Friday, August 25, 2017

Healthy Dinner Party Ideas


Eating dinner with friends has definitely changed over the years with the increase in food sensitivities and allergies to the varying levels of health consciousness.

Hosting a dinner party anymore is not as simple when you are concerned about not being able to please everyone or worrying about allergic reactions.

These common situations can be stressful to the point that it prevents you from hosting or attending a dinner party.

It may seem easier to go out to eat so you can at least be with your friends - but we have a couple of simple dinner party ideas that can assist you in confidently hosting the next one!




5 Essential Steps for a Successful Dinner Party:

1.  Guest List
2.  Necessities
3.  Food
4.  Wine
5.  Ambiance


Guest List 

Create your list of a fun group and ask them to bring a specific bottle of wine that you would like to have at dinner. They will be more than happy to bring one...or two!
Know as much as you can about your guests when it comes to food preferences or obvious allergies. If there is a major allergy to peanuts, gluten, shellfish or another common food, then you know to absolutely not even have those foods around. Simple.

Necessities

Let's start with the wine.
Wine opener - corkscrew or electric
Wine glasses - stemless or stemmed...glass, stainless steel or plastic...choose either a variety of colored or differently patterned glasses or have wine charms or magnets on hand to designate each guest their own glass
Next are all of the dishes you will need for serving your delicious meal...including appetizers and dessert. Appetizer serving trays, small plates, silverware, serving utensils, napkins, glasses for water, dinner plates, serving trays and dishes for main course, and dessert cups or plates.
And it is totally fine to use paper plates!

Food

Appetizers, meal and dessert...
Plan and prepare.
Include a variety within your meals to please a vegan, vegetarian, dairy or gluten-free guest.
Makes grocery lists. Chop, peel, slice and prepare food for the night - including any back-ups so they are ready to refill when needed.
Make sure you have charcoal or enough propane if you are grilling.
Have fun planning! Sipping on wine will help with your creativity!
You will find two of our favorite dinner party ideas at the bottom of today's blog!

Wine

Easiest part of the night!
You already have your favorite wine on hand...but please ask your guests to bring a bottle or two...they will love the fact that your request is easy for them to bring!
For the 2 healthy dinner party ideas that we have below, these are the wines we would recommend asking your guests to bring:
#1 - Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir
#2 - Syrah, Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon


Ambiance

Fresh cut flowers are a beautiful touch, as long as none of your guests start sneezing and reaching for the tissue box. If you have an empty wine bottle from the night before, rinse it out and it'll makes a perfect vase for a few long stems too. Add flowers to the bathroom and dinner table.If you have a fun little wine rack this acts as a centerpiece or extra decor for the kitchen or dining room.
We do not recommend candles for two reasons: allergy potential and just in case it gets knocked over or forgotten about. You can either go with the aromas of your meal or easily add a subtle essential oil in a oil diffuser, such as tangerine, lemon, grapefruit or lavender, to fill a home with a gentle scent.
Have empty kitchen and bathroom garbage cans.
Add your favorite lighting and party music.
Plan your options - Are you eating indoors or out? 
Being flexible is awesome when it comes to variations in weather and guests.
If your home feels too warm, then heading outdoors may be more comfortable.
You could end up having a picnic in your backyard even if your dining table is set for elegance!





Two of Our Favorite Healthy Dinner Party Ideas
(We recommend organic, grass-fed, hormone-free, free range, local and unprocessed ingredients)

#1 Chicken Fajitas
(These are delicious and healthy, you can use your appetizers with the main course, and you will please anyone who is gluten, soy or dairy free, vegetarian or vegan.)
Appetizers: 
Homemade Guacamole 
Fresh Salsa
                     Serve with Fresh Cut Veggies (cucumbers, red, orange and yellow bell                                  peppers, jicama or zucchini) and Non-GMO Chips

Guacamole recipe idea - Chop and mix Avocados, Tomatoes, Lime, Jalapenos, Garlic, Cilantro and Sea salt and pepper to taste
TIP - keep all of the avocado pits mixed in the dish to prevent browning of the guacamole

Main Dish:  Chicken Fajitas 
Chicken sauteed in coconut oil, with yellow, red and orange bell peppers, onions, fresh lime juice, spices (cumin, garlic, onion, chili, salt, pepper, paprika) and add a tidge of olive oil after the intense cooking is complete.

Sides:
Jasmine rice cooked with spices such as cumin and chili powder or our favorite is adding       cilantro and fresh lime to cooked jasmine rice
      Refried black beans
  
Toppings
Tomatoes, Cilantro, Sliced black olives, Sour Cream, Cheese, Lettuce, Lime wedges and refill your appetizers of Salsa and Guacamole 

Wraps:  
Tortillas or Lettuce (Romaine leaves work well)

Wine:    Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir

Dessert:  Summer = Refreshing Fruit
      Strawberries and/or peaches - mash them up and serve them with either organic vanilla ice cream and/or angel food cake



#2 Build Your Burger Night

Appetizers:  
Chicken wings (barbecue and buffalo with sauces (ranch and bleu cheese) and veggies (carrots, celery and jicama)
(BTW Check out this awesome appetizer serving tray!)
                      Cheese and crackers (three cheeses (cheddar, swiss and gouda) three crackers - rice, water and wheat)

Main Dish:  Build Your Own Burgers 
Grass fed beef or bison burgers (make your own or pick up fresh burgers - one per guest)

Buffet of Toppings:
Bacon (cook up some bacon slices ahead of time - easy to reheat in skillet or convection oven), Cheese Slices, Avocado, Lettuce, Onion and Tomato Slices, and even put out some Fried Eggs!

Condiments:
Mayo, Mustard, Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Horseradish

Sides:
Hashbrowns (sweet potato or regular)
Buns and Lettuce Leaves for Bunless

Wine:    Syrah, Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon

Dessert:
Sea Salt Caramel Gelato or
Homemade Chocolate Mousse - We recommend this recipe: Chocolate Mousse Recipe


We sincerely hope you enjoy these healthy dinner party ideas!

Have fun while sharing the wine!

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