As the holiday season comes to a close, I have been thinking more about my experiences as a dinner guest and host. I know that a food allergy or food intolerance can be stressful. It’s normal for me to put extra effort into a dinner reservation. My gluten-free life style has made dinning at restaurants a bit of a hassle. I never eat at a new restaurant spur of the moment (I always call ahead), I review the menu and search for reviews online before arriving for dinner.
On the flip side, when I’m eating at a friend or family member’s house the last thing I want to worry about is if I’m going be be able to eat. I have put this blog together to give you a few easy tips on entertaining guests with gluten-free allergies, so you can make sure all of your guests have a great time.
Think About Your Guest List
If you are hosting get-together at your house, I will venture to guess you know your guests pretty well. Before planning your menu think about your guest’s eating preferences and consider allergies. Peanut, diary, gluten and wheat allergies are very common these days. It is also important to consider vegetarian and vegan guests.
Plan Your Menu
Once you have reviewed your guest list, plan out your meals around food allergies. Try to serve dishes that don’t incorporate any common allergens, such as fruit and veggie platters for an appetizer. When preparing a salad, keep croutons, nuts and cheeses in separate bowls, so guests can choose their own toppings. This will provide your “special guests” with a safe options. At a minimum, you should make sure your all guests can eat something during each of your courses. If you are really unsure of what to make, it’s okay to ask your guests for input or ask them to bring a dish to share (this goes for guests too. If you have a food allergy and you love dessert, offer to bring a dessert).
It’s also important to pay attention to the ingredients of pre-made and packaged food. Review the ingredient labels, so you know ahead of time if something contains a common allergen. For gluten allergies, avoid packaged marinades, sauces, dressings and dips which may contain wheat and gluten. Below are some of my allergy friendly suggestions.
- Veggie Platter (GF & V)
- Meat & Cheese Platter – (GF – if good quality products are used. Boars Head is GF.)
- Smokey Spinach & Artichoke Dip – (GF & V – Serve with Fresh Toasted Corn Tortillas)
- Fresh Salsa and Guacamole – (GF & V – Serve with Fresh Toasted Corn Tortillas)
- Italian Antipasto
- Meat, Chicken & Seafood Main Courses – (GF – Avoid store bought marinades for your main course. Stick to olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs. Nix the bread crumb and flour)
- Fruit Platters GF & V)
- Homemade Ice Cream (GF & V) – (Talenti Gelato is a great store bought dessert option because this brand only contains a few ingredients)
Hope you picked up some entertaining tips!
xo Miss Alyss