Try a Potluck Dinner This Holiday!

The holidays can be an expensive and stressful time of the year. Why make it more stressful by cooking a huge dinner?

No time to make a huge turkey dinner? Too busy to be cooking all day? Why not have a POTLUCK?

Last year my husband and I hosted Christmas dinner for 10 people. 2 were vegetarians, and 2 were vegans. So, we decided to have a potluck dinner, ensuring that no one had to spend all day cooking and cleaning. The holidays are about spending time with friends and family, and so we decided this was the best way to have a delicious dinner without one person doing all of the work.

My husband and I made 3 dishes for the potluck dinner, since we were hosting.  We made the Kid’s Soba Salad from our Love Your Body Cookbook. It is a soba noddle salad with tons of veggies and a delicious sauce, very similar to the Asian Noodle Salad on our website.

We also made Lentil Patties from The Coup Cookbook – The Coup is a vegetarian restaurant here in Calgary that I absolutely love. I had to soak green lentils overnight, so I made sure I was prepared the night before.  The patties have green lentils, brown rice, parsley, carrots, garlic, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and tomato paste, and are DELICIOUS! We made the patties and served them warm with the option of having them on a bun or not. If you have the opportunity to pick up this cookbook I recommend it as it has some great meal ideas!

We also made our Berry Crumble for dessert. I adapted this recipe from Tonya Dahl’s raw food cooking class that I attended. It is so delicious I wish I could make it every weekend! It uses raw nuts and frozen berries, and was a hit at the potluck!

We still had turkey, as my parents prepared and cooked up a turkey the day before so those who ate meat could have turkey and fresh buns. They also made a lovely lettuce salad, full of crisp fresh vegetables, and we served it with Little Creek Dressing, a vinaigrette from British Columbia. No dinner is complete without a yummy green salad!

My mother-in-law made a satisfying and warming Morrocan Lentil Stew. She made it in her slow-cooker, and used the recipe from About.com Busy Cooks. The recipe is by Linda Larsen and has lentils, butternut squash, potatoes, canned tomatoes and a variety of herbs and spices. She prepared everything the day before and threw it in her slow-cooker Christmas Day. We all enjoyed it!

My brother-in-law and his wife made a vegan lasagna which was made with spinach and tofu. It was wonderful and something that I had never had before!

We had a variety of different flavors, types, and textures of food for everyone to choose from. I was stuffed at the end of dinner, and barely had room for dessert! But of course I had to have the Berry Crumble. I really enjoyed how easy dinner was; it was stress free and I only had to prepare 3 small recipes. Plus, there was hardly any mess after.

Get the kids involved; have them contribute to the dinner!

So give a potluck a try this year for your holiday dinner. You’ll find you have more time to visit with family and friends, and you will spend less time preparing and cleaning up. We spent more time visiting and playing ping-pong in my basement!

Potluck is also a great way to try out and learn new recipes!

How do you make dinner easy?! We’d love to hear from you!

Article by: Carrie Dancey, RHN

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