Preparing food for a festive gathering can make for a lot of work for the host. That’s where potluck brings welcome respite—from the chaos of planning and prepping. Inviting guests to bring their own contributions to the festive fare will help you turn that chaos into calm.
This year, we’ve raised the bar on potluck. Wonderful mainstays such as traditional mashed yams, whipped potatoes, and Brussels sprouts make way for new traditions with four easy potluck recipes that can be prepped ahead.
Our colourful rice dish is a feast for the eyes. It offers a wonderful blend of herbs and spices, complete with candied nuts, that turns this dish into the perfect complement to any main dish. Plus, we’ve given sweet and sour meatballs a makeover, serving them with a delicious homemade red onion marmalade that does double duty as topping for practically anything, including crackers and cheeze.
For a lighter taste at the table, citrusy endive boats are a refreshing starter that can also do duty as stand-alone hors d’oeuvres for any gathering. They’re pretty to look at and easy to eat, without a lot of fuss. Don’t forget the caponata: it’s vegan, versatile, and can be served in any number of ways.
Each of these delicious recipes is so good they’ll long be sought after—even after the holidays have passed.
Many caponata recipes include something sweet, such as plumped raisins. Some even have anchovies or tuna. We’ve kept our recipe on the simple and savoury side to give it a myriad of serving possibilities. We suggest serving it on crostini or on top of creamy hummus. It’s also delicious served in a lettuce leaf or tucked into mini pitas.
This delicious appetizer is a terrific hors d’oeuvre for the holiday season. Dungeness crab is just being harvested at this time of year, and it’s a light delicacy that’s so easy to transport. For extra freshness, carry the crab filling and Belgian endive leaves in separate containers, and simply spoon filling into spears when you arrive.
We raised the bar this year with some delicious additions to the holiday buffet. However, one small bug can spoil an otherwise beautiful celebration. The following are some useful food safety tips to keep in mind when transporting and handling food.
Crunchy, with sharp and satisfying flavour, this hearty salad is a great accompaniment to tacos (including the ones in the next recipe). Cabbage is high in fibre and vitamins C and K. Higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as radishes and cabbage is linked to lower rates of cancer. Make ahead Unlike a typical green salad, this one can stand up to an hour or two in the fridge, so if you want to make it ahead of time, go for it. The cabbage will soften up and some water will be released; just drain any excess before serving.
These taco-inspired lettuce wraps are full of vibrant flavour tempered by subtle heat, all topped off with a zingy tomatillo salsa. Shredding the chicken helps to make a small quantity of chicken feed a crowd, and the texture pairs well with the light wrapper. The bright salsa features heart-healthy tomatillos, which contain phytochemicals called withanolides, which studies have found can help inhibit cancer cell growth. Quick shred If you have a kitchen mixer with a paddle attachment, you can use it to quickly and easily shred chicken for taco lettuce wraps. After chicken has rested, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Reserve any pan juices that may have accumulated in the baking dish. Turn mixer on to a low-to-medium speed and process the chicken for 30 seconds to 1 minute, so that chicken is just separated, being careful not to overprocess. Add in cooking juices and mix through with spoon. To shred chicken by hand, use two forks to gently pull meat apart before combining with pan juices.
This rich bean dip is delicious warm or cold. It’s also a good source of protein, iron, and potassium. A single serving of this dip will help Dad get 19 percent of the recommended daily value of dietary fibre. Dried pasilla peppers impart a smoky, earthy fruitiness balanced with mild spice from a hint of hot paprika and cayenne. And those canned tomatoes add a nice hit of lycopene to an already healthy dish. Epazote (Eh-pah-zo-tay) Epazote has a history of use as a medicinal herb throughout Latin America and is a frequent ingredient in bean dishes because of its antiflatulent properties as well as its pleasant aromatic taste. Its flavour has no direct comparison but is reminiscent of oregano, tarragon, or licorice. There is a pungency to the scent, which some have described as having notes of kerosene, but it imparts a pleasing, earthy, and herbal quality to dishes. Dried epazote added to beans can help reduce their gas-causing properties. Epazote contains saponins, which can be toxic in copious quantities, so sparing use is recommended. Look out for it at specialty culinary stores. If you can’t find it, try cilantro, fennel, or oregano.
If what comes to mind when you think of “seaweed” is “sushi” or “slimy,” you’ve got a whole new plant-based world to discover. These five recipes put the superfood seaweed to good use. From a seafood pasta with wakame pesto to an alkalizing and anti-inflammatory spirulina smoothie, and plenty of seaweed adventure in between, these recipes will have you diving for more. Seaweed’s biggest attraction may be its subtle flavours and versatility. It adds a hard-to-define savoury note to vegetarian dishes and an umami-heavy body to seafood, and it even replaces bacon in a BLT. And let’s not forget about the health benefits. Seaweed is swimming with nutritious minerals, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and vitamins. Dive into the world of seaweed, and come back with a healthy haul of fabulous flavours to make dinner more delicious.