help! dinner party for the food averse

Hi all, I'm turning to you for some guidance. I am having a dinner party for a very small group. The guest of honor is pregnant and has several food aversions. Specifically- "no beef unless it is hidden, no chicken that smells like chicken, no pork"
I would like to cater to her as much as possible, without driving myself nuts.
Looking for main course ideas that are relatively low fuss, healthy-ish, and won't stink up my very open concept kitchen.

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Laurie Volkman
Laurie Volkman February 4, 2019

What about something like shepherd's pie? Would the beef be hidden enough if it's under a layer of mashed potatoes?

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Nancy
Nancy February 4, 2019

All this is very subjective...you may knock yourself out and it still won't be enough.
Also, consider how far along in the pregnancy she is and whether her food aversions are stable (sometimes) or change (often the case).
Ask her instead what she DOES tolerate and then build a menu around that. Beans, fish, seafood, egg (quiche, frittata, etc), soy or tempeh products, vegetable, fruits, cheese (solid, semi soft or grated), dips and chips or crudites.

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Gammy
Gammy February 4, 2019

Lots of vegetarian pasta dishes on this site that can be prepped a day in advance, or maybe you could sneak a simple beef ragu into lasagna. Nancy mentioned seafood, how about a gumbo? What about a couple of soups (potato-leek, split pea w/o ham, a light vegetable) that can be made a day ahead and perhaps a selection of tea sandwiches along side. A cheese platter with unique crackers and fig jam and/or pepper jelly (no need for any meats). Make-it-yourself foccasia for the group (commercial flatbread with a selection of toppings) and a simple green salad.

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Ttrockwood
Ttrockwood February 4, 2019

My go to for gatherings now is a DIY style entree- between various dietary needs and food preferences it’s easier to let people fix what they like- and generally more fun!

Generally tacos are the answer. You can make them as fancy or simple as you like and a lot can be made ahead. You could do vegetarian chorizo (trader joe’s “soyrizo” is great, or the brand Lightlife makes one too) as one protein filling, and the other use ground turkey or pork or whatever cooked with taco seasoning. Then offer various toppings (most can be made day before) like sautéed bell peppers and onions, refried beans (the vegetarian canned ones are great), a cabbage based slaw that can double as a side salad, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, pico de gallo, diced avocado, sour cream, pickled jalapenos, etc

Make mexican corn salad as a side, since corn is out of season buy frozen corn, defrost, and then sauté in a pan until edges brown and it becomes fragrant, then proceed with the recipe. I would make it not spicy and offer cayanne on the side for people to add what they want
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And of course chips and salsa or guacamole are welcome as snacky starters

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Stacy Isabel
Stacy Isabel February 5, 2019

I dig the choose your own adventure idea. Tacos might just be the way to go! Thanks for the ideas!!

Jeanie Neumann
Jeanie Neumann February 4, 2019

Hummus. Done.

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby February 5, 2019

Whenever invited guests have special dietary needs, I ask them for suggestions.

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MMH
MMH February 5, 2019

I agree. Ask her what she can eat. When I was in my 1st trimester sometimes there were things I couldn’t even smell let alone eat.

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