What a title, huh?
How to host a dinner party for your lactose-, gluten-, soy- & meat- free friends.
How does it make you feel?
Scared? Uneasy? Uncertain?
Or maybe it’s the norm for you & your family at home.
We’re living in a food restriction world. That’s just what it is. Whether it’s an allergy, or an intolerance, we’re seeing a rise in popularity of restaurants and food brands accommodating foodies who still want to eat GOOD foods, compromise-free.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m personally LOVING the glamorization of the dairy-free & plant-based movements we’re living in.
Restaurants like Planta in Toronto, Eat by Chloe in New York, or LOV in Old Montreal, would not have been able to thrive the way they are today, just two or three years ago.
More and more, restaurants are accommodating plant-based diets, serving dairy-free and meat-free options.
Which is fantastic! But, we’re not eating out at these restaurants every day, are we?
Eating a plant-based, lactose-free, meat-free, gluten-free diet regularly at home is a whole nother ball game. And hosting a dinner party for compromise-free friends, can be difficult!
But it doesn’t have to give you anxiety! I’m always moved when someone accommodates my diet by serving a vegan/plant-based option, even if it’s just one menu item!
I also gravitate more toward food brands that are accommodating to dietary restrictions. President’s Choice has an entire line of gluten-free and lactose-free products, that are honestly so awesome and so easy to get started with, for anyone who may be considering getting their feet wet!
- Gluten-free pasta – Penne
- Gluten-free couscous
- Lactose-free cheese
- Lactose free sour cream
- Lactose-free yogurt
For someone who doesn’t necessarily have a repertoire of plant-based or gluten free recipes, the thought of hosting friends can (rightfully) feel daunting. But the same way you may not like mushrooms on your pizza, or tomatoes in your sandwich, your friends & fam jam should feel free to enjoy meals, compromise-free, too!
Here are two great recipes you can use to impress your food-restriction friends!
Because everyone should be able to join in on the foodie fun!
1) Pineapple Fried Couscous with Ras El-Hanout Spices (V, GF)
- 1 large, ripe pineapple
- 1 package of President’s Choice, GF couscous
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp vegan butter (Earth Balance)
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 2 tsp of Ras El-Hanout PC Black Label spices
- Fresh parsley, salt, and pepper to taste
Begin by slicing your pineapple in half, carving out the insides and slicing into bite-sized chunks. Set pineapple aside.
For the couscous, I like to add boiling water to it in a bowl vs cooking it stovetop. So in a medium bowl, evenly mix your (dry) PC Gluten Free Couscous, with 2 tsp of your Ras el-Hanout spices, and add one tbsp of vegan butter (Earth Balance). Pour your boiling water over the couscous until the couscous and the water are at the same level. Next, cover it to make sure the moisture doesn’t escape. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Lightly drizzle a pan with extra virgin olive oil, and turn heat to medium high. When the oil begins to sizzle, add your scallions and pressed garlic, and cook until lightly browned. Next, add your pineapple slices and red bell pepper, and increase heat to medium-high. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes, turning your pineapple slices so both sides brown evenly.
By now you’ll likely have some pineapple juice at the bottom of your pan, which will be great for flavouring your couscous. Toss in your cooked couscous, and mix well, increasing the heat to high. Lightly fry for about 5 minutes or so until all the flavours blend, and the couscous gets nice and crispy.
For presentation, I kept the carved out pineapple halves to serve the couscous in! Makes a nice touch for entertaining.
2) Buddha Bowls with Roasted Garlic Tahini-Hummus (V, GF)
Buddha bowls are great because of how simple they are to make. I’m a huge fan of bowls that use a leafy green as the base, or a grain like quinoa.
The best part, is that substitutions are so easy, there is no one recipe set in stone. If you or your guests don’t like broccoli, swap it for another veggie like cauliflower or brussels sprouts.
- 1 head of leafy greens, either fresh arugula or romaine, chopped
- 1 package of President’s Choice Gluten-Free Penne, cooked
- 2 small heads of broccoli
- 1 head of garlic, roasted, 45 minutes at 400 degrees
- Raw, organic carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 package of mushrooms, lightly sauteed with extra virgin olive oil
Line your bowls with your leafy green base.
For the pasta, cook stovetop as you normally would. I like my pasta a little al-dente, so I add it to my boiling water and cook it for one minute less than marked on the box.
Lightly sauté your broccoli and mushrooms on the stove with extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil is a great substitute, too!).
Peel your carrots with a simple peeler, and slice thinly.
For the tahini hummus
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp of roasted tahini paste
- Juice of ½ a lemon, plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
Toss all your ingredients into a food processor, and pulse for 1-2 minutes until texture becomes soft and fluffy.
Pro tip: to get your hummus even fluffier, simply add more lemon juice 🙂
Assemble all your ingredients on top of your base, and you’re all set!
I want to hear about YOUR food sensitivities, allergies & intolerances. No seriously, I wanna chat with you about them, LIVE!
Our friends at President’s Choice are opening up the discussion and taking to twitter with a #CompromiseFree hashtag so we can ALL share in the convo!
Tell us about a food sensitivity of yours, or someone you cook for. Maybe a spouse, a child, friend or loved one. Do you cook for someone with a gluten intolerance, or maybe celiac disease? How do you cope?
One lucky twitter chatter will win a prize from President’s Choice valued at $100.00! Just login to twitter, and tweet at us @inspiredby_nick & @preschoice with the hashtag #CompromiseFree to let us know your thoughts!
Nick Joly | Inspired by Nick