Cooking for a dinner party is challenging for a cook these days when guests strictly follow diets – and they’re all different. One guest follows the vegan diet, one eats gluten-free foods, another eats only low-carbohydrate foods, and who knows what the rest of the guests may or may not eat.
Several years ago when my husband was the pastor of a church in Texas, we had a minister staying in our home while speaking at our church one week. Young and ignorant, I didn’t think to ask if he had any food allergies. One day I made a family favorite, Creamy Tacos. Little did I know that our guest didn’t like cheese. He ate with us, but I don’t remember if I made something else for him or if I also had prepared a salad that he ate. He was an extremely picky eater. The day he left, he shared a humorous story with us. He said on one occasion at another church he was leaving and told the pastor’s wife how the food had “hit the spot”. Simultaneously, he indicated how it hit the spot by pointing his index finger to his stomach. When he did, they were both surprised by his sudden flatulence.
It’s a good idea to find out any food intolerance that your dinner guests may have before the day of the dinner party. Minimize foods that cause gas like cabbage, beans, broccoli, fruits and dairy products. However, vegans eat vegetables. Serve a green vegetable salad with chunks of oranges (tastes delicious). A salad can be served to vegans, people on low carbohydrate diets and low fat diets.
What about bread? Gluten intolerant guests may turn down any offer of bread, but most people enjoy bread. Serve plain and/or toasted garlic potato bread.
Most wheat bread contains gluten. I’ve found some potato breads that don’t list wheat or gluten. Maia Appleby, a NASM-certified personal trainer, says that potato bread may be more beneficial than wheat bread. She says potato bread is richer in calcium and potassium, which help strengthen your bones and keep your blood pressure low. A sandwich made with potato bread has much less sodium than wheat bread.
Most people who diet will eat chicken. Grill it, bake it, but don’t fry it – unless you and your guests aren’t on a diet and don’t mind a little grease with your southern fried chicken.