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Food and Cakes

Food allergies and diets

I grew up in the south, but then I went to school on the west coast, and I was all, "Vegan WHAT? Gluten WHO?" I live in the south again after 8 years out there, and now I will have guests at my wedding who are, ahem:

vegan
vegetarian, gluten-free (celiac, so actually ALLERGIC, rather than gluten-free by choice)
regular vegetarian
vegetarian, no-dairy
allergic to eggs

How in the HIZZ-ELL do I accommodate these folks? I am meeting with the caterer tomorrow. Thank God we could get the purveyor of local foods, health foods, and vegetarian foods.
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Re: Food allergies and diets

  • Are you trying to do a plated dinner? In that case I'd have the few people who have specific allergies (like celiac) be able to order a gluten-free plate. You don't have to offer that to everyone as a choice. Probably the same with someone who's allergic to eggs, I doubt you're serving eggs, but you'd want that plate to be prepared away from anything that contains them, and I'm sure your venue has worked with people with allergies. I'd merge the vegetarian/vegan/non-dairy people and have a vegan plate. I just think that would be simplest, most vegetarians can eat vegan, but you wouldn't want your vegans trying to eat the vegetarian, especially if you have something with a cream sauce. If the vegetarians that eat dairy want something with it, maybe they can graze from a cheese tray during a cocktail hour or have a dip or something similar. 

    If you're doing buffet/cocktail style/ hors d'oeuvres, then I'd do it station-style, with vegan-friendly stuff on one table, meats on one, and maybe the middle-ground stuff (like a vegetarian pasta salad that vegans won't eat, or the cheese tray, or a dip with dairy in it) on another. As far as the allergies go, I'd still recommend having plates for those people, because you don't want them to have a reaction from eating anything that's set out too close to what they're allergic to. 
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  • And cake? Do I try to find a baker who will make a vegan, egg-free cake, gluten-free cake? We are going to try to a couple of smaller, different flavors of cakes, rather than just one large cake.
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  • If you're getting multiple cakes already, I'd plan on one that can accomodate all or most of your guests allergies. You could also have some cupcakes made for those guests. 
  • Since vegan is no eggs, no dairy, the people who do not eat meat, dairy or eggs can all have the same meal. I had a vegetable napolean at a wedding a few weeks ago, which may have also been gluten free. It does kind of suck to put ALL the special diets into one meal, but as long as it's tasty, it should be fine (the napolean also had a quinoa salad and roasted veggies on the side).

    For dessert, I'd have a few alternatives. Vegan cupcakes, gluten-free candies/ice cream, as well as regular cake. Maybe have a dessert table with various options.
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  • Agree with PP, if you're having several cakes already, a vegan cake would be egg-free and dairy free, so that takes care of that right there. I know that vegan gluten-free cakes can be made, so I'd probably have one cake that was vegan and gluten-free. That takes care of all with allergies and preferences.  I would make sure that your baker knows that this cake is also for those with allergies so that it is not prepared around the other foods, and maybe place it on the very end of your cake table and let your set-up people know that it doesn't need to touch other foods. I'd make sure each cake was marked with what it was (like: "Vegan Carrot Cake *gluten free, on a little card next to it). You vegan friend would have to eat gluten-free, and your gluten-free friend would have to eat vegan, but I think that's  a good compromise. 

    Things like this are all about trying to please the most people with the fewest options you have to have made and pay for, which this would do. 
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  • I have a few people coming to my wedding also that are vegan, my MIL is making the food and won't accomodate so it's up to me to try and find a meal I can make and bring, we are doing small town family style food so everything is being done in roasters or crockpots and served straight out of these. The only thing that I have so far is a fruit salad that MIL is providing. any ideas on an easy tasty vegan "meat" and a salad or something would be great!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_food-allergies-and-diets?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:2fb11783-2a06-4f6c-bdf4-117e0ca55299Post:b6fc0e2f-c678-42ff-9f72-736404157c47">Re: Food allergies and diets</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have a few people coming to my wedding also that are vegan, my MIL is making the food and won't accomodate so it's up to me to try and find a meal I can make and bring, we are doing small town family style food so everything is being done in roasters or crockpots and served straight out of these. The only thing that I have so far is a fruit salad that MIL is providing. any ideas on an easy tasty vegan "meat" and a salad or something would be great!
    Posted by jenjen40[/QUOTE]

