Vivian’s Live Again began around the idea that food and eating should be a great experience both in taste and social interaction. Often, social gatherings with food can make the gluten-intolerant or Celiac sufferer and the cook for the event feel uneasy.
These guidelines are designed to put everyone at ease. Share it with your friends and family to help them too. These suggestions can help families with some members that follow a gluten-free diet and others who do not. Think “Clean and Simple” when cooking gluten-free and half the battle is over.
Keep it Clean
Before cooking gluten free, clean your kitchen well.
- Wipe down counters including corners that are often missed.
- Wipe the main preparation areas again with a second dishcloth or paper towel that is clean.
- Utensils are gluten-free from the dishwasher. If they are stored in a place that catches crumbs or flour (like the utensil drawer under the toaster), rinse them under the tap before using them.
- If a cutting board is ever used to cut bread, flip it to the unused side or cut it on something else. Traces of bread crumbs are often caught in the grooves.
- Be careful of cross-contamination. For instance, if you dip into your sugar with a measuring cup that has measured flour without being washed, you should use different sugar when cooking gluten free. Sticks of butter used to butter gluten-containing bread should not be used.
Keep it Simple
Simple means to cook like your Grandma did. Use fresh meat, season food yourself, and include more fruits and vegetables (canned, fresh or frozen.) It is helpful to approach cooking without gluten by focusing on what can be eaten rather than on what can’t. *Always check the label in addition to following these guidelines.*
- Fresh meats usually do not contain gluten; unseasoned hamburger, chicken, pork, roasts, and steaks are gluten free. Turkeys are not always gluten free especially if a gravy pack is included so read the labels carefully.
- Individual herbs and spices are gluten free, but seasoning blends usually are not. Gluten free should not mean taste-free. Don’t be afraid to experiment and taste as you go.
- Desserts can be a challenge but there are still many options. Fresh fruit with or without sugar is a great choice. Pudding and ice cream are usually gluten free (read the label--obviously cookies and cream ice cream is not gluten free, but many flavors are). Pies can be a good option if you use gluten-free cookies instead of graham crackers to make a crust.
- If you still feel uncomfortable about ingredients, consult a gluten-free app or the internet.