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5 Recipes for Easy Entertaining

Whip up these appetizer recipes to “wow” your guests. Serve alongside an array of cheeses, nuts, olives, and crackers for a great party.


Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip

Courtesy of American Institute for Cancer Research

Makes 8 (2 Tbsp.) servings.

Serve with carrot and celery sticks, green pepper slices, radishes, and broccoli and cauliflower florets, and an assortment of crackers or breadsticks.


  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • Fresh chives for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients, except for garnish.
  2. Garnish with fresh chives and serve chilled.


Baked Apple Chips

Courtesy of American Institute for Cancer Research

Makes 8 servings


  • 4 large apples (any variety)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar



  1. Slice apples horizontally into very thin rounds, using a sharp knife or mandolin (remove any seeds that do not fall out as you cut). Lay the slices in a single layer on parchment paper, and sprinkle lightly with the cinnamon sugar (combined). Bake at 250°F for 1 hour, flip slices, and bake for an additional hour (2 hours total). Chips will continue to crisp up as they cool.

*Tip: Don’t peel your apples! The peel contains a third or more of its cancer-fighting phytochemical compounds.


Golden Beet Veggie Balls with Almond Sage Cranberry Crema (Vegan)

Courtesy of American Institute for Cancer Research

These crispy veggie balls are filled with the earthy, holiday flavors of golden beets, white beans, sage, and hazelnuts. 


Veggie Balls

Makes 8 servings (3 veggie-balls each)

  • 1 bunch fresh golden beets (about 5)
  • 1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed drained (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (may use gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced


Almond Sage Cranberry Crema

Makes 8 servings (about 2 1/2 tablespoons each)

  • 1 cup peeled, slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup plain, unsweetened plant milk (i.e. soy, almond)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • Sea salt (to taste, optional)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries


To make Veggie Balls

  1. Trim beets and scrub outside surface, leaving peels on. Shred beets with food processor or box grater.
  2. Place beans in a mixing bowl and mash slightly with a potato masher to achieve a thick mixture with some lumps.
  3. Add beets, onions, garlic, mushrooms, parsley, hazelnuts, flax seeds, breadcrumbs, sage, tarragon, thyme, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Toss together well.
  4. Mix in soy sauce, tahini, and lemon juice—using hands to combine well.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour (or overnight).
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  7. Form 24 golf ball-sized balls out of the mixture and place evenly on baking sheet.
  8. Bake veggie balls in top rack of oven for about 40 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Serve with Almond Sage Cranberry Crema.

To make Almond Sage Cranberry Crema

  1. Soak almonds in water for 2 hours (or overnight).
  2. Drain water and place soaked almonds in the container of a blender or food processor.
  3. Add plant milk, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper, and ground sage and process to make a thick, creamy dip.
  4. Transfer crema to a dish and stir in fresh sage, cranberries, and salt if desired. May garnish with additional freshly ground black pepper and fresh sage.


Pomegranate Salsa

Courtesy of American Institute for Cancer Research

Makes about 1⅓ cups

Serve as an appetizer with baked whole-grain pita chips or use to top salad, salmon, chicken, or plain yogurt.


  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 nectarine, peach or Fuji apple, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tsp finely chopped jalapeno pepper, optional
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses or 2 Tbsp pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro



In bowl, use fork to combine pomegranate arils, nectarine, onion, jalapeno (if using), pomegranate molasses, salt, and 3-4 grinds pepper. Mix in cilantro. Let salsa sit for 10 minutes so flavors can meld.

Salsa keeps for 2 days, tightly covered in refrigerator.

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