We're planning a birthday party for one of our kids. Do you have any easy-to-prep ideas for a lunch we'll be serving at a park to 30ish kids and adults. Since we'll be at the park and I don't want to mess with a grill I'd rather only serve things that don't need to be warm/hot. I was thinking to cook up a bunch of chicken and serve it cold but that sounds like a lot of prep.
Most guests eat the SAD and I'd hate for their kids to go hungry because they don't want to eat what we're serving. I'm not trying to push our lifestyle on our friends but at the same time don't feel comfortable serving junk food either.
I'm sure there are other posts with ideas but I had a hard time finding anything interesting. Got any links?
I don't know the age (this wouldn't work well with toddlers!) but my kids love "make your own mini skewers." Use toothpicks, (short, or the slightly longer ones you can find sometimes). You can do a fruit version and a savory version (cheese, pepperoni, diced ham, veggies, etc). You can have dips, or not. That way everyone can create what they like from the options.
Chicken drumstick are easy enough to cook up on the grill beforehand and kids love them cold. Add veggies and dip (your favorite salad dressing) and watermelon smiles.
What are you going to do instead of cake?
Baked coconut chips. Buy them in a grocery store, order them online -- seriously, just do it. They taste like candy but they are simply baked shards of coconut!
You could also try sweet potato fries, mixed nuts, fruit salad, pigs in a blanket (the blanket can be improvised), cookies using almond meal, and popcorn without any butter/salt/etc. You might also be able to make a very dark chocolate pudding to dip strawberries in and such.
I say bring some meat, veggies, and skewers, and grill it up! (you could pre-skewer so you just have to throw them on.) You might have to invest in some charcoal / a grill brush. There's probably some paleo-ish hotdogs / ground beef you could get (though people would want buns.) That and some fruit and you're done. Might be easier than pre-cooking for 30.
Salads are good, pile on the nuts and berries and it should be pretty good without dressing. If you choose to have dressing, things like honey-mint-lemon or homemade mayo will work too. Probably quite a bit higher in sugar than what you usually have, but it's a party after all, you'd want the guests to be satisfied and it'll still be way healthier than most of the processed foods off the shelves.
If you're considering a grill and want to reduce the work on the day itself, check out sous vide hacking with a beer cooler. Experiment details are in the link below: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/cook-your-meat-in-a-beer-cooler-the-worlds-best-sous-vide-hack.html
Basically, hot water in beer cooler, dunk pre-seasoned meat in airtight bags for a couple of hours, remove once fully cooked, pat dry and throw on the grill for a couple of minutes and serve! Details like how long, temperature etc are but a google away, though the site in the link should have most of the answers if you hunt around a bit. Also, around here we often wrap tubers (and corn if you do those) in foil and throw them in together with the charcoal. They should be nicely cooked and soft towards the end of the party, so serve with heaps of butter.
I'm a big fan of kabobs. When we go camping, we cook up a ton of marinated chicken and veggie kabobs and eat them cold. You could do a big cold cut platter and then put one of your non paleo friends (already offering to bring something) in charge of rolls. I think otherwise, a big veggie tray, lots of fruit, and a huge salad and you'll be good to go.
I wouldn't make a big deal that the meal is Paleo... just provide something tasty and nobody will complain :)
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