Two Fuss-Free Holiday Appetizers (Candida-Friendly Variations)

[These Fuss-Free Holiday Appetizers are vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut-free, yeast-free, and low glycemic. Suitable for all stages on an anti-candida diet.]

Somer McCowan cheese ball recipe on

[Kick Ace Extra Sharp Vegan Cheese Ball]

In a perfect world, by December 19th I would have planned and prepped our holiday menus, shopped for all the ingredients for our feast, purchased all the gifts I need to buy, found the perfect gift for the HH, queued up at least 2 extra blog posts to carry me through the holidays, have the entire house in spic-and-span shape, AND laid out all the classic DVDs we intend to watch over the next couple of weeks.

In reality, though, I’ve done most  some  zero of those things. This most recent semester at the college (marking 400 assignments and exams in the space of 10 days), pretty much did me in.  All I want for Christmas this year is to laze around (say, from December 20 to January 2nd or so).

So this year, I plan to keep it minimalist: if I throw together a pot of dal and maybe a big bowl of chestnut mousse (forget about the tart shells altogether), I’ll call it a successful holiday. (“Mum, we want you to be relaxed and all that, but you WILL still get us OUR presents, right?  You won’t skimp on the rawhides and treats, right? Right–?!”)

vegan, gluten-free, candida diet pate recipe

I know that many of us begin with grand intentions for the holiday season, but real life may intervene. Maybe time ran out and while you’ve got the main menu planned, you haven’t thought about nibbles and dips. Or maybe you need some last-minute munchies in case people drop in unannounced. Or, perhaps you just want something super-simple to accompany you on the couch watching that Christmas movie marathon (I know I do).

Well, here’s the good news: both of these recipes require less than 10 minutes of actual hands-on time–and they both keep for days in the fridge!

So relax, take it easy and don’t fret about the details. These appetizers have you covered.

vegan kick ace cheese ball on

Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball

I’d be surprised if there are any vegans out there not yet familiar with Somer’s amazing cheese ball. I mean, when a recipe is perfect, it garners a reputation, right? But just in case. . . this is the updated, vegan version of that quintessential party cheese ball of yore. You know, the ones your parents mixed up and rolled in crushed nuts, the insides blended with that sharp orange cheddar that came in a bright red package. Well, dear readers, with this recipe, you can relive those halcyon days, plant-based. And I promise, it will fool even the most devoted omnivore. The HH adored this spread (and I’ve been known to eat it straight off a spoon myself). Seriously–make this. You will love it. (You’re welcome).

To make the recipe compliant for Stage 1 of the ACD (because everyone should be able to enjoy this cheese ball over the holidays!), I made the following changes to Somer’s original recipe:

  • replace nutritional yeast with 2 Tbsp (30 ml) miso and 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tahini (ie, 3 Tbsp miso in total);
  • replace sundried tomatoes with oven-dried tomatoes (see my recipe at the end of this post)
  • omit the sherry;
  • roll in crushed walnuts instead of almonds (almonds are actually fine for Stage One; I just had walnuts on hand, so used those instead).

It’s that simple!

vegan, gluten-free, candida diet pate recipe on

And with that, I’m heading out to sit on the couch and watch movies enjoy the rest of the season.

I wish you all a relaxing, joyful, and delectable holiday!

Ricki xo

Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to via email. You’ll get recipes as soon as they’re posted, plus cookbook updates and news about upcoming events! (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”)

[Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. If you buy using these links, at no cost to you, I will earn a small percentage of the sale.]



  1. Cailin Banks says

    Hi Ricki–Just a question about the substitutions, what is it about almonds that make this unfriendly for Stage 1 of the ACD, or is it just that walnuts are better? Thanks, Cailin .

    • Cailin, that’s my mistake–sorry! Almonds are actually just fine for Stage One, but we didn’t have any (and my memories of cheese balls are that they’re rolled in crushed walnuts), so I just used walnuts! I’ve now made a note in the recipe to that effect. Thanks for pointing that out. 🙂 Have a happy holiday (and enjoy the cheese ball!!). 😀

  2. Ricki! Thank you so much for sharing this post featuring the cheeseball! Yours is just beautiful! I’m so pleased that you’ve found a way to tweak it that makes it work for people doing the candida diet! Wishing you a very merry Christmas! Love, Somer

    • Somer, you *know* how much I love this recipe–it just didn’t seem fair to deprive people on the ACD! 😉 I’ve got one in the freezer so will be testing out how it works when defrosted. Will report back! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas as well and a fabulous New Year! Big Hugs! xoxo

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.