On Sunday night, I had the pleasure of attending a small DC blogger dinner courtesy of a fellow DC area Registered Dietitian, Sarah. Sarah has just started up a small business called Why Food Works, through which she hosts dinner parties at customer’s homes to show them how easy and fun it can be to cook nutritious meals.
The dinner parties are normally $60 per person (plus $8 if you want a wine pairing, with the host receiving 50% off everything), but since she’s just starting up and is looking to grow her business, she reached out to all of us and offered to host the dinner for free in exchange for writing about the dinner on our blogs. The dinners normally take about 3 hours and all food, kitchen gadgets, utensils, plates, and glasses are provided – you don’t even have to clean up! Sounded good to me.
When we first arrived, Sarah set us up with a glass of wine and some appetizers.
Did you know that you can make a much healthier version of a ranch or sour cream dip by using Greek yogurt? That’s one of my favorite tips, so I was glad to see Sarah putting it into action! Basically, you combine onion powder, garlic powder, dried chives, and a little salt with plain Greek yogurt, and voila! Ranch dip that’s much higher in protein and lower in calories and saturated fat than normal ranch dips. Click here for Sarah’s full recipe: Guilt Free Ranch Dip. My favorite brands of plain Greek yogurt are Chobani and Stonyfield Greek!
While we snacked, we hung out with Sarah in the kitchen, watching her cook! Part of the benefit of her cooking parties is that guests are able to ask her nutrition questions, and since I was there as a fellow RD, we answered them together. It was fun to meet another entrepreneurial RD – we’re going to meet up again soon to talk possible partnerships, since she doesn’t do private nutrition counseling and I do, and I don’t do cooking classes and she does! Dream team!
My favorite part of dinner was by far these amazing salmon cakes. Click here for her full recipe; they are super easy and I can’t wait to make them again at home. Even better is that they are cheap – they’re made using canned salmon instead of fresh! I loved the fresh cilantro in them, too. So good.
One of our side dishes was a risotto – did you know you can make risotto using steel cut oats instead of rice? I didn’t, either! What a great idea and a good way to increase the fiber content of the dish.
Before we knew it, dinner was served! Our other side dish was roasted broccoli – yum.
On top of the salmon cake was a simple goat cheese sauce – she mixed goat cheese, a little milk, and pepper together and voila! A sauce. Love this idea – totally using that again, too!
For dessert, Sarah made a delicious no bake coconut “cheesecake.” The crust was a classic raw vegan approach – it was made of dates, almonds, and coconut oil processed together. The filling was simply Greek yogurt, sweetened coconut, coconut water, lemon juice and some gelatin! She popped it in the fridge before we we had dinner and by the time we’d cooked and eaten, it was gelled up and ready to go. So easy, nutritious, and it was delicious, too. Click here for her full recipe.
If you’re a DC area reader, I’d definitely recommend checking out Sarah’s Why Food Works dinner party offerings. The meal she cooked for us was great – healthy but interesting (no “diet food”!), and simple to prepare so you’d be able to make it again on your own, too. I love that she tells clients about the reasoning behind the meals nutritionally, too!
Thanks again for the great dinner, Sarah! Looking forward to chatting more about how we can work together in the future.