Gluten-Free Casual Entertaining

It’s 9:30pm the boy (my 3 month old) and the girl (his beautiful mother) are both asleep or almost asleep.  I am finishing up prep work in the kitchen fuelled by the dulcet tones of the Dropkick Murphys blaring from the kitchen iPod dock.  And by blaring I mean 2 on a scale of 10… people are asleep in our little house.

We are having friends over to watch football tomorrow and I am in charge of the food.  This isn’t anything huge, just playoffs and our team was eliminated long ago, but I would watch curling with this group of friends. 

The menu is tapas, appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, good old finger food and 100% gluten free.  As a base for everything I am making bruschetta/toast points with Udi’s Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread and Crisps made from Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts. 

Chef status disclaimer:  I may work for a gluten free bakery, but I am more of a mad scientist in the kitchen than a chef so my recipes are a little on the loose side and open to interpretation.


1st dish – Tapenade This is my take on a Mark Bitman recipe from the New York Times am not a big fan of seafood, but the original recipe calls for a minimum of five anchovies and my girl sticks to the true recipe. Everyone else loves it too!

 1 pound pitted black olives

.25 cup drained capers

2-3 anchovies

2 garlic cloves,

Black pepper

Olive oil

Toss everything but the olive oil in the food processor and let it rip. Drizzle in olive oil and process until it is a thick paste.  Serve up and use in moderation.


2nd dish – Hummus


Okay so hummus is wonderful and not difficult to make, but mine is coming straight from the tub and was made by Tribe so I know it is gluten free.  If you would like to make your own, I would check out the Mark Bitman NYT link above or Shauna at has a great recipe too. 


3rd dish – Calabacitas as a pico-like dip


1 zucchini diced

1 yellow squash diced

.33 cup of onion diced

1 clove of garlic

.5 cup of corn

.5 cup of New Mexico Green Chile (I get this every fall and it is in the freezer next to the tomatoes)  You may want to use less.

.33 cup tomatoes chopped and drained

Sauté the onions and garlic in a little oil until it starts to turn translucent, then add everything else and cook until the squash is almost tender and pull from the heat.  Salt and pepper to taste (good green chiles will mean you don’t need pepper)  Serve warm or let it cool to room temperature.


5th dish – Roasted Garlic


2-3 Garlic Blubs

Cut off the tops, drizzle with olive oil, roast at 375° in foil or on a pan for about an hour.

Serve hot or cold.


6th  dish – (mostly made the morning of) Garden tomato bruschetta


1.5 cups of chopped heirloom tomatoes (the only thing I can grow, now chopped and frozen in bags waiting for whatever)

.5 cup of red onion broiled and then diced.

4 cloves garlic roasted and chopped (stole these from my roasted  garlic)

.5 cup chiffonade basil leaves (this happens tomorrow)

2-4 table spoons of olive oil (depends how things look and what you feel like)

Salt and pepper to taste

Broil or grill red onion slices with a little olive oil, let cool and dice.

Drain tomatoes and combine everything in bowl, let sit at room temperature.


Lucky #7 – Carnitasand red chili sauce


Pork shoulder (or loin) with most of the fat cut off

1 onion minced

1 lime squeezed

1-2 Tablespoons red chili flakes

2-4 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

4 cloves of garlic

.5 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 bunch green onions (4-7) sliced

Throw everything except the green onion in a slow cooker on the low setting, over night (6-8 hours).  When it is falling apart shred with a fork and keep warm.  Sprinkle green onions on top.

Red Chili Sauce (I know I buy my Hummus and make my chili sauce, go figure)

2 tablespoons oil

6 table spoons red chili powder

1 garlic clove minced

Pinch of Oregano

1 cup water

Sauté garlic in oil add 2 tablespoons of chili powder creating a thick paste.  Add water and oregano stir until paste is dissolved and keep at a simmer.  Slowly add rest of the chili powder and reduce until the sauce has thickened and is smooth.  Serve with the Carnitas.

My Bruschetta/Toast Points


Loaf of Udi’s Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread – quarter slices diagonally spray with olive oil and toast in the oven (375°) or toaster oven until golden.




4 Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts – cut into eighths spray half with olive oil and the other half top with a little fresh grated parmesan cheese toast up just like the bread.

 It’s 10:30 and I am done cutting and prepping everything for tomorrow and the carnitas are in the slow cooker.  Another 30-45 minutes in the morning and the spread will be complete. 

Time to turn off the iPod, turn off the lights, make sure the oven is off, walk upstairs and get into bed… walk back downstairs and make sure I turned off the bottle warmer 2 hours ago, walk back upstairs and go to sleep.


9 responses to “Gluten-Free Casual Entertaining”

  1. Ann G. Mock says:

    Do you have items without garlic – my husband is allergic to garlic

    Thank you

  2. virginia says:

    thank you for the recepies, i’m just learning to cook by them.

  3. pauline Salois says:

    Your wife is blessed to have her man make the gluten free meals!
    I am just starting to learn and Oh how I wish I had someone to help me in the kitchen!!! thank you.

  4. Ida Costa says:

    I love Udi foods and buy them on a weekly basis (at least 3 to 4 packages per week – bagels and bread). I have used this site to print coupons. However, it does not allow me to print any more coupons. I don’t understand why since I am purchasing your products on a weekly basis.

  5. megan thomas says:

    hi and thanks for makeing such great products for people who cant have gluten but i have found most all of them contain corn product and i am alergic to corn products and corn so could you try to make something for me please or let me know if you do corn and gluten are 2 of my biggest …

  6. kar says:


  7. Deborah says:

    I love brushetta and would have never thought to make it with the sandwich bread. I am going to make this tomorrow night and I can’t wait!!!! Thanks Udi’s!

  8. Joanne says:

    The recipes will go great with a slow cooker full of buffalo sausage stew, buffalo sausage from Kyle SD "Tanka Dogs" and recipe from gluten free goddess Karina’s Kitchen (CA). And crudites from Colorado. Not bad for a pacific northwest super bowl party.

  9. Meg Bacheller says:

    we had a football championship party and we served little Johnsonville deli bites, Kroger brand cheese, Nut thins, and then had Mission Chips with homemade guac, stuffed mushrooms and Brisket, and GF key lime pie – no Udi’s at this party but we love Udi’s and like your menu – so just wanted to let you know too that there are so many things you can make that is completely GF – thanks – my hubby and kids are GF and so we eat a lot of Udi’s bread for sandwiches and their muffins and cinnamon rolls

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