Phil wanted to attend a weekend workshop but struggled with food preparation while away from home.

“I was very nervous about flying up from Christchurch for the retreat because I struggle with food preparation while away from home”. For full testimonial click here.

When catering for groups of people, Phil’s dietary restrictions may be one of several variable dietary requests from the group.

How do you manage a tasty healthy organic group meal incorporating a multitude of diet requirements, whilst keeping it interesting, varied and an enjoyable experience.

Lilian says, ‘ well we had to learn it, research it, study it, including food combining. We basically learnt this at the coal face. Fifteen years of catering for groups, with more and more guests having digestive issues and who are sensitive to processed dairy and refined food.’

When we first started out in the catering business, dietary requirements were less complicated. The most common request fifteen years ago would be from one guest with a nut allergy. Then came along the gluten or dairy free requests. But now the allergies, restrictive diets, and myriad of plant types that people can’t eat, has changed the diet requirements from what I can’t eat to what can I eat.

So have a chat to Lilian about your personal or group dietary needs, relax and enjoy your event – and of course the food.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

– serves 6-8 guests as a side dish
Vegan, Gluten Free

Initially, we used the traditional ingredient of bulgur wheat (which contains gluten) when making tabbouleh. As requests for gluten free became more frequent – we replaced bulgur wheat with quinoa. Toasted cooked buckwheat (gluten free) can also be used instead of quinoa.

Enjoy this salad as a main or as a side. We often eat any leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

Cook quinoa in advance either the night before, or first thing in the morning if making the salad in the evening. It’s best for the quinoa to be chilled after it has cooked and rested.

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups hot water
½ teaspoon salt
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 cucumber, large and diced
1 spring onion, chopped
2/3 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/3 cup mint, chopped (and/or nettle)

Dressing
1 lemon, squeezed
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Place dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake.

Method
1.  Bring quinoa, 1 ½ cups hot water and salt to the boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer till water has fully absorbed (will take about 10mins). Take off heat. Keep covered and rest quinoa for 20mins. Once cool, fork over till fluffy and place in fridge to chill.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, add cooked quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, mint and parsley. Add dressing and fork thru till everything is combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as required. The dish should have a sharp bite from the combination of garlic, salt and lemom juice.

Variations
This salad is so versatile. In winter we use roasted yams instead of tomatoes/cucumbers, and add celery rather than parley. Dry roasted pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds can also be added.