Being Gluten Free really becomes a noticeable challenge in the office place during catered meals. There's the usual "sandwich and wrap" tray, the "pizza party" or the "bagels and doughnuts" breakfasts. Often times, there's really nothing you can eat save for the lunchmeat you've peeled away from soggy bread. Even then, for fear of contamination, you choose to forego eating the catered meal.
Today, we had a team offsite where each team member prepared one part of our lunch meal. A semi-potluck if you will. The nice thing is that my office has 5 kitchens in one room so each of us could make our assigned recipe in the same location.
Here was today's lunch menu:
Stove Top Easy Chicken Bake
Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach and bread crumbs
Chicken Parmesan with Parmesan flavored Shake 'N Bake and fettuccini noodles
7 Layer Taco Dip with Taco Bell(R) Home Originals(R) Seasoning
Buffalo Chicken Salad with New Crispy Buffalo Shake 'N Bake
Notice a trend? (other than using all of the brands I work on)... everything had gluten, right down to the taco dip.
I really didn't think lunch would be an issue but as I was going around the kitchens checking out what my team members were cooking up, I started to get nervous. One of my co-workers quickly asked for the staff to cook up a separate chicken breast. Luckily, there was enough chicken left over to bake up one single breast using just salt and pepper to season.
I write this not to complain that people didn't consider my GF diet for lunch. My business team is so very considerate and even sets aside separate GF taco meat when we have food tastings. I just want to let other GF people know that they're not alone in these challenging situations. There's always a solution (like the extra chicken breast), but it doesn't hurt to be prepared with your own food when you have no control over menu options. Don't be shy or embarrased to ask for what you need. I should take my own advice since I usually feel too guilty to ask for special treatment.
What was your last office meal experience?