You’ve decided to host a cocktail party for your colleagues. You’re throwing your best gal a baby shower. It’s the NBA Finals and your college friends are coming over for beer and snacks.
Whatever the reason, isn’t it going to be a lot more enjoyable if you can eat the things you’ve provided for your guests?
For those who only recently began eating gluten-free it may seem like an impossible task to host a party with all gluten-free options, but it’s not as hard as you think!
Also, with the fast growing number of folks adhering to a gluten-free diet, odds are you won’t be the only one at your shindig who needs to avoid gluten.
Here are 3 important tips to keep in mind as well as 2 gluten-free appetizer recipes we love!
You Don’t Need To Buy Specifically GF Food
There’s no need to hit the health food store and stock up on gluten-free snacks and prepared appetizers that you can pop in the oven. If you’re pressed for time this can always be an option, but it’s not necessary. Stick to recipes that are traditionally made with no gluten instead of gluten-free versions of dishes. Use fresh produce, cheeses and kitchen staples that you already have at home. Not only will you skip a trip to the grocery store, your snacks will be healthier and your guests won’t even realize that you are deliberately avoiding gluten!
Never Underestimate the Power of the Vegetable
Stocking up on fresh veggies will provide you with a host of gluten-free choices and also some colorful garnish ideas. You will probably find yourself surrounded by a mix of omnivores, vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free diners, so it’s always a good idea to have some meat-free choices that everyone will enjoy. Things like root vegetable kebabs, baba ganoush, fried green tomatoes, stuffed mushrooms, and cucumber tomato salad can all be made with some basic veggies and kitchen staples. You can also offer some tasty dips such as hummus, guacamole, spinach and artichoke dip and white bean dip and provide raw veggies for dipping. Serve your cold dips in hollowed out peppers to tie it all together.
Pass the Cheese, Please!
Cheese is naturally gluten-free and a great addition to any party spread. To make a cheese platter, use a variety of textures and flavors of cheese, make sure to give each cheese its own knife (or serve cubes with toothpicks) and if you get some interesting cheeses on your platter, label them. Add gluten-free mixed nuts and gluten-free crackers and you’re set! Cheese is also great for stuffing cherry tomatoes or sweet peppers or whipping up a quick fondue.
Now that your mouths are watering, here are a couple of quick recipes that were mentioned above:
Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained well) OR 10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons sour cream
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, or more to taste
dash of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, warm cream cheese in microwave for about a minute to soften. Add spinach, artichokes, sour cream, mayonnaise, and parmesan. Mix all together and add garlic salt and cayenne to taste. Don’t worry, if using fresh spinach it will reduce down while cooking.
- Place in an oven safe dish and bake in the oven at for about 20 minutes or until the top is toasty. If you’re using fresh spinach bake for 20 minutes, stir, and bake for an additional 10 minutes if needed.
- Serve with toasted gluten-free bread, chips or veggies.
Recipe originally appeared on the girl who ate everything.
Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
8 oz bacon
½ cup finely minced sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
16 oz white button mushrooms
4 oz cream cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut raw bacon into small pieces. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, cook bacon until nice and crispy.
- While bacon is cooking, remove mushroom stems from caps and chop stems into small pieces.
- When bacon is finished cooking, remove from pan and set aside, along with 2 tablespoons of bacon grease (you can toss the rest, or better yet save it for frying up some eggs and potatoes later!!).
- Sauté onion until soft, about 5 minutes, scraping up any brown bits on bottom of pan. Add chopped mushroom stems and garlic and cook a few minutes longer. Reduce heat to low.
- Add cream cheese and parmesan cheese to mixture and stir until cheeses are melted.
- Add chopped bacon to mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove mixture from heat and stuff each mushroom cap generously.
- Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and filling is nice and hot. Bon Appetit!
Note: Mixture can be made, cooled, and stored, covered, in the fridge for up to two days.
Recipe originally appeared on Moutain Mama Cooks.
What are some easy, tasty recipes you whip up when you invite company over?