Entertaining gluten free

More and more people are avoiding gluten in their diets … whether it is coeliac disease or non-coeliac gluten intolerance you will likely know someone who needs gluten free options. One in 70 Australians has coeliac disease and needs to completely avoid gluten, even the smallest amount (50mg or one-hundredth of a slice of bread) can make them feel very unwell.  Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition, where the gluten that is naturally present in many grain foods (wheat, rye, triticale, barley and oats) triggers the immune system to attack and damage the small intestine, causing pain and malabsorption of nutrients.  People with coeliac disease need to totally avoid gluten for the rest of their life, and recently, I got a glimpse from my dearest friend on her stay at my B&B – her thoughts of living with coeliac disease. Daily challenges that she finds include always needing to be prepared and organised with her meals and snacks; having a limited choice on a menu – when her family can choose 20 dishes, she has a choice of 3 (that coincidentally seem to be the same as the last restaurant she dined at); the possible cross-contamination that occurs when eating out or at others; eating a different meal to everyone else; feeling a bother to her host, and often resorting to bring her own food to make their life and experience easier.   Well this experience for her was going to be different at my B&B – she,and the entire family ate gluten free!

go naturally gluten free

When it comes to entertaining gluten free, it can put many people into a spin as to what to cook, and will it be tasty, crowd pleasing and equally as good as your usual catering spread.  The good news is absolutely…… entertaining gluten free is a cinch and most of the foods in your fridge are naturally gluten free.  Follow these simple tips when catering for your next guest who needs gluten free options ……

  • don’t make a fuss, make it easy, natural and welcoming, and it doesn’t require any extra effort than your normal entertaining
  • talk to your friend or family member about his/her favourite gluten free dish
  • go with ingredients that are naturally gluten free – meats, fish, chicken, eggs, fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, nuts, legumes, gluten free grains (quinoa, rice, rice noodles, polenta)
  •  check any sauces, mixes, dressings, mayonnaise that you usually use to ensure that it does not contain gluten
  •  If having a guest for a longer stay – buy his/her favourite gluten free bread, gluten free muesli and use a gluten free flour for your baked goods
  •  have a look at www.taste.com.au for some great gluten free slices, cakes, biscuits and meals or snacks
  •  cook ahead two separate grains to build into a lunch, breakfast or salad – brown rice and quinoa worked well for me
  •  build up your own repertoire of delicious gluten free dishes that you can use again
  • choose gluten free grains to include into your salads (potato, roasted sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, corn)
  • try to use all gluten free foods on platters to avoid cross contamination (cheese, brown rice crackers, olives, vegetable sticks, gluten free dips, boccocini with basil leaf, wrapped in prosciutto, lean meats, hard boiled eggs, grape tomatoes, roast pumpkin, roast capsicum, baby beets)
  •  Hearty brekkies include eggs (poached, dippy-ins, scrambled), grilled tomato & mushrooms, avocado and grilled haloumi, breakfast nourish bowls, Spanish omelette
  •  Fabulous lunches could include plentiful salads (brown rice & lentil salad, chicken, quinoa, pecan, fetta & rocket salad, kale, baby beet and parmesan salad with roasted pumpkin), Greek salad with gluten free felafels and hommus, baked chicken with fetta, thyme & olives with refreshing green salad, Ploughman’s lunch with rice crackers or SOL gluten free pumpkin bread, MYO rice paper rolls, Vietnamese salad bowls
  •  Satisfying snacks include fruit platters with yoghurt dip, cheese platters with vegetable sticks, nuts and gluten free dips, friands, orange & almond cake, gluten free bliss balls, cranberry & quinoa bars, gluten free muesli bites
  •  Wholesome dinners can be BBQ’s with grilled meats, salmon steaks, chicken & vegetable kebabs, MYO jacket potatoes with assorted toppings, sensational salads, roast meat and vegetables, chicken & seafood paella, warming shepherd’s pie with sweet potato mash and grilled greens, Pad Thai and other Vietnamese dishes, baked fish, sweet potato chips and salad
  •  Delicious desserts – baked apples with Greek yoghurt, apple & raspberry crumble (rice flour, almond meal and flaked almonds) with ice cream, MYO pavlovas with lemon curd, mint & fresh berries, berry compote with Greek yoghurt, raspberry sorbet with fresh berries


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