With its focus on legumes and vegetables, Mediterranean diets are a natural way to satisfy a variety of dietary needs with bold flavors. Chefs Carla and Christine Pallotta of Nebo Restaurant in Boston suggest starting off holiday festivities with a traditional antipasti platter.
San Diego celebrity chef Deborah Scott also recommends going Mediterranean when entertaining. Her favorite idea? A DIY flatbread bar featuring regular and gluten-free flatbreads, along with an array of seasonal toppings.
Chef Matthew Wexler has experience cooking for groups with a bevy of dietary restrictions. He advises hosts to remember that the most important thing is that sharing a meal with family and friends should be a joy.
Chef Neal Fraser of the The Strand House restaurant in Manhattan Beach, CA, believes the easiest way to cook for people with dietary restrictions is to plan ahead and make a few dishes that fit in those parameters when you start menu planning.
Brazilian cooking expert and food blogger,Cynthia Presser, loves to entertain large groups of friends and family in her home. She believes in using a variety of versatile ingredients to expand upon texture.
One of Presser’s favorite recipes for the holidays is her Vegetarian Mixed Mushroom Lasagna. Expecting guests with gluten sensitivities? Substitute gluten-free lasagna noodles!
DIY Salad Dressing
Sarah Schiear, the blogger behind 20SomethingCupcakes.com is a big proponent of keeping it simple with from-scratch salad dressings and basic vinaigrettes.
No holiday meal is complete without dessert, but with all the time and preparation that goes into creating a large feast, you may not have enough energy (or oven space!) leftover to bake.
There are plenty of fantastic store-bought vegan Coconut Ice Cream varieties available, but if you’d like to make it from scratch, try out this easy four-ingredient version from the blog Girl Cooks World.
Serve up Some Salmon
Kotsopoulos, a registered holistic nutritionist, recommends serving an alternative main course for those who may not eat (or like!) turkey or ham. A low maintenance fish dish, such as an herbed salmon, bakes quickly in the oven, providing another choice for your guests.
Famed chef and restaurant owner Michael Mina has recently started teaching home cooks how to become more confident in the kitchen in his new daily video series CookTasteEat.com. One of his favorite cooking tips is to “cook vegetables in their own natural juices.”
Not all guests can always eat the same items you've prepared on the menu (as zesty and tasty as the options may be). Luckily, we have a few pointers in the right direction that creates an option for everyone--be it vegetarian, gluten-free, meat connoisseur--whatever your personal preference.
In fact, some of the recommendations and recipes are so good, you may need to bank on making a little extra just in case!
Check out some savory recipes above in our slideshow. Perfect for the holidays!