Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Can You Take Your Weird Real Food to a Party with Normal People?

June 15th, 2011 · 56 Comments · Do It Yourself, Frugality, Upgraded Nutrition

sweet potato garlic dip 2

Eating with others – the normal people – is always difficult when you’re committed to staying away from the “Standard American Diet” and consuming traditional foods. There’s often a lot of talk about what to allow your kids to eat, how to explain to people that you don’t each such and such, and how much one should compromise when they’re at a party or a friend’s house.

One of my strategies, when practical, is always to bring some real food myself, or even host the party if I can.

The key to sharing real food with others who might not be used to eating the healthy stuff is to think about what’s not too far away from the “normal” American (or whatever country you’re in) diet. I wouldn’t recommend bringing water kefir and liver pate, or fermented kimchi and dense sourdough bread. No one but your family will eat it (unless that’s kind of your goal…).

Criteria for Real Food for a Crowd

If you have the opportunity to bring a dish to pass or host the party, think of it as an opportunity to (a) make real food shine and look desirable and (b) give your family at least one healthy option on the buffet table. Consider dishes that fit the following requirements:

  1. inexpensive
  2. not TOO time-consuming
  3. likeable (by normal people)
  4. portable

Those will make it easier for everyone.

Real Food Potluck Dishes

Think like this: Normal people eat _______, so I could bring _______ and they might not even realize it’s the healthy version.”

Hard-boiled Eggs –> Deviled Eggs from pastured chickens with homemade mayo
deviled eggs 3

Salads –> Homemade Dressings using extra virgin olive oil and other good stuff  (this is often what I’ll offer to bring for a simple dinner at a family member’s house, since I already have them made up and it means the whole family can eat any vegetables on hand without me wishing they weren’t ingesting soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup in the effort)
Christmas salad 2
Pictured above: Greek-style Christmas salad

Bread –> Sprouted Rolls, 100% Whole Wheat Soaked Rolls, or your favorite healthy biscuits (you have the 40 recipes in “Is Your Flour Wet?”, the free soaked grain eBook, right? If not, get it here.)
sprouted whole wheat rolls smaller

Potato Salad –> Homemade Potato Salad with pastured eggs, homemade mayo, and unrefined salt (one of my favorite fall-back potluck dishes)
potato salad (2) small

Pasta Salad –> Cold Grain Salad with homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
cold spelt salad smaller

  • This dish requires guests to have a little more adventurous palates, but really, quinoa is pretty cool and stylish now, so you can probably get away with that one!
  • A less “real food” option but still “a big step up” from the standard would be to bring a pasta salad for a crowd with homemade dressing and lots of good additions, and just allow the pasta to be a compromise food. My tomato-basil pasta salad is a great end of summer option.
  • I wouldn’t make homemade soaked or sprouted pasta to share, personally, because it seems like too much work for folks who might not eat it anyway!

Vegetables and Dip –> Crudite Platter with homemade Garlic Dill Dip or Tangy Avocado Dip (organic veggies if you’re feeling generous)

tangy avocado dip bowl
The avocado dip is found as part of a thank you video in the GNOWFGLINS eCourse, which you can purchase separately if you’d like.

Yogurt –> Homemade Yogurt, either already “seasoned” with 1/4 c. sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla (compromise on the sweetener for your SAD guests) or served with raw honey and fresh fruit and/or homemade granola (soaked version found in Healthy Snacks to Go) – this has truly become my new stand-by for morning gatherings and brunches when everyone else in the world just brings quick bread and other sugary, grain-based options
homemade yogurt (24)

Cheese and crackers –> Homemade Crackers or even sourdough crackers, as they tend to go over better than other sourdough items
sourdough tomato basil crackers (8) small

Crackers and Dip –> I tend to bring a lot of dips for appetizers, like hummus, herbed farmer’s cheese, spicy cheesy chicken dip (coming in an eBook!), the amazing Mexi-appetizer dip and garlic sweet potato dip (pictured at top of post).

herbed farmer's cheese (6) sm

The Farmer’s Cheese is found as part of a thank you video in the GNOWFGLINS eCourse, which you can purchase separately.

famous Mexi chip dip 3 sm

This addicting 7-layer Mexi dip is only found in The Everything Beans Book.

