Breakfast anyone?

Breakfast anyone?, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Saturday I’ve been invited to a “Brunch with the Ladies”  by a tender-hearted, lovely colleague.  I actually thought the brunch was a “bring-your-loved-one” event and had convinced My Love that he should go.  After all, my friend is newly married and her husband and mine have a few things in common.  AND they enjoy each other’s company.    On Monday, I stopped her in the hallway to tell her that the invitation had arrived and that *we* were looking forward to going and then she looked befuddled.  She asked, “Kate, didn’t you see the invite said “Brunch for the Ladies”?”  Ay ay ay.  Needless to say my Love is delighted to have the house to himself (well, and the dog) for the morning on Saturday.

The next part of our conversation about brunch was predictable and lovely, really. I offered to bring something and she said not to worry.  However, she did wish to clarify about what I could/could not eat.  And maybe I could bring something to share that was gluten free?  Then she told me that she was making scrambled eggs and would have tons of cut fruits, etc.  I told her that it sounded like she had a great start on a gluten free breakfast already.  She was thrilled.

Don’t get me wrong.  I *am* bringing some arepas and a tortilla patata on Saturday.  It *is* the polite thing to do, after all.  I think there will be many people there and every little bit helps.  I know we haven’t been throwing parties or dining out in order to save some money for when the Chicklet arrives and it’s always a good idea to save a little money any way.

It’s nice to be bringing something because I’m contributing to the party and festivities rather than just covering my boot to make sure that I can eat something too.  Sometimes that is the hard part when dining with friends.  My family usually gets it.  It’s meeting new friends and going out with people that stresses me out.  I *hate* the fact that I have to push myself to request specific types of places to eat (because I know it will be easier for me to find something on the menu), especially when eating with new friends.

When I started thinking about brunch, I knew the typical foods that I would find:  eggs (probably a quiche… it’s a party for women, after all), fresh fruit, ham or sausage or bacon, toast and juice/coffee.  Beyond that… I was hoping NOT to find a large buffet table filled with croissants and danishes.  Not because of my gluten-free diet, but because of my Oh-My-God-I’m-Going-To-Be-40 diet.  I think I’m safe though.  Something tells me my friend is more likely to have a spread of yogurt rather than that.  However, I do think someone will impishly bring some baked goods to share. LOL

But you know what?  I don’t think I miss them any more.

See that picture above?  That’s what My Love made for our breakfast on Sunday.  And it was perfect.  The little bowl off to the right is filled with cut strawberries (no sugar) so when I finished the ones on my plate, there were more goodies to be had.  Breakfast consisted of one egg, one slice of ham (cut in two), a bit of mashed avocado with a couple chips  and the cut strawberries.

And the presentation?  Oh yea, that’s all him.  And NOT for a photo but just because he likes too.  (Don’t tell him I told you this, but my Love even folds the edges of the toilet paper when he puts on a new roll – especially in the guest bathroom.  He’s a gem, I tell you.) You’ll know when I plate the food for the photo.  It will look like something off a diner menu but it will still taste good!  LOL

I started thinking about all the typical breakfast/brunch foods that can even be found on a menu and then realized how well we’ve adapted our lives and eating to be gluten free.  A gal on the adoption forums was asking me how to start, where to start, etc.  She was most worried about breakfast and lunch.  Thanks to your help, breakfast during the week when I have little or no time, is not such a big deal any more.  I make granola cereal or bars to grab and go.  Sometimes I make a yogurt, granola and fresh fruit parfait the night before for me to take to eat before school.  (I do think especially when I’ve stopped at the coffee shop the day before and seen the yummy looking, but not-gluten free parfaits all lined up.)

It’s on the weekends that breakfast and brunch can really shine.  Gluten free crepes, pancakes, tortilla patata (Spanish egg/potato frittata-like dish), etc are all within reach and rather quick to make.  I’m hoping these things are loved by our Chicklet too when she gets here.  I’m thinking she and I are going to be the yogurt and parfait-loving girls while my Love scours the fridge for some kind of meat to eat with his breakfast.  (Do you have a carnivore in your life too?)

So here’s to Brunch with the Girls.  (“Ladies” just makes me feel *OLD*!)  May I seamlessly slip in and enjoy the morning with the gals and NOT have to discuss dietary requirements.

Ah.  It will be like I’m one of the “normal” eaters.  LOL
(If there *IS* such a thing.  Really.  Have you seen the stuff people eat?  I’m kidding!)

Have you been to a gathering – with a food theme – and found a way to blend in without feeling insecure or awkward?
How did you do it?
What’s your secret?

