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Jul 27, 2009 02:55 PM

Gluten Free on Short Notice

I'm having 7 people over for dinner tomorrow night and one is gluten-free. Not a ton of prep time, just tonight and about a half hour before they come over tomorrow. Any good ideas about quick, easy and not too expensive menus? I need a main, side, and veg + dessert. I have some homemade white bean puree I plan to put out for app with veggies. Thanks in advance for your help!

PS - no pork or red meat either. I almost forgot :)

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  1. If you have a Whole Foods or a decent natural food store, you could pick up some gluten-free pasta, for example. I heartily recommend the Tinkyada brand - the best in my opinion. No one will even know it's not a wheat-based pasta.

    You can pretty much cook as normal otherwise. Just watch ingredients on products. If it has soy sauce, maltodextrin, modified food starch (although some MFS's are not wheat-based), or anything with wheat, barley, rye or, to be safe, oats (issue of cross-contamination), don't use it in anything you feed that person.

    Obviously, bread will be out (hard to find decent gluten-free bread, although WF's GF Prairie Bread is fairly good), but there are some excellent crackers and pretzels from Glutino (usually available at WF and other places).

    For other ideas, check out as well as and also

    All these sites will give you great ideas and recipes.

    Have fun with it. Your other guests will be very pleasantly surprised.

    1. A frittata with vegetables and cheese (be sure to cook the vegetables - microwave will be fine - before adding to the eggs). Or you could shift the cheese from the frittata to polenta on the side. Another side would be buttered rice with peas.

      Dessert: Ripe summer fruit, with gelato or sorbet/sherbet.

      1. Instead of finding gluten free products, maybe you can cook with products that are naturally gluten free. Some kind of fish (main), brown rice (side) and steamed veggies? Some fruit for dessert?

        Being gluten free doesn't have to be hard! As an *extremely* general rule, stick with fresh, natural foods (i.e. perishables) and away from wheat products.

        Good luck with dinner tomorrow!

        1. How about a Perfect Roast Chicken... in the last 45 minutes potatoes and/or vegetables (any combo) can be added to the roasting pan/pot.
          You could also serve polenta as a side dish with chicken... could do a Chicken Cacciatore over polenta...

          1. Quinoa is quick, easy, and GF. TJs also has good GF pasta. Brown rice works well. Think simple, naturally GF like fresh produce.

            4 Replies
            1. re: lgss

              Thanks everyone! My husband suggested enchiladas, and I checked with the Gluten-Free Guest and corn tortillas will be fine. So I think we'll go that route. But thanks for all the suggestions! I really appreciate it!

              1. re: jenhen2

                Some brands of "corn" tortillas have some wheat in them (most don't) so check the label just to make sure.

              2. re: lgss

                Am I the outlier? I can't stand the rice pasta, but I love the corn/quinoa pasta. My gluten eating sweetie does too!

                I too think the best tip in this situation is to do as lgss suggests- naturally GF stuff. Then it's a no-brainer and doesn't require any special trips to the store. Hope the enchiladas were delish!

                1. re: Vetter

                  i don't like the Rice stuff as much. I prefer much of the European brands that are corn based.