Last week was one of those weeks where I couldn’t keep the days straight and no matter what day it was it was one day closer to Christmas. I had a lovely Christmas at the beach spending time with part of my family, then I returned home to have more family visit. There’s nothing better than being able to share quality time with people you love. We had the best weekend doing absolutely nothing but watching old home videos… and now some how it’s officially New Years! Someone please explain to me where the year has gone?
It’s safe to say this time of year can often be difficult to keep it clean and stay on track to meet your 2015 goals all while still allowing yourself to have some indulgence. That part is important though, it’s okay to indulge. There is no one telling you what you can and cannot eat, everything is a choice and if choose to eat the chocolate then enjoy doing it! And certainly don’t beat yourself up for it.
One of my not-so-guilty pleasures happens is the salty and sweet flavors joined together. It satisfies the craving I have for two different sensations. I understand why chocolate covered potato chips were created – I really do (though I have never tried them) I am totally in the consumer pool for that type of indulgence.
My palate for these flavors increased during my time spent living in Florence, Italy. Italians know how to combine salty meats with all types of fruits, jams, preserves, spices and cheeses. I ate my weight in wasabi fig jam with Pecorino cheese while there. It’s where I fell in love with prosciutto wrapped melon and the place where I discovered real balsamic. One balsamic I sampled was as thick as molasses and was well over $100!
Of course, this was all before I changed my lifestyle preferences.
Fortunately, when I looked at creating an autoimmune protocol friendly antipasti (meaning before dinner) platter there weren’t too many components missing from my salty sweet pairings. I tried to think of a way to incorporate indulgence, nutrient density, small bites and easy preparation.
It has all my favorite things inspired by my adoration for salty and sweet flavors. I am telling you, these flavors are heaven and I’d sit down and just eat this for dinner, if it didn’t defeat the purpose of having a “before dinner” snack.
Many of these recipes require little to NO cooking because they are things I eat regularly and had pre-made. This makes them perfect to throw together for guests while preparing a meal for later or to take with you to a party. Some of these recipes are from many of my favorite bloggers and friends in the paleo and AIP community who have graciously shared their cooking talents the world. Thank goodness these people exist, because their food creations are divine! I’ve included some more links at the end of the post for other recipe ideas you could easily add or subtract to create your own custom antipasti platter.
No antipasti is complete without an accompanying apertivo. A typical before dinner drink that helps to stimulate the digestive system. This mocktail is refreshingly seasonal and will help to activate your digestion while you nibble.
AIP ANTIPASTI, CHARCUTERIE & APERTIVO
Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado with Balsamic Drizzle (recipe below)
Zucchini Cheese (my version was raw garlic & green onion)
Raw Caramel (recipe below)
Sliced Apples, Pears & Prosciutto
Orange Ginger Apertivo (recipe below)
SEA SALT RAW CARAMEL CRACK (its semi addictive)
1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (additive free)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1. Cover dates in water and let soak for 2-3 hours. The skins will begin to shed from the tender inside.
2. Remove skin and strain dates from the water.
3. Add dates, milk, acv and salt in a high-speed blender and cream until smooth. Eat with caution!
PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED AVOCADO WITH BALSAMIC DRIZZLE
6 slices prosciutto
Good quality balsamic vinegar
1. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and slice length wise 4 slices in each half.
2. Take each slice of avocado and wrap it in prosciutto. Sometimes even a half a slice will work, just depends.
3. Put on plate and drizzle with balsamic to serve.
ORANGE GINGER APERITIVO
San Pellegrino Mineral Water (or other sparkling water)
Juice of one orange
1/2 piece of ginger smashed
Cranberries and or rosemary for garnish
1. Cut the orange and juice each half.
2. Peel and cut the ginger, then smash it use the side of a knife or spoon. Place ginger in glass (or if making larger batch in pitcher).
3. Fill glass half with mineral water and half with orange juice. Garnish and enjoy!
* Would also be great with other citrus like grapefruit or lemon!
Other Recipe Ideas
Cherry Pie Bars (I’ve filled them with cranberries, apples and sage to make them savory too!)
Pear & Bacon Bites (minus paprika for AIP)
Could Also Add
Olives & Veggie Crudities
ENJOY & HAPPY New Year!