That’s my goal for Saturday:  Blend in and NOT feeling hyper-aware of what I’m “missing”.
Because really?  The only thing I’m “missing” by NOT eating gluten or cross-contacted foods?
Getting sick!  And who would MISS that?
Not me!
I think this is definitely a skill that we either (1) have before going gluten-free or (2) have to develop after knowing that we *must* be gluten free. I’m at almost-9-years of “study and practice* with this skill.  It sure is something I work on too.  I know I appreciated the social tips I heard from others before me too.
What are your tips for someone just starting out?
Or heck – for me!  I’ve still got my training wheels on here!
Happy Brunches, Lunches, and Time with Friends –


  1. I’m the carnivore in our house, well, me and the Trainer. I can’t start without a big dose of protein. I make and freeze single servings of whatever I cook to have on hand each morning. It’s especially good since I don’t live in a GF house. I prepare my food and tuck it away so I don’t have to worry later. Going out I never even try to order off the menu. I just speak to the manager and ask for exactly what I want, less chances for mistakes. (I have other restrictions as well) *When* I attend an event that involves food I always try to bring something fantastic to share. That way everyone else can see how great my food is and I don’t get disappointed. Best of luck!

  2. The Social Committee at our church threw a bit Italian dinner as a fund raiser, and stated right on the announcement that there would be gluten-free pasta. I’ve been very honest about my diet, not in asking for favors, but by bringing things I can eat to events when I want them, and sharing. I volunteered to provide the gluten-free pasta since I can’t eat corn, and they were super-relieved. I made fresh dinner rolls right before (there’s one other gluten-free woman at church and she doesn’t bake, so I had planned to share). I also ate some before I went JUST IN CASE the proposed antipasti, salad, and sherbet had corn or gluten in them. I figured if nothing else I’d have pasta and rolls! Lots of carbs for the baby inside me’s brain. Anyway, boy was I surprised. The salad, which was served to the whole group, was gluten-free with fruit and toasted almonds and an amazing vinagrette dressing. The antipasti was all gluten-free – olives and meats and grapes. The only thing that wasn’t were the pizzelle cookies, but by that time, I had the sherbet and everything else and was stuffed to the gills. I think going into it with low expectations and some key gluten-free foods helped, and being honest since we’ve gone there (and also educating when people ask) about my diet has helped as well. I was blown away by the thoughtfulness of the committee. They fed over 100 people, and only two were gluten-free.

  3. Terrific post, Kate! I eat exactly this way, mostly naturally GF, and with some GF treats (made from “special” ingredients) thrown in. I, myself, am also a carnivore though. I feel much better when I get in a good amount of protein. I was amazed when I went GF and my doctor told me how much protein women need daily. I started eating protein with every meal, with a good boost at breakfast, and it made a huge difference in my energy levels and overall well being. Lovely photo! Have a wonderful time on Saturday! (BTW, I prefer girls, too! LOL)


  4. Yep, I’m a carnivore also! I don’t think I could survive being a vegetarian although I know plenty would disagree with that. I just feel so “right” when I am eating meals balanced out with enough protein. And your husband? He is a dear. You are a blessed woman:)

  5. Hi Kate,

    Good luck with not discussing your special diet! I can’t seem to get past that yet.

    Since I fear all cookware outside my own kitchen, I still take a plate. I’m in the “safety first” mode. But I let everyone off the hook last Fall. I had my first party since going gf. We kept all the food and beer outside. Several friends tried really hard to bring a dish I could enjoy. I was too chicken to try any, and told them how much I appreciated their efforts.

    My diplomatic approach has become – Don’t sweat it! I’ve got this figured out for me. I’m happy to bring a plate of food to any gathering. Just relax and plan your get togethers as you always have. I’m always happy to be included.

    Have a fun brunch with the girls!

  6. That hubs of yours, he’s going to be such a great Daddy, too. You’re really blessed.

  7. People don’t understand that we’re not missing a thing … if only gatherings could be more about friends and less about food! And, a whole lot more about ‘seamlessly slipping in and enjoying the morning with the gals and NOT having to discuss dietary requirements.’

    And, since ‘protein’ is amongst the comments … I’m wondering what kind of protein people eat for breakfast.

  8. glutenfree4goofs says:

    Hmmm, this can be a hard one and when coupled with the fear of getting sick it is difficult being gracious. I occasionally get to go out with friends, I almost always eat at home so that I’m not hungry that way if the place IS gf friendly I am pleasantly surprised but not starving so I can choose to eat a little or not. I can almost always get by with a salad (bring a little dressing or ask for lemons and honey) and a drink so no one even has to know I’m really not eating.

    When I had my daugher people from our church brought meals. I’ve had well meaning friends bring what they thought were gf meals only to find out they had included some offender. I try to find a way to ask withouth pointing a finger for instance, “What did you put in this, it looks delicioius!” To which my last well meaner answered “I just sauteed the veggies in soy sauce…” oh dear! At least I found out and didn’t have to hurt her feelings. If I eat with her often I would bring it up but I haven’t had to.

    I also like Kay’s diplomatic approach and use it often in gatherings with closer friends, they always feel bad and I tell them “REALLY, I don’t MISS being sick! I’m happy to bring my own food”

  9. My friends and I regularly do large gf meals. Our big one tends to be Christmas. There’s only one gf girl in the group but we’ve found its just easier to do it all gf.. also tastier.

    Some how, I always seem seem to end up as the gf baker…..

    our gf friend either brings her own or eats before hand. If I’ve had warning that she’s coming then there will be a variety of things for her to munch on. When there’s no warning, its what ever I whip up.

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