Welcome all to dinner

Published 7:01 am Sunday, December 13, 2015

By Courtney Kremer

Hy-Vee Dietitian

December may be one of the busiest months of the year, filled with many parties and dinners with friends and family. If you have the role of planning and preparing one of these meals it can make this busy season even busier.

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To top it off, some of your guests mentioned they have food allergies. Don’t panic. I have some helpful tips for welcoming all guests to the dinner table regardless of food allergies they may have.

First, focus on foods that are naturally free of allergens and plan your menu around those items. This saves you from having to buy alternatives like gluten-free bread or dairy-free cheese that may alter the taste of your traditional recipes.

Ask your guests for suggestions. Those living with food allergies know their diets best. They can offer good suggestions and may be willing to bring their own alternatives for some of the dishes.

If it is a potluck get-together, request that all your guests bring print-outs of the recipes. That way everyone knows what ingredients are in the dishes, and if they love it they have the recipe to make it themselves. It’s a win-win.

Ask your Hy-Vee dietitian for suggestions. I would be happy to help you find allergy-friendly foods and suggest allergy-free recipes to make your dinner party a success.

Food allergies can be tricky if you are not used to preparing meals without dairy, gluten or eggs. Remember to check with your guests on the severity of their food allergies. Some individuals cannot even have it in the house, while others are fine picking and choosing from dishes that are allergen-free.

Keep these tips in mind when planning your dinner, then sit back and enjoy the company of friends and family.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Salmon Cakes with Olives, Lemon & Dill

Serves 8 (1 salmon cake each)

 All you need


Salmon Cakes with Olives, Lemon & Dill

•4 scallions, quartered

•1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

•3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill or thyme

•Zest of 2 lemons

•1/2 teaspoon salt

•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

•2 1/2 pounds wild salmon (see Tip), skinned and cut into •2-inch chunks

•4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

 All you do

1. Place scallions, olives and dill (or thyme) in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in lemon zest, salt and pepper.

2. Working in 3 or 4 batches, pulse salmon just 2 or 3 times to finely chop, but not puree. 3. Add the chopped salmon to the bowl; gently mix until combined. (Alternatively, finely chop salmon, scallions, olives and herbs by hand before combining with lemon zest, salt and pepper.) Divide the mixture into 8 patties, about 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. 4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes (or up to 2 hours) before cooking.

5. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 salmon cakes and cook until browned on both sides and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total. Repeat with the remaining oil and salmon cakes.