‘Tis the season of the potluck. Whether it’s with the office, your book club, or the annual cousin holiday gathering, you want to bring a dish that nourishes body and spirit. And, while no one says it outloud, we all want to win the potluck. We can help you with that.
Here are our very best suggestions to help you rock the next potluck without compromising your commitment to healthy eating.
Make Friends with Salad
Too often a bowl of undressed greens gets plunked on the table with a bottle of ranch dressing beside it. The truth is nobody likes dressing salad on their plate. The dressing runs into the other dishes; it’s a potluck disaster.
Don’t bring a lame salad to a potluck, bring a salad that will be the star of the show.
Make the best mixed green salad the world has ever seen, with actual mixed greens. Toss it up with a homemade green goddess dressing with fresh herbs. Watch it disappear.
Grilled Potato Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing will beat mayo covered potatoes any day.
Ready for the next level?
The top of the salad game is Martha’s 7-Layer Salad. Gorgeous, healthy and sure to bring ooohs and ahhhs for presentation.
To please kids who are resistant to eating foods mixed all together, serve the layer salad decomposé on a plate and let them pick at it.
Just Add Bacon
It’s no secret that bacon is a crowd pleaser. If you brought a pound of cooked bacon to a potluck, it would probably be the most popular dish there. As exciting as that might be, we advocate adding some veggies. Endive Spears with Sweet Potato, Bacon, and Chives takes a bit of effort to prepare but will pay off in presentation and taster appreciation. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus is an underrated appetizer. Let’s give it some love. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar to give your dish an extra boost.
Improve on Potluck Classics
Hummus, black bean dip, guacamole are tired. But, if you make them yourself and add some fresh new flavors, they will be terrific. Put fresh rosemary in your hummus with roasted peppers. Use smoked paprika and cilantro to bring guacamole to life. Give those black beans a hit of chipotle to fire it up. Serve dips with a big plate of crudités.
Have you ever been to a potluck without meatballs? Have they ever been delicious? That’s a double no, right? Pre-made meatballs swimming in sugar and salt filled sauce are a healthy eater’s nightmare. Unfortunately it seems to be the most popular dish for the kids. How about you make real meatballs and simmer in a marinara sauce? Serve with rolls to make meatball sandwiches.
It’s a little known secret that people love cured meats, and will flock to an antipasto plate. Search your grocery store for high quality salami without a long list of chemicals. Serve with olives, artichoke hearts, marcona almonds and a hard cheese.
If you are skilled enough to make your own sushi, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Pack that nori full of veggies, and to make your offering look really professional sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
The most important tip we can give you for potluck success is to know your crowd. There’s nothing worse than your great-aunt yelling at your because your gazpacho is cold, or the kids going home hungry because they didn’t have anything to eat.
Here’s to hoping you’re the star of the potluck this year. Let us know how it goes.