Quick. Easy. Gluten Free Meal Ideas.

I’ve been pouring over my meal planning notebook (or.. scraps-in-book).  I’m finding my pattern of foods and comfort speedy foods as well.  I thought this might be the best place to put together a mini-list of the ones I have found to be the most reliable for our family.

I am REALLY curious to know this:  What are you eating?

PS.  If you see me mention brand names, it is because people have asked.  I have received NO monies to endorse any of these companies/items.  I’m just relating our meal plan items.

Annie's Gluten Free - EASY lunch!

1.  Annie’s now makes PACKETS of gluten-free macaroni and cheese!  Such a sweet deal for me.  I can toss an extra pack in my desk drawer for nights when I’m stuck at school or I bring them in for lunch.  (NOTE to SELF:  Quit trying to make them in your coffee cup (it overflows), but bring a bowl for the microwave and leave it at school for your mac-n-cheese needs.)

2.  Truly we are in love with Al Fresco‘s meats. Particularly because many of the items come pre-cooked, are gluten free (of course) but WOWzer are they TASTY! Lately it seems that many gluten-free options are well.. lacking in taste, but these sausages are not. We use their meats for quick frittatas, “breakfast for dinner”, chopped up in salads or quinoa or rice, added to chile or pizza, etc.  Or just eaten grilled with a side salad or fruit.  By the way, we also like Aidell’s.  They have mini-dogs (which appeal to the toddlers) and this awesome pineapple & bacon chicken sausage that is to die for.  Sadly, it has disappeared from the shelves at our grocer.  =(   Ah well.  I shall hunt it down.  Promise.

Baked gluten-free spaghetti

3.  Baked spaghetti.  So freakin’ fast and easy to make.  Our favorite pasta is Schar’s.  We have tried Jovial as “everyone” is raving about it.  But meh.  It’s okay.  The girls, however, prefer Schar’s by far, so the family vote goes to them.  Why bake it?  Well, the pasta tastes so much better when the sauce is absorbed a little by the noodles.  Really.  Just make your regular spaghetti (boil noodles, heat/adjust sauce – add meats, veggies, etc) then mix it all together, pour it into a casserole dish, sprinkle the top with your favorite cheese (parmesan!) and bake at 325F until the cheese is melted and browned (like pizza).  Serve.  Try not to lick the pan.  It’s hot.  :D

4.  Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips + hummus for lunches.  Even the littlest of the girls enjoys the hummus (the chips are merely her transport-to-mouth devices).  In fact, I just had that for lunch today.  No photo, sorry.  But YUM!

5.  Thanks to the sunshine, I’ve been willing to head outside and grill up dinner.  The girls are now old enough that I can easily step outside without fear of impending doom or tug-o-war behaviors over toys, etc.  My favorite grill easy-to-grill weeknight meals include:

  1. Honey mustard and wasabi chicken
  2. Diabla Dulce Chicken
  3. Gluten free Teriyaki Chicken (or whatever)
  4. Lemonade chicken wings (so easy!  When I forget to marinate the chicken, I add 2/3 cup of lemonade, 1/2 cup of gluten-free soy sauce, 1/4 cup sugar and garlic/ginger/salt/pepper to taste into a bowl.  Add the chicken.  Make your other items while it sits for 20 minutes or so… then grill away! YUM!
  5. Grilled pork loin
  6. Grilled tenderloin with parsnip “fries”
  7. Chipotle London Broil
  8. Bleu Cheese & Cherry Burgers

On the weekends (or when I remember to marinate the meat longer), I enjoy making:

  1. Korean BBQ short ribs

6.  I always have a fall back plan.  I’ve noticed that when I think I’ve got it all together and I’m ready to go, something happens to throw it all off kilter.  Really.  I’m a Murphy’s Law kind of gal in practice, but I truly don’t go with the flow all that well.  It’s not that I freak out… but well… I hate it.  :D   So now, I plan for a back-up meal.  One that takes less time for either of us to throw together or that allows us to eat MUCH early or LATER than anticipated – depending on the girls.  THIS has saved us money by avoiding the last-minute run out to get something.  My back up meals include:

  1. Favorite Hot Dish”  with a twist:  In lieu of chow mein noodles, I use Simply Potatoes that I brown.
  2. Lettuce wraps (yes, more chicken for me here too)
  3. Spanish Tortilla Patata – make it faster with Simply Potatoes too!
  4. Polenta + poached eggs:  varied seasonings based upon availability (and who’s cooking!)
  5. Taco salads (ground meat, canned beans, green chiles, etc + chips, avocado, corn, etc = done!)
  6. Breakfast for Dinner (eggs, somehow, someway and honey-GF oat mini-pancakes)

7.  Amy’s gluten free and dairy free frozen burritos.  OMG.  Addicting.  Even my Love (who does not have to eat GF) craves these goodies!

