With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to pull out the culinary stops. But let’s try to keep it healthy this year, so you can start next year off on a good note. Here are 5 easy healthy starters to balance out those decadent Thanksgiving desserts. These fabulous vegetarian dinner party starters will make your mouth water. They will also ensure a memorable occasion for all.
The following starters are perfect for any occasion. You’ll be able to find something for your best friend who’s gone vegetarian or for grandma. Or perhaps you’re wanting to impress your partner. A well-planned dinner is one of the best gifts for loved ones to give each other.
Starters for friends and family
Butternut soup with crispy sage and apple croutons
This is a low-fat, gluten-free and one of the most delicious dinner party starters.
· 1 tbsp olive oil
· A large onion
· 1 garlic clove
· A 1kg butternut squash
· 3 tbsp dry sherry
· 500ml gluten-free vegetable stock
· 1 tsp chopped sage
· 20 small dried sage leaves
· Oil for frying
· 1 tbsp olive oil
· 1 large apple
Fry the onion for about 5 minutes, and then add the garlic and butternut. Fry for another 5 minutes. Mix in the sherry, stock, and chopped sage. Simmer for another 20 minutes. The butternut should be tender. Blitz with a food processor until smooth. Garnish with apple croutons and fried sage.
Paneer Tikka with pea and mint relish
· 2 tbsp tikka curry paste
· 3 tbsp Greek yogurt
· 1 tbsp gram flour
· 2 blocks of paneer
· 1 green pepper
Pea and mint relish
· 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
· Caster sugar
· 2 finely chopped shallots
· 200g blanched peas
· A small bunch of mint
Mix the paste, yogurt and flour together and season. Throw in the paneer and cover it with the marinade. Leave in the fridge for one hour. Thread onto a skewer with the green pepper chunks. Grill under a high heat for 6-8 minutes.
Filo-baked fresh figs stuffed with peppered goat’s cheese
· 6 large figs
· 125g of soft goat’s cheese
· 2 tsp ground black peppercorns
· 50g melted butter
· 6 large sheets filo pastry
· Chopped chives
Mix together the goat’s cheese and black pepper. Stuff each fig with the goat’s cheese mixture. Slice the filo sheets into quarters and stack 4 quarters on top of one another. Brush lightly with butter. Place each fig inside a stack, and draw up the sides around it. Bake until pastry is crispy and golden.
Broccoli tempura with ponzu dipping sauce
· 100g plain flour
· 50g cornflour
· ½ tsp sea salt flakes
· 250 ml chilled soda water
· 200g purple sprouting broccoli
· Vegetable oil for deep frying
· 4 tbsp soy sauce
· 1 tbsp mirin
· ½ a juiced lime
· 1 tbsp caster sugar
· 2 tsp rice vinegar
Mix the flours and salt together in a large bowl and gradually whisk in the soda water. To make the dipping sauce, whisk all the dipping sauce ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved.
Baby pumpkins stuffed with coconut vegetables
· 6 pumpkins (around 320g each)
· 4 tbsp olive oil
· 2 onions
· 4 tbsp Korma curry paste
· 400g small broccoli florets
· 240g green beans
· 2 red capsicums
· 2 x 270g tins of light coconut cream
Cut pumpkins horizontally. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for around 50 minutes. Cook the remaining ingredients over a medium heat. First, cook the onion until it’s tender. Add the curry paste and fry for a short while, and then the remaining vegetables. Stir in the coconut cream and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into the pumpkin halves and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
Oliver, J. Roasted asparagus with rosemary and anchovies wrapped in pancetta. Retrieved from https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/roasted-asparagus-with-rosemary-and-anchovies-wrapped-in-pancetta/
Baby pumpkins stuffed with coconut vegetables. Retrieved form:
BBC Goodfood. Vegan Starter Recipes. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/vegan-starter
Olive Magazine (2019). Best vegetarian entertaining ideas. Retrieved from