Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Gluten Free Dinner Party!

This weekend we had our really awesome friends B&D come over for dinner. It was an all-round excellent evening. Ms B is a gluten-free gal, and also she can't eat anything too spicy. It's not really that hard for me to plan a gluten-free meal, but I kept thinking of spicy ideas (enchiladas, south Indian, etc). So after much contemplation, I came up with a super yummy all xgfx (vegan+gluten-free) dinner menu. 

Things kicked off with one of my favorite salad recipes. It's a Wild Rice and Spelt Salad with Grapes, Toasted Hazelnuts, and a Citrus-Cumin Dressing (I think the recipe is from the cookbook The Healthy Hedonist). All I had to do to deglutenize it was use all wild rice and no spelt. Easy Peasy! As always, it was super, super delicious. It's a great recipe because you can do everything while the rice is cooking (35-40 minutes) - and it's great warm or at room temp. It's filling, hearty, and felt appropriately autumnal. 

With the salad, we all had a bowl of Creamy Broccoli Soup with Red Bell Pepper Creme (recipe from Real Food Daily Cookbook). Even though it was 80 degrees that day (for reals!), we all loved it. I haven't made this recipe for a while, but now I can't wait to make it again. It makes a TON, and it's full of 3 pounds of broccoli and almost a pound of spinach. With my magic Vitamix, I got a crazy smooth base, and then added in some lightly steamed florets for some bite. The Red Pepper Creme really makes the soup shine - it's based with cashews and has a bright lemony tang to it. We've already devoured the leftovers!

To go with the soup, I made a batch of Torta di Ceci (recipe here) - aka Socca. I got this recipe many years ago from my friend Nicoletta's mom. It's just so delicious... and I figured every gluten-free person NEEDS to know the glory of Torta di Ceci. It's pretty much just chickpea flour, water, salt, and a little olive oil... yet somehow it cooks up into something so delicious! For some strange reason, Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats isn't all that into it ~ but that's okay: More for the rest of us!!!

The real star of the show was the veggie side dish I made : Roasted Butternut Squash with Herbs, veganized from Plenty. I got my copy of Plenty quite a while back, but this was the first time I finally cooked something from it. Now I cannot wait to cook 1 million recipes from it. This recipe called for pumpkin (I used a butternut), called for parmesan cheese (I used the equivalent amount of Terry's Chickpea Parm from Vegan Eats World), and called for bread crumbs (and I deglutenized by using crushed up rice chex-type cereal). The end result was magically delicious. Seriously, you guys. 

For dessert I made the Butterscotch Amaretti Cookies from Great Gluten-free Vegan Eats. This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite cookie recipes of all time. They're easy, they're gluten free, and everyone can love on them. I served them alongside some Chocolate Gelato Sorbet, and it was a great combo. I packaged up all the leftover cookies and sent them home with the gals ~ since, based on my experience as a vegan, people probably don't make you cookies all that often when you're gluten-free.

It was a really super delicious - and super healthy! - totally gluten-free meal. Best of all though, we had a really lovely evening with our friends. Now I'm already scheming about another xgfx menu so we can have them over again!

 Bonus Dottie Bonkers Picture:
Just look at our little Dottie B! She made this set up all by her self! 

Also: By popular demand, the doodles will continue... even though MoFo is over!

I guess I'm enjoying all this amazing sunny weather we've been having... but I'm also sorta feeling ready for autumn to kick in. It feels wrong to be prancing around in shorts and flip flops while also thinking about what I'll cook for Thanksgiving. I wanna put on some socks and a cozy scarf!


  1. yum, amey, yum! why do i love pudla but not like socca? i might have to give yours a go. and dottie bonkers, she is so so cute!!!! miss you and your bubbubs so much!


  2. susan7:06 AM

    good food...cute puppy...best doodles but i don't understand the desire for cooler weather...east cost here...waiting for the one two punch of snow

  3. I'm so glad that the doodles are sticking around!! I love them. What a sweet friend you are to make such a delicious meal for your friends! This is so true - "I packaged up all the leftover cookies and sent them home with the gals ~ since, based on my experience as a vegan, people probably don't make you cookies all that often when you're gluten-free." It always touches me when people make me cookies!

    I would happily send you the highs of 40-50 degree weather we're having, so that you could put your cozy clothes to use. Truth be told, I'd be so much happier in flip flops and tank tops! :)

  4. Gluten-free-a-rama of yumminess. It all looks so colorful and satisfying. Lucky you sitting there barefoot in your drawing. It's snowing in Philly now--yes, we are experiencing another Nor-easter.

    I am so glad the doodles will continue. Yay!

  5. Booking marking this bad boy! A friend of mine has just discovered what's been making him sick is a gluten allergy, and I've been wondering what to make next time he's over for tea!

  6. wow you are so talented! I probably could give you any combination of dietary restrictions and you could create an amazing menu!

  7. This is awesome! I never know what to make for my gluten free sisters, but now I feel inspired.

  8. Anonymous6:25 PM

    I am so happy to see you are still blogging :) I took a break for a while and so many of my favorite bloggers have stopped all together or taken breaks too. It looks like i have some catching up to do!

  9. Anonymous10:38 AM

    Thanks so very much for these recipes and recommendations--so helpful! I was just pondering what to make to an upcoming bring-and-share meal hosted by a gluten-free relative. You've given so many possibilities (and cookbook recommendations!).


    Another fan of your doodles (and recipes)

  10. I totally believe you made a wonderful xgfx meal for your friends, but you're totally joking about the sunny 80˚, right? Right?

  11. It all looks great especially those awesome cookies!

    The doodles are great :)

  12. Dottie Bonkers knows how to use props just like a yogi! Wonder where she learned that from? Has she gone to study with the Iyengars recently?


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