Return to the Cooking Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

Posted by eandhl (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 3, 11 at 16:07

We have many family members with restrictions and seem to work around it okay for gatherings. Generally for this occasion I have meat lasagna, veggie lasagna, this one is also done low fat, 1 tossed and one cabbage salad. Various appetizers. Daughter is newly diagnosed with Celiac disease (gluten free) and we are just starting to learn. Any ideas what I can make for her that will sort of go with above?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

Quinoa pasta and brown rice pasta are actually very good. I like the Ancient Harvest brand for the quinoa pasta and I buy the brown rice pasta from Trader Joe's. Any health food store should have both in multiple shapes/sizes.

I bet the veggie lasagna would be delicious with these healthier noodles. Between the sauce/cheese/veggies, I honestly doubt people would notice it's not regular pasta unless you say something. If you can't find lasagna noodles, I'd do a big bowl of pasta with similar flavors to the lasagna.

Good luck!

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

I once made "lasagna" for a gluten free friend. Instead of pasta, I used zucchini. I thinly sliced some zucchini lengthwise, baked it with a light brushing of olive oil for a few minutes (just enough to soften). Then proceeded with my usual lasagna recipe using the zucchini strips instead of pasta.

Also, you can buy gluten free pasta. I do not care for the rice-based pasta, but the corn isn't too bad. I've only seen spaghetti-type shapes though. Not lasagna sheets.

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

A kitchen staple is gluten-free Bisquick that works with all those Impossible Pie recipes (including Impossible Pumpkin Pie), as well as quick breads, biscuits, muffins, etc. And it's available at your local grocery store next to regular Bisquick.

Check your local library for gluten-free cookbooks. A couple of my favorites are:

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook - by Elana Amsterdam (see: Elana's Pantry - I purchase almond flour by the 5# bag from Honeyville Grain -

Cooking with Coconut Flour - by Bruce Fife, N.D. - you'll find recipes at this link:

It's MUCH easier to go gluten-free these days - there are so many more food choices than there used to be, including pasta/lasagna noodles (see link below). Even our Wal-Mart has a great selection of GF foods. King Arthur Flour has a good assortment of GF mixes. I develop GF recipes for a local sorghum mill and you'll soon find lots of recipes and substitutes that you will love as much as you did your old favorites.


Here is a link that might be useful: The Gluten-Free Mall

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

You might want to consider whether "mainstreaming" the celiac person is more important than the cost. Gluten free pastas are quite expensive around here. It's probably $6-$10 a pound for gluten free verses 50¢ a pound for traditional pasta. You might want to make a pan for the celiac person separate unless it's a big thing to mainstream. The other concern is whether non-celiacs will like it as well so spending a lot more on something they like less, well, just mentioning it. There's also gluten free pizza crusts and some pizza places sell them.

For sweet things there's the easy peanut butter cookie, the egg, cup of PB and cup of sugar. That's obviously gluten free, if the PB is. You can use cornstarch in gravy to have it gluten free. Many recipes are easily adapted. Others aren't.

You're probably already aware to watch labels carefully. Just because one thing is gluten free doesn't mean another one will and they can change as they go along. It also makes a difference how sensitive the person is. Some can't go near the baking aisles in stores because of leaking flour bags. Some though are talked into being more afraid than need be.

There's a lot of good info out there on dealing with celiac. Here's some sites that might be of interest to you:
Lynn's Recipe Adventures
Gluten free corn dogs
Gluten free Banana Bars
Menonite Girls Gluten Free

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

I was going to suggest the same thing as bbstx did. I roast thin strips of zucchini and yellow squash (cut lengthwise) and use them as the noodles when I have vegetarian friends over.

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

It won't help you with lasagne, but King Arthur Flour has a significant number of gluten free recipes that should make it easier for you and your daughter.

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

Why not make a non-pasta dish, something with chicken or beef or eggs. Quiche doesn't need a crust, and a chicken or beef stew or casserole can also be completely gluten free.

Good luck and have a great holiday.

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

I have made these GF brownies for a dear friend. They are delicious! Follow the directions exactly - read notes at bottom of recipe.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies

Makes 9 to 12 brownies

Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz

You can use salted or unsalted butter for these brownies. If you use unsalted butter and want to add some salt, use 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt. I also like to add 2 to 3 tablespoons of roasted cocoa nibs along with the nuts for added chocolaty crunch.

