Although I don't often throw parties, I dream about what I would serve at them. I can imagine whipping up a few batches of these Chipotle Veggie Bites and serving them at a "Welcome, Spring!" party--alongside homemade pita bread and a refreshing cocktail (maybe something with muddled ginger?). In reality, my husband and I will be enjoying these mini veggie cakes as part of our low-key weeknight dinner--but who says a Thursday night meal can't be a little gourmet? These gluten-free, vegan appetizers don't take terribly long to make, and although the process is a bit messy, they're totally worth it. You can sub out which veggies you use, but I like the colorful combination of red bell pepper, zucchini, and carrot. As I mention below, you can use your choice of gluten-free flour, but I recommend avoiding garbanzo bean flour, simply because its distinct taste may overpower the delicate blend of the vegetables. If you do serve these as apps, make sure to provide forks or plenty of napkins since these do leave oil on your fingers. If you're serving these as part of a light entrée, they would be perfect on top of a bed of mixed greens.
YIELDS10 Veggie Cakes
- 1 zucchini, grated
- 2 leeks, white parts finely chopped (green stalks discarded or saved as garnish)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used almond meal)
- salt to taste
- lemon zest (optional)
1. Grate zucchini, and place gratings on a towel. Sprinkle with salt, and roll the towel up. Allow the towel to sit for 5 minutes then squeeze out excess moisture. 2. While your zucchini is sitting in the towel, you can make the cashew cream sauce. Blend cashews, vegetable broth (or water), lemon juice, and tamari until ultra creamy. Set aside. 3. Place the zucchini gratings in a large bowl with carrots, red bell pepper, leeks, spices, mustard, flaxseed, and gluten-free flour. Add 1/3 cup cashew cream, and mix thoroughly. 4. Add coconut oil to a skillet set at medium heat. Create 10 2" patties with your veggie batter and place in the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes. Carefully turn each pattie over and cook for another 3 minutes. 5. When the outside of the patties reach a golden hue, remove them from the heat. Serve each veggie bite with a dollop of the remaining cashew cream, and top with lemon zest. Enjoy!
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell