Planning a holiday party? Take some simple steps to make your feast a joyful occasion for herbivores and omnivores alike.
Feasting and festivities go hand in hand. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, this often means turkey, too. For those who opt not to eat meat over the holidays, party-going can lead to some awkward conversations and grumbling bellies. Fortunately, party planners can take some simple steps to ensure that the feasting is joyful for guests of all dietary leanings.
Find out guests’ dietary preferences ahead of time
Those awkward moments I mentioned? They can be easily avoided with some pre-party planning. Ask guests in advance about their allergies, intolerances, or dietary preferences. Using the at-our-fingertips ease of Facebook events and mass texting, this should be as easy as pie.
Make fruit- and veggie-based appies
Keep the focus on seasonal favourites such as cranberries, nuts, and Brussels sprouts (though that last one may be more of a fixture than a favourite). In salads, avoid using bacon. Likewise, make soups with vegetable stock rather than chicken stock.
For a healthy meatless side, try one of these alive appies:
- Vegetarian Party Sandwiches
- Carrot Cranberry Spelt Berry Salad
- Caramelized Fennel and Onions with Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Walnuts
- Lemony Herb Veggie Dip
- Sweet and Tart Cranberry Soup
Ask guests to bring their own side dishes
Alternatively, assign each attendee a vague category (salad, soup, dip), or have them sign up to bring an appie of their choice. If your guests are anything like me, they’ll show up with food they enjoy eating. Plus, this takes some of the onus of meal planning off the host. Always a good thing!
Serve a vegetarian main course
No, there’s no need to ditch the meat entirely. But preparing a meatless main dish as well would be a thoughtful gesture to ensure that vegetarian eaters don’t subsist on soups and veggie dips all night. Try this Cranberry Kale Carrot Tart, which looks so scrumptious and seasonally coloured that it might make its way onto my holiday party menu.
Leave stuffing on the side
Stuffing is arguably the yummiest part of a traditional holiday meal. Cooking a vegetarian version separate from the bird can allow all guests to partake of its deliciousness. Try this Lemon, Pine Nut, and Bread Stuffing, which includes instructions on cooking it in the oven.
Will you be planning a holiday feast? Let us know if you’ll be serving a traditional turkey spread, or getting a little adventurous with a meatless menu. We’d love to hear all about your holiday plans on Facebook, Twitter, or right here in the comments below.