Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cooking for a Celiac Guest.

It can be hard to cook for company if you don't know how!

This is a dilemma facing many people with Celiac disease when visiting a friends house for dinner or going to a party.
It is not only nervewrecking for the person with Celiac disease, but the host as well!

I would like to share with you a few tips if you are the host to someone with gluten and dairy allergies. 
My gluten and dairy allergies somewhat severe & include cross contamination.

So! Here is how to cook for me if I were coming over for dinner.

Step 1:

Wash your hands, counter tops, and any utensils you will be using to cook my food.

Step 2:

Verify that all utensils are non porous. Porous materials can absorb gluten from other foods and cross contaminate someone with Celiac. 
Acceptable utensils are metal, glass (bowls & baking dishes), and plastic.
NOT acceptable materials are: wood, baking stones, stoneware baking dishes, etc.

Step 3: 

Make sure that you prepare the gluten free/ dairy free meal BEFORE any other meals. This limits the chance of cross contamination & will make the process MUCH easier on you! There will be no guessing " did I wash my hand after making sandwiches?"

Step 4:

Know what ingredients are okay to use~! Ask your guest what brands are okay, not all brands are created equal. For example: One sloppy joe sauce may contain gluten while another may not. It is always best to ask.
Make sure that the items say "gluten free" on the label, this takes the guessing out of the situation. If there are dairy allergies, make sure that there  are no milk ingredients or milk allergy warnings on the label.

Here are some general guidelines for what is safe & what is not: 

The following make me extremely sick/ are unsafe:

Wheat. Barley. Oats. Rye.flour, egg noodles, beer, MSG, sauces thickened with flour, tamari, soy sauce,teriyaki, matzo, couscous, bulgar, seitan, wheat germ, caramel coloring, "natural flavors;' bouillon cubes,chicken or soup stocks, malt, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, natural/artificial flavorings, general starches, maltodextrin, malt vinegar, packaged spices that come in bulk, and anything whose ingredients are not known.

I am also allergic to dairy so please no cheese, milk, or butter on my food.
 Anything with casein, lactose or any milk proteins are also unsafe. 

Again these are basic guidelines.

 Step 5:

Check your cooking surfaces. 

If using the oven, cover your pan with aluminum foil, this prevents cross contamination between the glutened pan & the non-gluten food. In addition DO NOT cook anything with gluten on or in the same pan. This with make the non-gluten food glutened and then you will have wasted your time.

If grilling out. Use a separate flipper for the non-gluten food than for the gluten food.
Make sure to have a dedicated area on the grill for the non-gluten food, this area must be covered in aluminum foil (again to prevent cross contamination).

Step 6:

Once the gluten free dairy free food has been cooked, please make sure that it does not come in contact with other food that may have gluten or dairy.

Taking these steps to make sure that a meal is gluten free (and/or dairy free) for an guest with Celiac is very important, and very much appreciated. A key to remember is that even the tiniest speck of gluten can make some people with Celiac very sick, so always use caution when making food for a Celiac guest.

There are different levels of gluten sensitivity in different individuals, so it is always best to be safe if in doubt. 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about how to make gluten free food!



Want to learn more about Celiac?
Check out these links.

*Disclaimer: This is not an attempt to treat, diagnose or give advice regarding any disease. This is purely for entertainment purposes only. These are things that have worked for me personally in my own life, I am only sharing my own life experiences. As always talk to your Dr when dealing with an illness. In addition, these are not my photos they are photos gathered from around the web for illustrative purposes only.*

1 comment:

  1. I am glad you wrote this. I have often thought about asking you what you do when it comes to partys, weddings and going to friends houses. Do you bring your own food or something?