We have some good friends who we love to hang out with. The adults have a blast together and our kids play nicely and keep each other entertained too. It’s tricky to have them over for meals though because the husband and one of the children have autoimmune issues and follow a gluten free diet. My friends tell me that both the husband and the daughter are more energetic and feel like their bodies function better when they avoid gluten. Because of this, some of our time together gets cut short when they feel cautious about eating out or coming over for dinner. I’d heard of gluten free diets and seen some gluten free products in the store before but hadn’t spent much time really thinking through the details. Our families are really close and we love having our friends over on the weekends. Additionally, we’d planned on our families sharing a cabin together for a week-long getaway. As someone who spends a fair amount of time in the kitchen, I knew I would be doing most of the cooking for the upcoming trip. Out of curiosity, I read an article 4 Things You Should Know Before Trying a Gluten Free Diet and decided that while my family is not going to go gluten free, we wanted our friends to feel comfortable during the trip to the cabin and other times when they come over to our house too.
I set a goal of learning to prepare complete gluten free meals, rather than isolated dishes or appetizers, so we could all relax and enjoy ourselves. After some searching, I found a website offering meal plans, including one with 30 days of gluten free meal planning. Armed with a healthy weekly meal plan with grocery list, I headed out to get my first ingredients. I found that while some gluten free products were pricier than their wheat containing counterparts, making home cooked gluten free meals was not outside my budget.
I completed my first attempt at gluten free cooking with one of the meals from the plan at home. I decided that for the first meal, I would not tell my husband or kids the meal was completely gluten free and instead served dinner as I would any other night. My trial run was a success and while they appreciated the new dish, no one knew that the meal was gluten free. Confident in my ability to make good gluten free meals, I selected more meals to try. By the time the cabin trip came along I had learned several new dishes that were delicious and appropriate for everyone on the trip. My son frequently requests one of my new specialties even when our friends are not around. I like having the confidence to know I can prepare a meal that satisfies everyone at the table and my friends are relieved to not have to watch over what their daughter selects from the choices on the table when they come over.