Our friend, Amanda, Keto lifestyle and health enthusiast, shares her experience with outdoor entertaining for friends and family with keto-friendly skewers that are suitable for most lifestyles. With Summer approaching and entertaining season upon us, it’s important to always have options for what to serve your guests. These easy to prepare meal ideas are great for entertaining while combining the fresh flavors of greenhouse grown veggies.
Nothing beats spending time with my family and friends and when the weather warms us, I enjoy cooking outside in my backyard so that I can be a part of the get-together. For me, entertaining is all about making memories, socializing, laughing, and cooking delicious food together. Although I have chosen to live the Keto lifestyle because of the numerous benefits it provides, my family and friends each have other preferred ways of eating or dietary needs. Some have a gluten or dairy intolerance, while others are into whole foods only, and then there is the group who can eat anything! With so many delicious Keto-friendly snacks and meals available it makes it easy to provide items that that even my non-Keto tribe enjoys! So, if you’re planning an event with a Keto enthusiast, or possibly another diet lifestyle, serving skewers are a safe bet and are a lot of fun to create! Load them up with fresh flavors of greenhouse grown vegetables and have fun with variety as you build the skewers that work for your crowd.
IT STARTS WITH THE SKEWER –
Here are a few pointers I discovered through trial and error. If you’re new to making skewers, I recommend starting with wood or bamboo. They are inexpensive to try, and if you are hosting an event, they make clean up easier. Tip: Soak wood or bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from catching fire when you put them on the grill. I also like to use stainless steel skewers because they are reusable and durable. Many have a handle and are long enough to allow you to rotate them without having to open the grill or get too close to the flame. Once you fall in love with skewers like my family has, you’ll want to always have them on hand.
Although many Keto-friendly skewer recipes are simple, this Tomato Halloumi Skewers recipe is a good place to start if you’re new to grilling. First, you don’t have to worry about whether the meat is fully cooked, and second, this makes a great vegetarian option. If you need it to be vegan, you can easily substitute the Halloumi for a plant-based cheese. They are also a great way to get the kids to eat their veggies. The savory herb vinaigrette mixed with the sweet Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes, is honestly a treat – those snacking tomatoes are as sweet as berries!
HAVE FUN WITH VARIATION –
If you want to have some interactive fun with your guests, skewers are ideal because they can be prepared just before cooking. People enjoy having options, so let them choose how they want to stack the skewers! This is exciting for kids because they can choose from the options provided and makes it easier to ensure they get their daily servings of nutrient-dense vegetables. My kids are definitely more likely to eat what’s on their plate if they had a hand in making it.
To prepare, I’ll have bowls of vegetables and meat options to choose from when it’s time to start the skewers. We normally chop onions, zucchini, and of course Sweet Bell Peppers, which I refer to as the secret ingredient because they are so delicious when grilled and add tons of flavor to the skewers. I prefer to keep things simple, so after the skewers are stacked, I brush them with oil and season with just a little bit of salt and pepper. If you need an idea for quantity, check out BBQ Chicken and Vegetable Skewers. This gives you an idea of how much you need to serve 4 people. We multiply this recipe by 3 to serve 12 people for fun days out in the backyard with our crew and we include other meat options, like steak or pork. You can easily substitute meat with tofu, jackfruit, or eggplant for a plant-based alternative. Prep all your options in advance and it gives you the time to enjoy being with your guests.
FEEL GOOD KEEPING IT HEALTHY –
The one thing I love about skewers is that they are filling, and they don’t knock me out of ketosis. I can enjoy myself at a get together without any feelings of guilt. After a few years of living the Keto lifestyle, I have discovered so many options to serve myself and others with fresh, flavorful produce. I never have to compromise my health because I can purchase greenhouse grown vegetables all year through and create healthy, flavorful meals. Talking about flavor, and feeling good, I do enjoy having seafood on a sunny day. Shrimp is also a great choice for skewers as it’s high in protein and lower in calories compared to meat and poultry products. Try Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Juno® Bites Red Grape Tomatoes. It has a simple marinade with lemons, olive oil, garlic, dill, and Cajun seasoning, plus the cook time is only 5 minutes! Having a side of coleslaw or other light salads are a perfect complement to the meal.
Nothing compares to spending time with my family and friends, especially when we’re making excellent meals together. Even while living the Keto lifestyle, I do not have to give up delicious food, and my family and friends can enjoy it as well. Consider skewers if you have a Keto enthusiast at your next gathering, or if you want to ensure that you provide a great nutritious option suitable for most lifestyles. Mix and match your ingredients to have something for everyone and savor the variety while filling up on fresh flavor! Don’t let entertaining intimidate you – just be prepared and then relax and have fun with your crew.