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11 HEALTHY CANAPES (OR MORE) FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON

There’s no denying that we turn over a fair few canapes in the Brown Paper Kitchen. One of the main channels of the beautiful business that is The Brown Paper Bag is our catering that delivers fresh wholesome seasonal healthy food right into people’s mouths. It’s been core to the business since The Brown Paper Bag all began a few years back and what has been so unique about it is that we continue to grow not only our clientele but also our creativity in the way we give people a taste both visually and in flavour of my philosophy in health and nutrition. Truly, I believe everyone should have the opportunity to taste good health, wherever they are and our catering serves up just that.

 

With festive season upon us we have been going full throttle in the kitchen, and I know many others are making plans for their celebrations too so I thought I might share some of our favourites from the kitchen to inspire you along the way.

THE BLINI:

Look who doesn’t love a pancake hey? Savoury pancakes with a contrast in flavours – sour, salty, smooth, sometimes crunchy – they’re all good. We alternate using a zesty mashed avo, ricotta or creme fraiche with smoked salmon or trout on top and a good kick of herbs. Basic blini recipes are pretty easy to get your hands on – you can try this one by Women’s Weekly and omit the sugar component.  Blinis can be made in the morning, stored out of the fridge for the day and just topped with your faves prior to guests popping in or you heading out.

+ Smoked salmon blini with citrus spiked avo and dill and (below) Dill blini with fennel, horseradish spiked avo and micro cori

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BRUSCHETTA:

Bread – oh the horror!!!! No, absolutely not horrifying at all. Bread is good in moderation and at a party things like bruschetta help people soak up the champers they’re sipping on. Consider this doing your guests a favour. Plus, a crunchy savoury piece of toast with something yum on top is kind of comfort food for most. This one below is our pea smashed bruschetta with zucchini and pecorino, but other great toppers for your bruschetta might include:

+ old faithful – tomato basil and garlic

+ olive tapenade

+ pumpkin mint and feta

 

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FRESH SEAFOOD:

So good as it’s basically, fuss free, fresh tasty, light – seriously seafood ticks a lot of boxes right? Also particularly high in zinc are prawns and oysters which is fabbo for so many reasons – zinc is used in literally HUNDREDS  of biochemical pathways within the human body but one you can remember for summer festive times is the benefit of zinc for healthy hair skin and nails – little nugget for you.

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RICE PAPER ROLLS

Can be tedious to start but once you’re on a roll (pardon the pun!) are a win all around on events. They’re juicy and yum paired with a good peanut or nut dipping sauce. This can be made fairly easily with a natural peanut butter, lime juice, tamari and chilli. Just mix these together and try as you go. Rice paper rolls can go whichever way you please with ingredients but some interesting fillers to include might be:

+ roast pumpkin

+ sprouts – alfalfa, mung, snow pea

+ peas

+ raw zucchini

+ red capsicum

+ finely sliced carrot

+ roast eggplant

+ tempeh or seared tofu

+ kale

+ poached chicken

+ seared steak

+ prawns, smoked salmon or trout

+ leftover ham after Christmas – such a great way to use it up!

+ herbs – lots and lots of herbs, in particular coriander, mint, thai basil

You might love the Pea Kale and Soba Rice Paper Rolls we make – click here for the recipe 

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SEED SNAPS:

Sooooo good to have on hand at ANY TIME of the day, week, year! Seed snaps will be saviours – I mean it. Come festive time, snap them into smaller pieces and top with things like:

+ pesto and smoked trout

+ ricotta and tomato

+ beef and horseradish creme

+ goat cheese, zucchini and olives

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MINI BESAN TARTS:

If you’ve a little more time up your sleeve these are 100% worth making. The recipe for the pastry is here.  They’re 100% gluten free, flavoursome with that gorgeous nutty component chickpeas bring to the table, and another little one that can be baked the day before (store in airtight container) or on the morning. We put all sorts of things in them including:

+ pumpkin feta spanish onion and basil

+ tomato goat cheese and mint

+ roast capsicum, caramelised onion

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VEGGIE ROLLS:

New kid on the block or maybe not, these always impress people visually and with flavour. They are definitely a little more complex in steps than others however, the result is, as you can see, pretty amazing.

Eggplant rolls (main featured image and below) are thinly sliced roasted eggplant with whichever fillings you may choose and chive soaked in water to tie them up. We went with asian flavours on our asparagus and spring onion, with gomaiso around the edges of those below, but at other times goat cheese, asparagus and mint have gone down a treat. Really this one is up to you!

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And finally, the daikon roll… which is STUNNING it’s all the right things rolled up into goodness at a party. These flavours – miso pumpkin with sesame and capsicum are out of this world, but again the world (or canape menu) really is your oyster. The key with these I feel are just beautiful vibrant colours that pop out at you as the daikon allows that to happen. (Recipe for these guys just one click over here…)img_8558

What are your favourites for the festive season? And what would you love to see on our menu? Feel free to comment below!

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline is an Accredited Nutritional Medicine Practitioner specialising in family and early childhood nutrition and gut health. She writes for several media publications, hosts a regular nutrition segment on Channel 7 and in 2016 published her first book, "Seasons to Share" (Murdoch Books). Jacqueline is passionate about working with corporations and brands to support and educate their community and audience and is currently a media spokesperson and ambassador for Remedy Drinks, Eimele Australia, Woolworths, Kitchenaid and Nutrition Director at Bondi Bubs Wholefoods. She is mum to Jet and outside her working hours you'll find her with her family in the surf, on the beach, or out and about in nature.

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