HOW TO MAKE GREAT PARTY FOOD THAT DOES NOT APPEAR LOW CARB
It’s not fun to arrive at a party or gathering to discover there isn’t any bariatric friendly food for you to eat. It’s hard enough staying away from Cape Cod Potato Chips, Frozen Deep Fried Convenience Food trays, Little Sandwiches, Party Sub Ring, Chicken Wing Platters, Sushi Roll trays OR ENTIRE TABLES OF COOKIES AND DESSERTS… but when you don’t have a choice, you have effectively succeeded in sabotaging yourself.
Epic Fail. No Plan. Bariatric surgery changes anatomy forever so get with the program early on. In one year there are at least 12 Celebration Holidays; if you plan on living twenty years that means you will face this situation two hundred and forty more times. Have a few standard bariatric friendly dishes you rely on and stick to your plan rather than sliding off that wagon again and again. One day you may find that you are unable to get back on!
These party foods are easy to prepare or assemble, look great, taste great and assure you’ll have at least ONE THING to eat at any party you attend! What if you arrived at my New Years Eve or Holiday Boat Parade Party and this was the menu? Everyone would have a GREAT time and have no idea they were eating healthy. So grab a glass of Pinot Grigio and lets have fun!
1.Sub on a Stick. They’ll think Martha Stewart is making her entrance when you arrive carrying this gorgeous tray. It’s all in the presentation my dear. Cubes of ham, turkey, bell pepper, cheese and olives threaded on bamboo skewers and stuck into an iceberg lettuce half, never tasted so good! Make a dipping sauce of equal parts Dijon mustard and Fage Greek yogurt with a dollop of Hellmann’s. (yep, it needs that little bit of mayo, to cross line into Delish, from merely Good)
2. Cucumber Rounds. Super Simple. Get out your tray and just before serving arrange half inch rounds of hot house cucumber (the long ones wrapped in plastic have tender skins) and spoon (or pipe with a pastry bag if you have one) 1 teaspoon of any kind of cheese dip or prepared cheese spread that you like – perhaps a garlic herb spread or port wine cheese. I used a container of supermarket Smoked Fish Dip with a tiny piece of fresh dill for these.
3. Perfect Shrimp Bites. Toss 12 large shrimp in store bought asian stir fry sauce and sear them in a screaming hot pan for just 45 seconds on each side until not quite cooked through. Arrange 12 half inch cucumber slices on a tray, top with a shrimp, Sriricha (Rooster) sauce, avocado and toasted sesame seeds. Yum.
4. Grilled Chicken Skewers with Tomato Balsamic Drizzle involves a little cooking. Very easy, extremely flavorful, and definitely a beautiful platter of food that your guests will love.
5. Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates. These are really good. When you cut a small date in half lengthwise and remove the seed, it leaves a little space to fill with a sliver of manchego or cheddar cheese. You can then wrap with 1/3 slice of nearly cooked bacon and secure with a toothpick. Right before serving, melt the cheese just a little by popping into a screaming hot preheated broiler for 1 to 2 minutes. These have a few carbs as dates are naturally sweet, but you will be fine.
6. Shrimp & Tomato Balsamic Shots. You can buy small clear plastic ‘shot glasses’ at a party or craft store. Place a cooked shrimp and grape tomato on a bamboo toothpick and pop into your glass that you have added just enough bottled balsamic glaze to coat the bottom. Really cool… yet so easy.
7. Cheese & Grape Bites. Roll up a slice of Boars Head Swiss Cheese, stick with a grape on a toothpick and THEN cut. It’s a little easier that way. Three rolls per slice across the short side. Cheese and Grape is really good together and looks nice on a tray. People love these little bites. Very pretty using dark, nearly black grapes or different colors!
8. Pizza Rounds. You are making little pizzas out of rounds of zucchini. Arrange your half inch thick zucchini slices on a greased baking sheet, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and broil for 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Flip and top with a mixture of diced pepperoni and shredded mozzarella that you’ve barely moistened with Mario Batali pasta sauce. A screaming hot preheated broiler is essential. Broil 2 to 3 minutes until toasty. Watch carefully as some broilers are hotter than others! Transfer to platter. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
9. Garlic Shrimp Tapas. Lightly brown 4 sliced garlic cloves in a 1/3 cup olive oil. Add a big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, 1 pound of peeled cleaned raw shrimp, season with salt and pepper and simmer slowly for just a few minutes until shrimp curl and are barely cooked through. Pour into a medium pottery dish. Insert a few toothpicks to give folks the idea. Leave a shot glass of toothpicks and stack of small napkins next to the dish. You’ve made Spanish Tapas!
10. Beef Carpaccio Roll is a fancy name for rolled up roast beef. Place a slice of rare deli roast beef on a clean surface, add a small bundle of arugula or watercress, a smear of flavored cheese spread such as Boursin or Wispread Swiss, paper thin sliced radish, salt & pepper. Then roll up and secure with a bamboo toothpick. Use really sharp knife to cut in half to make them easier to eat if you are arranging them in rows on square platter. Drizzle each roll with a few drops of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon, scatter platter with some of the arugula and shaved radish and a few grinds of black pepper so it looks inviting.
With a little planning and these recipes, you could throw quite a party and no one would think it was low carb, they’d just think you served absolutely FANTASTIC food. If you arrived at a party with any one or two of these food trays, people would be thrilled by your tasty offering. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!