Hosting Healthy: Part 1 Hors d’oeuvres
I love hosting dinner parties and cooking for friends, it is one of my favorite activities! Over the years, I have found great satisfaction is supporting a multitude of dietary restrictions. I recall one bridal shower I hosted, I had a vegan, gluten intolerant, and paleo joining. As a picky eater myself, I always hated going to parties where I couldn’t eat the food or had to ask what each item was made of. So it became my mission to support all (yes, I am the host that will ask for allergies or dietary restrictions in an invite). Lucky for me this event was a brunch, so I could make several items that support all dietary allowances.
The next three recipe blogs will be a series. Each step of a dinner party or it can also read, Snacks, Salads, Dinners, and Dessert 😉 if you hate hosting but want to use these recipes in your own life!
Kicking it off with Appetizers today!
- Hummus and Crudité
- Deviled Eggs
- Chicken Salad Boats
- Baked Kale Chips
Hummus and Crudité:
Who doesn’t love a multitude of dips. I know I do! This is where you can have some fun with presentation, or pick up different flavored hummus for a fun dip sesh! I like to add in an avocado dip as well as maybe an edamame hummus, for a little variety or even a roasted red pepper. I love sliced bell peppers or even those bite sized peppers cut in half (almost like a scoops chip), Cucumber is a must with hummus (in my book), it is cool and a great compliment. Pick up some multi-colored carrots for a fun spring color splash! What about steaming some asparagus, just barely, and adding that. Asparagus is an amazing source of vitamins! Now, the more variety the better, but to protect those in attendance, create a fun way to keep the veggies from touching – so those who are allergic to one can still enjoy the others. I posted a few fun ideas on our Pinterest Page!
Now you can make your own Hummus with a few of my favorite recipes in the links, or you can totally grab a few varieties at the store. When you are hosting, I always opt for the easier version. I also don’t have the coveted Ninja or Vitamix blenders, so getting my hummus smooth takes some serious elbow grease! 😉 Avocado Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, & Roasted Garlic Hummus.
Deviled Eggs are an easy addition! I zip up my devils and use plain fat free greek yogurt and Dijon mustard, it keeps the fat low, protein high, and adds a fun little kick. You could also test out some fun deli mustards with a little horseradish, sriracha, jalapeno, etc…! Want make your job even easier, but pre-hard boiled eggs at the grocery store! Or if you are a purest, here is how I do mine! Hint: they also have these amazing egg cookers now that do all the work for you!
Chicken Salad Boats:
To add a tad more protein to the table and keep guests satisfied, I love these little bites size chicken salad boats. For my chicken salad, I just use some preshredded chicken or even better grab a pre-cooked rotisserie from the deli, **Hello, time saver!**
- 1 lb shredded cooked chicken
- 2-3 stalks celery diced
- 2-3 stems of green onion
- 4 oz non-fat greek yogurt ( I like Chobani)
- 3-4 TBSP Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dill weed
- dash baue monde,
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup dried cranberry.
- Mini cucumbers or regular cucumbers
Mix chicken salad well, for best flavor let it sit over night to really incorporate the dill flavor. Then I take regular or mini cucumbers, sliced in half length ways, scoop out the middle and add in salad. Cut into bite size pieces! Or you can slice little disks and scoop out the middle for the salad!
Lastly… Corey’s favorite!
Baked Kale Chips:
I was always afraid of these. But I found, that if you massage the Kale – it really opens up the fibers and makes the texture much more palatable. EVEN for baking. Pre-wash the kale and lay it out to dry thoroughly. I coat my hands in a good extra virgin olive oil and course Himalayan salt. Then I get to work, rubbing and massaging each leaf. Not going to lie, I need a massage after this but for my guests, I will go above and beyond! I de-rib the Kale by cutting out the long stock. I arrange on a cookie sheet with foil or baking paper. I season with a little garlic powder since that is what I like, maybe a fine dusting of grated Parmesan and pepper. Remember we massaged with salt and oil, so that should have given a nice coating to the kale. Bake at about 350 for 10-15 minutes. Check it regularly, you don’t want it to get burnt or soggy.
All of the above can easily be pre-made so guests are enjoying a few snacks while you put the finishing touches on later courses.
Stay tuned for next weeks recipe: A easy, healthy fresh Salad that will truly impress!