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Celebrating Valentine's Day Gluten-Free

Advance Planning Can Pay Off

By

Updated January 22, 2013

If you — or someone you love — is following the gluten-free diet, you'll need to put in some advance planning in order to create the perfect gluten-free Valentine's Day celebration. Here's what you need to consider:

1. Planning A Gluten-Free Restaurant Meal

Getty Images/Jeremy Woodhouse

Since so many restaurants are actively courting gluten-free customers and providing gluten-free menus, it's fairly easy to find a potential site for a gluten-free Valentine's Day meal out.

However, Valentine's Day might not be the best day to try and get a gluten-free meal at a restaurant. It's typically one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, and the kitchen staff may be overworked, which can make them less responsive (and potentially less careful of avoiding gluten cross-contamination).

That doesn't mean you should skip going out. But you definitely should call ahead to make sure the restaurant can handle your gluten-free request — I visited a restaurant one year on Valentine's Day that declined to fix me a gluten-free meal, saying it was too much to ask on such a busy night. If you do decide to dine out on Valentine's Day, here are some resources that can help:

Gluten-Free Restaurant Menus
Gluten-Free Restaurant Directories
Tips to Dine Out Safely Gluten-Free

2. Fix A Romantic Gluten-Free Meal At Home

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If you enjoy cooking and like to experiment with new dishes, fixing a gluten-free meal at home may represent a good alternative to a restaurant meal on Valentine's Day. At home, you can control the ingredients and make certain they're completely gluten-free ... and you'll have less risk of cross-contamination, too.

I've pulled together four different gluten-free Valentine's Day menu possibilities in this article on gluten-free Valentine recipes. You can choose a rich menu featuring flourless chocolate cake, an Italian-themed meal with gluten-free bruschetta, a brunch menu with chilled strawberry soup, or even a kid-friendly meal with gluten-free heart-shaped pizza.

3. Enjoy Some Valentine's Day Candy

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When most people think of Valentine's Day, they think of romance ... but candy's probably a close second. And evidence of this sweet obsession has been on store shelves since Dec. 26 or thereabouts.

Fortunately, many of the potential Valentine's Day candy selections in stores are considered gluten-free. However, you do run into problems if you're looking for a gift candy box — in that case, few of the options are safe, and you might have to pre-order something online (See's Candies is a good option) to get a box of gluten-free gift candy. Here's some more information on gluten-free candy for Valentine's Day:

Gluten-Free Valentine's Candy
Gluten-Free Candy Boxes

4. Choose Gluten-Free Valentine's Day Gifts

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Choosing a Valentine's Day gift can be fraught with peril, of course, and you certainly don't need to decide on a gift that involves gluten-free cooking or eating. However, if your sweetie enjoys cooking — or is new to the gluten-free diet and looking for suggestions on foods to try — one of these gift ideas might just work.

I love to cook, and I've got a large and growing collection of recipes — there's no question that one of these gluten-free cookbooks would suit someone who eats gluten-free and who enjoys creating delicious new dishes in the kitchen.

On the other hand, someone who hates to cook might be just as happy getting a gluten-free gift basket ... and there are multiple options from which to choose, including a gluten-free vegan gift basket and an all-cookies gift basket. If you think one of these might suit your needs, check them out here:

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