Vegan Caprese Skewers

You would think that, as a sometimes food blogger, potlucks would be my jam. I'd show up with something amazingly delicious, and everyone would ooh and ah as they took seconds and asked for the recipe.

But you'd be wrong.

I do have a friend who shows up to every potluck with an incredible dish - usually some sort of scrumptious dessert - that took hours to make and meets everyone's dietary restrictions, of which there are usually a significant handful. My salivary glands start working overtime as soon as she walks in the door, and I'm never disappointed.

I, on the other hand, usually show up late carrying a grocery bag with a loaf of bread and a container of herbed goat cheese. Seriously, that's my go-to buy-it-on-the-way potluck presentation.

I love to cook, but I am super temperamental about it. And, as it happens, a potluck invitation almost never coincides with my urge to make something delicious. Instead, I remember the night before and have a conversation with my wife where she suggests multiple things I could make; I reject them all as too time-consuming, too difficult, not tasty enough; we end up stopping at the store on the way there; and I apologize profusely to the host for failing to prepare something special for the occasion.

So what's the problem? It's not that people don't love bread and goat cheese. They do. It's always gone by the time I leave.

It's just that I do actually enjoy sharing yummy food with friends. But I have potluck anxiety - like the test anxiety that afflicted me in my 7th grade algebra class.

Because I think of myself as someone who makes yummy food, a potluck (which, let's face it, is basically a competition to see who can bring the most delicious thing) fills me with dread and an overwhelming case of procrastination.

As such, I've essentially opted out of the high stakes potluck game by bringing store-bought food. 

Like I said before, though - I actually do enjoy preparing food and sharing it with friends. I just need to start small to overcome my potluck anxiety. These vegan caprese skewers are super simple, and yet they pack a flavorful enough punch and look cute enough that I'm happy to carry them into a friend's house, even if I know I won't be getting any medals for most amazing dish.

You have to start where you are. 

Vegan Caprese Skewers

1 container grape tomatoes
1 jar (or can) hearts of palm 
1 bunch basil 
cocktail skewers or toothpicks
balsamic vinegar (optional)

1. Slice the hearts of palm into 1/2 inch thick circles, and remove basil leaves from the stalk. 
2. Fold a basil leaf in half or thirds and slide onto a toothpick, followed by a circle of hearts of palm, and a grape tomato. Continue with the rest of your skewers.
3. If you want a little more flavor, drizzle with balsamic vinegar right before serving. 

Just to blow your mind: You can also make these for yourself, no potluck necessary. I made them and put them in the refrigerator, giving us a healthy and delicious snack for the week (that we ate in 36 hours). 

p.s. Pistachio and coconut stuffed dates - another quick recipe that is deliciously potluck-worthy.

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