We all have different ways to show we care, especially during this season of giving. My own “love language” is definitely in feeding good food to my friends and family, and providing meals that any of them can enjoy is important to me. No matter what the main dish on the table is, it feels good to know that my vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friends are able to enjoy themselves at the meal and get plenty of good food in their bellies.
Special diets can be confusing if you’re not used to them, but once you know the ins and outs, it is very simple to prepare meals everyone can enjoy. During holiday parties, when a wide variety of nibbles is expected, it’s good to have options for everyone. Need a primer on what to remember?
Vegetarians do not eat meat products, but often will eat dairy or eggs.Vegans do not eat any animal products, including dairy and eggs. For most vegans, this also includes honey and even some beer and wines and other products that may be processed using animal products.
Gluten-free eaters avoid gluten, which is most commonly associated with wheat, but can be found in a wide variety of other foods, especially packaged goods. All our stores have a helpful list of the gluten-free products they carry.
If you’re an omnivore it may seem daunting to prepare the proper foods, but here are a few tips for success:
Read the labels. If you’re going with packaged foods, be sure to look for hidden wheat or chicken stock in the ingredients.
When in doubt, go veg. Vegetable-based dishes can be just as festive as those tiny sausage puffs. These Creamy Cauliflower and Apple Soup Shooters are a crowd-pleasing party snack.
Keep toppings separate. Items like butter or bacon crumbles can be served on the side. Make it fun with a wide variety of toppings to please any eater.
Label dishes. No matter who is eating, people like to know what’s on the buffet table. Be sure to note which ones are special diet-compliant.
Ask questions. Your guests will appreciate that you care enough to ask what they can eat. If you have a special dish in mind, find out in advance if it’s OK.
Remember the dessert table. Gluten-free and vegan eaters will appreciate having a sweet treat option that’s more than just an apple. Swap in dairy-free chocolate chips in desserts that call for chocolate.
And the drinks, too. Most beer contains wheat and vegans often avoid wine, so be sure to have a variety of drinks at the table. This Apple-Pomegranate Fizz can be made with or without alcohol and is festive for everyone.
Need some ideas for your holiday shindig that will please the crowd? Try these!
Our team members can help you find just what you need, no matter your special diet. So if you have any questions while shopping, just ask!
Do you have a great special-diet party recipe? Share in the comments!