Learning how to make healthy, delicious food doesn't have to be a solitary journey—instead, invite your friends over and host your own cooking party. Instead of going out to eat and ruining your diet with fatty restaurant foods, you and your BFFs can have a great night together, all while saving a few bucks. Here are a few tips on how to organize a party of your own.
The first step is to invite a few weight conscious friends who are also looking for new, healthy recipes. Assign one of the following courses to the guests: signature drink, appetizer, side dish or dessert. As the host, put yourself in charge of the main course. This way the rest of your friends can select their dishes based around it. Have each invitee select a recipe, either their own or from a cookbook or Internet site, and send it to you ahead of time.
Shopping and Setup
Once you know the menu you can determine whether you need people to bring over extra pots and pans. You can even buy, borrow or rent a hot plate or two if needed. Now it's time to get together the ingredients. Either do the shopping yourself or ask your friends to bring over the necessary ingredients for their recipes. Check each recipe to see if there are any preliminary steps that should be started before guests arrive, like soaking dried beans.
Creating a Timeline
When you're cooking on your own, you rarely need to set up a schedule. However, when coordinating multiple dishes and multiple chefs, organization is the key to success. Decide what time you want to eat each dish and work backwards using the recipes. Be sure to look for conflicts; if the main dish and the dessert both have to be in the oven at the same time at different temperatures, you'll have to adjust the timing or even change one of the dishes. Now that you know the timeline, you also know what time your friends should arrive.
Hint: If you have a friend who is habitually late, give them an earlier start time or be sure to have their ingredients in advance.
The day of the big event should be easy if you've already completed the steps outlined above. Make sure you have enough copies of all the recipes for each guest to follow and to eventually take home. Set up stations with cutting boards and knives so everyone can stay involved in the process. Pull out the appropriate pots and pans and pre-set your table. This will save time later when you'll want to be cooking and enjoying your guests' company.
Group Weight Loss
Cooking parties are a terrific way to have fun with friends and to share healthy ideas and recipes. As a team you can all work together to lose weight and to support each other through the process. Although there's a lot going on, the primary goal is to spend some quality time together in a way that doesn't sabotage your weight loss plan.