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Jan 5, 2007 02:04 PM

Need Ideas for a REALLY healthy, but hopefully elegant dinner party

So of course I'm dieting.

But I am having a dinner for my inlaws tomorrow night and I would like to make something scrumptious but still really healthy.

Here is what I have so far:
Mâche salad with a light citrus vinaigrette, pomegranate seeds and orange (normally I would also add a wedge of chèvre, but not this time)

Soup (I need some help here)...I want something light, preferably a blended veggie soup....maybe green in colour? Any ideas? Does spinach work well in a blended soup?

Main Course (again, help needed)....past low-fat staples have been chicken and pear in a balsamic reduction, and I'm contemplating that....I'd like to make either chicken or salmon (or even shrimp).

Dessert - is there some sort of really light fruit tart I could make? Maybe something with a creamy custard and sliced fruit on top? Other ideas?

As far as skill in the kitchen, I'd say I'm definitely decent, but my audience in this case will not really be appreciative of anything other than continental style cuisine (i.e., they won't go for moroccan, indian, etc.).

Thank you for the help!

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  1. Here's a healthy, delicious and impressive salmon recipe. People love to receive a "parcel" on their plate to open up and enjoy.

    Citrus-Salmon Parcels
    4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
    1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
    1 1/2 tablespoons orange-juice concentrate
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    1 small onion, thinly sliced
    2 carrots, thinly sliced
    4 ounces snow peas, strings removed and cut in half crosswise at an angle

    1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place one salmon fillet on each of four 12x16-inch sheets of aluminum foil.

    2. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, orange-juice concentrate, lemon juice, salt and pepper; spoon over the fillets. Arrange the onion, carrots and snow peas on top of the fillets.

    3. Fold foil over each portion of fish so the edges meet. Starting at one end, fold and crimp to seal the edges, making a parcel.

    4. Place the parcels on a baking sheet; bake 10 minutes. Open carefully to release the steam. With a spatula, transfer the salmon and vegetables to plates. Drizzle with the sauce.

    Per serving: 284 Cals; 9g Fat; 2g Fiber

    Serves 4

    1. For dessert, why not crepes filled with fruit?

      1. Here's a "cream" of broccoli soup that uses fat-free evaporated milk. I would substitiute fat-free half-and-half, though.

        Cream of Broccoli Soup
        1 medium onion(s), chopped
        1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
        2 pound broccoli, tough ends removed, stems and florets chopped
        4 cup chicken broth, or vegetable broth
        1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
        1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
        1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
        1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste

        1. Put onion and garlic in a 2-quart saucepan with 1/4 cup water and simmer until onion is soft, about 10 minutes; spoon into large pot.
        2. Add broccoli and broth to onion mixture and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn down heat and simmer until broccoli is soft but still green, about 8 minutes. Do not cover pot while broccoli is cooking or it will turn gray.
        3. Remove soup from heat and puree in batches in a blender until smooth. (Note: Be careful not to overfill blender; the hot liquid can splatter.) Or use an immersion blender right in the pot. Add evaporated milk and hot pepper sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Yields about 1 3/4 cups per serving.

        4 servings

        1. Cooking fish En Papillote is one of the few super-healthy preparations of food that I actually enjoy. Here are a few recipes:

          1. Here's a recipe for individual apple tarts...

            Apple Tarts
            3/4 cup all-purpose flour
            1/4 tsp sugar
            1/4 tsp table salt
            3 tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
            2 tbsp sugar
            1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
            3 small apple(s), peeled and thinly sliced
            Fat-free vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

            1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour with 1/4 teaspoon sugar and salt.
            2. Cut margarine into flour mixture with a fork until flour is the consistency of cornmeal. Mix with 2 or 3 tablespoons cold water until dough forms a ball (a little drier is better than a little sticky). You can make the dough up to 24 hours ahead of times if you wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you need it.
            3. Divide dough into four pieces. Roll each into a ball and then flatten into a disc about 5 inches (13 cm) across. Place the discs on a baking sheet a few inches apart.
            4. Combine remaining sugar with cinnamon.
            5. Arrange apple slices on top of dough discs, overlapping and fanning them (so they make a flower shape). Sprinkle generous amounts of sugar-cinnamon mixture over them.
            6. Bake until crust is browned, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with fat-free vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

            4 tarts