Cooking AIP for a crowd can be tricky, but is 100% possible!
I recently received an email asking for help and ideas for cooking AIP for get-togethers, parties, and the holidays.
Within a few weeks, we celebrated my kids’ birthdays (they have the same birthday exactly two years apart)! My kids requested one of their favorite AIP meals for their family birthday party, so I decided to go ahead and share how we handle cooking AIP for a crowd!
Build Your Own AIP Chicken Teriyaki Bowls
My kids requested AIP Chicken Teriyaki bowls. My mom came up with this AIP Chicken Teriyaki Bowls recipe based on a non-AIP recipe she found, and it quickly became a family favorite!
We actually made this recipe for some close family friends back in July, and they loved it. In fact, this recipe is great for cooking for a crowd that includes kids! We keep the components separate, so everyone can build their own chicken teriyaki bowl the way they like it. Or, the kids can choose to keep the chicken, rice, and veggies separate and forego the sauce.
How to Make Build Your Own AIP Chicken Teriyaki Bowls
I do not have a strict recipe for this dish, and I am not a food/recipe blogger. However, here are the components of the AIP Teriyaki Chicken Bowls that our family LOVES:
I boil and shred organic free range chicken breasts, or cook them in a crock pot/Instant Pot. You can make the chicken ahead of time, keep it warm in the crock pot, then shred it when company arrives. I like to use a hand mixer to save time shredding the chicken!
Variety of Sautéed Vegetables
Our favorites are onions, mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli. I enlist my husband and kids to help me peel and chop veggies. Bonus: spending time together in the kitchen strengthens our relationships! We love to crank our favorite songs, or simply chat as we chop. Then, I simply cook the veggies separately in skillets with healthy fats. Celery and other veggies are a great addition as well!
You could always get a jump start on peeling and chopping veggies the day prior to your get together, and store them in glass Snapware in the fridge!
Cauliflower Rice (or regular rice for non-AIP)
We love to use cauliflower rice! I take a shortcut and purchase already riced organic cauliflower. I simply cook it in a skillet with a healthy fat. However, when cooking this dish for a crowd, we make a big Instant Pot of organic white rice for the non-AIPers (everyone except me).
AIP Teriyaki Sauce
You could use this AIP sauce for everyone, or you could just make a little for yourself, and serve a non-AIP teriyaki sauce for everyone else. I always overestimate how much I need, so I multiplied this recipe times six for 14 people. I WAY overestimated! Multiplying this recipe by three or four would be just fine for that amount of people!
1/3 Cup Organic Coconut Aminos
2 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Raw Honey, melted
1 Tbsp Garlic (about 3-4 cloves), minced
Pour all ingredients into a mason jar, cover, and shake until well combined. That’s it! You can store leftovers in the refrigerator.
We also served a fruit platter with strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, and kiwi. One of our guests also brought watermelon. I love offering a fruit platter at get-togethers with kids since most kids love fruit…and most adults!
Other Meal Ideas for Cooking AIP for a Crowd
My whole family, along with my parents love this recipe for AIP Swedish Meatballs! You can double or triple it for a crowd. Since the meatballs cooks in an Instant Pot, you can either cook ahead of time and keep them warm, or use the delay cook option. Our family loves Swedish meatballs over mashed sweet potatoes!
I made this Instant Pot Maple Bacon Balsamic Pulled Pork for my husband’s birthday (this is one of his favorite recipes) and the 4th of July! Such a hit! This is also made in the Instant Pot. I doubled it for our 4th of July crowd (I increased the cooking time). I served the pulled port with sweet potato mash, but cauliflower mash works great too! You could also do lettuce wraps, or a homemade AIP wrap.
Pot Roast (modify recipe to be AIP)
My favorite AIP pot roast is actually a modified recipe. I love this pot roast recipe by the Pioneer Woman. I simply use AIP compliant bone broth instead of red wine and beef stock, and omit the pepper. You can also add cubed sweet potatoes in with the onions and carrots, or serve with a root vegetable mash.
Keeping it Simple
You can also just keep it simple! Just choose an AIP protein, seasonings, veggies, fat, and fruits, and viola! Build you own AIP meal for a crowd
AIP Desserts for a Crowd
Sorry, I am zero help when it comes to AIP desserts for a crowd! I am yet to venture into AIP desserts for a crowd. I usually make a gluten free dessert for everyone, and grab an AIP Paleo On the Go treat (use discount code Shanna for $15 off) out of the freezer for myself if I feel like a dessert.
I will say that Michelle at Unbound Wellness is regularly debuting new AIP dessert recipes that look incredible! She also has a new Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Comfort Foods Cookbook with delicious looking desserts in it!
AIP Lifestyle Tips when Cooking AIP for a Crowd
I used to stress out and frantically clean our home before anyone could come over. Alas, stress is an autoimmune trigger and I knew I needed to let my unrealistic expectations go and/or find ways to work around them. Here are a few tips that helped me:
Plan Ahead and Prioritize
Instead of turning into a crazy lady right before company comes over, I try to plan ahead and clean the big areas the day or days before. Further, I try to prioritize and focus on what I consider the most important tasks. Gone are the days of frantically making sure everything is spotless before anyone can come over.
It took time and effort, but I learned to be okay with an imperfectly clean house. After all, no one’s house is perfectly clean. My house is never perfectly clean. And I love and accept my imperfectly clean house, and my imperfect self, exactly the way we are!
Ask for Help
I enlist my husband and my kids when possible. Instead of being vague, I clearly communicate what I need help with, and when I need the help by. When possible, I give them plenty of notice.
Instead of trying to conquer the world myself, I’ve learned to accept help. If someone who is coming to dinner asks if they can bring something, I say “yes, thank you so much! Can you please bring x, y, or z?” I may ask them to bring a fruit tray, a salad, a vegetable, or an appetizer like chips and salsa. I try to keep our home gluten free, even for family gatherings, so there are no cross-contamination issues.
Relax, Breathe, and Enjoy!
Last, but not least…try to take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy connecting with family, friends, and loved ones!
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