Everyone overdoes it a bit during the festive period, but on the other hand the party calendar looks pretty bleak until spring rolls around. So it’s time to have a February fete, and coincidentally, it comes on Valentines day. I can assure you that there will be no heart-shaped anything, and the colour red will be used sparingly. So what can I make that’s tasty and healthy and will keep my guests happy and sober? Caviar is full of protein, but with the recession and all a little fiscal restraint is in order. Check out my menu, and feel free to steal these ideas for yourself!
- Spannakopita. Packed with spinach and feta cheese, wrapped in filo dough (flaky pastry’s low-fat cousin)
- Homemade spelt crackers with homemade dips. I know that “homemade cracker” and “spelt” are alarming terms, but these are really easy (like twenty minutes) and taste much better than the fluff that comes out of the the average cracker box. Organic spelt flour is around GBP2.00/kg and even the most basic cook should have water and salt already at home. A box of “posh” crackers? GBP2.59.
- Serve them alongside homemade hummus, guacamole and salsa. This combo will keep guests happy and snacking
- Wasabi-devilled eggs. Filling, high in protein and a boost of long-lasting energy to keep everyone partying. And oh-so retro cool, but much healthier than fondue. Get a dozen organic eggs for around GBP3.00. Another easy recipe. I could tell you how to hard boil an egg, but I thought why not let Delia do it!
- Vietnamese(ish) passion rolls. These days, lots of people have various dietary restrictions and we’ve already managed to alienate the vegans and gluten-intolerant. Packed with veggies and zesty flavours, these little numbers are highly addicting. They are my most “complicated” recipe, but can be a lot of fun to prepare with your special someone.
- Leek and Gruyere stuffed potato skins. Not my lightest dish, but easy to make and so much healthier than some frozen oven chips or minibagel pizzas. Plus its seasonal, mostly local and dead-easy.
- Nibbles: Homemade roast nuts and olives. Just as easy as opening up a bag of crisps, yet much classier (makes up for the deviled eggs!). Olives: buy some nice olives, open jar and pour into bowl (optional). Nuts – buy some raw almonds and pecans, and follow my instructions.
As for the booze – Ok, this is an indulgence and moderation is key. Nevertheless, here are some tips for happier and healthier drinking:
- Buy quality – if you’re going to drink, you might as well enjoy it and avoid bevvies that are full of preservatives and artificial colours and flavours. I’m looking at you alcopops.
- Mixing responsibly means cutting out the artificial junk. But what could taste better than a rum and diet cola or gin and slimline tonic you ask? How about two measures gin shaken with a dash of elderflower cordial and topped with soda water and lime? Use the fresh OJ for screwdrivers and real lemon for the twist.
- Keep plenty of water on hand and enough mixers for a virgin alternative