A Complete Guide on Preparing and Hosting a Healthy Dinner
In this modern age, parties are our way of life. We spend our days attending corporate parties and spend our weekends arranging and attending home parties. This means that for almost three-quarters of the week, the food we eat or prepare is full of sugar, alcohol or calories that we don’t have time to burn.
With modern parties, the key is to save the amount of money spent per person plate and this involves cutting down on all the healthy but expensive fruits, ordering the alternative to organic foods and offering up meat that is cost effective for a crowd. With cancer and all lifestyle diseases being on the rise, it is no longer a question of cheap because this is exactly what turns out to be expensive in the long run.
With this in mind, you are probably wondering where to begin when it comes to preparing healthy recipes for parties. Well, worry not, below is a step-by-step, with tips and helpful additions that will convert any party to an organic meeting.
We will cover this in the order they appear in terms of food course giving ideas of what is a healthy or unhealthy party option.
#1 - The Appetizer
- Zucchini nachos
What is a party if vegetarians are not considered? Well here is how. This is a 5 minute recipe. Preheat oven ad place zucchini on a baking sheet, toss olive oil, cumin chili powder and season with salt and paprika. Bake for 5 minutes.
- Stuffed mushroom
Place mushroom on a pan with melted butter, add salt pepper and garlic and stir for three minutes. Place the mixture in a bowl and add parmesan, bread crumbs and cream cheese, a bit of seasoning of your choice and chopped parsley.
- Churro almonds
Pre-heat oven. Mix up the sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt and a little water or milk. Stir in the almonds till they are completely covered. Place it in the oven till the sugar crystalizes.
- Cauliflower hummus
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line baking sheet with olive oil and place cauliflower on it. Roast for only 40 min before removing. Mix the cauliflower, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor to a smooth mix. Serve me a bowl and sprinkle with parsley and olive oil.
#2 - Main Dish
And now to where the major challenge is: main course.
These are not the most common but you can’t say healthy without mentioning salads. Create a base garden salad from which guests can choose their own dressing and additions.
Doctors recommend white meat as a healthy alternative to just about any kind of meat. Invest in more of chicken, fish and ocean foods with only small amounts of lean beef.
Pan Fry over deep frying to reduce the amount of calories ingested. Baking is an even better alternative.
- Vegetables and dairy products
Maximize on these because veggies should be more than a third of the plate anyway. Prepare a myriad of organic veggies. Keep cheese usage to a minimum and provide cheese free foods for the lactose intolerant.
#3 - Dessert
This is where we all go wrong when it comes to parties. I personally love this part of a party, the cake and ice cream assortment is to die for, and ultimately where all the calories come from.
Some examples of healthy options:
- Fruit salad
Mix up a bunch of different fruits for your guests. Make the salad more interesting by adding nuts or yoghurt, make this optional though because it may cause an allergy to some people. You can never go wrong with a fruit salad.
- Fruit on a stick
You really can’t go wrong with anything on a stick. Mix up the fruits in a stick and let guests have some to go.
- Fruit pies
Apple pie is simply delicious, if you swap the flour for whole meal and gluten free, you have a healthy pie. Zucchini cupcakes and all kinds of lemon pastries are also a good idea.
- Healthy yoghurt
Make use of plain unprocessed yoghurt, add milk and fruits for a nutritious frozen yoghurt.
#4 - Drinks
Unless it’s a drink tasting party, it’s ideal to entertain guests with wine, because it aids in digestion. Avoid hard liquor and provide mock-tails instead. Fruit juices are also ideal. Give both plain and sparkling water and just for the pomp, add infused water.
It is healthier to reduce carbonated drinks and beer to a minimum.
Healthy General Tips:
- Use gluten free flour
- Go for all unprocessed ingredients
- Use the minimum amount of cooking oil so the food isn’t too greasy.
- Encourage small servings of everything through the courses.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible and quite easy to host a party that is both healthy and can serve both meat eaters and vegetarians alike. The individual ingredients are what makes the difference, and choosing organic over processed food ingredients is the first step to a healthy party. When shopping for produce, check the labels keenly as these products are on different shelves. All the best planning a healthy party. It can be done!