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?
Credit goes to Martha Stewart for this one - but man it is so delicious and EVERYONE loves them:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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