Diabetes Dinner For Large Group
September 23, 2006
This evening was Rosh Hashanah - a holiday celebrating the Jewish New Year. We had family over our house and it was up to me to do the cooking. My wife is a good mother and takes care of me and the house, but I am the cook. For tonight's dinner I needed to prepare a dinner for 8 adults and 2 children. I usually do not make the traditional dinner foods, but this time I also had to make sure that there was food for me to eat as well. I have two big brother-in-laws that are also very big eaters, and a number of sister-in-laws that are not big eaters, but very, very picky (that includes my wife) and two kids who are picky by nature.
I decided to go healthy and make a meal that was balanced, healthy and fairly low-carb & low fat. To do this, I needed to give my guests a choice. What I did was prepare a meal that woudl include healthy courses, but provide a variety. This, of course, made it a little harder in some ways because I had to make more dishes, but at least everyone would be able to eat.
1st Course: Salad
I decided to take the salad idea and take it to a different level. I purchased all of the ingredients for salads: lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, eggs (which I boiled), mushrooms, etc (there were 15 ingredients in all), including a variety of salad dressings (all but one low-fat or low-sugar). I had also purchased closable disposable containers for each person to put their salads in. So at the dinner, everyone chooses their own ingredients, places it in their containers, closes them up and shakes. Everyone gets what they want - and it is healthy as well.
2nd Course: Hot Appetizers
If you remember from previous entries, I have a kosher house, so for the shrimp, I purchased mock-shrimp. Basically I just pan seared it with a little bit of low-fat butter and sugar free BBQ sauce. The soufflés were a little more time consuming. I purchased 12 ramekins. I made 4 different soufflés (using cholesterol free eggs) - onion & lox, peppers, onions & tomatoes, broccoli & broccoli, bacon (bacos) & mushrooms. Once again, there was a variety to choose from.
3rd Course: Main Entree
I just grilled a bunch of chicken cutlets on a grill-pan with some spices and I also roasted pieces of chicken in an oven with some herbs. Both were fairly easy to make and allowed me to make sauces for both.
It was the sauces that took the most time to make. Making a Pomodoro sauce from scratch is very time consuming, as were all the other sauces. Each sauce used either low-fat or low-sugar alternatives when possible.
3rd Course: Side Dishes
It took a little bit of timing to get all of these things ready for the main course, but none of them were really difficult to make. Once again, everyone got a decent healthy choice.
4th Course: Dessert
I made a fruit salad and asked people to bring dessert. I let them bring what they want without dietary restrictions. They brought cookies & cake. They did not bring any sugar-free deserts (I know it was an oversight on their part).
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