Meal Planning Monday ~ Healthy Entertaining

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

When I ask people what their biggest roadblock is to eating healthy, many say it’s resisting temptation when at a party, event, or restaurant.  It’s definitely a challenge to eat healthy when someone else prepares the food and you have limited choices.  But I have been to parties at other people’s houses – people who I know are generally healthy eaters – and the buffet is full of unhealthy choices!  Do we think that entertaining has to include a smorgasbord of fat and sugar-laden treats?

Yes, it is possible to offer healthful and super-tasty choices when hosting your next event or party!  Last week, I hosted my first Ava Anderson Non Toxic party and Melissa, my nurse practitioner, was going to be in attendance.  Melissa has helped me clean up my diet quite a bit over the past couple months, so I felt challenged to apply what I’d learned and make sure the snacks I was offering to the ladies in attendance were both healthy and delicious!

My first snack was simple – a veggie tray loaded with organic baby carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers.  I chose an all-natural ranch dressing with no high fructose corn syrup or MSG (Newman’s Own is a good pick).

The ladies killed my second snack!  There were zero leftovers of the Greek Style Chips & Dip.  This one is so amazingly easy and tasty, you’ll be tempted to make it for every party and get-together you go to.

Photo Credit: www.KraftRecipes.com

 

Greek Style Chips & Dip

 

  • 1 pkg. (7 oz.) ATHENOS Original Hummus
  • 1 pkg. (4 oz.) ATHENOS Traditional Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
  • ATHENOS Pita Chips Original

 

Spread hummus on the bottom of a glass 9-inch pie plate or similar sized dish.  In a bowl, combine the feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, and olives.  Spread the mixture on top of the hummus and serve with chips. I opted for the whole grain pita chips, and had a gluten free cracker option for dipping as well.  The great thing with this recipe is you can use different flavor options for the hummus if you so choose.

My final snack served for my party had to be something sweet – preferably chocolate to compliment the red wine the ladies were sipping!  I knew my “Healthy Candy” recipe would fit the bill… and I made it even healthier than usual by using dairy-free chocolate!  (Who knew there was even such a thing?)

Even Healthier Candy

 

  • 1 Package of Enjoy Life Mega Chunks
  • 1 ½ Cups of Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal
  • 1 Cup of Dried Cherries
  • ½ Cup of Walnut Pieces

 

In a medium bowl, microwave the chocolate on high for 1 minute.  Stir.  Microwave 1 more minute or until melted. (You can also do this on the stove top or in a double boiler).  Quickly stir in cereal, dried cherries, and walnuts until well coated.  Using a tablespoon, drop clusters on a wax paper lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate for two hours or until chocolate hardens.  I store the candy in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  You can make this recipe gluten-free by using Rice Chex or another gluten free cereal.  And I must say, I am completely delighted and perplexed by the Enjoy Life products, the Mega Chunks especially.  How can anything be dairy, nut, soy, and gluten free and still taste so awesome?  (Bonus: Non-GMO!)  Judging by the lack of leftovers, I would say that my tasty treats were a big hit.

Still need inspiration for appetizers?  Another healthy entertainment option is homemade bean dip made with organic re-fried beans.  (1 can of beans + 1 cup of salsa.  Heat thoroughly and sprinkle with a little cheddar cheese if desired and serve with organic corn chips.)

What are your favorite dishes to serve that are both healthy and delicious when entertaining guests?