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"Grazing" Food Ideas

Have a new position at work and three times a year they have "grazing" meeting days. We each have to bring two or three grazing items. Just found out Monday is one of those days.

These should be finger foods or foods we can eat without forks and knives, hopefully that don't need heating.
Trying to get away from dips, fruit and veg skewers, olives, tapenades, etc.

Ideas I wouldn't mind trying but don't know about how easy to make ahead of time or recipes:

Lettuce wraps or rice wraps with a sesame dip
Flat pressed sandwich loaf(ves)

Always open to suggestions and would love any recipes for the ones above or others.

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  1. What about a big bowl of edamame it's a great snack. Also I love to graze on popcorn that is flavored.

    1. That sounds kind of fun. What about:
      gazpacho served in little cups
      deviled eggs
      pressed sandwiches are a great idea. My fave is grilled eggplant, provolone, pickled banana peppers, tapenade. You could also make some with Italian-style with salami, hot ham, provolone, pickles, onions, olive oil, oregano, s&p.

      1. Whole Foods has smoked gouda pimento cheese. It's one of my favorite grazing foods when served on the New York sea-salt bagel chips.

        1. We have all vowed to stay away from nuts and seeds since it has been overdone in the past. Sadly, no Whole Foods near where I live.

          1. My new favorite (and super-easy!) is roasted chickpeas - toss some canned chickpeas into a bowl with whatever spices you want (i use cumin, curry powder, and powdered ginger), then roast them on a greased baking sheet for 45-50 minutes until theyre crunchy. Delicious!

            4 Replies
            1. re: Cebca

              Cebca--sounds delish. What temp is the oven?

              1. re: Petrichor

                i can't speak for Cebca, but i do mine at 400 degrees for 45-55 minutes. just make sure to shake the pan every so often.

                  1. re: Petrichor

                    sure thing.

                    two of my favorite ways to spice them:
                    - curry powder, chile, & sea salt
                    - agave & dried ginger [& a pinch of sea salt to enhance the sweetness]

            2. One of my fave cookbooks these days is "Grazing" by Julie Van Rosendaal, her Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls can be found here: http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2008/02/10...

              Some other ideas:
              Mini pita pockets stuffed with chicken salad or even greek salad(cut into smaller dice to make for easier eating out of hand), and keeping with the greek theme,
              Mini savory scones: cheddar and jalapeno maybe?

              HTH :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: maplesugar

                I love the mini savory scones idea. Savory mini muffins are a similar idea. Like corn/cheddar/jalapeno.

              2. mmm...love those roasted chickpeas another poster mentioned! yums! How about pinwheels? I'm a broken record on this finger food but I have to tell you that people just about put a crown on my head and paraded me around the office many times for these...I use a Hidden Valley Ranch veggie pinwheel recipe but there are many others out on the 'net that are probably healthier. They are so easy to make and so easy to eat...no mess...just another suggestion for you.

                1. My father used to take a bucket full of cherry and yellow pear tomatoes (from his garden) to work for coworkers to graze on.

                  1. another vote for the roasted chickpeas.

                    another thought for something more substantial - mini egg "muffins" with different vegetable fillings - they're essentially crustless quiches or frittatas baked in muffin cups. finger-friendly, satisfying, and can be served at room temp.

                    1. I'm not sure where I saw this but it was the neatest thing.
                      Take a loaf of the miniature pumpernickle. Spread some cream cheese spiked with fresh dill and then top with cold smoked salmon. Slice it on the diagonal to make 2 triangles. Trim the tops to make something resembling a wedge (pie slice). Stick a sprig of dill in the top so it looks like a carrot.


                      1. Perhaps some warm miso soup - brought along in a large thermos or two - and then poured into small cups for sipping. This would be especially great as cold weather season approaches.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Mellicita

                          what about tortilla roll ups?People love them.

                        2. I have a recipe for Microwave Peanut Brittle. It's easy & addictive but not at all healthy.
                          A batch of this goes SO fast and there are only about 10 people in the front office.

