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My gluten-free day out with a Disney Aulani chef

I'm a market researcher and brand marketer by trade. Quit it all to focus on everything gluten-free. I'm now the founder of Celiac & the Beast, author of Celiac and the Beast, the book (released October 2013) , and working full-...

It's easy to eat gluten-free and allergen-free at Disney Aulani Resort.

I recently visited Disney Aulani Resort on a press trip, representing Celiac and the Beast and SheKnows Experts Among Us. Disney welcomed press with open arms and allowed us an inside look at their beautiful Hawaiian resort and all of the amenities within.

Disney Aulani Resort is located on the beautiful island of Oahu in Hawaii. The portion of Oahu housing the resort is beautiful Ko Olina, but what’s really magical about this part of the island is all the dining options you have for those with food restrictions.

It's easy to eat gluten-free and allergen-free at Disney Aulani Resort. The chefs and servers are all trained to know about food allergies and follow the proper protocols to make sure that you have a safe (and magical) dining experience. While I knew that the Disney parks in Anaheim and Orlando were both great with food allergies and those of us with celiac disease, I’m always hesitant to experience a place myself. Upon arriving at any restaurant in Aulani, it was like heaven. I told them I had a food issue and they mark allergy on your ticket, alert the staff, and alert the chef. They can modify dishes to suit your every need (I modified most to also be dairy-free as well). It was so nice to be able to visit multiple places on the resort and not have to worry about getting sick afterwards. You can visit all of their dining options at the resort here.

During my time at Disney Aulani Resort, I had a chance to meet with one of the chefs at the resort. He showed me how to create one of his favorite dishes, local snapper lau lau, cooked in ti leaves. It was so easy to make and it was so delicious, highlighted by local Maui onions and fresh herbs. Of course, it was free of gluten (and dairy).

Check out my video with an Aulani chef creating this very recipe on my Celiac and the Beast YouTube channel here or watch the video below.

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Disney Aulani Resort.

Local snapper lau lau

Courtesy of Disney Aulani Resort

Yield: 1 portion

Ingredients:

Main ingredients

  • 1 (7-ounce) local snapper filet
  • 1 tablespoon sauteed Kula spinach
  • 2 ti leaves

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons sliced Maui onions
  • 1 ounce champagne vinegar
  • 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced Maui onions
  • 2 tablespoons sliced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon baby chervil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped ogo
  • To taste Hawaiian sea salt
  • To taste fresh-ground white pepper

Directions:

  1. With a paring knife, remove the ribs from the ti leaves.
  2. Place one ti leaf on a plate. Place the other ti leaf across like an X.
  3. Season the snapper with Hawaiian sea salt and fresh ground white pepper.
  4. Place the sauteed Kula spinach in the center.
  5. Place the snapper on top of the spinach.
  6. Lift all sides of the ti leaves and tie to enclose.
  7. Steam for about six to seven minutes or until the snapper is cooked.
  8. Place the Maui onions and champagne vinegar in a blender on high speed.
  9. Lower the speed of the blender and drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil.
  10. Season with lemon juice, sea salt and fresh-ground white pepper.
  11. Strain through a fine sieve.
  12. Place the dressing in a bowl.
  13. Add the finely sliced Maui onion, tomatoes, green onions, chopped ogo, baby chervil and tarragon.
  14. Season with sea salt and fresh-ground white pepper.
  15. Cut open the lau lau with kitchen scissors and expose the fish.
  16. Spoon the sauce on top of the fish.
Disclaimer: Disney Aulani Resort provided complimentary travel, room and board, and certain experiences (including dining) as part of the press trip. While I was provided these items free of cost as a member of the press, it does not affect any reviews on experiences I had at the resort.
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