Thursday, January 03, 2013

Surviving Holidays & Parties While Gluten-Free

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and took time to relax and enjoy friends & family.  We had a wonderful time with my parents and wished they could have stayed longer, even though we got an extra night with them since the plane was delayed!  

I always thought eating gluten-free was one of those "fad diets" until I went 30 days with NO gluten and it changed my thinking! Disclaimer: I know there are many people who can not touch gluten without getting sick, those are not who I considered part of the "fad diet." I did a 30 day fit program this last summer and lost more weight and inches then I had with anything else I tried.  I also quickly realized that when I eat gluten I feel tired, grouchy, bloated, depressed, and yucky.  If you have not tried to go gluten-free before, I highly recommend trying it for 30 days to see how you feel!  

For those that strive to eat gluten-free, this time of year can be tough.  All the parties, get-togethers, Super Bowl parties, and more are usually stocked with yummy foods full of gluten.  Any event is a struggle if you strive to eat gluten-free, so being aware of this will help you plan what to take or serve at parties. Even if you are not gluten-free, having a few options for those that are at your parties is wonderful!  For those that are looking for ways to enjoy gatherings and remain gluten-free, I hope this post gives you some recipe ideas and tips!

I was recently sent a box of yummy gluten-free items from Udi's Gluten Free to try out so I can share with you recipes and ideas to enjoy gluten free food at parties or just in your home with your family.  I had so much fun creating gluten free appetizers and desserts to share with my readers!  I focused on appetizers and desserts since these items are the ones that many people prepare to take to gatherings.  

The first product I wanted to try was the Double Chocolate Muffins because I knew B would be excited to taste test them for me.  The muffins are gluten, dairy, soy, and nut free.  Udi's Gluten Free also has Blueberry muffins, Cinnamon Muffins, Lemon Streusel Muffins, Double Vanilla Muffins, and Harvest Crunch Muffins.  

They are delicious plain, but I wanted to jazz them up a little. Peppermint & chocolate go great together, so I whipped up some peppermint frosting. 

Peppermint Frosting

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 TBSP butter, softened
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. mint or peppermint extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix the cream cheese, butter, and extracts together with mixer.  Add in powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time.  Add more or less powdered sugar for the desired consistency.  If the frosting is to thick add in a little milk.

Print Recipe Here

To make it even more fun I chopped up some candy canes in my little food processor and sprinkled the chopped candy canes on top of the frosting.  

B loved it and said I could make these anytime I wanted!  This would make a very quick dessert for those unexpected visits by friends & family or just as a dessert for your family on a special occasion.  

The next product I wanted to try out was the Gluten, Dairy, and Soy Free Pizza Crust.  I had so many ideas for this product, but I picked two that I will share with you today.  

Pizza is one of those things that I really miss eating when I am committed to eating gluten free.  If you like thin crust pizza this is an excellent option!  I purchased a pizza grill pan this past summer and I had not used it yet, so I immediately knew I wanted to do a grilled pizza with the crust.

Grilled Veggie Pizza
1 Udi's Gluten Free pizza crust
2 garlic cloves
Olive Oil
Red Onion
Green or Red Peppers
Medium tomato
Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 tsp. dried Basil
1/2 tsp. dried Oregano
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning

1     1. Turn grill on to warm up.  You will want the grill to be about 350-400 degrees, so   
           adjust grill to maintain this temperature. 
       2. Place Udi’s pizza crust on pizza grill pan.
       3. Drizzle some olive oil on pizza crust. Using a pastry brush, spread olive oil over entire  
      4. Add 2 chopped cloves of garlic on pizza and spread over entire crust.
      5. Sprinkle basil, oregano, and Italian seasoning on crust.
      6. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on crust.
      7. Arrange tomato, onion, pepper, and any other veggies you like on pizza.
      8. Sprinkle more mozzarella cheese on top of veggies. 
      9. Place pan on grill.  Cook until veggies are somewhat tender and cheese is melted, 
          about 10-12 minutes.  I leave our grill open so it does not get to hot. 
    10. Cut pizza and enjoy! 

Print recipe here.  

This recipe is super yummy and easy to add the ingredients you like.  This would make a really fast dinner (even in the oven) or a quick appetizer if you are having friends over. What would you put on your pizza?  

