Photo: CC-jmurawski
Celiac.com 04/15/2011 - This year, Easter Sunday falls on April 24, 2011. With Easter peeking around the corner, it's time for some gluten-free Easter celebration tips.

For many folks, in addition to its religious aspects, Easter means colored eggs, hot cross buns, candy, gift baskets and pancake breakfasts, among other celebrations.

The good news is that many basic Easter foods, snacks, and ingredients are already gluten-free, so with minimal information and adjustment, you'll be able to create a great gluten-free celebration this Easter.

Easter means eggs: coloring eggs and egg hunts and egg rolls, and making egg salad or potato salad, or macaroni salad, or deviled eggs from all those Easter Eggs that don't get eaten right away.

I like to eat egg salad as a topping on my favorite gluten-free crackers, or served open-face on a piece of freshly toasted gluten-free bread. Egg salad is also great on crisp, fresh lettuce.


Great Easter Egg Salad Recipe

Ingredients:
8 hard boiled eggs
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
If you don't already have plenty of hard boiled eggs from Easter, then place eight eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.

In a large bowl, combine the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, dill, paprika, and salt and pepper. Mash well with a fork or wooden spoon.

Serve on gluten-free bread as a sandwich or over crisp, fresh lettuce as a salad.


Deviled Eggs

Deviled-eggs are great because they're not only gluten-free, they are easy to make, and stand alone as great hors devours, or picnic snacks.

Ingredients:
8 large eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Directions:
Once again, if you don't already have plenty of hard boiled eggs from Easter, then place eight eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.

Peel eggs and split in half lengthwise. Gently remove yolks and mash in a bowl with a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, and paprika. Stir with fork until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.

Fill pastry bag or plastic bag with yolk mixture and squeeze into egg whites. Garnish with chopped fresh chives


Gluten-free Macaroni Salad

Easter brings back fond memories of eating macaroni salad off paper in the grass. I like Schar pasta a lot, so I substitute Schar Penne for macaroni in this recipe. For purists, Barkat makes a good gluten-free macaroni.

Ingredients:
4 cups uncooked gluten-free penne or elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the onion, celery, and green pepper. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, but preferably overnight.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain. When macaroni or penne is cool and well-drained, place into a large bowl and fold in the mayonnaise mixture. Serve cold.


Baked Easter Ham

Many people celebrate Easter with a traditional sit-down dinner of baked ham with all the trimmings.

Ingredients:
15 lbs lean whole bone-in ham
1 lb brown sugar
1/2 cup gluten-free yellow or brown mustard
aluminum foil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine yellow mustard and brown sugar into a thick paste. Trim away excess fat from ham.

Grease a baking pan with cooking oil, and line with Aluminum foil. Place ham on foil and coat ham with brown sugar/mustard paste. Fold and seal foil.

Place in oven and bake at 350° for 4 hours. Do not open foil until ham is done. Remove from oven, open foil, and allow ham to cool for one hour before carving.

Great gluten-free bread options include:
For those who prefer to bake their own gluten-free bread, try a gluten-free bread mix:

Easter also means sweets and treats, from marshmallow rabbits to Cadbury Eggs, to Peeps. As always, check labels carefully. Contact manufacturers as needed. You can find a pretty good list of gluten-free Easter candy at gfreefoodie.com.

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).