Four party approved finger foods


Grace Vance

Today I introduce to you my latest party inspired snacks, as well as easy tips for your celebration’s menu. These are great last-minute additions for a family gathering, a simple get-together or even a snack for yourself.
Since the portions of these recipes depend on how big a crowd you are serving, simply adjust the amount of the ingredients you use. With all the amazing summer produce still at your disposal like tomatoes, zucchini and cucumber, these finger foods will bring you back to the days lounging in the sun even with school starting back up and the colder weather settling in. You can also make some of these recipes with fall additions like pumpkin and apples. Let’s get into it!
party-approved-green          1) Cucumber-Tempeh Rolls
My first recipe brings refreshing cucumber and hearty tempeh together. As most of my following recipes are, the ingredients are very simple but the flavor and ease of preparation does not disappoint!
½ a medium cucumber, thinly sliced
¼ 8 oz package of tempeh, sliced into medium thickness. Cut slices in half. (Use any variety, I used Lightlife brand.)
¼ tsp paprika
black pepper (to taste)
pinch cayenne (to taste, omit if you don’t want a spicy wrap)
Tools needed: toothpicks
*If you are looking for a more lively tempeh flavor, you can make tempeh bacon by heating your tempeh slices in a pan over medium heat and sprinkling garlic powder, smoked paprika, mesquite powder and liquid smoke on them. Alternately, you could also make the tempeh with the spices in the oven at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until desired crispness.

  1. Prep your cucumber and tempeh.
  2. Lay your cucumber slices on your serving dish of choice and place your tempeh slices in the middle. Sprinkle the spices over it.
  3. Secure with a toothpick by gently folding the cucumber/tempeh roll and striking the toothpick through the cucumber ends that meet. Repeat for the remaining rolls.

     2) Chocolate-Peanut Butter Slices
Every gathering needs a sweet treat, right? This is my healthy spin on a classic combo. You can even add a fall theme to this by mixing a tablespoon of pumpkin puree, ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup and cinnamon into the peanut butter and substitute pumpkin pie spices for the strawberries!
1 medium banana, sliced
1 ½ tbsps peanut butter
2 tsp cacao nibs
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 strawberry, thinly sliced (optional)
*If you are allergic to or don’t like the taste of peanut butter, any other nut butter (almond, sesame seed, cashew) will work great.

  1. Slice the banana and place on your serving dish of choice.
  2. Spread a small amount of peanut butter onto each banana slice, or enough to cover roughly half of the slice.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon and cacao nibs over the banana/peanut butter combo. If desired, add a slice of strawberry on top of each banana slice.

     3) Strawberry-Zucchini Kabobs
This recipe is probably the most minimalistic of all of these. In a pinch, that makes this combo the quickest to prepare for palates craving something fresh and flavorful.
½ a small zucchini, thinly sliced
2-4 strawberries, thinly sliced
¼ red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
black pepper, to taste
pinch of cayenne, to taste
Tools needed: toothpicks or skewers
*If desired, you could cook the kabobs on a grill or pan on medium heat. Be sure to cook them evenly by circulating each side.

  1. Slice your zucchini, strawberries and optional onion. Assemble the kabobs by alternately threading the veggie slices through the toothpicks or skewers.

      4) Avo-Tomato Toast
Last, but certainly not least, this toast recipe is one of my favorites. It brings together creamy avocado and fresh sun-ripened tomatoes. It is a fun, miniature spin on the beloved avocado toast.
Start with a blank canvas…

Then add…
1 slice of whole-grain toast (I used Ezekiel bread.)
½ an avocado, sliced
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
black pepper, to taste
pinch cayenne, to taste
pinch salt, to taste (optional)
a splash of lemon juice (optional)
a dash of nutritional yeast, to taste (This is optional, but it would add a nice cheesy flavor.)
*Mix the flavor profile up by adding anything from grilled zucchini, eggplant, or bell pepper on top!

  1. Toast your piece of bread. Slice the avocado and tomato.
  2. Cut the toast into thirds (cut twice, as seen in the photo)
  3. To assemble, layer the avocado slices, tomato slices and sprinkle on the spices. Spritz the optional lemon juice over top, if desired.

And here is the finished product…
I hope you try these simple yet oh-so-delicious recipes at your next gathering or for after-school snack sessions. They are fast combos you can whip up, but their elegant look will make your guests think you spent hours in the kitchen. Never underestimate the power of healthy and fresh home cooking (or assembling, in this case)!

all photos by Grace Vance