Entertaining in the warmer months

Lighter ways to enjoy eating in summer.

The warm weather has truly arrived in most parts of Australia. One of the great things about this time  of year is that we often get to spend more time outdoors - whether that’s on the beach or having a BBQ with friends and family.

If you are entertaining guests or preparing for parties throughout the festive season, you may be faced with the question, ‘What am I going to cook?’ 

It’s likely that your guests will appreciate having some healthy options available so we’ve put together some tasty recipe ideas from our Healthy Food Healthy Planet recipe library to provide some inspiration!


At your next BBQ, you could try:

  • Barbequing corn on the cob by brushing with a little oil and smoked paprika for a smoky Mid-West flavour.
  • Making your own high fibre burger patties by using lean beef mince, tinned lentils and herbs.
  • Choosing lean sausages instead of regular barbequing sausages because they are often very high in saturated fat.
  • Making few salads for variety and to balance out the meat that typically comes with an Aussie barbeque. We love these crowd pleasers:
  • Roast pumpkin and walnut salad
  • Green quinoa salad with pistachio pesto dressing
  • Instead of a large dessert selection, make the most of the best fresh produce by making up a big platter of fresh fruit. Frozen grapes, strawberries and mango slices will be a sure hit on a hot day.

When bringing a plate, you could try:

  • Whipping up a quick homemade dip using a food processor. Our homemade beetroot and chickpea dip is a healthy treat that is ready in minutes.
  • A plate of fresh fruit kebabs is a great choice to share with others. Fresh, colourful and quick to prepare. Cut fruit into interesting shapes with cookie cutters or use a melon baller. 

You want to try something a bit fancy, but still healthy:

  • Couscous is a really versatile food that is easy to prepare with impressive results. Choosing wholemeal couscous and adding lots of colourful vegetables will create a high fibre side dish. For recipe inspiration try our tangy broccolini couscous which can be made in advance.
  • Canapés. If you haven’t cooked with wonton wrappers, now is the time! Wonton wrappers are available from the refrigerated section of the supermarket and can be baked in mini muffin trays to form little tart shells perfect for filling with a sweet or savoury filling. This is a much healthier alternative to pastry and gives a very crunchy result. Try our adorable avocado wonton cup recipe.

More healthy swaps:

  • Replace high fat mayonnaise-based dressings with a mix of reduced fat plain yoghurt, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. A great dressing for pasta salads or coleslaw.
  • If using frozen pastry, look for reduced fat varieties to cut down on saturated fat.

For more healthy recipe inspiration visit www.healthyfoodhealthyplanet.org  

NAQ Nutrition

NAQ Nutrition is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation. We aim to shape the health and wellbeing of our community through informed food choices. Food is life. Food is you. 

Healthy Food Healthy Planet is NAQ Nutrition’s community meal planner and recipe website. It aims to provide people with simple, healthy recipes that are tasty and won’t break the bank.