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June 28, 2013

No-Cook Summer Party Food

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

While it's been summer for a few weeks, Fourth of July celebrations officially kick off the barbecue and picnic season, and there's plenty more parties to come!

I love summertime get-togethers, but hate the thought of spending too much time in the kitchen.  I also get tired of typical summer party foods. These three no-cook dishes are designed to please a crowd with a minimum of fuss. 

Creamy Avocado Dip
Makes about 1 3/4 cups

1 ripe avocado
1 cup Hood Low Fat Cottage Cheese
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime, juiced)
1 medium tomato, chopped
salt to taste, if desired

Place all the ingredients except the tomato in a food processor. Process until well blended, about 45 seconds to one minute.  Transfer dip to serving bowl. Stir in chopped tomato. Serve with fresh vegetables or low fat snack chips.

Broccoli Slaw
Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup finely-diced red onion (about ½ medium onion)
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
2 16-ounce bags shredded broccoli

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and black pepper.  Add the onion, cranberries, and broccoli. Toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

S'Mores Parfaits
Makes 4 servings

1 (3.9-ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix, prepared with 2 cups Hood Lowfat Milk
2 cups coarsely crushed graham crackers (about 24 squares)
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Spoon about ¼ cup of the pudding into each of 4 parfait glasses.  Sprinkle with ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup marshmallows and 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Top with ¼ cup pudding, ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs, and 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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