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Lettuce Turnip The Beet: A Guest’s Guide to Dining out at Weddings and Events

Nowadays it seems as though there are so many great, alternative options for those with dietary restrictions. Gone are the days with clichéd cookie cutter menus and a “one palate fits all” mentality. At Deborah Miller Catering and Events, we see your “restrictions” or dietary choices as thoughtful solutions to live a fresh, fun and flavorful lifestyle.  In catering for New York City weddings, as well as galas and NYC events, we pride ourselves on creating delicious gluten-free options without compromising on the flavor for your experience. From sophisticated starters to elegant entrees and desserts, here are some fresh ideas on what to eat as a vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free guest at an event.

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While gluten-free options are becoming more widely available in restaurants across the country, we also know that there comes a time in every gluten intolerant’s life when they must dine out with wheat-eaters. Luckily, you and your guests won’t have to pick apart the menu to order something yummy that thing that won't completely disrupt one's tummy. We know that choosing a gluten-free option when dining out or entertaining can literally become a pain in the gut, (pun intended), which is why knowing what you're getting before you go is so important. Whether you’re looking for an elegant corporate dinner or a healthy and robust office breakfast, we’ve designed our gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian menus to be, well, radishing. (Pun intended again). If you’re curious about gluten-free which, for those who don’t know, is a diet that excludes the protein gluten, we’ve got you covered. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye and is also in high carb foods such as bread, cereal and pasta. However, have no fear, gluten-free enthusiasts! – There are so many innovative, fun and fresh recipes that will make any wheat-eater second guess themselves. Here is one of our favorite gluten-free recipes that you’ll enjoy noshing on at any wedding or event. To start, we love a classic apple walnut salad. With juicy apples, roasted candied walnuts, and organic spring mix tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette, this salad delivers something sweet, with a little crunch. The good news is that all veggies get a green light from anyone who follows a gluten-free diet, so it’s fun to play up different fruits, nuts and types of greens in an appetizing salad. For a vegan option, we love a cranberry almond salad with organic mixed greens and tossed with organic dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and carrots in a mango pineapple vinaigrette. (Bonus—it’s also gluten-free!).

 

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What’s an appetizer without a fun cocktail in hand? Here’s a fabulous vegan cocktail recipe that’s a hit for any season and event. The blood orange mule is your answer to the perfect cocktail. Whether you’re a guest or the host, you’ll love sipping on this sweet and spicy libation. Each sip gives you a taste of sweet mixed with spice from the ginger beer, and of course, the bonus of a blood orange slice to snack on as garnish! Who doesn’t love a cocktail that automatically includes snacking opportunities? *Raises Hand* All you’ll need are 2 ounces blood orange juice, half a lime, 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 4 ounces ginger beer, and a couple blood orange slices for a fresh garnish.

  Just the Veganning  

Alongside our various gluten-free options, Deborah Miller Catering and Events offers a various selection of vegan and vegetarian plates and menus for those who are more of the plant patron than a carnivore. We like to think of ourselves as veg-ucated caterers who are committed to helping you and your guests enjoy fresh, local and most Importantly—delicious—fare! From organizing a yummy and sustainable office get-together to a flavorful all-vegan wedding, we like to think of the selections as our favorite seasonal and traditional recipes, but simplified and with a fun, vegan twist. We’re all about homemade delicacies and choices at Deborah Miller, and choosing our plant-based menu options and/or our vegetarian menu is a rawesome (see what we did there) way to stay true to your dietary solutions with our homemade feel.

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When it comes to the dessert table, it can feel like most of the sweet treats are high in gluten or contain eggs. Looking for something high in fiber and protein that will satisfy your sweet tooth? Here’s a healthy tip/life hack for those who crave a little something sweet:  Did you know dates could be used as a sugar substitute? Use 1/3 cup of dates in place of one cup of sugar. When entertaining, we also love no bake chocolate macaroons, made simply with banana, coconut oil, shredded coconut and cocoa powder. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian guest, any dessert that’s coconut based gets the green light—and we’re nuts about that!

Lettuce Turnip the Beet

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Who said plants are boring? There are some common misconceptions about vegan and vegetarian diets but luckily, with more and more people choosing either a plant-based or vegetarian lifestyle, this and other dietary stigmas will be a thing of the past. For those of you who are curious about the difference between vegan and vegetarian followers, Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients, whereas Vegetarians just exclude meat and meat products. If you fall into these two categories and are dining out or are a guest at a wedding or event, here's a basic idea of what gets the green light:

  • Whole grains — Brown rice, whole wheat pastas, whole wheat bread
    Legumes/beans
    Vegetables

If you're feeling saucy, you can add:

  • Tempeh — Fermented meat substitute made from whole soybeans (and sometimes whole grains, too). Has a more “rugged” and meaty texture than tofu and also higher protein.
    Tofu — A meat substitute made from a bean curd made from soy milk.
    Seitan — A meat substitute made from wheat gluten.
    Nuts — Adding chopped nuts to a salad is so cliche (yet delicious). Add chopped nuts to everything for added protein (but still watch yer calories, yaknowwhatimean?)!
    Oils — Olive and canola are the best
    Herbs, spices — Fresh herbs and spices make a bland meat substitute go from meat mockery to meat flattery.

Here’s are some more of our favorite vegan menu options that will have you saying “Kale yeah!” For starters,  if you like things on the spicier side, we love a southwestern black beans and corn salad with tomatoes, peppers and cilantro in a jalapeno vinaigrette. For a savory option, a quinoa bowl with chipotle roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and cilantro is another one of our tried and true vegan fav’s—and we know noshing on these guarantee you and the rest of the party a really great thyme.

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Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten free or none of the above, our belief in catering for NYC weddings and events is that food doesn’t need to be complicated, a lot of work, or require a big time commitment. We take pride in making sure you and your guests enjoy our alternative menus without any hesitation because curating one’s special event is a celebration in and of itself. Or, as our plant-loving friends would call it, cele[ry]brate. At the end of the day, our “Big City, Homemade” mentality works just as well with our vegan and vegetarian options because we simply love making, creating and sharing food! Food is such an instrumental part in our lives and is the center of a lot of our days and important events. And frankly, creating our menus with that idea in mind makes our hearts skip a beet!  Check out the blog next week when we talk more about some fun Spring food pairings and how to gear up for the warmer months ahead!

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