Feed an Army of Guests FAST… How to Be an ‘Instant Hostess’ with Raw Foods
Posted on June 02 2010 | (3) Comments
Category:Raw Entertaining and Holidays
I wanted to share another of the ever-growing list of reasons I love raw food. I’ve discovered that in addition to being perfect for a meticulously planned dinner party, raw food recipes make it possible for me to be an ‘Instant Hostess.’ With a well-stocked pantry and a little advance preparation, I’m always ready for a last minute get-together with friends or family.
The raw food recipes in my books Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People and Raw for Dessert are filled with wonderful dishes you can prepare any time. But I think you’ll find they’re especially useful at holiday time when people are likely to drop in at a moment’s notice.
In addition to giving your guests incredible tastes to enjoy, raw food hors d’oeuvers, entrees, and desserts give you a chance to enjoy your own party. You can be in and out of the kitchen in a jiffy, with platter after platter of ‘disappearing’ appetizers.
Raw foods also take the worry out of making different dishes for guests who have specific dietary needs. Vegetarians and meat-a-holics both love Not-Meat Balls, a quick nut-based raw food recipe. Kids with a lactose intolerance can dig into a Knockout Brownie Sundae right along with everyone else when the ‘ice cream’ is made from nuts instead of milk. No one has to feel like an outsider when you serve raw food recipes. I like that.
I also like that a small investment in things like creative garnishing tools can turn simple raw food recipes into instant masterpieces of edible art. I love the oohs and aahs I get when I bring out a tray of raw food hors d’oeuvres.
A colorful assortment of baby carrots, celery sticks, red pepper slices, and other vegetables is easy when your have a raw food kitchen. Since I use fresh fruits and vegetables in almost everything I make, my refrigerator is always well-stocked and that means I can lay out an assortment of ‘crudités’ (French for ‘raw vegetables’) without breaking a sweat.
Speaking of double-dipping...
I’ve found a great way to get around my guests’ natural, but unappetizing tendency to re-dunk half-eaten crudités into the dip bowl. Rather than slicing carrots, celery sticks, and peppers into sticks (what French chefs call ‘les batonettes’), I cut my veggies into rounds and chips (“les rondelles” and “les chips”)
Trés chic...and trés sanitary, too.
I can happily sit and munch away on just veggies, but to ‘dress them up’ for parties, I like to serve a duo or trio of dips. A great way to introduce friends to the raw food movement is to show them how many foods they already love are raw food recipes.
Take Guacamole. There’s nothing in the following list of ingredients except for raw food goodness: mashed avocado, minced onion, fresh lime juice, crushed garlic, salt, and cayenne. And, of course, you don’t cook guacamole.
Presto. You’ve turned someone on to a raw food recipe they already love.
Mock Sour Cream and Chive Dip
When your guests are spooning up Guacamole and commenting on how delicious raw food recipes are, you have a perfect opportunity to introduce them to a Mock Sour Cream and Chive Dip...that’s completely dairy-free, but will have your guests raving about it until the cows come home.
The secret is in the soaked raw cashews that replace the sour cream.
- 1 cup soaked raw cashews (measure after soaking)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill weed
Place first six ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the chives, basil, and dill weed and pulse briefly, just to mix. (Do not over process) Chill for 30 minutes before serving.
This is great to whip on Sundays for ‘game day’ parties and it will last in the refrigerator for five days, so I can grab it during the week if I do any entertaining. And if no one stops by for a visit? That means there’s just more for me.
Kid-Friendly Raw Food Party Treats
I love Halloween, but I can’t say the same thing about Halloween candy. Lots of friends who are parents feel the same way, so I’ve introduced them to some raw food recipes from Raw for Dessert and Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 that can keep a crowd of Halloween funsters howling all night long. But because they don’t have processed sugar or other unhealthy ingredients, they won’t be howling from upset stomaches or crashing from a bad case of sugar shock.
Kids will eat mountains of raw food without realizing it if you put fresh blueberries in a bowl marked ‘Vampire Eyes’ or frozen green grapes in a bowl marked ‘Frozen Snot’ (sorry but kids just love that kind of thing!)
They don’t need to know that the ‘Shrunken Heads with Squishy Brain Matter’ are really a raw food recipe from Raw for Dessert that you can make in large batches and keep in the fridge for up to five days.
Raw Food Halloween Recipe – Chocolate-Stuffed Dates
With only 24 calories per date, dates are high in dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and contain more potassium than bananas! Yet they are virtually fat, cholesterol and sodium free! 5 dates is considered a ‘serving,’ and party-goers should be encouraged to limit themselves.
- 8 pitted Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Ganache (see below) – chilled for 1 hour prior to preparation
- 8 raw almonds, walnuts, or pecans (unsoaked)
Find the hole in each date where the pit has been removed and stuff the chamber with approximately 1 teaspoon of Chocolate Ganache. Reshape the date around the filling so that it looks like a little brain (a little bit smaller at the sides and bigger on top). Press an almond into the center. Chill for 2 hours before serving.
Yield: 1 cup
- 3/4 cup dark agave syrup or maple syrup
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
- 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon plus a pinch salt
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula. Chill for one hour before using in this recipe
The wrinkly skin of the dates makes them look surprisingly brain-like, and kids will howl with delight when the sweet chocolate ganache hits their tongues. Adults will love the taste, too, not to mention the easy-going effect a raw food recipe has on blood sugar and health.