It’s really not that difficult, but you do have to actually cook from scratch, which is healthy too! But if you are not that creative a cook yourself, it can seem challenging and take you out of your comfort zone.
I and many of many friends are vegetarians & vegans and many have some food sensitivity or allergy. So when we all get together for a party it’s a challenge but ultimately doable. For a big party the trick is labelling everything !
- Find out exactly what people can and cannot eat.
- If using tinned or dried foods (tomatoes, pasta etc) read the labels, it can be a minefield. (And take a magnifying glass manufacturers do not want you to know what’s in food!)
- Be clear about allergens
- Many foods are made on production lines where allergens or things like fish or milk can get into the food chain. This may mean you can’t use them.
- A person with nut allergy may be allergic to soya and some seeds. Ask the person for example: which bread they can eat they will probably have found safe foods.
- Don’t be fooled by names; vegetable oil isn’t make of vegetables it’s made of seeds so may not be suitable for some allergy sufferers.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables are rarely contaminated, wash and go!
- Dried herbs & spices – you have no idea what might be in there! Use fresh.
- Simple food is good, the Italians have made this an art form.
- Make your own breads or pizza bases. Gluten free options are available.
- Make your own dips.
- Make your own cakes and puddings
- Vegetable bakes and pasta sauces are your friends.
- Vegetarian & vegan curries – divine.
- Know your vegetarian cheeses and try vegan ones too.
Go to specialist shops to get ingredients and some pre-prepared items:
You can get vegan cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream, gluten free pasta & breads. These can help you adapt existing recipes.
There are websites to help you with recipes:
Use google with caution, I found vegan recipes that were not vegan!
Why not ask friends & colleagues what they would recommend, everyone has a go-to in-a-hurry dish!
- Gluten free: http://www.celiac.com/categories/Gluten-Free–Recipes-c-3400.html
- Vegan: http://www.veganrecipeclub.org.uk/
- Food allergies for kids: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/recipes-diet.aspx
- IBS FODMAPS foods http://www.ibsdiets.org/fodmap-diet/fodmap-food-list/
- Nut free http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/diets/nut_free