ON LIFE AND LIVING: THANKSGIVING DINNER
Thanksgiving is a time for people to come together – and eat. This year, you might be having several people over for the big dinner. Do you know how you’re going to accommodate all of their eating preferences and dietary needs? Here are some tips for catering to the vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free friends on your list this Turkey Day.
There are several vegetarian alternatives to everyday food items, but some of them may not be immediately obvious. For example, stuffing (with meat) is typically off-limits to vegetarians, as well as gravy. Some soups that contain meat-based broths could also be no-gos for your vegetarian friends. One way to bridge the gap is to ask your attendees beforehand if they would like to contribute any substitutes of their own to the dinner. They can tip you off to some ideas to make the meal more accommodating and vegetarian-friendly.
Your vegan friends will not only abstain from meat, but all animal-based products (e.g., eggs, cheese). Similar to your vegetarian friends, there are many substitutes on the market for vegans. You’ll also find that many of the vegetarian substitutes at the grocery store, such as gravy, are also vegan-friendly, so don’t forget to read the labels. Ask your vegan guests if there are items they would like to contribute to make the meal a little more accommodating. Consider trying a new recipe (vegan cheese is a thing!) for the occasion.
Being gluten-free means avoiding foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat. A fresh turkey won’t likely be an issue for your gluten-free guests, but side dishes like stuffing could be problematic. While shopping for ingredients for your big dinner, look for gluten-free labels to tip you off to items that are safe for your gluten-free guests. Be mindful of products, such as gravy, that commonly use wheat-based ingredients and aren’t agreeable with your guests.
While it may take slightly more time to plan for your guests with dietary restrictions, they’ll thank you later. More importantly, everyone will be able to indulge in the dinner you put the time and effort into crafting this Thanksgiving.