Low fat, low carb food ideas for a baby shower?
I am throwing a baby shower for a friend of mine, and will be making most of the food myself. Normally I have a whole arsenal of recipes to use for something like this. However, the mom to be has gestational diabetes and said she cannot have too much of anything high in fat or carbs. So, I'm looking for some ideas that will fit her dietary restrictions. I was thinking some kind of grilled chicken skewer with veggies, but other than that I'm at a loss. We are getting cupcakes from a friend's shop, so I'm going to work with her to see about doing them sugar free or something, so desserts aren't really needed. The party is an hour away from my home so things that I can make ahead and/or are good at room temperature or cold would be helpful. It won't be a large party, 20 people tops.
So chowers, how about it? Any good ideas? :)
I catered the food for my best friend's shower back in Nov. 35 people. Here's what I did:
1. Pulled Pork (I used a oven this time but slow cooker is just as good I think and prefer it for ease). Easily done 1-2 days prior.
2. Roasted Pork Loin Roast (the full 10# roast not the tiny loins). Super easy. Medium. I did this the morning of the event and brought it with me.
3. Oven-roasted Jerked Chicken. Cut breasts into thirds, marinate with walker's wood. Then roast at 350 until just barely done - this should be done just before the party.
4. Steamed broccoli
5. Steamed brussels sprouts
6. Steamed green beans
7. Rice (for anyone that wanted a carb)
8. Salad (actually went almost untouched - so next time I would only make 1/4 of what I did)
9. Custom homemade sauce (see below). This was a HUGE hit.
Sam's club and other places have great prices on large chafing dish setups. I have a bunch of these now and they are super helpful for large parties.
The broccoli and brussels sprouts (quartered) were simply steamed, then tossed with olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Easy and they were devoured.
The green beans were prepped the day before, steamed, then tossed with olive oil that had first been sauteed with lots of pureed roasted garlic, kosher salt and pepper and some srirachi hot sauce (rooster brand). I possibly also tossed in a bit of balsamic vinegar and/or rice vinegar for some acidity. I don't recall but I often do that with green beans. You could also toss in bacon or pancetta but as I already had 2 pork dishes I didn't this time.
If you really want to kick it up a notch, you can do a whole beef tenderloin, medium-rare. We can get that here for $7 a pound but that adds up. The pork is only $2 a pound for the whole loin at sam's club. And the chicken breasts were also only $2. The pork shoulder is about $1.70 per pound. But you'll lose nearly half of it between water loss and bones.
JEFF'S SIGNATURE SAUCE
Here's the sauce that i serve with pulled pork. All home-made and my own recipe.
1. Rough chop 2 cups of onion
2. Puree onion in blender with at least 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil. It may take more oil to get it smooth. Don't be shy about adding more oil, as needed during this step.
3. Add 4 TB of garlic. It can be minced, chopped or roasted - take your pick. IMO roasted is best
4. Puree the heck out of it
5. Pour into 5+ dutch oven, set to low flame and slowly simmer for 15 min.
6. Whisk occasionally as needed
7. Incorporate two 6oz cans tomato paste, whisk in and slowly simmer for 5-10 min
Now this is your BASE. From here, you can modify what I do, to suit what you want for that meal, that day, that experience. Next steps for me are usually something like this:
8. Add 2 TB chili paste or Sriracha chili sauce (or 1 of each). Whisk!
9. Taste. Add more chili paste or srirachi, 1 TB at a time, if desired (I usually go with 4 TB total). Whisk!
10. Add 1-3 tsp Kosher salt. Add 1 at a time and taste, add more as needed.
11. Add lots of fresh ground black pepper. Whisk!
12. Taste. Add more salt/pepper as needed. Whisk!
13. Add 1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (fire without flavor). Whisk!
14. Add 1 tsp balsamic vinegar. taste. add 1 more if desired. Alternate is good soy sauce. Whisk!
15. Add 2 TB dried fenugreek leaves (methi). The measurement is approximate. I just crush a "good-sized bunch of it" between my hands, rubbing them back and forth so they are like powder and toss it in. Whisk in, and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Taste. Add more if you like. As far as I'm concerned, adding more is a good thing. Dried is the key - don't use fresh. It's readily available at any indian grocery and is very cheap and is absolute MAGIC.
At this point, the sauce should be very flavorful, with a good balance of heat, salt/pepper, depth and complexity. It can well be used as is. But ... I like to finish it off by adding 1/2 can of coconut milk. Taste and add more coconut milk if you like, say 1/4 can at a time.
This sauce is one of my signature sauces, is great on pork, beef, eggs, veggies, etc. While you are doing the sauce, it's easy to prep and cook other things. The entire sauce is done low and slow, with whatever breaks you need to take to do other stuff in the kitchen.
If you need more sauce than this, just start with more onion to start with, and then a bit more garlic accordingly. But this recipe will get you about 1 quart or so.
If you have a crockpot, etc - put it in fat side up, with just a touch of water to cover the bottom. Set to low, cover and it will be done - weight depending - in about 8-10 hours. Don't worry about overcooking it. It's nearly impossible to do so. You really want the collagen to liquify. So the meat in the thick part and not right next to the bone - should register 200 degrees. The thermometer will just slide right in. If it resists a bit then even before you see the numbers, it's not there yet.
If you cover your crockpot with foil (with a few holes poked in it) - before putting the cover over the foil - this will get to done faster.
In the oven, it's 225. Rub with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Fat side up on roasting dish, etc - I use my broiler pan as it catches the drippings nicely. Let it get to 150-160 then wrap foil around the entire top and sides and then check on it in 2 more hours. It may well take more time beyond that.
Trust me - it is impossible to mess up one of these. Low and slow is how you'll get there and let it get all the way to 200 so that it just falls apart. When it's done, let it sit for 20-30 min then shred it. And season anyway that you like. I use extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper as my base. And then from there do different things as my mood strikes, with homemade sauces, chilis, peppers, srirachi sauce, etc.
Enjoy and good luck!
Lots! How about some pinwheel sandwiches, made with low-carb tortillas or wraps, spread with flavored neufchatel (low-fat cream cheese) or goat cheese and thinly sliced meat/vegetables? Rye crisp crackers (which are relatively low in carbs for their surface area), again with any type of lower-fat topping. Stuffed mushrooms with turkey or chicken sausage and just enough breadcrumbs to bind the filling slightly. Fruit with a splenda-sweetened low-fat sour cream or yogurt dip. A cheese plate with some lower fat choices. Chicken or shrimp salad with a lower-fat dressing served in lettuce cups, cucumber cups or avocado halves. Summer rolls in rice paper (since rice paper is so thin, it's not too carby). Chicken (or other lean meat) meatballs in a non-sweet sauce. That should get you started!