Healthy Dinner Recipes for Entertaining in Your Backyard

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Last week I hosted a wonderful dinner party in our backyard for my family.  Today I am thrilled to share the menu and my healthy dinner recipes.

A Toast to Family Dinners

Last week I hosted a wonderful dinner party in our backyard for my family.  As promised, today I am sharing the menu and recipes. I think you might be surprised to learn that the entire menu consisted of healthy dinner recipes.

I already shared the entire set up and everything you need to Entertain in Your Own Backyard. This party was not hard to plan and set up was easy. Plus, it was not expensive. (Just so you know, I used plain brown paper for my tablecloth!)

My guests were my family … my husband, our three sons, and our daughter in law.

Look how adorable Andrew and Charlotte are in this photo!

Dinner Guests

Healthy Dinner Recipes

You are probably wondering why I served “healthy dinner recipes”. 

There have been a lot of changes in our kitchen and home these past few months. We are all eating healthy which includes no red meat, no dairy, no refined sugar or flour, and a low carb diet. It’s basically a modified Keto diet that consists of lots of vegetables and fish and a little bit of chicken. And not much else.

We started this new eating plan almost two months ago and it has been amazing. I feel great and really hope to do this forever. I am confident you can sustain eating very healthy as long as you have great recipes to make healthy food. It’s that easy.

Dinner Party Menu

Grilled Artichokes with Avocado Mayo, Garlic and Lemon

Marinated Chicken and Veggie Shish Kabobs

Healthy Caesar Salad

Gluten and Nut Free Healthy Pesto Pasta

Grilled Artichokes

The Best Grilled Artichokes

Grilled artichokes are simply amazing. The smoky flavor from the grill is so delicious and the healthy dipping sauce is fabulous. And they aren’t hard to make. Every time I serve them, one of my boys says “I will never eat regular artichokes again”!

The best way to cook grilled artichokes is to first cut them in half and cut out the hair-like filaments with a spoon.

how to grill an artichhokes

Next, you steam them for about forty minutes. Place them face down on the barbecue and grill for a few minutes until lightly browned. Try not to let them burn (like my husband did). Aargh!

Yield: 6 servings

Grilled Artichokes with Avocado Mayo, Garlic and Lemon

Grilled Artichokes with Avocado Mayo, Garlic and Lemon

Grilled artichokes are the best. The smoky flavor is so good that you can eat them without anything else. I added a Keto-friendly mayo with garlic and lemon which was fabulous.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 6 large artichokes
  • 1/2 cup of Sir Kensington's Avocado Oil Mayonnaise
  • 2 TBL lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic


  1. Cut the artichokes vertically and down the middle. Take a strong spoon to scoop out the fir. Scoop out as much of the hair like filaments as you can, then remove the inner red-tipped leaves. (This took a lot of practice to figure out!)
  2. Steam over high heat in a covered pan for 40 minutes.
  3. Brush the cut side of the artichoke lightly with olive oil and place on the grill cut side down. Cook until just browned, about ten minutes.
  4. Mix the mayo, lemon, and garlic.
  5. Serve artichokes with lemon sauce and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 66mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 5gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

Thhis information was calculated by Nutritonix but is not guaranteed to be accurate.

Marinated Chicken and Veggie Shish Kabobs

Grilling for the Dinner Party

These shish kabobs were the best! The trick is to cut the chicken in strips and thread them onto the skewers. Big chunks of chicken don’t cook nearly as well!

Yield: 6 servings

Marinated Chicken and Vegetable Shish Kabobs

Marinated Chicken and Vegetable Shish Kabobs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • Chicken Marinade
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 2 TBL red wine vinegar
  • 2 TBL Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBL Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBL lemon juice
  • 1 TBL coconut aminos
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tsp Italian or chicken seasoning
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 white onions, cut into 1" chunks
  • 2 red peppers, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 package of whole white mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed


    1. Cut chicken and set aside. Mix all marinade ingredients and place them in a Ziploc bag with cut chicken. Marinate for at least three hours.
    2. Skewer chicken and vegetables on metal skewers. (You. can use wood skewers if you soak them in water or wine for about an hour.) If you have extra chicken (or vegetables), place them on skewers too.
    3. Grill skewers for approximately twenty minutes, turning every five minutes.
    4. Serve immediately.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad Recipe

I have been craving Caesar salad for a month now and we finally figured out a healthy recipe for the dressing!

