G-free party food: My go-to dishes

It’s already August and looking back I can say with confidence that this was a summer of parties. From the exciting events leading to a couple of best friends’ wedding to toasting a new home, I had an unofficial part-time job as hostess this season.

The truth is, playing hostess is a fun pastime I don’t think I will ever tire from. But wow, can it get expensive. Especially if you’re planning a unique g-free menu.  I’ll admit for a couple gatherings I took the easy way out and opted to prepare solely ‘normal dishes’ (aka, gluten-filled) just for convenience sake, but munching on veggies while my guests indulged in mouthwatering appetizers always ended up being a regret.

I think I’ve found my footing now, and it’s fun discovering new ways to satisfy my guests’ taste buds, and mine. So what were some items I served?

As mentioned earlier, a couple best friends tied the knot this summer. My husband I were in their wedding party, and at one point us gals of the group were busy planning the bridal shower. Since I was the only one in attendance with a gluten intolerance, most of the food on hand was not g-free-friendly. See?

A table of bread-based party food. The platter of sandwiches on the bottom left were gluten free, yay! A lovely surprise for me from the then-bride-to-be's mother.

A table of bread-based party food. The platter of sandwiches on the bottom left were gluten free, yay! A lovely surprise for me from the then-bride-to-be’s mother.

So I took it upon myself to sneak in a few items I could enjoy with the rest of the guests, and as it turned out, quite a few people gravitated towards my delectable contribution to the food table.

Deviled eggs

Deviled eggs. So simple, delicious, and always a hit.

Deviled eggs. So simple, delicious, and always a hit.

These actually went really fast. They were a classic and simple appetizer that kept people coming back for more, so it’s now my party staple.

Wraps

For this dish I bought three types of wraps: two were g-free (Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas and Wrap it up Raw Organic Wrap), and one was ‘normal’ for the majority of the guests.

The normal wraps, of course, rolled beautifully and gave me zero issues; they held together like a dream. Food for Life gave me the biggest headache as they cracked so easily when I tried to roll them up. They had me cursing g-free bread products — like a damn sailor. I put the pack aside and moved onto my other wrap. Side note: after venting at home the next day, my husband suggested I microwave the wrap first to soften it up a bit for rolling. This worked! If only I had thought of this no-brainer before the party, but alas. I enjoyed many a wrap in the days that followed.

I have a love-hate relationship with gluten free bread products. More often than not, they are the bane of my existence.

I have a love-hate relationship with gluten free bread products. More often than not, they are the bane of my existence.

Ok, my new favourite gluten free wrap is the one from Wrap it up Raw. Why? No issues whatsoever, and I can only assume this is because this wrap isn’t trying to be bread. You see, it’s made of flax, carrots, water, sundried tomatoes, red pepper, garlic, parsley, onion, lemon juice, and spices. That’s it. That’s it!

*Love*

*Love*

Like the normal wraps, these g-free babies rolled like a dream and they tasted amazing. They can be delivered anywhere in Canada, so my fellow Canucks, send in your orders. You won’t be disappointed.

Worried the brown hue will turn off prospective munchers at your party? Ehh, that just means more for you.

Worried the brown hue will turn off prospective munchers at your party? Ehh, that just means more for you.

Individual style pizzas

These were prepared for parties hosted at my new home. I first came across these at Canada’s Gluten Free Market a couple months back. It’s the quickest way to satisfy an intense pizza craving, although I have more fun experimenting with new homemade gluten free recipes. But for last minute party plans? They work and they are a hit. I’ve tried two: PaneRiso Foods White Rice Pizza Crust and Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts. Both taste pretty similar and both are prepared the same way, as you simply add whatever toppings you want and stick them in the oven for 7 – 10 minutes. The advantage to buying Udi’s, though, is that two crusts come in a pack. These crusts have made fun individual style pizzas for guests, but you could also cut them up into bite-size portions, which are fun for nibblers.

These are a few staples I’ve been serving at gatherings, but sometimes (much to my husband’s chagrin) I go a bit overboard and add a few more items to the table:

Kettle Brand Potato Chips – Not only are these gluten free, but they come in such a wide variety of addictive flavours that I think they kick other well known chip brands’ butts right out of the park.

Tomato and Bocconcini – Maybe it’s the Italian in me, but I find it hard not to have a platter of this out. Arrange slices on a plate, drizzle olive oil, sprinkle oregano, garnish with fresh basil leaves, and voila! You have a beautiful, healthy appetizer that will surely beckon at your guests.

Goat cheese and rice crackers – Or any cheese, really, but I haven’t found a person yet who doesn’t gravitate towards this cheese tray. A larger selection of cheeses on a cheese tray is always more fun, but it can get pricey.

With quite a few family members and friends left to invite to our new home, and with the holiday season approaching (the best damn time of year, if I do say so myself), I don’t think I’ll be quitting my job as hostess any time soon. I’m always looking for new items to serve (and try myself!), so if you have any gold star gluten free party food, please feel free to share below!

Bon appetit and happy hosting!

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4 Comments

Filed under Delicious dishes sans gluten, Food critic's corner, Just for fun

4 responses to “G-free party food: My go-to dishes

  1. Congrats on the new home!!! Love the wrap suggestion; I will have to check out Wrap it Up Raw. I love hosting parties too…but heck yeah it can totally get expensive, especially when buying specialty food. The last one I hosted was my husband’s b-day party and I’m pretty sure I had 3 kinds of burgers, sausages, chicken, 3 salads, cake and GF cookies. It was insane!! It’s fun but a lot of work!
    Can’t wait for holiday parties!! Weeeeeeeeeee 😉 I go a little nuts over Christmas though and totally fall off the clean eating wagon. I’ll try to think of some good appy suggestions though!

    • Thanks! It’s hard to eat well over the holidays…and it’s even worse when you celebrate waaaay earlier than you should, like me lol. I have to stop myself from busting out some fall dishes. Just a few more weeks though and then there’s no holding back! Wrap It Up Raw is really tasty, but I should note they are a bit on the pricey side for the amount you get! But I guess that’s to be expected with specialty organic items!

      • I hear ya! I start my baking way too far in advance!
        I checked out their page…it is pricey, but again, it’s good quality ingredients and I don’t mind paying more for it 😉 Thanks for the suggestion. It just baffles me how organic fruits/veggies/specialty food can be so expensive when MacDonalds has a dollar menu!?!? Grrr…we’ll safe that debate for another day!

      • HA! Yes, definitely another day! I think I vent about my grocery bill to my husband every week! How yogurt and veggies can cost so much is beyond me. Back to the wraps — I saw a similar one in some DT Toronto store the other day, only it was green. Different company too. I’ll have to pick that up and see what it’s like!

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