6 Ways to Host the Best (And Healthiest!) Oscar Party

popcornThis Oscar Sunday, you'll probably be on the couch, glass of wine in hand, girlfriends by your side and plenty of food in sight, predicting the night's winners. But let's be honest, you don't really want to gorge on party food while watching your favorite fit celebrities strut their stuff on the red carpet. It's a surefire way to feel not so good about yourself.

But you can watch the Oscars in style while keeping it skinny. Here are some of my quick fixes that will have your taste buds begging for more.

No carbs? No problem. Pizza is one of the easiest party foods to make. Sound unhealthy? Think again. You can easily whip up a cauliflower-crust-based pizza. It may not sound appetizing, but I was sold after my first bite. To make the crust, just chop cauliflower into chunks, pulse in a food processor, and then sauté in a skillet. Check out one of my favorite recipes from the Eating Bird Food blog. Top with part-skim cheese, low sugar tomato sauce (I love Cucina Antica) and your veggies of choice and your tastebuds won't even know the difference! 

If you're craving crunch. For years, popcorn has been touted as the perfect go-to healthy snack because, well, who doesn't love popcorn? And yes, it can be a healthy choice, but not if it's drenched in butter and salt. I'm going to let you in on one of my best-kept secrets: hot sauce. Not only does the spice give it a delicious kick of flavor, but it also helps you slow down while you eat, keeping you from finishing an entire bag in 10 minutes. If nothing will keep your paws off the popcorn, I recommend brands that are light and made with natural ingredients (instead of fake butter and tons of salt) like Buddha Bowl Popcorn and Rob's Brands Popcorn. It's a snack I tell my clients to always have on hand. 

If you're a dip lover. If you're watching solo, go for a single-serve hummus or guac so you don't end up eating the whole tub. If you've got a group, try this greek yogurt tzatziki dip served with cut-up veggies. Bonus - it can double as a marinade for chicken or fish!

Double Duty Greek Yogurt Tzatzikinade (Serves 4)

  • 1 large seedless cucumber washed, and finely grated on a box grater
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups Greek Yogurt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, grated on microplane or smashed into a fine paste
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sprinkle the grated cucumber with a pinch of salt, toss with your fingers and place on a clean kitchen towel.  Gather the corners of the towel and wring out as much water as possible.  You will be shocked at how much water will come out of a cucumber!  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice and zest, garlic, dill, mint, salt, pepper and olive oil and stir until well incorporated.  Add the well-strained cucumber and stir to combine. 

Cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

If you need your potato chips. Satisfy that salty craving with roasted seaweed instead. Not only does it take longer to eat, but it's also lower in sodium and calories.  SeaSnax makes a great Grab & Go pack that's only 15 calories for the whole package! You're less likely to go back for seconds if you're eating pre-portioned servings. Toss a few packs on your coffee table for your guests to enjoy, too. I also love their Chomperz and STIX.

Give your kale salad a kick. If the Oscars were about food, kale would win the superfood award. Besides being a great source of antioxidants, it's rich in fiber and can reduce your risk for heart disease. Sounds like a winner to me! Try my personal favorite recipe: Use kitchen scissors to cut the leaves off of the stems of two heads of kale. For the dressing, squeeze the juice from four lemons, mix salt and pepper to taste and two tablespoons of olive oil. Whisk dressing and drizzle over kale. Top with two tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Dress the salad 30 minutes before serving it (excluding the cheese) to really bring out the flavor.

Complete with a sweet treat. A party wouldn't be a party without something sweet. If you love peanut butter and chocolate (who doesn't?!), I have the perfect, slimming treat for you - Peanut Butter Balls will hit the spot.

Here's how: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups Justin's Classic Peanut Butter, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup coconut flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well. Add 2/3 cup gluten-free granola and stir until combined. Form into bite sized balls and set aside. In a double boiler, melt 6 Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups over low heat, stirring frequently. Using a fork, dip each peanut butter ball in the melted chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze the balls for 20 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Need a treat in a pinch? Cut up Quest Nutrition Cookie Dough Bars into bite sized pieces, roll into balls and bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees for mini protein-packed cookies.

Heather Bauer, RD CDN
Heather Bauer, RD CDN


1 Comment


February 23, 2013

OMG, Heather! That Cauliflower Pizza is incredible – and I don’t even LIKE cauliflower! LOL! Made it for the Superbowl (for myself) and everyone raved about it (and at the whole thing!). Just made TEN of them to have on hand!

Thanks for the healthy options! It certainly helps to have new recipes! :-)

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