Best Outdoor Finger Foods

There’s nothing like light-hearted summer get-togethers in the backyard or out on the deck fueled by delightful and delicious finger foods. For the histamine intolerant guest, chips and salsa are unfortunately a “no go” and just reading the ingredients lists on the various packaged snacks can make mast cells go bonkers. But who needs traditional chips and mini hotdogs when you can have cajun plantain chips and gourmet kebabs? I mean, seriously. If you’re stuck in a rut with raw cauliflower and a plain burger with salt, read on for some “foodie” summer inspiration.

PLANTAIN CHIPS WITH (or without) “CAJUN” RUB

Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 10-20 min | Makes: many

Plantains have always been one of my safe foods, but might not be for others. You could also try using thinly sliced butternut, yucca (cassava), or sweet potato. You have two kinds of plantains: the green, unripe ones, and the blackened, spoiled-looking ones. Though they appear to be spoiled, the blackened ones are usually quite fine on the inside. They’re a lot chewier and therefore my favourite. You can leave out any of the ingredients, the important ones are the salt, coconut sugar, and the herbs. These make an excellent snack– people love them at my get-togethers.

INGREDIENTS

Plantains

Cajun rub, equal parts…

Cayenne pepper Salt Coconut sugar Powdered turmeric Sumac or paprika

With…

1/2 cup chopped coriander 1/2 cup chopped chives

PREPARATION

Chop the plantains into any shape you like. I usually just chop them like bananas, into rounds. You then have a choice: either fry them in your favourite oil, or toss them in your best oil, then into the mix, and then bake at about 180C/350F for 10-20 minutes, depending on oven. You’ll need to flip them over once, halfway through.

BENEFITS

Antihistamine: turmeric, chives, coriander. Anti-inflammatory: turmeric, chives, coriander, coconut, sumac, paprika.

MINT SAUCE BRAISED MINI LAMB KEBABS

Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 15-20 min | Makes: 8-12 skewers

Not into lamb? This works well with any meat, or any vegetables for that matter. Try chunks of butternut, sweet potato, zucchini – you’re limited only by your imagination.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cubed lamb steak

16 shallots, cut into chunks

2 bunches mint

8 tbsp apple cider vinegar/tamarind (or omit)

2 tbsp coconut sugar/nectar

mini BBQ skewers

PREPARATION You can either marinate the lamb in the sauce for a little while, then splash some into the pan while cooking the lamb chunks, or serve it on the side as a dip. Skewer alternating bites of lamb and shallot. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan, or use a grill pan. Cook the lamb for about 10 minutes on each side, or till juices run dry when the flesh is pierced.

BENEFITS Antihistamine: mint, shallots. Anti-inflammatory: mint, shallots, tamarind, coconut.

LENTIL CRACKERS

Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 20 min

These crackers are excellent on their own or with any kind of dip. They’re super nutritious to boot. My non-histamine friends really dig these – I bring them over for movies nights with the gals.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups lentil flour water (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup, depending on desired thickness)

1/2 onion

1 clove garlic

4 tbsp olive oil

6 tbsp thyme leaves (or to taste)

handful finely chopped basil

handful finely chopped coriander

PREPARATION

Pre-heat oven to 180C/250F. Add the flour, onion, garlic, olive oil, thyme, basil and coriander into a food processor, drizzle in some water and then work lightly till a ball of dough forms. If you have oxalate issues, pre-soak the lentil flour in the water for at least a few hours. This has been shown to lower oxalate levels.

Spoon onto a pre-oiled baking tray and use a knife to score into triangles. If your mixture is too liquidy, don’t panic, just bake for at least 10 minutes, then score with a knife and return to the oven. Bake for about  15-20 minutes (depending on thickness) and then flip over for another 15-20. Remove from oven, break apart and serve with your choice of dip.

BENEFITS Antihistamine: onion, garlic, thyme, basil, coriander. Anti-inflammatory: onion, garlic, thyme, basil, coriander, olive oil.

SALMON BALLS W/SWEET CHILI SAUCE

Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 15-20 min | Makes: 8-12 balls depending on size

This sauce contains vinegar, which I know many don’t tolerate or are scared to try. I now eat many kinds of vinegar with no problem. Alternatives tamarind paste, Indian sour mango powder (amchur), and of course lemon.

INGREDIENTS

Balls…

1 lb salmon

1/4 cup rice breadcrumbs/flakes

1/2 cup finely chopped shallots

1 egg

lemon, squeezed

1 clove garlic

dill

Sauce…

4 garlic cloves

1 red chili pepper (or to taste)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar/tamarind

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup water

1-2 tbsp kuzu starch (or your choice of starch)

salt

PREPARATION

Add the salmon, eggs, shallots, dill, one clove of garlic and rice crumbs/lakes into a food processor. Don’t over process. Form into balls and bake on a lightly oiled tray for approximately 20 minutes at 350F/180C, depending on your oven. Meanwhile, blend the chili, 3 garlic cloves, vinegar (or your choice of acid), coconut sugar and water. Pour into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and then lower to a simmer. Add in the kuzu or your choice of starch to thicken the sauce. Serve with salmon balls.

BENEFITS

Antihistamine: shallots, garlic, dill, kuzu. Anti-inflammatory: shallots, garlic, dill, salmon, kuzu.

NEED MORE FUN RECIPES?

There’s a whole world of fun and nutritious recipes out there to try, but it can be a challenge finding ones that fit into a low histamine lifestyle. That’s why I put together a complete 28-Day Histamine Reset with gourmet low histamine recipes as well as histamine-lowering lifestyle strategies to get you on the path to healing.