Fresh vegetables and potato wedges for everybody

Whether you enjoy hosting outdoor parties in your garden when the weather warms up or prefer to entertain guests in a cosy atmosphere in your home to alleviate the boredom that often sets in during the cold, dark winter months, it is important to think about the kind of food that you are going to serve. Fresh green vegetables are the ideal accompaniment for a wide variety of meats and do not take long to prepare but when it comes to putting carbohydrates on the table, peeling and cooking fresh potatoes is a rather time consuming task. Fortunately, there are a number of frozen alternatives in the shops these days so there is no need to worry about people starting to arrive before you have managed to finish preparing the meal. The best vegetables to cook for your banquet will largely depend on the timing of your party. Although it is possible to serve both summer greens and jacket potatoes nearly all year round, it is best to stick to seasonal produce if you want to keep the cost down but still serve your guests with a selection of tasty vegetable side dishes such as cauliflower cheese and mashed swede.

Whilst King Edwards are a good choice for baking, boiling or roasting, some early varieties are not so flexible, which is why it is a good idea to take the time of year into account when planning your menu. However, if you decide to buy frozen produce then you will be able to serve whatever you fancy. Some people are hesitant to use frozen food when they are entertaining but the quality of the products in the shops these days means that it is still possible to create a mouth-watering meal when using such ingredients. Fresh vegetables are not a common site at breakfast tables around the country but if you are having friends over in the morning a potato rosti or two will probably be appreciated. Made from patties, many people prefer them to chips, especially for the first meal of the day. If you are entertaining at a more normal time of the day, broccoli, cabbage and peas are all popular choices that most of your guests are likely to enjoy. To make sure that everybody gets the vegetables and carbohydrates they like, it is a good idea to ask people if they have any strong preferences beforehand.

Unless your friends and relatives are a homogenous group, there is a good chance that some of them will be on a diet at any given time whilst others will be happy to eat fried food and dishes that contain rich sauces. To ensure that nobody feels uncomfortable with the menu, you can prepare a selection of fresh vegetables for those who are watching their weight and lay on a few treats, such as french fries for those who are not. In fact, as it is possible to buy frozen chips that are relatively low in fat these days, even those who are on a low calorie diet can enjoy a few if they fancy. If you are serving a gateau for dessert then you may want to provide a choice of fresh fruit for those who are not keen to fill up on whipped cream and chocolate. It is important to ascertain whether any of your guests suffer from food allergies, to make sure that nobody is taken ill as a result of being served a dish that contains nuts or one that has been made with dairy products. Most people will let you know such information in advance.

Barbeques are popular in the summer and they are a good choice for people that do not fancy slaving over a hot stove for hours before their guests arrive. However, it is easier to prepare spicy southern fries and most vegetable dishes indoors so you may want to enlist the help of a friend or partner to take care of the greens and potatoes while you deal with the meat. The only exception to this rule is when preparing kebabs. It is a simple task to skewer some slices of green pepper and onion between the pieces of meat so there is no need to worry about splitting your time between the barbeque and the kitchen. Many people believe that fresh vegetables are much better for them than carbohydrates but a healthy adult should ensure that they have a good mix of all the main food groups in their diet. Whilst it would not be a good idea to focus exclusively on one group to the exclusion of all the others, there is no reason why you should not offer your guests a selection of carbohydrates to go with their meat and vegetables, such as potato wedges and roast slices.