3 Incredibly Simple Dinner Party Recipes

Brooke Thomas tells us how to identify our gifts over a meal with friends.

From Brooke: My latest girls' weekend wasn’t at a luxury spa or remote mountain cabin—it was at my house. I invited over 25 women from all over the country to attend a conference on living authentically and at least half of them stayed with me. It was so inspiring to focus on finding purpose with other women who believe in making a real impact.

For years, whenever someone told me I couldn’t do something, I believed them. I rationalized that it wasn’t my time or a good idea. Then, I had a breakthrough moment and asked myself: Why not me? Why not now? Every single person has the ability to make a difference and has to start somewhere.

Unfortunately, many women fear taking that first step. So often, our speculation of the “what if” stops us from taking action. Yet, we must risk failure in order to grow in life and business. Most of the time, we learn so much along the way and new doors open even if they aren’t the ones we expected. In the end, we feel stronger and more confident.  

I recommend you start finding your purpose by writing down what you love. What brings you joy? What would you do every day if you could? I’m not talking about your skills. There are a lot of things I’m good at that I don’t love doing. This is a “heart” list, not a “head” list. Many times in life, we become ourselves based on someone else’s definition of who we are.

Writing down your dreams is the first step to making them happen. Recording your thoughts and observations can show you a pattern in the things you love and help you discover what you need to explore further.

When the conference was over and my friends had left, I was still hyped up about what we had heard that weekend. I continued the conversation with some friends over dinner one night (the complete dinner menu is below) and was struck by hearing how purpose truly makes the difference in success.

Everyone has a gift that the world needs. You deserve the chance to discover it so that you can share it with everyone. If you already know your purpose and are in need of a push, find some like-minded women to encourage you. I’ve seen the power of an excellent tribe firsthand through my Live Out Loud mentorship program.

I’ve found that when you truly live out loud, step into the woman you were created to be and let go of the traits that you may have developed as a defense mechanism, you are unstoppable.

If you want to have a great meal while discovering your gifts with your friends, feel free to copy my simple dinner party menu.


Harvest Spinach Salad

By Brooke Thomas for IvankaTrump.com



- 10 ounces organic spinach
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup EVOO, plus an extra drizzle
- 2 teaspoons raw organic honey (local honey is best)
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2-3 tablespoons pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, add the spinach and half of the lemon juice, a drizzle of EVOO and a pinch of kosher salt. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining lemon juice, honey and pepper. Stream in the ¼ cup of EVOO while whisking until a dressing forms.

Pour the dressing over the spinach, add the fruit and seeds, then toss.


Paleo Stuffed Peppers

By Brooke Thomas from 360 Your Life



- 4 large bell peppers or 5–6 small bell peppers*
- 1 pound ground grass-fed beef or bison
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 can diced tomatoes (no salt added, if possible)
- 4 cups of spinach 
- ½ cup quinoa, uncooked (or about 1 1/2 cups, cooked)
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste

*Note: Stuffing will fit 4 large peppers.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Add to a pot with ¾ cup of water. Set to high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn to low heat and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat.

While quinoa is cooking, add ground beef or bison to a skillet over medium heat. Once beef is cooked, drain grease, if necessary. Add red onion and cook about three minutes to begin sauteing. Add spinach and cook for about 2 minutes, covering the skillet to help wilt spinach.

Once spinach is cooked and mixed in, add tomatoes, quinoa and seasonings. Mix together.

Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan (or larger if using more peppers). Cut the tops of the bell peppers off and de-seed. Set in pan. Fill peppers up with beef mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes. Cook the last 5 minutes with cheese if you aren’t paleo!


Pumpkin Trifle

By Brooke Thomas from 360 Your Life


Pumpkin Mixture

- 1 can pureed pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- Pinch of ginger


Combine all ingredients together.

Put layer in glass.

Top with layer of whipped frosting (recipe below).

Repeat until full.



Whipped Frosting

- 13½ ounce can coconut milk (put in refrigerator for 24 hours before using)
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Scoop out the thickened coconut cream on the top of the can and discard the water in the bottom of the can.

In a mixing bowl, whip all ingredients together using a hand mixer. This will form whipped cream. Let the mixture sit overnight if you want a frosting-like consistency.



Brooke is now accepting applications for her Live Out Loud mentorship program. For more information and to hear what last season’s participants thought about working alongside a mentor and an tribe of smart and talented women, head to her site.

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