Use very low heat for melting the chocolate and butter. A good trick is to add the butter to the pan first, which melts faster than the chocolate, so you don't burn the chocolate. You can use a flame-tamer if you're concerned but I always melt it right over the lowest heat possible and never have had any problems.

6 tablespoons (85g) butter, salted or unsalted (see headnote)
8 ounces (225g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch process
3 tablespoons (30g) corn starch
optional: 1 cup (135g) nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. Line the inside of an 8-inch (23 cm) square pan with foil so that it goes up the sides to the rim. Lightly grease the foil with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees C).

2. Melt the butter and chocolate (and salt, if using) in a medium saucepan over very low heat on the stove top, stirring constantly until smooth.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time.

4. Sift together the cocoa powder and corn starch in a small bowl then stir them into the chocolate mixture. Beat the batter vigorously for at least one minute, until the batter is no longer grainy and nearly smooth. It will pull away from the sides of the pan a bit.

5. Add the nuts, if using, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

6. Bake for thirty minutes, or until the brownies feel just set in the center. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing.

Storage: The brownies can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen for at least 1 month.

Troubleshooting: If the finished brownies are crumbly, that means you didn't beat the batter long enough in step #4. You can use the brownie bits to fold into just-churned ice cream.

Here is a link that might be useful: David Lebovitz GF brownies

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

Risotto....mushroom and beef....delicious, celiac of not.
Linda C

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

Thanks for so many ideas and links. Clearly there is a lot to learn. Though time for us, in 2 weeks one family diagnosed with Lymphatic Leukemia and one with Celiac disease.

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

I think Olychick posted this recently, not sure who exactly, but it has been on my to try list since last time it was posted.
On Nigella's site it gets great reviews too.

Clementine Cake

Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson

Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
2 hr 40 min


1 (8-inch) cake


4 to 5 clementines (about 1 pound total weight)
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/3 cups ground almonds
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder


Put the clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to the boil, and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the seeds. Then finely chop the skins, pith, and fruit in the processor (or by hand, of course).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter and line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs. Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder. Mix well, adding the chopped clementines. I don't like using the processor for this, and frankly, you can't balk at a little light stirring.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you'll probably have to cover the cake with foil after about 40 minutes to stop the top from burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, in the pan on a rack. When the cake is cold, you can take it out of the pan. I think this is better a day after it's made, but I don't complain about eating it anytime.

I've also made this with an equal weight of oranges and lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 1 1/4 cups and slightly Anglicize it, too, by adding a glaze made of confectioners' sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

Wild rice is gluten free.


RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

I despise brown rice pasta, but corn spaghetti tastes pretty normal. However, I think the simplest way is to make some "normal" food that's rice, potatoes, or corn based. You could do soup, chili, rice noodles with peanut sauce, enchiladas (corn tortillas), shepherd's pie, rice and beans, fried rice, or polenta (I bet lasagna using rounds of crispy fried polenta would be really good). You could even just do roasted chicken legs and baked potatoes, or beef up one of the salads- Caesar with grilled chicken and egg, or something like that. I imagine learning to live without wheat is a really big adjustment- I think just adding another family style dish is the way to go. That way you give her the option of not discussing her diagnosis with the whole family. If she's got an individual serving of specialty food, she's sort of forced into explaining it to everyone. Also, gluten free products are sort of hit or miss. Surely she'll eventually want to find the ones she likes, but it would be a shame to pay out the nose for gluten free whatever and have her hate it and go hungry (and probably feel guilty about your wasted money and effort).

You might include something like chips and salsa, chips and dip, or hummus and veggies with your appetizers. I can also vouch for 'rice thins' crackers, they're relatively inexpensive and I've bought all different brands and never had a bad one. If you're in the market for a dessert, the brownies below are fantastic. I used rice flour from the Asian grocery, which is marked glutinous, but does not actually contain gluten.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gluten free brownies

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

My Aunt Ellen was diagnosed as a celiac several years ago, and Elery's daughter, Nikki, also is.

I agree, most of the gluten free pasta is not very good, but the corn stuff is better than most of the others.

there are more and more gluten free alternatives, but they're expensive and some aren't great, or even good. pamela's makes a bread mis that's not very good as bread but makes a tolerable bagel.

