christmas veggie dip with slices of bread on the side

With Christmas out of the way it’s time to put on your party shoes and fancy clothes and welcome in the New Years Eve. You probably feel you’ve eaten as much as you can cope with at this point in time but I’m sure you have space left for one more celebration. So gather your nearest and dearest to celebrate the wonderful things in life, good food, good friends and family.

When it comes to party food, I have realised something; I’m better off steering clear of the high carb bread based snacks and nibbles. It may be a selfish discovery as it just doesn’t seem to leave enough room for all of the other tasty treats.

With this in mind I’ve decided to stick with the gluten-free theme I adopted for Xmas and share with you some wonderful party treats that say no to wheat and gluten.

Because it would never really be a true party without a bit of chip and dip action, I have decided to skip the chip and go for a simple biscuit made with lots of nutritious ingredients.

If you like me are a self-confessed cracker addict, you will love these little numbers. I’m so taken with them I make a batch at the beginning of every week now. These seed crackers contain chia seeds which are high in protein, making these a great alternative to the other high-sugar and high-salt savoury biscuit alternatives that fill your supermarket aisles. Marry them up with your favourite dip. I have included two fantastic Middle Eastern inspired dips for you here, and have also added a slightly naughtier one for you!

Super seed crackers

  • ½ cup flaxseeds
  • ½ cup mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 250ml water

Preheat oven to 160C (320F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Put the flaxseeds, mixed seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds and almond meal into a bowl and mix to combine.

Add the water and stir until the mixture comes together. Spread the mixture over the tray (as thick or as thin as you wish). Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp, cut the large seed cracker in half and turn to cook the other side. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and dry.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Break into bite size pieces.

Serves 4-6

Yoghurt spiced beetroot dip

  • 2 small beetroot
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ras al hanout
  • ½ cup Greek-style plain yoghurt

Preheat oven to 180C (350F)

Wrap the beetroot in foil and roast for 40 minutes or until tender, allow to cool, peel and roughly chop.

Place beetroot, garlic and yoghurt into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Makes 1 cup

Red capsicum, walnut and pomegranate dip

  • ½ cup roasted red capsicum (red pepper)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • ½ tablespoon pomegranate molasses

Place capsicum, walnuts, parmesan and pomegranate molasses into a food processor and process until smooth.

Makes 1 cup

Here also are some really quick and impressive parmesan leaves that make a great alternative to water crackers that are made with wheat. They are quite fragile so don’t go piling them up with heavy toppings. They are also delicious topped with some thinly sliced gravlax or baked pumpkin if  you want a vegetarian option.

Smokey Parmesan leaves with Serrano ham

  • 125g parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon mixed oregano and thyme leaves
  • smoked paprika
  • 100g wafer thin sliced Serrano ham

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Finely grate the parmesan and sprinkle the parmesan in triangle shapes on the baking paper (if you want them uniform you can make a template and trace it out on the underside of the paper). Top with herb leaves and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Bake the parmesan triangles for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden. Set aside to cool.

Arrange a piece of Serrano ham on top of each triangle and serve with roasted vine ripened grape tomatoes

Makes 20


Have a great new year. And I hope these recipes help you convince your friends that you are no missing out on anything by eating a gluten free diet.

About the author

Jody Vassallo

Jody Vassallo is an award-winning recipe writer and food stylist who has spent the last 20 years writing recipes that inspire people to eat well. She has authored cookbooks for people with diabetes, celiac disease and a range of allergies and food intolerances. Jody has studied both Ayurvedic medicine and Macrobiotic cooking and weaves the wisdom of these traditions through her recipes and stories. For more about Jody go to her website,

Jody Vassallo