Sip and snack your way to the finish line with delicious Derby party foods that won’t wreck your budget. With careful planning your guests will thank you and so will your waistline. Here are some food selection tips for a delicious and nutritious party:
• Focus on beverages that include sparkling water, unsweetened teas with fruit slices and fresh mint, or fruit and vegetable juices; if alcohol is served, use low or no-calorie mixers.
• Try making your own ice cubes by dropping bits of fruit in ice cube trays before freezing; edible flowers or tiny mint leaves would work well.
• Use low fat or skim milk for sauces that call for cream or whole milk.
• Cut some of the sugar from dessert recipes and try using applesauce in place of 1/3 of the sugar in cakes.
• Substitute pureed beans and veggies on appetizer crackers in place of meat or cheeses.
• Use low-fat spreads on crackers or party breads
Plan a party menu and stick to your menu. This will help you eliminate last minute splurges that can be unhealthy and expensive. Menu ideas might include:
Burgoo: using low-fat meats like chicken or seafood and lots of fresh vegetables and beans
Salads: think crisp greens, sliced or grate vegetables, and a fresh dressing made from olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs
Appetizers: serve hummus (pureed chickpeas) flavored with lemon, tahini, and herbs along with low-fat crackers or veggies
Desserts: try tiny fruit tarts or simple chocolate brownies with low-fat whipped topping and sprinkles of mint to top off your menu
Delight your guests with tables decorated with bright colors and figures of horses, jockeys, racing programs and anything that says springtime.
Burgoo-style Chicken Vegetable Stew
6 stalks of fresh celery; coarsely chopped
1 fresh white onion; dices
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken breasts; skin removed
1 large can diced tomatoes; low salt
2 cartons chicken broth; reduced sodium
4 cups diced vegetables fresh vegetables or frozen vegetables
1 package frozen okra
2 cans beans of your choice; rinsed (garbanzo, kidney, black, pinto)
Salt and pepper to taste
• In a large pot, cook celery and onions in olive oil until transparent.
• Add chicken breasts and cook until lightly browned.
• Add canned tomatoes and chicken broth and simmer for about two hours or until chicken is very tender.
• Remove the chicken from the bones and chop into bite-sized pieces.
• Place the chicken back in the pot liquid and add the vegetables and beans. Season with salt and pepper.
• Simmer the stew for up to an hour, stirring from time to time, until ready to serve. This recipe makes about one gallon of Burgoo-style Chicken Vegetable stew.
Janet Steffens, M.ED.
Purdue Extension Educator
Published from the April/May 2015 Southern Indiana Fitness Source.