Yoga & Spa Magazine – January/February 2017
Author: Martha Buckley
Hosting a dinner party can be stressful, even with easy to please guests, but when your party includes guests with dietary restrictions that stress can skyrocket. Like a holiday dinner I hosted: the co-host asked for a beef main dish and the guests’ dietary restrictions included a vegetarian, several no gluten/no red meat/no mushrooms guests, and a few who didn’t “eat vegetables.” It was a challenge, but my catering experience saved me from becoming a short-order cook to execute an appropriate menu and ensure our dinner was a success.
When planning an event, I always suggest my clients provide a vegetarian/vegan entrée that can be a side for the rest of the group. Some vegetarian options have been over-done (i.e., flatbreads/pizzas and salads), but there are many interesting options available. Vegetarians appreciate a sweet potato hash or well-executed vegetable medley sautéed in a good olive oil with a splash of top-shelf balsamic. Flavored olive oils and balsamics are a great way to brighten up a dish. If you need a place to start, the December 2016 issue of Sauce Magazine has a great Vegetable Marsala recipe. It’s easy to prepare a vegetable marsala along with a chicken or veal marsala to give similar entrée options to carnivores and vegetarians. The similarity in dishes brings cohesion to the meal rather than offering two distinct entrées.
Gluten-free or lactose intolerant guests provide an entirely different set of complications. Gluten free dishes must be prepared on a clean surface free of any ingredient gluten-containing. Lactose free dishes require the same consideration. Of course, there are many other food allergens (nuts or shellfish) and dietary considerations (diabetics), but with a little planning your guests can safely enjoy a meal perfectly suited to their needs.
Read the article on Yoga & Spa here.