Cooking for vegetarians, vegans & food allergy sufferers

lemoncurd
Home made – vegan lemon curd

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 !

Tips:

  1. Find out exactly what people can and cannot eat.
  2. 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!)
  3. Be clear about allergens
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Fresh fruit and vegetables are rarely contaminated, wash and go!
  6. Dried herbs & spices – you have no idea what might be in there! Use fresh.
  7. Simple food is good, the Italians have made this an art form.

Suggested foods:

veganchocpud
Vegan chocolate orange pudding
  • 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!

 

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