Every year my family throws a huge Christmas Eve party. And I am supposed to bring a dish this year. Everyone knows about my Paleo Diet, but they just assume I eat only steaks, bacon, and salads. I want to blow them, and their SAD dishes, out of the park.
What are your go to dishes to bring others to the light / have them drink the Kool-Aid?
In reality, I could care less if they change their diet/lifestyle, but want to show them that Paleo is more than bacon,steaks, and salad. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
I think it would be good to bring two dishes, a desert and an appetizer. Any Ideas?
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Credit goes to Martha Stewart for this one - but man it is so delicious and EVERYONE loves them:
Damn, I was going to suggest a bacon and steak salad.
I will work backwards and start with the desserts:
Peppermint Patties: http://www.thewholekitchen.com/peppermint-patties/
Macadamia Brittle: http://www.thewholekitchen.com/macadamia-brittle/
Cinnabon Cookies: http://www.thewholekitchen.com/cinnabon-cookie/
As for your two dishes I recommend the following:
Chicken Bacon Artichoke Salad: http://www.thewholekitchen.com/chicken-bacon-artichoke-salad/
Garden Fresh Meatballs: http://www.thewholekitchen.com/chicken-bacon-artichoke-salad/
Now onto appetizers: I like to have a bowl spicy nuts, shrimp in an ice bowl, and steamed artichokes
Steamed Artichokes and Garlic Butter:
I've made all of these in my kitchen and they are AWESOME.
Bring something you like to eat. As simple as that may be. I would avoid viewing my prospective contribution in complex culinary terms. Families can bring out all sorts of "Will you accept me now?" behaviors. Steer clear. Be jolly. Eat happily.
Just take one or two of YOUR favorite dishes. You will be assured of eating something you like and the others will probably like them too, since our foods are mostly a subset of the overall SAD. We leave things out rather than eating/adding a lot of weird things.
I haven't found that anyone is shy about eating my food--I'm the one who struggles to get fully satisfied in group settings.
I also like Dave's idea of shrimp-wrapped bacon. I'm using a lot of sweet potato bites wrapped in bacon this year.
Bacon wrapped shrimp is nice - or a lime/cilantro grilled shrimp appetizer. People are all about shrimp at parties.
Dessert is tougher because people expect overly sweet things. Fruit salad, but that seems like a lame cop-out. Maybe paleo coconut ice cream!
Meatballs are easy to make for a crew, try ground lamb to switch it up. I second the shrimp skewers. Or think of a deluxe charcuterie platter of salamis, olives, nuts, cheeses (if dairily inclined), and lacto-fermented pickles.
As for desserts, it will be hard to stick with strictly Paleo here, but you could bring chocolate-covered bacon to really get 'em talking! I've made dark chocolate-covered macadamia nuts dusted with coconut and called them Dirty Snowballs (how festive!). If you're willing to go outside the boundaries a little bit, I recommend anything by Elana's Pantry. Her chocolate cream pie is to die for. I made it for book club, and everyone kept remarking on how good it was. For Thanksgiving, I made her almond-flour spice cake on top of sliced pears, walnuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup for an upside-down spiced pear cake. Awesome with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
I vote for Andreanna's bacon wrapped mini salmon cakes with asparagus: http://www.lifeasaplate.com/2010/09/16/bacon-wrapped-mini-salmon-cakes-with-asparagus/ And if that doesn't float your boat, I still recommend checking out her other recipes. They're usually delicious and interesting, and most can be used as appetizers or dessert (she has quite a few good looking desserts- most especially the goat cheese pumpkin cheesecake or the apple spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting would be appropriate for holiday dinners). You can view by section from her Recipe Database link at the top of the page.
I like simple things. How about shrimp cocktail? Olives, cured meats, cultured cheeses, p??t??. For a main course, boeuf bougignon with some starch for the non paleos.
Haven't tried to make it yet but this sounds amazing!
Roasted mixed veggies. Green olives and feta or goat cheese add a nice touch, if your personal definition of paleo allows for it. Or bacon :)
A creative fruit salad - all red and green ingredients, for example. Pomegranates are seasonal, gorgeous, and delicious. Maybe with a dressing of coconut cream and vanilla or something along those lines, or some shredded coconut sprinkled on top. Persimmons (the hard kind) are also seasonal and, when sliced latitudinally, have a nifty star shape in the middle. Similar with starfruit - the slices themselves are star-shaped if you cut them right.
Guacamole. With veggie spears or something to dip in it if you aren't sure there's going to be something else appropriate.
A pie of some sort with a nut-based crumb crust (pecans and hazelnuts are particularly tasty).
I once arranged a platter of deli meats on the fly for a buffet. The others mostly brought pasta, salads and pasta salads. Guess which was empty first.
My ground-beef lettuce-wrapped tacos got a lot of comments on my facebook food photo album. I think those would make nice appetizers. Oh, and stuffed collards (using cauliflower instead of rice) also seemed to be a hit and would make a nice appetizer.
As for dessert, I think you can't go wrong with dark chocolate bark, either with macadamia nuts or coconut. Some coconut oil bark would be great, too, if it can stay cold. I mixed some vanilla and some (sweetened) dried cranberries into melted coconut oil and froze it to make some delicious bark when I was experimenting with hiking foods. I think it would go great at a party. My pumpkin pie, made with eggs and coconut milk, has also been a huge hit, and seems appropriate for a holiday party, the only problem being that I haven't found a crust I like.
Depending on where you live, getting some fresh seafood for appetizers can be really great! My family is on the west coast, and we always buy crabs from my boyfriend's family for new years. We boil them, crack them in half, and put out a big platter of them with garlic butter for dipping. Served alongside a big platter of roasted vegetables, it is a unique dinner that gets everyone sitting together, with their hands dirty! Plus, it takes an awfully long time to eat crab, so I always have the best dinner conversation at these parties, when the whole group is sitting together. Nobody will even notice there's no grains!
If it's more of a appies-on-napkins party, I like to heat up some dried figs in the oven and drizzle them with reduced balsamic, zaa'tar, and crumbled goats cheese. Smoked salmon is also fantastic, wrapped around vegetables or just served with lemon juice and cappers as little rolls, secured by a toothpick. Most people won't notice if grains are missing- a few really great salads, some roasted veg, some cured meats/fish, a variety of pickles...who wouldn't drink the koolaid?
How about Pumpkin or Pecan Pie for dessert? http://northwestcavegirls.com/2011/12/pumpkin-and-pecan-pie/
And you could bring the eggnog! http://angiessuburbanoasis.blogspot.com/2011/12/paleoprimal-eggnog.html
These bars are great and easy to make.
http://www.foodrenegade.com/chorizo-mini-meatloves/ These are super yummy. If you made them in mini muffin tins, they might work for an appetizer.
Just saw this on another post: http://northwestcavegirls.com/2011/12/ho-ho-hopaleo-christmas-puds/
Of course, you could make riced cauliflower and have them wonder how it is you can eat fried rice. :)