• Renee Little, R.D.

5 Easy Appetizers You Will Love!

Whether you are hosting a party OR bringing a dish to a party these 5 recipes will give you quick, easy, tasty AND beautifully looking dishes to share.

Tomato and Bocconcini Salad

  • 3 large fresh tomatoes

  • 8 oz bocconcini or fresh mozzarella

  • 12 fresh basil leaves

  • Olive oil

  • Salt & pepper

Slice the tomatoes into twelve or so slices. Place them onto a large plate. Slice the bocconcini into the same amount of slices as tomatoes and place them on top of the tomatoes. Add a basil leaf on top of the bocconcini. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt/pepper to taste.

Portabello Mushroom Caps

  • 4 portabello mushrooms (remove stems)

  • 2/3 cup chopped plum tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tsp low sodium soya sauce

  • 2 tsp minced fresh parsley

Combine topping: tomato, cheese, 1/2 tsp oil, rosemary and pepper. Remove gills and stem from underside of mushroom caps. Combine lemon juice soy sauce, 1/2 tsp oil in a bowl & brush over both sides of mushroom cap.

Place the mushroom cap (stem sides down) on a grill. Grill for 5 minutes on each side/ until soft. When close to serving spoon the tomato topping into each mushroom cap. Cover and grill for about 3 minutes until cheese is melted. Take out of oven and sprinkle with parsley.


  • 1 package frozen edamame beans

  • Salt

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drop the soybeans into water, and cook until tender, about 9 minutes. Drain in a colander, sprinkle with salt & serve.

Optional - serve with soy sauce on the side for tipping

Grilled Cheese Quesadillas

  • Large Tortillas

  • Mix of cheeses as desired - can use aged cheddar, mozzarella, Monterrey jack, jalapeno Cheddar, Swiss....this is really up to you in terms of preference.

Warm up a large pan on medium to low heat, lightly coat with canola oil. Add 1 tortilla to the pan, sprinkle with cheese, add the top tortilla. Cook until crispy about 3-5 minutes per side. Take out of pan & cut into wedges. Serve with side of salsa/sour cream/green onions

Optional - add small amounts of diced baby tomatoes (they are less juicy)

If you are a bit more ambitious and have a bit more time this recipe is unique and your guests will RAVE about this one:

Coconut Onion Rings

  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, sliced into rings

  • 1/4 cup almond meal + 2 tablespoons, separated

  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

  • 1/4 cup egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place coconut flakes plus the 2 tablespoons of almond meal in a shallow dish and mix together. Place 1/4 cup almond meal in a separate shallow dish with salt & pepper and mix together. Pour egg whites into a small bowl. Take one ring at a time and coat with almond meal first, then dip into egg whites and then coat in the coconut flakes. Place onion ring on baking sheet and repeat with remaining rings. Bake for 8 minutes and then remove from the oven and carefully flip. Bake for another 6-8 minutes until golden brown. You can serve with a dip you enjoy, one you might try is Greek yogurt mixed with sriracha for a little spice! Another idea is a lime/cilantro dip.