Supreme Veggie Bars

 

When I was young, my mom used to make these amazing party snacks, she called "veggie bars". I think she found the recipe in a Kraft ad, or on the back of a Philadelphia cream cheese box. Either way, I'm sure you can imagine they weren't as healthy as the name would imply. 

Pre-made pastry out of a tube, topped with pillowy cream cheesy ranch goodness, finely chopped veggies, and you guessed it- more cheese! MMmMM! SO GOOD! Although not a healthy choice, they sure were delicious, and having them evokes fond memories of family gatherings, holidays and parties. Always a huge hit, there were rarely any leftovers! 

This holiday season, I just had to re-imagine this perfect comfort food recipe so that Eric and I could enjoy it alongside our family and friends. 

Try serving these at your next party/shindig/holiday gathering... or try it as a weekend meal. I'm sure there won't be any leftovers at your place either! 

Supreme Veggie Bars

crust ingredients

  • 1  cup almond flour
  • 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I use Pete's Gluten Free)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbls coconut oil
  • 3 tbls cold water

crust method

  1. Preheat oven to 325°c and lay two baking sheet sized pieces of parchment paper on the counter.
  2. With a fork, mix together crust ingredients until it crumbles and dough begins to stick together. use your hands to form a ball and place between the two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a square roughly 1/4 inch thick. Peel back the top layer of parchment paper gently and with a knife, clean up the edges and sculpt into desired shape. Use a fork to pretty up those edges. Slide the parchment paper (with dough on top) onto a cookie sheet and pre-bake crust for 10 minutes. 
  3. While crust is baking, put together the "Creamy cashew Ranch".
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Creamy cashew Ranch

ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked and drained)

  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 tbs finely chopped onion 

  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)

  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper (or more to taste)

  • 2 tbs finely chopped chives

  • 1 tbs finely chopped parsley

  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh dill

Method

  1. Soak cashews in boiling water for at least 1 hour. Drain and rinse.

  2. Add cashews, coconut milk, garlic, chopped onion, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a high speed blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. 

  3. Pour into a small mixing bowl and fold in the chives, parsley and dill.

  4. Pour the "Creamy Cashew Ranch" over the pre-baked crust and spread around as if it were a pizza, creating a 1/4 inch thick layer.

Toppings

  • 2.5 cups of finely chopped assorted veggies such as bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange) broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomato (seeds removed) and zucchini.
  • 2 finely chopped green onions
  • dairy free cheddar cheese (optional)

method

  1. Load up on toppings, don't be stingy!
  2. Sprinkle the cheddar last.
  3. Return to oven for an additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.
  4. Use a pizza cutter to cut into small squares or triangles.
  5. Serve warm or cold, both are delicious!
All photos courtesy of Miaou Photography.

All photos courtesy of Miaou Photography.

*Crust recipe borrowed from Heather Crosby of Yum Universe, cookbook pg. 239.