8.  A Taste of Thai:  Ginger Noodles (for lunches at work) or Ginger Rice (to accompany dinner)… or the pad thai…or….. well… okay.  I will stop.

What are you eating?  I am so curious.  Really.  My Love and I were thinking about some new friends of ours lately. They are expecting their newly adopted son to come home from South Korea sometime this summer.  And they don’t eat much rice (if at all) or Asian-inspired foods.  We were trying to figure out what they might eat – because it might be a big transition for their little one to change food (or not – totally depends on the person!).

So I’m curious:  What’s your go-to menu look like?

Happy GF Eating!

Kate

13 comments on “Quick. Easy. Gluten Free Meal Ideas.
  1. rose moore says:

    Me & My son can not eat any annies, we had reactions ! I make mac & cheese homemade. My go to is chicken in rice in oven with lundberg rice and gluten free chicken broth on bottom of baking dish, any veg and chicken, in oven 350 for almost one hour, check after 30 minutes might need some more water or broth.
    my sons favorite: food for life gluten free tortillas in frozen( here whole foods stores) uses for gluten free hormel lunchmeat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and bacon for lunch ! We also make gluten free tacos out of these !

  2. Diane Yip says:

    Being a French chick married to an Asian dude, I was thrilled to find gf hoisin sauce. So my go to are stir fries that we can both eat with rice, of course (buy it in the burlap sack). Also like thin fried chicken breast with sautéed veg and pasta.

  3. PattyBoots says:

    tonight it was baked pineapple/coconut shrimp (shrimp is cheaper than chicken now), steamed broccoli, and garlic potato balls. Granted, it is much easier if you have no other dietary restrictions than gluten.

    Other days it might be pork chops, quinoa (invest in a cheap rice cooker NOW) with sauteed onions and mushrooms, and Lima beans.

    It’s really not hard if you think of the Trinity: A protein, a veg and a starch.

  4. My favorite fast meal is one of yours – taco salad. I also like to roast chicken breasts (whole, skin on for flavor) then I have them for days. The chicken becomes chicken salad (cubed with mayo), a chicken salad (shredded chicken on top of lettuce), chicken tetrazzini (or a fast version with lots of cheese, chicken and cream over Tinkyada pasta), etc.

  5. christina says:

    Have you tried a pasta from Le Veneziane? It cooks up great and taste like normal pasta, can even make great cold noodle salads with it.

  6. christina says:

    My go to meal is a quick stirfry with thin cut chicken and what ever veggies are cheap and yummy sounding. Another one is nachos, browned beef with salsa mixed in, stewed for a bit and then the fun of topping a huge plate of nachos.

  7. Varenikje says:

    I love omelets and fix them regularly. I even got a few chickens. Inside the omelet, I put sauteed green pepper, onion, mushroom, some browned ground beef, cheese (cheddar or jack or jalapeno jack), and one or two salsas that I make and home can. I also take one corn tortilla, brown it a little on both sides and then put a slab of cream cheese inside and fold it up like a burrito. With this, I have a cup of coffee with a scoop of cinnamon hot chocolate.

    I do eat non gluten noodles, but not a whole lot. I live alone and it seems like a lot of trouble.

  8. NGS says:

    We make a lot of frittatas (broccoli, goat cheese, and lemon OR potato, ham, and spinach are two of our faves), polenta (layered as lasagna or creamy with yummy sausage on top), and rice (especially risotto and stir fry). We also have a turkey taco that is in heavy rotation. And stew from the crock pot. As I’m listing this, I realize we spend A LOT of time in the kitchen!

  9. glutenfreelisa says:

    Thanks for these! It’s always great to have easy meal options. I don’t have a lot of my recipes up on my blog yet, but you might like this one since it’s super easy!

    http://glutenfreedairyfreerecipes.com/smokin-good-chicken-recipe/

  10. Dani says:

    We have taco salad or any variation every week. I love Sam Mills pasta, they have spaghetti, fettuccine and macaroni noodles, cooked properly you can’t tell the difference. I have found Sam Mills at Kroger and even Walmart.

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