Four Gluten-Free Fiancé Favorites


“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” -Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn aptly describes my belly flop into gluten-free eating and cooking. It’s mad! It’s ridiculous! But it certainly makes life much more interesting! And, I am making progress with dishes that actually taste like food.

For several weeks I ate cinnamon rice cakes smothered in peanut butter and raisins for lunch until someone  at the race track mistakenly took them for donuts.

“I see you finally grabbed a donut!”

Donuts are not made from rice. Rice cakes suddenly became “absolutely boring.”

Marilyn writes about her own meal planning experience. “My dinners at home are startlingly simple. Every night I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots.

While Marilyn’s meals appear full of protein, I think they could use a little more ridiculousness to match the quote from her earlier in this article.

Monday night I prepared a box of organic edamame spaghetti adding snippets of ingredients from my imagination and the suggested recipe on the box: almonds and shaved coconut, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, garlic, some ranch kale chips (It was my last attempt to redeem the kale chips. Potato chips are gluten-free too, you know!), pesto from Aldi, and some EVOO.

Madness is genius!” That is how I like to cook – dumping things into a pot and seeing how it turns out.

I ate my very tasty conglomerate with chopsticks. However, the dish was very green (“absolutely ridiculous”). Kris declined to try it due to this property. No matter how delightful the childhood story is, no one wants to eat green food with you if there are other options.

This is the part of the post where I share four dishes that my fiance does enjoy. These dishes are tasty and dependable….as long as I follow the recipe. I hope you will try them and share some of your weeknight gluten-free staples in the comments.

“I Love You” Chicken Cordon Bleu

I made this for Kris before we knew he was gluten-free. Although it made him bubbly, he told me he loved me for the first time a few hours after consumption. (Try it on your S.O. and let me know if it has the same result!). With a few changes, this recipe from the Food Network is now gluten-free and does not require a two-grocery-store-scavenger-hunt to find obscure ingredients and tools. 

Oven – 350

Olive oil your baking dish.

Get three bowls. Bowl 1: “Season the flour with salt and pepper.” Bowl 2: “Mix the bread crumbs with thyme, garlic and kosher salt, pepper, and melted butter.” Bowl 3: “Beat together the eggs and season with salt and pepper.”

I’m not really good at explaining portion sizes, so estimate how much chicken, Swiss, and ham you will need. Lay this out on your counter next to the bowls so you won’t contaminate the original ham and Swiss supplies with your “chickeny” fingers. You may need to make a little more coating if you have plans for more than 2 large breasts.

The original recipe wants you to “pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.” Since I am only registered for a meat tenderizer I used a real hammer which was quite ineffective. If you can smash the chicken to the desired thickness, great – otherwise, just cook it for twice the suggested time.

Put some ham slices over the chicken breast. Then put some Swiss slices over the ham.

The next direction is quite fancy, so I will quote directly from the recipe. “Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll.”

Dip the chicken wad (well, I guess you could call it a roll) into the first, second, and third bowl making sure it has enough coating. Set it in your baking dish so that it stays like a roll.

“Repeat with remaining chicken,” ham, and Swiss.

“Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until browned and cooked through.” Remember, if you weren’t super thorough about smashing your chicken to the desired thickness, you need to cook this about twice as long. Make sure you check and see if it is pink! PINK IS BAD!

“Cut into pinwheels” or at least serviceable pieces. I had to check the chicken so much to see if it was done, this last step was pretty much done for me and actually made the food look kind of sketchy. Kris graciously ate it anyway.

I served this with steamed brussell sprouts from the freezer section for me, corn for Kris, and magical Betty Crocker mashed potatoes (magical because they instantly look like potatoes! What have I been missing out on my whole life?!)

The chicken heats up nicely for leftovers.

Missing Macaroni Salad(dairy-free too)

My mom is a genius in the kitchen and is way more sensitive than I am to others with special eating needs like Kris. She found this recipe on the Hellmann’s website and modified it to be gluten-free for Kris when he came over to ask my dad for my hand in marriage. Kris asks me to make it all the time (just last night actually!) and it’s pretty much gone (missing) the same day we make it. Since making it my mom has made other delicious modifications, but the one on the website is the recipe I use. We use a dash of celery seed instead of celery and, of course, gluten-free pasta. Kris likes the Ronzoni spirals. 

Truly Homemade Mini-Pizzas

Growing up we would make English muffin pizzas all the time! I was delighted to find that Wegmans sells gluten-free English muffins, and Kris is always surprised that I actually made these things instead of getting them from the freezer section. This week I served the pizzas with French fries, which are almost always gluten-free, and Mandarin oranges. 

  • gluten-free English muffins (Wegmans)
  • tomato paste
  • Italian seasoning
  • minced garlic
  • mozzarella (or any kind of cheese)
  • turkey pepperoni
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Other gluten-free pizza ingredients that you like
  1. Using the muffin as a crust, add the ingredients to make it look like a pizza.
  2. Broil.
  3. That was easy!

    Mom’s Goulash

Mom to the rescue again!!!! Have I mentioned that I have a really awesome mom? I haven’t actually made this recipe myself yet, but my mom made it for us a couple weekends ago and I sort of helped. She just used her old goulash recipe (which we hadn’t had in ages – yum!) and just substituted gluten-free pasta. We also served frozen veggies, gluten-free bread from her bread maker (ooh! I can’t wait to try that for myself!!!), and chocolate-chip cookies from the gluten-free cookie mix at Aldi. I bought 11 boxes of that cookie mix it’s so perfect. 

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