The food you serve is, of course, the highlight of your healthy dinner party. Here are some tips for making your healthy dinner party meals feel extra special.
Dishes with an array of colours look particularly attractive and special, so include plenty of healthy, colourful fruits and vegetables in your meal. Start off with salads, because there’s such an array of greens and fruits that you can include. Simple soups like a carrot or broccoli purée also make a colourful start to your meal. Generally, end with a fruit-based dessert. Even something as simple as a mixed fruit salad can be dazzling.
A few surprise ingredients
It’s amazing how the addition of an unexpected ingredient or two can make an everyday dish feel more special. Roasted carrots look more festive when they’re topped with a sprinkle of bright-green pistachios – and you’re providing some healthy omega-3 fats that way. Adding some paper-thin pear slices to your salad takes it from routine to restaurant-worthy, and you’re also sneaking some extra fruit into the menu. A few dried currants in your rice, a handful of fresh herbs in your salad, a coating of sesame seeds on your fish – it’s the little things that show you care.
The simplest of dishes can look special with a spectacular presentation. If you’re plating each person’s dish and have several items on the plate, leave room around each item to make them distinct from one another (this helps with portion control, too). Another restaurant trick is to show off your grilling skills by placing your perfectly cooked fish or chicken on top of a small pool of sauce rather than covering it up. Then add a sprig of fresh basil or a shower of minced parsley to dress up the plate.
When you go out to a nice restaurant, you notice not only the food but the surroundings as well. Soft music (or festive, if that’s the mood you’re in), gentle lighting or candlelight, shiny silverware, sparkling glasses, attractive linens and flowers all help to make a meal feel extra special. So, take some time to set the mood – your guests will feel pampered. When the mood is right, people tend to relax and really enjoy their food. If the pace is a little slower, your guests will linger at the table and visit: it’s always nice to take the time to slow down and enjoy each other’s company.