are wonderful to bring to parties and help ensure that there will be something for everyone to eat.
For my [vegan/gluten-free] appetizer board, I found many of my ingredients at Trader Joe’s. The fruits and vegetables came from a local farm and the only specialty item that I purchased from Whole Foods was a cultured nut cheese. Miyoko’s Creamery is based out of Marin County in California and makes vegan cultured nut cheeses and other products. This is certainly not a requirement for this appetizer board, although it does add a classy flair.
Below I’ll share the ingredients I used and suggest how to arrange a beautiful, instagrammable, vegan appetizer board. Feel free to use a larger platter or board and stuff full of all your favorite snacks. Bon appétit!
Holiday Appetizer Board
- Non-dairy cheese, dips and jams
- I used TJ’s Beet Hummus and Miyoko’s Creamery Double Cream Garlic Herb nut cheese.
- Olives and/or other marinated vegetables
- I used TJ’s Tuscan Antipasto (which contains mixed olives, artichokes and sundried tomatoes).
- Crackers and breads
- I used TJ’s Original Savory Thin Crackers (which are rice crackers) and TJ’s Vegetable Root Chips. (I also purchased Rosemary Italian Style Crackers, which are pictured in the ingredients photo above. I did not use these in the final product since they are not gluten-free.)
- Nuts and dried fruits
- I used TJ’s Marcona Almonds with Rosemary.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- I used organic farm-fresh carrots, celery, pomegranates, tangerines and persimmons along with TJ’s Mini Pearl Grape Tomatoes.
- Using a large platter or board, start building your structure, which includes cheese and anything that needs to be kept in bowl. I set out the nut cheese directly on the platter and put the hummus and antipasto in bowls with spacing between each.
- Next, add the crackers and breads. I made a squiggly line of crackers around the cheese and between the hummus and olives and added a large handful of chips in a corner.
- Start to fill in the left-over spaces with the nuts, dried fruits, fresh fruits and vegetables. Do not worry about being too precise in your placement of everything. The goal is to use up most of the space and to have a balance of color and texture throughout the platter.
Helpful tip: It’s a good idea to place items next to each other that would taste good together. For example, I placed the pomegranate seeds next to the cheese, which ended up being a delicious pairing.
Did you give this recipe a try? Any other recipes you would like to share with us at Foodie by Trende? Join the conversation on Facebook!