From chips and dips to fried chicken and pasta salad, there’s nothing Paleo about most party plans, but that can easily be changed.
Animal proteins, fruits, vegetables and good fats are the basics of the Paleo diet. When the time comes to throw a party in the cave, the options may seem limited but a bit of imagination is all it takes to wow hungry guests.
Many types of vegetables and roots can be sliced thin and baked to create tasty, colorful crisps. Try carrots, beetroot, plantain, radish, butternut squash or sweet potato. Or how about bananas? Not only will the results look and taste great, they’ll be super healthy, too.
Crisps can be rather dry, of course, so a bit of almond or walnut hummus can be served as a complement. Other options include lemon tahini sauce, pineapple salsa or avocado dip. So many veggies lend themselves to dips and spreads, from mushrooms, garlic and cauliflower to eggplant and taro.
Don’t forget proteins as appetizers. Eggs can add that component, and there are so many ways to prepare them—boiled, curried, stuffed, deviled or mini omelets with vegetable toppings or olives. Or what about liver pate or marinated seafood ceviche for a change of pace?
Ultra simple Paleo nibbles are nuts, seeds, dried fruit, shredded coconut, raisins or a mix of all these. And a platter of raw vegetables, from broccoli and cherry tomatoes to celery and cucumber sticks can never go wrong.
Mighty Main Courses
The Paelo diet stresses high protein intake, low carbs, high fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. Pretty much anything grilled is going to work out well, from chicken and ribs to zucchini spears, squash, red peppers and onions.
Why not plank a fish like trout or salmon? Spit-roasting is a great method of cooking, too, whether it’s an entire side of beef or something smaller, such as a leg of lamb, game birds like duck or pheasant, or perhaps a slab of pork belly. And baking is always an alternative, whether using an oven or a fire pit.
Going Paleo for a party doesn’t mean the host has to do all the cooking, either. Guests can cook their own skewers of meat and vegetables over the open flames of the barbeque—think satay, yakitori or shishkabab.
Fruit is the staple sweet of the Paleo diet. From grapes to melons, there’s no lack of variety. Nor does everything have to be served raw. As long as the fire is still hot, it can be used to bring a delicious twist to the menu by grilling fruits such as peaches or bananas.
If a bit of extra sweetness is desired, serve honey with slices of apple or pear. Adding a bit of cinnamon or a sprig of mint can enhance the flavor of fruits and berries, too. And be creative in how the fruit is cut and served. The hollowed out rind of a cantaloupe or watermelon makes a great serving bowl. After all, one advantage of living in the Stone Age was no dishes to wash.
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