Cake –> Sourdough Chocolate Cakethis cake is absolutely amazing! I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like it, for real.
chocolate-cake
Photo courtesy GNOWFGLINS.com

All of those fit each requirement: they’re not too hard to make, are a close substitute for food people recognize, they’re easy to transport and serve, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg to share.

Real Food Party Hosting Options

When you get to (have to?) host, you’re responsible for a lot more food. If you’re using an online menu planning service like Plan to Eat, you can utilize the more powerful features to make your party planning easy. I just discovered that PTE has a feature where you can multiply the servings on a recipe, and it will figure out how much you need to make and update your shopping list with the larger quantities. How cool is that?

We always have family over for kids’ birthday parties, and I hosted a Real Food Pampered Chef party one fall. You can browse that menu, which features a bit more “traditional” real food because I was trying to spotlight the foods and made an evening of introducing people to just a few new things.

It’s tempting to just order pizza for 15 people, and sometimes we do, but usually I stick to the four criteria above, adding main dishes and deleting the “portable” part.

I often fall back on tacos, because they are totally recognizable and have the added bonus of being easy to make 100% in advance:

Other good main dishes include:

  • Homemade chili
  • Soups with bread
  • Homemade sourdough pizza (you can’t tell it’s sourdough, so yummy)
  • Hamburgers with healthy homemade buns and choices of summery sides from above
  • anything tasty in a slow cooker or make-ahead casserole that can be hands-off while your guests are present – I highly recommend this sausage zucchini bake as a real crowd pleaser. I’ve even taken it for pot lucks with rave reviews.

And don’t forget desserts!

My confession: when I’m cooking for others, I often go for white sugar and sometimes store eggs. I figure one healthy dish out of their whole unhealthy lives isn’t really going to help them out that much, and my foods with white sugar or CAFO meat/eggs are still usually way better than their next door neighbors on the buffet table. Don’t hate me for being cheap! Winking smile

With a little brainstorming, I’m sure you can actually think of TONS of options that are inexpensive, fairly easy to make, and totally delicious for your guests or your hosts this summer.

Your turn: what do you love to bring to share with others to spread the love about real food?

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56 Comments so far ↓

  • Jill @ The Prairie Homestead

    Awesome, timely post! I just hosted 2 BBQs this weekend at our house for 2 groups of VERY hardcore Standard American Diet people… Came to many of the same conclusions that you have- you just can’t go too “weird” on them, because they just.won’t.eat.it. Period. One success this weekend was some 100% whole wheat burger buns I made. Even the Wonder Bread junkies liked those…

    And I also totally cheat when it comes to adding white sugar or “regular” meat to meals I’m serving to others. I just can’t hack using my expensive sucanat, maple syrup, and grassfed beef when the people are drinking their diet Pepsi alongside of it! I figure if they don’t care what they are putting in their bodies, one meal isn’t going to “save the day”…

  • Rebecca

    Thank you for this post. I feel like such a freak sometimes. It is good to know we’re not alone. Our family is grain-free and my daughter is also dairy-free as we try to correct food allergies. For us, it is not simply a matter of choice, we get sick if we eat gluten, sugar, or even grains. In some ways it makes things easier; there is no temptation to “cheat.” I just plan to bring our own food everywhere we go, along with a dish to share. I’ll have to add some of your suggestions to my repertoire.

    Bethany W Reply:

    (oops – this was supposed to go here)

    I’m right there with you, Rebecca. For the sake of the life and health of our daughter, we have to eat GAPS-like. The smallest “cheats” produce awful sickness. I’ve become quite adept at bringing a cooler with me wherever I go …

    Thanks, Katie, for an awesome article — particularly as Father’s Day (we’re hosting) and 4th of July roll in. Your title was PERFECT!! It made me laugh so hard. Is it wrong to say that I want to frame it???? :) HAHAHAHA!

    We’re making those refried beans tonight. So glad I had some beans in the freezer. I read the recipe and a pregnancy craving hit. :-D

  • Stephanie M

    What? You mean I’m not normal? ;) Great ideas! I hate to see my good food thrown away at parties.

  • patty v

    wow this post was perfect timing! i’ve been struggling to come up with a dish to take to a potluck at work next week. thanks for the ideas!

  • Meg

    These are great ideas! I struggle when our family comes to stay at our house. I work, and so it is a HUGE help to have my mom or MIL make dinners/lunches, except they have a hard time with our ingredients and “rules” and often go to the store themselves to “be helpful”…for example, I had chicken divan planned- but my MIL “couldn’t figure out” how to cook the brown rice, so went to the store and made it with white rice instead. Sigh. They then washed my cast iron skillet with soap–again, to be helpful. I am grateful for the effort to help me though!

