Friday, February 5, 2010

Triple Dill Potato Salad and a Gluten Free Picnic Menu

My sister-in-law Kim gave birth to a cute baby boy on January 25 and I signed up to make supper for the family on Sunday. My niece Ellee has Celiac disease and the family follows a gluten free diet. This can be intimidating for people who aren't as familiar with the disease or diet, but I've been around it long enough to feel pretty comfortable making a meal for them. You really just have to look at each ingredient separately and if it doesn't say gluten-free right on it you might have to do some research. Some spices have wheat added in but don't actually say that. Some things may be okay in one brand but not in another. Some items may not have gluten in them but have been processed in a plant that handles wheat. Thankfully labeling has gotten a lot better and usually we just play it better-safe-than-sorry.
It's not just about the ingredients though. You have to be careful about contamination from utensils or dishes that have had food with gluten in them that haven't been washed properly. You also can't use things, like the mayo that is already open in the fridge, because you probably put the knife back in to get more after it touched bread at some point. See what I mean? You just have to really think about each thing. Luckily Kim knows what brands are safe and it's also easy to find out on the internet.

In any case, here is the menu plan for Sunday. I decided to do a summery "picnic" menu because I thought it would be fun and cheerful after all the grey skies and snowy weather.

Lettuce wrap hamburgers with ketchup, mustard, pickles, etc.
Lays stax potato chips
Fresh fruit
Triple Dill Potato Salad (I'll post this recipe below. It's one I made up and everybody loved it.)
Lemon Lover's Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

I found the recipe for the cupcakes on the Betty Crocker website here and I used one of their gluten free yellow cake mixes to make them. It's nice to be able to make a dessert without having to buy weird kinds of flour that I probably won't use up. I just took the cupcakes out of the oven and they smell really good and look like normal cupcakes.

Triple Dill Potato Salad
2 lbs potatoes, peeled, chopped, boiled, and cooled
2 cups mayo
Tb dried dill (I have used pampered chef's dill mix that has garlic in it)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2-3/4 cup chopped baby dill pickles (they are crunchier than big pickles)
1/3 cup juice from the pickle jar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tb Dijon mustard (or more if mustard is your thing)

I made the dressing today and I'm going to let it sit overnight. It really gives the flavors a chance to marry, especially with the dried dill. I just love how fresh and zippy this potato salad is compared to what you can buy in the store. You can really play around with the amounts and make it fit your taste best.
You could also add some chopped hard boiled egg or chopped onion if you like those in your salad. I, as per my usual, have no onion in the house and I'm not sure if they like egg in their potato salad so I left it out. I wasn't sure if the onion powder I have is safe so I didn't put any in.

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