Everyone loves a great party. I personally love hosting them. I’ve done it all, birthdays, conventional holidays, I even through a “fancy” party based off of the Drake song “Fancy.” We all dressed over the top and hung out in my townhouse/garage, we’re cool.
Anyways, this past weekend I threw my first “health conscious” party; It was a little challenging because I didn’t want my friends to think I was just throwing my lifestyle onto them, but in the end everyone loved what I made.
I, of course, love the Oscars, so that was our occasion. Although this particular fiesta-theme must wait until next year I think a lot of the recipes/tips I followed for mine could be used for your St. Pats, Cinqo de Mayo, or even grad parties coming up…if the weather ever improves.
Here are some tips on hosting “healthy” parties that people still actually want to come to:
1.) Don’t over-do the healthy theme. If someone asks what kinds of food you’re making keep it general and don’t go listing everything you just bought from Whole Foods to go into some weird soy-blend fake dip you’re making for your kale chips. Ironically that person’s cat will die on the day of the party and they won’t show up.
2.) Pick out the types of dishes you and your friends always have at parties. Look at the original recipes and see what ingredients you can swipe out for healthier versions. My family and friends love anything with sour cream. Obvi that isn’t the best for you, especially with the amounts of food we eat at parties. I love to switch in plain Greek yogurt for dips and fillings. I’ve even tricked people and pretended it was the regular recipe and they couldn’t tell the difference. One plus of this is that Greek yogurt has a ridiculous amount of protein and usually no fat, so you’re not only cutting cals but adding nutrients your body will thank you for.
3.) Don’t make a no-alcohol policy (unless you’re totes actually against drinking already). If you’re normally a casual drinker with your friends there’s no reason to cut it out of your functions. (1) Your friends will probably get real pissy real fast, let’s face it: get between a woman and her wine and you’re in trubs. (2) Consuming alcohol in social settings in moderation is totally fine, even while you’re living a healthy lifestyle. If you’re worried your old partying habits might creep up try buying only one type of alcohol you’re going to drink that day and then come up with a fun, semi-healthy cocktail that uses it. Try blending fruit and ice to make a daiquiri then share with all of your friends. You look like an awesome host and there will only be a small amount of your favorite drink for you to drink slowly throughout the party. You can also provide healthier mixers like fresh-squeezed juice and seltzer water with fruit. Always, always, always have cold water on hand as well if you’re giving people alcohol at your home, you’ll avoid a lot of trouble later.
4.) If you’re making large dishes for a dinner party instead of making one huge pan, make individual servings in cute cups or baking ramekins. If this tip is used I would definitely make more servings than people for those super-hungry dudes. However, it will keep you in check still by taking one of everything. I also love doing this with skewers. Instead of making large amounts of meat and potatoes for people in a pot I layer them on skewers for people and broil them. That way they can take as many as they’d like and there is virtually no gross clean up!
5.) The types of ingredients you buy just might win over your guests. I can honestly say that healthy food prepared well tastes so much better and is so much more satisfying than the processed foods our parents so often gave us at dinner. I really like going to a local market and buying really fresh herbs like basil and mint and incorporating them into dishes. Guests can see the difference between the fresh kinds and the dried kinds that they are used to, and will probably be really intrigued to taste the difference (uh, it’s better). Also, try to buy what is in season. Seriously the most delicious foods I’ve ever made myself come in the middle of the summer when a ton of fruits and veggies are just overflowing at the markets. I especially love in-season avocados and strawberries. Just keep it in mind this summer!
Now that I gave you the rule book, you’re probs scrambling to find the recipes. Check mine out below!
Here are a few of the hit-recipes from my Oscars party on Sunday:
These were absolutely AMAZING. They do use cream cheese and cheddar cheese as the base for the filling, but I tried to buy low-fat/reduced-fat versions. Aside from this it’s nice that we’re eating them with baked veggies instead of crackers or chips. You add lime juice and cilantro to the filling and it really makes it zesty. Just make sure to watch them during the baking because the cheeses brown quickly.
Healthy Layered Taco Dip
I don’t have a link for this recipe because I actually stole it from my roomie! Thanks Kim! I modified it to a healthier version and everyone still loved it. Here is what you need:
-two cups plain Greek yogurt
-taco seasoning packet
-can of drained and rinsed black beans
-jar of your favorite salsa
-bag of low-fat cheddar cheese
Basically, you mix the taco seasoning with the Greek yogurt and layer it at the bottom of a pan/dish of your choice. Then you spread your black beans, corn, salsa, and cheese, in that order. I’ve also really wanted to try putting a layer of romaine lettuce on top to give it a really fresh crunch. I served this up with some multigrain tortilla chips.
This was my favorite thing I made. Just look at the pictures that go with this recipe. It’s a beautiful salad. But, the dressing takes the cake. I want to make like a gallon of it and put it on everything. It was really easy to make and very healthy (made with Greek yogurt of course!). I added a small amount of skim milk to this recipe to make it a little thinner and coat all the salad.
Does your family have healthy-alternative party recipes? Give me your recipes to try below and I could feature it in a future post!
[Via. Shutterstock/ Monkey Business Images]