Saturday, May 26, 2007

Gluten-Free Memorial Day Baking

Holidays always make for a great excuse to bake up some gluten-free treats, and Memorial Day is just a couple days away. We've got some of our favorite foods lined up for a family and friends get-together, and the entire line-up is gluten-free.

The main course will be a gluten-free pulled-pork recipe (same idea as pulled-chicken recipe, but using a pork roast), some homemade potato salad and homemade glutenfree baked beans. I am definitely looking forward to this, as I enjoy all of these dishes quite a bit -- they were all favorites long before the "no gluten" days for me.

I'll be making freshly-brewed peppermint tea for the drink of the day. We have a nice little patch of tea-mint growing in the yard, so I just pluck a few sprigs of it and boil it in a pot of water. Add a bit of sugar, xylitol, or whatever you prefer, serve it chilled (or over ice) and it makes for a great way to cool down on a hot day (we've had a warm-streak here lately - nearly 90 degrees recently).

Finally, a very simple to make fruit salad using frozen fruit will be the "healthy dessert" for the day. Here's what I do to create my chilled fruit bowl with nearly zero effort (takes 5 minutes or less, and do this about half an hour before serving lunch or dinner):
  • Choose a bowl large enough to accommodate the servings for all your guests
  • Toss whatever frozen fruit you have into the bowl that will yield a synergistic flavor combination when served together. Some of my favorite combinations include: pineapple, blueberries, and cherries; or, mango, blueberries, and blackberries; and so on...
  • Pour orange juice (or another complementary juice you choose) over the fruit, filling the bowl about 1/2 the way up the frozen fruit depth or so.
  • Just let that bowl of fruit and juice now sit out at room temperature while you serve and eat your lunch or dinner. Then, when time for dessert arrives (probably an hour or hour and a half after you first created this mix), stir the fruit up along with the juice. At this time, you should have fruit that is mostly thawed, but nearly icy cold - in fact, it may almost be like a chunky sorbet of sorts. Place it into serving bowls and distribute to your guests. Perfect!
This chilled fruit-bowl will really come in handy if you need to prepare something in a hurry, and/or if you are having a party or get-together when the weather is a bit warmer than you prefer -- this will cool things down, and bring a nice flavorful and healthy dish to the table.

Of course, I am still tempted to supplement this otherwise healthy meal with a gluten-free cheesecake or Boston Cream Pie or some other decadent indulgence. But, if time is not permitting for some Celiac-safe baking, I will still have the bases covered. Have a great gluten-free Memorial Day holiday everyone!


Karen said...

sounds yummy! I hope your holiday weekend is just scrumptious!


Lynn Barry said...

Sounds like a memorable Memorial day!

Mike Eberhart said...

Thanks Karen and Lynn.

The memorial day holiday was quite nice here, and so was the gluten-free food :)

Hope you two had a great break also.

~M said...

Hi Mike!

I have been going through my recipe favorites, when I realized that I had never commented to this frozen fruit salad template recipe.

Last summer, I was working in a different state from from my fiancé, who's not really a cook on his own. When he was invited to a party at a friend's house, he brought several bags of frozen fruit and a small container of juice. He prepared this in one of their bowls, dinner was served, and then it was time for his dessert. Everyone was so impressed with him for creating something - instead of buying preservative-filled junk food from the grocery store. And... it was a huge hit, and very refreshing since there was no A/C.

This summer, I definitely plan to mark this easy recipe as doable while I study for the bar. Thanks for the awesome idea!