One Menu Many Dietary Needs
Everyone at your table should feel special, coming together in today’s world takes planning and usually means travelling a distance to meet. I always cater to everyone in the same palate, for example, if I’m serving, a Mediterranean meal we all eat a version of a Mediterranean meal. This way the people with a dietary requirement feel like their choice or need is not an inconvenience or a differentiator in what they are being served and they share in the same culinary experience as everyone else.
I was catering for family, 2 vegans, 2 vegetarians and 5 meat eaters. With a few tweaks, the meat was omitted from plates of some and added to the plates of others. The occasion afforded me the opportunity to create a new vegan loaf which was enjoyed by everyone at the table.
My everyone is happy at the table menu is:
No Cook Deli Starter Ideas
A sharing platter of starters where everyone can help themselves. Some examples of what to offer:
Our favourite go to store cupboard bread Crosta & Mollica Rosemary Linguette Flat Breads
For gluten friends or family add gluten free crackers
You can add any nibbles your family or friends enjoy.
Main Course Ideas
Vegan Loaf with Courgette, Sweet Potato Roast, Adzuka Beans and Chickpeas.
The vegan loaf was based on a classic lentil roast, a kind friend shared her recipe with me, I used the proportions of ingredients in the roast, but tweaked and added totally different vegetables and beans. This made a softer more moist and delicious end product that everyone enjoyed. Some vegan loaf recipes we have tried are dry and saved by dowsing them in gravy, but I was serving a summery style meal that gravy would not save.
Dare I mention Christmas this early…? But I could see vegan’s cooking this vegan loaf in a Christmas Tree or Yule log shaped tin and being very happy with their Christmas meal. Served with vegan gravy and all the trimmings everyone else is eating at the table, it will be an easy and delicious catering option.
Lamb Shoulder Slow cooked over night this is a wonderful meat lovers addition to the table.
Roasted Vegetable Salad on a bed of Rocket (I roasted butternut, mini potatoes, scattered them over a bed of rocket and cut fresh tomato wedges over the roasted vegetables to add a sweet freshness to the salad.
My Healthy Lentil Salad recipe this is filling and delicious and loved by everyone.
Sauces and Dressings
Have great quality olive oil on the table and balsamic vinegar so those that like dressed salad can dress their own and those that like a naked salad are happy too.
Then to dip and dress for sauce loving eaters I have my Harissa Yogurt Sauce and a No Cook Creamy Mint Sauce using 3 tablespoons of good quality mint sauce to 1 cup of Non Dairy yogurt.
And a jar of mint sauce on the table for both the meat or vegan eaters.
A fresh and goes with everything Chimichurri Sauce is a wonderful sauce for vegans, lactose and gluten free friends as well as meat eaters.
Seasonal fruit salad – chop and add everything in season soaked in fruit juice.
Melon Granita This is such an easy recipe to make ahead. It is blended melon that is frozen. I serve it as a topping to the fruit salad or as a stand alone dessert.
Vegan Chocolate Cake this recipe if baked for a shorter time is a delicious sticky brownie and for a few minutes longer it turns into a brilliant ‘I can’t believe it’s vegan’ chocolate cake. This is an easy recipe to double and will be loved by everyone at the table.
Ice creams shop bought vegan and dairy free varieties and if you have time my favourite homemade Caramel Ice Cream
Coffees, Teas (don’t forget to buy a small non dairy milk) and vegan chocolates to end the meal.
The menu was well received by everyone at the table and brought unity where even the sceptical meat lovers agreed that the vegan additions were delicious. I hope the list above helps you plan for any dietary need you have to cater for.