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Gluten-Free? No problem!

We’re having Sue and Jack over for dinner next week. Sue let me know she doesn’t eat gluten anymore because it tends to hurt her stomach. So, what do I make? I want to be sensitive to Sue. Do I need to buy something special? How hard is this going to be to make sure Sue enjoys her dinner? All these questions and more ran through my brain. But then I paused… and thought of all the gluten-free foods that we eat and enjoy, all the time. I’m talking about most whole foods — fish, chicken, meat, plus veggies, fruits, legumes, beans, dairy and nuts — isn’t this what we want to eat regularly anyway? So, no need to panic.

I know a lot of folks have decided to cut out or reduce the amount of gluten in their diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, malt and brewer’s yeast.

For people who are particularly sensitive to gluten or have been diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s important to read labels to ensure a product is truly gluten-free; some products are labeled certified gluten-free. There are many wonderful foods that can be used instead of wheat to produce a flour such as corn, nut, millet, potato, oat and flax. If you or a member of your household is gluten-free there will be a learning curve for using these other, less well-known, flours. However, sometimes it’s as easy as choosing a corn tortilla over a flour tortilla. Ten years ago, I would have needed to go to a specialty store to find a selection of gluten-free products. Today my regular grocery store stocks numerous gluten-free breads, pizzas and vegetable-based pastas.

For those that have gone through testing to see if they are gluten-intolerant, they may be diagnosed with celiac disease. Others may be affected by gluten but can tolerate it on occasion and choose a gluten-less approach. If you react to foods with gluten, consult with your doctor.

Make The Most Of The Meal

In planning my dinner menu for Sue and Jack, I realized DinnerTime is all set to help me out. I clicked on my DinnerTime Recipe Box and entered in “Gluten-free” in the search line. I shouldn’t have been so surprised by the number of yummy looking recipes that look like things I could make for anyone with or without a gluten sensitivity. For those who have celiac disease or want to cut gluten out as much as possible, adjust your DinnerTime Profile in the “allergies” section and indicate “Wheat/Gluten”. The DinnerTime algorithm will treat wheat/gluten as an ingredient that can not be included in your meal plan. Plus, searches in your DinnerTime Recipe Box will indicate if a recipe has ingredients that you elected to avoid by highlighting the ingredient in red for caution.

Find Fun Beverages

I usually have tasty non-alcoholic spritzers on hand, plus a selection of beer and wine. Those choosing a gluten-free diet will not be choosing most beers, as they have malt and brewer’s yeast in it. My nephew (who is of legal age!) told me he and his friends prefer the less “malty” beers because they don’t make them feel too full. He told me I can easily find craft beers that are gluten-free.

Dessert Can Be Decadent

Yum, there are loads of fabulous and guest-worthy gluten-free desserts listed in the DinnerTime Recipe Box. Search for “glutenfree” and then add from the filter drop-down, “dessert”. I plan to make this fabulous Bittersweet Chocolate Torte with Warm Cinnamon Dulce de Leche. I can make it in advance and drizzle the warm cinnamon Dulce de Leche just before serving.

Captivate With Sparkling Conversation

For me, entertaining is about getting together and enjoying each other’s company. My goal is to make everything as easy and comfortable as possible for our guests so they can relax and enjoy the evening. I make as much of the food in advance as possible so I spend my time with our guests.  When everyone is relaxed and well fed, conversation is easy and fun.

Find Tasty Gluten-Free Recipes!

 Search for more delightful gluten-free recipes in your DinnerTime Recipe Box.

Use the filter function (found on right of your DinnerTime Recipe Box search) to find dessertsmain dishside dishes etc.

 Easy and delicious.

A yummy warming soup that is also gluten-free.

You’ll love this easy-to-make tasty high-fiber dish.