Gluten-Free Memorial Day Tips
I diagnosed myself for gluten intolerance after a lifetime of bizarre, seemingly unrelated afflictions. If my doctors had their way, I would have already undergone neck surgery, still be on 3 different inhalers for asthma, be vomiting daily and having chronic panic attacks. However, since eliminating gluten from my diet in May 2009, I no longer suffer from any of those things. Even with the proof in the pudding (or gluten) my doctors now want me to ingest gluten to test for celiac-no can do.View all articles by Destiny Stone
Gluten-free Memorial Day (photo courtesy of Beverly & Pack)
Memorial Day is fast approaching. Once known as, "Decoration Day", Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who have died while serving their Country during military service. Not only is Memorial Day a day of remembrance, it is also a day to spend quality time with your family and loved ones. Most Memorial Day activities center around a picnic, BBQ, or sporting events, so get ready to have a gluten-free Memorial Day!
If you are gluten sensitive, you will want to make sure your are included in the festivities by preparing gluten-free foods you can eat and share with others. Many of your favorite picnic and BBQ foods are naturally gluten-free, but the condiments and preparation of the dish is what can render your meal inedible. Remember to use gluten-free sauces for your marinades, and avoid using condiments that have been dipped into by gluten laden utensils, as cross contaminates are readily found in jars of mayonnaise and mustard. Keep yourself safe this year and make sure to have your own condiments when going to a group event. Many gluten sensitive people use squeeze tops for their condiments to avoid the proverbial "gluten contaminated knife in the condiments" routine. Included are some Memorial Day tips and recipes, but with a gluten-free twist.
Gluten-Free Citrus Tarragon Chicken Kabobs
- 1 lemon, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
- 1 orange zested, then Juiced, remainder discarded
- 1 lime, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound boneless, skinless gluten-free chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (use free-range, organic chicken without fillers if possible).
Gluten-Free Veggie Kabobs
- Bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Italian squash
- Sweet potato chunks
Gluten-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette (for veggie marinade)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Thoroughly mix together all of the citrus-tarragon chicken ingredients (except the chicken) in a bowl. Toss the chicken in the mixture until evenly coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces.
- Puree balsamic basting vinaigrette ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds.
- Grill kabobs directly over heat source for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning 1/4 rotation every 2 to 3 minutes, or until it's cooked throughout.
Salads are always a welcome gluten-free side dish, capable of complimenting any meal. To make your Memorial Day BBQ complete, here are some ideas for gluten-free side dishes. These side-dishes are gluten-free, easy and sure to be crowd pleasers-even for the gluten eating folks.
- Greens Gluten-Free Beer
- Redbridge Gluten-Free Beer
- New Grist Gluten-Free Beer
Gluten-Free, Dairy/Casein-Free, Egg-Free, Corn-Free, Sugar-Free Pecan PieIngredients:
- 2 cups raw almonds, soaked and drained
- 35 pitted dates, soaked for 1 hour and drained
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups raw pecans, soaked and drained
- pinch salt
- Olive oil, to grease your pan
Note: If you are not familiar with the process of soaking nuts, please review the following information before attempting this recipe.
- Combine the almonds and 10 of the dates in a food processor, and process until they are coarsely ground and clumping together. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch square brownie pan or a pie plate with a little cold-pressed olive oil to keep the pie from sticking to the plate. Press the almond-and-date mixture evenly into the bottom of brownie pan and up the sides to form a crust. Set aside.
- Combine the remaining dates, the fresh lime juice, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a blender or small food processor, and process until the mixture has a smooth, uniform consistency. Spread the date filling evenly over the crust. Arrange the raw pecans on top of the date mixture and press lightly. Cut the pie into 2-inch squares and serve.
- Use a clean BBQ grill or use aluminum foil
- Use gluten-free condiments
- Make sure your meat is gluten-free
- Avoid cross contamination
- Prepare enough gluten-free food to share
As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).