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Max and I always start the summer with a Memorial Day weekend trip to Nantucket for Figawi weekend. It’s a famous yacht race that starts in Hyannis and goes east to Nantucket.

Unfortunately we don’t own a yacht. And honestly, we don’t know much about the race.

It’s just a great place to kick off the summer.

Since it’s a guaranteed 4 days straight of barbecuing, we sought to put together a guide of sorts on how to best do a gluten free barbecue, realizing that no matter where you go, there’s almost never going to be a completely gluten free barbecue.

So, it takes work beyond just knowing great gluten free barbecue recipes.

Making sure you stay gluten free at your next barbecue can be extremely difficult, unless you know how to play it. It’s somewhat of an art.

It’s great if you can be the host, but most of the time you won’t be.

That said, here are a few tips for you to ensure that you stay gluten free from start to finish, while still having fun:

    • Don’t be afraid to call ahead and let the host know that you are gluten free. It’s perfectly fine to ask what will be served and mention you are asking because you want to make sure there’s stuff you can eat. No one will ever mind if you have a few questions and bring a few of your own items. If you feel awkward about asking, say that you want to prepare something and that you’re making sure it’s not something that’s already being made. See below for suggestions.


    • Depending on what you want to eat, the first things you think about are the obvious – hamburger and hot dog buns. Quite simply, you’ll need to bring them.


    • Condiments, sauces, and marinades are always up in the air. Never eat these without knowing exactly what went into them. If they’re homemade, ask the host. If store-bought, check the label.


  • Look out for cross-contamination. Don’t be afraid to ask for your hamburger / hot dog / meat to be grilled separately from where the chef is grilling buns and glutinously-seasoned meats. The chef will never have a problem with this – just ask.

Now on to the fun stuff: the food. At Figawi, we tried out a lot of stuff. Because I’m not gluten free, but Max is, the ultimate test is if I (and the others) like the gluten free barbecue recipes as well. Here are eleven recipes that were a smashing success.

I’ll get started with a few basics:

    • Gluten Free BBQ Sauce – We start with a very basic way to get on the track for success at your barbecue – a great barbecue sauce. We tried out a few different ones, and let’s just say this gluten free BBQ sauce was the one we used for the second, third, and fourth days there. There are also many gluten free BBQ sauces you can buy, but if you’re like me, the eating is that much better if you make your own.


    • Avocado Bean Dip – Let’s start with a great appetizer. This recipe is one I’ve made for a long time, albeit not gluten free in the past. It’s simple – 6 avocados, 2 cans of black beans, 2 cans of corn, and ranch dressing mix. I haven’t found any ranch dressing mixes that are gluten free, so it’s a little more work, and that requires making gluten free ranch dressing mix from scratch. Avocado may be the best single source of potassium out there. Potassium will help release energy from protein, as well as help keep your muscles strong, including the most important one, your heart. Beans are one of the strongest complex carbs – a great source of protein and high in fiber. Corn is another high-fiber complex carb.


  • Gluten Free Black Bean Salsa – To accompany the previous dip and create a little variety while the meats are sizzling, this is another tasty addition that everyone will love.

Now onto the side dishes:

    • Gluten Free Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad – If you don’t read Living Without, you should. They’re always on top of the best new recipes. Zucchini and summer squash are two barbecue classics, and very high in vitamin C, which is huge in protecting and strengthening your immune system and preventing cardiovascular diseases.


    • Udi’s New Gluten Free Hamburger / Hot Dog Buns – One of the hottest new gluten free products on the market just hit retailers this week. There are some other brands that have put out gluten free buns, but let’s face it: Udi’s stuff is always worth trying.


    • Spinach Salad with Gluten Free French Dressing – I’m a big fan of spinach. Because it’s so nutrient-dense, and there are so many benefits, it’s a must-have every single day of the week for me. It’s a very good source of protein, vitamin E, zinc, and fiber. It’s also loaded up with flavonoids, which act as antioxidants and protect your body from free radicals. It’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega 3 fatty acids. It’s great for both heart and gastrointestinal health. This is a great gluten free recipe to add to any barbecue.


    • Bahamian Bean and Corn Salad – Another great gluten free recipe, this combines the benefits of beans with another low-fat complex carb – corn. This is a really healthy and delicious side dish. If you decide to go with one of the other bean-based dishes, corn on the cob is always a simple side to throw on the grill as well.


  • Asparagus Potato Salad – Asparagus is probably one green vegetable I haven’t given enough attention to here on the blog. I always say how much I love spinach, but asparagus falls into the same category. Fiber, folic acid, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K, and vitamin C are all abundant in asparagus. And every barbecue loves a potato salad – so this dish is poised to go quickly.

Lastly, here are a few main dishes:

    • Gluten Free Grilled Rum and Pineapple Kebabs – I talked about the various benefits of protein in my article just a few days ago. Pineapple is high in the digestive enzyme bromelain, which assists in the digestion of protein. This can be great if you have trouble digesting, and absorbing, protein. This gluten free recipe promises great nutrition benefits – and to be a crowd-pleaser among all.



  • Gluten Free Ginger Flank Steak – This recipe is straight from Gluten Free Mommy. An interesting blend of spices makes this one unique and delicious.

Healthy gluten free recipes are all around. It just takes a bit of research. Fun and nutrition can go hand in hand, and these recipes promise a very successful gluten free barbecue.

If you haven’t already, head over and read Max’s recent guide to gluten free drinking.

We wanted to make sure you spent your summer the right away (think fun in the sun)…

Now, which recipe is first on your need-to-try list?


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