Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Feeding Dinner Guests {who aren't paleo}

In my circle of friends, we often invite each other over for a simple dinner of pasta. It's simple to throw together, fairly cheap to make for a crowd and nearly everyone has at least one recipe they excel at making. It was always possible to please everyone with this formula... until I went paleo.

We have our fair share of picky eaters in the group, but it was usually just a question of leaving out this spice or not using that particular ingredient. And if someone forgot, it wasn't the end of the world. Easy.

With me though, it's a different story. I have horrible reactions to many, many ingredients. I know what to look for, but most people don't realize that gluten, lactose and corn are hidden in everything. Everyone tries their best, but often I just bring my own meal as cross contamination happens more often than not and my evenings are spent agonizing in my bed.

That's when I eat over at someone's house... but what about when people eat over at my place?

I recently invited some of my girl friends over while our men were off hiking and tasting whiskies in the wilderness of Scotland. As I planned the food, I immediately thought of pasta. I would just use Zoodles! I decided though to make something that wasn't a SWYPO meal. I would make something yummy and already paleo.

I would make a salad.

I decided on a simple green salad topped with shredded chicken and black olives, dressed with an Italian vinaigrette. The flavors of this simple salad married perfectly. The only thing I would have done differently would be to add sun dried tomatoes. They would have taken the taste to a whole other level!

Before the meal though, I needed snack food. Here in Belgium, it's customary to offer copious amounts of finger food before the meal. I'm usually never hungry by the time dinner comes around, but tradition is tradition, so I went with it.

I chose to make a simple veggie platter composed of cucumbers, carrots and Belgian endive with my delicious Real Deal Paleo Ranch for dipping. I then sliced up some mild chorizo, some dry cured ham and even some Italian cheese {just because I'm super nice like that}.

The finger foods were a hit {the pretty presentation changes everything in my opinion - and yes, those are Christmas napkins, cause I'm classy like that} and the salad was light enough so that even after all the veggies no one went home stuffed beyond belief!

I "should" have offered a dessert as well, but it completely skipped my mind. Luckily, the girls didn't mind :P

I could have made up simple chocolate mousses though, or even banana "ice cream" with or without a warm berry crumble. Dessert doesn't have to be complex and full of sugar to be delicious and pleasing to many crowds :)

So the next time you're having non-paleo eaters over for dinner, go the simple yet flavorful route. Less stress means more fun had with your friends - which is the point of any get together in the first place! :)


  1. Paleo/primal or not, our dinner guests always get something primal. I just make dishes that are easily transferrable, like roasted chicken, salad and sweet potatoes. I had my friends over for dinner, and made Nom Nom Paleo Peruvian Chicken. They initially served themselves very small portions, hesitant over the taste of everything, but ended up loving it all and went back for seconds! When there's fat, there's flavour ;)