Many brides get nervous when considering a plant-based gluten-free wedding menu. They worry about what the “meat and potato” loving guests will think, and may get pressured from their family to stick to the basics (usually chicken or steak and fish).
Chef Mya Zeronis, from Lean Chef en Route Catering in Pittsburgh, PA, is a health food chef who runs a raw organic juice/ vegan lunch cafe and also caters. She helps her clients create healthy meals to remember in a manner that fits their lifestyle and eating philosophy.
“Often, a potential customer has already done their ‘homework,’ knows my cuisine cooking style and contacts me directly for a customized plant-strong menu that features global flavors for the big day,” Mya explains. “I love customizing menus for those who want to make their special day more special by serving unique fare, and not ‘every-day’ food. ‘Every-day food’ has a mass appeal, and it means for a caterer more profit with less effort in shorter time.
Because of this, only a few caterers offer extensive menus of wholesome, plant-based, gluten-free, raw and cooked food infused with international flavors, especially in less foodie cities like Pittsburgh. Regardless, no matter where you live or plan to have your wedding reception, finding a caterer who will wholeheartedly make your guests a fare to remember should not be hard.
Sure, more than half of your guests are most likely to be meat-potato eaters. Don’t get frustrated over people’s taste (or lack of taste) in food because, in the end, they will appreciate your decision to open their eyes to nourishing and green alternatives!”
To help you find a caterer who can meet your dietary needs, Mya suggests coming up with examples (like the foods below) to put on your wish list before you interview potential companies. This can give them ideas of what you are looking for and even if not their specialty, they may be able to make what you want. Chef Mya has even included a few recipe links you can share!
- Fresh local zucchini cannelloni with raw cashew ricotta and sun dried tomato-basil marinara
- Organic kale-chickpea hummus with brown rice crackers, organic carrots, celery and cucumber sticks
- Fresh organic vegetable-herb summer rolls in rice paper, served with tangy sweet raw cashew dip
- Lambs quarters (wild edible greens), with organic edible Nasturtium flowers, walnuts, shaved organic celery, raw organic apple cider-maple-mustard vinaigrette
- Citrus organic millet with fresh local, organic vegetables (click here for the recipe)
- Organic tri-color quinoa with organic cucumbers, pinto beans and lime-jalapeño-cilantro dressing
- Raw avocado-cucumber soup in walnut cream (click here for the recipe)
- Three-Bean chili with garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans, organic bell peppers and Non-GMO-Project-verified tamari
- Southwestern Meatloaf (No-Meat, Nut loaf) of almonds, cremini mushrooms, local organic stone-ground cornmeal, black beans, carrots, beets, tomatoes, millet, brown rice, flaxseeds, jalapeños, cumin, cilantro, served with raw organic cacao-pumpkin seed mole sauce
- Inside-Out Taco with local organic swiss chard leaves (shell), local-organic cornmeal-mushroom-black bean filling, topped with fresh mango salsa
- Organic brown rice macaroni with homemade vegan cheddar sauce, raw cashew ricotta and dehydrated shitake mushroom bacon bits
- Curry-spiced roasted local organic gold potatoes with saffron threads
- Savory local organic buckwheat mini pancakes with English peas and scallions
- Steamed black rice with fresh coconut meat, sesame seeds, sea salt, sesame oil
- Hash of organic soy-brown rice-flaxseed tempeh, organic bell peppers and red onions
- Raw organic cacao-walnut brownies with dates and unsweetened organic raisins
- Raw cacao-coconut-avocado mousse with grilled pineapple, maple syrup and raw organic brown sugar-chili marinated diced mangoes
- Raw organic carrot-ginger-pineapple-lemon juice shots
- Raw cacao-hemp milk
If you are on the fence about featuring plant-based and gluten-free foods at your wedding, we hope these delicious ideas can help sway you (and your family) to at least consider the options. You can always have one main meat dish and fill in with a menu that is more your style as a compromise, if going entirely plant-based is too scary. That said, it is your day, and it is okay to have your guests eat your way for one meal. Who knows, it might just open their eyes to new possibilities!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.