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Look and feel your best with these 5 healthy party foods
You’ve got straight A’s, an appointment at the best salon in town, and a gorgeous little black dress from the 2012 Sherri Hill line, but the last thing you want is to unflatteringly fill out it’s waistline thanks to too many unhealthy snacks at your graduation party. It’s true: too much salt or sugar can make you bloat or swell in unattractive areas and turn your beautiful party look into a hot mess.
Instead, aim to throw a graduation party with healthy foods in mind. Ditch the fatty chips and dip for a few guilt-free, low calorie party snacks that’ll keep you looking sensational in your graduation attire.
Check out the following figure-friendly, low calorie party snacks to dress your table with—oh, and did I mention you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to prepare them either…
1. Fresh Veggie Thai Roll Ups
I love Thai food, and every time I order it, I’m sure to choose these yummy, healthy rolls as my appetizer. Not only are they deliciously-good-for-you recipe is chalked full of shredded greens, crunchy carrots, flavorful mango all dipped in savory soy sauce (low sodium of course) and spicy chili sauce. The proteins and good fats come from non-salted peanuts (or substitute with any nut of your preference). Simply roll up shredded baby book choy, julienned asparagus, cucumbers and carrot, sprinkled in some slivers of fresh mango and roll individual portions into rice paper wraps. You’ll want to immerse these in hot water first to make them malleable. Prepare a dipping bowl with the low sodium soy sauce and chili sauce, and you can even put some pickled ginger on the side as a dressing condiment.
2. Fresh Rainbow Salsa
This fresh and chunky salsa is a party for your taste buds! Featuring the vegetarian protein of black and kidney beans, and zested up with freshly squeezed lime juice, green chilies, chili powder, green onions, a pinch of exotic ground cumin, plus plum tomatoes and black olives—this colorful salsa has got what it takes to be the showcase of your party table. Chop all ingredients and mix in a bowl to refrigerate overnight. You can even offer some low fat sour cream as a delicious and healthy side. And offer alongside some baked tortilla chips or pita wedges for scooping.
3. Crunchy Veggie Tray with Guacamole
Guacamole is the perfect party favor—especially when that party is in the summer. Why? Not only is guacamole an understandably popular dip, it’s full of healthy fats too! Use 6 ripe avocados (test by squeezing them in the store, they should be a bit mushy). Cut them lengthwise, twist, and remove the pit. Scoop the avocado meat into a bowl and add lime juice, garlic, and salt and pepper to season. You can even add some chopped cherry tomatoes and green onions for added zing. Set your guacamole dip in the middle of a tray of variety of fresh, raw vegetables.
4. Apples and Goat Cheese Canapés
Take the tanginess of Granny Smith apples and the creaminess of Greek goat cheese and what do you get—deliciousness! These appetizers really bring the zing with the sour-sweetness of green apples and ground pepper. Core apples and cut into inch-thick apple slices then top with creamy goat cheese and drizzle with a bit of honey. Bake in the oven for just 5 minutes and ta-da—they’ll be coming back for more!
5. Garlic Flatbread “Pizza”
Take-out pizza is a caloric nightmare. However, if you put fresh ingredients—such as low fat mozzarella or goat cheese, fresh tomato sauce, lean chicken, and loads of veggies on lower calorie flat bread, you can still have pizza and maintain a healthy weight as well! Load on your ingredients then bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese melts. Then cut and place on wooden cutting boards for guests to pick their favorite slice.
Bios: Rachel Barnard is a freelance writer for Apron Addicts, a popular site that features tips on hosting parties, entertaining and recipes.
The 2 – 4 October program will be even more action packed than our first one – it will be full of fun, participation, challenges and competitions… exact details will be posted when I work them out!! (soon I promise!)
We are all about learning new food skills, sharing ideas, eating together, being creative, doing random acts of food kindness, doing kitchen experiments, movie making, learning to use technology and just plain fun.
I have just had a month of study and exams - so haven’t managed any blogs… all over now, so watch this space! Life is beginning to return to normal and I am off home – can’t wait to cook some fresh food again!!
In between study, and since the last school holiday program I have managed to run my first marathon!!
I have often thought we are on our own little food revolution and today we joined the rest of the world on by standing up for real food doing something to mark Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day… it was awesome!
