If you follow me on Instagram, you know that this week is my birthday, because I’m annoying and talk about it a ton, and also because I mentioned that I would be writing this blog, this week! As someone who lives and loves in the kitchen, throwing a healthy, fabulous, and affordable birthday dinner party is a no-brainer. I hope this blog gives you some ideas on how to throw an easy Dinner Party for someone you love, or even for yourself!
Growing up, birthdays meant heavy amounts of treats and comfort foods. Now, on the other side of obesity, it means celebrating with friends, and using healthy foods to make us feel good! I hope some of these recipes inspire you to make some healthy decisions without missing any of the celebratory fun!
This blog is done in partnership with Whole Foods Market 365. All opinions and recipes are my own. As always, I only work with brands and companies I 100% love and respect. Thank you, readers, for supporting my blog by being here! Just keeping it 100% real with you!
Tuesday, I took my shopping experience at Whole Foods Market 365, Akron, to my insta stories and got a ton of interesting feedback! This store just opened up a few months ago, and I was excited to see what all the fuss was about! The difference between a classic Whole Foods Market, and a Whole Foods Market 365 is the attractive price point, and local touches. Akron is known for their Artisan Coffee Shop, and it’s awesome to see that local company within this WFM 365 Store! They have fun seasonal lattes like pumpkin spice, but their lavender latte is out of this world.
The next thing I really enjoyed was the way the produce section is set up, with weigh stations that allow you to weigh your food, type in the skew, and get a price right then and there. Sometimes, I’m grabbing a ton of something only to get to the register to find it the price is way more than I expected. I love this unique feature!
So I filled up my cart with some Whole Foods Market 365 brand items, some local items, and some brand name favorites, grabbed a burrito (duh. taco Tuesday hello), and cashed out.
Let’s get to cooking, shall we! I made a four course, weeknight birthday dinner for 5 friends, and had enough for leftovers! Less than $60 for the entire night! How did I manage? Here’s how!
Champagne & Flowers- $13.99
I think every celebration deserves a nice glass of bubbly, and what is a birthday without a little self love- I love flowers!! Start the evening off right with a glass of your choice, and get to the appetizer!
Goat Cheese & Heirloom Tomato Crostini- $7.49
1. Slice Baguette into thin slices, lay on a cookie sheet, and bake at 400 until crispy, about 5-8 mins.
2. Thinly slice heirloom tomato and season with salt & pepper.
3. Once crostini (bread slices) have cooled slightly, spread thin layer of goat cheese on each, top with seasoned tomato, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Golden Beet & Fig Spinach Salad- $9.97
1. Trim greens from beets and wrap beets in foil, baking for 50 mins at 400. Allow to cool slightly, then with a paper towel, rub skin off beets and slice how you like- I did quarters.
2. Top spinach with quartered roasted beets, quartered fresh figs, and feel free to add some onion if you have in your pantry, or more goat cheese left from the appetizer. I added extra virgin olive oil & balsamic as the dressing.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Italian Chicken Sausage, Kale, & Butternut Squash. -$14.96
1. In a large skillet, add sausage and cook till done. Remove from Pan.
2. In same skillet, add thinly sliced kale, and butternut squash, sauté until cooked through.
3. Add sausage back to pan, 1 minced cloves of garlic, and 1 cup of chicken or veggie stock. Bring to simmer. The softened squash and stock is going to turn into a creamy sauce without adding any dairy, just wait, you’ll see!
4. Add gnocchi to pan and stir to combine about 3 minutes until gnocchi is warmed through and pillowy. Serve with fresh pepper and some chopped herbs if you have them! Yum!
Dark Chocolate Berry Cups- $10.97
(You all know I cannot bake to save my life. Ugh. The shame. Just kidding-there’s always dark chocolate and berries to save the day.)
1. Melt one bar dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
2. Spoon tablespoon of melted chocolate into silicone mini muffin tray, and place 3 berries in each pool of chocolate.
3. drizzle any remaining chocolate over the top, sprinkle with sea salt, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until chocolate is firm! Store in fridge or freezer for up to 2 weeks, if they even last that long!!
Birthday Dinner Total- $57.38
price per person- $11.47
I hope you love these recipes as much as my friends and family loved them this week! If you have a Whole Foods Market 365 near you, like the brand new one in Akron, OH, what are you waiting for? Go check it out!! You will not be disappointed!
As always, if you recreate any of these recipes, tag me with the hashtag, #thatswhatsheeats on Instagram, @thatswhatsheeats
Thanks for hanging out, friends!