Savory Bites

My cousin has been living in the city all summer and goes back to Texas this week. I have been lucky enough to see him almost every week. Last weekend, I invited him and other family over for dinner so we could all share more time before he leaves.

My apartment, like many apartments in NYC, is small, so a sit-down dinner is a challenge. I decided, instead, to have a finger food meal to make things easier and normalize the idea of sitting on the couch while eating. The dinner went great and I invented a new yummers finger food for the occasion, Savory Bites.

The idea comes from using filo dough, but I dislike using that dough. It can be a lot of work and my approach remains easy cooking. Instead, I used crescent rolls. The kind that come in tubes.

I made two different kinds. One that was like pizza and another with pesto. To do the exact same thing, you will need:

  • Two rolls of crescent roll dough, in the tube, check the ingredients to make sure they are vegan
  • Spaghetti sauce, I used a garlic heavy one
  • Black olives sliced into thin circles
  • Shredded vegan mozzarella 
  • Vegan pesto
  • Small onion, diced into small pieces 
  • Small red bell pepper, diced into small pieces 
  • A few button mushrooms, diced into small pieces
  • Tablespoon of olive oil

Start by sautéing the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms in olive oil. Sauté on medium heat until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool. Take the first roll and open onto parchment or wax paper. This will let the dough be more easily removed later. With your fingers, mash together all the seams to make one sheet of dough. Using a rolling pin (or label-free and cleaned wine bottle), roll out the dough a couple times in each direction to flatten and even everything.

For the pesto bites: Use a spoon to add a thin layer of pesto to the dough, then a thin layer of the cooked veggies, and a thin layer of cheese. There will be left over filling. The layers should be thin because the dough is delicate and won’t roll well if too thick.

Looking at the longest edge of the dough, begin to roll that edge towards its opposite edge. Don’t be afraid to help the dough off the parchment paper. If the original seams reappear, this is okay. Try to carefully mash them together again and keep rolling. Soon you will have a long roll of dough with filling. Take a sharp knife and slowly cut into circles of about an inch thick. I got about 12 circles from each roll. Place each circle on a pan with at least one inch between each.

They won’t look perfect, and this is okay. Flavor is most important.

For the pizza bites: Follow the same dough preparation process of making into sheet. Add a thin layer of speghetti sauce, a thin layer of black olives, and a thin layer of cheese. Follow the same roll and cut process.

Cook the bites at 375 for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden.

So yummy! Everyone ate as many as they could and kept going back to grab another one. The process can easily be used for other savory or sweet ingredients.

I hope you try these and let me know how it goes, especially if you try different ingredients. I will absolutely be making these again.


Chocolate Oat Bars

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These are not dessert. These are more like homemade breakfast bars and that is exactly how I use them. Fuel on the go. I wrap the individually and place them in the freezer. When I know I will have a nutty morning, one gets moved to the fridge for the ext day. What you will need:

1 cups oats

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

3 ripe bananas

1/4 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350. Mix everything together and place in a small glass baking dish. A square one or smaller rectangle will work well. Back for 20 minutes. Let cool and cut into desired sizes. Store in fridge for up to three days or freeze. Yummers

Earth Balance Cheddar Squares

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The organizer of Omaha Vegan Drinks brought these to share at our last gathering. Oddly, they taste just like I remember Cheez-it. They even had the strange aftertaste I remember from at least 16 years ago. It’s weird how our tastebuds can remember some things and completely change how we taste other things over time.

Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Flavor Squares are tasty. If craving that Cheez-it flavor, these should satisfy.

Avocado Dip

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In addition to the artichoke dip I loved in Spain, was an avocado dip. So yummy and easy. You may already be making it! What you will need:

2 ripe avocados

1 TBS fresh lemon juice, from a lemon

Hot sauce (optional)

Crusty bread

Remove pit and peal of avocado and mash the meat. Stir in lemon juice. If wanting a little kick, stir in a favorite hot sauce. Serve immediately with crusty bread. Yummers!

Earth Balance Aged White Cheddar Puffs

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I finally found these and was able to try them. Yummy. Warning, you won’t be able to eat just one. At least hubby and I couldn’t eat just one. Light, airy, and a little cheesy makes for a great snack. It’s a good thing they are only available in one store in Omaha and I don’t get to this store often. I might turn into a cheese puff!