Alright you MDC beauties, I need some advice and/or ideas.
I am wanting to have a party for my DD's first birthday as some of our friends/family haven't even met her yet. I want to do this as healthy/organic as possible while keeping it as CHEAP as I can.
Hard, yes; impossible, NAY!
Recipes and ideas needed. Thank you!
P.S. It will be located in a park, with grills, this summer. As I stated, below meat / no meat ideas are fine.
(edited to add the P.S)
I love doing a ton of little snacks for parties, so maybe finger foods?
You could do tea sandwiches and make your own bread - salmon salad (I just got some from Trader Joe's and it's wild and was like $3?), cucumber and cream cheese, peanut butter and jam, and things like that...served with maybe some cold salads (chick pea? cucumber and tomato) and things like hummus or mini quiche, etc?
If you schedule it between meals, you could probably get away w not much more than that.
For DS's 1st, i did hummus w/veg, a cold cut tray, a cheese tray and a tray of bread and crackers. People could make sandwiches, cheese and crackers or dip to their own preference. I had my stepmother bring deviled eggs and my aunt bring piroshki (hand held meat pies). I added a tray of cut fruit and called it good.
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I like to make this for outdoor parties. Serve it with corn tortilla chips. It has a lot of ingredients, but they are mostly pantry/garden staples and/or pretty cheap. Also, I never roast the corn, I just dump it thawed into the rest of the salad.
roasted corn & black bean salad
1 lb package of frozen corn
1 TBSP oil
1 TBSP Kosher salt
3/4 tsp cumin
6 TBSP fresh lime juice
3 TBSP oil
2 TBSP cider vinegar
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 plum tomatoes, chopped (3/4 cup)
2 jalapeno chilis, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
2 tsp minced garlic
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large avocadoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. pieces (2 cups)
Heat oven to 450. In medium bowl, combine corn and 1 TBSP oil, toss to coat. Spread corn in ungreased 15x10x1 baking pan. Bake at 450 for 18-22 minutes or until corn begins to trun light golden brown, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Cool 10 min.
Meanwhile, in small jar with tight fitting lid, combine all dressing ingredients and shake until well blended.
In large bowl, combine chopped cilantro, onion, tomatoes, chilis, red bell pepper, garlic, beans and roasted corn. Mix well. Add dressing; mix well. Add avocados, toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 6 hours.
Makes 16 1/2 cup servings, 130 calories.
For snack/finger foods type offerings:
asparagus in a blanket (like pigs in a blanket but healthier!)
7 layer dip/taco dip
cheese and crackers
fruit kabobs or fruit salad
mini sandwiches or pinwheels
ants on a log (this is more for the kids but its fun and yummy!)
veggies and dip
hummus with pita bread
spinach and artichoke dip (okay, this one isn't healthy but its delicious)
cream cheese and veggies wraps- soften up some cream cheese, mix in some salt/pepper and spread on tortillas, top with grated carrots, spinach, etc (whatever is on sale!) and wrpa up. Makes pretty, colorful slices and babies love it. Or do sweet ones with raisins, nuts, honey, etc
wild tuna salad on whole grain crackers or cucumber slices, or chicken salad
veggie tray w/ homemade or store bought dip
cheese plate. Why be boring? get some brie, some chevre, smoked cheddar... arrange on a wooden tray with grapes, bread, honey, and salami for a really nice presentation. My DS loved this at his party, but he has a taste for strong cheese...
deviled eggs, again!
cut fruit tray with or without dip
If you're going for a meal-centric party you can try big pasta dishes, like fettucine alfredo or spaghetti and serve it with blackened chicken (*drool*) or italian sausage. Stir fries with lots of veggies are good and cheap.
for sweets if you are doing, you can make mini tarlets in a mini-muffin pan with regular pie crust and any filling. I have made pumpkin, apple and cream (as in cream pie). Carrot cake or muffins in good too and there are great recipes with low/no sugar and lots of healthy add-ins. Baked apples, cored and filled with cinnamon and honey or maple syrup are divine served in a bowl with fresh or whipped cream.
We did tacos for my dd's last birthday:
I made refried pintos with dried beans -- very cheap, taco meat with venison, corn tortillas (we're gluten free), grated some cheddar, chopped a couple heads of lettuce, you could grate some carrot or get a couple cans of olives if you like that, I had some salsa and sour cream too.
I also like to do snacks. It is often cheap to buy a bag of apples, oranges, and carrots and cut them up. Whatever else is cheap, celery, cucumbers, grapes, pears, melon, etc. You can buy some yogurt to dip, spice it up for veggies or add a little maple syrup and lemon juice for fruits.
Cheese and crackers, chips and salsa or bean dip, you can just make a few dips to have around for veggies, chips, and crackers/bread like hummus, salsa, bean dip, sour cream or yogurt dip, etc.
I love to make a big batch of popcorn and melt half butter and half honey to drizzle over it -- it's always a big hit.
I like to make a big batch of punch from fruity tea, fruit juice, maybe some carbonated water, etc.
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