Last updated on April 12th, 2017
Eating low-carb at parties and events can be a challenge.
For example, a couple days ago, I was talking with a colleague about the menu for the annual meeting of an organization we both belong to. The plan, he told me, is Italian, which basically means pasta, bread and a salad. There will be a pasta dish with meat and a pasta dish without meat. I do not think there will be a pasta dish without carbohydrates.
In the morning, there will be coffee, juice, ice water and pastries.
I guess I’ll be having lots of salad and coffee. For the sake of variety, I can drink water, too. Maybe I’ll take some almonds with me. Fore-warned is fore-armed!
Then yesterday, Anita and I attended a family wedding. It happened to be our own 28th wedding anniversary. Our niece and her groom had much better weather for their big day than Anita and I had for ours. It poured rain on ours in 1983. We were married in the morning, and had a brunch reception. As I recall, our menu was carb-laden. We had an egg-casserole which had a Bisquick crust, pigs-in-the-blanket, cabbage rolls (with rice in them), rolls, fresh veggies, a fruit bowl, and a tossed salad. There were mints and peanuts on the tables. Dessert was, of course, wedding cake. Besides coffee, we had champagne and white wine to drink.
At yesterday’s reception, I was able to eat a better low-carb meal than at my own reception. For protein, our niece’s menu featured roast chicken and sausage in sauerkraut. No problems there. I avoided the pasta salad, rolls, and baked beans, and filled out my plate with salad greens and assorted raw veggies.
Of course, I also avoided the beer and wedding cake. I drank coffee and Anita had unsweetened iced tea. It’s hard to get too festive on coffee, but at least I was in no danger of getting drunk and making a spectacle of myself. I’d hate to be that kind of uncle.
Part of the conversation at our table last night was about another upcoming celebration, a joint birthday bash for several family members on Anita’s side. The dinner will be pot-luck. The basic plan is a taco bar — salsa, chips, tortillas, ground beef, cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped onions, etc. I can fix myself a taco salad, heavy with meat and cheese, so that’s OK for the main part. I’d like to have something low-carb to dip into salsa, though. Celery sticks would do, I suppose, or perhaps pork rinds. Of course, I will plop salsa on my taco salad.
The challenge isn’t so much about eating, as about eating festively.
Again there will be cake. Sometimes at these parties we’ve had one cake per guest, which seemed excessive, especially since I wasn’t eating any, even on my own birthday. At least the plan this time is to scale it back to a couple cakes. The gluten-level in the air should be tolerable. If it were summer, I’d bring along some fresh berries and a carton of heavy cream for a low-carb dessert, but this time of year I may settle for a large glass of red wine and a chunk of cheese.
The advantage of an informal, pot-luck affair is that you control your own destiny to a great extent.
If anyone has ideas for Mexican-themed low-carb dishes, or easy low-carb party desserts, let me know!