I hosted my first ever lunch party last summer and, in fact, this was when I announced to my friends that I had a blog! I rustled up a buffet-style lunch with various dishes, salads, sides and sauces. I love making, enjoying and sharing dishes that are entirely free from refined sugars and refined carbohydrates, and I’m a huge fan of help-yourself-style meals; I like to make lots of dishes and then let everyone pile them onto their plate.
This time round, I thought I’d go for something a bit more warming and suited to this colder weather. So, yesterday evening, I had my Autumn Dinner Party. It was a very Hemsley-inspired meal, and I made their Quinoa and mushroom nut roast with an apricot, chestnut and sage topping, along with their White wine miso gravy- I really enjoyed it and (I think) my guests did too (there were some seconds). My family also approved the leftovers, and it’s definitely something I’ll be making again. I served this along with a sesame + lime cabbage and fennel slaw, and plenty of roast veg and sweet potato, because roast vegetables never fail to please (me and hopefully my guests too!) I was also catering for one vegan, so I made some tasty green falafels from the Green Kitchen Stories‘ book to solve that.
For dessert, I slightly adapted the Hemsley’s Sticky toffee pudding with the sauce. Sticky toffee pudding was one of my favourite puddings when I was younger, so I’m very grateful for this healthier alternative! It was delicious, but I find that dates on their own can be quite bland and sweet, so I added some vanilla extract and cinnamon to the mix. I cheated a little bit here as I served the pudding with Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream from The Coconut Collaborative– it’s free from anything you’d want to avoid and utterly delicious; so cool and creamy. I’ll also certainly be adding the pudding to my make-again list.
And to finish off, the final treat was a plate of my Raw Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups– quite dark but very rich and they have a subtle sweetness which contrasts nicely with the salty peanut butter.
I would also just like to add that I have lovely friends- they know me too well! They gave me some lovely gifts; my favourite Lindt 90% dark chocolate, organic Clipper green tea and a new recipe book to explore by Julie Montagu (Instagram here)