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New Year's Eve Entertaining for Those with Special Dietary Needs

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Recipes for Guests with Special Dietary Needs

Are you hosting a New Year's Eve party and have guests with special dietary needs? From gluten-free to vegan to dairy-free, many people have these needs and to help you prepare meals for all of your guests, Max Hansen of Max Hansen Catering and Max Hansen Carversville Grocery shared some of his favorite special diet recipes that can help you round out your menu while entertaining this New Year's Eve.

Vegetarian Kousa Mahshi or Stuffed Zucchini with Raisins and Pinenuts
Kousa Mahshi is zucchini stuffed with rice and meat and is a Middle Eastern favorite. This classic dish is true comfort food and has been enjoyed by generations in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Jordan, and Cyprus. It can be served as a delicious vegetarian main course without the meat and with plump raisins and fresh mint for added flavor. It’s the perfect one-pot meal, but even better plated up with wilted spinach and some toasted Lavash bread.

Zucchini Papardelle with Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
This is one of Hansen’s most popular vegan, gluten free main courses that is not only delicious, but it looks pretty on the plate too!

Boneless Braised Short Ribs
Hansen says that braising allows you to do most of the preparation ahead of time and actually be a guest at your own party. Hansen’s recipe for Boneless Braised Short Ribs are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and these flavorful short ribs are popular in colder months for their soul-warming richness. But where others make them dredged in flour or corn meal, he recommends leaving the gluten out of the picture for a gluten-free version of these tasty short ribs.

Lactose Free Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are one of those culinary staples that can be adapted to embrace any special diet needs. Hansen’s recipe is already perfect for lactose intolerant folks. To take it one step further, or completely animal-free, simply replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Have some comrades keeping a low-carb diet? Just switch out half the potatoes with parsnips. Want a little kick to the mash? Add some garlic. The options are endless.

Roasted Root Vegetables
A side dish for all seasons. Hansen’s recipe for roasted root vegetables is not only fragrant and aromatic, it’s a wonderful vegan main dish or a hearty accompaniment to your favorite meat entree. Simple to prepare and elegant on the plate, you’ll love this easy rainbow of root vegetables.

and here's our favorite health-conscious recipe...


Simple, Wilted Winter Greens
Try a bold mix of what you can get at your local farmers markets and produce stands. The different flavors deepen the taste and provide much needed nutrients we need during dark winter months. {serves 6 generous portions}

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Before you start cooking you’ll need, one way or another, one pound of usable greens after all thick or tough stems are removed. Here is a great mix:

Russian Kale
Curly Green Mustard
Red Bok Choy
In addition to the lettuces and greens, you’ll need these basic kitchen staples:

1 Clove Garlic, sliced thin
EVOO, Sweet Butter or Brown Butter Ghee
Salt and Pepper to taste

One pound of greens lightly wilted will easily yield 6 portions. Use Olive Oil or Butter.

To cook, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan until shimmering (not smoking, it is very easy to burn olive oil which is a terrible waste of goodness) add the garlic, stir quickly and add the greens. The lettuces and leaves will take up a lot of space, just keep stirring and tossing until they have started to wilt. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Note: If you cook 1 lb. of spinach lightly it will yield around 6 generous portions. If you cook them through you will release the water from the vegetables and have a much smaller yield.

For more information about Max Hansen Kitchen, please go to

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