Hostess: What to Serve Diet-Conscious Dinner Party Guests
by Joanie Williams
You are planning
an elegant dinner party, with delicious food and drinks. But you know
that two or three of the guests you really want around your table are
trying to shed a few pounds.
Can you invite
them with a clear conscience - without feeling you are
"sabotaging" their dieting efforts? At the same time, can
you mix them with guests who are not concerned about their weight?
The answer is a
resounding yes - as long as you take five
The five steps are
all designed to give your diet-conscious guests inviting-looking
choices they can enjoy without risking their diet. All of them have
the bonus advantage that they are inviting-looking for your
non-dieting guests as well.
1. Have a jug of
sparkling water available for pre-dinner drinks. Garnish it with a
lemon or lime so it looks special, and be sure to serve it in lovely
glasses. Your dieting friends will be happy to be drinking their
sparkling water while others drink wine.
The trick is in
the visuals. The sparkling jug garnished with lemon or lime will look
like a "designer drink" so diet-conscious guests don't feel
deprived drinking it.
2. Let the eyes of
your dieting guests fall immediately on a safe appetizer choice for
them. Position a low fat appetizer front and center of any other
A beautiful tray
of crisp raw vegetables or a tempting shrimp ring fills this bill
very nicely. If guests can reach for attractive looking low fat
appetizers, they won't feel so tempted to reach for the more calorie-laden
Now you've gotten
your guests safely to the table without them breaking their diet
resolutions. Keep on offering choices that minimize any sense of deprivation.
3. Choose a main
dish that relies on savory herbs for its attraction. Don't choose a
dish that relies on a heavy sauce or gravy.
Steak is a dish
that most people can eat happily without loading it with
calorie-laden sauces. Roast or grilled chicken is another such
choice. A piece of chicken flavored with rosemary or your herbs of
choice smells good, looks good and tastes delicious.
Just don't include
a large bowl of stuffing on the side, that's a highly tempting item
most of us would have trouble refusing!
4. Include a
pureed squash, sweet potato or turnip dish along with your vegetables
and salad. Most green vegetables and salad are no problem for most
dieters. Diet-conscious guests can also choose your pureed dishes
instead of white potatoes or rice. These dishes fill the plate the
same way that potatoes and rice do. And they have the same
consistency as fluffy mashed potatoes. (The Atkins diet even
recommends pureed cauliflower.)
guests can decline potatoes or rice knowing they will still have
filling side dishes.
In other words,
your diet-conscious guests don't need to feel deprived because they
still have the volume and texture of mashed potatoes in their
5. Fresh fruit
with chocolate bonbons is a great end to the meal. Your guests can
eat the fruit without worrying about calories. And since they have
been so diet-conscious throughout the evening, they can treat
themselves to a piece or two of chocolate candy.
If you were to
offer a chocolate cake they might not be able to resist a piece. But
there is a huge difference between a small piece of chocolate candy
and a serving of cake and icing. So let them choose just a taste of
chocolate instead of tempting them with a large serving.
Now ask yourself -
will your diet-conscious guests feel deprived if they are served this
kind of menu?
"Designer" garnished sparkling water to drink with appetizers
Appetizers of fresh vegetable tray and/or shrimp cocktail with lemon
herbed roast chicken or grilled steak
d.. Squash puree
e.. As many
vegetable and salad dishes as you wish
with chocolate bonbons
I think you know
the answer. Of course your guests won't feel deprived. Far from
feeling deprived, your diet-conscious guests will probably heartily
enjoy your meal. And they will appreciate your thoughtful provision
of diet-conscious but delicious choices that still allow them to
stick to their diet resolutions.
About the Author
has been giving dinner parties at home for over 25 years. She would
love to hear your burning questions about hosting a stress-free
dinner party at home. Visit her at http://www.thedinnerpartyplanningsite.com/Diet-conscious