Entertaining While Gluten Free
My household is a GF household, however no one else in our families follows a GF diet. We host parties and dinners a lot. No one invites us over to eat anymore (except my Aunt on Holiday’s but cross contamination is still an issue) everyone knows how sensitive I am so we simply do not get the invites. I totally get it. This entire GF thing is intimidating for someone who doesn’t live the lifestyle and just when they think they found a great recipe and go out of their way there is the CC issue. When someone works so hard for you it is very difficult to decline.
|From my daughters birthday party. We had both gluten sandwich and gluten free options|
I cook a lot, much more than most. People often show up at our house around dinner time. It has become a trend. I think they are doing it on purpose, lol. The fact that Non-GF people enjoy my food, that they never turn it down- in fact request it (I am ALWAYS bringing the dessert) means that the stigma of GF food tasting like crap is in fact a stigma. Gluten free food is amazing, delicious, flavorful, nourishing and I would say EVEN BETTER than glutenous food (mostly because it doesn’t make me sick).
|All of the treats were gluten free though with some dairy free options|
Since everyone enjoys my cooking so much I throw all of the parties. It is a lot of work but this is how I know my family will be safe. When everything is cooked in my dishes with my food, I know that we do not have to worry. That makes it worth all of the work.
|My Chili is an awesome dish to serve for guests|
|Red Meat Marinade is perfect if you are BBQ for guests and serve my Red Potato Salad along with it|
So here are a few tips on how I host a get together or party.
I make all of the main dishes and sometimes the side dishes:
I have a few go-to recipes for large crowds. I make as many as needed. Some great foods to feed large crowds are…
This is a total crowd pleaser and a delicious hearty dish. Throwing it together is easy and you can make it ahead and then refrigerate it and then bake before the party. If you have a vegetarian guest make a small one with no meat and load it with veggies like squash, bell peppers, kale and spinach. These lasagna noodles are a pantry staple in my house De Boles Gluten-Free Rice Pasta Lasagna, 10 oz, 3 pk
This is another dish that is easy to double or triple and make ahead of time. You can make it meatless for any vegetarians and it is delicious. Corn Salsa Enchiladas Serve with rice and beans.
3) Pasta with Meat Sauce
There are so many pasta variations finding one is easy. Spaghetti and Meatballs is always a favorite and you can make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. Take them out the morning of the party and cook them in the crock pot with your favorite sauce. This way there is less work for you the day of. These are our favorite noodles TruRoots Gluten-free Ancient Grain Penne Pasta (2.2 Lbs / 1 KG) . If you are hosting vegetarians this Veggie Spaghetti is so fast to throw together.
Big pots of soup are easy, delicious and very simple to double and triple when needed. Serve it up with a big salad and have anyone bring their own bread that would want it. This Creamy Potato Soup is a crowd pleaser and is gluten and dairy free. Beef Stew is also a favorite.
BBQ is great in the warm months. You could make the red meat marinade I shared above or Chicken Marinade and Macaroni Salad
You will have to make dessert if you want any…
Or you can buy something small for you and then ask someone to bring a dessert for the glutenous folks to share. If you are the only GF one or maybe one other then it would make more sense to just have something small for you but my family wants my desserts so I make something to share.
I make dessert the day before the party and then I usually prep the meal the morning of so I can clean up a bit before everyone is over.
Some of my family crowd pleasers are…
Ask everyone who is coming to bring something. If you are making ALL of the food ask for them to bring drinks (think wine, juice, and tea) and an appetizer. Give them specifics so that they will get something that is safe for you to eat. How I approach this is- I let everyone know for example: I am making lasagna so some vegetable dishes and salad would be appreciated. Then everyone signs up for what they will bring. I NEVER provide bread for a party. I will make loaves of bread when one or two people are over for dinner but not a crowd. I simply do not have time for that kind of prep. So, people know if they want bread they will have to bring it and someone kindly signed up for that.
Remind your guests if they are bringing a dish that requires gluten to please keep it to the side until we are able to make our dish. How I work this is I take my portion first and then they can add whatever they want to the rest of it (croutons, fried onion crisps).
My Grandma makes broccoli salad and she would always leave the mayo out and let me bring my own to add in to avoid any cross contamination.
If glutenous food will be present then they need a designated spot. I sometimes will even put up signs if it is a really large crowd or if people who do not know the drill will be there. If newbies come you will have to keep an eye on this. People will move things- people will use your GF condiments even though there is a sign next to it. You will watch like a hawk and the best way to get through this is to make your plates first. You may feel rude being the first to make a plate, but it’s better than kicking everyone out of the house early because you are ill.
Being outside is great because the crumbs are not going to infect your house. I prefer a fold up table with a table cloth for the glutenous food. After the party I take the table cloth outside to get the crumbs off and then throw it straight into the washing machine.
If everyone is going to be eating something like French bread at your kitchen table then you will want to remove all of the linens and wash them after the party.
Now remember to have fun and enjoy yourself. This is your opportunity to show everyone a piece of your world. This gives them the opportunity to understand that you still live a fulfilling satisfying life and that being gluten (or any other allergies that might accompany it) is not a prison sentence. It is often a new door being opened for us, a veil is lifted and we are healthy, happy and full of life once again.
I hope these tips help you enjoy your next party. Please feel free to share with me anything that has helped you.