Pretty soon Christmas party invites will be going out, it is a wonderful time of year getting together with friends and family, some who you only get to see at this time of the year. Don’t let your diet hold you back from attending or joining in on all the fun. There are so many great appetizers, desserts and cocktails that anyone who has any gluten intolerance can enjoy. Why not host your own party?
Here is an appetizer I think is great and is so easy to prepare, you can always take this along with you to the party as well!
2-3 whole Garlic Heads
Extra Virgin olive oil
Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
Place in centre of Aluminum foil, drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, making sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover tightly in foil, bake at 400°F for 40-45 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.
Using a small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.
Serve as is or mash with a fork and place in a small serving dish. Place on larger plate and add variety of gluten free crackers around dish and serve.
You can also use the roasted garlic in your favorite recipe (mashed potatoes, as a rub on your meat, etc) adds so much great flavor.
Taking care with other appetizers
No matter where you go, you need to check whether something is GF before eating it. It may look ok, but it is important to ask. Simply ask the hostess if she happens to know which dishes may contain gluten. Sometimes it may be easier to make a call before hand and ask what kind of appetizers will be served and volunteer to bring something. If you know the host, they would rather you call than you not be able to have anything to eat.
Most cheeses are naturally gluten free, but read the labels to make sure. Some blue cheese may not be-it depends on what the mold was started with. Be careful if the cheese is placed next to crackers/bread as this could be a possible source of cross contamination.
You also need to be careful with any dips as well, although they may be gluten free to start, once anyone dips something like a cracker, bread stick etc into it, it no longer is.
Sometimes to avoid potential problems, I have something light at home before I leave to go to the party. This way, once I get to the party I can still enjoy it and I don’t have to be worried about eating and finding something that won’t make me ill!
Enjoy the holiday parties!