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Throw The Perfect Dinner Party For Under €100

Dinner Party

Brought to you by Vhi Healthcare

Looking for a perfect menu for a summer dinner party to throw at home? Would you like to wow your friends but keep it healthy, simple and delicious? I have a recipe just for that!

For me, healthy food is all about variety and balance, nutrient-dense foods and seasonal local produce.

Whenever I serve dinner, it’s not about fat/sugar/dairy/gluten free – it is about delicious meals that nourish our bodies and leave you happy and satisfied.

Dinner Menu by The Food DNA

Steamed mussels with pancetta, white wine and tangy green apple – served with toasted sourdough bread
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Organic salmon baked with garlic, parsley & lemon butter, chorizo & haricot beans; seasonal vegetables (cherry tomatoes, asparagus) and a seaweed sprinkle. Side salad with organic greens, olive oil, lemon juice and nut sprinkle (walnuts, pecan nuts, pumpkin seeds)
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Grilled nectarines with coconut yoghurt granita, fresh raspberries and maple syrup glazed nut mix
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Wine: French Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Cotes de Duras 2016
8 bottles of alcoholic free 500ml of Kopparberg

*For anyone who doesn’t like salmon – simply replace it with hake or cod.

Inspired by the Irish summer, all the ingredients for this healthy 3 course dinner for 4 with wine can be bought for under €100. And on top of that, you can use leftovers for delicious salads, breakfast/brunch for next few days!

For all recipes, I am using simple ingredients that you can find in any shop, excluding seaweed sprinkle. I do believe that this is a great investment and can be used in many dishes, salads and soups to seriously step up your cooking game.

This dinner is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and seasonal nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. It is also protein rich and will certainly keep you and your guests satisfied.

Starter – Mussels Recipe

Irish mussels are not only cheap and tasty, but they also bring a generous serving of nutrients to the table, such as B12, selenium and iron. Being rich in zinc, they make a great addition to a healthy diet.

It seems people are afraid to cook mussels at home, but here is a simple recipe that will hopefully change that. I cooked this starter for my friends numerous times and it has always been a hit.

Ingredients:

– 900g mussels
– 125ml white wine
– 80g single cream
– 2 medium cloves of garlic
– 2 lemons
– 60g finely diced pancetta
– 1/2 Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
– Handful of roughly chopped parsley
– Black pepper to taste
– Loaf of sourdough bread, to serve

Method:

1. Wash and scrub mussels under plenty of cold water. Remove any barnacles or beards coming out of the shells. Discard all mussels that are cracked. Not all open mussels are dead. Tap the shell if it is open – if it closes after few seconds it’s still good to eat. Otherwise discard. Note: Mussels should fill not more than half of your pot. Once they are open they will increase in volume significantly.
2. In a big pot, add pancetta and cook until crispy
3. Add finely chopped garlic, mussels, wine – mix and cover pot with a lid. Leave for 4-5 minutes on a medium heat. Give it a good shake now and then.
4. Add juice on 1 lemon, cream and black pepper, chopped green apple and parsley. Mix again and leave for another few minutes.
5. Discard any mussels that didn’t open.
6. Serve in bowls with slices of sourdough bread.

*For spice lovers – add some chilli flakes or few drops of Tabasco.

Main Course – Salmon Recipe

This succulent and tangy salmon with crunchy asparagus and smoky chorizo haricot beans dish will probably become one of your staple recipes.

Combine that with freshest summer salad, sprinkled with extra crunch nut and seed mix and you have a winning healthy dish to impress your friends or family.

The flavours of this meal are incredible and it is so easy to make as most ingredients are cooked within 15 minutes in an oven tray.

Ingredients:

– 2 packs of organic salmon
– 1 lemon
– ½ cup chopped parsley
– Few sprigs of fresh thyme
– 3 tbps. melted butter
– Pack of asparagus
– Cherry tomatoes, cut lengthwise in quarters
– 10 thin slices of chorizo , cut in thin stripes
– 2 cans haricot beans, rinsed in cold water
– Olive oil
– Seaweed sprinkle
– Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Mix ½ cup of chopped parsley and a handful of thyme leaves with the juice of ½ a lemon and 2 tbsp. melted butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Preheat oven to 180C.
3. Cover salmon with herb-lemon butter.
4. Mix asparagus with 1 tbps. melted butter, salt and pepper.
5. Bake in one tray for 15 mins.
6. While salmon and asparagus are in the oven, pan fry stripes of chorizo on a medium heat until crispy.
7. Mix in beans with chorizo and cook for another 5 minutes until beans are hot.
8. Cut tomatoes into quarters, add salt, pepper and olive oil.
9. Assemble the dish (beans, asparagus, salmon, slice of lemon, tomatoes and then seaweed sprinkle).
10. In a separate bowl, mix salad leaves (rocket, spinach, lamb lettuce with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and mixed nuts and pumpkin seeds).

