Gluten Free Party Recipes 

Going gluten free can be hard. Learning to cook and bake can seem totally overwhelming. And finding what looks like a delicious recipe can be exciting butttttt when your masterpiece falls short from the picture and actually tastes awful you can feel totally defeated. Can't tell you how many times I ventured into the kitchen with my new ingredients and was determined to learn how to cook or bake a certain recipe only to taste it and promptly spit it out into the trash. Gone was my desire and I was literally throwing money in the trash because all I had to show for my attempt was exhaustion, tears and still no freakin dinner or dessert or whatever I was trying to make.

This only made things soooooo much harder and made me long for the days when I could eat all of my favorites that my Mom use to cook for me.

When you have an autoimmune disease or you have to eat a gluten free diet for life because well your health depends on it, gone are the days when your Mom or your friends and other family members can cook for you, unless they too have an autoimmune disease because truly the risk of them getting it wrong and making a simple, honest mistake can make you really sick.

This is now your responsibility and you have to learn to get it right. You have to learn how to prioritize your health and that includes learning to cook, maybe even for the first time. And, once you get this down you can help train them on how to keep you safe but for now, it is and always be on you. 

That being said, you will definitely need to learn some real stables and basics that can not only feed you but nourish you and that you can share with others. And, that is why I wanted to have my Gluten Free Party because as Mother's Day approaches, I always suggest bringing your own food to any family get together, holiday or special occasion or hosting the party yourself. Hosting the party yourself will be tons of work but also knowing that everything is safe for you also sometimes is worth the craziness that will ensure.  Or bringing your own food so that you know that you can eat and eat well are keys to you being able to enjoy your family and being around gluten filled food without any hard feelings. 

Do I cook like this all the time, absolutely NO. I often make quick dinners that are loaded with veggies and fresh wild fish that are mostly grain free but on special occasions, I may "cheat a little and actually eat some gluten free delights" that way it truly makes these times extra special for me too. I do not have an issue with dairy like many of us do but I absolutely have made substitutions with vegan versions (just be careful that these too don't contain gluten or wheat). And. on most days I don't eat refined sugar but I have found that when sharing my gluten free goodies with my family that going the sugar free route is too much for them, so this is my compromise - it's safe for me and I might have a bite or two but is mostly for them to enjoy and not give me a hard time. :)  And, we all have been there, I'm sure - when our friends or family turn up their noses at our food - just because it's gluten free.

I eat super healthy, I eat almost 100% completely organic, non-gmo, grass-fed, wild  and certified gluten free. Yes, it costs more but I already have a very compromised immune system and I don't believe in adding a bunch of pesticides, franken foods (foods created in a lab) or food that has not been tested properly into my body anymore. I have been way too sick and I am determined to heal my body and thrive not just get by and continue to have this problem ten years from now. If that's not your jam, I completely respect that - I know you are doing the best you can.

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Strawberry Shortcake

What you’ll need for the Biscuits:

All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

Organic Granulated Sugar

Organic Heavy Cream

Vanilla Bean

 

Instructions for the Biscuits:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Use 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (I used King Arthur's - definitely one of my favorites for baking and its Certified Gluten Free which just gives me a little bit more piece of mind)
  3. Whisk in 2 tablespoons organic granulated sugar. 
  4. Add 3/4 cup organic heavy cream (may need a tiny bit more, add one tablespoon at a time)
  5. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla bean goodness to taste
  6. Scoop out 8 big balls of dough (I used a large ice cream scoop to keep them all the same size)
  7. Stir to make a stiff dough.
  8. Brush the tops with the  organic heavy cream to ensure a beautiful golden color and sprinkle with a little organic sugar to add a little sweetness
  9. Bake for 10 minutes.
  10. Let cool completely and then slice and add the strawberries and cream.

Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour

 

Shortcut I tried too was using King Arthur's Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix:

What you’ll need for Yellow Cake Mix:

King Arthur’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

Grass-fed Butter

Organic Coconut Oil

4 eggs

2/3 cup of Milk (Foragers Organic Cashew Milk)

 

Instructions for the Yellow Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Line the baking pan with parchment paper
  3. Use an electric mixer and add 1/2 cup of grass-fed butter and 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil together, then blend in half the mix. 
  4. Using lowest speed, add eggs one at a time (4 total), mixing until blended. Continuing to use lowest speed, add 1/2 of the milk at a time (2/3 cup total - I used Foragers Organic Cashew Milk), alternating with 1/2 of the dry mix. Mix just until smooth. 
  5. Bake 9" x 13" cake for approximately 28-32 minutes
  6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
  7. Once completely cool, cut in half add the strawberries and cream and serve.

Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour with a little Lisa updates

Frosting, Glaze or Cream:

I tried to make the frosting the vegan way and even after 3 attempts and two different cans of the coconut cream and one can of the full fat coconut milk the best that it really made was a delicious glaze.... I will definitely use again just NOT as a frosting.

What you’ll need for the Glaze:

1 14-ounce can of coconut cream, or full fat coconut milk

Organic Powered Sugar

Vanilla Bean

Instructions for the Glaze:

  1. 1 14-ounce can of coconut cream or full fat coconut milk* (must be chilled overnight prior to making)
  2. Chill the mixing bowl for a good ten minutes prior to using (to ensure the cream/milk stays super cold)
  3. Add 1/4 - 3/4 cup of organic powdered sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp of a vanilla bean

Recipe Source: Minimalist Baker

 

Plan B:

What you’ll need for the Cream:

Organic Heavy Whipping Cream

Organic Powered Sugar

Vanilla Bean

 

Instructions for the Cream:

  1. 1 cup of Organic heavy whipping cream
  2.  1/2 cup of organic powdered sugar
  3.  1/2 tsp of a vanilla bean
  4.  Use an electric mixer and start out on slow or you will be wearing the powered sugar (yup, I've done this :) and once all is combined whip on high for a few minutes until you have stiff peaks
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Toasted Cashews, Apple, Pean and Cranberry Salad with Chipotle Lime Dressing

What you’ll need:

1 Fiji Apple

1 Bosc Pear

3/4 cup Cranberries, dried

1 Lemon, large

5 oz Arugula and 5 oz of Green Leafy Lettuce

1 cup Toasted Cashews 

 

For the Dressing:

1 tsp Chipotle Lime Mayo with Avocado Oil

1/2 tsp of Lemon Zest

1 Lemon

1/2 cup of Olive Oil

Splash of Champaign Vinegar

Pinch of Sea Salt and Pepper (to taste)

1/2 tsp of Fresh Organic Parsley

Putting it all together:

I’m a fan of adding a little sweetness (by using some fruit in my salads) so I simply cut up the apple and pear into small pieces and added in the cranberries for tartness and when mixing with arugula which has a pepper taste (it kinda hits a bunch of my tastebuds at the same time).

To toast the cashews, I put them in a cookie sheet and drizzled a little olive oil on them and added some of the fresh parsley, salt and pepper and let cook in the oven at 400 for about 7 minutes (as soon as you smell them, they are just about done - don’t wait much longer)

And for the dressing, I like to keep things simple and just use a mason jar and shake, shake, shake it all together. I have never been a fan of lots of dressing on my salads so you may want to double the recipe if you prefer more - it will only take you another 2 minutes to make :) 

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Coconut Flour Pizza Crust Recipe

What you’ll need:

4 eggs

2 Tablespoon water

1/4 cup organic coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon organic garlic minced*

1/2 teaspoon organic onion minced*

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400º
  2. Beat eggs and water together
  3. Combine dry ingredients and stir into egg mixture
  4. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (I ran out so I had to use foil which worked fine when oiled)
  5. Separate the batter into eight balls and place into the frig for about a 30 minutes
  6. Pre Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown
  7. Remove from oven and add your pizza toppings
  8. Place back in oven for another 8-10  minutes until cheese is bubbly and slightly toasted on top
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before cutting or if your like me and can't wait be careful cause you will probably burn the top of your mouth.

 

* Garlic and Onion Powder spices often contain gluten as an anti-caking agent/hidden ingredient so unless you are using gluten free spices, I always use fresh, organic products and they work out fabulously. 

Plan B:

If you are looking for a good gluten free pizza crust that isn’t necessarily carb free, my favorite and it is one of the easiest is Cup 4 Cups Pizza Flour and yes, it’s certified gluten free so no worries here either.

What you’ll need:

1 bag of Cup4Cup Pizza Crust Mix

1 cup warm water

1 egg

Olive oil

Kosher salt

  • Follow the directions on the bag on how to mix it together and then instead of dividing into 2 separate the into eight balls and place into the frig for about a 30 minutes
  • Pre Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown
  • Remove from oven and add your pizza toppings
  • Place back in oven for another 5-10  minutes until cheese is bubbly and slightly toasted on top

Toppings:

I am a huge fan of roasted veggies so I roasted organic tomatoes, organic peppers, organic zucchini and organic squash.

