I just had my first experience of bringing my own healthy food to a party. It was our church Christmas party. I wasn’t sure what the menu was, but I did know that there would be lots of Christmas cookies.
I wanted to eat and enjoy myself, but I didn’t want to stuff myself with foods that I don’t feel comfortable eating anymore. So I chopped some vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes), threw in some grapes and almonds, and added a small container of homemade healthy salad dressing. Whatever was being served, I would be certain of fresh, healthily-dressed produce.
Turns out that baked potatoes were on the menu, plus toppings and bagged salad. I love baked potatoes! I skipped the beefy chili and questionable cheese sauce, loaded my potato with lettuce and broccoli, then put my fresh vegetables and dressing on top. It was delicious, and no one gave me weird looks for eating something different.
I had been a bit nervous that people might think I was being a bit of a food snob. But everyone else was so focused on their own plates (as well as socializing and having a good time), I don’t think anyone even paid attention to what was on mine.
I also didn’t eat any cookies there. I was really proud of myself for that.
The whole experience was empowering for me. I don’t have to be apprehensive about special occasions, feeling at the mercy of whatever other people are eating. A small, inconspicuous container of healthy, plant-based food to supplement whatever is being served, and I can have an enjoyable meal with people I love, and feel great about it.
Dill Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, and Chickpeas
3 medium baking potatoes
2 large carrots
1 can chickpeas, well drained
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 425. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Chop potatoes and carrots into large bite-sized pieces. Combine potatoes, carrots, and drained chickpeas in large bowl. Toss with oil and seasonings until evenly coated.
Spread in single layer on greased baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.