Brunch is one of my favorite meals — and a favorite way to entertain! I love to serve egg and cheese casseroles, French toast, delicious smoothies, and the like. So recently when a friend asked me for some advice on preparing a dairy-free brunch, because a guest couldn’t eat any dairy, my response was probably a surprise to her. “What a great opportunity to get creative!”
The fact is that if you do any amount of entertaining, you will have guests join you with some sort of dietary restriction. Whether due to allergies, intolerance, or lifestyle choices, your guests may not be able to enjoy your celebration if you don’t provide some options. It’s a nice thing to do. Plus, it really will encourage you to be creative and get outside of your comfort zone.
If you’re in the same situation as my friend, let me help you out. Here were my suggestions to her:
Roasted or Grilled veggie tray — asparagus, eggplant, peppers, thin sliced carrots, and squash are all beautiful on a tray with hummus
Green salad and/or Fruit salad
Caramelized onion tart or quiche can be made without milk
Smoked salmon served w/thinly sliced baguette or mini-bagels and choice of toppings – Dijon mustard, onions, capers, chopped boiled egg and even cream cheese (the guest can opt out and still enjoy the other topping options)
For dessert: Fruit salad with a little honey champagne dressing (1 Tbs honey, plus 1/4 cup champagne or pinot gris, plus mint), Zucchini or carrot muffins/bread, or cookies (like easy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies – 1 cup PB+1 cup sugar+1 egg + 1/2 cup chocolate chips) provide a good sweet option that can easily be made dairy free
Also, many brunch dishes taht typically include milk can be made with a dairy alternative (unsweetened plain soy milk works well because it’s fat/protein levels are similar to cow’s milk) instead, if dairy is the only issue.
Even if you have a guest who is dairy free or who needs any other accommodation, it doesn’t mean you have to leave that ingredient out completely. But making some options available is just the kind thing to do…after all, they are your guest.