Gluten Free News N' Nibbles: Where and What to Eat During the Holidays?

Gluten Free News N' Nibbles: Where and What to Eat During the Holidays?

If you are looking for gluten free restaurant options for celebrating the holidays, this week’s News N’ Nibbles is for you. It  features my latest list of gluten free restaurant options if you prefer to dine out over this holiday season, as well as a simple but elegant gluten free appetizer to bring to your next holiday party. Let the Christmas countdown begin!

Updated! List of Gluten Free Dining Options in Chicagoland

The holidays are fast approaching, and if you are like me, you may be frantically trying to get last-minute gifts together and tie up loose ends at work before year end, while still making time for a little merry and holiday cheer with family and friends. So, where can you safely celebrate the holiday if you are gluten free? I’ve revamped my list of gluten free restaurants in Chicagoland to include some new additions that I have personally tried, as well as re-organizing the list by type of cuisine, to help myself and others find dining options easier. It has taken many hours to compile, so bloggers, please don’t steal it! Feel free to link to the gluten free restaurant list as often as you’d like though. I hope to periodically update it.

Goodbye Rose’s Wheat Free Bakery and Hello to Senza, Cassava, and Bountiful Eatery

Sad but true, Rose’s Wheat Free Bakery is closing it’s doors! While I was in the process of updating my gluten free restaurant listing, I went to their website and read the heartfelt letter from the owner informing visitors that they will be closing their doors on December 24th. I will miss their breads and baked goods.

As one door closes, another one opens…three in this case. On the scene in recent months are three Chicago restaurants that are dedicated to gluten free dining! Bountiful Eatery, Senza, and Cassava are relatively new to Lakeview and look amazing. Bountiful Eatery offers delicious soups, salads, sandwiches, and more. Their kids menu looks great, and be sure to checkout their calendar of events and offerings. Cassava has a variety of delicious rolls and empanadas (unfortunately for me, they contain milk) and from what I hear, delicious hot chocolate. Senza looks like an amazing dinner dining experience and is even offering a six-course New Year’s Eve dinner.

Gluten Free Nibbles: Gluten Free and Dairy Free Polenta Crisps with Tomato Tapenade

I came across this fast and festive appetizer on Huffington Post and brought it to a holiday gathering this past weekend. Light, tasty, and festive red and green for the holidays, it was well received.

Polenta Crisps with Tomato Tapenade

  • 16 ounce tub of prepared polenta, cut into 12 slices (Melissa’s brand is gluten free, I used “original flavor”)
  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (Bella San Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes are gluten free)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tbsp parsley leaves, chopped – extra for garnish
  • 2 tsp capers, rinsed
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • salt and ground pepper to taste

Set oven to broil and grease a baking sheet with gluten free cooking spray. Spread the polenta slices on the cookie sheet and broil 12-16 minutes, flipping polenta slices half way through cooking time. Remove from oven. For the tapenade, combine sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, parsley, capers, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor, pulsing until a coarse chop is achieved. To serve, quarter polenta slice into four, small wedges and place a dollop of tapenade onto each polenta wedge.


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  • Hi Rachel, Thanks for that great list!! We recently went to Lou Malnati's, they now have gluten free thin crust that is to die for!!!! It actually tastes like their deep dish butter crust (those were the days) and is pretty thick unlike some of the others. I thought the waitress gave me the wrong pizza, that is how good it was. Happy Holidays!

  • In reply to jillmpko:

    Thanks for the tip about Lou's thin crust. I added it to the listing! I can't wait to try it now too. Happy Holidays to you as well!

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