    Jen Reply:

    My mom totally washed my cast iron skillet with soap when she visited once.

    When my mom, brother and sister visit, they always stop at the gas station and bring their own junk drinks (soda) and snacks (Doritos, cheetos… you get the idea). They do appreciate my cooking, and enjoy the food I serve, but they just can’t go a few days without the junk, and they know I won’t buy it, even when they visit.

  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    I just found out there’s a local pizza place that uses organic sauce, cheese, and local organic veggies, natural meats, etc. for their pizza. I may be super tempted to order that for my next gathering, especially given it will be right before my baby’s due! (My son’s 2nd birthday will be when I am 37 weeks.) I’ve been saving up a list of places like this when I find them in case I need an easy semi-compromise meal that isn’t that bad.

    That said, I served my white bean vanilla cake (grain free) for my daughter’s birthday and everyone loved it. I often make frosting with butter, cream cheese, and a little honey — they don’t know that’s healthy either! Cheesy potatoes (recipe in my ebook, Real Food Basics) is an awesome party dish and really quite healthy — very fattening and delicious, despite the potatoes! I have a baked beans recipe in my ebook Against the Grain that doesn’t use ketchup in the sauce, that would be great for summer. My dad used to make beans and add chunks of green pepper, onion, tomato, etc. and that was so delicious, I think I might try adding that to my beans this summer. I’m thinking up an idea for a dip that uses garbanzo beans as a base, with cheddar and bacon in it — can dip organic tortilla chips in that. I found an awesome deal on those yesterday…$1/bag!

    Oh, fresh salsa (I have a recipe in Real Food Basics) usually goes over well in the summer. Fresh fruit with real whipped cream. Real strawberry pie (I’m working on this one too). Any sort of chicken, veggie, and rice casserole you can stick in a crockpot….

    Anyway, those are my ideas!

    Katie Reply:

    Kate,
    Everyone liked the white bean cake at my son’s birthday, too! Great recipe! I’d be too stingy probably to share my fresh salsa, though – lots of chopping there! ;) Katie

  • birtrightrose

    I think a great food to bring to a party is fresh fruit or a fresh veggie tray. It is hard to bring ‘not normal’ food without ostracizing that host family or yourself. Either way, it’s just plain rude. If you’re not hanging with foodies for the party, remember the phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do.”

    Julie Reply:

    I also bring fruit salad A LOT to potlucks. It’s easy and I know the kids will eat it.

  • Chris

    Thought this was great. Very helpful. Since beginning our very slow transformation I struggle with what to bring for food events at work, etc. Another great help would be real food you can take friends when they have babies, hospitalizations, deaths, etc. I am stumped.

    birtrightrose Reply:

    Crust less Quiche and a big green salad with muffins. I am a doula/childbirth educator and often bring meals to clients. Quiche can be eaten hot or cold, any meal of the day. Great protein and most vegetarians (yikes!) can eat it too. It is real food, but all accepted by the common eater. Except my Dad who claims men don’t eat quiche, so I call it frittata or egg pie and he shovels it in!

    lizi Reply:

    love it! gotta have good ideas, esp for our new-mama friends!!

    Katie Reply:

    I do a TON of soups and breads for new mamas. Easy to make a big pot for me, super nourishing, easy to reheat for the family, and easy to package in glass jars that don’t need to be returned. Usually with biscuits or bread.

    That is a good idea for a post, though… :) Katie

  • Wendy (The Local Cook)

    Sometimes I forget that I don’t eat normally, because I compare myself to you, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Donielle, and other hardcore Nourishing Traditions peeps. For example I realized I’ve been eating a lot of pasta lately (whole wheat, but still . . . ) But then DH reminds me whenever we cook for his family that I need to make “normal” food. I forgot once and made his mom minestrone soup with kale . . . she had never heard of kale before and was worried that it was spinach, because she doesn’t like spinach. Luckily she liked it.

  • Melissa @ Dyno-mom

    Ohh party food is so hard! I do dips like guacamole, hummus, salsa, honey butter and other homemade things with thinly sliced toast triangles or homemade tortillas (corn, usually). Even pate can be less foreign and more snobby so people will eat it.

