I just so happened to have celebrated a milestone birthday and thought a) I'm celebrating this mutha with an old-school style potluck party and b) I do NOT want to eat crap at said celebration. So I designed the invite and started a Google Doc so that everyone could signup and see what everyone else was bringing.  Besides the drawback of Google docs only working for peeps with Gmail accounts, the party was a raging success. The Invite We had people with numerous food aversions & allergies so when all the food came out there was a collective sigh of relief.  My brother Simmah (allergic to all animal byproducts & gluten)  and another dear friend commented that this was the first party that they could actually eat other dishes than the ones they specifically made.  The result was the most amazing array of gorgeous food I have ever seen at a party and Lisa and I (and it seems everyone else at the party) were over the moon. Let's change how we look at gatherings that revolve around eating. People are way more receptive than you think to try something different. So invite some people over and potluck that thing up.  You'll be surprised and elated on what arrives on your table.   We were.

Photo Cred Lisa I made Cat's favourite raw pie for her birthday party! It's an easy no-bake pie that you can make with only a food processor, though a blender gets the strawberry filling extra creamy. The recipe makes two 9" pies, makes more sense to do two at a time as they freeze well and then you'll have them on hand to impress your peeps. Crust 3/4 cup raw almonds OR mix and match nuts/seeds OR pulp from nut milk 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts 1/2 cup coconut flour 10-12 large medjool dates, pitted In a food processor blend nuts and coconut flour well, add dates and process until the mixture becomes a stiff but pliable dough. The dates will incorporate easily if they're room temperature. Divide dough in half and press into the bottom of the pie tin and up the sides with your hands or a spatula. Pop the crusts into the freezer while you make the filling. Strawberry Filling 1 pint strawberries (OR 2 pints to decorate) 2 bananas 3/4 cup pine nuts OR sunflower seeds 1 tbsp organic vanilla 2 tbsp psyllium husk powder* 1/4 cup honey Blend all ingredients, except psyllium husk, until filling is smooth and creamy. Add psyllium powder and fully incorporate. Slowly pour filling into pie dishes, making sure not to over fill. Chill pies in fridge or freezer, once they've had about 30 mins to set you can decorate the top of the pies with sliced strawberries. *Psyllium husk powder can be found at your local health food store, it's used in this recipe to thicken the pie filling. If you don't have access to psyllium you can serve the pie frozen.

Hands down my favourite recipe for popcorn, the GF introduced me to the dried dill and olive oil toppings and I haven't had it any other way since. Homemade popcorn can be a healthy and tasty snack, especially good to have on hand if you're transitioning from a crappy diet to a whole/real foods diet. Dilly Kaz Corn 1/4 cup organic popping corn 1 tbsp cold pressed olive oil 1 tbsp flax oil Himalayan pink salt Fresh ground pepper Dried dill Pop organic popping corn using an air popper, the stove top or a paper bag in the microwave, check it. Top with oil, salt, pepper and LOTS of freshly dried dill. It's really important that you use organic popping corn. Corn is a dirty, dirty crop that's been GMO'd up the wazoo. If you're trying to get healthy, eating poor quality ingredients isn't going to get you there.

Photo Cred Cat Let's take a salad, smoothie break and make some pasta for dinner. This recipe is so delicious and easy it's a bit of a joke. Veggie Noodles 2 med zucchini OR squash OR jiciama 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt Use a spiralizer or a peeler to noodle the zucchini (peel skin first to trick the kiddies), sprinkle with salt and set aside to allow it to weep out excess water while you make your sauce. My favourite sauce for these noodles is Best Pesto Ever, mixed with some chopped peppers and tomatoes to make a delicious, satisfying and vibrant dish.