With so many diet fads around, most people don’t know what’s effective and what’s not. One of the most popular diets is called the Paleo diet. A Paleo diet basically means eating just like the hunter-gatherers of the Palaeolithic Era. The Paleo diet has been around for years now, but it’s just now starting to gain more attention.
The theory behind the diet is pretty simple; our hunter gatherer ancestors survived on meats and fish which were not saturated with hormones or growth-stimulating antibiotics. This goes for fruits and vegetables as well. The Paleo diet means the food you eat has to be as natural as possible. Paleo followers believe the human diet was on the right track until the Agricultural Revolution introduced toxins into the food chain some 10 thousand years ago. Although this is still open to argument, Paleo’s goal is to go back to the way primitive people ate.
Gatherings and parties have always been a part of our social life and it’s just one way we connect with loved ones and close friends. If you and your family are into the Paleo diet, planning a dinner or lunch won’t be a problem. If some of your friends are not familiar with it, you can prepare a great Paleo spread and probably educate them about it. Hosting a Paleo party is a good way to show your friends that Paleo is a balanced, nutritious and delicious diet.
Try some of these tips and tricks to make sure your party goes smoothly and everyone enjoys their meal:
First. Do not point out to your invited guests the food that you won’t be serving. It’s a major turn off and this can often mean your guests have an expectation of what the food will be like. Instead, let their attention be drawn to all the lovely and colourful foods you have served.
Second. Choose and serve the foods you really like. If you have vegan or vegetarian friends, don’t force them to eat just salad or broccoli. Try to serve one very filling course that will satisfy them and meet their diet restrictions. They will thank you for it. If it’s too hard to make a vegetarian or vegan meal from your Paleo ingredients, splurge a bit and make sure you have something they’ll want to eat.
Third. Include a few courses that cover all bases: a home-made guacamole, a fruit and nut platter as well as olives to spice things up. You can follow these appetisers with salad and then the main protein dish. Follow with fresh fruits and berries to cleanse the palate and as a dessert. If kids are included in the party, you have to think about giving everyone a good time so you may want to stock up on hotdogs, burgers or mac and cheese. Why? Because you can’t force everyone to eat Paleo!
Fourth. Do not be preachy about your lifestyle. If someone asks you about your Paleo diet, answer them happily and share your experiences. Make your answers brief but straight to the point without making your guests feel you’re forcing your beliefs on them.
Fifth. Make a mental note of the feedback and comments after the party. If they enjoyed it, give yourself a pat on the back and it’s possible they may go for a Paleo diet themselves.
If you’re not sure what to cook, start off with these delicious Paleo appetisers and finger foods:
1. Butternut Squash Wrapped in Bacon
2 lbs of cubed butternut squash
15 slices of bacon, cut in half
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
Ground pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 175C and place the squash in a bowl. Sprinkle it with the dried spices and wrap the bacon slices around the cubed squash. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the cubed squash and bacon and bake for another 20 minutes. If you like the bacon a bit crispy, set the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.
2. Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms
20 large button mushrooms
1 lbs of sausages without the casing
1 thinly chopped onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
2/3 cup of almond meal
2 tablespoons of minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 160C. Remove the stems of the mushrooms and chop. Set the chopped stems aside. Toss the mushroom buttons with the olive oil in a bowl. Melt the fat in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage to the skillet and cook for 8-10 minutes while breaking them apart into tiny pieces. Add the vegetables and the mushroom into the sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Mix in the almond meal until well combined. Remove from heat. Add the parsley, mix it well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill each mushroom cap with the sausage mixture. Line them up on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until the stuffing is golden brown. Serve while hot.
3. Bacon-Wrapped Olives
1 lbs of bacon
20 mixed olives (black and green)
1 teaspoon of sugar
Soak the olives and toothpicks in two separate bowls of water for 30 minutes. This will prevent the toothpick from catching fire and lessen the saltiness of the olives. Rinse them and set your oven to 170C. Cut the bacon into 2 inch pieces and wrap each olive with the bacon. Secure it with a toothpick and bake them for 15 minutes. Serve hot.
4. Guacamole-Stuffed Eggs
6 large eggs
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon of homemade mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon of onion
Salt and pepper to taste
Place eggs in a saucepan with cold water and bring them to a boil. Turn off heat once the water boils and let the eggs cook for 10-12 minutes with the saucepan covered. After that, transfer eggs in cold water to stop them from cooking. Peel eggs and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place them in a separate bowl. Add the ripe avocado, garlic powder, onion powder, mayonnaise and lime juice. Mash everything and season with salt and pepper until smooth. Fill each egg white with the mixture and top with parsley. Serve on a tray or plate and enjoy.
5. Pan-Fried Shishito Peppers
10 shishito peppers
2 teaspoons of combined lard and olive oil
1 minced fresh clove garlic
½ of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a skillet for a few minutes and add the oil. Heat the pan until almost smoking. Add the peppers and stir occasionally to prevent from burning. Cook for about 10 minutes until a bit wrinkled. Add the garlic at the end of cooking, for about 1 minute to avoid it from burning and to retain the flavour. Remove from the skillet and place the peppers on a plate. Squeeze lemon juice over the peppers and serve.
We hope you enjoy these ideas! What’s your favourite Paleo diet meal? Let us know in the comments.