StrawberriesIt’s (almost) the 4th of July!

Last time at this year we posted a tasty recipe for a red, white and blue gluten-free cake. The formatting seems to have gone a little wonky, but the recipe is unchanged and totally worth checking out.

Since that’s already posted, I thought maybe this year we’d take a look at some ideas for festive foods that aren’t cake. Plus, you know, it’s bathing suit season. And it’s a little hot for using the oven.

So how can we celebrate our fair land’s independence, keep ourselves safely gluten-free, and eat ourselves silly?

America is the land of choice and freedom, and fittingly there are plenty of delicious options out there. A year of July 4ths, and there would still be recipes I hadn’t posted. To narrow down the focus, I thought I’d just share a collection of ideas for strawberries – the season is winding down, they’re a perfect red for any patriotic dish, and most people love them (exception made for those of us who are strawberry-allergic).

To start, you could make a strawberry salsa like this one from One Perfect Bite. Bonus points, the author recommends using supermarket strawberries instead of fresh-picked, and suggests serving it with avocado.

Then you could move on to salad, of course. McCormick has gone all out with their recipe database online, and a few of their strawberry salads really struck me as unique. Specifically, I might try out the greens with oranges, strawberries and chai vinaigrette, or with strawberries, kumquats and rose petals. While you don’t have to use McCormick spices in any of these, it’s worth noting that they are gluten-free.

Protein time! I love this idea from Inspired Taste for strawberry and feta turkey burgers, although you’d have to modify it to include gluten-free breadcrumbs (or just skip the breadcrumbs altogether and see how they hold up). I think one of these paired with a salad sounds scrumptious enough that no one would miss the bun.

And, if you aren’t sick of strawberries yet, you probably will want them for dessert as well. There’s always the simple, elegant pairing of strawberries and balsamic vinegar (if you can find a good, aged balsamic this is the place to let it shine). If you have some vanilla ice cream, that’s pretty shiny too – and hey, bathing suit season isn’t everything. Might as well celebrate a little bit.

What are your favorite ways to use strawberries and avoid the oven?