Healthy Options for Summer Entertaining
HOW is it almost August? Even though we have summer weather almost all year round here in Los Angeles, there’s still a strong desire to squeeze every last drop out of the “traditional” summer months. And that means a lot more summer entertaining! Whether I’m hosting a party or am someone’s guest, I like to add a healthy dish to the mix. That doesn’t mean that I won’t indulge (my love for cake runs deep, trust me!) I just like knowing that I’ve got a nutritious option, as well (and I’m sure the other guests appreciate it too). So with that said, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite healthy dishes and snacks for your next summer soirée. They are all easy and simple, just as summertime should be. Dig in!
1. “Summer in a Bowl”:
I’ve made this salad so many times and I’m always amazed at how good it tastes given how easy it is to make. Here’s the recipe:
1 container of mixed greens
10 chunks of watermelon
4 Persian cucumbers (or half of an English cucumber)
3 heirloom tomatoes
3-4 basil leaves
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop up the avocado, watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes and basil leaves and toss into a bowl with the mixed greens. For the dressing, simply mix together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. Top it off with a big squeeze of lemon. If you want this salad to be a main dish, just add in some feta cheese and/or grilled chicken so it’s more filling. Still super easy!
2. Pasta Salad:
Forget the typical mayonnaise version you probably had at every family BBQ growing up. This recipe from Martha Stewart is so light and fresh. I like to use brown rice, chickpea or lentil pasta for an additional nutritional kick.
3. Salty Snacks:
If you’re in charge of snack food items, don’t fret! There are lots of healthy options available at the grocery store. My favorites include Flackers, Simple Mills almond flour crackers, Healing Home Foods crackers (the pizza flavor is to die for!) and SkinnyPop popcorn. You can also make a big batch of trail mix using raw almonds, dried cherries, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate chips (Hu Kitchen and Enjoy Life are my top brands)
4. Sweet Treats:
Dessert, my favourite! Ice cream is a summer staple but since I like to keep my diet dairy-free 90% of the time, I’m always on the hunt for an alternative. I came across Dream Pops at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and loved them! Dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free and no artificial flavours or additives. These definitely check all the boxes!