One thing you will learn pretty quickly from reading my blog is that I’m a huge Bethenny Frankel advocate. I don’t necessarily agree or relate with everything she says or does, but I honestly don’t remember the last time someone has inspired and influenced me so much. In fact, it was Bethenny’s book, A Place of Yes, that prompted me to become a Health Coach! (More on that another time.)
And one thing I have learned about cooking and entertaining guests from Bethenny’s book, The SkinnyGirl Dish, is to KEEP.IT.SIMPLE. As silly as it may seem, Luke and I tend to bicker the most in the kitchen! My non-sensical ways of doing things clash with his methodical way of thinking, so when we invited our friends Lorraine and Christopher over for dinner, I knew it was important to make a stress-free meal.
What’s easier (or tastier) than bruschetta? Tomatoes+olive oil+pesto+shredded cheese+toast. Pop it under the broiler for about 60 seconds and you’re done.
We decided on Bethenny’s Classic Lasagna for the main course. Who doesn’t like lasagna? I followed this recipe pretty closely, although the proportions didn’t quite work out for me for some reason, so I left out a layer of meat. I also used no-boil lasagna noodles from Trader Joe’s which made the cooking process that much easier. You can also cut the parsley and mix it with the ricotta cheese in advance so you’re not doing everything at once.
So yeah, lasagna is loaded with cheese, but if you get lower fat versions (not non-fat, ick!) and stick to one serving, it ain’t no thang. And when you load up on veggies, it’s that much easier to fill up and pass on a second helping.
I made a spinach salad with cherry tomatoes, onion, toasted walnuts and a drizzle of Bethenny’s Simple Salad dressing: Juice of 1 lemon+2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil+Salt/Pepper to taste. I also added a drizzle of pure honey to cut the sour taste. Bethenny includes dijon mustard to her recipe, but I like it just fine without it. The asparagus was cooked at 400 for about 13 minutes with a healthy drizzle of EVOO + plenty of pepper and dash of salt. After cooking, I always squeeze lemon over my veggies like crazy—this simple step really makes a difference and adds a nice fresh touch!
In the cup: Frozen grapes+strawberries+Trader Joe’s Bons Bons. Easy, tasty and refreshing—it was the perfect way to end the meal.
Tell me: What’s your favorite go-to meal when cooking for guests? (I could use some new ideas!)