These healthy hostessing tips from Chef Ariane Resnick are spot on. Cooking for a mixed crowd of vegan, paleo and couldn’t care less guests requires the perfect balance of mystery and disclosure! Chef Ariane’s expertise in this area comes as no surprise – she’s cooked for some of the most famous healthy eaters out there (most recently spending the summer in the Hamptons with Ms. Paltrow herself) and is included on the roster of new private cooking services, Kitchensurfing. Her Kitchensurfing menus for the holidays include Totally the Most Angelean Holiday Dinner. Like, Ever., a super healthy holiday meal that Ariane can make for groups big and small. Take note of Ariane’s tips, including this safe-for-all-diets recipe, and begin doling out that holiday avocado mousse drama-free
Chef Ariane’s 6 Simple Tips For Everyone Invited
Focus on whole foods:
The fewer ingredients something has, the more likely it is that people with restrictions can eat it.
Don’t divulge secret ingredients until after food has been tasted. I learned quickly that saying, “This chocolate pudding is made out of avocados,” made some people refuse to try it. But when I just said, “Here, pudding,” and handed them a spoonful, then told them afterwards what they were eating, reviews were always rave. Allow people time to enjoy what they think they’re consuming before letting them in on your healthy secrets; all you need to mention in advance are the important factors, like, “This pudding is dairy-free.”
Avoid healthy buzz words:
To expand on the above, avoid healthy buzz words whenever possible. The idea of nutritious food is ridiculously off putting for many, so use terms like “plant-based” for vegan dishes, and “flourless” (when applicable) for gluten-free ones.
Taste the rainbow:
Rainbows are pretty, and so can your food be. Fall and winter bring amazing heirloom vegetables to the table; everything from purple potatoes to calico corn can enliven simple dishes. Visual appeal is KEY to turning your friends and family into happy diners.
To each her own:
Everyone loves their very own anything. Mini pumpkins used as soup bowls, acorn squash as the crust of individual pot pies, and stuffed peppers all make people feel special, because they get their own. Who wants a scoop of something squishy when they can have a baby pumpkin on their plate to spoon soup out of instead?
Pomegranate Granita Recipe
vegan, gluten-free, paleo, fat-free
32 oz. pomegranate juice (preferably fresh, but bottled is okay, as long as it’s 100% pomegranate, and not a blend)
2/3 cup coconut sugar
In a small pot, boil pomegranate juice down with coconut sugar over medium heat until volume is reduced by 1/3.
Let cool completely.
Pour mixture into a baking dish and place in freezer.
Fluff/stir with a fork once an hour for several hours, until mixture has progressed from slush to a firm, chunky iced texture.
To serve, scoop granita into festive cups or glasses, layering with fresh pomegranate seeds, if desired. Garnish with a twist and slice of clementine.
I like your focus on whole foods, but please don’t hide secret ingredients! Many people who have one food intolerance also have others. For example, I have celiac disease and would happily eat a bowl of gluten-free chocolate pudding — but I also am sensitive to a few vegetables (which I might not mention if they weren’t obvious ingredients) and would feel sick after eating that much avocado. Plus, even well meaning hosts don’t always understand all the possible sources of an allergen, so it’s best to run everything by your guests if they’re on a special diet for medical reasons.
I watched Ariane on a cooking show a few weeks ago. I believe it may have been Chopped. Her story was very inspiring! You cooked your heart out! Love for what you stand for 🙂