Preparing for a gluten free Easter can be daunting but if you plan carefully you can be eating some great food and all of it safe and easy to prepare. Let me give you a few baking hints and menu ideas to assist in creating the best Easter ever, even gluten free.
First off, don’t forget the basics, read labels, avoid spice mixes and don’t assume stuff is gluten free just because you think it should be. I have been tripped up by roasts with built in marinades that contained gluten, by seasoning mixes, or by tasty country ham which had no warnings but turned out to be full of gluten. Read the label. I no longer buy ham or bacon unless the label reads gluten free as I have been taken down by hidden sources of gluten; seasonings, marinades and curing mixes. So be very careful selecting that ham or roast. Take the time to read and be sure before spending a lot on a roast that you will end up giving away the leftovers because it ruined your day due to hidden gluten.
Okay, done with the scary but necessary lecture and on to more fun things. Like rolls that are light and tender yet easy to make. I posted them last March but have moved them up so if you click on my blog they should be right at the top. I’ve made them several times and they are a fantastic option for a holiday meal. Also great choices are the French bread recipe in my blog or my Italian fennel and orange bread. Both are delicious and my non-celiac family requests them regularly when we get together to visit.
I myself this Easter am making a roast chicken, requested by my mom. It will not be stuffed in the interest of saving time but I will make roasted root veggies in the pan as well as homemade mashed potatoes. All naturally gluten free. For dessert we are going to enjoy a cherry sunrise pie; also homemade, easy and gluten free; recently posted on my blog. I am using ginger snaps this time to make my crust; got them on sale last week. You can buy a redi-made gf crust at Wegmans or health food stores like Fry’s here in Hellertown. Such an easy and tasty pie, I find it hard to even look at any other dessert for Easter lunch.
Other foods I am making for company include shrimp cannelloni with saffron sauce (adapted by me to be gluten free) and an Indonesian chicken curry with a dozen toppings. Getting all the toppings ready and arranged is the tricky part but it is worth the effort.
And, we will be having a few other desserts. I am making a lemon buttermilk bundt cake from my Heritage Classics cookbook by Annalise Roberts (I have made several items from that cookbook and each has been fantastic and not too tricky either!) and a ricotta based cannoli pie – http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-cannoli-pie/ . Both sound perfect and I can’t wait to taste them. I sure miss cannolis!
In summary, don’t get all worked up on it; stick to simple menu choices, avoid eating a lot of processed foods and make things that are naturally gluten free where ever possible. This will be my fourth gluten free Easter and the best ever!