Wedding Caterers and Health-Conscious Guests: What You Should Know

annanealwed-0346-2There has been a big shift in the way many people eat. Organic, locally grown good is in high demand. There are more vegetarians and vegans. Other dietary requirements, such as gluten-free and dairy-free, are picking up steam. Food producers and restaurants are responding, as are caterers. After all, cater means to provide what is needed or required!

These days, caterers (particularly wedding caterers) are providing more and more options for health-conscious guests. From veggie bars to delicious vegan starters to organic spirits, the choices are varied and even fun. Make sure you know what the various dietary requirements are before you put together a menu. This ensures that all your guests are accommodated, and it’s a great way to make everyone feel welcome at your wedding. A reputable caterer should be able to help you create delicious options that meet a variety of needs. Here are several ways in which wedding caterers are accommodating their health-focused clientele.

Vegetarian options

Vegetarian ingredients tend to be more readily available, but it’s often a challenge to create meatless dishes that are interesting and delicious—something beyond a simple pasta option. A savvy caterer, however, will be able to create something exciting and present it beautifully.

Some catering companies typically make a third of their food vegetarian or vegan; this not only ensures these guests will be taken care of, but it also keeps the menus balanced. It’s possible to take inspiration from cuisines where vegetarian options are exciting and plentiful, such as Chinese, Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines. Recipes are then adjusted to fit a more western palate. Consider ingredients like spiced eggplant, sweet potato, spinach, quinoa fritters, fetta cheese and pomegranate.

Other ideas for mouth-watering vegetarian starters and mains include tomato and mozzarella salad with basil and olives, deep-fried goat cheese with marinated gilled veggies, wild mushroom risotto, vegetarian paella, and blue cheese soufflés with steamed chard and asparagus. A qualified and reputable caterer should be able to help you find options that sound good, look great and taste amazing.

Vegan options

Vegan options must be meat-free and also free of any products derived from animals such as eggs, dairy, and fats. If you’re catering to vegan guests, it’s important to make sure that all ingredients are indeed vegan. For example, some jellies and sauces are made with animal byproducts, and roasting veggies in something like goose fat would be off-limits.

Fortunately, it’s possible to create vegan options that please not only vegans but carnivores and vegetarians too. Consider dishes such as potato-stuffed artichoke bottoms, vegan-cream-cheese-filled tomatoes with spices and green onions, and Moroccan tofu with lemon-olive sauce over spaghetti. There are many possibilities—again, the question is whether your catering company can execute.

Green options

Some of your guests may be meat-eaters but prefer to eat organic and sustainable foods. Professional catering companies are increasingly accommodating “green” eaters. Some wedding parties are planning menus with at least one green course. Consider starting with a salad made with organic ingredients or offering free-range chicken and organic string beans as a main dish. Beverages can also be green (though hopefully not in color). Some winemakers and spirit producers have organic options; you could offer an organic vodka or tequila, or even a local or biodynamic wine.

Accommodating health-conscious guests

As more people strive for healthier diets, caterers are responding with increasingly varied and delicious options. Providing courses for diverse dietary needs ensures that all your guests will be happy and well-fed. Make sure you find out what guests’ dietary restrictions are before planning your menu. An experienced caterer can help put together a fantastic, healthy menu for your wedding.

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