Registered Dietitian, Allison J Stowell, shares four secrets to hosting a successful, gluten-free game day!
Planning a menu for Super Bowl or another big game? Game food is always fun, and luckily not that hard to make gluten free. It just takes a few alternative cooking methods, and the right ingredients, to ensure a balanced, healthy and allergy friendly menu.
1. Slow cook a hearty dish
It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you need a dish that can serve as the “center” of your meal or your main entrée. Consider this simple slow cooker Chicken Chili.
2. Make it fun
Mashed potato bar: Make a batch of mashed potatoes; serve along with toppings like reduced fat cheese, diced grilled chicken, vegetables (steamed, roasted or raw), or other toppings.
Nacho bar: Allow guests to create their own (small) serving of gluten-free corn chips topped with sharp light cheddar cheese, olives, peppers, tomatoes and other toppings of choice on individual oven safe plates (or tin foil pockets). Simply bake until melted.
Mini Paninis: Using thinly sliced gluten free breads and a variety of fillers, allow guests to make their own mini Paninis. Encourage interesting combinations by offering a variety of fillers and spreads.
The bottom line: Allowing guests to build their own dish encourages better portion size and is a fun way to feed a crowd. The most important thing is to choose one carbohydrate source so that your menu doesn’t become too “carb heavy.”
3. Better protein choices
Baked wings: Reduce saturated fat and calories when you enjoy baked chicken wings instead of fried. Simply toss raw wings in your preferred gluten-free wing sauce and bake until done. For extra crispiness, broil (briefly!). Toss in additional sauce to make them extra spicy.
Mini sliders: Use a grill pan to cook sliders (from very lean beef or ground chicken) and let guests build their mini burgers. (Note: with buns, this option covers your carbohydrate choice as well. If you have trouble finding small gluten free rolls, I suggest using a French bread and slicing small sections to use as buns.)
4. Mini is “in”
Round your night out with a bit of sweet that checks off the “dessert” box without overdoing it. Offer diced fruit or a fruit compote along with mini gluten free brownies or low fat frozen yogurt.
As a Registered Dietitian, Allison J Stowell MS, RD, CDN empowers individuals to make positive, sustainable changes in their eating habits by stressing conscious eating, improving relationships with food and offering a non-diet approach for reaching and maintaining ideal body weight. A gluten free kitchen consultant, she enables restaurants to follow GF protocols and assists GF families in connecting with safe restaurants. Allison lives in CT with her husband and two children, and knows all too well what’s it’s like to keep a celiac family safe.