Eating gluten-free is a popular way of dining these days. It is perceived to be a healthier way of eating, and even people without gluten sensitivities are jumping on the bandwagon. Many of your friends and family are probably already eating gluten-free. If you are planning a dinner party, keeping it gluten-free for those who are eating this way may seem daunting. Yet, it doesn’t have to be. It is much easier than you think to create a delicious, completely gluten-free dinner party, including desert. Even your guests who are not eating gluten-free will never know your secret if you follow these tips.
1. Keep Flour-Based Dishes to a Minimum
Decide on a centerpiece for your meal, be it a type of meat or a vegetarian main dish (depending on your audience). With meat, no flour is involved. Vegetarian main dishes can be based around gluten-free pasta (quinoa or rice pastas have the best taste and texture as far as being similar to wheat-based pastas), or rice and bean dishes. This ensures your guests get plenty of filling protein in their main dish, regardless of what you serve. When it comes to side dishes or extra courses, stick to salads, non-thickened soups, and a variety of creatively cooked vegetables. Instead of having dinner rolls on the table, do a raw vegetable plate with hummus, a fruit and cheese plate with honey, or seasoned kale chips with the dip of your choice. A bowl of spiced mixed nuts works nicely, as well.
2. Use Fruit Dishes for Dessert
Poached fruit and ice cream makes a lovely dessert. So do fruit sorbets. You could also go with stuffed fruits….ricotta cheese, ground nuts sweetened with honey, and whipped cream with cherry and mint leaf garnishes are all gluten-free, and so tasty, your guests won’t miss the flour at all.
3. Try a Gluten-Free Cake, Pie, or Cobbler
If fruit just isn’t satisfying enough for dessert for your guests and you want something more substantial, try your hand at a gluten-free cake, pie, or cobbler. Cobblers are easy. All you need is the basic cooked fruit bottom, and a crumble mixture of oats, nuts, and butter on top. You can even serve it with ice cream for a decadent touch. If you’re going with a cake or pie, be sure to use the right flour combination. Gluten-free dishes have a reputation for tasting like sawdust, and they can if they are not done the right way. The good news is that it is perfectly easy to achieve a chewy, soft, moist mouth-feel that is usually the province of gluten-based flours.
Oat flour used on its own has the same rich texture of gluten-based flours. It is excellent for cookies and smaller baked goods like pancakes. It tends to fall apart in something like cake batter or pie crust, though. To make it work, you should use a flour mixture. Oat flour mixed with anther rich gluten-free flour like quinoa or teff flour will make a good, can’t-tell-the-difference cake batter or pie crust when used with the other typical cake ingredients.
As you can see, you can make a perfectly delicious, multi-course meal for a dinner party for your friends without using gluten at all, or with using gluten-free alternatives in a sparing manner. Your friends will likely never even notice there is no gluten in your meal. Instead, they will love your scrumptious cooking and look forward to being invited to eat at your house again. They may
even ask for your recipes!