Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Paleo Holiday Brunch

Don't expect too much from this post. I slaved away all morning trying to get together brunch for my parents, aunt and kids. I had the opportunity to get busy in the kitchen, as my two were with their father until 1pm.

By the time I got around to thinking about taking pictures to accompany this post, my family was present and the kids were bouncing off the walls. It just wasn't the time to start snapping shots of the spread...

So as much as I know many prefer a post with lots of pretty pictures and full recipes, I wanted to put one together of what I served today to my non-paleo family. Hopefully it will give some inspiration to any of you looking for appropriate finger or party food, be it for New Year's or any occasion.

First, I put out some no-brainers:
-chopped veggies
-homemade guacamole and salsa
-mixed raw nuts
-fruit

Then I got to cooking. I sliced some peeled apples into the crock pot, tossed them with some palm sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and 3 tbs. arrowroot powder. I dropped a couple of dabs of butter over the top. After about 4 hours on high I had perfect caramelized apples (not to mention a yummy-smelling kitchen).
Next I made the Cinnamon Bun muffins from Elana's Pantry, which I modified to omit the agave (I used honey) and grapeseed oil (olive instead). I added some chopped walnuts and dried cranberries to the batter, and sprinkled some sliced almonds into the topping. I baked them up in snowflake-shaped muffin tins to be all the more festive.

photo from PaleOMG (I didn't get a chance to snap one of MY balls...)
My dad is a carnivore through and through, so his favorite part of the meal was the meatballs. I made Juli's delicious Breakfast Bacon & Maple Meatballs. I couldn't find worthy bulk sausage meat, so I used ground pork from Whole Foods and seasoned it with fennel, sage, salt and pepper. Everyone LOVED these.  While they weren't dry at all, my mom suggested serving them with honey mustard dip.

Finally I put together a spinach salad on the fly. The salad itself was baby spinach, golden raisins, sliced apples and pecans. I also roasted some sweet potato cubes with a little honey, cinnamon and salt which I used in lieu of traditional croutons. To dress it I whirred up a combo of mango chutney, olive oil, dry mustard and a pinch of curry powder. It was super yummy, though I had a rather chunky chutney which left the dressing a little lump.

I also had shrimp cocktail, which was enjoyed by all (including the cats, who swiped a few while we opened gifts!)
For dessert I had the apples in addition to some paleo gingersnaps and chocolate chip cookies which I whipped up. I will definitely be sharing the ginger cookie recipe in a separate post, as they were PERFECT. Soft and chewy, with the perfect kick of spice.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and will forgive my quickie post... definitely click through the links for the delicious meatball and muffin recipes, and enjoy your food and time with family!

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