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BellaOnline's Party Planning Editor

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Spring Garden Party Menu

Guest Author - Sandra Lee Garth

The weather is warmer and the flowers are in bloom, sounds like cause for an outdoors celebration. If Mother Nature isn’t cooperating move the party indoors. Use houseplants, tulips, or daffodils to bring the garden inside. Brightly colored dinnerware, linens and or paper products add vibrancy and fun. Here is a low calorie menu and recipes for your garden party.

Appetizer


Avocados contain the good fats so feel free to eat them, serve with thinly sliced toasted sourdough bread or blue corn tortilla chips. Also, try this salsa with grilled meats or in place of mayo or mustard on a sandwich. If you decide to double this recipe make sure that it’ll be eaten. The lemon juice helps to slow the browning, but rest assured it will turn brown. Don’t plan on having it on hand for long.

1 ripe avocado, peeled
1 tomato seeded and chopped
2 scallions sliced
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of cumin
2 TBS finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Mash the avocado but leave it slightly chunky. Stir in the other ingredients and season to taste. You can always omit the tomato also.

Entrée

Grilled Herb Chicken
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
6 TBS of dried mixed herbs (Use a ready mixture or mix oregano, parsley, cilantro, etc.)
1 garlic clove
2 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon type mustard
1 TBS olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut three slashes on each chicken breast (making sure not to cut all the way through). Place the herbs, garlic, honey, mustard and olive oil in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Rub this mixture over the chicken. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Use either the indoor or outdoor grill. Give it a quick spritz with non stick spray and cook chicken for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Black-eyed Pea Salad
1 (15 ½ oz) can black eye peas, rinsed and drained
1 celery rib, chopped
¼ finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 TBS mayonnaise
¼ tsp salt
2-3 dashes hot sauce
1 medium tomato, diced
1 ½ cups diced turkey ham

Using fresh or frozen produce is always preferred. In some instances, especially where time is at a premium it’s Ok to go with canned. Just be sure and rinse the contents well. Now you may be asking why rinse the contents of the can to get rid of the sodium just to add more? When you add more, you’re in control, and you’ll notice that it’s only ¼ tsp. Rinsing will remove the salty brine, but you have no idea how much has seeped into the product.

In a medium size bowl, combine the peas, celery, onion and jalapeno pepper and turkey ham. In a small dish, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, salt and hot sauce. Pour the dressing over the peas and mix well; cover and refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, add the diced tomato and stir to combine.

Dessert

Amaretto Peach Cheesecake
Eating healthy and deprivation are not synonymous. Learn to make peace with your favorite foods and then you’ll be less likely to binge. Keep in mind also that there’s always a good substitution for a high fat and high sugar ingredient. Enjoy!

3 TBS Butter
1 TBS Canola Oil
1/3 cup Sugar or Splenda
1 Large Egg
¾ cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3 (8oz) pkgs Fat-Free Cream Cheese, Softened
¾ cup Sugar or Splenda
3 TBS Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 Large Eggs, 1 egg white
16 oz Frozen Peaches, thawed and pureed
¼ cup Almond Flavored Liqueur

It’s always up to you whether you use sugar or an artificial sweetener. Since there are two sugar requirements in the ingredients, try an artificial sweetener for only one. Also, if you decide to use canned peaches instead of frozen, get those in light syrup and drain well before pureeing.

Combine butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in egg. Add flour; mix well. Spread dough onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 450°, 10 minutes. Combine cream cheese, sugar and flour; mixing at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add peaches and liqueur; mix well. Pour over crust. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Please watch this cake carefully, this is too good to let it burn. Reduce oven temperature to 250° and continue baking 65 minutes. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim. Chill. Garnish with additional peach slices and sliced almonds, if desired.

Cocktail

Confetti Fruit Cocktail
Light and fruity, this punch packs a punch.

750 ml white rum
6 oz frozen lemonade
6 oz frozen grapefruit juice
16 oz can drained and frozen fruit cocktail
2 liters chilled club soda

In large container, mix all but the soda. Chill for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. When ready to serve, pour over frozen fruit cocktail in punch bowl, add chilled club soda and stir gently. Makes 8 servings.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Sandra Lee Garth. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sandra Lee Garth. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Shalia Hayes for details.

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