You've got your holiday dinner all planned, then you find out about a last-minute guest.
It would all be fine except ... they're vegetarian. Or vegan. Or even more difficult to cater to, a raw foodist. What to do?
Local chef and owner of Lunch Thyme Express Misti Mata came up with these quick holiday dishes that are sure to please the palates of both carnivores and your diet-restricted guests.
Mata always strives to use healthy ingredients when cooking for her family, and she often makes non-meat dishes. Her ultimate dream is to attend classes at Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in Fort Bragg, which is world-renowned for its raw vegan food techniques.
"I want to be a raw food chef so badly," Mata said, adding that her ultimate goal would be to one day open up a vegetarian restaurant in Visalia.
It was a challenge to come up with these special dishes that would be suitable for the holidays, but Mata was quite pleased with the savory vegetarian main dish and sweet vegan dish that she created, she said.