    <div>Vegan chili, lentil salad, quinoa salad (either hot or cold), stuffed peppers (you could make them southwest-style with rice and black beans).  Here's a recipe for black bean enchiladas that I make sometimes: <a href="http://happyherbivore.com/2009/04/smokey-black-bean-enchiladas/" rel="nofollow">http://happyherbivore.com/2009/04/smokey-black-bean-enchiladas/</a></div><div>
    </div><div>On the OP's question, we accomodated vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free guests in our buffet.  I have one friend that has severe allergies to gluten, nuts, corn, and other things, and the venue made her a special plate with things that were on the buffet (sometimes without the sauce) to make sure that no one inadvertently cross-contaminated the buffet serving dishes.</div>

  • A vegan, gluten-free cake will be 3x the cost of a regular cake. I researched this for my mother, who is allergic to wheat (different than celiac) and allergic to dairy. She said to skip it. Our buffet dinner of chicken, pork, potatoes, salad, and asparagus will be gluten-free and dairy-free (and free of about 9 other allergies in my family). We don't have any vegetarian guests.
  • You may want to consider cupcakes if you only have a few with vegan/celiac. Cakes as stated do get expensive. We're doing a gf cake and I'm anticipating it costing about $7.50 a slice! Note I'm a celiac as is my mom and two of my bridesmaids so we are doing the entire thing GF. We will have a vegan and about 4 vegitareans as well. We are going to do a buffet where vegitarean/vegan options are labeled. We will probably provide a carved meat, and a chicken or fish, a pasta dish, salad without meat, roasted veggies, and possibly a potato. We will also offer a cheese tray and fruit plus appetizers (humus veggie tray, crab dip with chips, skewer foods).
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_food-allergies-and-diets?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:2fb11783-2a06-4f6c-bdf4-117e0ca55299Post:b6fc0e2f-c678-42ff-9f72-736404157c47">Re: Food allergies and diets</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have a few people coming to my wedding also that are vegan, my MIL is making the food and won't accomodate so it's up to me to try and find a meal I can make and bring, we are doing small town family style food so everything is being done in roasters or crockpots and served straight out of these. The only thing that I have so far is a fruit salad that MIL is providing. any ideas on an easy tasty <strong>vegan "meat"</strong> and a salad or something would be great!
    Posted by jenjen40[/QUOTE]

    A great "meat" for vegans are portabello steaks.  The protabello mushroom is extrememly hardy and many vegetarians and vegans substitute the mushroom for a steak since it is so "meaty".

  • PeavyPeavy member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    I'll probably get slammed for this, but just because you have one or two people who can't eat something doesn't mean you have to do anything special for them.  Vegetarian is pretty normal and easy to accommodate.  People who are gluten free, dairy free, etc, know what they can and can't eat, and they know to avoid it.  So do your best to accommodate as many as possible, but as they saying goes, you can't please everyone.
  • I just met with our caterer, Greenhouse Grille, in Fayetteville, AR, and the chef was WONDERFUL. We are choosing to do a mixed green salad with a berry vinaigrette, feta, and toasted nuts, some sort of appetizer yet to be decided, and a choice of beef, mahi mahi/halibut, or a quinoa and veggie saute served on a bed of kale (which is vegan).

