This is Part I of a multi-part series on throwing dinner parties. Stay tuned for more!
As the cooler weather is settling in, and we move from outdoor activities to indoor ones, it’s the time of year when dinner parties are starting to be more the norm. For those of us who have chosen a clean eating lifestyle, however, it can sometimes be challenging to throw a dinner party, especially when our friends aren’t necessarily adhering to the same diet. We don’t want to impose our own choices forcibly on our friends, but at the same time we don’t want to necessarily compromise our ideals either.
Luckily, there’s a happy medium! It’s entirely possible to offer delicious foods that your guests will rave about, while also managing to eat clean. Plus, since it’s a dinner party, there’s a little more leeway than what may be on the everyday menu. After all, we want our guests to enjoy themselves, right?
We’re rolling out this series over time, bringing attention to different dishes to serve and strategies to tackle the dinner party. In this first part, we’re talking about appetizers.
Our approach to appetizers:
Keep It Simple Silly (KISS).
Really, we try to apply this principal to a lot of the dishes we make for dinner parties, but it’s especially true for the appetizer course. Why? Two reasons:
- You want to impress your guests, but you also don’t want your appetizers to outshine the other courses.
- You want to make sure you save yourself time to focus your energy on the more elaborate courses.
Here are a few recipes we’ve found that both fit the clean eating lifestyle, but are also sure to please your guests. A couple of these can be done a day or two in advance, or at least fully assembled at the last minute. Enjoy!
Dips are a great appetizer that can be served with carrot, celery and cucumber sticks, or really any veggie that can be cut into a stick shape. They’re relatively easy to make, can be done in advance, and can really start off a dinner party on the right foot. And while hummus is certainly popular, here are a couple of options that are a little more outside the box.
Pomegranate-Beet Tahini Dip: Never mind the fact that this stuff looks a little like Peptol Bismol. It’s delish and it’s packed with vitamins and minerals!
Rosemary and Lemon White Bean Dip: This garlicy, herby concoction is sure to wake up your guests? palates!
Bruschetta and crostini are very similar in that we’re taking bread and toping them with interesting things. Typically, the difference is in the bread you use: Bruschetta tends to use bigger pieces are traditionally toasted over coals, whereas crostini are smaller, more bite-sized. Of course, as far as the home cook is concerned, the difference can be negligible as long as you’re using good quality bread. Try to go for whole wheat if you can!
Tuscan Kale and White Bean Bruschetta: The beans and kale combine for a powerful, yet healthy, bite.
Pear and Camembert Crostini: Nothing says fall weather like fresh pears, and this scrumptious starter really embraces the fall flavors (and we’re not talking pumpkin spice here!).
Speaking of pumpkins, if you’ve gone pumpkin picking lately be sure to save those seeds! They make an excellent, light snack that your gets can crunch on while enjoying their aperitifs.
Check out this recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds.
These should be good to get you started. Tune in for more ideas on how to throw the perfect dinner party! If you want more help finding healthy eating options, schedule a visit with one of our alternative medicine specialist or join us for one of our cooking classes.