We especially like Tribe hummus with toppings—although you can always add your own toppings to plain hummus. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.
“What are you serving for the Oscars?” ask our friends.
Last year it was a high-calorie gourmet feast, including rich appetizers, duck lasagna with a flight of wines, a cheese plate and a choice of four desserts (cream cheese-frosted cupcakes, Grand Marnier brownies, hazelnut shortbread and tropical fruit salad), followed by several liqueurs sent to THE NIBBLE for tasting.
The only healthful, moderate-calorie dish of the evening was the fruit salad.
This year, as we thought about sitting down and eating over four hours, our New Year’s resolution angel popped up and said: “Do you think all those trim stars eat lasagna and cupcakes? Make this year the “healthy Oscars!”
Point taken! We planned to buy some of the ingredients already prepared, as we won’t have the time to do everything from scratch as we did last year.
Here’s our lower calorie, better-for-you menu for this year’s Academy Awards:
Diet sangria: a blend of red wine, diet orange soda, fresh fruit and a touch of Grand Marnier.
Flavored and plain club sodas: individually customized with lemon and lime wedges and an assortment of flavored bitters.
Wine spriters: diluting both the calories and the alcohol impact.
After-dinner coffee or espresso: from our Keurig and Nespresso machines, which make it easy to provide different strengths, flavors and decaf.
Crudités: a colorful, flavorful, tempting selection. The best thing to fill up on is raw veggies!
Dips: nonfat Greek yogurt with herbs and garlic and three different flavors of hummus with toppings (we especially like Tribe Natural’s Mediterranean Style, Spicy Red Pepper and Zesty Spice & Garlic). Here’s how to add your own toppings to plain hummus.
Seafood: One of our friends, whose family owns restaurants, is bringing a large plat de mer—what a luxury! Otherwise, we’d have gotten a sushi platter.
Salad bar: a build-your-own dinner salad with two lettuce options, salad vegetables, beans, lentils, olives, capers, gherkins, grilled chicken (Perdue Short Cuts) and chipotle-flavored tuna (Bumble Bee).
“Salad pizza”: Our local gourmet pizzeria makes a “salad pizza”—10 vegetables on whole wheat dough. If anyone is still hungry, we’ll order one.
Fruit salad: five or six different fruits, depending on what looks good in the market on Saturday.
Micro cupcakes: one guest is bringing an assortment from Baked By Melissa, a New York City chain that makes many flavors of bite-sized cupcakes. Tthe size of a quarter, they’re about 50 calories each. The goal is to eat just one.
Even if everyone leaves stuffed, they’ll be stuffed with good-for-you foods.
A wonderful contribution to our “Diet Oscars” party. This plat de mer is courtesy Artisanal Restaurant | NYC.