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going to a special potluck—help!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
there is going to be a potluck lunch after a speaker's presentation—a relatively small group of guests (30ish), but i am the one who invited the guest speaker and organized the affair. i want to make something special, and i realize all of my meals are extremely humble (a la rice&beans).

what is your go-to dish for special occasions? ideally something without rare or pricey ingredients would be great.

i am thinking entree, or appetizer that would be easily a healthy entree if you ate extra portions.

thanks, mamas!
post #2 of 4
You could always do a fancy looking pasta salad. Or my favorite is a layered bean dip (refried beans topped with sour cream, salsa, cheese, avocado, onion, olives etc...) & a bag of tortilla chips if you want something yummy that could be a meal for you, but doesn't have to be 'fancy'
post #3 of 4
For "special" I always go for appetizers (make anything bite-sized and it's immediately cooler) or desserts. Can you do eggs? Deviled eggs are always popular and you can use an icing tip to make them pretty.

Or how about individual tarts? You can make them in a mini-muffin pan and do either sweet or savory.
post #4 of 4
i like this and it's pretty.....

Pasta with Fresh Shiitakes,
Tomatoes and Basil
Adapted from The Voluptuous Vegan
1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 T plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 T shoyu or tamari
8 oz short whole wheat pasta such as fusilli or
gemelli
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut to 1/2” dice
(4 cups)
1 cup basil, chiffonade (explained in tips)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the stems from
the shiitake mushrooms and discard or save for
stock. Thinly slice the caps. In a medium bowl, toss
the mushrooms with 2 tablespoons of the oil and
shoyu or tamari. Spread on a baking sheet and
roast for 20-30 minutes, until the mushrooms shrink
and become crispy. Set aside for garnish.
Meanwhile in a large pot of boiling, salted water,
cook the pasta until it is barely al dente. Drain. If
not serving immediately, toss with a bit of olive oil to
prevent it from sticking together and drying out.
Warm the 1/2 cup of oil in a large pot or skillet. Add
the garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until the oil is
simmering and the garlic just starts to color. Add the
diced tomatoes and stir until they are hot. Add the
drained pasta and basil and stir over medium heat
until warmed through. Salt to taste. Serve immediately
and garnish with the shiitakes.
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