can I ask a menu question? I'm just looking for some kind of inspiration. There will be 9 for dinner. One is vegetarian, one is no-gluten, one is no-dairy, one is nothing white(no potato, no pasta, no sugar, no white rice or bread etc). And I need to do all my cooking when I get home from work at 3, or make-ahead.

  • Posted by: minky2
  • January 27, 2011


Anitalectric January 28, 2011
I feel like a broken record saying this on a bunch of different posts, but you could find recipes that would work on my blog. All the recipes are vegan, which means they are suitable for both the vegetarian and the dairy-free person. Most of the recipes are gluten-free.

With the exception of a holiday feast recipe, they all take less than an hour. Hope that something looks good!

Summer O. January 28, 2011
I agree it does sound like a test! I also agree with the ratatouille and Indian options. As a former lactose intolerant vegetarian of 23 years I would suggest as another option a visit Rose Elliot's cookbooks. Such as The Classic Vegetarian and The Complete Vegetarian Cuisine . Rose has many options for what you described, vegan soup, vegan terrines and stuffed vegetables, mushroom pate (toast points optional!), vegetable based sauces, nut and bean salads. Most everything can be made ahead of time. It's all very elegant and not too, how do I say, earth mothery?
minky2 January 28, 2011
i just discovered foodpickle today--and I am so inspired by all of you for your input--some great ideas....i'll let you know what I come up with--dinner on 2/18....
Queen O. January 28, 2011
Yikes! I think a chili/stew 'bar' might be fun and doable. Say, a nice red chili with chunks of chuck, a veggie chili with winter squash, roasted poblanos, diced tomatoes & corn (if the no whites person will eat that), and maybe a seafood stew with a fennel/broth base (so the no dairy can to that too). Then a bright array of 'add your owns': cheese, onions, red bells, sour cream, chives, even bacon. A basket of rolls and corn muffins. The chilis can be made ahead and refrigerated or even frozen. So could a lot of the 'add ons' prep.

Whichever way. Good luck!
AntoniaJames January 27, 2011
I'd go Indian, with Julie Sahni's Brown Basmati Rice Pilaf with Cashews and Broccoli, and a good red lentil soup (I'd serve my own Red Lentil Soup with Cauliflower, posted here) with a simple cucumber raita on the side. I'd also serve a gorgeous green salad full of crunchy and juicy and colorful ingredients. I'd serve several nice sorbets, purchased (including a chocolate one, if you can find it) for dessert, with coconut macaroons. And don't forget the Indian beer. Have fun! ;o) P.S. This dinner can easily be made starting at 3:30, but you'd want to map out in advance your order of operations, prep whatever veggies you can the night before, etc.
java&foam January 27, 2011
latoscana, let me say that I'm jealous I didn't think of that myself...its pretty brilliant. in fact...i would venture to say you could make a ground beef alternative to put in those tacos by using Amy's Bistro Burgers (veggie AND gluten-free) that you crumble up in a frying pan along with some cumin and taco seasonings! that would probably work great!
latoscana January 27, 2011
What about make-it-yourself tacos buffet - guests help themselves to only the foods they choose but there are plenty of options to keep everyone happy. You could have whole wheat, spelt, and/or corn tortillas. The options can include an array of easy-to-prepare veggie and seafood options such as roasted or grilled veggies, grilled or sauteed fish or shrimp. And offer plenty of toppings such as red and green salsas, lime wedges, fresh chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream. This is fun food that works with a crowd and isn't hard to make or clean up.
Sam1148 January 27, 2011
Ahhh...another question. The "Nothing white" person, is that aversion to the color. Or a overly simplistic "rule of thumb" that some people use to avoid carbs? (IE: would an apple, parsnips, cauliflower be off their menu?).
Sam1148 January 27, 2011
The "Nothing White" maybe a hard customer.

But for the rest a Cauliflower couscous. Trim the head into florets. Process in a food processor in small batches, in pulses--until it looks like couscous.
Cook just briefly with olive oil, garlic. This can be stored and re-heated.
Note: you don't want it mush either by the processing or the cooking. Just lightly cooked.
Google some veggie couscous recipes for the toppings.

Serve as a base for a 'tangine' type dish. One with meat, or seafood another with veggies.

For the 'nothing white' person, you could sub some red beans, black beans, or brown rice for the base.
amysarah January 27, 2011
Yikes. That's quite an obstacle course to navigate. (Are you sure it's a dinner party and not a test?) The only advice I can offer is to not even try to make the meal 'one size fits all.'

I'd just serve ample amounts of several dishes, making sure to include at least a couple that work for each dietary restriction, and hopefully some that overlap - e.g., lots of vegetables, since those don't seem to be on any of your guest's 'evil' list. Then guests can take what they want, without undo attention or fuss about it. (A buffet might work best for that.)
Raquelita January 27, 2011
At least your guests can eat nuts! My only dietary restriction is vegetarian, but I avoid dairy and white foods just because I like other things better and it keeps me in good shape. I agree that a baked veggie dish such as ratatouille or baked turnips, carrots, parsnipsi and squash will be a crowd pleaser. You can throw a mixed-bean stew or chili into a slow cooker in the morning before work and have a delightfully thick, hearty and warming protein portion (Julie Jordan's cashew chili is a family favorite that could be made this way--see the online version here or use a mix like the Bob's Red Mill Vegan cornbread and polenta would complete the meal.
hardlikearmour January 27, 2011
Note: if you do make the black beans as directed in the recipe link, make sure to find gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
hardlikearmour January 27, 2011
Wow, that's a tough crowd! This site has some good quinoa based recipes. I've made this before and it's quite good. You'd need to sub brown rice for the white, but that's an easy fix. And it would be easy to make ahead.
pierino January 27, 2011
This reminds me of a recent New Yorker cartoon. Anyone by chance on a "cleanse"? I feel your pain.
I have to cook for 30 next month, some of whom are equally phobic wimpolas. Part of my plan is to do two gumbo's beginning with the same dark roux base. Of course somebody will complain that there's a okra in it. Who is the wierdo who won't eat anything white? I mean I'm serving long grain white rice. Make them some red Jello and tell them to shut up.
java&foam January 27, 2011
minky2, i would suggest some sort of full-bodied baked vegetable dish (like ratatouille) with a side of polenta (you could either have it smooth or fried into little cakes) and a fruit salad for dessert. you certainly have very particular guests and accommodating all those needs won't be easy. you can substitute brown sugar or honey or agave extract in the fruit salad. the rest of these have no meat or wheat or dairy or white things. since you can't use cheese, i'm sure you can punch up the flavor in the polenta with spices from your pantry. get creative! I hope this helps!

Basic Polenta:


Fruit Salad with Poppyseed Dressing :
Sadassa_Ulna January 27, 2011
Indian cuisine has lots of vegetarian dishes that can be made subbing oil for ghee. Brown rice instead of white. Some Indian dishes use coconut instead of butter. Does the vegetarian eat fish or seafood? A lot of Indian dishes can be made or prepped ahead...
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