Note: Most of these entrees are Paleo, or nearly so. None of the desserts are, but most can get closer with small tweaks.
Light lunch, light flavors
Want to treat mom to just a little something, perhaps before you head out to tour a local garden — or mall? Serve this easy, make-ahead orange-cranberry chicken salad on lettuce leaves or in soft pita pockets…
…with this elegant, lightly-sweet and super tender almond poppyseed shortbread.
Neither of these dishes will weigh you down, but they will both delight Mom with their flavors!
Classic ladies’ lunch, done low carb (or paleo)
What could be more classic than quiche? If Mom is doing South Beach or some other low-carb diet, you’ll be happy to know that a crustless spinach quiche (here’s a Paleo version) can be just as delicious as one with the traditional but high-carb pastry crust. I added a little Canadian bacon to the original recipe.
Serve a fruit salad on the side. Here, I’ve just drizzled fresh strawberries and blueberries with some sweetened cream. (To make it Paleo, use coconut milk and skip the Splenda.) One cup of heavy cream or half-and-half (or coconut milk), one packet of Splenda, 1/2 t. of vanilla extract. That will be enough for about six servings, and possibly some leftovers. So simple, but elegant and delish!
Oh, and about the quiche… be sure not to overcook it. You want it only just done, or maybe slightly underdone, in the center when you take it out. It will continue to cook a bit as it cools, and you want a creamy, custardy texture, not one like over-done scrambled eggs. A thin knife inserted in the center should come out looking pretty clean.
Finish things off with a vintage-y lemon icebox pie, updated by serving it in a cute little Mason jar! Just use my no-bake lime cheesecake recipe, use lemon instead of lime, freeze them a day or so ahead, and set them out on the counter 45 minutes before serving time.
(Note: I hope to update and Paleo-ize this recipe soon, but for now, you would need to sub out the dairy and Splenda, or skip dessert. Or just go with a little splurge!)
Mother’s Day with a Mexican twist
For something different, serve up my easy but elegant ancho-crusted salmon with avocado crema (which is Paleo if you omit the yogurt from the crema)…
and no-bake lime cheesecake mini-desserts. Add a wee bit of triple-sec (if you’re not philosophically opposed), and call it margarita pie.
Elegant and — dare I say? — impressive
If your mom is the fine china and real silverware type — or you just want to treat her so — here’s a sure-fire trio. For the main dish, quick pork tenderloin with seasoned rub.
For a side dish, green beans with pine nuts — which, trust me, is so much more than the sum of its parts, and as delicious as it is simple.
If you’re not low-carbing it, some good bread would round things out nicely, then finish with a flourish by serving individual mini tiramisu cups.