Q: We are hosting a BBQ and have invited some friends who are Gluten-Free. What are some foods we can make to accommodate their diet needs?
A: Great question and one I have heard a lot recently. The first thing I tell my clients is: when in doubt, err on the safe side. Second it’s important to know what gluten is. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. So the main thing to avoid is any wheat containing products. That’s easy enough, steaks instead of hamburgers, or at least bun-less hamburgers. Coleslaw instead of pasta salad. A bowl of fresh fruit instead of fruit pie. Also avoid adding breading or breadcrumbs to anything. Think simple in your menu planning, this often leads to healthier choices as well. It is easy and simple enough to grill some veggies with olive oil and salt and pepper. A simple dish like this has no risk of hidden gluten. Speaking of hidden gluten, another thing to know is that gluten is often added to a variety of foods, this is especially true with sauces and condiments. So unless the label clearly says gluten free, it would be best to serve it on the side for guests to make their own choice. Something else to consider is cross contamination. You can’t be sure of how severe your guest’s gluten intolerance is, so it is best to prep all food for the meal in a space that has been thoroughly cleaned and is gluten free. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to reach out to your guests and discuss the menu, more often than not they are happy to give feedback on what foods work best for them. After all they want to enjoy their time spent with you. Any more gluten free questions feel free to contact me!