Author Topic: best potluck foods?  (Read 4381 times)

scrubbyfish

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best potluck foods?
« on: December 02, 2014, 01:43:09 PM »
My new region has heaps of potluck dinners, which I'm very happy about. I've had a hard time determining what to bring, though. The first time I brought a large amount of a hot dish, but it sat in the cold outdoors for about an hour before the dinner started, so my lovely dish was cool and kinda yucky by the time we got to it. It seems that each person also only eats about 1/4 cup of each dish, if that, so I guess I only need to bring 2-3 cups of food, which looks pathetic. I'm not awesome at navigating leftovers for the two of us, so I prefer not making a dish for others and then end up with lots to portion/freeze/etc. At each gathering, we end up with anything from zero desserts to 6 desserts, and 2 mains to 8 mains, lol. They rarely have a salad/raw veggies, so that may be a good "in" for me, except that I only go to town weekly so the lighter veggies would not be very fresh.

What are some dishes that:

-are made of ingredients that can sit around for a week ahead of time
-are low-cost
-are easy to make
-are easy to transport via a short hike
-look great in a 3-cup total offering
-please a range of tastes and diet
-taste good even if they sit at room temperature or very cool temperature for up to an hour
-are a good eat the next day if there's some left over

Except for the "ingredients sitting around for a week ahead of time" I think a salad, perhaps with some salmon or chick peas added, may be my best bet. Any other ideas, though?

Something I can prepare days or weeks ahead, and just pull out of the freezer the morning of would be nice, too. I'm starting to envision some sort of dense-veggie + chickpea salad. Freeze the veggies in advance, add chickpeas before heading out?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 01:56:57 PM by scrubbyfish »

GizmoTX

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 02:06:08 PM »
This fall I've been bringing pumpkin mini muffins to several pot luck parties. They're made with whole wheat flour, honey, coconut oil, eggs, spices, some leavening ingredients, & of course canned pumpkin puree, so they're pretty healthy & taste great. The muffins travel well, don't need to be hot, & any leftovers can easily go home with you.

NumberCruncher

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 02:07:42 PM »
Freshly baked rolls or bread - maybe garlic bread or breadsticks?

Of course salad can include a number of types - pasta salad, etc...maybe a fruit salad? Or just a bunch of cut up fruit? Oh! Tabbouleh or some cous cous salad would be good http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/summer-garden-couscous-salad. Three bean salad http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Three-Bean-Salad-I/Detail.aspx...something with quinoa: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quinoa-and-black-beans/detail.aspx?

Edit: Almost forgot about cucumber salad: super cheap, tasty, and keeps well: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=354721
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 02:23:04 PM by NumberCruncher »

bogart

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 02:28:27 PM »
Deviled eggs?  Very inexpensive to make, and "fancy."

I often take brownies (made from a mix!) to potlucks.  No one's willing to admit they want them, and of course a few people (gluten-free, e.g.) genuinely must avoid them, but I rarely take any home.


1967mama

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 02:29:21 PM »
I made this salad for my family this week:

http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/broccoli-cranberry-and-almond-salad-with-feta/

and it was a huge hit! It is easy, tasty, and would look pretty in a small salad bowl.  If you are

doing a lot of potlucks, you could use a pretty cut glass bowl from the thrift store to take your

pretty salad in :0)

sandandsun

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 03:07:46 PM »
I keep these ingredients on hand specifically to have something to bring to work on short notice...

Mix one jar of marshmallow creme with one package of cream cheese- high speed mixer to fluff it... It's a fruit dip that can pair with most any fresh fruit- apple slices work well, canned orange slices...
I never make a single recipe- always double or triple it...

Be forewarned- it is addictive!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 03:09:31 PM by sandandsun »

2ndTimer

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2014, 03:11:00 PM »
Pea and Peanut salad

pkg frozen peas:  Place peas on stove in a little cold water.  Heat just to boiling.  When they boil drain them and rinse with cold water
1-3 Tbs finely chopped onion depending on how much you like
a little mayo to make it look salady
1 sm pkg peanuts.  Add these when you actually put the salad on the table so they don't get soggy.  Give it a final stir so it's uniformly mixed.

Catbert

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2014, 03:21:34 PM »
Roasted veggies.  Can be served hot or room temperate.  After cooking you can top with chopped parsley, feta, parmesan or whatever it you think it need spiffing up.  Or toss with a homemade oil and vinegar.

Grated carrot or beet salad.  Both are "sturdy" salads that can set out even after dressing is added.  For beets I use lime juice/olive oil dressing and mix in feta when serving.  Very pretty.  For my carrot salad I tend to go with Indian spices and preserved lemons, but there are lots of flavor profiles that work.

All are pretty cheap to make and can be varied depending on what's in season and what you have around the kitchen.

bogart

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2014, 04:50:26 PM »

Mix one jar of marshmallow creme with one package of cream cheese- high speed mixer to fluff it... It's a fruit dip that can pair with most any fresh fruit

My similarly "pairing" fruit dip = about 2/3 sour cream + 1/3 honey (or to taste).  But for quick potluck items, unless I've planned ahead, I often don't have easy fruit to pair it with.

GuitarJim

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2014, 07:20:04 PM »
If you are a home canner, I often take pickled items like asparagus, carrots, etc, along with various sausage and pepperonis.  Always a hit because almost nobody cans anymore.

EDSMedS

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2014, 07:29:08 PM »
Ensuring that you remain sensitive to potential allergy issues, nuts and nut butters are excellent!  I know they aren't entrees, but I am a grazer that likes to eat before and after I eat :)

To make nut (or seed) butter, throw some nuts (I recommend almonds, cashews, or UNSALTED sunflower seeds) in a food processor and let it whir for WAY longer than seems appropriate.  It will transition from whole, to chopped, to powder, to paste, to a whirring ball, to butter, to CREAMY butter.  If you bring nut butter, bring some crackers!

BetsyS

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Re: best potluck foods?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2014, 09:13:50 PM »
Quinoa tabbouleh uses ingredients that last well throughout the week, has a nice wow factor, and will make anyone gluten free in your group  very happy. Just add the parsley right before serving.