Say you are inviting people over for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, and you have guests who share the same gluten-free lifestyle as you do. It can be a big challenge, especially if you have never cooked gluten-free meals for any occasion. You may wonder, “What’s the big deal?”
Well, for one, gluten-free cooking takes a lot of time and energy to do, and it entails a lot of ingredients that are costlier than regular ingredients. Aside from that, not everyone likes the taste of gluten-free meals, so if you make dishes with substitutes, some people may not appreciate what you’ve just created. For example, gluten-free pizzas are generally more gooey and chewy compared to wheat-based pizzas, and many will, for sure, not like it. Unless you are gluten intolerant or you have celiac disease, and you haven’t eaten pizzas for a very long time, then you will want to opt out of gluten-free pizzas.
Another example is burgers, like buns made of rice flour or sliced eggplants. These sound weird on themselves, and if you try them, you will quickly notice the difference with gluten-based bread. For one, wheat-based buns get that crispy and toasted top when heated correctly; however, gluten-free buns don’t get those. Instead of yummy buns, you get heavy and dense buns when you use gluten-free ingredients.
These are some of the many differences that you will notice when you choose to use gluten-free ingredients instead of wheat-based ones. However, using this option cannot be helped, especially if you are gluten intolerant yourself. It can be a pain to whip two sets of dishes (one that is gluten-free, and the other that is with gluten) since it will take a lot of time and effort to do. Also, your guests may get confused, and you will end up having to remind people that you have two sets of dishes prepared. You may also find that people who are gluten tolerant, in general, would prefer regular dishes since they soothe their tastes and what they are accustomed to. Most likely, if you have two sets of dishes and your guests are mostly gluten tolerant, those with gluten are the first to be consumed.
So, if you are holding a party soon and you are thinking of quick gluten-free dishes that everyone will love, here are some tips to help you plan the menu. Remember, go with dishes that you are comfortable with. And if you are trying to experiment, save that dish for next time until you have perfected it:
1. Salads are your best friend
What is one dish that all guests will love, no matter what their allergens are? Salad, for sure! What’s great with salad is it can be customized to whatever mix that you like depending on your preference. If you have guests who are both gluten intolerant and tolerant, have a salad bar instead of mixing all ingredients up. By having a salad bar, you encourage everyone to pick their favorite ingredients and mix them up. So, if you have guests who are gluten intolerant, they can skip the croutons and crabsticks. And if you have guests who can’t take dairy, they can skip your milk-based sauces and opt for vinaigrette. The possibilities are endless when you put a salad bar in your party, and you don’t have to worry about people’s allergens and preferences.
2. Keep it safe
If you are inviting over guests who are both gluten tolerant and intolerant, you may want to keep everything on the safe side. That means, if you have salmon for your main dish, why not go with corn and rice on the side, instead of bread? Making the switch allows it to be easy for you to prepare the dish for everyone since rice and corn are safe for your gluten tolerant and intolerant guests. Be practical and go with options that will include everyone. Another example would be to choose rice-based or corn-based dishes over those that have gluten in them because making substitutes can be tricky especially if you are not used to whipping them up. So, to make things easier for you, go with dishes that are already gluten-free, you can pore through the reviewed gluten free meal delivery services to choose what suits you best.
3. Try meal kits
Let’s say you already have your starter and the main dish prepared, what about dessert? Especially if you are the only one preparing for everything, it can be a pain to plan out meals for everyone, right? So, why not try meal kits for your dessert? Desserts require a lot of preparation and time to make, so to save time, you can go with meal kits that allow you to whip up desserts using prepared ingredients. All you have to do is to follow the recipe, and that, without having to think about preparing ingredients beforehand.
Preparing gluten-free dishes for special occasions is not that difficult as you think it is, but you have to make a plan before preparing ingredients. Go with recipes that you are comfortable making, and go with meal kits if you think you need some guidance in creating some of the dishes you have in mind.