So the Academy snubbed you out of an Oscar nod. Again.
And apparently Wolfgang Puck is busy on Sunday evening. Already.
That leaves you, your gaggle of pals, and your own creativity to turn this weekend into an award winning celebration – with or without Hollywood’s help.
If you plan on hosting an Oscar Watching Party, there’s no need to go into a Black Swan panic. The recipes below will surely turn you and your treats into the stars of the evening – watch out Anette Benning. And between the top-shelf snacks and your expert analysis of this year’s fashion (or missed-fashion) trends, James Franco is going to wish he had given you his plus one.
But silver screen hunks aside, what makes this list of recipes so darn studly is that each one is ridiculously simple to put together. So go ahead, judge these books by their covers. We all know that in Hollywood, looks count. A lot. And these dishes have got them.
But beneath their beautiful exterior, the real surprise is that they are also packed with a lot of sodium-free flavor. Like an unexpectedly intelligent movie or actress – like Hot Tub Time Machine or Natalie Portman. I’m joking about Hot Tub Time Machine, it is as bad as it sounds. But I hear that Ms. Portman is actually quite smart. But now we are just getting sidetracked.
The first recipe (a new one!) is all about natural flavor. No Botox, no facelifts, no salting necessary. It is a simple Beet and Avocado Carpaccio that can be expertly stacked with the top of a food processor and a spoon. No special tools necessary. Take that, Wolfgang.
Makes 4-6 servings
- 2 red or yellow beets, ends cut off (64 mg of sodium for 1 large beet)
- 2 avocados
- 1 lime
1. Preheat oven to 375 dg F.
2. Wrap each beet individually in tin foil. Place in oven and cook for 30-40 minutes or until slightly soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until you can comfortably touch the foil, 5 minutes. With the beets still wrapped, use the foil to rub off the outer layer of skin. Place “peeled” beets aside to cool and rinse off foil to save or recycle.
3. While beets cool, cut avocado in half and remove seed and skin. Dice the avocado into small cubes and divide into 4 to 6 piles, depending on how many carpaccio towers you want to create. Divide each pile in half.
4. When they are cool, dice the beets into cubes that are the same size as the avocado. Then, divide them into piles that match the avocado piles. You may have some beets left over so you should eat them. You deserve it.
5. Place the top of the food processor on a cookie sheet or a serving platter. Using a spoon, carefully fill it with one pile of avocado bits. Press down lightly with the bottom of the spoon. Then, layer a pile of beets on top of the avocado, pressing down lightly again. Finally, add a second pile of avocado on top of the beets, pressing down with the spoon as you gently pull up off the food processor top. Ta da. You have a beet carpaccio tower. Repeat until you have made all the towers and if you built them on a cookie sheet, use a spatula to carefully transfer them to a serving dish.
6. Grate some lime zest over the towers and squeeze a bit of the juice on top for added brightness. Serve with salt-free chips or a lightly oiled rocket/arugula salad.
Now that you have mastered that recipe, round out the menu with the following crowd pleasers:
and to finish, Lemon Meringue Pots
So roll out the red carpet and start prepping for an evening of good water cooler fodder and truly satisfying low sodium treats.
Be sure to thank the Academy and your parents, and chow on.