Contributed by Tiffany Silverberg
Potlucks are made for community. They celebrate togetherness and allow everyone to get involved. They also can make dinner preparation a bit easier for everyone by requiring only one item or dish from each family. Everyone can enjoy a varied and delicious meal, without all the work and cleanup of preparing a host of different dishes. Bring your community together – maybe your group of friends, your neighborhood, your book club, or even your family – once a week for a potluck and enjoy the various benefits of healthy potluck recipes.
A potluck plan may spring naturally from a conversation of “We should do this every week” or it may take some effort on your part to get everyone together. The easiest way to start is with a common day, time and location every week so everyone can remember. It may be at a neighborhood park or pool. Or you may want to offer your backyard or kitchen. Make sure there is plenty of room for everyone to converse and spread out their tasty dishes. You can choose a theme for each week. You may even want to volunteer to make the main course and have everyone bring ingredients or dishes to coordinate. Whatever your theme, begin with some healthy potluck recipes.
Pasta makes for a delicious canvas for a diverse number of toppings and side dishes. Whether you call it Italian night or Pasta extravaganza, let your fellow potluckers know that you will be making a Simple Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce. Others might choose to bring their favorite pasta dishes – such as fettuccini alfredo, mac and cheese or even lasagna. Alternatively, they might want to bring a salad or a dessert. For those who are limited on time or resources, encourage them to bring a topping, such as parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes.
Chili is one of many classic healthy potluck recipes. For a fun twist on a potluck, you can encourage everyone to bring their favorite chili and have a chili cookoff. Crockpots may it easy to serve a number of chilis all at once – and keep them warm. Let diners vote anonymously and find out who brought the best! Don’t forget favorite toppings and stir-ins, such as cheddar cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, or jalapenos. To liven up the meal, you can ask others to bring side dishes or desserts to cool down the heat, such as ice cream.
Healthy potluck recipes can quite easily include tacos or fajitas. Everyone can make them as healthy – or unhealthy – as they want for themselves. People might make a bunch of drippy tacos or a plateful of taco salad. All you have to make is a big pot of taco meat. If you’re serving a lot of people, you can make a few options, including chicken, beef, and maybe a vegetarian bean. Then ask everyone to bring items to include in their tacos, as well as tortillas and tortillas chips. Cheese, avocado, salsa, pico de gallo, lettuce, hot chilis, peppers, onions, cilantro, and more can be lined up for guests to fill a plate with their customized tacos.
Nothing says healthy potluck recipes like a salad. But before your potluckers revolt, remind them that the definition of salad is up to them! You can make a filling Club Pasta Salad or something full of kale and quinoa. Guests can bring their favorite salad, perhaps including a fruit salad, veggie salad, or something completely original. Enjoy chatting about everyone’s take on the word salad while indulging in a varied meal.