    But really, people eat your unsweetened yogurt? I have to add fruit to get SAD palates to even TRY it.

    Katie Reply:

    Melissa,
    No, they totally add honey or I bring it pre-sweetened. But it’s such a cheap and easy dish to pass, I love it! ;) Katie

  • lizi

    my go-to party dish in warmer months is
    Curry Cole Slaw- with home-made mayo. It is so easy and everyone raves about it! The dressing is just a mix (half-half or whatever) homemade mayo and either yogurt or sour cream; plus a generous palm of curry, some garlic powder, dill weed, chili powder, salt and pepper, a squeeze of honey or sugar, dash of AC vineger, also some fresh grated garlic and GINGER really kicks it up a notch. Pour this over shredded cabbage with whatever else you have shredded/chopped: carrots, apple, bell pepper, and frozen peas are a hit. toss in some raisins or similar dried fruit and chopped cashews or peanuts, then you are good to go! let it sit for an hour at least. I got the idea from my mom and it never disappoints :)

    Although I am sorry I must beg to differ when feeding food for a crowd, I may cut corners, but I draw the line at white sugar and CAFO meat/eggs. Instead I would use other more frugal ingredients and not skimp on sometihing that personally I would not care to eat.

    I am actually making a meal for my family reunion in 3 weeks so I am really thinking….24 people…real food…i am prob gonna do tacos but use meat from my milk-man, mixed with lentils i LOVE that idea!! And I have some real red-neck kin folk so we’ll see how that goes over.

    The reason I don’t skimp TOO much is because I am not feeding them healthy to change them or anything, I am doing it because that’s what I do and I can’t really feel like myself for saving a few bucks traded for crappy food. It pinches the wallet, yes, but really in the long run I feel great knowing I did the right thing. I would rather make a more humble, healthy meal than serve something that I had to really scrimp just to afford making it for a group. I have done it that way in the past, but now I feel better this way….

  • Bethany W

    I’m right there with you, Rebecca. For the sake of the life and health of our daughter, we have to eat GAPS-like. The smallest “cheats” produce awful sickness. I’ve become quite adept at bringing a cooler with me wherever I go …

    Thanks, Katie, for an awesome article — particularly as Father’s Day (we’re hosting) and 4th of July roll in. Your title was PERFECT!! It made me laugh so hard. Is it wrong to say that I want to frame it???? :) HAHAHAHA!

    We’re making those refried beans tonight. So glad I had some beans in the freezer. I read the recipe and a pregnancy craving hit. :-D

  • Katie

    I’ve almost given up on bringing food to family gatherings (the only sort I go to, not really a people person…). Every time I make something good, like roasted vegetables or pumpkin cream cheese spread (made with store bought cream cheese rather than my homemade raw version, but at least it is hormone- and additive-free), it sits there, ignored by probably 75% of the people there.

    So anymore, I just make biscuits: regular, quick bread biscuits. Even using white flour, I figure it’s still better than the alternatives that might be presented (i.e., most of the family uses margarine, or it would be those nasty things in the refrigerated tube), because I still use whole buttermilk, organic butter, and pastured lard, and add absolutely no sugar or aluminum laden baking powder. At least that gets a few nutrients into people.

    I may try the deviled eggs. Now…I’m thinking pastured eggs, homemade mayonnaise, a few chopped capers, and some fresh tarragon.

  • Brittany

    Thanks for the great ideas! I’ve been really trying to take ‘healthier’ options to potlucks lately. I was feeling convicted about taking things that I normally wouldn’t serve to my family. But at the same time I want to provide something that guests will actually enjoy–nourishing spirits as well as bodies. Plus, healthy food just tastes better! Normally I don’t mention that it’s “healthy” though, unless someone asks for the recipe. Nor do I mention why I’m passing on certain unhealthy dishes. ;)

    A few that have gone over well recently:
    -Black Bean Brownies
    -Veggie Bean Burrito mix (thanks, Katie!) topped with cheese as a “Dip” with Organic Tortilla Chips
    -Salad topped with soaked walnuts and a balsamic vinegar/olive oil dressing
    -Apples with Peanut butter/kefir cheese/honey dip
    -Popcorn (popped in palm oil) with sea salt
    -Fruit salad (seasonal fruit, chopped and tossed)

    Another tip for potlucks specifically is that we eat ‘dinner’ –or at least a hearty snack–before we go and tell our boys that the potluck is just a snack. It keeps them from getting cranky with waiting, storming the buffet line, and overindulging in processed foods. Potlucks really shouldn’t be about the food anyway. It’s about the people and building relationships.

