Party Planning and Recipe for Salmon Pate

With Super Bowl Sunday coming up many of you may be trying to figure out what kind of snacks. appetizers, and finger foods you are going to have that aren't sugar laden, carbo dense, sodium packing, and full of mystery preservatives. Well, my friends, it is not as hard as you'd think! You just have to be willing to take a few minutes pre-game time and whip up a few delicious and nutritious treats that everyone will love.

Here are some simple rules to following for a flawless Super Bowl Party (or any other party!!)
1. Make a menu at least 2 days in advance.
2. Make a shopping list as you make your menu.
3. Go shopping at least 2 days in advance- why? Because if the store is out of something you will have enough time to go somewhere else. Also, spreading out the tasks will reduce stress when it comes time for the big bash.
4. Create your preparation/cooking plan of attack the day before- figure out how long it will take to prepare each item on your menu. Start with the longest cooking and most involved items first.
5. Clean your kitchen/food prep area so you won't be crowded. Also, if needed, clean out your fridge so you will have room to store menu items pre-made that require refrigeration.

Extra Planning Tips
1. Ask other people to bring stuff! And feel free to request specifics: pre-cut veggies for the dips, a cheese spread, shrimp cocktail, some good red wine... If you don't request specifics expect something that isn't a whole food. Besides, most people appreciate not having to think for themselves :)
2. If it is cold enough outside, use Mother Nature as a back up refrigerator.
3. Don't stress if all the food isn't ready by game start. Considering the 4+ hours of entertainment people are going to be eating until the end. Have some stuff that isn't ready until half time!
4. Figure out what can be prepped/made the day before, and do it!
5. Utilize a slow cooker for hot dips, chicken wings, meatballs, mini sausages, and other finger foods that people can self serve.
6. Use the party to get rid of food that is "taking up space" in your fridge and/or cabinets. This will help cut food costs for the event and the stress of hanging onto food you really don't want anymore.

Food Ideas
1. Guacamole- classic! Full of flavor and healthy fats. And if you serve it in smaller bowls then you are less likely to "over-scoop" if you are worried about calorie consumption.
2. Salsa- Make some nut crackers to use for dipping
3. Crab Dip- goes great with nut crackers, pre-cut veggies, or veggie chips
4. Hot Taco Dip- Mix shredded chicken, cheese, salsa, and seasonings in your slow cooker for a few hours. Use carrot sticks or other veggies as dippers.
5. Hot Artichoke Dip- serious crowd pleaser!
5. Cheese spread- seriously, who doesn't love a good cheese spread. Pair with nut crackers or radish slices
6. Shrimp cocktail- another classic!
7. Weiner dogs- put 'em in a sauce in a slow cooker with a bowl of toothpicks for self serving
8. Meatballs- same!
9. Chicken wings- bake, fry, or slow cook to perfection for everyone's classic palate pleasure.
10. Add your ideas as a comment below! Here are some ideas from other whole foods inspired blogs... MDA, Everyday Paleo, Health-Bent, Primal-Plate

Here is a dip idea that is super simple and super healthy.

Salmon Pate

The Food
- 1 14oz can salmon
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 8 scallions, divided
- Juice of 1 lime

The Prep
Slice 7 of the scallions into rounds

The Method
Drop the salmon, avocado, and 7 sliced scallions in the food processor
Mix to desired texture
Drizzle with lime juice to prevent browning
Garnish with last scallion, sliced

Enjoy :)

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