Savory Garlic Ginger Wontons – $4.83 recipe/ $0.14 per wonton

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It’s party season, and that means I’m spending a lot of time dreaming up perfect appetizers that suit a vegan diet and an omnivore palate alike. These creamy wontons totally hit the spot, the recipe makes 35 wontons and can be served with a variety of sauces- I used teriyaki, but you could also serve them with duck sauce, chili oil, or soy sauce. Folding the wontons can be a little tricky at first, but don’t despair- I account for that with the ingredients list (since I usually destroy a couple wontons during the folding process). The filling is super easy to make and could even be made ahead of time and then used -it’s just potatoes, carrot, and spices!

Ingredients – Makes 35 wontons

3 Idaho potatoes ($0.40)

1 carrot ($0.37)

5 cloves garlic ($0.25)

1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger ($0.64)

1 package wonton wrappers ($2.99) – Read the label, some brands have egg in them- Asian brands are often vegan

1/2 tbsp. cumin ($0.05)

1/2 tbsp. madras curry ($0.03) – You may substitute with the curry powder of your choice.

1 tsp. salt ($0.01)

1 tsp. paprika ($0.05)

1 tsp. oregano ($0.03)

1 pinch cayenne pepper ($0.01)

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1. Peel and chop your carrots and potatoes. Peel your garlic and grate ginger (set aside). 

2. Toss potatoes, carrots, and garlic into a pot of boiling water- cook over high heat for 25 minutes. Once veggies are tender, strain and rinse in cold water. 

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3. Return carrots and potatoes to your original pot, use an immersion blender to fully combine your ingredients. Add in all of your spices and fresh ginger now too. The consistency will be very thick- the starch in the potato acts as a thickening agent, which is why this recipe is so simple. You may want to let this mixture cool a bit before making your wontons. 

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4. The most common mistake when you’re making your wontons is overfilling them- so start with less filling than you might think. You will also want to have a small side bowl filled with water. First drop a dallop of the filling in the center of the dough, now wet your fingers and run them along each edge (this makes the dough stick to itself).

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5. First fold the dough into a triangle. Now take the two corners that are along the flat side of the triangle and press them together. You made need to put a bit more water on your fingers, I also folded the end over twice, which you can see in the photo if you look closely. 

6. Now steam your wontons for 15-20 minutes, these are just as delicious room temperature as they are piping hot- so feel free to make these ahead of time. 

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I added scallions and teriyaki sauce for garnish, but the basic flavor of the wontons is so savory and warm that you could pair these with lots of different sauces- I think peanut sauce would be especially delicious.

Creamy Jalapeño Potato Skins- $2.75 Recipe/ $0.17 Serving

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These are so, so, SO good. They wouldn’t be out of place at a Superbowl or new years party, but they’re also easy enough to whip up on a random weeknight if you have the craving for some finger food.

Ingredients

8 small Idaho potatoes ($1.11)

2 jalapeños ($0.36)

1 tbsp. non-dairy butter ($0.15)

1/2 tsp. onion powder ($0.03)

1 tsp. chili powder ($0.05)

1 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro ($0.05)

4 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise ($0.52)

4 tbsp. mustard ($0.40)

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Wash and pierce your potatoes. Bake in the oven on a non-stick surface for about 40-50 minutes.

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3. Let potatoes cool for a few minutes and then halve them and scoop out the flesh.

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4. Combine the potato mixture with mayonnaise, jalapeno, mustard, non-dairy butter, and all herbs except the fresh cilantro. Mix very well by hand.

5. Refill your potato halves with your well combined mixture, and bake the filled skins for an additional 10-15 minutes, just so that they get a nice golden brown.

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Garnish with cilantro and serve!

Roasted Pepper Spread- $5.26 recipe/ $0.29 serving

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I love this creamy roasted vegetable spread, it’s with rich herbs and pecans. This recipe is ideal for a party because the spread can be made hours or even a day earlier. Once you’re ready to serve, just spread it on bread and bake for about 15 minutes. It’s well balanced and savory.

Ingredients

3 orange bell peppers ($3.26)

5 garlic cloves ($0.15)

3 white mushroom caps ($0.20)

2/3 cup pecans ($0.65)

1 tsp. chopped fresh basil ($0.05)

1/2 tsp. lemon juice ($0.03)

1/2 tsp. cumin ($0.03)

1/2 tsp oregano ($0.03)

1 tbsp. tahini ($0.15)

2 tsp. crushed red pepper ($0.06)

1/2 cup nutritional yeast ($0.50)

2 tbsp. olive oil ($0.15)

1. Preheat oven to 400. 

2. Roughly chop mushrooms and peppers. In a small bowl combine with pecans and garlic. Coat in olive oil and put in a small casserole pan. Bake for 30 minutes. 

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3. Once your peppers are done baking, let them cool. Once the peppers are no longer steaming, put in the food processor and puree. Add in herbs, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tahini, and red pepper flakes. Once fully blended, refrigerate for at least one hour. 

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4. When you’re ready to serve, just spread vegetable mixture on good French or Italian bread. Heat in the oven on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees. 

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Enjoy! This recipe makes at least 18 slices, I still had some left over after using a whole loaf of Italian bread.

BBQ Breaded Portobello Bites- $4.36 recipe/$0.24 serving

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This is vegan junk food at its finest. We polished these off finger food style without even adding a side dish. You could easily serve these as an appetizer or an entree with a couple of sides. They’re addicting because of the combination of crunch, tender mushroom, and sweet BBQ sauce.

Ingredients

2 portobello mushrooms ($2.99)

1 cup plain breadcrumbs ($0.35)

(For the marinade)

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar ($0.20)

3 tbsp. ketchup ($0.30)

2 tbsp. bbq sauce (store bought or your own) ($0.30)

1 tsp. worcestershire sauce (FYI- not all brands are vegan, but many are) ($0.10)

1 tsp. mollases ($0.12)

1. Preheat oven to 400. 

2. Stem and thickly slice portobello caps. 

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3. Now you’ll prepare your marinade. Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, ketchup, mollases, worcestershire, and bbq sauce in a small mixing bowl.

4. Bathe the mushrooms slices in the sauce and drop each one into your plastic bag. Pour any remaining sauce into the bag with the mushrooms, zip it closed and place it in the fridge. 

5. While the mushrooms are marinating, cover a baking sheet in parchment paper. Also get a small bowl (I used a soup bowl) and fill it with breadcrumbs. 

6. Evenly coat each mushroom slice in breadcrumbs. This part got a bit messy for me because I just used my fingers, but it’s worth it! Line them on the baking sheet, they can be quite close to one another as long as they aren’t actually touching. 

7. Bake for 20 minutes. 

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8. Let cool for a couple of minutes and then plate or just eat! I served mine with extra bbq sauce because I love dipping sauces. 

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I made them look classy for this finished picture, but we finished them all in one sitting while standing in the middle of the kitchen.