The holidays bring upon many opportunities for gathering with friends. Whether or not the get-together is small or large- food is almost always involved. I know that the food at social events can create a lot of temptation and desire, but this holiday season ask the host/hostess if you can bring a snack for everyone- so you'll have something to eat yourself and to share with others. If you end up hosting a party- don't worry about pleasing others with ham sandwiches and deviled eggs- with a little creativity and time your guests will never miss the meat.
My favorite finger food item to take to a party is stuffed mushrooms. I like baby cremini (portobella ) mushrooms, but button mushrooms can work as well. These are stuffed with spinach, some of the mushroom stems, salt, garlic, and walnuts. The cleaning of the mushrooms is the most time-intensive step, but the execution requires little culinary skill. Even my mom who can barely boil water can pull off these mushrooms with no problem :)
Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
20 cremini mushrooms (1' to 1.5" in diameter)
1 cup raw walnuts
2 cloves garlic (pressed or minced)
2 cups of raw spinach
pinch sea salt
When cleaning mushrooms, don't submerge them in water, just get a damp paper towel and wipe them gently. As you're wiping, pop off the stems and reserve about half. Lay mushrooms out on a baking sheet. In a food processor pulse walnuts, stems, garlic, spinach and salt. Scoop into mushrooms and bake or dehydrate. 325 works in about 15-20 minutes. You'll know they are ready when the mushrooms smell fragrant. If you have any fresh parsley or nutritional yeast hanging around- either or both also are great with these.
Other great party foods include thai spring rolls, mini shiskabobs, hummus, olive tapenade, and cold salads- like a quinoa salad, or a soba noodle salad.
These pictures posted are from a baby shower I catered recently, and a clothes swap I had at my house this summer. I served the stuffed mushrooms at both occasions.