Q&A: What are some salads, dishes, and/or dressings for a person with a gluten-free diet?

Question by Ly: What are some salads, dishes, and/or dressings for a person with a gluten-free diet?
I’m going to be having a gathering, and one of the guests is on a strict gluten-free diet. It’s going to be a BBQ (steak and chicken), but that guest can’t eat red meats, fruits, rice, etc. So what can I make besides the chicken that can be eaten by a person on a gluten-free diet, that takes good (has a flavor) so the other guests will eat some too?

I searched online for some recipes, but there’s so many, and I don’t know if they actually taste good. I was going to make a salad that’s “Cantina Bowl” style like from taco bell, but with natural fresh ingredients so that’s the kind of flavor I’m going for like the combination of those ingredients (beans, avocado, tomato, lime, spinach, corn, chicken, rice) but in something different?

Something that won’t take too long in the kitchen, or I can just do outside on the grill.

And maybe a recipe of a salad dressing that you think is really good or flavorful? I would really like it to be something all or at least most of my guests can enjoy, so the person doesn’t feel bad that I had to make something especially for them and no one else is eating it.
I meant *tastes good, not “takes good”.
Yea it’s Celiac, I couldn’t remmeber the name.
Sorry! It was *Candida. If sounded so familiar I thought that was it. But I asked the guest.

Best answer:

Answer by Shauna

The first thing I would do is to ask her if she/he would be comfortable with you making her any food. While your desire to do so will most definitely be appreciated, a large number of celiacs would rather bring their own food and come for the company alone. Because people often don’t understand and can become offended, a number of celiacs I’ve met feel reluctant to say anything and simply bring their food, smile, and don’t eat the gluten free dish provided because they actually can’t.

The ingredients are just a small piece of the puzzle, and even that you would have to buy new ones, depending on the dish. As an example,you can’t use any spices that have ever been open on the counter when you were using flour – they’re likely contaminated.

You will have to cook in a very different way. The celiac will react to gluten in amounts small enough that is is similar to a peanut allergic person avoiding peanuts. The dishes you use can’t have touched gluten after washing. Even second contact like a hand holding a roll and then touching the plate could be a problem for some celiacs.

The pots you use have to have the ability to have every inch scoured out (not just washed), with no cracks or crevices that you can’t reach (so no collanders, pots with bolts on the inside, no wood, no cast iron). YOU can’t touch her plates, her food, or her silverware if you have touched ANYTHING with gluten and not washed your hands yet. You have to scour out an area of the counter if her food touches it, too, or if you have something like a stirring spoon or spatula that needs to be set down.

You can’t use the grill at all, unless you wish to scour it down to gleaming metal to make sure any residue of gluten is eliminated. Gluten is very heat resistant, so it takes about 15-30 minutes at 600 degrees to destroy the molecule, which is why even the grill isn’t safe.

And if this celiac gets just a little gluten contamination, it can take up to 2 weeks before the celiac’s body heals back up.

It’s for the above reasons that so many celiacs will just make their own food, from safe pots and pans. They don’t get sick, and they know they didn’t put their host out by having to follow all these stringent rules to keep them safe.

Your best bet for food, if the celiac has no problem, would be to find some pre-packaged GF food, IMO. As an example, some corn and potato chips, guacamole, dips, and salsas for sale are Gluten Free, so that would be an easy one to provide that others could enjoy as well. They’ll say gluten free on the bag or bottle. Although your celiac would have to have access to either some chips and salsa set aside so they aren’t contaminated by others’ hands that have touched gluten, or they need access to the chips and salsa first, before anyone else touches it.

Wishing you good luck, and I hope your celiac appreciates the kindness of your hospitality.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

Gluten Free Handbook