Happy holidays! It’s that special time of year when we love to host family and friends at festive holiday celebrations. If you’re looking for some new dishes to add to your entertaining menu, look no further! Today on Indy Style, I showed you several easy recipes that are perfect to serve at any holiday party.

Let’s start with an easy, elegant appetizer recipe that will please all of your guests. Dates are in season right now. There are so many ways you can incorporate them into your holiday menu. One of my favorites is stuffed dates. Simply slice the dates open, stuff them with goat cheese or crunchy peanut butter, then wrap them with thick-cut bacon. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the bacon is crispy.

 

Don’t be afraid to offer some healthy options at your holiday party. You can still eat smart while enjoying the season by serving these southern-flavored Black Bean Cakes from Eat Smart.

Ingredients
1 bag Eat Smart’s Southwest Salad Kit
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons taco seasoning
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1 large egg
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
Fresh cilantro

Directions
Step 1 – In a food processor, add the rolled oats and the taco seasoning along with the corn and tortilla strips from the salad kit. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
Step 2 – Add the black beans and blend until smooth.
Step 3 – Add the bell pepper and red onion. Blend until all ingredients are combined
Step 4 – Add the salad greens to a bowl. Then add the black bean mixture and egg to the salad greens. Stir until combined. Form the mixture into patties.
Step 5 – Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Flip the patties then bake for 10 more minutes.
Step 6 – Mix the dressing packet from the salad kit with the Greek yogurt. Spoon a dollop of the sauce on each patty along with a cilantro leaf.

See how easy it is to make these bean cakes:

What’s a holiday party without a cocktail? Elevate your holiday cocktails with Fruit- and Herb-Flavored Ice Cubes.

After preparing your favorite fruits and herbs, place them into the compartments of an ice cube tray. Then fill the tray with water and freeze. Drop the ice cubes into a glass of champagne or your favorite cocktail.

Try these festive holiday combinations or create your own!

  • Cucumber + Mint
  • Mint + Lime
  • Blackberry + Mint
  • Grapefruit + Rosemary
  • Apple + Pear
  • Grape + Cherry

If you want to hear your guests to ooh and aah, make this elegant Citrus Pastry inspired by Rustic Citrus Almond Tart from The Bonjon Gourmet.

Directions
Step 1 – Unroll thawed store-bought puff pastry onto a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, just until it’s puffed. Remove from oven and press down the pastry.
Step 2 – Create a glaze with your favorite marmalade, lemon curd, and softened cream cheese. Spread the glaze on top of the puff pastry.
Step 3 – Cut navel oranges, red grapefruit, and pomelo into thin slices. Watch the video for the easiest way to cut citrus fruits. Add the sliced fruits to the top of the tart.
Step 4 – Bake the tart until the crust is golden brown. Serve warm.

Cranberries are the quintessential holiday fruit. For a new spin on this classic dish, try this Cranberry Grape Relish from Grapes from California.

Ingredients
2 cups red seedless grapes
1 12 oz. package cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 orange, juiced and zested
1/2 cup sugar

Directions
Step 1 – Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick and shiny.
Step 2 – Let cool thoroughly. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

I ran out of time to show you my Southwest Salad inspired by the Mediterranean Salad from Eat Smart. So we recorded this Facebook Live video:

And here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
1/2 bag of Eat Smart’s Fresh Harvest Blend
1/2 cup of cooked orzo pasta, cooled
1/4 cup of roasted red peppers, diced
1/4 cup of canned chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup of your favorite olive oil vinaigrette
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Step 1 – In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients except lemon juice. Toss until salad is evenly coated with dressing.
Step 2 – Season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Step 3 – Serve.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

xoxo Lori

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