Easy Flatbread | Dairy & Gluten Free

I was recently given the challenge of making dinner for a friend who follows a vegan diet. Cooking gluten-free can be tricky enough, so adding another dietary restriction on top was a tall order. I found eliminating both cheese and eggs from a meal to be tough. If you have any dietary restrictions then you know how stressful dining out (or at a new friend’s house) can be. I wanted to make sure I was able to accommodate my friend’s preferences and share a dish that everyone would love.

Fortunately, I only needed to put together a light menu. To stay on the safe side I made a cucumber and tomato salad with an easy lemon vinaigrette. To my surprise the star of the show ended up being the veggie flatbreads. The night I had my friends over I made two flatbreads; one with caramelized onion and zucchini the other with caramelized onion and eggplant. I made all of the veggies the night before and store them in Pyrex over night. When my friends arrived the next night I just had to assemble the flatbreads and pop them in the oven. They turned out awesome, so I knew I would definitely make them again {this could be my go-to app}. This week I re-created these delicious flatbreads with caramelized onions, sauteed spinach and acorn squash.

HELLO FALL!

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Ingredients

Frozen Gluten-Free Pizza Crust from Trader Joe’s

1 acorn squash

1 small onion

1/2 cup frozen spinach

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Cinnamon

Pumpkin Pie Spice

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Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Cut acorn squash length wise, drizzle with olive oil and seasonings then place flesh side down on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minute or until squash is tender.

While squash is baking, caramelize onions in a sautee pan then set aside. Using the same pan sautee spinach {I used a gourmet garlic olive oil from HomeGoods}

Remove squash from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. It should be cool enough to handle, but warm enough that can easily mash.

Following directions on packaging bake pizza crust for 10 minutes then remove from oven.

Scoop the squash from the skin into a bowl adding more salt and pepper if needed. The squash should be soft enough to mash with a fork.

Spread the mashed squash on the pizza crust then top with spinach and onions. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until edges are crisp.

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Hostess with the Mostest: Guests with Food Allergies

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.

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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