Many of us face the challenge daily of cooking for people with dietary restrictions. It can be a difficult and time consuming job and it is sometimes accompanied by many failures before a success. Dietary restrictions come in many different severities and kinds and can be a difficult thing to cope with. Therefore it is important that we continue to try and create meals as people that live with dietary restrictions deserve the right to eat foods that are tasty and nutritious.
Know and Understand the Restriction
The first step to cooking for restrictive diets successfully is to know and understand what the restrictions are. Some people choose to place restrictions on their diets for religious or health reasons whereas others have intolerances or life-threatening allergies. Regardless of the reason it is important that you treat those restrictions with respect. Understanding the nature of the restriction will help you to access ingredients that can be used in recipes. A good example of a dietary restriction is Celiac disease. Essentially a person with this disease cannot tolerate gluten. This is a complex protein found in wheat, oats, barley and rye. With a dietary restriction of this type it is important that labels are checked carefully before use in foods prepared. Understanding what cannot be eaten also help you to find suitable alternatives on the market.
Find a Substitute
Substitution is also an important part in cooking for restrictive diets. Many restrictions can be worked around simply by substituting different ingredients. This can be done simply such as in the case of making vegetarian lasagna. Instead of using ground beef you can use a variety of fleshy vegetables such as zucchini or eggplant. With wheat intolerance there are a number of different wheat and gluten free flours available on the market that can used in place of wheat based flours. Dairy restrictions have become easy to substitute for as there are many diary free alternatives available. It is important that you practice cooking with these alternatives as recipes may need adjustment based on the consistency of the new ingredient.
While it can be daunting to cook for people with restrictive diets, it is worth the time and effort to see those people enjoy a meal. In most cases a simple substitute will make a meal safe while not impeding the ease at which the meal can be cooked.