I hate dinner parties. This may come as a shock to some of you, because I do love eating, and I do like socializing (when I am not hermitting), but I have so many weird dietary restrictions that I usually end up getting a lot of weird looks and coming home hungry, or giving in and eating all the foods only to return home feeling sick and bloated for the next 24-48 hours. As part of my 30 days of mindfulness, I have promised to eat mindfully, and that includes respecting my dietary restrictions (and, well, not starving myself). But what better way to enjoy food than with friends? So, being my daring self, I decided to host my own dinner party, with the goal to prepare everything gluten free, dairy free, and nut free! Turns out it wasn’t actually so hard…
With the last days of summer hanging tantalizingly over our heads, I considered barbecue as the best way to go. It had its pros: Barbecue foods are easy to find gluten and dairy free, and anyone can appreciate a motto of ‘more meat and less bread’ when it comes to barbecuing. But there were also cons: What about the buns? Cheeseburgers? It would be tough, and some compromises would have to be made, but I could almost taste the delicious glory of a gluten free dinner party.
I quickly made the decision that cheese could not be completely left out. I admit, I have a weakness, but one slice of cheese never killed a digestive system! The buns were a different story. Dare I buy dry and questionable gluten free bread for the whole party, or do we go bun free? Deciding the $12 frozen loaf of gluten free bread was not a realistic option, it was clear we were all to go bun free. I know, I know, I could have just bought some bread for my guests and not ate it myself, but then I would have to deal with their pitying stares and questions, and this was MY dinner party so we could all eat our burgers with a knife and fork.
I made a homemade spicy mustard dressing for a fresh Greek salad, and put the homemade burgers and gluten free sausages on the grill. As the guests happily chatted away over some Mojitos, I faced my next challenge: desert. There would be no cream puffs or cakes here, I needed something simple to complement the barbecue, but also gluten and dairy free. Luckily, the blogosphere came to my rescue with these amazing chocolate peanut butter ball deserts. I used dark chocolate with no milk in it, and otherwise followed the directions on here! (Warning: make sure to put the peanut butter balls in the freezer, not just the fridge, or else they will not hold enough chocolate).
Finally, the eating began. I nervously began cutting my burger with a fork and knife, but after the guests realized there was no bread, they just laughed it off and enjoyed! (Everyone agreed the cheese was essential, though). The peanut butter balls were a hit; no one would’ve guessed it was gluten and dairy free, especially because everyone was already a little tipsy off wine and cocktails by then! It was a very enjoyable evening with food and friends, and perhaps, most importantly, everything was super easy to prepare and easy to delegate to my boyfriend to clean up!
In conclusion, my guests didn’t seem to mind eating gluten and dairy free, because although those words usually scream ‘no fun’ to foodies, thanks to the wealth of options and delicious recipes on the internet, we have to suffer no longer! I’ve even shared the peanut butter ball recipe with my friends so next time I attend a dinner party; I don’t have to worry about not getting desert.