One thing to keep in mind when hosting a dinner party is that your guests are more often than not hungry when they arrive. Aside from canapés being a welcome treat, it is always good to have something light and tasty to nibble on especially while sipping an aperitif.

Have a spread that everyone can enjoy while keeping sophistication in mind. Because you should leave more complicated matters for your main course, it is best to cover the basic food groups along with accommodating your guests’ dietary quirks, in small servings along with keeping it simple, hassle-free and of course appetizing.

Below are 5 effortless canapés that are positively just that!

FRESH VEGETABLES & CHEESE on a large tray

This is the perfect canapé option for your vegan guests. Lay out sliced cheeses and cut raw vegetable sticks such as radishes, carrots, celery and cucumber on a tray. Pair with small bowls of dip or dressing. Blue Cheese, Caesar or Sour Cream are easy finds at the supermarket. If you are feeling a little bit adventurous, a hummus (chickpea) or a baba ghanoush (aubergine) dip from your local Middle Eastern restaurant are also good choices. Serve in tiny plates and place toothpicks in a nice container for picking the veggie sticks out.

TAPAS

Spanish Tapas, are bite-sized slivers of tender beef, pork or squid. A tasteful complement to red wine, especially. Delectable and savory, guests who are on the Atkins diet will find this an awesome choice. Simply sauté them in a lot of olive oil, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and some sea salt and serve! If you cannot be bothered to cook them from scratch, there are a lot of canned gourmet options in the supermarket. Simply open, heat and serve in dainty platters.

BROCCOLI PARMIGIANO & SUNDRIED TOMATOES

Another easy vegetarian favorite, simply bring salted water to a boil, dump the broccoli flowers for a minute or so, drain and serve sprinkled with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese. I highly suggest, the Parmigiano Reggiano kind, available at most fine cheese shops or delicatessens.

SUSHI

Anyone on the raw food diet? Sushi is the perfect protein rich alternative that should add a delightfully luscious Asian flair to your canapé spread. Make sure your fish is a fresh and healthy red. It is better to have them pre-sliced at the supermarket. Chill in a 7-up or Sprite marinade for a few hours before serving. Don’t forget to serve with bamboo chopsticks, wasabi, and soy sauce for dipping.

CROSTINI

These bite-sized goodies are a favorite everyone can enjoy. Simply slice up some Italian Ciabatta or any crusty country bread, rub both sides with raw garlic, drizzle with olive oil and toast for about 5 minutes. Spread on hummus, baba ghanoush or liver pate and top with olives, mint or chopped tomatoes.

There you have it, food groups and most dietary pickings covered. Food is always best enjoyed in good company no matter what your food and dietary preferences are. Bon Appétit and don’t forget the napkins!

About the Author: Samantha Samonte is a writer for Culinary One, a website about culinary careers, cuisines and food. She spends the rest of her time living life to the fullest in the company of her laptop and creative writing prowess.

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