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Holiday Party Platter: Tea Sandwiches (Vegan/Gluten-Free/Paleo-Friendly)

As delicious as they are beautiful

When I traveled to London as a teenager, I remember going to Harrod's for high tea.  I sat with my family and ate tasty, crustless sandwiches with tea and pastries.  Since I've been gluten-free, I've not been able to enjoy the same type of experience.  

When we were thinking of some fun holiday appetizers, I loved the idea of making tea sandwiches for your own high tea.  We played around with using yummy ingredients as the 'bread.'  We used steamed butternut squash, steamed sweet potato, apple, red bell pepper, jicama and cucumber slices.  We also went the traditional route, using bread rounds for the crust.  We wanted to give loose instructions so that you to make this at home with your favorite fillings.  Take ours as a guide, but have fun and make it your own!



'Crust' Ingredients:


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 jicama
  • 1 red bell cucumber
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 apple
  • Optional: gluten-free bread




Step 1: Prepare “crust”


Crust options are: cucumber rounds, gluten-free bread, steamed sweet potato rounds, apple rounds, jicama rounds, and red bell pepper. Mix and match to your heart’s desire! (see image below)



  1. Using a mandolin (or very sharp knife) cut the sweet potato and butternut squash into 1/8 inch thick slices length-wise (see below for reference).
  2.  Steam sweet potato for 5-7 minutes (dependent on how many you put in the steamer at once). You want the potato to be soft but not mushy. You want it to still hold it’s shape.
  3. Steam butternut squash for 5-10 minutes (dependent on how many you put in the steamer at once). You want the squash to be soft but not mushy. You want it to still hold it’s shape.
  4. Place both squash and sweet potato in fridge to cool.
  5. Using a 2 inch round cutter, make your "crust" rounds.


*Repeat using 2 inch round cutter with other crust materials but do not steam apple, jicama, red bell pepper, or cucumber. These are best served raw! The bread can be toasted to make it crunchy.




Step 2: Make Fillings


Curried Chickpea “Chicken” Salad




  • 1 15 oz. canned organic chickpeas
  • 1 shallot bulb, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, small dice
  • 2/3 cup apple juice sweetened cranberries, rough chop
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan sea salt
  • 1.5 cups avocado oil
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. honey (optional – omit if vegan)
  • 2 tbsp. pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 2 pinches paprika
  • himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste




  1. Strain can of chickpeas. Place brine in Vitamix and chickpeas in a large mixing bowl.
  2. To the bowl, add minced shallot, chopped celery, cranberries
  3. To the blender, add mustard, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt. Turn Vitamix on low and slowly drizzle in avocado oil to create your homemade vegan mayonnaise (you can skip this blending step entirely by using the pre-made mayo of your choice).
  4. Add ¾ cup of blended mayo to the bowl.
  5. Using a wood spoon, fork, or potato masher, mash the chickpeas for several minutes until the chickpeas break apart and are well incorporated with the other ingredients. *If you prefer, you can use a food processor to speed the process up, although we did not demo this method.
  6. Add curry powder, cayenne, paprika, optional honey, and pecans.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Place in fridge until ready to plate sandwiches.



Other filling examples:




Mix a 8 oz. container of hummus with ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper and ¼ cup finely chopped cucumber (reference photo) or other vegetables you prefer. Place on crust rounds of your choice.



Herbed Cream Cheese


Mix full container of Kite Hill Cream Cheese with ½ finely chopped shallot bulb, juice of one lemon, 1 loose handful finely chopped dill. Scoop herbed cream cheese on crust rounds of your choice.



Nut Butter & Jelly


Combine equal parts almond butter (or peanut butter) with jelly. Mix together in a bowl. Try with apple or sweet potato crusts.



Step 3: Arrange Tea Sandwiches


Arrange tea sandwiches on a plate of your choice and top with any of the following:

  • Black sesame seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Paprika
  • Flavored Salt
  • Garnish of choice


Add fruit, herbs or decor to plate for extra color and sparkle!


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