Oh, but I have Cook's Illustrated Holiday Baking and they ave a 3 layer chocolate mousse cake with a flourless chocolate cake base, it looks amazing. And gluten free.

Elery makes a pumpkin cheesecake with gluten free gingersnaps as the crust and one of Aunt Ellen's favorite salads is Mustang's salad with the figs. I think it
\ originally called for arugula, but I use baby spinach.

As Jessicavanderhoff just mentioned, the Asian grocery has a lot of wheat free items, including some that I picked up today. Rice noodles, spring roll wrappers, sorghum noodles,

Meringue cookies are gluten free, and salads are usually pretty safe as long as you watch the additions like croutons and check the salad dressings.

Good luck.


RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

Please, call me Jessica :-)

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

eandhl....I am sound like there is a lot to digest right now....pun intended.
Do what you can, as simply as you can....
And, seriously....risotto is a good thing!,,
Next year will be better, when all are accustomed to the new regimes.

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

Below is a good cheesecake crust. When I make it for my neighbor who avoids gluten, I substitute some sort of gluten free bread product for the matzo cake meal. Sometimes I have used a GF frozen waffle; sometimes I have used GF ginger snaps or GF vanilla wafers(Trader Joe's). I use whatever nuts I have around. Last time, it was a mixture of unsalted nuts. I think it contained pecans, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts.

Nut Crust

3/4 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted and cooled
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup matzo cake meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Here is a link that might be useful: Epicurious Passover Lemon Cheesecake

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

I'm having some ladies in for lunch in two weeks. One of them is Gluten free. I'm making individual chicken pot pies, thickening the sauce with cornstarch instead of a roux, and I'm topping hers off with thinly sliced potatoes instead of a crust. For dessert, we're having apple strudel and I will make a baked apple for her. No big deal.

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

Thank you for so many tips, links and recipes. I have checked out some of them and will check the others. Our daughter lives about 50 minutes from us and has a busy life with working and keeping up with social grandson. She works out of town so cooking has never been high on her priority list. I just want to do what I can though I am still in a fog about DH's diagnosis and what is ahead.

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

I'm so sorry to read that you have so much to deal with right how. My DH was diagnosed with leukemia 2 years ago and he is fine, and disease-free, now. But I know, it's a scary time for you.

I recommend that you put any concerns about your daughter aside for the time being. Your daughter will learn to manage her disease; you need to focus on your DH and his path through the disease and treatment.

Be sure to take care of yourself. You won't be any help to anyone else if you let yourself get run down or overwhelmed. Eat healthy. Exercise. Don't skimp on sleep. Don't be afraid to ask for help from others.

Some of the best gifts I've ever received were the love and kindness from friends and family during "our" illness.

Good luck. I wish the best possible outcome for you and your family.

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

Hmmm, I LIKE rice pasta and use it all the time! I would suggest getting some gluten free pasta--One brand I have now in my pantry is Schär, it's made from corn, rice and buckwheat flour. You can make baked penne with the same ingredients and technique as lasagne. No fuss no muss and if you don't tell no one else will know it's gluten free. Well, at least that has been my experience. Or make eggplant or zuchinni parmesean, both yum. You can also layer slices of butternut squash which has been lightly sauteed or roasted with olive oil with tomato sauce and cheeses like lasagne. We love that at our house.

I also get rice crackers at the health food store. I like them and they are good with cream cheese spreads, my favorite is a dab of cream cheese topped with pepper jelly. You can sometimes fine little square loaves of this all rye bread, which can be toasted and topped with stuff like a fig spread with walnuts, dates and proscuitto. Another gluten free appetizer that I love is stuffed mushrooms. I make mine stuffed with spinach, feta and sundried tomatoes and greek seasoning and topped with garlic breadcrumbs. Heavy on the veggies, light on the cheese. Also, my other favorite appetizer is crudites, which are great for everyone.

Your daughter is lucky, there is so much more out there for gluten intolerance now than ever before. I'm not gluten intolerant but try to limit my wheat consumption. I can't believe how many great blogs there are on the gluten-free topic!

Hang in there with the family. You'll be in my prayers!

RE: Oh oh, family party and newly diagnosed Celiac

That pasta brand is spelled Sch "a umlaut" r!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Cooking Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here