Father’s Day is just around the corner and it is time to start thinking about how to celebrate Dad. Let your dad know how much he means to you by planning and creating a delicious meal – full of flavor, but not full of fat and calories. You don’t need to book a reservation at an overcrowded restaurant, whose fat and sodium-heavy menu will just throw Dad’s diet off track. Instead, opt for a far more thoughtful dinner at home; fill Dad’s day with great conversation and tasty food.
Start Dad’s meal off with a popular crowd pleaser – spinach artichoke dip. This restaurant staple is generally filled with plenty of fat and calories. However, because of the bold flavors, this dish can be made over with a healthy twist; a twist that your important guest will likely not even notice.
For an even healthier spin, serve this gooey warm dip with crisp vegetables instead of bread or chips. The vegetable substitution results in a dramatic drop in calories, without compromising on flavor.
Adapted from: Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
14 ounces artichoke hearts (packed in water) drained
20 ounces of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
¼ cup chopped shallots
1 clove garlic
½ cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
½ cup low-fat mayonnaise or vegan mayo substitute
2/3 cup Parmigiana Reggiano
4 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ finely chopped jalapeno, seeded (optional)
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Coarsely chop artichoke, shallot, and garlic in a food processor. For a spicier dip, add chopped jalapeno.
3. Transfer ingredients from the food processer into a medium sized mixing bowl. Combine and mix in the rest of the ingredients.
4. Use cooking spray to coat an ovenproof baking dish, and then transfer mixture to the dish. If using breadcrumbs, sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve right away with fresh vegetables.
For your main dish, delight the senses with succulent salmon. Filled with essential amino acids, omega 3-fatty acids, vitamins A, D, B6, B, and E, and being an excellent source of protein – salmon is the perfect protein for healthy eating. With a myriad of preparation options, salmon is versatile and delicious. Surprise Dad with the following recipe:
Adapted from: Eating Well
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup sake, or dry white wine
¼ cup mirin
2 tablespoons sugar (or sugar substitute)
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped scallions
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger
4 – 5-ounce wild salmon fillets
1. Soak a cedar (or other hardwood) grilling plank in water for 2-4 hours.
2. While the plank is soaking, combine soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, scallions, and ginger into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
3. Place salmon in a shallow dish or zip lock bag and pour the marinade over it. Place lemon slices on top of the salmon. Let the salmon marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but no more than two hours. Turn the fish 1-2 times during the marinade.
4. Preheat the grill to medium-high
5. Let the soaked plank sit on direct heat for 2 minutes. Then move the plank over indirect heat (unlit burner of the grill) and place the marinated salmon, skin side down, on the hot plank. Leave lemon slices on top. Close the lid of the grill and cook until the fish is just cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. The plank can be used as a unique serving platter.
End your delicious dinner for Dad with a crisp and refreshing homemade sorbet. Easy to make and striking the perfect balance between sweet and low calorie, your sorbet is the perfect ending to the meal. Be creative, and come up with your own sorbet recipe filled with Dad’s favorite fruits.
Below is a recipe for a fancy, cocktail inspired sorbet.
Adapted from: Martha Stewart
2/3-cup sugar or sugar substitute
½ cup packed fresh celery leaves
2 large English cucumbers – peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons floral gin, such as Hendrick’s
1. In a small saucepan, dissolve sugar in the water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the celery leaves. Allow the leaves to steep for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve, retaining the fluid and discarding the solids. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
2. In a food processor, puree the cucumber, celery syrup, and lemon juice until fully smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the gin. Cover and refrigerate until cold – at least 1-2 hours.
3. Chill a loaf pan in the freezer.
4. Churn and freeze the cucumber mixture in an ice cream maker, following the directions provided for your specific machine. Transfer the softly frozen mixture to the fully chilled loaf pan. Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and freeze until the mixture has hardened, at least two hours.
Enjoy celebrating your father this year with a tasty meal that won’t derail his commitment to healthy eating!