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The table has always played a role here at Oldways: It has been a place for us to gather and solve food issues, learn about new cultures, and enjoy new cuisines from around the world. This is why we have consistently encouraged the “pleasures of the table” as a key component of healthy eating. Based on our extensive knowledge of the “old ways” of eating, and on abundant scientific evidence, we have long argued that eating slowly, in a relaxed setting, in the company of friends and/or family, promotes better health. This is why, at the base of our Heritage Diet Pyramids, you’ll find people enjoying meals with each other depicted among other elements of a healthy lifestyle, such as joyful movement and walking.

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So, escape the winter blues by enjoying a globally inspired meal around the table with your family and friends. Or go a step further and plan a dinner party—using heritage diets as your inspiration!

Not only do heritage diets offer a delicious variety of flavors and recipes from different cultures, but they also provide a roadmap for healthy eating. By incorporating traditional foods and cooking methods into your diet, you can improve your overall health and wellbeing while satisfying your taste buds.

Let’s get cooking! From appetizers to desserts—we have gathered some delicious and nourishing recipes to create a fully planned-out dinner party menu for you!


green salad with peanuts in a white bowl

These Vietnamese spring rolls make a fun, crisp and light appetizer! Our rolls are filled with fruits and vegetables, but it is not uncommon to add shrimp inside the roll as well. Serve with a dipping sauce such as Nuoc Cham or a Peanut Sauce.

Or, if you’d prefer to start with a soup or salad, great textures and flavors combine in this comforting traditional African Peanut Soup soup from western Africa. It makes a great starter!

This simple Herby Greek Greens Salad with Peanuts and Fennel is inspired by Aglaia Kremezi, a Greek cookbook author and cooking teacher who has helped lead Oldways Culinarias throughout Greece. You can travel with her, along with three other chefs and experts, in Athens and the Peloponnese in May 2024! Feel free to substitute whatever herbs might be growing near you.

pasta bolognese on a plaid placemat


In this Lentil and Sausage Bolognese recipe, dried lentils are used to stretch a tiny bit of Italian chicken sausage into a hearty, mostly plant-based meal. The flavors pair especially well with whole-grain pasta. Your dinner party guests will love this dish so much they might even want to join you on an authentic Italian adventure to Parma and Emilia Romagna in April!

Or if you’re feeling seafood, Thai ginger salmon is also a great option to serve as the main dish! The savory ginger-garlic sauce is fragrant and flavorful.



For something sweet to end the meal you may opt for something elegant like Pears in Vinho do Porto. Vinho do Porto is a fortified wine from the northern Douro Valley region of Portugal. Pears cooked in a Vinho do Porto syrup make for an easy but impressive dessert!

Or perhaps something simpler, like peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! This recipe gets a whole grain twist from teff, a gluten-free grain native to the Horn of Africa! Tasting mildly like chocolate, teff flour has plenty of natural sweetness and blends well with nuts and chocolate. These cookies, a classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate, are delightful treats.

a vibrant magenta beverage in a glass set on a backdrop of patterned blankets


Need a fun and delicious drink option for your guests? Make agua fresca! Agua fresca is a type of non-alcoholic beverage that is popular in Latin American countries. This refreshing beverage is made with fruit, water and sweetener!

You can choose which fruit you’d like to make it with…we love prickly pear and tamarind aguas frescas—just slightly sweetened with honey or agave!

Now that you have a handful of recipes, and hopefully some inspiration, it is time to plan your next global dinner party! If you are hungry for more, be sure to check out our recipe library, and if you want to experience true global gastronomy, join us on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in 2024! We will be visiting Italy, Greece, and Croatia!

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