What’s not to love about getting together for a dinner party with friends and family to share in delicious food and laughter? For many, it can be the kilojoule aftermath!
If your idea of the perfect dinner party is to dine on delicious food that won’t leave you feeling weighed down at the end of the evening, we’ve compiled some handy hints to help you keep the kilojoules under control.
Why not start off with a low-fat yoghurt based dip or salsa served with a plate of fresh vegetables. The more different colours the better! Toasted pita bread or mountain bread is a tasty alternative to corn chips for dipping. Simply cut the bread into triangles, sprinkle with paprika and bake them in the oven at 180C until crisp. These starters can all be prepared in advance giving you more time to spend with your guests.
It can be easy to overdo it on alcohol, especially if drinks are being topped off. Consider serving reduced alcohol beverages. There are an increasing number of reduced alcohol wines, sparkling wines and beers available that also contain up to 25 percent less kilojoules. Soda water mixed with fresh lemon and lime is also a refreshing alcohol-free option.
Look for recipes that do not require frying as the cooking method. BBQ, steaming, grilling, baking, dry roasting and poaching are all ways of preparing a meal that require little or no addition of fat. Whatever recipe you choose, be sure to prepare it at least once before the night so you can relax and be confident that it will turn out the way you expect it to.
Fresh herbs are low in kilojoules, look great and add lots of flavour, which means your guests will be less likely to reach for the salt shaker. A hand-full of freshly chopped herbs goes a long way or why not try your hand at a salsa verde? It’s perfect for both meat and seafood. Finely chop 1 bunch each of basil, parsley and tarragon. Add one clove of pressed garlic and enough olive oil to be able to mix it into a paste. Finish off with a squirt of lemon.
Salads are a delicious and vibrant meal accompaniment that can also be made in advance. Rocket with shaved fennel or a chopped tomato and basil salad are both light and delicious. Rather than purchase a salad dressing, why not make your own. Simply mix one part vinegar to three parts vegetable or olive oil and add freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste.
Dessert can be delicious without being over the top. Freshly cut fruit or a fruit salad is always a tasty option. Take advantage of seasonal fruit. If berries are in season, why not serve them with some reduced fat ice-cream. If you are making dessert, consider making ‘mini’ versions of things such as biscuits or cupcakes to reduce portion size.
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