Hi and welcome back.
I hope you have all been enjoying the blog posts recently. It is feeling more and more like summer every day here at the moment and the number of invites to BBQ’s is increasing day by day. Last week I shared my tips on how I navigate picnics as a coeliac so if you are looking for more tips, you can check it out here. Today I thought it was time to share my tips for navigating BBQ’s as a coeliac and my top gluten free BBQ recipes that I love to enjoy in the summer. Last month, I undertook a No Meat Challenge for May to help reduce my impact on the environment and get out of the rut I had fallen into with my diet. If you missed any of these blog posts, you can check them out here if you are interested. My thoughts after the challenge was it can be difficult to find gluten free, no meat options so I have been on the lookout for alternatives. I hope this blog post gives you advice on how to negotiate the high risk of cross contamination at BBQ’s as well as giving you inspiration for a vegetarian gluten free BBQ without the hassle. I hope you enjoy. Let me know in the comments what your favourite gluten free BBQ food is. -x-
Top tips for navigating BBQ’s as a coeliac
1. Set up a Gluten free station
This one sounds so simple and I know I have mentioned it in both my Guide to Navigating Buffet food and Picnic blog posts, but it is the best way to avoid cross-contamination. Setting up a seperate area for your food and letting guests know about it not only prevents cross-contamination from someone sticking breadsticks in the humus you set aside for yourself (trust me, the gluten reaction the next day just simple isn’t worth it) but it also means you know you have food you can enjoy. I never used to set up a seperate area for my food until last summer when I had been helping cook the BBQ food. When I came back, I found my family and friends had happily enjoyed the gluten free food so I had nothing left to eat. Trust me, I suffer from hanger in a bad way so this wasn’t the best outcome.
2. Cook the gluten free meat first
To prevent gluten cross-contamination, I would highly recommend cooking the gluten free food first. If you cook them side by side, you can still get caught out with cross-contamination so this option is the safest.
3. Cook the gluten free food in the oven
If you are worried about cross contamination, my best advice would be to avoid the BBQ entirely and cook all food in the oven. That way you can ensure your food doesn’t come into contact with the gluten containing food. This tip is especially important if you turn up late for a BBQ and food has already been cooked on the BBQ. Don’t forget, utensils can be a source of cross-contamination too.
4. Make all the food options gluten free
This option may be a bit radical but remember, most meat shouldn’t contain gluten. By buying the gluten free, higher quality food items, you completely rule out the risk of cross contamination so there is no worry or hassle. For a vegetarian option, why not try the Sweet Potato Burgers or Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Sausages by The Deli found in Aldi and Lidl?
5. Bring your own food
If all else fails, bring your own food to a BBQ if you are worried about the risk of cross-contamination. It may not be the most socially acceptable option but it does mean you can enjoy company with friends and family without having to worry about food all the time. I often bring my own food if I have been invited to a BBQ and haven’t been able to talk to the host about food before I go. It means I know I am safe and the host doesn’t have to worry.
My gluten free, vegetarian BBQ food
I can’t be the only one who has certain favourites at a BBQ – right? For me, I have a total weakness for a burger – beef mince or sweet potato, I am really not fussy. At a BBQ last weekend, I enjoyed a burger with Warburtons gluten free Sandwich Thins as I find these hold their shape much better and I don’t get full up on bread before I have finished the burger. I also can’t resist a grilled corn on the cob, salad, potato salad, homemade coleslaw. When I have BBQ’s with my parents we always snack on crisps while the food is cooking to perfection. I am often found with handfuls of Kettles Crisps and cucumber sticks so these are always around too.
My top BBQ gluten free recipes
I thought I would share my go-to BBQ side recipes that I alwasy have at any BBQ. These recipes are adapted from my Mum so I hope you enjoy.
1. Potato Salad
- Boil 150g new potatoes until fully cooked and leave to cool.
- Finely dice: 1 small onion, 2 spring onions and 1/2 celery.
- Combine the onions and celery mix with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon oil and 3 tablespoons Mayonnaise.
- Roughly chop potatoes, add to mix and stir until fully combined.
- Add more mayonnaise if needed.
- Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the fridge for 24 hours.
2. Rice Salad
- Cook 1 packet gluten free golden vegetable rice according to instructions.
- Add 1 tin sweetcorn, 100g sliced cherry tomatoes, 50g cooked peas and 1 diced pepper.
- Stir until fully combined.
- Shred 3 carrots, 100g cabbage and 50g spring onion.
- Add 3 tablespoons Mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and stir until fully combined.
There you go! My top tips for navigating a BBQ as a coeliac, my go-to BBQ staples and my recipes for go-to BBQ sides. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and it helps you over the summer season. If you have any tips for navigating BBQ’s please let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the monthly Newsletter so you don’t miss out on any future blog posts. Have a lovely summer at the many BBQ’s.