Dessert – Nectarines Recipe

This dessert is made with only the freshest seasonal fruits and berries, organic frozen yoghurt and nutrient-rich nut and seed mix. It is so tasty and it will be hard to believe that it’s a guilt-free pleasure!

Ingredients:

– Tub of yoghurt (frozen overnight/for couple of hours)
– Pack of 3 nectarines or peaches
– Fresh raspberries
– 1 small cup of mixed walnuts, pecans and pumpkin seeds (these can be swapped for other nuts and seeds)
– 40g Maple syrup
– 1 tbsp. butter
– Mint, basil leaves/edible flowers to garnish

Method:

1. Leave your yoghurt in the freezer for few hours or overnight (Make sure your yoghurt contains sugar – otherwise it will be hard as a rock).
2. Wash nectarines, remove the pit and brush each cut side with a little bit of melted butter. Place the nectarines cut-side down on a grill pan, over medium heat, for 5 – 7 minutes. If you don’t have a grilling pan, bake in the oven for 15 mins at 180C.
3. Toast nuts in a pan for 5 minutes on medium heat, add Maple syrup and mix until syrup is caramelized. Leave nuts out on a parchment paper for few minutes to cool down.
4. For yoghurt granita, take the yoghurt out of the freezer and leave for 10 minutes, then scrape it with a fork until the mixture resembles fluffy snow.
5. Assemble the dish by placing the nectarines in the middle of the plate, sprinkle Maple-glazed nuts and seeds, fresh raspberries and yoghurt snow.

And that’s a wrap! Enjoy!

Leftovers – Brunch/Salad Ideas

– Omelette with asparagus, cherry tomatoes and pancetta
– Sourdough toast with smashed haricot beans & chorizo, tomatoes, poached egg
– Green salad with cherry tomatoes, seaweed sprinkle, pumpkin seeds and soft boiled egg
– Granola with coconut yoghurt, fresh berries, maple glazed nuts and seeds

Totting It Up

– Organic mussels, Cork 900g (O’Hanlons Fish Shop) – €3.21
– Single cream – €0.99
– 1 x wine Cotes de Duras, France, Sauvingnon Blanc/Semillon – €20
– 8 x 500 ml alcohol free Kopparberg – €12.72
– 1 green Granny Smith apple – €0.60
– Lemons – €0.95
– Sourdough bread – €3.95
– Diced pancetta – €0.99
– 2 packs organic salmon – €10.98
– Cherry tomatoes – €2.19
– Chorizo slices – €1.89
– 1 pack asparagus – €1.79
– 2 x cans of haricot beans – €1.40
– Organic greens – rocket, spinach, lamb lettuce – €2.29
– Seaweed sprinkle O’Hanlons Fish Shop / any other dried seaweed mix in Asian Market (optional) – €4.95
– Walnuts – €1.69
– Pecan nuts – €3.29
– Pumpkin seeds – €1
– Maple syrup – €4.19
– Parsley – €1
– Thyme – €1
– Glenisk organic coconut & vanilla yoghurt – €2
– Garlic – €0.49
– Nectarines – €3.49
– Raspberries – €1.79

Total price of dinner is €88.84

Brought to you by Vhi Healthcare

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RECIPES BY THE FOOD DNA

Jelena Bio
With a background in clinical nutrition and pharmaceutical sciences Jelena is a self-proclaimed foodie. She combines love and passion for cooking with unique skill of being able to create dishes that taste great and are of a high nutritional value, making sure you eat the best when you do.

Her kitchen is the food lab full of soul and passion where she happily spends hours experimenting. Her recipe collection is like a treasure chest that has something for each and every one.

The Food DNA

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