    Woot.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_food-allergies-and-diets?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:2fb11783-2a06-4f6c-bdf4-117e0ca55299Post:b5d9bbe1-26ee-4e4b-9f6d-95f87008e55a">Food allergies and diets</a>:
    [QUOTE]I grew up in the south, but then I went to school on the west coast, and I was all, "Vegan WHAT? Gluten WHO?" I live in the south again after 8 years out there, and now I will have guests at my wedding who are, ahem: vegan vegetarian, gluten-free (celiac, so actually ALLERGIC, rather than gluten-free by choice) regular vegetarian vegetarian, no-dairy allergic to eggs How in the HIZZ-ELL do I accommodate these folks? I am meeting with the caterer tomorrow. Thank God we could get the purveyor of local foods, health foods, and vegetarian foods.
    Posted by runpipparun[/QUOTE]
    Ususally if you present to the caterer the dietary issues, they are likely to work with you, and create a menu that most people can eat. Or at least options so that everyone will have something.

    Celiac is not an allergy to gluten, but an intolerance. A gluten allergy is a little different.

    As long as you make sure there are a couple of vegan options, all the vegans, vegetarians, vegetarians with restrictions can eat it.

    People with Celiac (or allergies to gluten) can eat any vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, fish even rice as long as it doesn't have a crumb of bread on it, near it, next to it. Bread chicken? A non, no. But roasted chicken isn't. Just double check with your caterer that any sauces they use also do not have gluten in them. Soy sauce for one you have to be careful with because sometimes it has gluten in it.
  • dewingedpixiedewingedpixie member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited June 2012
    Mango - Celiac is actually an autoimmune disorder and very different than gluten intolorance. Celiac is technically a class 4 allergy as it trips a t-cell response rather than an antihistamine response seen in class 1 allergies such as hay fever.

    People with gluten intolorance dont digest gluten. People with celiac have their villi destroyed by their t-cells attacking them when they ingest gluten. BIG DIFFERENCE. Celiac = more autoimmune diseases, cancer, and malnutrition. Gluten Intolerance = discomfort, and malaise.
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  • MangoSongMangoSong member
    100 Comments
    edited June 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_food-allergies-and-diets?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:2fb11783-2a06-4f6c-bdf4-117e0ca55299Post:ed9162d4-2cd6-48b9-b8c0-c3b1ca38939d">Re: Food allergies and diets</a>:
    [QUOTE]Mango - Celiac is actually an autoimmune disorder and very different than gluten intolorance. Celiac is technically a class 4 allergy as it trips a t-cell response rather than an antihistamine response seen in class 1 allergies such as hay fever. People with gluten intolorance dont digest gluten. People with celiac have their villi destroyed by their t-cells attacking them when they ingest gluten. BIG DIFFERENCE. Celiac = more autoimmune diseases, cancer, and malnutrition. Gluten Intolerance = discomfort, and malaise.
    Posted by dewingedpixie[/QUOTE]
    Thanks, I'm well aware of what it is. My mom has it, I've grown up with it. I've been to more seminars on it then I can count. But it's still considered an intolerance and not an allergy. I've had more doctors tell that that then I know what to do with.

    People with celiac can still use products like shampoo with gluten in it. People with a gluten allgery can't. People with a gluten allergy can have things like spelt, celiac can not.

    Being lactose intolant (depending on the severity) can also cause cancer and malnutrition, it's not an allergy either.
  • Most doctors are idiots when it comes to celiac. My gastro told me to not use anything with gluten in it. We did not even allow my daughter to have real play dough in the house. My shampoos, conditioners etc all gluten free. There is always a chance of accidental ingestion, which causes an autoimmune reaction.

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  • MangoSongMangoSong member
    100 Comments
    edited June 2012
    It's completely true that most doctors are idiots about it - case in point, my friend's doctor told it her it was okay to cheat on her celiac diet every so often - my mom basically yelled at my friend.

    However, the doctor and specialist my family has seen in the past couple of years, is THE celiac doctor in this country. Works at Columbia Pres... really nice... also knows what he's talking about and what he's doing.

    As long as you don't go eating your hair, you should be good.
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