Healthy and Sane

Good friends + good food = good time

January 22nd, 2010 · 24 Comments · chicken, Cooking Light, dessert, entertaining, soups

Last night, Adam and I went to our friends’ place for dinner. They just recently bought their condo so this was their first time hosting us there. We got there around 7 and left nearly at midnight. If we were at a restaurant, we would definitely have closed the place down. ๐Ÿ˜† With great food, wine and the conversation flowing, the time really flew by! :mrgreen:

Katie is as health conscious as I am (maybe even more – she’s getting married in 6 months!) so our whole menu for the night was from Cooking Light. Awesome!! I started with a glass of this Louis Latour Pinor Noir. I’m not the biggest fan of Pinot Noir but this was a crisp bottle – a nice way to start the meal. :)

Mike made sure to refill my glass when it was getting low, so I have no idea how much I really drank (maybe 4 glasses?). Between the 4 of us, 2 bottles of beer and 4+ bottles of wine were consumed. The guys did most of the heavy lifting ๐Ÿ˜‰ Like I said, it was a good time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

After getting the tour of their place, which is gorgeous (!!!!), we sat down for dinner. Our first course was a roasted cauliflower soup, finished with truffle oil (recipe can be found here, onions were omitted and hazelnut oil was replaced by truffle oil).

It was so thick and rich, I hesitated about finishing my portion but everyone else polished theirs off so I slowly followed suit. I was shocked to find out that this was only 87 calories/serving. Seriously, Katie didn’t tell me she used Cooking Light recipes until the end so I thought she chose to serve us full fat meals for dinner. The truffle oil gave it a real depth. Very delicious! ๐Ÿ˜€

Next up, Mike got to carve the roasted chicken (recipe to come).

On the side we enjoyed some hericot verts

… and whole wheat couscous with dried fruit

My portion (I had a little bit more of the chicken).

The chicken was the star for sure. I’ve actually never roasted a chicken before and was impressed with Katie’s skills – it was so moist and flavorful! She rubbed it with spices under the skin, so when the skin was removed, there was a lot of flavor. She convinced me to give it a go once we have our kitchen back.

And now, my favorite part of dinner (shocker, I know!) – dessert.ย  Katie cutting the cake…

She made this carrot cake with toasted coconut cream cheese frosting. OMG – so incredible!! The cake was super moist and rich and full of plump raisins and then the cream cheese frosting put it over the top. Perfectly sweet with a fun twist of toasted shredded coconut.

We all loved it (including Adam who supposedly hates carrot cake and coconut – yes, even he wanted seconds). Speaking of seconds, I couldn’t help myself. My sweet tooth nearly always wins, what can I say ๐Ÿ˜‰ And that, my bloggie friends, is how you consume nearly 700 calories in just dessert! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

I took pictures of the rest of my eats from earlier in the day, but I’m going to leave them off so this meal gets its full blog glory.ย  The dinner was absolutely fabulous! Thank you, Mike and Katie for hosting us!! We can’t wait to have you over for dinner again when our kitchen is done! ๐Ÿ˜€

When you have people over for dinner, do you try new recipes or serve tried and true classics? Healthify them or make it a full splurge and stick with the full fat versions? I’m all about doing it Cooking Light-style! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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24 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - sister inna

    i. want. carrot. cake

  • #2 - Hangry Pants

    Yeah I agree with sister inna. For me, it depends on the audience I am cooking for. I usually try to go healthier for small groups of people I am cooking for, or for my family and friends. If I am baking something for a big party or something (like if I make a cake for someone’s birthday) I will consider the audience and whether they would want/appreciate the healthier baked cook. Sometimes I just ask the people I am making things for.

  • #3 - Carrie @ I See Monsters

    You HAVE to roast a chicken. It’s so easy, and the results are so delicious and impressive!

    That carrot cake looks amazing. Is there somewhere we can find the recipe online?

  • #4 - Sophie @ yumventures

    I’m really just learning to cook (or at least, cook well, I know the basics :) ) so my go-to recipes are normally pretty simple. If I have people over I will do one thing (app, entree, or dessert) as something new that I have never tried before, but that is very simple and/or has good ratings from other people who have tried it. I don’t mind having my friends be my guinea pigs, but then the other two parts of the meal I know will be good anyway :) I definitely try to keep the calories down, especially if my girlfriends are over, just so everyone can enjoy more without feeling as guilty! Plus the wine always adds up :)

  • #5 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    Yummy! I love hanging out with friends that love food as much as I do. It’s so much fun and time really DOES fly!