Another great gluten free appetizer is Buffalo Chicken Dip with baked pizza crust chips. I posted my Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe a couple weeks ago.  It freezes well so you can make ahead of time and pull out when you have an unexpected event or visitors.  

Instead of using chips or crackers full of gluten, I made chips with Udi's Gluten Free Pizza Crust. We liked the dip better with the pizza crust chips then regular chips!  

Udi's Pizza Crust Chips

Udi's Pizza Crusts
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 garlic clove
Italian Seasoning
Granulated Onion

1. Place pizza crust on baking pan. 
2. Add olive oil to pizza crust and spread around with pastry brush. 
3. Press 1 garlic clove and spread on pizza crust. 
4. Sprinkle a little Italian Seasoning and granulated onion on the crust. 
5. Bake at 350 degree F. until crispy, around 10-15 minutes.  
6. Break or cut into bite size chips. 
7. Enjoy with your favorite dip!  

Print Recipe Here

Another fabulous product made by Udi's Gluten Free is the granola.  They offer a variety of granola blends and I have not tried one I did not like!  I decided to make my Apple Crisp recipe which uses granola.  The Sweet & Crunchy granola was fabulous in my recipe.  

Andrea's Apple Crisp
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients for Apple Mixture:
5 pounds green apples
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Ingredients for the topping:
1 1/2 cups rice flour or coconut flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4-cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2-teaspoon pumpkin & apple-pie spice
1/2-teaspoon cinnamon
1/2-teaspoon kosher salt
1-cup gluten free granola (Udi’s Sweet & Crunchy)
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 14 by 2-inch baking dish or two 9x9 baking dishes. 
Using Apple Corer/Peeler (Pampered Chef), peel, core, and slice the apples.  If you do not have the apple peeler/corer you can do this by hand. 

Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.

To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, granola, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.

Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.  

Freezer Option:
This recipe works great to make ahead and freeze.  I like to make the above recipe and divide in two 9x9 or 8x8 pans.  The topping works ok to freeze, but it is crisper if you add it prior to baking and do not freeze the apple mixture with the topping. Wrap and freeze to use for company, potlucks, parties, or to take with a meal to someone after surgery or a new baby! 

Print Recipe Here. 

I wanted to highlight some of Udi's other products which are also gluten free (some are nut, soy, and dairy free also) and save you time in the kitchen.  One of their marvelous products you can get are cookies and brownies.

They offer Snicker Doodle Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites, and Chocolate Chip Cookies.  

Baking Gluten Free items can get to be expensive, as it requires many items that the non gluten-free kitchen does not usually have available. The flours alone to make a "baking" flour is expensive! Udi's Gluten Free cookies are a great treat when you want a gluten free cookie but do not want to spend a lot of money baking your own cookies.  They are delicious and addicting! 

Udi's Gluten Free also has a variety of breads and buns available.  I am not a big sandwich eater, but I do love me some french toast.  Udi's bread allows me to still enjoy my french toast, gluten free style!  

If you have not tried Udi's Gluten Free products, I highly recommend you try them.  I was always hesitant to try gluten free bread and dessert products, but Udi's Gluten Free products have changed my mind.  

You can find Udi's Gluten Free products in your freezer section of your local grocery store.  Udi's Gluten Free also has a recipe section on their website. For more recipes, make sure to check it out! 

What is your favorite gluten free recipe?  Have you tried to eat a gluten free diet?  How do you feel when you eat gluten?  I would love to hear your tips & recipes on how you survive being gluten free during the holiday and events of life! 

Disclaimer: The above recipes and opinions are my own. They are honest opinons and thoughts on the products I received from Udi's Gluten Free. 

Til' Next Time,


  1. Ok for reals now. We need to have a gluten-free/Paleo dinner, with games. My house, stat! Bring those muffins and that frosting ;)

  2. I am a big fan of Udi's too! They have great stuff. I love the look of those frosted peppermint cupcakes :) And the taste too, I bet!

  3. Got this tweeted and pinned! We love the muffins at our house, I like how you jazzed them up! I am also excited about your pizza crust chip recipe! YUM Thanks for sharing at Gluten Free Fridays.

  4. There's no doubt i would fully rate it after i read what is the idea about this article. You did a nice job. COming site things to do to see Best Central American food near Punta Allen, Quintana Roo, Mexico


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