Party food always seems to involve chips, crackers, cookies, and other things made from flours – but you aren’t eating processed junk anymore, so what to do? Here’s a great list of party foods your guests will love! No one will miss the crackers and chips – and you won’t have any crumbs to clean up!

bacon dates appetizer
Stuff almonds into pitted dates. I like to put two almonds per date for extra crunch. I like to use Whole Foods brand uncured bacon to wrap them, because it is sliced extra thin, and wraps up very well. You could also use Neiman Ranch or Wellshire Farms bacon. Make sure NOT to use black forest style bacon, as this is not generally gluten-free (barley malt used for coloring).
Cut the package of bacon in half, so that each strip of bacon is now two half-strips. Wrap each date in a half-strip of bacon, and set them into a pyrex baking dish with the “seam” down (so that they stay rolled up). Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (check often to stop them at your desired bacon “done-ness” – some people like to cook them longer for crispier bacon, some people prefer chewier bacon.)
Let them cool a bit out of the oven – the dates get very hot!

bacon wrapped scallops
These couldn’t be easier. Cut your package of bacon in half and wrap each scallop in a half-strip of bacon. Place them on a pyrex baking dish with the “seam” down, so that they stay rolled up.
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until the bacon is done the way you like it (crispier or chewier).

vegetable platter – hold the cruciferous!
Crudité platters are popular at parties, but you’ll need to make a few modifications for yours. Broccoli and cauliflower are both very healthy, but cruciferous vegetables have high oxalate content – which means that raw, they will pull minerals out of your body. To break down the oxalates, always make sure to cook your broccoli (etc) for 5 – 10 minutes before eating.
Instead, we like carrots, cucumber, olives, colorful peppers, and celery on our platter. And who says you can’t have apple and pear slices, too?

And for the dip, why not home made guacamole? It’s easy!

Scoop one avocado from its skin and into a bowl. Mash with a fork. Add salt, pepper, cumin if desired, and a squeeze of lime juice. Add chopped fresh cilantro if desired. Add one tomato, chopped small. Mix well and serve with a crudité platter, or use as a dip for finger sausages, or on top of mini-hamburgers.

finger sausages
Remember those little “party weiners”? They still make them, and Wellshire farms makes a very good quality variety, available at most Whole Foods. But there are other options as well: we like to use fresh-made pork breakfast sausage from the butcher counter (make sure it’s free of breadcrumbs!). You can also get larger sausages, and cut them into quarters – in half once the long way, and in half again the long way – and fry them up with a nice bit of “singe” on one side. These are now great to dip into your favorite sauces – try them with guacamole, or cocktail sauce!

Who says a burger needs a bun? Make up a batch of mini hamburgers and top them with fun sauces! Ketchup is great for the kids, but for grownups, try guacamole, a thick bbq sauce, even paté (if you buy paté, make sure it’s gluten and dairy free – many have butter and cream). Curl a slice of bacon up on top, and an olive, and secure with a fun toothpick. When you are forming the mini burgers, you can add spices into the meat to give it extra flair – I like crushed red pepper, garlic granules, mustard powder, salt, and pepper.

party meatballs
Combine 1 pound ground beef (or other ground meats), 1 egg, 1 tsp mustard powder, ¼ cup chopped parsley, 1 tsp garlic granules, a pinch of cayenne, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.
Form into balls and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
In a saucepan, combine a can or a tetra pack of cranberry sauce, finely chopped ginger, chopped garlic, a tablespoon of gluten-free tamari, and a bit of cayenne. Add a bit of honey and a tablespoon of sesame oil if desired. Stir well, and pour over the meatballs. Serve with fancy toothpicks!

hot docotopusses!
Kids at your party? Try this: Applegate farms makes good quality grassfed beef hotdogs. Pick up a pack and make hot doctopusses! Cut each hotdog in half so that you have two pieces, each with one rounded end and one cut end. At the cut end, make another cut, this time vertically, slicing the dog in half, but only make the cut about halfway up the hot dog piece. Turn the hot dog and make another cut, perpendicular to the first one. Now you have a half-a-dog that has a rounded end which is completely intact with no cuts, but the bottom half of it is cut into quarters. Drop the cut half-dogs into boiling water, and watch the cut pieces curl up towards the tops – they look just like octopus tentacles! Serve them on a platter with a small “ketchup pool” for them to take a dip in – kids love it!

this article is part of our Surviving the Holidays with Food Allergies series


  1. […] Find the recipes here […]

  2. […] Or for an easy peasy alternative, try bacon-wrapped dates or scallops! […]

  3. Gluten-free BBQ made easy « The Tasty Orange on 13 August, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    […] Orinoco) in Boston and then tried to imitate it. I then looked at some gluten-free recipes from Katja Swift. The recipe was called datiles. They are dates stuffed with almonds wrapped with bacon, cooked to a […]

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Join our newsletter for more herby goodness!

Get our newsletter delivered right to your inbox. You'll be first to hear about free mini-courses, podcast episodes, and other goodies about holistic herbalism.