My foodie rule pretty much describes what I think is ‘real’ food is. My rule is if your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it don’t eat too much of it – it will probably be over processed. By over processed I mean it will have lots of additives and added fat and sugar… you really are better to eat natural or fresh foods like fruit and vegetables and fresh meat…
What we did in the holidays is our own little food revolution… so today in our School Holiday Program follow up session we had a live chat we all cooked a food revolution dinner and we all had to try at least one new taste – quite fun really!
So check this out and find out a bit more about the Food Revolution… this resonates so strongly with me. Remember eating good food is not just a one day thing… it needs to be part of our way of life, every day. What small changes could YOU make? A lot of small changes = big change. So don’t think that you are doing isn’t worthwhile… every little step you take to be food savvy counts!!
I think it is really cool to realize what I am doing here is part of a lot bigger thing – there are so many people who think learning to cook and get food savvy is essential!!! Convinces me.
I want to tell you a story about mushrooms and me… I used to hate them – in fact I used to go to all sorts of drama picking them out of food. This went on for years. Then one day I was at a friends place and I felt I couldn’t pick them out of the food because it would look too rude. So I ate them… and guess what – I loved them!
So then I had to eat a bit of humble pie – because I had always made such a fuss, (yes – I admit I was an anti-mushroom drama queen) so I was sure my family were going to give me heaps about changing my mind – but they didn’t really. Truth is I hadn’t eaten them for about 5 or 6 years… and in that time I am sure my taste buds must have changed – because NOW I LOVE THEM!!!
So the moral of my story – just because you don’t like a food once – doesn’t mean you won’t like it forever. On another day, cooked in another way, or in a different setting when you are in a different mood,… so give foods a second chance – you may just find your new favorite.
PS: Think what you would miss out on if you never tried a food more than once – what foods have you ruled out??
I love it when I find other people who are on the same mission as me!! Next week the NZ Nutrition Foundation’ s Food Week 2012 runs. I am totally supporting the Just Cook concept so will be on TVNZ U at 6pm on Tuesday the 8th May to encourage everyone to Just Cook !! This is really supports my It’s My Turn To Cook Tonight Bosch School Holiday Cook in Program. I want all of the kids who were on the holiday program are to get in behind Just Cook and rustle up at least one family meal. We know after their week on the School Holiday Program they are absolutely able to! And if you weren’t on my program (haha I know you will be next time cos the prizes were sooooo good!!) then you should give it a go too – I got such good feed back how much you enjoyed the challenge/ chance / opportunity to actually make a whole meal…so rise to the occasion – you may surprise yourself!
Food Week’s theme is Just Cook. Just cook a family meal and sit down and enjoy with your family. But hey – I think it is fun to cook for your friends too!
Just Cook runs a couple of competitions too - so check out www.justcook.co.nz and see if you can get involved!
Wow, what an amazing week its been!
Most parents want us to be able to rustle up a snack or meal, know how much to eat and the difference between a good choice and a not-so-good choice. The impact of us not being able to do this pretty obvious and is sending a few parents into a spin!
So my mother Glenda and I wrote a book life love food kids to give your down to earth strategies and practical tips to help parents. My mother considers the serious stuff (nutrition, self esteem, eating too much junk food or not enough vegetables etc) and I bring her back to earth so she remembers how we think and operate. Her website for parents is www.foodsavvykids.com – and yes it is safe for you to send them there – she won’t insist that they feed you only cottage cheese and celery sticks – I have made sure of that!!
Life love food kids is a book about journeys. My mothers food journey – from when she was a little girl to now. It’s about what happens when childhood memories, the science of nutrition and the teaching of cooking get mixed up with family and life. And my journey about getting myself ready to leave home and wanting to know enough about food so that she can look after herself. As I say “It feels good to know I know enough about food to take good care of myself.”
Now this is odd…
Last week my little brother was stopped by an older kid to say she had just spent over an hour in her external Home Economics exam writing about me!!??? At about the same time I started getting texts from younger kids at school and frankly I couldn’t understand what they were about… all was revealed when we finally worked out that National NZQA Level 1 Home Economics exam paper (our national examinations for Year 11), had a whole unit analyzing how I had influenced teenage eating habits.
WOW – sitting NZQA (Level 3) exams myself, I can tell you it felt very odd that some kids had to write about me… gotta say this was a huge honor – not to mention a bit humbling.
So to all the kids who stressed out when they saw the paper and who had to write about me - sorry – I knew nothing about it and didn’t see until a day later than you guys who sat it!!
Anyway, exams are over now and it is so good to chill out… I am having a bit of a break but am starting working on some exciting new projects for it’s My Turn To Cook Tonight for next year…
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5 reasons to COOK!
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