Celebrity Diet Tips
Bethenny Frankel's Top 10 Tips for Healthy Entertaining
"HOSTING A PARTY DOESN'T HAVE TO TAKE A toll on your waistline or well-being," says Bethenny Frankel, a star of The Real Housewives of New York City. She should know. As the author of Naturally Thin and The Skinnygirl Dish, the 39-year-old chef has made a career of revamping calorie-rich cuisine and cocktails. "The idea is to create healthier versions of crowd-pleasing dishes without compromising flavor or spending hours in the kitchen," she says. "By keeping the menu simple and preparing ahead, you can have fun at your own party." Bethenny, who is six months pregnant with her first child, says she'll definitely take her own advice when she and her fiancé start entertaining friends in their new downtown New York City apartment. "If you don't know by now, a happy host means happy guests!"
1. CREATE A SIGNATURE COCKTAIL
"Mix up a batch ahead of time using a clear liquor, like tequila or vodka (darker alcohol has more impurities and gives you a worse hangover), with lots of club soda and ice and just a splash of juice and other mixers to keep calories down."
2. TRY TAKEOUT
"Weaving prepared foods into your menu will save you time and money. Pick up brown rice sushi rolls from your favorite Japanese restaurant; give store-bought hummus a gourmet spin by sprinkling it with cilantro, toasted pine nuts, and lemon zest; and add some chopped-up mangos or fresh corn to jarred salsa."
3. INVEST IN UPSCALE INGREDIENTS
"Good quality olives, feta and parmesan, and cured meats have intense flavors, so you and your guests will feel satisfied with less."
4. TASTE AS YOU GO
"Before you serve a dish, take a bite and make sure it's something you would want to eat at a party. "
5. LOAD UP ON VEGGIES
"Vegetables not only add filling fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants to any dish, they also brighten up a plate. I layer red and yellow sautéed peppers on my cheese quesadillas and blend chopped spinach, tomatoes, mashed peas, or fresh herbs into dips."
6. HAVE FUN WITH FRUIT
"For dessert I'll often make rainbow fruit skewers, alternating chunks of fresh mango, kiwi, and watermelon."
7. UPDATE OLD-SCHOOL FAVORITES
"People love traditional hors d'oeuvres, but they're not always the best things for you. Try wrapping scallops or shrimp in turkey bacon and making deviled eggs by mixing whites with the yolks."
8. SNEAK IN WHOLE GRAINS
"Incorporate them whenever possible. If the topping tastes decadent—say, a whole-grain baguette with sautéed mushrooms, truffle oil, and Pecorino Romano—no one will feel cheated."
9. TELL GUESTS IT'S GOOD FOR THEM
"Feel free to reveal that your artichoke dip was made with lowfat ingredients. Even better, label figure friendly items—e.g., baked tortilla chips. People are more inclined to indulge if they feel less guilt."
10. WATCH AND LEARN
"See what your guests eat and what they leave. I once made white bean salad with Italian tuna on toast points, but no one ate it because they didn't want tuna breath. I won't make that again for a party!"