Entertaining guests at home is an excellent opportunity for showing off your culinary skills! But, what happens when one of your guests is on a gluten-free diet? All of a sudden, menu planning becomes a challenge as you try to figure out what is and what isn’t allowed on the table. Your creativity in the kitchen needn’t be restricted though when entertaining special coeliac guests.
From providing a gluten-free snack as an aperitif to delicious chicken wraps with fresh ingredients as the entrée, you can still exhibit your flair in the kitchen without being a bore. It takes some forethought and getting curious about what can be served to coeliac guests while still ensuring everyone has a good time. But, it can be done and your guests, coeliac or not, will be mighty impressed!
5 Tips for Entertaining Guests on a Gluten-Free Diet
1. Get Curious – Discover Gluten-Free Recipes
Getting curious about the gluten-free diet opens your mind to all the possibilities of what to include in your recipe when preparing a meal for coeliac guests. Doing your homework and researching what is allowed on the coeliac diet will help you plan a tasty and wholesome menu for all your guests.
The World Wide Web is a fabulous source of information and it won’t take you long to find a trove of delicious 100% gluten-free recipes that everyone will enjoy. Sticking to fresh ingredients as much as possible even means you can reduce the amount of grocery shopping and preparation that needs to be done!
2. Research Gluten-Free Products and Suppliers
Some recipes call for food products that you may not find in your regular supermarket. Asking your guest where they get their gluten-free products from is a good place to start. Or, do some online research and find out what stores in your area stock these products.
Retailers who specialise in gluten-free items normally carry certified products endorsed for this type of diet. They can also advise on the right ingredients that are safe for people who battle coeliac disease or who are gluten-intolerant.
3. Keep it Simple and Start from Scratch
When planning a gluten-free meal, keep it simple and opt for the same menu for all your guests. Think along the lines of pan-frying meat or fish in olive oil or butter and roasting vegetables or tossing salads in balsamic vinegar. This way, you can ensure it’s safe, tasty and healthier for everyone.
Starting from scratch means avoiding ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen pantry that could include gluten such as:
- Salad dressings
- Cooking sprays
- Rice mixes
- Marinades and sauces
Always check the labels to ensure there are no hidden gluten ingredients in a product when shopping. If your coeliac or gluten-intolerant friend is a regular guest, then stocking a range of suitable products means you’ve always got something on hand should they pop in unexpectedly.
4. Avoid Cross-Contamination in the Kitchen
Keeping it simple helps to prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen while preparing a gluten-free meal. You don’t have to buy a whole new set of cooking utensils, pots and pans but make sure the ones you do use are cleaned thoroughly. Wiping down the countertop and all appliances with a disinfectant will get rid of any traces of gluten from other meals prepared in your kitchen.
Keeping gluten-free products in a separate cupboard from other items will also prevent cross-contamination. Being organised before you start preparations is a good strategy and one that will give you peace of mind your celiac guest is safe from any gluten that could accidentally land in their dish!
5. Let Your Guest Bring Their Own Meal
Some people who are gluten-intolerant or suffer from coeliac disease may prefer to bring their own meal to the party. Don’t be offended! This way, both you and your guest can relax, knowing they’re safe when eating a meal prepared by a person who knows what’s best for them.
Some family or friends don’t want to make a fuss about their diet and end up eating food they shouldn’t just to avoid embarrassing their host. However, you want everyone to eat what’s good for them, right? So, if the guest doesn’t offer to bring their own food, you could ask them if they would be more comfortable doing so. Or, get them involved in planning a gluten-free menu together with you.
Preparing a gluten-free meal for guests living with coeliac disease or who are intolerant, may seem like a daunting task. However, doing your homework and discovering what is and what isn’t safe gives you more options when planning a delicious meal for your special guests. You’ll discover a whole new way of preparing scrumptious food, adding to your repertoire as a home chef!
Whether it’s gourmet gluten-free slices of home baked bread or tantalising chicken strips fried in lemon olive oil and garlic, you’ll satisfy all your guests while meeting specific dietary needs. Your reputation as the perfect host will stay intact as all your guests enjoy yet another fun, appetising get-together at your home. It’s all about being creative and open to what’s possible in your kitchen!