Many of our friends who come to Supper Club each month have asked for healthier party type foods and my birthday happened to fall on Supper Club night so what better to serve than healthy party food!
The best thing about a party is the food….but sometimes it can be the worst thing too. A lot of times when I go to a party it is all junk food that tastes really good going down but usually not so good after the party. I find it hard to not over eat so many delicious new foods to try. And I always want to go back for seconds.
So when I do a party I like to break with tradition and limit the options, making sure that those options are at least relatively healthy. It’s always good to have a treat but to have 5 desserts is just asking for trouble.
My theory is that my guests are watching their health too and they will thank me if I did not tempt them to over eat a bunch of junk food that will cost more time on the elliptical machine. And if they don’t want to be healthy, I can use my party as an opportunity show the guests that healthy food can look and taste great! They will also notice that they feel a lot better when the party is over than they usually do after a big bash with junk food.
Besides the truth is the food is not the best thing about the party, its the friends that you connect with.
For my party, I decided to healthify my favorite Santa Fe Salad recipe. The original recipe had chicken strips and ranch dressing which I replaced with Soy Curls and Homemade Cilantro Lime Dressing. I made it like a “chop salad” and added some black beans and corn. It was so much better than the original It is really unfair to make a comparison.
Santa Fe Salad
- 1 ½ cups Soy Curls
- 2 teaspoons Chicken-Style Seasoning
- 1 recipe Cilantro Lime Dressing (below)
- Smoky Chipotle seasoning to taste (I used Mrs. Dash)
- 6 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1-2 cups cabbage, shredded
- 2-4 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup drained canned whole kernel corn
- 1 medium avocado, cut into chunks
- 1 medium tomato, cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- Place Soy Curls in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Drain excess water and squeeze water from soy curls.
- Sauté soy curls I a little oil with Chicken-style seasoning until browned.
- Add ¼ cup Cilantro Lime Dressing and sprinkle Chipotle seasoning to taste. Continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Mix lettuce, cabbage and fresh cilantro in a large serving bowl. Top with soy curls, beans, corn, avocado, tomato and onion.
- Top with Cilantro Lime Dressing and homemade tortilla strips.
Cilantro Lime Dressing
- ½ jalapeno pepper, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 medium scallion
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum* (optional)
- ¼ cup packed cilantro leaves
- Place first eight ingredients in blender; and blend till smooth. The jalapeno is optional but very yummy. You can always use less or more for your desired spice level.
- Turn the blender on high and slowly drizzle in the olive oil and add xanthan gum until incorporated into the dressing.
- Add the cilantro leaves; pulse a few times to chop.
- Add salt to taste before serving.
*the xanthan gum is available at health food stores. It is optional but helps and some body to the dressing that we are missing because of the reduced oil.