Saturday, March 5, 2011

Partying Through Dinner

A dinner party is one of the most dreaded things to come your way when you're watching your weight.  It can be even worse when its a potluck and there is oodles and oodles of food.  I have a very hard time with these parties even more so because I have been a vegan flirt for over a year (flirt meaning I have been working towards committing fully to veganism, but not there yet).  Even before I decided to go vegan, I had been vegetarian and have been a health food junkie most my life.  That doesn't mean that I am immune to horrible, no good, terrible, very bad temptations.  Since I normally don't cook or order unhealthy choices, when they are right in front of me its sooo much harder to ward off the wonderful, greasy, cheesy smell of that buffalo chicken cheesy dip.

The second obstacle is the social aspect to dinner parties. I see someone grab a plate of something I haven't tried, and I immediately want it even if I'm full.  Its easy for me to turn off my full sensor and switch on my "its okay is a party!" sensor.  Problem?  I feel far from my awesome self and want to leave the party early.  Eating should be fun, especially with friends.  So why does dinner party grub become an addicting self destruction?  Peer pressure.

There is no denying I love food.  I love making it, sharing it, tasting it, everything.  What saves my weight is that I absolutely love making fresh, healthy food.   It leaves you feeling full and satisfied, but not gross and gassy.  People are afraid of health food because of the naughty word, health (gasp!).  What is that weird thing called tofu?  Why is that salad green and where is the mayo?  Ultimately, we don't think a dinner party would be the same without the pigs-in-a-blanket, nachos, potato skins, and onion dip.  We're right.  It would be so much BETTER!
A delicious picnic menu my friend Megan and I had over the summer.  All good for you!

So, lets vow to make the dinner party a party for our tummy once again.  If we are celebrating good friends, lets also be good to our pesky friend the tummy.  (That's the one we should worry about, temperamental thing who holds grudges for hours.)  Tonight I am attending my Yoga Teacher Training potluck, celebrating our almost-doneness.  Here is what I am making:

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta (un-cheesed)

  • 1 pound tomatoes (your choice)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup Italian vegan cheese (or 1/2 parmesan if you are a health food WUSSY)
Italian vegan cheese:
  • 8 oz extra firm tofu*
  • 3 tbsp vegan parmesan** OR nutritional yeast
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey or agave
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt/pepper to taste
Mix ingredients in bowl and let sit for an hour to flavor. *Extra firm tofu will give this recipe a feta cheese texture, for a ricotta texture go for firm or medium firm.  **Found easily in the fridge near the veggies in any main chain supermarket.

For the Bruschetta:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.  Cut tomatoes in half, remove seeds and place cut-side down on baking dish.  Cut onions in quarters and then spread onions and garlic around tomatoes on dish.  
  2. Drizzle with 1/2 tbsp olive oil and bake in oven for 30-35 minutes until tomatoes are tender/browning.
  3. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Place in food processor with remaining oil, basil, and cheese.  Serve on lightly toasted bread.

Look for another post soon about other tummy approved party fare.


  1. Love the photo from our delicious picnic! Now that it's (almost) spring, we need to do this again soon. Yum, yum.

  2. That stuff looks yummy, might have to make it for a party, soon :D -Shotchkiss