Food in the office is always a cause for celebration and the approaching holidays means more food, more frequently. But when the office potluck brings out the same old pancit, lumpiang shanghai, salad, spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, potato salad, barbeque, lechon, fried chicken and chiffon cake or leche flan as always, you have to admit that your appetite deflates just a little bit. The office potluck can be made exciting again with these easy-to-make but unexpected variations to the staples of the Filipino potluck.
Bonus: Considering the amount of eating you will be doing this Christmas, we made sure to throw in some "guilt-free" potluck replacements in the mix.
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There is always an abundance of chips at any party but have you ever noticed the lack of dip? Bringing a layered dip means you don't have to stick to those sodium loaded, preservative packed chips anymore. You will have an abundance of diverse, changing flavors to go through with this one. If you think dip is an easy way out, try this seven layer dip recipe.
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Pizza and salad are regulars at any office gathering. One for the hungry multi-taskers, another for the weight watchers. A salad pizza finds the best of both worlds and leaves everyone happy. Its inexpensive to bring, easy to put together, and no one thinks to do it!
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Challenge yourself and try not using tomato in this one. Squash, or kalabasa, is inexpensive, nutritious, available all-year round and whether you use it as one of the layers or as the mainsauce, you will get a rich and creamy taste that you've never experienced in a lasagna before.
Mashed Potato Snowmen
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This one is a decoration as much as it is a starch. Even if it is just mashed potatoes, you will get praise and reactions all night long with these little cuties. Since there will be plenty of rice to go around at the potluck, you can try making a kamote mash instead of potatoes. Its healthier and tastes just as delicious, if not better!
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Admittedly, lumpia pockets are just a matter of wrapping your filling differently but you have to admit, this does look much more festive than the simple rolled lumpiang shanghais that we're so used to. If you want to make it doubly festive, try using different fillings like ground chicken, fish, or mixed seafood.
Pork Belly Roll
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This is the Philippines. Even if we try to, we can't let go of lechon. While the roasted pig will always reign supreme, a pork belly roll will work for smaller offices or if you're simply looking for a change of scenery on the table. These babiesbake for hours at a time but the result is worth it every single time.
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Calamansi bars are the pinoy version of the western lemon bar but with the added zest of home. Everyone love a good cake but after all the food you just had, sometimes its nice to have a light dessert to wash it all down. If light dessert is not your thing, the solution is simple: slice bigger bars.
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If you need one more sweet bite before heading home, a cheesecake dip is both guilty and innocent. You can incorporate an infinite number of flavors–chocolate chips, berries, mango, vanilla, caramel–to this confectionery favorite and the night will surely end on a good note.