Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Picky Eater Party


Monica Bhide described a funny story; she ‘likes to throw dinner parties.’  She takes pride in creating memorable meals, but a few weeks before a recent get-together, she was in a quandary:  several friends and family members were banning certain foods from their diets.  Her husband was on a strict Atkins regimen, 2 friends were  detoxing(in their cases eating only raw foods), another decided to go vegan, her neighbor, she reported, swore off wine, and her best friend resolved not to eat anything man-made (meaning nothing out of a box), her husband was off sugar(real and fake), another friend was on a seafood diet ( not, see food and eat it either), and her own daughter was juicing.  And then there were some new friends whose kids thought grilled cheese was too exotic.  A weaker soul would have been discouraged, but Monica took it as a challenge.  Imagine: So what if Jack sprat nursery rhyme was coming to life in her home. (Remember? “Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could heat no lean.”)

A honey and cheese tasting was prepared (the Atkins folks ate the cheese and left the honey; they kids ate the honey and left the cheese,) sweet tamarind shrimp on a stick (for the seafood and protein lover,)spicy cheese palmiers (for the all-natural folks,)curried egg salad on spinach (for her sugar-free pal,) and fresh fruit platter (for the detoxers and vegans.) For the kids, she made pigs in blankets, grilled chicken with a sweet peanut dip, and Jell-O jigglers.  For grab-and-go side, she made an Indian-style trail mix and the all-time favorite popcorn tossed with fresh herbs and serves in paper cones.  And for dessert:  mini-cupcakes, piled into a tower.  Finally, she serves Shirley Temples, Indian-style cold coffee, and lots of choices of flavored and unflavored waters.

The parrrrrrrrrtay, began.  The adults oohed and aahed over the unusual honey and cheese parings and cooled coffee.  Of course, the kids loved—and I mean loved—the popcorn.

Just as a silent pat on the back was happening, a friend, the only one not on a diet came up and said,”This is very cute, but where’s the food?”  Next, time, ordering pizza is the only way to go.



  1. 2 T fresh lemon juice
  2. 2 T prepared tamarind-date chutney
  3. 2 T honey
  4. 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  5. 1 tsp red chili flakes
  6. 1 tsp coriander seeds
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 lbs shrimp peeled and deveined
  9. 3 tsp oil


  1. In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, chutney, honey, ginger chili flakes, coriander, and salt.  Mix well; add the shrimp and toss well to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. About 10 minutes before serving time, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-heat.  Just before the oil starts smoking add the shrimp and marinade to the pan.
  3. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until the shrimp and pink and no longer translucent.  Transfer to a serving bowl and pour any liquid from the pan over the shrimp.  Serve warm.

Nutrients per serving:

169 calories, 23g protein, 8g carbohydrates, og fiber, 5g fat (1g saturated fat) 172 mg cholesterol, 243 mg sodium

Serves: 8, Serving size: 3 shrimp per skewer

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