Finding allergy-free foods for an office potluck may seem impossible, but more options are available than you might think. Eating foods prepared by others is still risky for a co-worker who has a food allergy. This person may bring his or her own food, or he or she might want to stick with something simple that does not contain more than one or two ingredients.
Avoiding Common Allergens
When preparing a dish for a potluck, it is best to avoid the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list of the eight most common ingredients that trigger food allergies. These foods include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. According to the Mayo Clinic, these eight foods cause 90 percent of allergic reactions.
Although it may seem like there are not many foods to choose from, it is possible to prepare some tasty snacks and party recipes that do not contain any of these ingredients. Stick with gluten-free, egg-free flatbreads and fresh fruits and vegetables, which almost everyone can enjoy.
Fresh guacamole with avocado, tomato, red onion, and cilantro is a treat that most people enjoy, and it is also healthy. The dip can be easily made with 10 to 12 peeled avocado halves, 1 cup of fresh tomato, 4 tablespoons of cilantro and 1 small onion, cut into smaller pieces. Process these ingredients until smooth. Add salt, pepper and lime juice for extra flavor. You can buy or prepare a veggie tray for dipping, or take nacho chips that have not been prepared with peanut oil in case anyone has a peanut allergy.
Pizza is always a hit, especially when served warm. Gluten-free pizza crusts are usually made from brown rice flour and are available at most grocery stores. You can also make your own crust with rice flour. Drizzle olive oil on the crust and spread evenly, then place a variety of vegetables on top of the olive oil. After baking your pizza, sprinkle fresh herbs like basil or oregano on top. Most people will not even miss the cheese.
If anyone in your office has a food allergy, he or she will appreciate if you bring along a copy of the recipe listing the ingredients in the food that you
made for the special event. If you purchased allergy-free cookies or other sweets, it is easy to cut out the list of ingredients from the food. You can attach these to a file card to place near the food.