Yes, you can have pie!!
I know the holidays can create A LOT of stress when you’re eating a nutritional plan that feels best for you. The problem is that it’s different from your Aunt Diane, sister Jackie and father Mark. You don’t want to be an outcast or be “that” person who’s asking the host to prepare special foods for you.
But it’s not as hard as you think to stay on track when you know the benefits of feeling great!
My solution: bring something I know I can eat.
When I go to a holiday party I walk in prepared with a paleo cake I’d made the night before. They never realize the cake I made was any different from a typical cake. Only when the last crumb is devoured and the guests are showering me with compliments do I tell them the cake was grain and dairy free—and even then, I have to swear that I’m not pulling one over on them!
The goal is simple when you bring a party dish, and it’s a win-win: You get to worry less (and go home with a full belly) and you have the chance to showcase healthy and delicious foods your friends will love.
9 holiday party recipes everyone will enjoy
All of the sources I’m citing below are ones I turn to over and over again. Look up their blog and books for other recipes to try!
The crowd-pleasing entree: Chicken Marbella
Chicken Marbella is a family-style entree with Mediterranean flavors that was dreamed up in Manhattan’s Silver Palate restaurant. You can make it to feed dozens or just a few, and it’s a recipe that can be adapted to suit your needs. I use apple cider vinegar and coconut sugar when I make it.
Source: Simply Recipes
An exciting salad: Butternut squash salad with farro and pepitas
Salad doesn’t have to be all about the baby greens! I love that this one is super seasonal. Around this time of year, I always have a squash in my kitchen that’s ready to be sliced and diced. This recipe makes substitutions easy. Swap out the cheese for goat cheese or leave the cheese on the side, and if you’re gluten-free, switch the farro for another grain like amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, or millet.
Source: Smitten Kitchen
An impressive appetizer: Little tomato-pesto napoleons
These little guys are perfect for parties because they’re delicious hot, cold, or at room temperature. Make them the night before and refrigerate, or bring them fresh from the oven. And because they can be made with any pesto recipe you prefer, they work for a variety of diets, including dairy free, keto, and gluten-free.
A wow-worthy snack: Honey masala-chai roasted nuts
Chai tea and lattes are the perfect counter to hot cocoa. If your biggest party fear is not having anything to nibble on, this is the perfect 30-minute DIY for you to bring along anywhere. These nuts are paleo-friendly as well as gluten-, refined sugar-, and egg-free, and can also be made without dairy.
A dependable dip: Paleo kale dip
Not sure what’s lurking in the standard spinach dip or guacamole? Whip up a bowl of this kale dip in a food processor and you’ve got grazing food in less than the time it takes you to get ready for a party. It’s perfect with veggies, corn or grain-free tortilla chips, or any other dipper you’re a fan of.
A cookie-swap success story: S’mores cookies
Forget about chocolate chippers and gingerbread basics. These cookies are ones that won’t be accidentally twinning with another party-goer. Plus, they’re gluten-, grain-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free in addition to being paleo.
A make-ahead appetizer: Sweet ‘n’ sour meatballs
Just don’t have time? These are perfect for those days when parties come at the end of very long work-weeks. You can toss them in a slow cooker or make ‘em ahead, freeze, and defrost day-of which is very easy. And they’re gluten-, grain-, nut-, dairy-, soy-, and egg-free.
A next-level side: Latke waffles
You can turn just about anything starchy into a waffle, but this is one of my favorite holiday twists. Make ‘em the classic way with russet potatoes or swap out your starch for something that’s diet-friendly to you. Reheat in an oven at the party or serve room-temperature alongside an entree or with a spread. Applesauce is a classic choice!
Source: Simone Miller of Zenbelly.com
A knock-out dessert: Pear clafoutis
This is one of those desserts that’s almo
st too pretty to eat. The layered pears (or apples or peaches—whatever looks good at the market) top a custardy, cake-like treat that smells and tastes just as good as it looks. Be sure to scroll through the comments for recommended ingredient substitutions.
Source: Elana’s Pantry
Make this holiday season—and the coming new year—your best one yet
I know what it feels like to stress your way through happy hours, birthday parties, and family dinners—trust me, I get that it’s not a holiday-centric problem!
But it doesn’t have to be a year defined by struggle.
I work one-on-one with people who are having trouble figuring out why it is that they don’t feel well and what they can do now to start feeling better and healthier. From testing to nutrition consulting to personalized protocols, I can help you get back to living the life you love. Book a free consult below to learn more.
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