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The Great Gatsby Recipe Guide: 10 Party Foods Inspired by the Roaring Twenties

The roaring twenties will no doubt be a theme of many a summer party this year as The Great Gatsby film release has everyone reconnecting with this classic novel that embodies one of the most fabulous periods in our history. When most people think of the 1920s in the U.S. they think of the flappers, Prohibition, gangsters, and jazz. What people often overlook are the great advancements in home cooking and recipe development during this period.

gatsby

The availability of “sliced bread,” refrigerators, and other convenience foods that are dogged today helped (mostly) women spend 44 hours each week in their kitchens preparing meals. By 1965, women were only spending 25.7 hours per week cooking, and research in 2010 revealed women today spend only 13 hours each week on all household chores.

If you plan on hosting a Great Gatsby party this summer, you’ll want to dress the part of course, but the food can play a major role in pulling together the theme. If healthy is your goal, stick to the recipes we’re sharing. But if authenticity is most important, you’ll appreciate the homemade, healthified versions of many of these processed foods that are still popular today.

Thai Blueberry Old Fashion

old fashioned with blueberries

Alcohol was banned for much of the 1920s during a period known as Prohibition, but that didn’t keep the booze from flowing. The Old Fashion, a tart whiskey-based cocktail, was a creation of this decade that we still raise a glass to today. Guests will easily celebrate with this jazzed up version with fresh blueberries and a Truvia simple syrup.
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Caprese Grilled Cheese is a Healthy Twist on an Italian Classic

The first time I ever tried a caprese salad was when I was visiting my much-more-sophisticated-than-I older cousin Billy Jo. She and her husband own an exquisite home in Houston and my sister and I were down for a visit nearly a decade ago now.

Before dinner one night, Billy pullled out the ingredients for a caprese salad – fresh mozzarella, gorgeous roma tomatoes, huge stems of basil, and a little balsamic vinegar.

Caprese grilled cheese sandwich 2

Never having seen such an adventurous flavor combination before, I watched closely as she meticulously layered the cheese with the tomato, and then the basil, over and over again until the plate resembled the Italian flag. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar finished it off before we all claimed our portion. Admittedly, my then 16-year-old self didn’t appreciate the robust, fresh flavors. But now, it’s one of my absolute favorite Italian bites. This “grilled cheese” sandwich is an homage to that salad with a bit more heartiness and the ease of portability.
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A Turkey Meatball Sub is a Healthier Alternative to the Classic

Win a $5 Jennie-O Coupon when you share this recipe on Facebook and/or Twitter by Friday, March 29! Four winners will be selected.

We all know when going through a sub sandwich line that the meatball isn’t typically the healthiest choice, but why does it have to taste so good? The perfectly cooked meatballs simmering in hearty marinara sauce, nestled into a fluffy bun and topped with melty mozzarella cheese – what more could you ask for? How about a version that doesn’t leave you regretting your lunch pick for hours?

This sub sandwich may appear a little complex but it’s so, so simple. Thanks to Jennie-O’s lean ground turkey and Italian turkey sausage, there’s lots of flavor and protein without much fat. Our favorite marinara sauce amps up the flavor and sends the savory factor over the top. Then, we nestled ours into a whole wheat bun and topped it with two slices of low-fat mozzarella and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. Serve it alongside salad and you’ll be satisfied the healthy way ’til dinner.
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Banh Mi Sliders are a Hit as Holiday Party Appetizers

I spent a week in Portland, Oregon with my husband this fall. We fell in love with the city instantly and felt right at home with its laid back vibe. We hiked Mt. Hood, explored Hawthorne, did wine tastings straight from the barrel, I took a pole dancing class, and coveted the Portland Farmer’s Market.

It was just the getaway we needed – a lot of time outdoors, a lot of good wine, and a lot of even better food. The first meal we had came within an hour of stepping off the plane and it was a Banh Mi sandwich. It’s a Vietnamese sandwich that has become quite the trend recently, and I feel like we got treated to one of the best around.

The small bakery cafe served up the best French bread I have ever tasted. Stuffed inside, like any traditional Banh Mi, was pork, vegetables, and a dressing. Before I’d finished the first bite I knew I’d found something spectacular.

So good, in fact, I knew I’d have to create my own, especially after I learned that a standard Banh Mi can hit 600 calories with the pork, bread, and dressing! With simple ingredients like pork and vegetables, why couldn’t I make one that was better?


I got my chance when a holiday party needed something more substantial than cookies and champagne. Inspired by a true Banh Mi, I turned this traditional recipe into sliders and shaved off a few hundred calories in the process. Each of these sliders has only 181 calories!
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Avoid the ‘Salty Six’ For a Healthy Heart

Do you know how much sodium is safe to consume on a daily basis? And perhaps more importantly, do you know how much sodium is actually in the foods you eat? ┬áIf you answered ‘no’ to either of these questions, the American Heart Association is here to help. The organization is seeking to provide some clarity on the topic of sodium with the introduction of its “Salty Six” – a list of six popular foods that are likely adding the highest levels of sodium to your diet.

It’s no secret that foods like canned soup and salty pizza made the list for their outrageous levels of sodium. But would you be surprised to know that bread and rolls ranked number one on the Salty Six and poultry and sandwiches followed not far behind?


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