3 Healthy Dinner Party Alternatives

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Entertain your guests with comfort food that doesn't send them searching for their elastic-waist pants. Follow these delicious dinner recipes for flavor without the guilt: Greek-Style Quinoa Burgers
Known for its great source of protein, quinoa gives a healthy spin to your backyard bbq.

    •    1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
    •    1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
    •    6 scallions, thinly sliced
    •    15 ounces great northern beans, drained and rinsed
    •    1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
    •    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    •    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    •    Coarse salt
    •    Ground pepper
    •    2 tablespoons olive oil
    •    1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
    •    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    •    4 pitas (each 6 inches)
    •    1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally


  1. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil; add quiona, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, half the scallions, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.
  3. Form mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick paties (dip hands in water to prevent sticking). If too soft, refrigerate 10 minutes to firm. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook burgers until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per side.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, and the remaining scallions; season with salt and pepper. Serve burgers in pita topped with cucumber and yogurt sauce.

Grilled Portobello Pizzas
Bite-sized, and without blame, portobello mushroom caps are the ultimate stuffed crust.

    •    12 cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1/2 pound)
    •    4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
    •    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    •    1 tablespoon Roasted Garlic
    •    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    •    8 portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems trimmed (about 3 pounds)
    •    Four 1 1/2 X 3-inch shavings Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1/2 ounce)
    •    4 very thin slices prosciutto (about 1 ounce)
    •    4 tablespoons Rough-Cut Basil Pesto


  1. Prepare a stove-top griddle or outdoor grill.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, thyme, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, the roasted garlic, and salt and pepper in a small bowl and toss. Set aside.
  3. Brush the top and bottom of each mushroom with the remaining oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill until the mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes per side.
  4. Place the mushrooms stem side up on a cutting board. Arrange an equal amount of the tomato mixture on 4 mushrooms. Top each with a shaving of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  5. Arrange a slice of prosciutto on each of the remaining mushrooms and spread 1 tablespoon of the pesto on top of each prosciutto slice.
  6. Arrange 1 of each pizza on each of 4 dinner plates and serve.

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs
This low calorie, barley carb-ed meal makes sure there are no meatballs rolling off the table, because your guests ate them all.

    •    1 spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise
    •    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    •    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
    •    1 onion, finely chopped
    •    2 garlic cloves, minced
    •    1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
    •    1/2 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (3 tablespoons)
    •    1 tablespoon dried breadcrumbs
    •    8 ounces lean ground turkey
    •    8 ounces mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, cremini, and oyster, cut 1/4 inch thick (about 3 cups)
    •    1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
    •    4 ounces baby spinach (about 5 cups), washed well


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season cut sides of squash with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake, cut sides down, on a baking sheet until tender, about 45 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Scrape flesh into strands using a fork. Let drain, covered to keep warm, in a colander set over a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring, until soft but not brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add oregano; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Divide mixture between 2 bowls.
  3. Stir 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese into 1 bowl of onion-garlic mixture. Mix in breadcrumbs, turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper using your hands. Form mixture into 12 balls.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown meatballs, turning, 4 to 6 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add remaining teaspoon oil to skillet. Cook mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, adding a few tablespoons water if skillet browns too quickly, until soft and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add remaining bowl of onion-garlic mixture, meatballs, and stock; bring to gentle simmer. Cook, partially covered, until meatballs are cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Add spinach; cook until just wilted, about 1 minute.
  5. Divide squash and meatball mixture into 4 servings. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

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Source: Whole Living Photo: stock.xchng

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