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Spice up holiday parties with quick, simple recipes

By Hawaiian Electric Co.

LAST UPDATED: 6:03 p.m. HST, Jul 16, 2013

With the fast-approaching holidays come the holiday parties. Be prepared for any get-together with these easy, last-minute appetizers that economize on time yet go long on flavor.

The Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is delicious served with pita chips, or with veggies for a healthy alternative. Teriyaki Meatballs are ideal to make ahead of time in your slow-cooker, and Spicy Ahi Tuna Cucumber Cups are as refreshing as they are simple to prepare.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained

1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste available at most grocery stores)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup roasted red bell peppers (available in jars at most grocery stores), drained and coarsely chopped

Parsley, chopped, for garnish

Mix all ingredients in food processor or blender until dip is smooth and evenly red in color.

Transfer to bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita chips. Makes 1 cup.

Approximate nutritional information, per tablespoon: 50 calories, 3 g fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein

Teriyaki Meatballs

3/4 pound ground beef or poultry

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 can (14.5-ounce) beef broth

1 teaspoon white vinegar

2 teaspoons ginger root, minced

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, combine meat, egg, flour, salt and pepper. Mix lightly and shape into small balls about 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter.

Place in prepared baking pan and bake 14 to 17 minutes.

In an electric skillet or chafing dish over medium-high heat, whisk together cornstarch, sugar and soy sauce. Stir in beef broth, vinegar, ginger, garlic and green onions. Cook until mixture thickens slightly, then lower heat to medium-low, stirring constantly.

Add meatballs and serve. Makes 3 dozen meatballs.

Slow cooker option: Prepare meatballs as directed above, then place in slow cooker.

In large bowl, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, beef broth and vinegar. Pour mixture over meatballs.

Add ginger, garlic and green onions to slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.

Approximate nutritional information, per meatball: 30 calories, 1.5 g fat, no saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g protein

Spicy Ahi Tuna Cucumber Cups

3 Japanese cucumbers

1 pound spicy ahi tuna (found at most supermarkets)

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Wash, dry and peel cucumbers. Cut cucumber crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 pieces per cucumber).

Using small melon baller or spoon, form cucumber cups by scooping out flesh and seeds. Leave 1/2 inch of flesh at base of each cup and 1/4 inch of flesh around perimeter.

Distribute spicy tuna among cucumber cups. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve. Makes 12 servings.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 50 calories, 0.5 g fat, no saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 30 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 1 g sugar, 10 g protein


More Hawaiian Electric Co. recipes are available at

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