Pull out your finest red carpet wear, get your ballots ready and prepare to watch the Oscars: Healthy Dining style! Your Oscar party may be big or small, black tie formal or yoga pants casual, but the menu should always be amazingly delicious. Here are some of our do-it-yourself and restaurant favorites for your Oscar affair this weekend:
· Popcorn – What would a party all about the Big Screen be without popcorn? Dress it up with fancy herbs and spices or down with a simple sprinkle of garlic powder or Parmesan cheese. Popcorn is not only considered a whole grain; it’s also a lower calorie and low fat choice.
· Crostini – These toasted bread appetizers can be easy, healthy and look incredibly Oscar-worthy! Look for whole grain breads to use as a base and then top with everything from roasted vegetables to low fat cheeses. Here are some recipes to get you started.
· Salads – Not just any salad. Opt for fun and unique salads that will be the talk of the party, while everyone gets some extra servings of nutritious fruits and veggies. Try adding different greens, sweet fruits, savory cheeses and even roasted vegetables to the mix.
· Shrimp – If it’s in your budget and allergies aren’t a concern, this can be an easy food for entertaining. Marinate and cook this lean protein with citrus, herbs and spices to add flavor and save on calories and fat. This Shrimp Cilantro recipe from Thai Island is a good restaurant recipe to try.
· Chicken or veggie kebabs – Like shrimp, marinate and season with citrus, herbs and spices or vinegar and then grill or bake for easy party foods. Many of the restaurant recipes here include tasty marinades to flavor your kebabs.
Skip the cooking and focus on your Oscar picks instead. Here are some dietitian-recommended choices from participating Healthy Dining restaurants that can make a tasty (and no-work) addition to your evening:
· Sushi – Order and pick up a few sushi rolls made with seafood (not fried), veggies and preferably brown rice to share at your get together. Try the Snow Crab California Roll at Roy’s (360 calories, 14 g fat)
· Pizza – Pizza can be a crowd-pleasing Healthy Dining choice, especially when it’s on a whole grain crust and topped with a variety of veggies. Try the Pandora's Box Pizza at Extreme Pizza (410 calories, 15 g fat) or the Cheeseless Vegetarian Extravaganza Pizza at Pizza Rustica (380 calories, 14 g fat)
· Finger foods – True, cut veggies and hummus are always a good standby, but why not pick up some Edamame from Yard House (150 calories, 5 g fat) for a healthy appetizer that’s a little more exotic?
What’s on your Healthy Dining style Oscar menu for the weekend? Search for more dietitian-recommended menu choices near you before your Oscar party using the mobile HealthyDiningFinder.com.
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Written by Healthy Dining's Manager of Communications Sara Lucero