                          We had a tomato 'throw down' and someone brought in such a tasty treat- but it's a dip (well, really a spread) but that's something you said you want to get away from? It was so tasty-she said it was just sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil that she pulsed in the food chopper and dumped on a big log of soft goat cheese, served with garlicy pita chips. Most of us stood there and ate the thing before anyone else could get at it.

                          I did the pressed cuban sandwich thing- it was very time consuming but lovely results.

                          People kill each other for cold boiled shrimp w/cocktail sauce.

                          I've never made one but if you find a good looking recipe you could try Italian Stuffed Bread- like you get from the good deli's- it's got cheese and cold cuts baked into the loaf of bread..... they are fantastic.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Boccone Dolce

                            Your peanut brittle sounds good, would you please post. TIA

                            1. re: paprkutr

                              Peanut Brittle Crack Candy

                              1 cup white sugar
                              1/2 cup Karo
                              2 cups salted peanuts (I use the big Virginia kind-dry roasted sucks in this recipe-
                              I've also used cashews, and a mix of both. It's all good.)
                              1 tsp butter
                              1 tsp vanilla
                              2 tsp baking SODA (not powder)

                              LAY OUT ALL INGREDIENTS - this is important, you don't have time to measure when hot bubbling candy is waiting!

                              Grab some parchment paper and lay it on a cookie sheet. Or a silpat. If you own none of the above use
                              foil but spritz it with cooking spray/aka PAM or you'll regret it, it sticks to everything)

                              Use a big glass mixing bowl, the kind with a handle if you have it. I bought a 8c measuring cup for this use only.

                              In bowl, Mix up the sugar and karo really well, and microwave for 3.5 minutes- it will be all bubbly
                              Now pull it out, quickly add the nuts, stir and back in for another 3 minutes. Pull it back out and add the butter
                              (do not be generous, it will be too greasy) and vanilla. Back in for roughly 3.5 minutes.
                              You'll have to play with the time- sometimes it burns if I forget and set it for 4, 4 and 4 so I do
                              3.5 and look for the color to be golden and the bubbles to be crazy.

                              Pull it out and using a silicone spatula, I dump in the baking soda and stir like a fool. I have found that
                              2 tsp is the perfect amount for brittle that will not stick to your teeth. The original
                              recipe calls for 1 tsp.

                              After you get it all stirred in, quickly dump it out onto the cookie sheet- I smash down the bubbles or it's too airy and thick.
                              It's like lava, you have to move fast.

                              Leave it alone for an hour. Come back in and smack it into pieces. Try not to eat too many as
                              you put them into a storage container.

                              Oh- if the kitchen is humid the candy will be a sticky mess.

                                1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                  this is out of this world...thanks so much!

                            2. Someone already suggested crustless quiche/fritatta - I was going to suggest mini quiche. How about bruschetta? Or (two of my guilty pleasures): homemade rice krispie squares or that sweet Chex mix made with peanut butter and chocolate? (The recipe is on the Chex box).

                              Also, samosas.

                              1. here's a list of ideas that varies from the basic unrefined to more work involved, and you can gussy any of them up with better ingredients :)

                                how about macaroni and cheese crispy muffins - make a batch, cool and chill, then bread in crumbs or panko, and bake off in muffin cups.

                                mini quesaditas or mini burrititos

                                pigs in a blanket

                                teriyaki chicken skewers

                                mini meatballs (w/ toothpicks)

                                blue cheese bites - make biscuit dough, cut into mini size, then roll in blue cheese melted with butter, then bake at 325

                                sausage bites

                                filled fried wontons - take wonton wrappers and fill as desired - cream cheese, chopped mushrooms, ginger, chives, etc. fold, seal, and fry

                                cheese straws

                                1. Thanks all. The roasted chickpeas were gone in no time.

                                  Made tortilla roll ups (always a hit) Spinach tortillas with an herbed cream cheese, French ham and a spring onion.

                                  Also made two stuffed loaves: pan bagnat and an Italian meat one with tapenade.

                                  I wish I knew how to make lettuce wraps and rice paper rolls as people mentioned. I am trying those in December for another grazing day. What other dressing besides the peanut one can I use?

                                  That peanut brittle is on my list for a meeting snack too.