Help! Need ideas for dinner party dishes suitable for someone with fructose malabsorption. No meat!
I'm entertaining some friends who are visiting from Qatar. (So I'll be avoiding foods from that part of the world).
One has suspected fructose malabsorption (the test results won't be back in time for the dinner). He says he avoids fruit (including tomatoes) and chocolate etc made with sweeteners. Research tells me he may need to avoid wheat, but he didn't tell me that.
2 guests don't eat meat (but they do eat fish).
I always cook from scratch, so it should be easy to avoid sweeteners - and I assume ordinary sucrose is OK.
But how do I cook a summer meal without tomatoes and fruit?!
And without chocolate - what does that leave for desert apart from vanilla and caramel?
Any FM sufferers out there - is there anything else I should be thinking to exclude, especially if it isn't obvious?
Sucrose is half fructose, half glucose. I would just avoid dessert for this guest, unless you want to get into artificial sweeteners. Maybe a cheese plate?
You will probably also need to avoid corn, sweet potatoes, carrots, red peppers, onions and potentially other vegetables, depending on the level of sensitivity. Btw, I don't know anything about fructose mal-absorption specifically, I'm just remembering some biology from back in the day.
As a vegetarian, I do not expect hosts to cook entire vegetarian meals. I would imagine that your guest would also not want everyone else to be limited by his dietary restriction.
How about some simple grilled/broiled fish, rice or other grain, a simply prepared vegetable side dish, and a salad. If it is obvious what is in the vegetable dish, then the guest in question can make his own decision about whether to eat it. I don't know what vegetables would be considered 'safe'. For the salad you could set out dishes with the different components of the salad, so that everyone can customize without bringing attention to what anyone is or isn't putting on their salad.
Again, from my own experience, I don't want to make a fuss at a dinner party about what I can or can't eat. I appreciate foods that I can look at and make a decision, without having to bother my host or bring attention to my eating choices. And if you look over and all that your guest has served himself is fish and rice, don't worry about one unbalanced meal. If he does find that he has this issue, then he will probably take a while to figure out what works and what doesn't. I guess that also brings up the method of serving- if you serve buffet or family style the guest can choose what he wants.
I think it is great that you are trying to accommodate his dietary needs. But I would be just as concerned about not making him feel like his diet is the center of attention.
Good luck and enjoy the time with friends!
Great idea about the 'self serve from small dishes' thing. And I can do the cheese and dessert courses at the same time (I personally prefer cheese to anything sweet so that would suit me fine).
I like to organise a meal round dietary common-denominators - it is a challenge, and cooking can get boring without a challenge! I'm 'famous' for exotic (or esoteric) cookery, so dietary restrictions plus interesting food makes for an interesting meal, from my point of view.
You do realize that sucrose is a dimer between fructose and glucose, right?
There are plenty of summer vegetables that you can do something interesting with, and you can grill, steam and fry fish in any number of ways. Serve with zucchini, squash, carrots, salads, mushrooms etc etc
Citrus is acceptable so a nice granité to finish things off (keep his portion in moderation).