We’re in the middle of the spring racing season in Australia, which means we’re seeing lots of amazing hats and floral dresses everywhere and hearing some creative horse names! It also means lots of race day events and platters of food or drinks. It’s easy to get swept up in race day celebrations, even if you’re not a fan of horse racing (I’m pretty sure lots of people don’t even see a horse!).
When you’re surrounded by all those tempting little bite-sized morsels, it can be really hard to resist! So I’ve put together some healthier options you can try for race day luncheons and special events.
At most get-togethers, the starters follow a ‘tried and true’ pattern. It should be something that people can grab and eat while they mingle, so pick a couple of healthy finger food options. Rice paper rolls filled with veggies are great for warmer weather, while baked sweet potato wedges with dip are delicious in the cooler months. The falafel balls and yoghurt dip recipe I recently shared is also a great option!
It’s important to remember some of your guests may have special dietary requirements, so try to include gluten-free and nut-free starters as well. Having some veggie soldiers and dip available can help you cover all bases.
Salads in a jar are fantastic for events as they are perfectly portioned and look so enticing. While platters can look a little ‘picked over’ by the time half of the guests get their serve, jars always present really well. Check out my rainbow chicken salad in a jar recipe to see for yourself. Dress the jars up further by making cute little tags in the theme of your event.
Chicken sandwiches are usually found on race day menus. To make them a bit healthier, skip the heavy mayonnaise in favour of hummus or pesto and choose dark rye bread instead of white bread. Platters of sushi rolls, a filling wholemeal pasta salad or chicken pitas are also great luncheon ideas that are healthier.
A fresh fruit platter can look so inviting on race day, as well as replacing the sugar-heavy desserts that are common at many events. Put together slices of your favourite fruits, or mix smaller pieces together in a fruit salad.
Individual chia puddings can be made in a range of flavours, which means you can cater to most people’s tastes. It also makes the presentation much easier, because you’ve got a mix of different colours. For something different, try making tasty crumbles using fruit and adding oats and chopped nuts as the yummy crumbly topping.
While bubbly is traditional for race day, try swapping this for a flavoured sparkling water instead. Use a veggie peeler to make a long ribbon of cucumber and place this inside the glass. Add some sparkling water, a slice of lemon, ice and some fresh mint so you are still getting nourishment while celebrating.
It can be all too easy to let your healthy lifestyle slide when everyone around you is celebrating. Why not take control of the situation and prepare your own race day fare, or maybe suggest some of these healthier options your host could use?
Love, Kayla xx