Throwing a dinner party for friends or family doesn’t have to mean abandoning your diet, or slaving away for days in the kitchen. Try these six stress-free recipes that will impress guests without expanding any waistlines.
Guests will love this Asian-inspired appetizer, especially because they can eat it with their hands. And, as a bonus, vitamin-packed veggies and protein-rich shrimp provide a low-cal filling. Swap fatty peanut-butter-based dressings for this tangy dipping sauce and slash nearly all the fat without skimping on taste. Just make sure to allot some prep time to cut the veggies or delegate it to any friends and family who want to help.
Hot out of the oven, these toasts will fly off the platter. The crusty texture of the bread contrasts with the creamy and slightly sweet ricotta cheese and cherry tomatoes—rich in calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. You'll devour these little bites of flavor, each under 150 calories.
Don't be fooled by the name, because these pancakes pack more flavor than any Bisquick recipe. Use leftover mashed potatoes from your last soiree to cut down on cooking time, and have these in the hands of hungry guests in 25 minutes. With about half the fat of traditional recipes, these guilt-free crowd-pleasers also pack four times the calcium, thanks to the fresh Parmesan cheese. Plus, a sprinkling of green onions adds some immunity-boosting vitamin C.
With about half your recommended daily intake of protein, this heart-healthy salad can easily be a filling entree for guests. A serving of shrimp, while low in fat and calories, packs 14% of your daily-recommended iron, and antioxidant-rich artichokes add about a third of your daily fiber. Make these early and let them chill as your guests are arriving.
These gourmet appetizers bake in five minutes! Best served straight out of the oven, this low-carb, low-cholesterol side dish will add some Mediterranean flair to your party and your diet. Tomatoes are loaded with the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Mix in some basil and get savory flavor with a boost of antioxidants, which can also help lower your blood pressure.
What’s a party without chips and dip? This spicy homemade salsa will give your metabolism a boost, helping you to burn more fat. Plus, research shows that turning up the heat can leave you feeling more satisfied (and less likely to make three trips to the buffet). Make this salsa a day or two before the party to cut down on prep time, and serve with unsalted tortilla chips to keep the sodium count low.