estimated 10 million Americans are following some variation of a low-carb
program, so it only makes sense that some of your nearest and dearest friends
-- not to mention a family member or two -- are among these weight-loss winners.
(Larger picture: Our nation is in the midst of a serious epidemic of obesity.)
So what better way to spend some quality time with your loved ones than to
throw a fun and flavorful Atkins-friendly dinner party?
for a theme? The sky's the limit. How about Caribbean,
Hawaiian, Mexican or Chinese food? Your goal: to give your guests a meal that's
every bit as tasty as it is healthy! It can be done… very easily, in fact. You
don’t have to be a chef who’s worked with top-notch food celebrities to throw a
if your guests aren’t controlling their carbs by doing Atkins, it’s the perfect
way to give them an exquisite taste of your healthy new lifestyle. There’s a
good chance you’ll quickly see some converts.
you start to plan a dinner party, start with your entrée and play around with
that. The entrée is usually your protein source, whether it’s chicken, fish,
pork, lamb or whatever you want. Then move on to your sides. Instead of starchy
sides, make two vegetable dishes. It’s an opportunity to try some interesting
veggies you haven’t used before such as kale, asparagus or mustard greens.
are plenty of things to consider, including how many courses to have, how to
achieve proper portion control and the best way to ensure that your guests
leave the table with full stomachs and satisfied palates. This can all be
accomplished in low-carb fashion -- you’re only limited by your imagination.
the evening on a light note with drinks and appetizers. Your beverages of
choice can range from low-carb beer to "white liquors" such as vodka,
gin and rum. (Be sure to have some nonalcoholic beverages for any of your
guests who are in the Induction phase of Atkins or who would prefer not to
drink alcohol.) Kick it up a notch with sparklers, using mixers such as
flavored sugar-free sodas. When served up with marinated olives, a cheese
plate, endive leaves filled with seasoned cream cheese, shrimp cocktail or
smoked salmon, you have a great beginning to your night to remember.
a more informal do, prepare an antipasto salad with meats and cheeses or sliced
low-carb veggies (try jicama, celery, radishes) with a basic sour cream dip.
a rule of thumb, I like to have the appetizers and hors d'oeuvres out when
people arrive; it’s an easy way to serve a first course while your guests are
mingling. I also like to include protein in the first course.
is a great opportunity to use fish because the sooner you get protein in your
system, the sooner you feel satisfied, and so you’ll likely eat less in the
rest of the meal. As opposed to a bread-heavy first course that leaves you
filled up and feeling uncomfortable, protein tells the body to do the job and
you can enjoy such a diversity of healthy fats on Atkins, feel free to serve a
cream sauce with a meat entrée or sauté shrimp in butter. Even gravy is a
feasible option, so long as your recipe doesn’t include flour. Or try Thicken
Thin not/Starch thickener, an all-natural controlled-carb product you can use
to make gravy.
doesn’t limit healthy fats, fat is very important. It leads to satiety and
makes foods rich and flavorful. Going low carb does not mean that flavor isn’t
still a high priority. Fresh herbs and spices add even more flavor."
most low-carb meals, portion control is almost automatic. Each small Cornish
hen or fillet of salmon is naturally one serving. If you prepare a four-pound
roast, you have between eight and 12 servings. Sides are another story. While
many people like to start off with a soup or salad, consider serving a creative
salad as a side.
once threw a dinner party for clients who had two main vegetable sides; they
wanted one side to be a salad passed around the table family style. They used
the salad in place of the starch. You do want to have two sides along with the
main dish. Just because you’re not having potatoes or rice doesn’t mean there
need to be an empty spot on the table. Fill it in with a colorful, beautiful
salad of roasted eggplant or something equally delicious.
general, use as much color as you can. Have a leafy green such as creamed
spinach and a salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese. Enjoy a diverse
array of acceptable veggies: alfalfa sprouts, mushrooms, radicchio, bok choy,
romaine lettuce, fennel, artichoke, pumpkin, celery root, rhubarb, chard, snow
peas, scallions, summer squash, kale, Brussels sprouts, string beans, hearts of
palm, beet greens, cauliflower, zucchini, onions, okra, cabbage, leeks, turnips
and much more. You’ll never miss those starchy high-carb foods when you’re
feasting on mouthwatering dishes like cauliflower-leek purée and Swiss chard
is a dinner party without decadent desserts and after-dinner drinks? Even on a
low-carb diet, which eliminates unhealthy carbs and sugary processed foods, you
can still enjoy gourmet sweet treats without having to ride the roller coaster
of rising and falling blood sugar. It’s all the pleasure without the pain.
Parfaits, flan, mini cheesecakes and fruit kabobs are excellent party
you are especially sensitive to the effects of caffeine, you can certainly
enjoy a cup of coffee with cream as an accompaniment to dessert. But if
caffeine makes jittery, stick with decaf coffee or herbal teas. Make the
after-dinner drinks into a bit of an event. Stay away from the sugary liqueurs.
Instead, bring out a platter with some beautiful cheeses and nuts and serve up
Scotch, whiskey or grappa, a potent drink made from grape residue.
almost intuitive to throw an Atkins dinner party; this is when you can splurge.
This is when you can serve salmon with herbed butter, an avocado salad with
Roquefort dressing, and whipped cream with Irish coffee. Its fun -- and it’s a
great way to introduce your friends to your healthy way of eating"
you don’t know where to start in planning a menu. Help is on the way. On the
Atkins Web site, you’ll find more 700 recipes for low-carb dishes, 100-plus
desserts, and more than 70 soups and 80 salads. It’s as if you have the
greatest low-carb cookbook in the world at your fingertips.
is a light menu that would be ideal for your first low-carb get-together. Your
guests are sure to leave wanting more… Atkins dinner parties, that is.
watercress and baby radishes add zest to this colorful salad, which showcases
Goddess Dressing. The anchovy paste is optional, but it is the secret
ingredient in this tangy dressing.
Glazed Baked Ham
four ingredients in this special entrée! Slice the ham thinly for extra
tenderness and fan it out on a platter for extra visual appeal.
Artichoke-Parsley Cheese Squares
easy side dish can be made up to three days ahead, and can be served hot, at
room temperature or cold.
brings out the natural sweetness in most vegetables, and intensifies their
flavor. This recipe may be doubled.
Coconut Layer Cake
tender and full of flavor, this special cake is a perfect finale to any meal. The
cake may be made a day ahead. Look for unsweetened coconut in health food