There are endless ways to perk up any menu through the use of dips, sauces, or sides. They enhance fruits, vegetables, main dishes, and all types of bread and crackers. Sometimes they steal the limelight and take center stage! Here are a few selections to add to your global repertoire.


Super Simple Guacamole

(Serves 4 to 6)

This recipe for guacamole contains no garlic, onions, or jalapeño peppers. It simply highlights the smooth taste and creamy texture of avocados at their prime. Fresh lime and cilantro are essential to the final result.


2 large avocados

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt


Cut the avocados in half and discard the pits. Scoop out the insides and place in a medium-sized bowl. Mash to a chunky consistency.

Add the cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Stir lightly until just combined.

Serve immediately.


Baba Ghanoush

(Serves 6 to 8)

Made with eggplant, baba ghanoush is a tasty spread for pita bread or sandwiches.


2 large eggplants

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Paprika to garnish

Cilantro to garnish, optional


Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a large baking pan with a little oil.

Place the eggplants in the baking pan. Do not let the eggplants touch each other. Use a fork to pierce the skin of each eggplant 4 or 5 times.

Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally or until soft. (The skin may or may not be charred.) Remove from the oven and let sit until the skin is cool enough to peel.

Place the peeled eggplants, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in a blender or food processer, and puree until smooth. Stir in salt and olive oil.

Refrigerate for three hours before serving.

Garnish with paprika. If desired, top with a sprig of cilantro.


Presto Marinara Spread

(Serves 8 to 10)

Try this spread on toast or thick slices of bread.


1 jar of marinara sauce

Sliced olives for garnish

Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish


Heat marinara sauce until hot. Transfer to a small bowl.

Garnish with sliced olives and shredded Parmesan cheese.


Deep Dark Chocolate Sauce

(Serves 4 to 6)

So easy, so rich, and so good—whip up a batch and discover for yourself that you don’t have to pay a fortune for fancy sauce.


3/4 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/4 cups milk

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pinch of salt


Place sugar, flour, and cocoa in a bowl. Whisk together to remove any lumps.

Heat the milk, butter, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the milk mixture a little at a time.

Increase heat to medium high until mixture comes to a simmer. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Then stir in a pinch of salt. Remove from heat.

Serve hot over ice cream, cake, or fruit. Leftovers may be served cold.


Pineapple and Mango Chutney

(Serves 4 to 6)

Chutney is a spicy condiment made from fruits or vegetables with spices and sugar. Use chutney to dress up main dishes or as a sandwich spread.


1 cup fresh pineapple, finely chopped

1 medium fresh mango, finely chopped

3 tablespoons raisins

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons oil

1/8 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper

1 cinnamon stick, broken into two pieces

2 cloves

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt


Combine pineapple, mango, raisins, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl; set aside.

In a nonstick pan, add the oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, chili pepper, cinnamon pieces, and cloves. Heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently so that the spices don’t scorch, until the mustard seeds start to sputter.

Add the pineapple mixture to the pan and mix well. Reduce heat to medium and cook for three to four minutes.

Add the water and salt; bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking. Remove from heat when the pineapple pieces become soft and tender. Discard the cinnamon pieces and the cloves.

Nancy Kyte
Now retired, Nancy Kyte served for 10 years as the marketing director of the Office of Adventist Mission.