Healthy 3 Course Meals

by Elizabeth Baker

Although eating healthy is easy to do when cooking for one, preparing a three-course meal for yourself or guests is often difficult. If you're planning a dinner party for friends or family and are hoping to keep your courses light, healthy and low in fat, consider dishes that compliment one another and that are high in nutrients.

Starter Salad

Cheese and crackers, spinach-stuffed phyllo dough and mini hot dogs may be popular with guests, but do your best to choose appetizers that are low in fat and sodium, and high in nutrients. Phyllo dough has a lot of fat and many pre-made appetizers are loaded with sodium. Instead treat your guests to a heart-healthy salad with fresh Romaine lettuce, baby spinach or arugula. Toss it with fresh vegetables, including sliced cucumbers, onion and cherry tomatoes. And rather than using a high-fat Caesar dressing, prepare a homemade vinaigrette using olive oil, fresh lemon juice and cracked black pepper.

Main Entree

When preparing a dinner entree for your guests, consider using a lean protein source, such as fish, chicken, beans or tofu, which are high in iron and low in fat. Teriyaki salmon is a delicious and fancy meal that any guest will love. Marinate salmon steaks in 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1 tsp. of ground mustard, 1/4 tsp. of garlic powder, 1 tsp. of ground ginger and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil for two hours in the refrigerator. Place steaks in a shallow baking pan and broil for five minutes on each side. Remove from oven, brush with remaining marinade and serve with wild grain rice and freshly steamed vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus or carrots.

Finish With Dessert

Heavy desserts are often too rich and leave guests feeling full and bloated. In addition, cakes and mousses are often loaded in fat and are high in calories. Treat your guests to a healthier, lighter dessert, such as fresh berries over ice cream. This dessert will leave your guests feeling pleasantly satisfied and will help them meet their daily requirements of fruit. In a medium bowl combine a 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of white sugar and 3 cups of fresh berries, such as blackberries, raspberries or blueberries. Add 1 tsp. of lemon juice and bake in a shallow pan for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and serve over two scoops of low-fat vanilla ice cream.

About the Author

Elizabeth Baker holds a Masters of Fine Arts in nonfiction writing and has been working with Demand Media Studios since 2002, specializing in health, education, food and travel topics.