Gluten-Free Party Picks
Smart snacks for game day or any day
Just in time for Super Sunday and March Madness, we share some allergy-friendly (gluten-free and dairy-free) ways to satisfy the big sports-fan appetites at your house. Of course, you don’t have to be watching football or basketball to enjoy these munchies. Quick and easy to prepare, they’ll score points at any gathering.
Nachos might be called the anything-goes snack. They are easy and delicious, no matter what you add. I often serve these nachos with fresh guacamole and sometimes I sauté bell peppers and add them to the chilies.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil of choice
½ onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 ounces ground beef
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
1 (16-ounce) jar good-quality salsa
3 jalapeno chilies, seeded, minced
1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese,* packed, optional
1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated Monterey Jack cheese,* packed, optional
1 (7-ounce) bag corn tortilla chips
1 cup shredded lettuce
Sour cream or dairy-free sour cream, as garnish
Extra salsa, as garnish
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Heat oil in a heavy medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add ground beef. Cook thoroughly. Reduce heat to low. Stir in black beans and refried beans and sauté until flavors are combined, about 5 minutes.
3. Mix salsa and chilies in a small bowl. Reserve.
4. In a separate bowl, combine cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Set aside.
5. Arrange half the tortilla chips on two 9x13-inch pans. Spread half the meat and bean mixture over the chips. Sprinkle half the salsa mixture over the meat and bean mixture. Top with remaining tortillas and repeat layers. Sprinkle top with reserved cheese mixture, if desired.
6. Bake nachos in preheated oven until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with lettuce, sour cream and extra salsa.
Each serving contains 266 calories, 13g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 30mg cholesterol, 684mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 14g protein.
*Dairy-free? Substitute gluten-free, dairy-free cheese or omit the cheese entirely. If omitting, bake nachos in preheated oven for five minutes or just until ingredients are warmed through.
Simple Stuffed Peppers
Peppadew peppers, available in the deli section of most large supermarkets, look like cherry tomatoes and have a flavor that packs mild heat. They’re loaded with vitamin C and healthy antioxidants. This cheery finger food couldn’t be simpler to prepare.
24 peppadew peppers
½ cup prepared hummus or herbed soft cheese or dairy-free cheese
1. Fill peppadew peppers with 1 teaspoon each hummus or herbed soft cheese or dairy-free cheese.
2. Arrange in a single layer on a platter and serve.
Each pepper contains 12 calories, 1g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 19mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g protein.
MAKES 36 TO 45
Welcome guests with tasty nibbles of comfort food—fingerling potato slices topped with bacon, avocado and sour cream or dairy-free sour cream substitute.
12-15 fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
Coarse salt, optional
½ cup sour cream or dairy-free sour cream
½ pound cooked bacon, chopped into bits
2 avocados, peeled and chopped
Chopped chives, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease it with olive oil.
2. Cut fingerling potatoes in thirds lengthwise and arrange them in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Brush potato tops and sides with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired.
3. Place potatoes in preheated oven and bake about 10 minutes. Flip and bake another 10 minutes or just until fork tender.
4. Remove potatoes from oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Place a dollop of sour cream or dairy-free sour cream on each potato slice. Sprinkle with bacon bits and avocado pieces. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve warm.
Each potato coin contains 82 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 5mg cholesterol, 47mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g protein.
Mini Cheese Tarts
Serve these savory gluten-free treats on their own or alongside steaming bowls of chili. For dairy-free guests, bake tarts fully, about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Once they cool, fill them with a commercial bruschetta mixture or a blend of sautéed onions and mushrooms. These tarts can be made ahead and frozen. Bring them back to room temperature before filling.
1 (22-ounce) package gluten-free bread mix (with yeast)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese or 8 ounces goat cheese (chopped) or dairy-free cheese
1 cup raspberry jelly or pepper jam
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare a gluten-free bread mix according to package instructions. Press a tablespoon of dough into lightly oiled mini-muffin tins. Dough does not have to come up the sides evenly and doesn’t have to rise before baking.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Place a teaspoon of grated cheddar cheese or a small piece of goat cheese or dairy-free cheese substitute in each cup. Top with a bit of raspberry or pepper jam.
5. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
Each tart contains 111 calories, 2g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 7mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 2g protein.
Avocado and Cranberry Mustard Turkey Wrap
MAKES 24 PIECES
Flavorful and nutritious, this finger food is one of my favorites. Wrap these up before the kickoff and serve them as your guests arrive.
½ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup cranberry sauce
6 gluten-free wraps*
12 slices gluten-free turkey
6 slices Swiss cheese or dairy-free cheese
3 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced lengthwise
Salt, to taste
1. Whisk together mustard and cranberry sauce.
2. Lay wraps flat on a baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil and heat in a 350-degree oven for about 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Working quickly while wraps are still warm and pliable, spread cranberry mustard sauce equally over the wraps. Then place two turkey slices on each wrap. Cover turkey with a slice of Swiss cheese or dairy-free cheese substitute. Top the cheese with four avocado slices.
4. Assemble wraps by folding in both sides and the bottom of each wrap up over the filling. Roll to close. Cut each wrap into 2-inch slices crosswise.
5. To serve, insert toothpicks through each piece to hold them together. Arrange on a serving platter.
Each serving contains 113 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 6mg cholesterol, 332mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g protein.
Recipe adapted from theamazingavocado.com. Printed with permission.
*TIP Gluten-free wraps are available from Food for Life (foodforlife.com) and La Tortilla Factory (latortillafactory.elsstore.com).