As some of you may have seen, this last weekend I did all the food for my best friend’s baby shower. I gladly assumed the role, because 1) I hate egg bakes and 2) I knew if could create a little menu just as easy, that you guys could use it too, for any kind of hosting you have coming up this season.
On the menu:
Avocado toast (gluten-free and regular) (I just mashed avocado with lemon juice to keep it from turning brown, and sprinkled with a course sea salt)
Ricotta, strawberry & balsamic toast (gluten-free and regular)
Plus a toast toppings bar (smoked salmon, sprouts, tomatoes, turkey bacon, red pepper flakes, black sesame seeds, etc)
Sweet potato muffins (gluten-free, from the Fall Meal Plan)
Phillo dough tarts (not for the faint at heart or for taking the easy route, but filled with tomatoes, chives, caramelized onions, turkey bacon, and parmesan cheese. Enter egg bake here).
Coconut-almond cake (because I can’t not go over the top sometimes. It was too pretty not to)
A little Fall Salad that I made up that morning.
And guess what?
You wanna know what went first? GONE, from the table the fastest?
Then, the sweet potato muffins soon after.
And I had to laugh.
The most complicated, impressive dishes? Yeah. Nice. But what people really want to eat, are always the simple, satisfying and kind of secretly healthy options. Especially at an event like that.
The times are changing my loves.
(I mean, finally. I’ve been so patiently waiting.)
I actually think most people WANT the healthy options, and are so relieved when they’re there. So don’t be afraid to make them, to bring them, and to share them with people.
You’re not going to be the weird one with the healthy salad that people pick at.
Because we all need more ideas on stuff we can make for normal life. There’s plenty out there of “entertaining/party/event food”. Most of it is flour-y, cracker-y, and chees-y. And sweet.
But you know what?
Someone actually said to me: “I was fully planning on feeling kind of bad the rest of the day, because that’s what happens after these showers. But now I can do home and do laundry and maybe take a walk and hang out with my husband and not feel cranky, because I feel so good and not weighed down”.
When the salad goes first, with handfuls of requests for the recipe, that’s how you know.
That a) times are changin’ sister or b) that was a damn good salad.
Or, c) all of the above.
The Fall Salad You Won’t Be Able to Quit
Makes 2-3 servings
Notes: If you want this to keep for a day or two, store without the dressing and avocado until you’re ready to eat.
for the salad:
1 large head butter lettuce, washed and torn (or other green of your choice)
2 small or 1 large yam, diced and roasted
1 green apple, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 cup to 1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (if you have never tried the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Seeds, um, run. And stock up because they’re just around in the Fall).
crumbled feta (optional)
chopped herbs (optional) chives, dill and basil are all amazing here
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (depending how tart you like your dressings)
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 cup basil leaves (or more)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
generous sprinkle of sea salt and pepper
For the dressing: blend all ingredients together for 1 minute until combined.
For the salad: layer all ingredients in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with dressing (you may not need all of it) and toss gently to serve. Sprinkle with a bit more feta, herbs and microgreens to garnish.