Emergency healthy potluck help
May 13, 2022 6:12 PM   Subscribe

I need a fast and easy healthy dish for a brunch potluck tomorrow, with some unusual caveats. Any brilliant ideas?

I am a member of a running group that is having a 5k race tomorrow at 8 am. Afterwards, they are planning a potluck gathering and have requested people bring healthy foods (it is an exercise group, after all). I imagine it will be closer to 9:30/10:00 by the time we eat. I am having trouble thinking of anything that will still be tasty and safe after sitting out for that long at 70 degree temps, other than dessert items that aren’t exactly healthy. I can run to the grocery store for necessary ingredients. Help!
posted by Missense Mutation to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Fruit salad?
Cheese apples to slice?
posted by nickggully at 6:19 PM on May 13

I'd probably try to bring vegetable sushi. It would be better if you could put it in a cooler, but it shouldn't be actively unsafe if the rice is properly seasoned.
posted by daikaisho at 6:25 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]

Hummus & veggies (baby carrots, celery sticks, etc.). You could put it in an insulated bag with an ice pack to help keep it cool.
posted by belladonna at 6:25 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]

I would probably make a yogurt parfait. Slice or wash berries of your choice, but some granola and a tub of yogurt. Keep berries and granola separate from yogurt. Keep yogurt chilled. You could freeze the tub of yogurt for as long as you can and then put it in a bag with some ice. Assemble the parfait after the race.
posted by MadMadam at 6:28 PM on May 13

Cold salad of black beans, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro (plus a little olive oil, salt, pepper).
posted by KneeHiSocks at 6:29 PM on May 13 [10 favorites]

Another fast/easy thing would be to hard boil some eggs. Again I’d probably put them in a bag with ice.
posted by MadMadam at 6:30 PM on May 13

Quiche or frittata! Delicious at room temperature. Personally I wouldn’t blink at eating quiche that had been at room temp for three hours but it is technically a bit out of the two-hour FDA recommended safe zone - if you put it in a cooler to stay warm right out of the oven I think it’d be fine.
posted by mskyle at 6:32 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]

I would make bean salad and salsa, freeze it and then bring some chips.
posted by yueliang at 6:32 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You could do caprese skewers of cherry tomato, small mozzarella ball and a basil leaf on a toothpick. You keep them put it in a Tupperware next to an ice pack. (I would worry too much about anything going bad at 2 hours at 70degrees.)
posted by vunder at 6:44 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]

I don’t really know what anyone means by “healthy” anymore but my running group always does bagels.
posted by kapers at 6:47 PM on May 13 [4 favorites]

black beans, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro
You can use a can of black beans, can of corn, equivalent amount of jarred salsa, and add fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Salad on its own, or scoop with chips.

Apple salad. Core, slice/ chop apples. No need to peel them. Add walnuts and celery. Dress with yogurt and a little cinnamon.

Tabbouleh or Potato salad in a cooler. (Or swing by a store and get a big tub of potato salad or cole slaw.)
posted by theora55 at 8:22 PM on May 13 [4 favorites]

Flatbread of whatever type is fresh cut into quarters, pitted olives, unsalted almonds, cherry tomatoes, cut up melon, olive oil that you’ve stuffed fresh herbs in overnight, a little pot of honey, some kind of feta or labneh or fresh cheese you can keep in an insulated bag with ice. Let people make their own sweet or savory flatbread bites. People will probably want some good fat after a run.
posted by Mizu at 8:28 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]

Do they have drinks covered? If not, after a running race I think you would be popular if you supplied plenty of cool, fresh juices. You'll need a cooler or some ice for storage.

Other than that, plenty of fresh fruit would probably go down well.
posted by Erinaceus europaeus at 9:13 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

Fruit puree ice pops! Dump them out of the boxes and into a plastic grocery bag or big bowl filled with ice cubes, quickly hand them out as a starter, and be the most refreshing person of the day. In Canada I would suggest these Loads of Mango Frozen Fruit Bars; they're delightful.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 9:53 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

I’d do a kind of chunky salad like this- do the dressing on the side and add just before, and cut the avocados up on the spot and add last minute along with any nuts. Freeze a Tupperware or two full of ice (or use ice packs) and just let it all hang out in a big paper bag out of the sun, it should be fine hanging out for a few hours.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:11 PM on May 13

Honestly I would just bring fruit and call it a day. It's shelf stable, healthy, and refreshing.
posted by champers at 4:16 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Hard boiled eggs are fine at room temperature for well over three hrs - boil a box, bring some salt.
posted by koahiatamadl at 5:30 AM on May 14

Runners should appreciate Shalane Flanagan's Superhero muffins. (I am a runner and have brought these to gatherings.)
posted by gaspode at 10:46 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]

If you can get a hold of some beef jerky and/or landjaeger, those are fine at room temperature. May be appreciated by the participants who want some red meat afterwards.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:10 AM on May 14

Response by poster: Thank you everyone for the awesome suggestions! I ended up going with the caprese skewers, but there are so many good ideas for future use. They skewers seemed like a hit and now I know for next time that most people do just bring fruit (because it’s refreshing and delicious), so bringing something different is very welcome.

I think I finished last out of all the people who actually ran, but that was not unexpected.
posted by Missense Mutation at 10:47 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]

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