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Packing a Perfect Gluten-Free Picnic Basket? It Is Possible.
Picnics are underappreciated: less hassle and heat than grilling, but endlessly more fun than eating indoors. Yet if you're gluten-free, the classic menu--a potential danger zone of sandwiches, crackers, pasta salad, and cookies--can scream off limits. A picnic can be gluten-free, of course, if you find tasty alternatives to the old standbys. Here's what you'll find in my wicker basket this weekend:
Udi's Sandwich Bread: Whether I'm craving cucumber-cream cheese or mounds of roast beef, I reach for Udi's, a durable rice-and-tapioca bread available in white or whole wheat. Unlike other options, it doesn't require toasting to hold up to messy fillings; you can eat it soft, straight from the loaf.
Tinkyada Pasta: Tinkyada's pasta-salad-perfect noodles (penne, shells, spirals) are made with brown rice and rice bran (fiber boost!), and stay incredibly chewy. One tip: The directions significantly overestimate cooking time. If you like your pasta al dente, start taste-testing at the halfway point.
The Good Bean Roasted Chickpeas: You can opt for gluten-free croutons, but this new snack has become my new favorite salad topper. All-natural roasted chickpeas, dusted with sea salt, cracked pepper, or smoky chili and lime, are crunchy and flavorful, without overpowering a salad. And the chickpeas are naturally high in fiber and protein.
[After the jump, something crunchy and something sweet]
Schar Table Crackers: These Italian imports are subtle enough to pair with cheese, yet flaky and tasty enough to get noshed right out of the pack. And the box is divided into picnic-perfect packets of six crackers.
Simply Shari's Lemon Shortbread: Summer means citrus, and these super-buttery bite-size shortbread cookies, studded with bits of candied lemon, are an indulgent (and addictive) way to end a picnic.