Potlucks. Do you love them or hate them? My feelings are mixed. In some ways they make things easier – you don’t have to cook as much, there is less clean up and there are more options for picky eaters. But, it is also possible to end up with a table full of desserts or five macaroni salads. So what’s a girl to do? How do you decide what to bring?
Depending on the venue I have a few standards that seem to go over well. Various salads, pasta dishes, fixings for individual tacos, shish kabobs. The usual. This past semester though I had to cook for a class potluck. A class of holistic nutrition students. Gulp. We were told to bring something that had lots of antioxidants and was exceptionally nutrient dense. Seemed easy. Then I started second guessing every idea and recipe I had. For someone with as many cookbooks as I, it was a nightmare come to life. Eventually I just chose one great ingredient, beets, and forced myself to make a decision. A bag of frozen blueberries, a few last resilient greens from the winter garden and some sunflower seeds later I ended up creating a salad unlike one I had put together before. Problem solved and a complete hit at the class potluck.
As I began plotting out meals for the upcoming Holiday week I was flipping through some notes from the last couple of months for inspiration and I found my
scribbles recipe for that potluck salad, I realized what a perfect holiday dish it would be. Colourful and flavourful yet chock full off beautiful raw nutrients to help counter balance some of the excess of the holiday season. So whether you have a potluck, a family dinner or simply a lunch to fill give it chance, it tastes far less healthy than it actually is. Enjoy.
4-8 kale leaves
1-2 collard leaves
1/2-1 cup chopped parsley (approx. 1 bunch)
1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen – but thaw before using)
1/2-1 cup quinoa
1 cup beets, shredded
2 Tbsp. chia or flax seeds
sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds to taste
3 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp. tumeric (curry powder would work in a pinch)
Mix all ingredients for salad dressing in a bowl or mason jar and set aside.
Boil water for quinoa, as per package instructions. (or remove leftovers from the fridge)
Put on plastic gloves. Wash beets, cut off their ends, peel, then grate peeled beets into a bowl. (If you have a white kitchen like mine, add beet splatter cleaning time into your prep….. just a hint)
Wash kale and collards. Cut out hard middle centre then roll leaves and cut into fine slices. Actually, it’s your kitchen. Cut them into any shape you want. Add to bowl with the beets.
Finely chop parsley. Add to bowl.
Add all remaining ingredients to bowl, with the exception of the blueberries. Drizzle dressing over top and toss until lightly coated. When salad only needs one or two more tosses add blueberries and gently toss together.