How to Host a Chill and Healthy Dinner Party

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As we head into the third weekend of the #COOK75 challenge, it’s a great time to talk about alternatives to dining out with friends. Why not host a dinner party instead of going out to eat?

If hearing the phrase “dinner party” stresses you out, don’t worry! I am not a super formal person myself, and a dinner party doesn’t have to big this big ordeal with invitations, and seating charts. You can simply invite friends over for dinner without having all of that stress!

I’ve broken hosting a chill and healthy dinner party down into 5 easy steps. Not only will you save money by eating/drinking at home, you will likely be eating more healthy whole foods (and less processed foods) and won’t have anyone waiting for your table. You can stay and enjoy yourselves for as long as you would like!

5 Healthy and Chill Dinner Party Tips

  1. Don’t make the invite list too big. A dinner party is more intimate than a party-party, and 2-6 guests is a good starting point. You can feasibly cook for 4-8 people in a “normal size” kitchen without having to batch cook, and also have enough plates, silverware, and glasses for everyone.
  2. Ask your guests for food allergies/preferences before choosing recipes. After you send out your invites (and yes this can totally be a text – we’re chill, remember?) the next step is to ask what kind of food they want to eat. This is the time that the guest will typically mention a food allergy or preference. You can then start looking for recipes, and if you’re not sure if it fits within their allergy/preference don’t hesitate to run it by them. You don’t want to make anyone sick, so it’s always better to check if you’re unsure! When I’m in need of some culinary inspiration, I always browse the Blush Nutrition Recipe eBooks for ideas.
  3. Opt for a one pot or sheet pan meal. Make it easy on yourself with a meal that seems fancy, but is in fact very easy to make. If you want to have separate dishes because of food allergies or preferences, try making the meat/veggies on a sheet pan, and then serving a grain on the side. An example of this would be making the Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan with Italian Veggies from my Winter Recipe eBook and serving whole wheat pasta or cauliflower gnocci on the side. Make sure to test out the recipe first! Don’t let your party be the first time you try something – take notes on your first round to make it easier on yourself on the day of the party. If there are steps that you can prep in advance (like chopping veggies or cooking grains) you can do that a couple of days before as well.
  4. Collaborate! While some more formal blogs/books might tell you that a dinner party host/hostess must make every dish at the party, we are living in 2019, and you do you. If your guest asks if they can bring something, and you feel you could use the help, say yes! Ask them to bring an appetizer (like a cheese board with crackers and nuts) or a dessert (like berries and dark chocolate).
  5. Add fresh flowers to the table. Skip the stress of name cards and fancy place settings, and spruce up your table with some simple fresh flowers! I always have fresh flowers from my garden on our table, and I find it elevates the table while also sending a welcoming feeling.

Do you have any dinner party questions/struggles? Send me a message here!

Sage Brown Butter Cauliflower Gnocci with Mushrooms, Spinach, and Chicken Apple Sausage

Trader Joe’s new Cauliflower Gnocci is ALL the rage this year! So many of my clients have tried it and logged their meal in their Healthie food logs, that I just had to give it a try.

I love the flavors of fall, and also healthy one pot meals dish that takes less than 20 minutes to make. With only 6 ingredients, you can’t go wrong. Check out the full recipe below!

cauliflower gnocci

Sage Brown Butter Cauliflower Gnocci with Mushrooms, Spinach and Chicken Sausage

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons organic unsalted butter
  • 10 Chopped sage leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 2 Packages Frozen Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocci
  • 8oz Sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 Pre-cooked chicken apple sauasges, cut into half moons
  • 2 Cups Baby spinach (1/2 5oz bag)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt, about 1 minute. Add the sage leaves and fry the sage in the butter for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add the bags of the frozen caulfilower gnocci and the sliced mushrooms to the skillet. Toss to coat in the sage butter. Cover and cook 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach, chicken apple sausage, black pepper, and garlic. Cover and cook another 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted and the gnocci is fully cooked through.
  4. Place in 4 bowls and serve!

Nutrition Facts (1 serving): 392 Calories, 15g Total Fat, 5g Saturated Fat, 915mg Sodium, 38.2g Total Carb, 10g Fiber, 1g Sugar, 20.4g Protein

Have you tried the caulfilower gnocci yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comment below!