Clint and I had our engagement party in January this year after he proposed to me just before Christmas. The party was a picnic and games afternoon at the beautiful Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens. We had about 40 people join us for an afternoon of frisbee, slacklining, bocci and quoits. Plus, a whole lotta delicious and healthy foods made mostly by my mum and I, as well as some suitable food kindly provided by the in-laws.
I had so many compliments on how good the food tasted and many requests for recipes so I thought I’d better blog about it so all the recipes are in one place for everyone to use and enjoy! (By the way, this is a post from our old blog!
Most of the food was paleo/primal, it was all gluten-free and all yum!
Here’s a rundown on what we created…
Smoky Tomato Dipping Sauce
Original recipe here
My variation: I tasted the mixture while following the recipe and noticed it still tasted like tomato paste even with the paprika and mustard powders added. So I added another 2 tsp paprika, plus 1 tsp turmeric powder. This made it not taste like tomato paste anymore and gave it more of a smokey BBQ taste.
Also, I decided to place the mixture in the blender and give it a whiz to make it really smooth instead of being full of onion and garlic bits.
The photo is the sauce with my brekkie of mince, eggs and fetta! I’d forgotten to take photos of food on the day of the party so if I had leftovers I took photos then!!
Chicken Liver Pate
Original recipe here
My variation: I pretty much followed that recipe but I added olive oil instead of rendered chicken fat.
This pate is a winner with anyone who tries it who’s always enjoyed store-bought varieties. But this one is so much healthier!
This was my own creation. It was meant to be a smooth and creamy roast beetroot and fetta dip but mum and I almost completely burned and shrivelled the beetroot while in the oven, so when I tried to blend it to a smooth consistency it just didn’t happen and ended up a little chunky. I thought people would hate it but this was the recipe I had the most requests for! Amazing!
1. Peel and chop 3-4 large beetroots
2. Bake in oven with a drizzle of coconut oil, on 180 for… well I don’t know how long because mine was in a tad too long. Maybe go for 20min then check on it!
3. Once cooked, place in a food processor with about 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp sheep or goat fetta, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and blend until it’s about this consistency.
Tip: If you cook your beetroot a little too long and it blackens on the edges, that’s GREAT because that’s what I did and it tasted great! Just be sure to add a bit of stevia to the food processor… that’s my secret ingredient!!
I didn’t get a photo of this creation by my mother-in-law Marian but I had asked her to do a simple dip of roast pumpkin (she used 1kg), olive oil, herbs of choice and salt and pepper. The end result had a pumpkin soup taste about it but it was nice and thick. And very tasty!
Raw Chia Sesame Crackers
1. In a large bowl add 1 cup chia seeds and 1/2 cup sesame seeds
2. Add 2-3 cups of water, mix well and let sit for an hour or so. The water will absorb into the seeds and the mix will thicken. You can add more water if it’s too thick and you can’t stir a spoon in it easily
3. Add whatever herbs and spices you like. This time round I added dulce flakes, fresh parsley and thyme leaves, all spice powder and lots of salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly so all ingredients are well combined
4. Spread mixture onto baking paper in your dehydrator (purchase one here).
The thickness needs to be about 2-3mm, if it’s too thin the crackers will break too easily when they’re dry.
5. Depending on your dehydrator your drying setting and time-frame may differ, but generally it works to leave on medium setting overnight.
6. When crackers are completely dry, take them out, break them apart and serve!
You can also add minced onion, garlic, veggies etc. The variations are endless!
Lemon Thyme Meatballs
Original recipe here
Clint’s mum made these for the picnic and I think she stuck to the recipe. They’re so easy to make, simple ingredients and a delicious flavour 🙂
We also had a couple varieties of grain-free sausages from Yandina Butchery – chicken, pine nut and spinach, as well as beef, oregano and garlic. No flours are used!
Original recipe here
My variation: The recipe calls for quite a bit of honey or maple syrup – I use raw honey and I found using less is fine. 1/2 cup max in my opinion still ends up tasting terrific.
Also when I made this the first time for Clint’s birthday in December 2013, the amount you end up with after baking doesn’t look like it’d feed 16 people as suggested in the recipe, and as you can see from the photo above mine don’t look quite as high as the ones in the link. Sometimes I wonder where people get their serving quantity from because the recipes don’t often make as much as large a quantity as stated. Which is the case with thsi recipe. If you’re feeding 5+ hungry people I’d make double! For the engagement party I made a double batch and cut into bite-size squares so most people would get a try.
As for the chocolate chips, we don’t seem to have the same brands as the American recipes suggest but you can find dairy-free chocolate at health food stores, and depending on what other ingredients you want to avoid, even in the supermarket. Sweet William is dairy-free but contains other nasties many paleo-followers would definitely avoid. It just depends on your preferences and also your budget! Shop around. But if you don’t find any you’re happy with, just use a bit of extra cocoa powder instead 🙂
On the day I served up orange juice jelly lollies but you can use ANY juice or fruit pulp you like. It’s just grass-fed gelatin dissolved in hot water/juice and some stevia or other sweetener (raw honey, maple syrup etc) added in. Then set in the fridge. Easy peasy!
The photo above is frozen organic raspberries simmered then strained to remove the seeds. The measurement I find works best is 1 cup liquid to 2 tbsp gelatin. Any more gelatin and the lollies will become rock hard and unedible.
The orange ‘jellies’ (not ‘lollies’ because I didn’t add enough gelatin so they were a bit softer than I’d have liked!) were a HUGE hit on the day! The kids were eating gluten-free lollies but they all liked my jellies as well, and the adults all commented on how good they were!
If you’d like to join our Great Lakes Gelatin Co-Op to get your hands on the best quality gelatin powder, click here
Honey Coconut Macaroons
Original recipe here
My variation: I left out the lemon and just used shredded coconut, raw honey, egg whites, salt and vanilla. I would use dessicated coconut next time though, but the shredded still tasted really good.
I didn’t get a photo of my macaroons because they were snapped up pretty quickly on the day! But they looked almost exactly the same as the photo above.
I’m definitely making these again – they’re super easy to make, not too sweet and actually quite filling!
Sweet Potato, Chicken and Honey Bites
No photo sorry and these were totally my own creation. All I did was…
Peeled and chopped sweet potato, into about 20c piece size
Baked with coconut oil and raw honey until cooked through
Did the same with chicken breast
Then placed a piece of sweet potato and a piece of chicken on a toothpick
I hope you find some of these recipes useful and they give you some inspiration in the kitchen, especially for parties! It’s a great feeling to be able to provide healthy foods – the kinda foods we eat 95% of the time and are passionate about – to friends and family and they actually enjoy them!
Please feel free to share this post with friends so they too can make delicious and healthy party foods. And please let me know of any paleo/primal party food recipes you love to use! I’d really appreciate it 🙂
5 things I’m grateful for today:
1. Being engaged to Clint!
2. A fun morning at the Kawana markets then hanging out with a friend and her gorgeouos boys
3. Gardening today and finding the first berries appearing from the newest strawberry plants
4. Sunny winter days
5. Natural remedies for illness and injury