Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Real Food Barbecue

My in-laws are health nuts. That is to say, if you think I'm health-conscious, you ain't see nothin'.

Having them over for a barbecue is the ultimate test of my ability to serve real, healthful food. Inviting them to dinner used to terrify me, but now I see it as inviting over willing participants in my attempt to create good, healthy food.

The menu:

elk burgers
corn on the cob
German chocolate cake
Strawberry lemonade

Okay, so the cakes fails. It's whole wheat, organic evaporated cane juice, local eggs... but it's also store-bought coconut, chocolate, evaporated milk and all kinds of other junk that definitely does NOT qualify as healthy. But it's also my husband's birthday cake, and birthdays are a good reason to eat junk food. So we're going to overlook the cake.

We should probably also overlook the store-bought buns. I did buy the "healthy" version of hamburger buns, but I was just too overwhelmed with cleaning and preparing to think about making twenty homemade buns on top of everything else.

I made the ketchup, ranch dressing, and balsamic dressing from scratch. Having mason jars full of condiments on the table pleases me - much more attractive than Heinz and Hidden Valley plastic squeeze bottles. I'll set out some pickled asparagus and some homemade seasoned goat cheese with crackers for those who want to snack before dinner.

Burgers and salad both use lettuce. That was my primary reason for inviting 16 people to my house at one time - to see if they can start to make a dent in the lettuce that is threatening to take over our back yard. If they're willing, I'll also send my guests home with two or three bags - each. Lettuce makes a good party favor, right?


Just Me said...

The cake may not be AS healthy as a lot of things you make. But definitely healthier and more real than a store bought cake or a cake from a mix would be.

I posted something you might find interesting on Facebook the other day. School district re-2 (Rifle's school district) has actually gone back to having their school cooks COOK. And serving real(er) food than they have in years.

It was nice to see that there is a start toward getting school to feed kids better again.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Love the party favors!!! I'll have to remember that... maybe I'm not quite so nuts as I once imagined: I have a tendency to send folks home with things like ground flax seed to put in their freezer and baggies of kelp. Never thought of it as a party favor, but I love it!!!
Go you-- your BBQ sounds about as good as it gets ;-)

Wendy said...

sounds wonderful! I bet it was a gorgeous spread. I'd thought about making ketchup one year. You like it? I read the recipe and had to wonder if it'd be worth the time!! Then again, I did see some really cute canning jars in the shape of bottles (I guess they'd be called canning bottles then).