Planning the food is as essential to the perfect party as planning the playlist, the drinks, and the décor. The wrong spread can weigh down guests and make the entire event a sluggish snooze, so keep the dishes light, bright, and inviting. Simple snacks are your best bet: that way, you won’t have to hang around the treats table all night explaining what’s what to nervous guests.
A few tips can go a long way when you’re trying to lighten the offerings. First things first: nix the fried foods. Everyone knows that fried foods contribute to obesity and heart disease, but it’s also worth noting that they can cause stomach upset, especially when consumed by people who aren’t used to them. If your friends are health nuts, it’s doubly important to reach for the baking sheet over the frying pan. Also, try incorporating more yogurt into your recipes. It’s a healthier option that replaces cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream, especially in dips or sauces. And try laying out fruits and vegetables rather than chips and crackers for dipping — the dips you’ve prepared are the stars of the show, anyway.
Opting for a healthier menu can be an excellent conversation starter, especially if you get creative and have fun with recipes. Lighter food keeps people on the dance floor, minimizes greasy napkins, and leaves everyone feeling better in the morning.
Baked Coconut Shrimp
For a healthy twist on a party favorite, try baking your shrimp instead of frying them. It cuts down on calories and greasy fingers. Use a combination of unsweetened coconut flakes, panko, and whole-wheat flour to make your crust more health-conscious.
Ever hear of using grated cauliflower to make pizza crust? Well, today’s your lucky day! Cut back on carbs and grains by simply mixing 2 ½ cups grated cauliflower (microwaved until soft) with 1 lightly beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Press the dough onto a pizza pan, and voila! You’ve got a healthy crust to top as you’d like.