Picky (Adult) Eaters Challenge
What do you cook for the following when chicken/turkey and pizza gets boring:
One won't eat beans of any kind or potatoes (except fries); one won't eat pork; one won't eat seafood/fish, mushrooms, olives and not big on pasta; one is allergic to Cranberries, Whitefish, Beer (Hops and Brewer's Yeast), Lamb and won't eat stinky fish (Anchovies, Sardines, etc.), or any form of red meat; and one can't eat wheat, trying to avoid gluten, dairy, won't eat green peppers and has hard time with spicy.
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I love the chicken gumbo idea. Or a chicken tagine You could serve it with different accompanyments so there's something for everyone, and not make it too spicy.
Or a roast chicken and roasted veggies? As drbabs said, people can avoid the veggies that they don't like. Might be too boring.
And I hear you -- there is something really satisfying about feeding a group of people -- especially people you are about -- a meal that they really like and enjoy.
Chicken gumbo? You can make it mild, you can leave out the peppers and serve hot sauce on the side. Here's a recipe that can be adapted: http://food52.com/recipes/3528_shrimp_gumbo
Also, I went to a friend's house for dinner last night and she made a chicken stew with boneless breasts, onions, carrots, celery (I don't like cooked celery so I just avoided it), potatoes (Your potato-avoiding friend could do the same), in a nice wine and chicken stock based broth with steamed green beans and good bread (you could find/make a gluten-free bread.) on the side. It was really wonderful and satisfying in a homey comfort food way.
Pierino - I hear what you're saying on the gluten thing and there probably is some overkill with the ones who are just trying it as a lifestyle change, but I (the poster) am actually the gluten issue and it sucks. I'm not celiac, but I do have sensitivities that are not in my head. Wheat is really not my friend and I have to avoid since so much nowadays is so over-processed, you don't get the original good wheat, which I could probably tolerate. When I eat gluten, it later feels like I have arthritis all over, my joints get stiff and achy, I'm more fatigued and just overall feel like crap. I LOVE pasta, could eat it every day, I'm trying to find good tasting gluten-free ones, but so far the real deal is what I crave. My doctor wants me to avoid dairy because it's not good for those (like me) with sinus issues and she thinks may be causing my migraines. I already gave up cows milk 6 years ago, total bummer, I was a milkaholic, now I just drink almond milk in cereal, don't like soy.
As for the other comments, hmm, maybe I should have done this in a PowerPoint presentation layout with flow charts :-) I think there's a small percentage of the population that will eat just about anything and are adventurous. In this day and age with all the processed and junk foods people are raised on, it's no wonder they don't have varied palates. I'm sure you all know someone who will not eat vegetables at all, or fruit, I know several. Then there's the memory factor, the one where as a kid your Mom or Dad wouldn't let you leave the table unless you ate all of something on your plate, thus leaving a negative impression of that food, mine is lima beans and green beans, they're slimy and I can't handle taste or texture. I think we all have some level of that. On the flip side, during my travels over the years I've eaten such things as reindeer, whale, kangaroo, the most gawd-awful fruit and even licked the butt of a green ant (it was an Aboriginal thing in Australia). There will be lots of people when I tell them I've eaten that stuff, will think I'm a freak, so what, I like to experiment.
I realize you can't please everyone, but it's part of the process and feelings of success when you can please a whole crowd. Like someone else said, this is a challenge as a cook when you have these issues. How many parents out there have every pot and pan out at dinner time making something for each person because all can't agree on one, or someone refuses to eat something. We didn't do this as I was growing up, Mom made one meal and that was it, but it happens.
We have our standby things we make that all eat, but it gets boring. The repeats are pizza, my Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, pizza, taco bar, pizza, and that's about it so far. I'm going to be remodeling my kitchen with an awesome new Viking stove, I'm stoked to really start cooking and baking when it's all done.
OK, enough of my droning on about that. Maybe Thursdays should be Cooking Therapy day, you're all already being great therapists for me! :-)
To recap in different format:
- One won't eat beans of any kind or potatoes (except fries);
- One won't eat pork;
- One won't eat seafood or fish, mushrooms, olives and not big on pasta, doesn't like fatty meats, will surgically dissect any fat or gristle off (I finally spell checked gristle)
- One is allergic to Cranberries, Whitefish, Beer (Hops and Brewer's Yeast), Lamb and won't eat stinky fish (Anchovies, Sardines, etc.), or any form of red meat (domestic, wild or game);
- One can't eat wheat, trying to avoid gluten, dairy, won't eat green peppers and has hard time with spicy.
- NO tofu, wild or game meats (which kind of covers the one who won't eat red meat), organ meats, tongue, feet, tail, eyeballs, etc, etc...
With regard to anchovies the people who won't eat them have never tasted good ones. It's the crappy "pizza anchovies" from Morocco that ruin it. Now boquerones, the white anchovies in vinegar from Spain will convert any anchovy hater. I mix them up with big fat green olives and marcona almonds and they vanish in seconds.
And here I thought trying to eat out with my vegan friend was difficult!!
What about duck?
I'll see recipes pop up on this site and usually have to save just for me, there tends to be something in it that one won't eat, which is a bummer because it looks so good! Someone suggested meatloaf, sure, but when I threw that idea around once, I got some grimaces. [insert bang head against wall]
I will add, no tofu.
It's so nice that you're all being very supportive and offering ideas, I do appreciate it!
This is actually good, having to think outside a whole bunch of boxes at once!
If you can find one in your area, and want to go a bit unusual, I say you do a rabbit stew! It's not chicken/turkey (or lamb, or fish, or red meat, or pork). You could do a mustard/chicken stock base for the braise and then for those that are eating dairy, finish the sauce off with a liaison of egg yolk & cream. Serve with a side of roast veggies. 1 rabbit serves 3-4 people.
But the gluten free thing (apart from genuine celiacs) is getting to be too much...
I imagine you could leave the cheese out of this tart and use a gluten-free mix for the crust:
Turkey meatloaf? http://food52.com/recipes/3575_spicy_turkey_meatloaf With aargersi's homemade tater tots (for the french fry lover)? http://food52.com/recipe/tater
Voted the Best Reply!
anything that lets people pick and choose what works for them.
If nothing, we have learned a lot. And the point is the conversation the dinner allows for.
I have SO many recipes I would love to try, but many have something in it somone won't eat, and eliminating not always possible. Myself and another in group are the ones who like to cook the most, she's the one with the allergies, but we were commiserating about how challenging it is to cook for this group. I'm the challenge with no wheat, gluten, dairy (and I love cheese, so sad) or green peppers (nasty buggers, gives me stomach aches).
That being said here is a great recipe http://food52.com/recipes/14244_quinoa_and_kale_crustless_quiche
BBQ Chicken. Grilled polenta squares topped with roasted veggies. Dessert: chocolate-marshmallow banana boats (let me know if you want the recipe).
Turkey piccata. Sauteed kale(or spinach) & garlic. Dessert: fresh cut pineapple sprinkled with cinnamon.
Dirty rice with turkey sausage, http://www.food.com/recipe/dirty-rice-with-turkey-sausage-345425, use red bell peppers instead of green, leave out the cayenne. Roast corn. Dessert: Thai rice pudding, http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaidesserts/r/ricepudding.htm