Impromptu Dinner Party

I wasn’t comfortable having people over for dinner before starting the blog. I always thought the meal would end up burnt, undercooked, or just plain bad tasting.

But like they say, practice makes perfect. While I might not be perfect, I am definitely a lot more confident. Plus, it doesn’t hurt having a blog filled with a collection of my favorite recipes to fall back on.

When my sister invited herself and her boyfriend over for dinner last night I knew I had what it took to whip up something pronto.

And if all else failed, we knew the dogs would keep them entertained…

The menu

The goal was to find quick recipes that I could prepare in the morning, refrigerate and whip out when I needed them.

In total, I spent 1 hour prepping in the morning and 30 minutes throwing stuff in the oven/ice cream maker before their arrival. Mission accomplished.

It was a bright and sunny day today so I wanted the table to pop with color. I grabbed a bunch of random bright colored bowls and mats from the creativity room and dressed up the table for the season.

I knew I wanted to serve yams to get rid of the collection we seem to have started over our last couple of grocery runs. 4 bags of yams in the house is just not good for anyone involved. If it were up to me I’d make one huge batch of mashed yam and live off it for 2 weeks. Gosh that stuff is killer… but I digress.

I was stumped on how to prepare these… until I remembered my omega crouton recipe. Omega yams?

Oh heck yes.

Slow Baked Omega Yams

Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

Omega croutons meet yams. My gosh, I should have made more of these!

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized organic yams, cubed – yield about 4 cups or so
  • 3 tablespoon flax seed
  • 3 tablespoon shelled hemp seed
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbamare
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  2. Place everything but yams in a big mixing bowl. Stir to combine, then add cubed yams. Stir to coat before laying out on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 95 minutes, or until tender on the inside and a bit crunchy on the outside.

I wanted to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, so I decided to slow roast the chicken too. I threw it in about 10 minutes after the yams went in. To make life even easier, I used our digital turkey thermometer [Superstore - $9.99] and set it to beep when the temperature hit 180F.

Dinner couldn’t get any easier.

Herby Chicken Rub

Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free

Douse your chicken in herbs!

Ingredients

  • 2 full organic chicken breasts – 4 servings
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast free vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbamare
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a casserole dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all spices and oil. Rub over top of the chicken before placing in casserole dish [lid off] and throwing in the oven until cooked to an internal temperature of 180F.

Ice cream is one of the easiest desserts to prepare ahead of time. I made the chocolate mixture in the morning, then let it sit in the fridge for the day. 3 hours before they were heading over, I let our ice cream maker do the magic before dumping the ice cream in a glass container and allowing to freeze.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

So creamy and so dairy free.

Ingredients

  • 3.5 cups lite unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon soy lecithin *see note

Directions

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth.

Ice cream maker style: place mixture in your ice cream maker and allow to churn until desired consistency is met.Place the ice cream in a freezer safe container and allow to freeze for 2-3 hours before serving.

Freezer style: pour into 2 freezer safe bowls and place in the freezer for at total of 1.5-2 hours, removing every 30 minutes to whisk so that it doesn’t set into an ice cube. When it gets to a soft serve ice cream consistency it’s done!

note: the lecithin thickens up the ice cream perfectly, giving it a very creamy consistency. Adding 1/8 teaspoon gelatine is great too, but the recipe would no longer be vegan.

We had a perfect amount of food, conversation, ridiculous jokes…

and the ice cream wasn’t half bad either ;)

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