When I was first contacted about creating a 3 course party menu using the new McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes, I knew immediately that I wanted to do a “Congrats on Your Gluten Intolerance” theme.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I think anyone should necessarily celebrate dietary restrictions, but the first reaction people usually have to learning they can no longer eat gluten is horror, thinking that they will never eat anything delicious again. That’s simply not true and I love to prove it. I have lots of friends who have been diagnosed with health issues that require them to cut gluten out of their diets, and the first thing I always do is have them over for a delicious gluten free meal.
My favorite part of the meal is watching them go from skeptical to incredulous as the relief washes over them and they say “This is all gluten free? But it’s so good!?! I can totally do this!”
Years ago, having to eat gluten free was really difficult because there just weren’t a lot of gluten free options to be had. You had to go to those tiny, dimly lit health food stores that smelled of patchouli and carob pods in order to find what limited products were available, and you had to pay through the nose to get them.
Nowadays, gluten free options abound and can be found in just about every mainstream grocery store across the country. McCormick is one of the companies that has embraced gluten-free eating, releasing 4 of their most popular recipe mixes in gluten-free versions. Currently available are the McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning, McCormick Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy, and McCormick Gluten-Free Brown Gravy.
My task was to use the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes to create a family friendly 3 course party menu using one of their gluten free recipes from allrecipes.com, and 2 of my own gluten free recipe creations. I chose to follow a Tex-Mex style flavor profile featuring the McCormick Gluten-Free Chili and Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning mixes. These recipes make enough for 8 people, but can easily be doubled if you have a larger group.
Chili Dog Meatballs
For the starter portion of my menu, I wanted something fun and kid-friendly. Kids are the hardest hit when going gluten free because it eliminates so many of the bread/flour based fun foods that they are used to. Enter: the meatball – not only fun to eat, but a great way to get kids in the kitchen learning to cook. What kid doesn’t love squishing their hands around in raw meat and then rolling it into balls? It’s like an edible craft project! (Just be sure to have them wash their hands both before and after handling the raw meat obviously!)
You guys know how I love meatballs, so I was really excited to try out this Chili Dog meatball concept I had been kicking around in my head. I seasoned the meat with the McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, and then wrapped it around a chunk of gluten free hot dog before sauteing them in a nonstick pan.
This recipe even surpassed MY expectations! The chili-seasoned meat was so flavorful and these really tasted like chili dogs! This is my new favorite meatball recipe hand’s down. As far as kid-friendly goes, our 7 year old couldn’t get enough of these – and neither could the adults!
Serve with all of your favorite chili dog friendly condiments!
- 1 lb ground chuck (80/20 beef)
- 1 packet McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 1 Tbsp water
- 3 gluten free hot dogs
- 2 Tbsp oil for frying
- Combine the ground beef, McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, egg, almond flour, and water in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly. Cut the hot dogs into 6 pieces each for a total of 18 pieces (you'll have 2 extra). Divide the meat mix into 16 pieces. Flatten each piece of meat mix in the palm of your hand and place a chunk of hot dog into the center. Press the meat around the hot dog and roll lightly to form a ball. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and fry the meatballs in small batches for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Serve with your choice of garnish (ketchup, mustard, chopped onions, cheese, sauerkraut, etc.)
Chili-Rubbed Pork with Mango Salsa
I made a few adjustments to their recipe to make it low carb as well as gluten free, and they are as follows:
I replaced the brown sugar with granulated sugar substitute, replaced the vegetable oil with olive oil, and omitted the orange juice entirely.
I also cooked it in a cast iron pan, searing it on all sides and then roasting in the oven at 375 degrees (F) for about 14 minutes.
It doesn’t get much easier than this, and the flavor was phenomenal. The McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning was perfection with the pork, and the mango salsa was a refreshing complement to the hearty flavor of the meat. I’ll be making this one over and over again – it was a huge hit with everyone who tried it!
Get the complete recipe from allrecipes.com here: CHILI-RUBBED PORK WITH MANGO SALSA
With my substitutions as noted above, the approximate nutrition info per serving (4oz pork, 2 Tbsp salsa) is: 168 calories, 4g fat, 5g net carbs, 25g protein
GLUTEN-FREE SIDE DISH
Tex-Mex Cauliflower Casserole
To keep the Tex-Mex theme going in my gluten free side dish, I wanted to use the McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning as the primary flavor. Because cauliflower is so versatile and hearty, I knew that it would be the perfect base for a taco flavored casserole.
Of course I loaded it with cheese (it’s what I do if you’re new here), and also some sour cream and salsa to make it even more creamy and flavorful. Another super easy recipe, this one is a definite crowd-pleaser!
It’s wonderfully rich, but since the pork and salsa is so light and refreshing you can totally get away with it.
Note: Ziplist will only allow one recipe per post, so I’m going to have to type this side dish recipe in manually, which means you won’t be able to save or print it in the usual way. Click here to download a pdf copy of the Tex-Mex Cauliflower Casserole recipe in a printer-friendly format.
TEX-MEX CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE
Serves 8 (1/2 cup servings)
4 cups cauliflower florets (approximately 1 large head of cauliflower)
1 packet McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup prepared salsa
Combine the cauliflower, taco seasoning, heavy whipping cream, and butter in a large microwave safe dish. Stir to coat and microwave for 15 minutes or until softened. Mash the cauliflower lightly with a fork, leaving some chunks. Stir in the sour cream, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, and the salsa until fully combined. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
Bake in a 375 degree (F) oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling. Serve hot garnished with chopped cilantro if desired.
Approximate nutrition information per 1/2 cup serving: 172 calories, 13g fat, 5.5g net carbs, 5g protein
Download a printer friendly version of this recipe here.
So there you have it! Whether you make all three of these recipes at once, or try them one at a time, they are all easy to execute and delicious to eat!
I promise that nobody will be missing the gluten when you serve these crave-worthy dishes featuring McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes!
Get rid of the gluten, but not the flavor with McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes! Visit the Recipe Collection at allrecipes.com to discover more flavorful gluten free eating and meal ideas!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mix. The opinions and text are all mine.