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Easy, crowd-pleasing dishes make great potluck choices

By Hawaiian Electric Co.

LAST UPDATED: 10:01 p.m. HST, Jul 15, 2013

During the holidays, gatherings abound with everything from family parties to work potlucks, and selecting the perfect dish can be fun and creative.

Keep in mind that the best potluck dishes are:

» Quick-cooking to conserve time and energy.

» Convenient to transport.

» Healthy and crowd-pleasing.

» Easy to portion and have a nice presentation.

For your next potluck, consider pre-baked casseroles, slow-cooked dishes, salads and savory pies and tarts.

Try any of these recipes for your next gathering. Best wishes for a happy holiday season!


1 pound penne or bow-tie pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1/3 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 cup black olives, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup capers
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh Italian basil, julienne sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below)

In large bowl, add pasta and olive oil; gently toss to coat. Add pepper, onion, tomatoes, olives, capers, beans, basil and cheese. Add vinaigrette and toss. Serves 10.

Note: This salad is best when prepared ahead of time to allow flavors to incorporate.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 400 calories, 19 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, greater than 500 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 10 g protein


1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 cups olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in container with lid. Cover and shake well. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

Approximate nutritional information, per 2-tablespoon serving: 150 calories, 16 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 200 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 2 g sugar, no cholesterol, fiber or protein


Nonstick cooking spray
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Gruyere (may substitute Swiss)
3/4 cup finely chopped cooked honey-baked ham
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat muffin pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese, milk, flour, baking powder, nutmeg and pepper. Fold in Gruyere, ham and onions.

Fill muffin pan three-fourths full. Bake 18 to 22 minutes until a knife inserted at center of quiche comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Makes 10 miniature quiches.

Note: To freeze, transfer quiches to large resealable plastic freezer bag. May be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Transfer to greased baking sheet; bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 14 minutes or until heated through.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 170 calories, 11 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 1 g sugar, 14 g protein


1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup raspberry jam
4 cups raspberries, divided
2 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 pounds favorite pound cake

In small saucepan, bring to boil 1/2 cup sugar, water and lemon juice, stirring to dissolve sugar, about 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool.

In small bowl, combine jam with 3 cups raspberries, mashing slightly.

In large bowl, whip cream and 2 tablespoons sugar to stiff peaks.

Slice pound cake 3/4-inch thick; brush both sides of slices with lemon syrup.

Fit 1/3 of slices snugly in bottom of 4-quart trifle dish or other glass bowl, trimming edges if necessary. Layer with a third of raspberry mixture, then a third of whipped cream. Repeat to make two more layers; garnish with remaining raspberries.

Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 24 hours. Serves 10.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 610 calories, 33 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 74 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 54 g sugar, 6 g protein


More Hawaiian Electric Co. recipes are available at

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