Gluten-Free Entertaining

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One of the biggest challenges for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance is lifestyle change─both on a daily basis, and for special occasions like entertaining. Many of us love inviting friends and family for casual dinners, holiday meals, BBQs and more. Can you continue to do so in a totally gluten-free mode? The answer is yes! Especially since some of the healthiest, most delicious entrées and side dishes are naturally gluten-free. You can simultaneously eat safely and collect raves with these tactics:

Stay relaxed

If you feel anxious about what people might think of a gluten-free meal, consider that guests are as likely to be nourished by your gracious hospitality as by what you serve. And while you can explain all the gluten-free details, you may not need to. Simply offering a variety of healthy, colorful, tasty food is a wonderful gift and quite frankly, they probably won’t even notice that it’s all gluten-free. So, sit back and enjoy!

Use whole foods

Some of the most upscale menu items are as simple as they are elegant, starting with fresh, whole foods. Feature several courses for a classy touch. Starter options include artichokes with tasty dipping sauces, light soups, or innovative salads with delicious gluten-free dressings. For a winning entrée, consider garlic-roasted chicken, grilled fish, or seafood-veggie kabobs. Round the meal out with a tasty, safe starch like quinoa pilaf, a brown/wild rice mélange, or curry-spiked baked yams.

Cook from scratch

Using fresh, whole foods makes it easy to cook from scratch, instead of relying on processed “convenience” items like soup and gravy mixes, canned sauces, seasoning packets, etc. They’re often false friends, containing gluten, excessive sodium, and/or other undesirable additives, including MSG, which can sneak in under the term “natural flavors.” Play it safe and only use a packaged product if it’s labeled gluten-free.

Grab a gluten-free entertaining cookbook

There are many excellent gluten-free cookbooks on the market, with a few specifically geared to entertaining, such as Let’s Party: Gluten Free Entertaining for Everyone by Monika Sudakov. This easy-to-follow guide simplifies your efforts because you don’t need to substitute ingredients. All 145 recipes─which range from appetizers to beverages, breads, soups, desserts, meat/poultry dishes, salads, sauces and many more─are 100% gluten-free!

Avoiding gluten shouldn’t rob you of life’s joys, which often include cooking for others. Now you can extend those invitations with confidence. Cheers!

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