    In the same vein, if we’re going to an individual family’s house for dinner, I try to offer to bring something to help out. But in the end, we eat what is served with a happy heart. Because it’s about the relationships. :)

    Katie Reply:

    Brittany – I’ve never done that with the Veggie Bean Burritos, but how perfect! That might be my lunch tomorrow…. ;) Katie

  • stacey

    i end up being kind-of stingy with my real food sometimes. my pastured eggs, raw milk, etc. is expensive and if others aren’t going to appreciate what i’m making, then i’ll save it for me and my family. LOL :) but other times it’s fun to make a real food dish and have others eat it and comment about how it doesn’t taste that bad, etc. and it gives me a perfect opportunity to teach some of the cool things i’ve been learning since starting this real food journey.

  • Katie Bertino

    Can I show this post to my SAD friends so they know that I’m not the only one who’s “crazy?”

    I usually go as healthy as I can without doing something I know no one will eat. I agree: hummus, guacamole,…those are my stand-by’s.
    Here’s an option for a quinoa salad that’s easy and very tasty.

    http://www.howtohealacowboy.com/2011/06/recipe-quinoa-salad-with-pistachios.html

    Good to hear I’m not alone and thank you, Katie, for doing this post- great idea!

  • Anastasia @ Eco-Babyz

    Great post! I always stumble on this dilemma. Weekly. Every time we visit in-laws or friends. Their idea of healthy isn’t mine. They are ok with (or don’t know they are) eating GM food, they let the corn syrup slip by in packaged things they buy. My husband got sick this weekend from eating medium/rare burger at a birthday party. Of course the meat is from who knows where. I sometimes just eat before we leave so I don’t have to be hungry when we get there! Not the best option of course!

  • Jenny

    Great posts! I will have to try some of these for church potlucks!

  • Lanette

    I have to admit, I’ve had some pretty gross ‘real’ food at gatherings. I try to always bring GOOD food that I know people will enjoy, so they realize we’re not freaks.

    Here are some of my favorite options to bring:

    -homemade pepper jelly served over homemade cream cheese with crackers

    -allrecipes has a great quinoa salad with corn, black beans, and cilantro that is wonderful

    -kiwi apple salsa: chop kiwis and green apples VERY fine, mix. Add 2 Tbl brown sugar (or sucanat) to a bit of orange juice and pour over fruit. Mix well. Serve with homemade cinnamon pita chips.

    -homemade baked beans are ALWAYS a hit.

    -homemade coleslaw

  • Emily @ Live Renewed

    Great topic and great ideas!

    I would love to hear more about making food for larger groups that you’re hosting in your home. We host a small group for our church every week with 15-20 people, and I make the main dish every other week, and side dishes on the off weeks. It’s really hard, because when someone else is bringing food to your home to share, you don’t have control over what they bring. The worst is when they offer to let you keep the leftovers to eat, and you really don’t want to, because you don’t want that kind of food in your house, and you don’t want to eat it, but you don’t want to be rude either. But it’s definitely way too expensive for us to provide all of the food every week, so we have to rely on help from others in the group.

    This has been such an area of struggle for me with switching to more real foods over the past year – but I’m definitely with you – I often use store bought eggs and meat, and white flour and sugar, just because it’s cheaper!

    Katie Reply:

    Emily,
    15-20 people every week, now that’s a big commitment! Phew! I would find myself making so much soup…

    I think I’d focus on ingredients like beans, rice, in-season veggies on the cheap, and even potatoes to stretch meals. And soup. Did I mention soup? So easy to make a big old pot!

    If you have the Everything Beans Book, that Black-Eyed Pea Casserole is one-pot, can make a huge batch and is really frugal and went over well with “normal” guests. Oy. 15-20 people every week? You have your work cut out for you, my dear! God bless you! ;) Katie

  • ConsciouslyFrugal

    This is one of the many benefits of living in Southern California–weird is the norm. When it comes to food, most folks are always on some kind of strange food journey, so it’s easy to compare notes and fly your freak flag. :)

  • Emily @ Random Recycling

    Thanks for sharing that you also use white sugar and regular eggs when cooking for a crowd. We will be hosting many summer guests and we don’t want to fall off the healthy eating wagon just because we have guests.
    My two new go-to healthier items to brings are whole wheat chocolate chip cookies or my homemade granola and store-bought yogurt.

