Last night, I talked to four lovely ladies about the holidays. Specifically, how I tweak and modify ingredients so that I, healthy Sam, can participate and enjoy all of the season’s delights – without wrecking my digestion, sleep, moods, and energy.
If you missed it, stay tuned, because I’m in recipe-sharing mode for the whole month of December. And this week, it’s all about the Potluck.
Keep it simple. Let’s be real – I’m busy. It’s all I can do to cook for myself, let alone a crowd of people! Plus, because of what I do for a living, I always feel pressure to bring something awesome. Which is stressful.
So my strategy this year is to keep my potluck ideas simple. One-pot meals. Minimal prepping and cooking time. The fewer dishes get dirtied, the better. And at potlucks, where guests usually eat random, rich combinations, a simple dish is always appreciated.
Bring something no one expects. Everyone expects dessert or some kind of casserole. Jazz it up with a fresh salad, a plate of sliced fruit, or a cool cocktail.
Bring something people will consume. The last thing you want is to lug your dish back home with you at the end of the night. Bring a dish that lots of people like. My standbys are: greens, salad, and date-nut balls.
Sam’s 2015 Potluck Ideas
My current obsession is mulled cider. Make it at home first: pour a gallon of cider into a soup pot (but save the jug)! Add 3 cinnamon sticks, a small handful each of cloves & whole allspice, and a chunk of ginger the size of your thumb tip. Bring to a simmer, then let cool. Using a funnel, pour the spiced cider back into the jug. Leave the spices in there.
At your potluck, pour cider (including spices) into a slow cooker and set on ‘warm.’ Ladle into mugs and serve! If you want to get extra fancy, garnish each mug with a cinnamon stick.
EVERYONE LOVES THIS. Especially if you bring a little rum to the party.
And finally, there’s my delicious, health-conscious, Southern-Style Collard Greens.
I don’t use a ham hock, mostly because it’s an extra step, and – gasp! – I don’t really think it’s necessary. But I’m a Northerner, sooo…..
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes, mostly unattended | Serves: 8
- 1 bunch Collard greens, trimmed and chopped
- 1 yellow onion, cut into half moons
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1.5 C chicken or beef stock (homemade is the best; but store-bought works too)
- Splash of apple cider vinegar
- 1 T organic/pastured butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. Add onions and stir frequently until caramelized, about 10 minutes.
Add greens and garlic and stir until well combined. Pour in stock and vinegar and cover for 10 minutes.
Uncover and stir greens. Lower to a simmer and cook uncovered for another 15 minutes, or until liquid reduces. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Have any great potluck ideas? Share them in the comments below!