appetizer Archives • andrea leigh co
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vegan seven layer dip

Stick around here long enough, and you’ll see that dips are one of my favorite recipes to make and eat. I think they need official status as their own food group. This vegan seven layer is I’ve been making for several years and is a perennial crowd pleaser. It’s probably the first appetizer recipe that inspired me to include dips on a regular basis into our meal plan. Here’s why. I have four kids who all have very different ideas of what tastes good and have varying degrees of pickiness. They also love meat and cheese so I need to …

low carb crispbread (vegan, oil free)

(this post contains affiliate links which help fund this blog but at no cost to you)   I’m absolutely crackers over this low carb crispbread! When I grabbed a package of crispbread from Trader Joe’s a couple of months ago, it was love at first bite and I knew I had to try and re-create it at home. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but was ecstatic with the results the first time I tried it. Why all the excitement? When I cleaned up my diet by going plant-based, one of the interesting “side effects” …

south-of-the-border party dip (vegan, oil free, added sugar free)

  I could happily eat Mexican-style foods most days of the week. It’s one of the few cuisines that easily adapts to a plant-based diet without extraordinary effort or feeling like something is missing. Meat- and cheese-lovers might disagree, but as a former meat- and cheese-lover, this is my story and I’m sticking to it. While this dip is made for the party scene, I also love it as a main, side or lunch any day of the week. It’s best when eaten within the first day, but can hold up in the fridge for a couple of days, although …

easy black bean dip (vegan, dairy free, gluten free)

  I have a gift for you today…an incredibly easy recipe for you to make and I bet you have all of the ingredients in your pantry. It’s been one of my favorites for years and is inspired by a recipe I found on the Whole Foods recipe site before I even made the transition to a plant-based diet: Black bean dip. Although the “dip” word would make you think this is appetizer-only, I love making it for our main meal with a side of raw veggies and hummus! All of the “meaty” plant-based protein coming from the beans makes …

loaded sweet potatoes with spicy guacamole and black bean sofrito (vegan, dairy free, soy free, gluten free)

  It always amazes me how hard it is to find a recipe that my entire family likes. I often get close with a 5 out of 6 thumbs up, but hitting a perfect score of 6 for 6 is maddeningly elusive. So imagine my surprise when this loaded sweet potato with spicy guacamole and black bean sofrito was a clear winner. Even with my daughter who doesn’t usually like bean dishes. Or my boys who prefer mild to spicy. Let’s pause while I celebrate with a hearty “ole.”     I love the contrasting flavors, textures and color of …

Fig + Pear Salad with Cherry Balsamic Dressing

Oh my salad greens goodness! Each time I see this picture, I get hungry all over again. Normally, I rotate between 3-4 salad recipes each month…ones with ingredients that are easier on the budget than pistachios and cherries. However, there are times and occasions where something special is called for…like Mother’s Day perhaps? Or maybe a lunch with a friend who is like a mother or a sister to you. Perhaps it’s the pistachios that made me think of Mother’s Day. Because unless you buy shelled pistachios, you know it’s a labor of love to crack open enough for a …

quinoa tabouli (vegan, gluten free, low carb, sugar free)

I love trying foods from other cultures which have a solid amount of veggies in their diets. Ever since I tried tabouli, a middle eastern salad that usually features bulgar, I was a fan. However, my enthusiasm for it waivered ever since I began cutting back on wheat products several years go. I also swapped out the oil for hummus for an interesting twist on the dressing. Thankfully, I discovered that quinoa is a perfect substitute and packs a superfood, plant protein punch into this refreshing salad. The key to great quinoa is thoroughly rinsing off the bitter saponin and …

Chop Salad with Pecan Parmesan and Caesar Dressing

There’s just something that feels so right about eating a colorful bowl of salad. Agree? And something rustic yet subtly sophisticated about the name, “chop salad.” Throw in a salty, savory topping and a garlic-infused dressing, and that’s a two forks up in my book. I’m sharing this recipe with my Sugar Pretox Challengers, and couldn’t resist sharing it with you as well. It comes together easily and is made with ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. The pecan parmesan is inspired by the recipe in Angela’s  Oh She Glows Cookbook. Watch those pecans when …

oven-baked sweet potato chips + guacamole (vegan, oil-free)

I grew up in a home where we ate quite a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables. But somehow the avocado eluded us. And guacamole? The first time I tried it I was in my late twenties. It was love-at-first-bite. But chips, guac’s side kick, are rather low on the healthy eating spectrum, sprouted, organic, GMO-free or not. And despite their salty, crunchy tastiness, I’ve been looking beyond the vegan label to examine what I’m actually putting into my body.  Because eating a plant-based diet doesn’t necessarily = a healthy diet. So when I want a healthier compadre for …

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