  • Cara

    I loved this! I do deviled eggs (of if peeling them isn’t going well, egg salad) often too. Thankfully my friends are understanding :)

  • Brighid

    One thing which I would add in here is to remind your children how to spot food at an event that will not make them feel poorly afterwards. We’re in the midst of graduation parties here and after the first one (assuming that high school students would remember but they were talking with friends, etc.), I went through a series of reminders before the next one. We’re hosting one this weekend, and it will be full of recognizable whole foods!

    My reminders: Remember that if the burgers are all the same shape, and especially if they come from a box, you probably don’t want them. If a salad glistens, you might want to take just a small sample. (I know that someone might use a good dressing but chances are they just used something with high fructose corn syrup.) Look for something that’s either whole or something that I might make. Look for things that might have gotten pushed off to the side. (For example, cut fruit that got hidden under a cover for another dish at the first party.)

  • Healthy Cook

    this is such beautiful collection of resources and recipe… loving it :)

  • Annie Kate

    I used to try to feed guests healthy food, but they invariably wasted my hard effort and expense. Now I have a higher budget and we just eat ‘normal’ but usually whole food when we have guests: meats, potatoes, salads, veggies.

    When we have teens over, I offer chips and pop. If we offered only ‘weird’ stuff (and gluten-free is weird enough) my kids would take their friends elsewhere, and they’d all eat junk there.

    And when I go to a party, I used to take healthy food to share and for my kids, but they’d eat the junk anyhow. Now I just buy some junk for sharing as well. It’s low-stress and it works for us.

    I’ve come to a stage in life where I’ve learned that moderation is important, even in food.

    That being said, I have celiac disease and never compromise on gluten-free eating. I’ll take my own gluten-free food to parties and restaurants so that there is something for me to eat…but I take nothing g-f to share, unless there are other g-f people there.

    But for people who have no health issues, it’s much less stress to bend the ‘rules’ once in a while.

    Great article!

    Annie Kate

    Katie Reply:

    yeah, I’m sort of scared of what life will be like with teenagers! I hear you on the compromising – and I’d much rather have kids hanging out at my house where I can watch and listen than running off elsewhere, scared of our food. :) Katie

  • 'Becca

    Thanks for the fabulous ideas! My family goes to 2-3 potlucks a month, so I’m always looking for new things to bring.

    My standby dish, unless it’s too hot to use the oven, is Honey Baked Lentils. Thrifty! Delicious hot or room temperature! High protein and fiber! Easy to mix in minutes, then it bakes unattended! All shelf-stable ingredients, so you can whip it up anytime! Vegetarian; vegan if you use maple syrup instead of honey! Gluten-free if you use GF soy sauce! I love this recipe!!!

    In hot weather, I’ve found most people like this Brown Rice Salad, which is pretty easy if you happen to have leftover pre-cooked brown rice. My family doesn’t like brown rice much except when it’s soaked in this dressing!

  • cirelo

    I guess I’m not normally phased by taking real food out because usually people often are so delighted to have something that wasn’t reheated from a box. I think people given the chance would like better quality food made from scratch. It tastes better! We had these soup suppers over lent at our church and nobody complained about delicious soup made with a home-made stock of nice restaurant quality over a salty flavourless bouillon broth.

  • Emily

    I finally saw people eat what I brought for the annual church Xmas party when I brought these “donut holes” made of ground up dried pineapple, dates and almonds and coated with coconut flakes.

    Nobody asked me what was in them, but I don’t think I ended up taking any leftovers home!

  • Amy

    Love this!!! Thanks for all the great ideas/ recipes! I too will often sub in eggs and meat for pot luck events because I figure I’m not concerned if my one dish is perfectly organic or real for everyone. It’s my lifestyle change – not thiers and I can’t afford to feed the neighborhood that way!!!

  • Mary Kathryn

    Awesome!! We have family coming to town and I have the same reservations but also like to stand up for what I believe. I am always the one that brings the vegetable or fruit tray so my kids will have something to eat. This gives me the motivation to make the healthier things for my guests too. Although sometimes there is that one recipe that I have been dying to try that maybe isn’t so healthy and I do use group settings as an excuse.

    I also have a question about the sourdough chocolate cake… I have a birthday coming up and that looks just about perfect for me. However, I have never been successful at a sourdough starter. Any tips?

