When you’re planning a small and casual party with your friends, you may be tempted to just pop open a bag of chips and buy a few liters of soda. However, you could be passing on an opportunity to eat healthier. According to a report published by the International Food Information Council, as many as 95 percent of food shoppers in the United States look for healthier food choices. Unfortunately, only 28 percent of these food shoppers say they have easy access to healthy food products. (Image Credit: Katemangostar/Freepik)
Part of the reason people can’t eat healthily is they think that doing so is expensive. But eating well doesn’t have to break the bank, and neither should your party menu. If you have the resources, you could splurge and have a restaurant serve delicately crafted sandwiches. But if you’d rather have a casual party, here are some healthy food ideas you can use to spruce up your menus.
Start your party the healthy way with these nutritious and affordable appetizers.
This healthy alternative to potato chips is tasty and packed with vitamins. Slice a few eggplants into thin rounds and sprinkle each side with salt. After an hour, blot the eggplant slices with paper towels and brush them with a mixture of olive oil, garlic salt and paprika. Bake slices for 30 minutes at 350-degrees. You can also serve it with a side of a dipping sauce with cheese, cilantro and cashews.
Serve a savory appetizer with these Caprese bites. Get about two dozen cherry tomatoes and wash them thoroughly. Skewer them carefully on toothpicks, along with mozzarella balls. Top with a basil leaf and serve with pimento olives.
Fire up your grill and serve a juicy and healthy appetizer. Cut watermelon into wide, triangular wedges. Brush both sides of the slice with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sizzle on the grill at high heat and top with some cheese.
Keep the healthy causal party going with these tasty and cost-effective entrees.
Cut a few eggplants lengthwise and salt them to draw out their moisture. Dry them with a paper towel and bake them at medium heat for 15 minutes. You can make your own tomato sauce or simply buy canned tomato sauce from the supermarket and season it with some garlic and pepper.
Fill eggplants with a mixture of spinach and basil before rolling them tightly. Smother with your tomato sauce and bake another 15 minutes and top with parmesan cheese.
Baked Chicken Meatballs
This meatball recipe takes less than half an hour to make, plus they’re easy to serve and eat. Combine a pound of lean ground chicken with some chopped garlic and onions. Stir in Â¼ cup breadcrumbs along with pepper, salt, and dried herbs. Form this mixture into balls one inch in diameter and bake for 20 minutes. Serve this with any sauce you like, such as a yogurt and dill dip or even cheese.
Switch from calorie-laden beef sliders to leaner chicken sliders. These miniature burgers are easy to eat and fun to assemble. Get a pound of chicken breast and ground it into fine chunks. Mix with a few teaspoons of garlic powder, oregano, and cumin. Sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese and pepper. Shape them into small patties and fry them on a hot pan and put them in miniature burger buns topped with a thin slice of tomato.
Fun and Healthy Drinks
Keep everyone in your casual party happy and bubbly with these non-alcoholic drink options.
Sangria is as rich as it is tasty, and it looks amazing in a pitcher or glass. Boil 2 cups of water with a couple of black tea bags and cinnamon sticks. Dissolve half a cup of sugar in the water and pour it into a pitcher along with a few cups of pomegranate juice and orange juice. Spruce it up with thinly sliced oranges, lemons, and apple cubes. Pour in some carbonated water and serve over ice.
This punch packs a sweet and wonderful smelling punch. Get the zest and peel of a lemon and once up of lemon and orange juice. Combine this with a cup of sugar and Â¼ cup of honey. Boil this mixture until the sugar is dissolved and let it cool. Mix this syrup with soda water for a refreshing drink.
Casual party menus don’t have to be expensive or full of unhealthy calories to be delicious. These recipes will let you astound your friends with your culinary skills and help you make their diets a little healthier.