  1. Preheat the oven to 450
  2. Wash, dry and cut all the veggies as close to the same size as possible
  3. Spray the cookie sheet with Organic Coconut Oil Spray or just spoon on some Organic Coconut Oil so that the veggies don't stick
  4. I'm not a fan of zucchini or squash skins, so I peeled them (this step is completely up to you)
  5. Spread out the veggies on the pan and add seasonings (since these babies will be used in my Italian brunch, I opted to use fresh basil, fresh parsley, fresh oregano and I added a few organic red pepper flakes because I like things with a little kick)  Special note, do not add salt now because salt will pull out the moisture when cooking and will make your veggies a bit soggy and take much longer to roast.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil
  7. Roast in the oven a good 30 to 45 minutes (this time absolutely depends on how big you cut your veggies - thinner is always quicker and in some cases you may have to take the zucchini and squash out first, then tomatoes and be careful with the peppers cause they can go from not done to burnt in a moment
  8. Once out of the oven, then add some sea salt (I use Himalayan Pink Sea Salt)

 

For the Sauce:

  1. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  2. 2 cloves of organic garlic cloves chopped finely 
  3. 1/2 organic onion (cook until translucent) 
  4. 2 jars of Organic Crushed Tomatoes (I use Jovial because they are certified gluten free - yes tomatoes are gluten free in nature but that doesn’t mean that they were processed correctly)
  5. 1 cup of water
  6. 1 cup of red wine (double check and make sure that your favorite is gluten free here too, I switch off with whatever I have on hand, today’s was a pinot noir because it was open :)
  7. 1/2 cup of basil finely chopped (I add about 2/3rds now and then sprinkle onto after cooked for a dash of freshness)
  8. 1/2 cup of fresh basil
  9. salt & pepper (to taste) and in my case some extra red pepper flakes
  10. 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (add a 1/2 now and you will use the second 1/2 when you combine the pasta into the sauce a little later)
  11. parmesan rind
  12. let come to a boil and then cover and cook on low for a few hours (the longer the better and bonus your house will smell divine)
  13. add a few ladels full of your starchy pasta water to thin out your sauce a bit

Bonus:

Since I roasted some veggies to use as pizza toppings and I had quite a bit extra, I added them to my sauce - which absolutely gives your sauce I deeper, roasted flavor (which I adore and is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies for picky eaters or just to pump up your veggie intake)

So carefully pour your sauce into your blender (be sure to take out the parm rind) and then add in all the extra veggies and blend completely

Then carefully return to your sauce pot and continue to cook on low (until you are ready to serve)

For the Pasta:

  1. Boil approximately 6 cups of water
  2. Add gluten free pasta - I used a bean pasta (as a great way to add in some extra protein to my diet, feel free to try out a few different gluten free pastas as long as they are certified gluten free because lots of contamination occurs with flour blends) My favorites are Tolerant Foods and Banza Bean Pastas
  3. After you have added the pasta then salt your water liberally. By salting after you add the pasta it adheres better and is not stuck at the bottom of the pot.
  4. Follow your box directions for cooking time (but here cut in half - so if the box says to cook for 15 minutes, cook for about 8 minutes because we are going to combine them and cook them in the over for a bit and they will continue to cook, no one want mushy pasta)
  5. Do not throw out the pasta water 

Putting it all together:

Separate a good cup of pasta sauce into another bowl (because if you are use to cooking gluten free pasta, you know that it absorbs a lot of sauce, so you will need additional for serving and some may use as a dipping sauce for their pizza if they make a white (no sauce version).  Should you need to thin it out, just add a few more ladels of pasta water

Once the pasta has been cooked 1/2 the time, combine into the sauce and mix in the second half of the parmesan cheese all together.

I had on hand some fresh mozzarella and fresh ricotta cheese (which I used as toppings for the pizza and then I used the mozzarella balls and cut them and added them into each little baked ziti cups so that my guests could easily eat

Using a muffin tin, line each with a thick cupcake holder (I have tried a few versions, the paper ones have been known to rip easily and no one wants to eat paper, so I suggest using the ones that are thicker and are foil lined) 

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Add in the mozzarella and cook for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts 

Sprinkle with the remaining chopped up basil for a little freshness