As we enter into the fall, opportunities for get-togethers, dinner parties, and holiday celebrations seem to become more common. Time spent entertaining family and friends is wonderful and should be filled with happy memories, not stress and shame. However, for many people who are following the autoimmune protocol diet the thought of having to explain and serve their “weird” foods to others is just downright overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be that way though.
I began my AIP journey the week before Thanksgiving last year. I had only done surface level research, I had no recipes, I was just desperate to regain my health. I made the decision to follow the autoimmune protocol on a Saturday night and I never looked back. That being said, I am truly blessed with a wonderful family because on that next Sunday morning I called up my mother and dropped the news that I would need to change the holiday menu for that very next Thursday. Honestly, it was a huge success because it simply forced us to go back to the origins of many of the foods we traditionally ate and simplify them. We had homemade cranberry sauce sweetened with honey, a meat and vegetable based stuffing, a delicious roasted turkey, green beans with bacon and no butter, live probiotic sauerkraut and AIP friendly pumpkin bars instead of pie. Everyone enjoyed themselves and no one complained.
When entertaining non-AIP guests it is best to go back to the basics and just cook real traditional food. Cook familiar meats and vegetables in delicious, traditional ways and everyone will be not only satisfied but impressed. Many folks today have not learned the art of really cooking. We are used to our food coming pre-seasoned, precooked, and prepackaged. When you embrace a lifestyle that involves truly cooking your meals you will find that it often becomes a way to express yourself, almost like an art.
In my opinion, being able to sharing good food with those you care about is a great expression of love. Below, I have compiled four dinner party menus that include an appetizer, a main course, two sides, and a dessert. These recipes are simple, delicious, and sure to please. So, as the leaves turn and the weather cools don’t be afraid to entertain. Embrace it as an opportunity to share good food with those you love and look forward to it as an opportunity to visit with friends and family without the stress of going out and being able to have nothing to eat.
In the words of Jinny Fleischman,
“A meal is the whole experience of getting together and sharing with friends. It is more than food.”
Menu # 1:
Main Dish: Garlic Ginger Salmon
Menu # 2:
Appetizer: Bacon Wrapped Dates
Dessert: Coconut Raspberry “Cheesecake”
Menu # 3:
Main Dish: Nightshade Free Chili
Dessert: Coconut flour thumbprint cookies
Menu # 4:
Appetizer: Egg Roles
Main Dish: Zucchini Shrimp Pasta
Dessert: Raspberry coconut panna cotta