Diet

How to stay healthy during summer parties

The next time you're prepping for a party, choose one of these healthier options, like this easy quinoa tabbouleh recipe.

Masterfile

There’s nothing like spending your summer days among friends, devouring some delicious food. Whether it’s a potluck, a barbecue, a patio party, or just an excuse to get together on a hot day, you want your dish to be the life of the party — bring something vibrant with colour, flavour, and texture. Summer meals are your chance to take advantage of local produce and make something that will have everyone begging for more!

Skip these dishes for your next party:

  • Don’t bring trays or platters with calorie-laden cheeses and dips
  • Don’t bring bags of potato chips, which are high in sodium and fat
  • Don’t bring pop and fruit juices loaded with sugar
  • Don’t bring coleslaw drenched in mayonnaise or creamy dressing

Instead try these healthier options:

Quinoa tabbouleh
Quinoa is a light dish that is easy to digest. It makes a delicious and wholesome summer lunch, snack or side dish with dinner.

Ingredients:
1 cup rinsed quinoa
1 large cup of chickpeas
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 bunch of spinach, finely chopped into shreds*
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped into small pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves or quarters

*Grab a bunch of spinach leaves together and thinly slice into medium or long shreds, depending on size of the leaves

Dressing:
1 large clove garlic
1 tsp dry or fresh basil
Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey or agave
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:
1. Bring 3 cups water to boil. Add rinsed quinoa and cook on medium for 15 min.

2. Drain, rinse with cold water. Spread out on a plate to dry the grains. Then place into a bowl and combine with chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, parsley and mint.

3. Mix dressing and toss into the quinoa mixture, and gently stir from the bottom up.
Makes 2-3 cups

Marni Wasserman is a culinary nutritionist in Toronto whose philosophy is stemmed around whole foods. She is dedicated to providing balanced lifestyle choices through natural foods. Using passion and experience, she strives to educate individuals on how everyday eating can be simple and delicious.