    Katie Reply:

    Mary Kathryn,
    I totally do that with unhealthy-ish “new” recipes, too!

    As for sourdough, I was petrified of starting one, but it ended up working out just fine. Here’s what I did:http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/03/01/monday-mission-make-a-sourdough-starter/

    If you really want to get into it a bit more, GNOWFGLINS eCourse has amazing tips and a teacher forum for all your questions :) (it’s linked to from the starter post). Good luck! :) Katie

    Mary Kathryn Reply:

    Thanks so much I will brave it give it a try. It is similar to what I have done before. I also have a sourdough starter too. So hopefully something will work from one of them.

    I would love to do the ecourse but have a little too much on my plate right now (no pun intended).

  • alittlebitograce

    Thanks for these great ideas.

    Water Kefir has become a huge hit in our social circle. A friend gave some to me which I in turn shared with a friend from the school. Now many of my friends from the school council are drinking water kefir. One of them is even passing it on to his friends at work. I wouldn’t have expected it to be that popular but it is. :)

    Katie Reply:

    Wow, that is beyond expectations!! ;) Katie

  • Michele

    We have a pot luck every month at church, and even before I started changing our diet I still couldn’t bring myself to eat any more meatballs, boxed pasta salad, or cookies from the grocery store bakery. Bringing things that were ‘different’, not even necessarily healthy, was not well received.

    So now I just bring something I know I will want to eat, and I don’t make a big announcement about what it is. I overheard one of the men telling his wife that she HAD to try the ‘taco casserole’–not even close, didn’t even have meat in it, but was certainly delicious. (I did tell my diabetic friend that it was beans, barley and bulgur wheat with vegetables and homemade chili sauce, and she appreciated the healthy option.) I brought the black bean brownies the same day and didn’t take any home.

    My new go-to is a modified “waldorf” salad: apples, raisins, pecans, celery, and my world-famous, top secret dressing…vanilla yogurt. It’s in the $5 range for ingredients and has been requested twice now for parties!

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  • Leigh

    I made some herbed yogurt cheese for a gathering last week – and it was DEVOURED! People would not stop raving about it! And all it was was my yogurt cheese mixed with fresh basil, chives, and parsley from my garden. I even forgot to stir in garlic and pepper like some recipes called for.

  • Tina~

    We often take baked beans ( soaked, sprouted,
    made with honey, organic homemade mustard etc)
    Chili- easy to make and stretch with organic ingredients,
    Coleslaw- can use apple cider vinegar and olive oil or a yogurt dressing
    burgers or sausage ( US Wellness Meats has great summer sausage, liverwurst etc)

    Quiche ( crustless)

    a HUGE salad with farm market greens

    Claufoutis ( pumpkin or berry or whatever produce is in season) for dessert

    Custard or flan with real ingredients – we often use coconut milk

  • Michelle via Facebook

    yes! there might be leftovers to take home!!!

  • Colleen via Facebook

    Good article and funny title we feel the same way. Thanks for the new ideas. I also use the cheap eggs and sugar for pot lucks for the same reasons.

  • Jeanne via Facebook

    I loved this post. Great ideas!

  • Martha

    We’re going to our church potluck tomorrow. I’ll be taking Betteraves Melange, Winter Squash with Spices and meatballs in a barbeque sauce. I’m on GAPS and these are all things I can eat and folks that eat a SAD will still enjoy them. I just feel ackward if I eat only what I bring. That’s likely to be the case though.

  • Somethings via Facebook

    I try to make something with real food that’s still considered acceptable to those eating SADly. Like a dip made with cream cheese and artichoke hearts, or muffins.

  • Angela Polder

    It’s not hard to figure out something healthy to take to a get-together…that everyone can enjoy.
    However, when you’ve been invited over to a friends house…and she is serving lunch…and she happens to be “a normal” person, serving “normal” food…I have a strong opinion about how OUR family should handle that. My family eats fairly healthy, but we have NO serious food allergies. In other words, eating healthy is a priority but if someone serves junk food for lunch, I probably wont be in the ER that night because I allowed one of our 12 children to eat a hotdog. I realize there are individuals that have serious health issues to consider….they just arent able to be flexible….But it is our conviction that, in our case…Relationships and not making people feel like we are better than they are because of the”DIET” we choose to eat is way more important. I think its what the scripture would support too.

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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