Takeaways, eating out & parties

Jump straight to the suggested recipes

By now you’ve got into a pretty good routine that nourishes you and your family, and they have started to adapt to the new foods. But what happens when you get invited out to dinner, go on holiday, want to throw a party for the kids, or just need a night off cooking? And what about festive occasions?

In this lesson, I’m going to list some ideas of ways to deal with each of the following situations. You’ve probably got a whole pile more. Please feel free to share them with me, so they can be added and others can benefit.

  • Buying lunch
  • Takeaways for dinner
  • Eating out
  • Buffet or pot luck dinners (mostly also suitable for children’s parties)
  • Christmas dinner
  • Christmas gifts
  • Going on holiday

We’ll then finish with a few extra recipes from the pot luck dinner section.

Optional reading


~Check out the local restaurants and takeaways to see which offer suitable foods. Aim to have a range of 2 or 3 places that you know you can eat at when you’re all out of energy and ideas.
~Email me with any other suggestions to add to this lesson

Other recipe ideas:

Xmas menu 1 or Xmas menu 2
Other festive ideas 1 or Other festive ideas 2

Notes on the Recipes

The recipes suggestions come from a variety of sources. Some are lower on this page, some are from books I may have recommended to you eg Nourishing Traditions (NT) or Gut & Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), some are from my recipe blog and some are from other people’s blogs.

They are marked with the following icons to make it easy to see which ones are suitable for your diet. But you still need to double check each recipe to make sure.

= GAPS or SCD friendly
= contains grains of some kind (but may be gluten free)
= contains dairy, and there is no dairy free option
= contains eggs, and there is no egg free option
= contains peanuts, cashews, tree nuts or seeds

Also refer to my Pinterest page for more ideas.

Suggested Recipes

Buying lunch

We already covered this in lesson 6, but let’s recap on some possibilities:

~Salads are usually a good option. If you’re dubious about the salad dressing, take a little from home in a small container, and ask for the salad without dressing.
~In winter, look for freshly made soups
~Sandwiches might be OK occasionally if made with a whole grain bread, but make sure they are made with butter, not margarine
~Some supermarkets have a deli section with things like cold chicken pieces, salads or hot foods
~Kebab shops seem to be springing up everywhere. Buy a kebab and eat the filling, but leave the bread. Or see if they have an option on their menu with no bread.
~Sushi, if freshly made. White rice is not usually acceptable, and the mirin used in the rice might have MSG. But if you are really stuck, this might be better than your other options.

Takeaways for dinner

Check out the local takeaway places. Ask questions about how they prepare their food. As well as the places you’ve already looked at for lunches, these are some popular takeaways:

~Fish and chips used to be an economical, not-too-bad Friday takeaway for the family, when cooked in animal fat. But sadly, mostly they’ve bowed to public misconceptions and changed to canola, or other vegetables oils. If you can find somewhere that cooks the old fashioned way, add them to your list of OK places to eat out. Otherwise, remember the damaged fats and pass them by.
~Burgers. Avoid the chains if you can (remember the movie Supersize Me?) and look for places that make their own burgers. Ask about the ingredients they use.
~Fried chicken. Factory farmed, deep fried in who knows what, let’s not even go there….
~Pizza. If you can eat wheat, you might fancy the occasional pizza you haven’t made yourself. Look for a more upmarket pizzeria in the traditional Italian style, with a thin crust (instead of doughy and indigestible) and that uses good quality toppings. In Wellington, check out Mediterranean Foods www.medifoods.co.nz who have pizzerias in Newtown and Days Bay. If you’re GF, Hell Pizza offers a gluten free base now, but probably only safe for occasionally.
~Chinese food often contains MSG and is cooked in fats you want to avoid. If you can find well made Chinese, go for the meat and vegetable dishes, and keep the white rice to a minimum.

Eating Out

If you’re eating at somebody’s house, you need to make some choices beforehand. If you have food intolerances, or need to be strictly whole foods, talk to your host beforehand and explain. Maybe offer to bring a dish with you that everybody can share. Otherwise, if you don’t eat out often, you may choose to just eat what’s served, for friendship’s sake.

Restaurant eating, on the other hand is both easier and harder. Harder because you need to find somewhere with food that’s reasonably OK first. Easier because without giving offence you can explain your needs to the waiter or waitress, ask them about the ingredients, and ask them to make changes. Author and researcher Leslie Kenton says she has often found that saying the doctor has put you on a special diet results in more understanding and better service. The better quality restaurants tend to have better quality food. Look for organic cafes or places where the cook is the owner and takes pride in quality cuisine.

~Restaurants that specialise in steak are good possibilities. Ask what the salad dressings are, and get them on the side.
~In some countries, Mexican restaurants may have tortillas, etc, made in the authentic way from soaked corn. Here in NZ, they’re probably not, so ask – chances are they’ll have some wheat in them. But there are other options that you can choose.
~Italian restaurants have more than pasta, and usually have a range of suitable dishes. Just check the sauce ingredients.
~Greek restaurants also offer a good range of fresh meats, seafood and vegetables
~Indian. If you avoid the breads and minimise the amount of rice you eat, this can be a good option. Check the ingredients in the sauces before you choose.
~Other Asian restaurants can be good for fresh meat and vegetable meals.

