Requested by T.T.

What I'd Make for a Gluten-free Small Plates Birthday Lunch (Help, Irvin!)

Glad to help out! Gluten free isn't hard. Just check ALL your ingredients for hidden gluten because it kind of sneaks into a lot of ingredients you wouldn't think of like soy sauce. If your guests are really celiac/allergic and not just "avoiding" gluten, make sure to buy certified gluten free ingredients. Folks, free to add more ideas!
  1. Make sure to clean all your cutting boards and cookware/bakeware thoroughly. Wheat and gluten can get trapped in the crevices and edges of stuff pretty easily.
    The best and easiest way to do this just run everything through a dishwasher. Also keep in mind that flour can hang in the air for a day or two if you've been baking so don't bake for a couple days before you prep food. If your friends are just gluten intolerant or just avoiding gluten, then you don't need to be so diligent.
  2. Also don't use wooden cutting boards, rolling pins or spoons & utensils
    Gluten and wheat can trapped in the pores of the wood and it is impossible to wash out (thanks for the tip @shauna!)
  3. Cheese selection along with charcuterie
    Both should be naturally gluten free (but again check the labels of everything). You can buy gluten free bread or crackers if you want. Pretzel crisps even makes a gluten free pretzel crisp but they are kind of hard to find. Make sure to serve on a clean mom porous serving platter so as not to cross contaminate. Serving on a wooden plate or cutting board is pretty but it will have trapped gluten in it if you've used it before with bread or flour products.
  4. olive selection or pickles/gherkins
    Easy breezy finger food. Naturally gluten free.
  5. Veggie tray and dip
    Just check your dip and make sure it's gluten free or just make your own.
  6. Hummus with veggies.
    You can make your own hummus super easy or buy one that is gluten free. Serve with chopped veggies instead of pita bread. I like carrots myself. If you want my recipe for hummus (completely from scratch including the tahini) check it out at http://www.eatthelove.com/2013/04/hummus/
  7. Tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole
    Super easy make your own salsa or guacamole or buy one and check the ingredients to make sure gluten didn't sneak in. Same with chips.
  8. Salad
    Just leave out the croutons and use fresh greens and make your own vinaigrette. For a winter salad, try greens or spinach, add some blood orange slices or pomegranate seeds, candied pecans, and shaved Parmesan. Easy and naturally gluten free. I have an awesome recipe for candied pecans BTW that can be used in a salad or just served on their own. http://www.eatthelove.com/2015/11/spiced-pecans/
  9. Deviled eggs
    Just check your mayo and/or mustard and other ingredients don't have hidden gluten or wheat. But deviled eggs are a crowd pleaser! (The photo is from lobster deviled eggs that I made for a client)
  10. Stuffed mushrooms
    Avoid breadcrumbs or make your own gluten free breadcrumbs by processing toasted store bought gluten free bread in a food processor or blender.
  11. Chicken satay skewers
    Again make sure your marinated soy sauce or fish sauce doesn't have gluten. Tamari soy sauce is gluten free. Use that. If you make a peanut sauce from scratch you can control what goes in it to make sure it's gluten free.
  12. Korean BBQ Chicken wings
    Again just use gluten free soy sauce in the marinade and you're good to go. Everyone loves these. http://www.eatthelove.com/2014/01/korean-bbq-chicken-recipe/
  13. Shrimp spring rolls
    Just make sure your rice wrap and noodles are gluten free (some rice paper had wheat protein in it) but these should be naturally gluten free. You can also make these vegetarian friendly by subbing in tofu. Again check to make sure it's gluten free.
  14. Sushi
    The ultimate natural gluten free finger food. Again just make sure to serve with gluten free soy sauce. California rolls or avocado rolls are easy to prepare ahead of time.
  15. Grilled (or roasted) asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.
    Toss asparagus in olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast at 400°F in rimmed baking pan until tender crisp, about 20-30 min or grill into charred. Let cool then wrap with prosciutto.
  16. Shaken beef skewers
    Make sure you fish sauce and soy sauce are gluten free. But otherwise, you can make them like you would normally do shaken beef but grill or broil on skewers instead of wok fry or just cook normally and stick toothpicks in them.
  17. Shrimp cocktail
    If you want to get fancy poach the shrimp in vermouth it white wine. Make sure the cocktail sauce you pick is gluten free. Or make your own.
  18. Paella
    Only if you want to get fancy. But this is one of those impressive dishes that can serve a lot of folks. Make sure to only have small plates out through so folks don't taking heaping amounts though. Is this small plates? I dunno. But I've been to parties that serve it that way!
  19. Meatballs
    Find a favorite recipe then sub out the bread crumbs with ground gluten free rolled oats (just process the oats in a food processor or blender until powder). Double check with your guests to make sure they can tolerate oats as even gluten free oats can be problematic for some gluten sensitive folks.
  20. Meringue kisses or Pavlova
    If you want to stick with finger foods for dessert make meringue kisses and flavor them with extracts and oils like orange, peppermint, raspberry or lemon. Or make a larger pavlova and let people spoon out some of their own. Or make a Eton mess (basically a pavlova in trifle form). Plenty of recipes on the web.
  21. Flourless chocolate cake
    There are a number of recipes out there for flourless chocolate cake but I am partial to my coconut oil version that I make for Passover. Seriously good. http://www.eatthelove.com/2012/04/coconut-basil-flourless-chocolate-cake/
  22. Birthday ice cream cake
    Just make sure the base layer is gluten free. You can make your own too! Who doesn't love ice cream cake?