Holiday Hosting with Special Diets
By Megan Myers
If you haven’t already, it’s time to start making your holiday menu plans. That might be a simple task for some, but if you have food allergies, sensitivities or follow a special diets, or have guests who do, it can be a challenge finding foods that are suitable, yet still deliciously festive.
It might seem overwhelming to find solutions for everyone, but with a few simple tips entertaining can be holly and jolly again.
Communication is Key
Talk with your guests before the big day and find out more about their needs. Some who eat gluten free can do just fine with foods made in any kitchen, yet others need to follow strict rules to avoid cross-contamination.
If you’re feeding vegetarians or vegans, see what their expectations are. Even if you have plenty of meat-free options on the table, some might not appreciate a giant turkey being carved in front of them for the carnivores. Don’t forget to also swap the traditional chicken stock in your stuffing recipe for vegetarian!
- Read the Label to check for hidden allergens like milk proteins, soy sauce (which contains wheat), and more. Look for products that are clearly labeled as vegan or gluten free. All our stores have a list of the gluten-free products they carry.
- Skip the Bulk section when buying ingredients. Though buying from the bulk bins saves money, there is a risk of cross-contamination of ingredients.
- Choose Recipes by using the Special Diets filter in the advanced search of our recipe database.
- Savvy Swaps like arrowroot powder instead of flour for thickening pie fillings, or coconut oil instead of butter, make recipes accessible.
- Label Dishes at your party so everyone knows which dishes they can eat. It will help cut down on questions, and make your guests feel welcome.
- Do Double Duty by making dishes that are suitable for the whole crowd, rather than making multiple version of mashed potatoes or pies.
Try these recipes for your crowd this holiday season.
Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts – Vegan, Vegetarian
Herbed Accordion Potatoes – Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Thanksgiving "Risotto" – Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls – Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Root Vegetable and Potato Skillet Cake – Vegetarian