Kickin’ It with a Potluck and a Dash of Green

Kickin’ It with a Potluck and a Dash of Green

Feb 1st 2011

HoeDown watercolor painting of western silhouettes dancingBy Heidi Lauckhardt-Rhoades

This is the second half of a blog associated with party throwing.  This party happens to be the Super Bowl but it can be modified to any type of celebration, from a child’s birthday party to an impromptu after work hoe down with friends.

Just to rehash last week’s article, we talked about taking your party from the food/drink/mill-around scenario to the let’s-build-relationships-cooperate-and-remember-this shindig forever experience! We begin by asking everyone to bring a dish (you can specify here what type of food you are challenging people to bring; why not naked vegetables and dips under 10 kcals per serving? Or as we are having, a salad party.).  The start time for the party builds in an hour of activity; a practice, bootcamp or obstacle course.  The body of the party, in conjunction with food and drink, is made up of singing, dancing (ask people to bring mp3’s or CD’s with favorite playlists), team game playing (connecting people who do not know each other or know each other well: charades, fans of each team, teams of 3 to create cheers in 2 minutes or less), and then a collective clean up effort of the location: your home, a park pavilion, etc.

You can wind down the party with a game such as touch football, kick ball, volley ball, bocce ball, frisbee or combination thereof.  A pinata can also be a fun epilogue to a great fete.

Now to today’s blog, digging deeper into that community spirit and making your event as green as possible as well as providing some recipes for healthy, low calorie foods that will inspire meal planners for years to come with simple and quick recipe ideas.

People are crushed for time.  Rest and relaxation are vital ingredients for health and when we decide to organize and host a party, we are cutting into that R&R.  In order to conserve energy for yourself, as well as create a culture of respecting people’s time, it’s OK to ask that people bring a dish to share.  Secondly, when it comes to plates and cups, we are looking at two issues that could really put a crimp into the host’s energy as well as Planet Earth’s.  Disposable utensils require getting into the car and purchasing them, they also tax the planet by ending up in the landfill.  Create a new habit among your friends and extended network to bring their own plates, cups and utensils.  People can find simple kits among camping supplies or just bring what they have.  Create an easy place for soaking and rinsing as well as drying and voila!  Everyone goes home with clean plates!

Secondly, I advocate that we import a popular cultural movement from New Zealand called “worker bees”.  Worker bees represent the shared responsibility among friends and family to work together when hosting a party or going so far as painting a house or planting a garden (a future blog entry).  Why not implement this “innovative” answer to bearing the burden of clean up? The majority of people that you know offer to help anyway, why not take them up on it?  People can pick up the garbage, freshen up with wipes and glass spray, maybe run a vacuum or broom and when everyone vacates the house to play a mean game of touch football or kickball, the house is neat and orderly.  Carafes of hot chocolate, coffee or hot water for tea are easy enough to have out and clean up after your friends have left.

Despite the fiscal pressures of the Recession and the stress of tightening our belts or dealing with employment issues, I think these times have opened the door to a new social paradigm.  It has inspired our generation to seek out simple, collective ways to get together to share the joy of camaraderie through work, play and potlucks.  Super Bowl is the perfect time to kick off this new way to get together!

Recipe 1:

Fruit Dip:

1 packet fat free vanilla pudding

1 container low fat sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla

Tastes like cheesecake!  Serve with slice apples, pears, pineapples (be sure to coat apples and pears with lemon juice to prevent browning).

Recipe 2:

Curried apple Salad

Recipe 3:

Kale, cranberry and nut salad

Recipe 4:

Arugula, pear, sliced almond and shaved parmesan or Romano cheese salad

Recipe 5:

Cold quinoa salad

Recipe 6:

Crockpot Soup

Happy Partying!

In good Health,