This time of year is full of reasons to come together and celebrate with family and friends. If you’re a college basketball fan, March Madness is a perfect excuse to host a party, and with emotions running high, you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of food in your arsenal. Sports have an uncanny ability to make you work up an appetite, even if you are just a spectator. Hosting an athletically themed event does not have to be all pizza and chicken wings, though. If fact, you can make delicious, low calorie food to impress your guests. Chances are, they won’t even notice it’s good for them!
If sports aren’t your thing, the first day of spring is right around the corner and deserves some celebration, and maybe even a picnic if the weather cooperates. Shortly after spring’s arrival, Easter creates a great opportunity for outdoor parties with family and friends, ushering in egg hunts for the children and giant feasts for the rest of the family. Regardless of whether you are hosting a big event, or making some springtime fare to contribute to a potluck, there are dozens of creative ways in which you can incorporate your favorite recipes into shareable and healthy dishes.
Mayo Without The Eggs
Mayonnaise in its many forms is a culinary staple, binding salads and providing a tart, lightly acidic lift for dishes that would sit heavily without it. However, many of us are hesitant to bring an egg-heavy dish to a potluck, where it could possibly sit out at room temperature for several hours at a time. While it is important to properly store and refrigerate all of your food products, egg-free mayonnaise alternatives exist that can give you more peace of mind in environments in which you have little temperature control. HamptonCreek Facebook page links to many great recipes centering around egg-free mayo.
Much lower in fat and more environmentally conscious than traditional mayo, this new salad binder can liven up traditional dishes such as potato and pasta salads without significantly raising the saturated fat content and adding no cholesterol whatsoever. More than just a salad ingredient, mayo can contribute to the creaminess of your favorite spinach and artichoke dip, can be added to a restaurant-style coleslaw to put on top of barbeque sliders or as a comforting homemade side dish to usher in grilling season.
Try Something Different
While there is a definite reason it’s called “comfort food,” a potluck cannot survive on mac and cheese and deviled eggs alone. It’s easy to get in a rut and eventually tire of the same predictable dishes. Think outside the box the next time it’s your turn to cook for a group and consider adding an ethnic flare to your party dishes. A curried chicken and vegetable salad goes well by itself, or adds spice atop pita chips. For a more Asian leaning, try a fried vegetable tempura with a mayo and Sriracha dipping sauce. Smokey chipotle can liven up any bean dip to give it a south of the border kick.
The Sweeter Side of Mayonnaise
Aside from the sandwiches and canapés we all know and love, mayo can have a sweet side and be used as an oil and egg substitute in many baking recipes. Chocolate cakes are imbued with a delectable moisture and richness that surpasses traditional egg and oil recipes. The light acidity inherent in mayonnaise also keeps the sugar from overpowering the dish. If you love cake but find that frosting can overload your sweet tooth, try a recipe in which mayo provides the base for the icing. Not only will it be slightly less of a sugar onslaught, but if you opt for chocolate, it will really make the cocoa sing.
Be the Star of the Party With Something New
No matter how you slice it, a myriad of options exist for creating new and delicious shared dishes. Whether you are dressing your salad to impress or erring towards time worn classics with a contemporary twist, parties and potlucks are a fun way to let your creativity shine. There is no better way to make an impression at a potluck than by being the person who was responsible for the most memorable dish.
Seek out alternatives to dated products and experiment with ethnic cuisine, new flavor profiles and egg-free mayonnaise. Search for healthy and new recipes that are a slight departure from your comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to veer off the script and add your own signature to a dish. From savory treats to rich chocolate cakes and other sweets, enjoy getting creative with your new recipes. Spring is full of opportunities to break bread with loved ones and celebrate the approaching warm weather by trying something new on for size.