A couple weeks ago I talked about how to impress your guests with healthified entertaining. There’s no need to worry about your guests complaining about eating bird food when you’re serving healthy, plant-based meals with style (and a smile!). The first tip on my list? Make it beautiful. Here are ten ways to make your plate pretty for your guests, the natural way.
1. Garnish it up. Adding a garnish on the plates, or serving dish, is the easiest way to pretty-up a plate. The rule of thumb? Keep it edible! Those funky little decorations you get from the craft store for cupcake toppings? Pretty, maybe, but don’t serve anything you don’t intend on your guests eating! Trust me on this one. Making blueberry cupcakes? A few blueberries on top will instantly beautify your gluten-free cupcake creation.
2. Add some green. We all like green in our food, but how about on it? A little bit of fresh parsley or cilantro on top of your dish adds a pop of color and a zing of flavor! Just make sure it goes with the dish- try parsley with European-inspired meals and cilantro with Indian or Asian.
3. Infuse your plate with color! We all love a turmeric-yellow lentil curry,but a plate with only one color can be drab and not-so appealing. Try adding some different colors to your plate and see it come to life! Same goes for that pan-seared tempeh with the mashed cauliflower. Booor-ing! Add a color or two.
4. Look for balance. Just like when flavoring dishes (more on this soon!) balance of textures and shapes on a plate make them stand out. Try crispy tempeh triangles with that soft mashed cauliflower and some chewy sautéed kale, or add something crunchy with that mushy curry.
5. Try a new arrangement. Who says everything needs to be laid out flat on a plate? Try stacking your food- sweet potato puree topped with some black beans, a layer of chopped avocado , salsa and a cilantro sprinkle is simple but beautiful.
6. Add some flowers. One of my FAVORITE ways to beautify a spring or summer plate is with edible flowers. Really! Remember my garnish tip? They need to be edible, so try out organic calendula (marigolds), carnations, lavender or lilac.
7. Go nuts! Chopped nuts and seeds are an easy way to add some crunch and a little extra something-something to your dinner plate.
8. Clean the edges. This seems like an obvious one, but when you’re rushing to get dinner on the table, it’s easy to overlook the splatter of soup on the bowl or the drip of sauce on the dish- use a damp cloth to wipe these up and the clean look will impress.
9. Pretty plating. I LOVE searching for pretty new plates and glasses, and I find they always cheer up even the most drab-looking meal. My favorite place to shop? Thrift stores and antique shops! Just be sure to clean well with some natural soap before using.
10. A sprinkle of love. Aside from the real sprinkle of love you’ve infused in your dish (just from cooking it, of course!) a little sprinkle of sea salt, cayenne, cracked pepper or even a bit of olive oil on your soup adds a nice little touch to finish off your dish.
I hope you will all take a few of these tips into mind when you’re entertaining healthy this summer!
Question of the Day: What are your secret tips for making your plates prettier?