Healthy Living

How To Throw An Eco Holiday Party + Recipe!

young girl eating soup

For years, we’ve thrown a holiday caroling party. It’s an annual affair that draws friends and family together to eat, drink and completely butcher beloved songs. I make posole, a traditional stew in New Mexico, where my family lives. We buy tamales, which are de riguer for Southern Californian holiday parties but unless you grew up with them – I didn’t – much better bought than made. This year, I tweaked a few elements to make it an eco holiday party. Want to do the same? Take a look!

  1. If your eco holiday guest list has outgrown your plates, glasses, and cutlery, head to the thrift store to load up on mismatched disposables. Please don’t resort to plastic or (god forbid) toxic styrofoam – even if some is recyclable it’s still made from petrochemicals.
  2. If kids are attending your eco holiday party, stock up on natural sodas. These are treats for sure, but they’re much better than those made with high fructose corn syrup.
  3. If you’re drinking, choose organic beer and wines.
  4. Decide on a main course, and ask your eco holiday party guests to potluck the rest – transported in reusable containers. My recipe for posole is below!
  5. Follow the steps that I recommended for an eco holiday Thanksgiving and get your house ready well in advance. Then have fun!

Mommy Greenest’s New Mexican Posole for 30

All ingredients – except hominy – are organic whenever possible. (If someone finds an organic or GMO-free hominy, please let me know?) Unlike most New Mexican posole, the spice factor of mine is very low – I want it to be as suitable for kids as for adults, so we add the spice to the bowl, rather than the pot. When I’m making it for adults, I add a can of chopped chipotle chilis, which adds another layer of smoky and spicy goodness. Because this soup is made well in advance, you can adjust the flavors to your liking as you go.

You’ll need:

One big-ass pot

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
6 cloves chopped garlic
8 quarts organic chicken broth
12 boned organic chicken breasts
10 x 12 ounce jars salsa verde (I like the glass jars from Trader Joe’s)
2 x 5 quart cans hominy
1 cup lemon juice


Put the pot on low-to-medium heat and add olive oil
Add onion, carrots, and celery, and saute for a few minutes
Add chicken broth and salsa and turn up heat to bring to boil
Add chicken and boil for 10 minutes until it’s cooked through
Reduce heat and remove chicken

If possible, put everything back in the fridge for day or two, or…

Add lemon juice, salsa verde, and hominy
When cool, shred chicken with your fingers and add back to the pot
Cook at a very low simmer for at least three hours

To serve:

Set out bowls of various salsas – we like traditional pico gallo, as well as corn salsa – plus sour cream, sliced avocado, chips and hot sauce. Ladle up bowls of soup and let your guests add condiments.



  • Marea

    That is a great recipe and a wonderful way to have an inter-active dinner party. I’m thinking of having 12 people over. Would I just halve the recipe you have here?

    • Rachel Sarnoff

      Yes you can totally make it in a crock pot. I would do the first party (before the hominy) on high, and then let it go to low once you put everything back together. Hominy really IS posole, so it wouldn’t be the same stew without it–it’s basically corn kernels that have been cured so that they puff up. But you could totally use that same recipe and use beans or lentils–it would just be a different soup 🙂 Let me know if you make it, I want to see how it turns out! Thanks for commenting, Laura 🙂

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