Yield: 6 servings

Healthy Caesar Salad

Healthy Caesar Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • Caesar Dressing
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp anchovy paste (based on taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 TBL fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups of Sir Kensington's Classic Vegan Mayonnaise
  • 4 TBL grated vegan parmesan cheese (such as Follow Your Heart Cheese Alternative, dairy free, shredded parmesan)
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, torn or cut into small pieces


    1. To make the dressing, either by hand or with an electric mixer, whisk together the anchovy paste, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.
    2. Add the mayonnaise and parmesan cheese.
    3. Chill until ready to use.
    4. Pour over lettuce, add additional parmesan cheese if desired.

Gluten and Nut Free Healthy Pesto Spinach Pasta Sauce

The Dinner Menu

My daughter in law Charlotte made the best gluten-free Basil Spinach pasta. She used Chick Pea pasta and fresh basil from my garden. It tasted amazing. My photo, on the other hand, is not that great. I always struggle to get enough photos when everyone is sitting down for dinner. Frankly, I just forgot to take a photo of the pasta.

Yield: 6 servings

Gluten and Nut Free Healthy Pesto Pasta Spinach Sauce

Gluten and Nut Free Healthy Pesto Pasta Spinach Sauce

This amazing pasta recipe is gluten-free and nut-free. It's so delicious.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • Pasta
  • 3 boxes of Banza noodles
  • Pesto Spinach Sauce
  • 1/2 cup avocado or olive oil
  • 4 cups packed spinach leaves
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 til lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


    1. To make the sauce, put all ingredients in the food processor and mix until creamy. 
    2. Prepare pasta as directed.
    3. Heat sauce or add to warm pasta.
    4. Pasta sauce can store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

My One Party Failure

You might notice that I am using my solar lit jars on the edge of the jacuzzi.

Originally I had this great idea to make floating lanterns out of paper cupcake liners. 

I tested them with small votives in the cups a few days before the party and they worked great.

floating paper cups

The votives were really easy to make. I used cupcake liners and attached fishing line to the bottom of the cups and quarters to the other end. The quarter holds the paper liners in place and prevents the votives from all floating to the same spot in the jacuzzi or pool.

Making Floating Candles
Last week I hosted a wonderful dinner party in our backyard for my family.  Today I am thrilled to share the menu and my healthy dinner recipes.

So what happened?

An hour before the dinner started my boys were all in the jacuzzi. I believe it was 101 degrees

Twenty minutes later when I placed all of the votives in the jacuzzi, the water was still really hot. In fact, it was hot enough to melt the parchment paper just enough that the cups all flattened out. 

And sunk.

I think my idea would have worked. I can’t guarantee it. But I can assure you it won’t work if your jacuzzi is one hundred degrees.

Lesson learned.

I made my own floating lanterns a few weeks ago for another party. These worked out perfectly.

Finding the Perfect Location for Dinner

After dinner, we all sat by the fire for an hour or so. It really was a perfect way to end the evening.

Especially with this view.

Reflections in the Pool

In case you are wondering, our healthy dinner recipes didn’t include dessert!

Family Time

Pin the image below to your Healthy Eating or Recipe boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

Healthy Dinner Recipes

For more real-time updates, follow me on Instagram @My100YearOldHome

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  1. Wow, I love your house, the backyard is so beautiful! I am terrified of water, but I love to look at it haha. That’s the Pisces in me I guess. Great looking family.

  2. Your diner parties are always so inspiring. I love to incorporate some of your recipes for mine. Crab cakes and artichokes are up next. I’ll confess my recent fail! Made my family’s favorite pasta salad with gluten free noodles and I didn’t cook them enough…I could have sworn when I tested them they were perfect (they can be so temperamental) UGH They all graciously ate it anyways….but we had company too…so embarrassed! haha….but that wasn’t all… recipe for gluten free white cake was under cooked too! BLAH!!!! I was making it into a jello poke cake….total fail, but our company thought it was so decadent and thought it was supposed to be like a brick!! Thank the Lord for friends that can laugh with you and eat your failures too!!!

  3. This all looks amazing as always. I grew up eating artichokes and hubby & I grill them all the time. I’m going to try your vegan mayo as a short-cut to my lemon aioli. Thank you so much for sharing all the details. I love it. I really like the trays you have at everyone’s place settings. Do you remember where you picked this up?

    Have great day! XO- MaryJo

  4. Can’t wait to try this entire menu on my Front Porch Work in Progress🌸 in Southern West Virginia! Thank you so much for sharing your home and creativity!

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