  • #6 - Bridget

    Mmm carrot cake! I find myself trying new recipes even though I know thats usually a big no-no as you don’t know how they’ll come out! I’d really like to get mroe into entertaining with healthy foods…but I guess it depends on the crowd. I think the key would be not to tell guests its “healthy” unless you just tell your health-conscious friends :)
    What a fun night!!

  • #7 - Miriam

    I am going in the middle… I usually cook very light, lots of veggies, lots of meat alternative like legumes+cereals (not a lot of meat) for myself. But when receiving people over for dinner, I will cook meat (lean cut) but I will add a lot of veggies and/or some salad on the side and fresh cut vegetables + hummus on the side!! I don’t want people leaving my place feeling like their still hungry but I won’t serve them what I will never eat!!

  • #8 - Jasmine (Sweet and Fit)

    carrot cake is my favorite! that soup also looks amazing – i can’t believe its only 87 calories/serving!

  • #9 - Nicole (dishin')

    They went all out! Everything looks delicious :)

  • #10 - Cristina

    My boyfriend and I are health conscious when we cook. We just are. He knows that I know a lot about nutrition since I saw a dietician for quite some time, and I can guide him on what’s good to eat when watching your weight, etc

    I prefer to cook light than cooking with heavy, high fat, high calorie ingredients. I like using cookbooks like “So Easy” by Ellie Krieger because I know she has a healthy way of cooking and know I won’t go over my caloric intake.

  • #11 - Good Taste. Healthy Me

    What a delicious dinner and a fun night! I love nights like that. It’s always so fun to spend time with friends and just eat and chat.

  • #12 - Jenna

    Yummy carrot cake!

  • #13 - Megan

    What a fabulous dinner! My friends have gotten so used to me using them as guinea pigs. Unless I really love something, I don’t tend to make the same thing twice when entertaining. I like to try out new recipes when I have lots of people over to try them out on!

  • #14 - Kelly

    Wow, I’ve never roasted a chicken myself but that looks amazing! Almost as amazing as the carrot cake :)

  • #15 - Lara (Thinspired)

    What a fun night with friends :) I love roasting a chicken, but I’ve never thought to put the goodies under the skin! Definitely trying that next time.
    Pinot Noir is one of my favorite wines. Random question, what’s yours?

  • #16 - Caroline

    What a perfect looking meal! Growing up and still to this day my Mom is a devoted Cooking Light Guru so I guess I got some of that from her. I think that there recipes are so good you can’t tell their light, just like the soup you were worried about!

  • #17 - Elina

    Innz – go get yourself some! Mmm, carrot cake ๐Ÿ˜‰

    HangryPants – I guess you’re right. If I make a cake for someone, then it’s usually the full fat version if that’s what they’d prefer. Otherwise, I like to sneak healthier foods in and still have everyone enjoy it ๐Ÿ˜€

    Carrie- I linked to it in the post. It was one of the best I’ve ever had!!

    Sophie – that’s a really good strategy – 1 new, 2 classics. I may still that idea for my next dinner party :)

    Bridget – I do the same thing and make things that I otherwise wouldn’t try just for a weeknight meal for me and Adam.

    Christina – you should join Craving Ellie in my Belly if you use Ellie Krieger books a lot. I have both of them :)

    Megan – haha, love that!

    Lara – I think my favorite wine is chianti… actually Adam knows better what I like since he typically orders at restaurant. What do you say, Adam? What’s our favorite? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Caroline – you are so right! Oh and I wish my mom cooked from Cooking Light. Oh well, at least her food is super delicious even if it’s not low calorie.

  • #18 - Maria

    Glad you had a good time/dinner! The food looks wonderful. You can always find recipes on my blog:)

  • #19 - Tricia

    Carrot cake is my fav. I’ll have to try out that recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • #20 - Husband Adam

    You like all red italian wines it seems, but Barbera wines the most.

  • #21 - Gabriela

    Awesome dinner, Elina!
    YUUUM, hahaha :)
    Oh, and thank you so much for the restaurant tips in Boston! Theyยดll be very useful, Iยดm sure ๐Ÿ˜‰
    By the way, what are doing next week? Me and my Mom will be in Boston between Jan 27th and Jan 30th. We could meet ๐Ÿ˜€
    Hum, my e-mail is
    Iยดm only 14, but I really love your blog. Iยดve been reading it for a long time :)
    Oh, well. Looking forward to hearing from you, then!
    Brazilian XOXOยดS,

  • #22 - Shannon

    wow, what a feast :) i cook the same way i normally do, putting healthy spins on things. I don’t always do something i’ve done before either… it usually works out alright!

  • #23 - A housewarming party done right

    […] the top. Totally worth it – everything at the party we attended was fabulous. Our friends Mike and Katie are excellent […]

  • #24 - christi

    delicious carrot cake with coconut. yummy