Buffet style or pot luck meals

Foods suitable for taking to pot luck dinners, or if you’re hosting your own party.


Bowls of dip:
~Chicken liver pate
~Tomato or red pepper salsa
~Bean dips
~Creamy dips made from cultured cream, or kefir or yoghurt cheese ~ P20
~Salmon dip (fast track dip with hummus ~ P11 or creamy dip ~ P20)

“Edible napkin” platter:
~Good bread, fresh, or as biscotti ~ P141
~Gluten free foccacia (from GF white bread recipe) ~ P36
~Sunflower seed crackers
~Mini cheese scones (kamut or almond based)
~Mini pancakes – soft or toasted
~Homemade potato or kumera crisps ~ P141
~Corn chips (OK unflavoured ones from shopping guide)
~Raw vegetable platter – olives, sun dried (or dehydrated) tomatoes, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, sliced peppers, celery sticks, cauliflower sprigs, sliced radishes or baby turnips

Cold meats:
~Cold chicken drumsticks or nibbles
~Cold roast beef or lamb
~Naturally cured ham
~Traditionally made salami or sausage
~Cured salmon
~Coconut cream raw fish kebabs

Hot meats:
~Meat balls
~Slices of hot sausage, on toothpicks, with tomato sauce for dipping

~Bacon and egg pie
~Devilled eggs
~Cheeses (preferably raw)
~Savoury “crispy” nuts
~Mini nut roasts – made in muffin pans or star tins (label them, so people know what they are) ~ P96

~Greens & raw, crunchy salad vegetables
~Potato or kumera
~Rice salad or Quinoa tabbouleh

Warm vegetables:
~New potatoes with butter
~Pumpkin feta bake
~Bowls of chutneys and relishes

~Platters of fresh fruit – berries, melon, pineapple
~Mini muffins or cupcakes, chocolate “butterfly” cakes
~Individual mini-dishes of desserts such as chocolate mousse or individual fruit jellies
~Selection of sweets – truffles, marzipan, chocolate crackles

Christmas Dinner

If you’re somewhere cold at Xmas, a traditional dinner isn’t too hard to adapt. For gluten free alternatives, see the roast turkey recipe in lesson 8 and the Tropical fruit cake recipe in lesson 7.

But if Xmas falls in your summer, a large roast and heavy pudding with custard and cream just doesn’t have the same appeal. If it’s a nice day, everybody wants to be out enjoying the sun. Set up a table on a cool spot, under an umbrella, and lay out the drinks and snacks. Set out the recliners and deck chairs. Turn on the BBQ, or try some of the following.

~Icy cold kefired juices or other lacto fermented drinks for the kids
~Add a splash of honey mead for a mildly alcoholic punch
~Round the selection off with some traditionally brewed beers

~Coconut fish kebabs with red and green veges
~Trio of dips with crispy toast and raw veges – eg. chicken liver pate, guacamole, salsa

~Curry chicken salad
~Naturally cured ham
~Mini nut roasts (you might need to label them)
~Spinach roulade
~Potato or kumera salad
~Other salads
~Fermented vegetables or condiments

~Tropical Xmas cake
~Homemade ice cream or sorbet
~Fruit and nut platter
~Low carb marzipan

Christmas Gifts

For those who like to make Xmas gifts, here are a few ways to share what you’ve learnt with friends and family:
~Spicy crispy nuts
~Miniature GF fruit cakes
~Chicken liver pate in a nice bowl with a lid
~Pickled vegetables eg pickled beetroot
~Kombucha or water kefir) in nice bottles
~Homemade mayo ~ P119
~Lemon honey in a pretty jar ~ P122
~Miniature candies ~ P135

Going on Holiday

If you’re heading away to the beach for the summer holiday, you might end up somewhere without the foods you’re used to. And you certainly won’t want to be doing your usual food prep. We usually take two chilli bins (aka Eski or cooler) with us, and a cardboard box. Here’s some thoughts on supplies you might want:

Snack bag – things to eat while driving:
~Spinach feta snacks
~Hard boiled eggs
~Crunchy veges
~Savoury muffins or cheese scones
~Mixed spicy nuts
~Coconut & nut based snack bars
~Fresh fruit
~Thermos of soup or stew

Chilli bin 1 – frozen stuff:
~Raw organic meat
~Pre-cooked meat
~Homemade breads
~Homemade baking

Chilli bin 2 – things for the fridge:
~Kefir or yoghurt
~Raw milk cheeses
~Coconut oil (but can take out once you get there)
~Eggs (but can take out once you get there)
~Nut muesli
~Some fermented drinks
~Some fermented veges

~Tinned fish
~Tinned coconut cream
~Dried legumes
~Olive oil
~Sea salt, herbs & spices
~Herb teas
~Homemade biscuits (cookies)

Things to buy fresh when you get there:
~Fruit and vegetables