As the weather turns, I have started thinking about holiday entertaining and potlucks, and reading this book about potluck recipes. Recipes for entertaining cannot be finicky, should have some element of "do-ahead"and need to be stable while on the table.
Tuscan Kale Salad: healthy, vegan and raw. Doesn't need to be heated or cooled and is really delicious. Most people haven't seen this variety of kale before either.
Broccoli Crunch Salad: remove the bacon if you're worried about temps or cooking for vegetarians.
Spinach Chana dal: fresh tasting and everything can be ready and waiting, just stir the spinach in at the last moment.
African Sweet Potato Peanut Stew: vegan, cheap and superbly delicious. You can have this bubbling away on the stove.
Miso-Broiled Salmon- very quick to make and a sure crowd-pleaser
Thai Salad with Rice Noodles-easy since you use a supermarket roasted chicken, and assemble prior to the party
Dal Curry- great for vegans/vegeterians, makes large volume with little effort, cheap!
French Lentil Mediterranean salad: meatless but still "meaty" tasting. Great for summer.
Slow Cooker Beef & Potato Tinga: serve with soft tortillas. Make sure folks have spoons and plates for this one!
Dips & Spreads
Mexican Layer Dip: serve with soft corn tortillas or non-gmo tortilla chips
Spicy Garlic Bean Dip- serve with crackers or a veggie tray, vegan/healthy
Spicy Mango Sauce- livens up meats, more exciting than cranberry sauce
Herbed Goat Cheese: simply blend goat cheese with herbs and olive oil instead of buying the expensive kinds at the store. Or make a fromage fort by mixing grated cheddar and other cheese. Or make a cheese ball using cheddar + cream cheese and herbs. Serve with mini toasts.
Chai Tea- more exotic than the standard chocolate, and still accessible to kids and adults. Make a big batch, it keeps in the fridge for several days.
Berry Crisp: assemble ahead, then warm in the oven. You can even assemble then freeze and use later.
Vegan Raw-ish Apple Crisp: easy like the berry crisp- good for autumn when you can get good apples cheaply.
Biscotti: great for a cookie platter. Looks distinguished but you can do all the work ahead and pull out of the freezer at the last moment.
Chocolate Budino Puddings- prep ahead and keep these in ramekins in the fridge, then pop in the oven for showtime
English Toffee with Almonds- a little prep, but you can do a few weeks ahead and put out on the candy platter