Our dinner menu had an Indian theme and we served the following:
- Roasted Eggplant and Onion Dip with celery sticks, carrot sticks and almond-rice crackers
- Green Curry Chickpea and Sweet Potato Soup which I thickened and served as a side dish instead of a soup
- Laziz Tikka Masala (Boneless Tandoori Chicken in Spicy Sauce) with basmati rice
- Homemade Naan prepared by one of our guests
- Fruit chutney
- Raita (yogurt and cucumber sauce)
- Dark Chocolate Nut Bark (see below)
While the menu may seem a bit carb-heavy, I managed to stay on track (mostly) by using the vegetables instead of crackers for dippers and limiting my portion sizes of the rice and naan. I also had just a taste of the chutney and a small bite of the chocolate bark.
This menu is a good example of cooking to please people with different dietary needs. Gluten-free folks would appreciate the almond-rice crackers and could skip the naan. Vegans could pass on the chicken dish and the raita. People following a low carb diet could avoid the crackers, rice and naan. Everyone would still get a nutritious meal and have a great time.
Dark Chocolate Nut Bark
- 12 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate chopped
- 2 cups mixed nuts I used pecans, pistachios, almonds and cashews
Find a heatproof bowl that fits atop a 2-1/2 quart saucepan. (You want to be able to simmer a few inches of water without the bottom of the bowl touching the water.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pour a couple of inches of water in the saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Put chocolate in the heatproof bowl and place atop saucepan. Stir occasionally until chocolate has melted.
Pour melted chocolate on prepared baking sheet and spread to even thickness. Sprinkle with nuts.
Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. Break bark into 18 pieces.
Nutritional information was calculated using unsalted nuts. If your nuts contain salt, your Sodium count will be higher.
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and is a good source of potassium, copper, magnesium and iron. Almonds contain a lot of vitamin E, are good for your digestion and may decrease insulin resistance. Cashews are rich in iron, zinc and magnesium. Pecans contain antioxidants and may reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Pistachios are packed with potassium and vitamin B6.