To start the evening off, we enjoyed some wine and snacked on olive hummus and tzatiki both served with fresh carrots, pita bread, baguette, and some rice crackers. As an appetizer, my friend made a roasted garlic and goats cheese 'pate' from a gardening cookbook I had given her for her birthday. She arranged each plate with a whole bulb of garlic that had been roasted with olive oil and fresh rosemary, a mixture of goats cheese, fresh herbs and walnuts, some pita bread or rice crackers, and a few extra walnuts. Believe me folks, this dish was as amazing as it looks! I won't even begin to express how great garlic is for your health, as I am sure most of you already know, but I believe even the smell of garlic roasting is enough to cure anything! And goat's cheese or chevre is not only lower in fat and lactose than cheese made from cow's milk but also higher in vitamin A and potassium. Just another reason to love it some more. Plus, walnuts are a superfood, packed with cholesterol lowering omega 3s. I eat them daily.
So, how did we do? Not only did we use no butter or cream or sugar or much salt, we were able to offer everyone at the table a fresh, healthy meal that wouldn't make any of us sick. Nutritionally, our meal was high in vitamins, minerals and fiber (and let's not forget a little heart healthy fat-oh, I forgot to mention how incredible that olive oil from Liquid Gold tasted-it owned that salad dressing!), was extremely well balanced and, I think more importantly, was made primarily from fresh, local ingredients with nothing artificial. Just real food. Simple. Healthy. Delicious.