Very Quick Dinner Ideas

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As the mom of two small kids, I need solutions to very quick dinners that are both gluten, dairy and soy free.

So i thought perhaps we could all post some of those tried and true dinners that we can just pull out of the fridge and whip up in a hurry. I am pretty new to the gluten-free thing so this has been a HUGE challenge for me. I am hoping to add more to my own list with your help.

Here goes:

1. I premake HUGE batches of meatballs. Ground Chuck with onions, garlic powder, salt and fresh herbs (oregnao, savory, thyme and a little basil).

So for a quick dinner, I just throw some meat balls in the microwave from the freezer and boil some gluten-free pasta. Add some gluten-free pasta sauce and voila! Dinner is served. Bagged lettuce and some chopped veggies and I have a salad.

2. My daughters favorite. One large can of Bush's baked beans and a package of Hebrew National hot dogs. I slice the dogs into a pan with the beans. VERY fast and she guzzles them down. We eat lots of fruits and veggies through the day so I dont feel too bad about the lack of greenery on these nights.

3. Throw a chicken breast or pork chop on the grill after coatign it with my favorite spices. (Blackening spices; coriander, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper). Dice that up, throw ontop of the contents from a bag of salad mix. Add some corn I have defrosted in the microwave and some sunflower seeds. I keep boiled eggs in the fridge so I will add one fo those and any veggies from the fridge. My 3 year old will usually pick out the stuff she likes and will eat some salad lettuces.

4. Omelets...for this I just fill them with leftover meat and veggies. Just cut up the leftovers in chunks and that is an easy dinner. (my daughter likes leftover beans and weenies in her omelets).

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Any ideas are Great - I am new here and following a gluten-free Dairy Free diet w/ 2 of my 3 children. Hubby is in Pizza withdraw but dealing nicely. There is a lot of gluten-free processed food around but I find it expensive. I do not mind cooking I just need to alter what I cook. So far I have found a Gluten/Dairy/Peanut Free Granola Bar recipe that is working great in lunches and a Gluten/

Dairy/Nut free Brownie recipe that is also good for lunches - with some blueberries pancakes with peanut butter (no nut allergy here) & jelly, & fresh fruit we are making due. But dinner is a little tougher for me.... WE love pasta. The meat balls with some spaghetti squash I will try this week. Thanks for the idea.

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For our super quick meal we throw some potatoes in the microwave and then empty out the fridge. Sometimes we will crisp up Butterball turkey bacon for the potatoes too.

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But dinner is a little tougher for me.... WE love pasta. The meat balls with some spaghetti squash I will try this week. Thanks for the idea.

Do you have a slow cooker? LOTS of recipes on here.

Also, think this way: Any meal you have enjoyed all along can be altered.

Use So Delicious coconut milk for recipes in place of dairy.

You can have Pasta. Get corn or rice pasta (BiAglut, Sam's Mill, Tinkyada, etc. ) and use your own homemade sauce.

Want Meatballs or meatloaf? Just sub gluten-free seasoned breadcrumbs (no need to buy them--take a piece of gluten-free bread and put it through a chopped or food processor and season with basil, garlic powder, oregano and thyme) and enjoy these foods as you always have.

It gets easier as you go along! :)

Quickie meals for us-- after a long day (or it's too hot to cook)


(1) soup we have in the freezer

or Imagine brand soups are good.

(2) fritattas with any veggies in the fridge (onion, pepper, scallion, mushrooms)

(3) salad plate. Mixed Greens with diced cuke, toms, hard boiled eggs, some sliced meats, olives, avocado..that sort of thing..and some fruit salad with coconut flakes or nuts.

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Always cook extra. For example, it doesn't take any longer to grill 6 chicken breasts than it does to cook the 4 you need for tonight's dinner. Need 4 burgers? Cook 8 and microwave a few days later. Or freeze them and bring them out next week.

Put the left over chicken on a salad. Make rice, throw in a can of beans, some salsa and the chicken, put cheese on top if you want. When you make that rice, make twice as much and put some in the freezer or fridge for another meal.

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My husband has some sort of moral opposition to casseroles or something, not really sure what's going on there but he refuses to touch them. So instead of cooking for one, I cook for 10 when I make casseroles and just freeze a bunch. I'll freeze 4 or 5 that will feed me twice. I warm them in the oven, but I'm sure that it can be done in the microwave too if you're in a hurry. The slow cooker is the best bet though imo. Throw a few things in as you start your day and at dinner time all you have to do is get a spoon. If you ever find yourself without time to make meatballs, Farm Rich brand are gluten free and I always keep a bag on hand.

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I often start with ground beef in a skillet and sautee with onion and various veggies, depending on what I've got on hand and seasoning/herbs to match: cabbage, or summer squashes(zucchini), sometimes thin sliced carrot, italian herbs or crazy salt, then don't drain the grease unless it is excessive and add in cold leftover rice and heat through, not exactly stir fry. Lower the heat and stir constantly with a flat spatula so it doesn't stick to the pan too much.

Another quick meal is to heat some broth, add in carrot and celery and simmer then add in parsley, salt and pepper, leftover or canned cooked chicken and leftover rice at the end.

I'm not a salad girl but they make quick meals and aren't as bad if you load them with toppings-

turkey, crumbled bacon, frozen peas(don't heat),apple, carrot, shallot

chicken, olives, cucumber, red onion, chickpeas

I sometimes add thinly shredded cabbage, green or red on salad.

Whole Foods 365 mayo is soy-free so I often use that as a dressing with fresh parsley and dried dill added.

I make pasta w/out tomato sauce due to an allergy. Cook the pasta(I prefer pennne) and drain. In a pan sautee thin sliced onion in olive oil 'till tender, add drained tuna and frozen peas and carrots. Toss in pasta, salt and pepper and parsley and more oil to coat, if needed. That's it!

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This is super easy and really quick.

Bobby's Baked Tilapia

From Paula's Best Dishes

Servings: 4 servings


Butter cooking spray (I used olive oil)

4 (6 to 8-ounce) tilapia fillets

1 teaspoon Paula Deen Silly Salt (I use sea salt)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lime, finely grated zest and juice

2 tablespoons butter (you do not have to add this)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a large cast iron pan with a nonstick butter spray. (I used a pan and used an olive oil spray).

Rinse fish and pat dry; place on the prepared baking sheet. Season each fillet with Silly Salt, cracked pepper, lime zest and lime juice. Add fish to the pan. place a pat of butter on each fillet and ook in the oven for 8-12 minutes.

This is so easy. I bought a bag of tilapia at Safeway that has each fillet individually frozen.

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My favorite "quick" dinner:

Gluten Free Rice cooked in microwave

Canned black beans -drained and rinsed

Canned Tomatoes

A few shakes of minced garlic, onion powder, and various Italian spices

Add it all together and warm just a little. Sometimes we add browned hamburger to this as well.

I usually have enough to take as a lunch the next day.

Omelets are also fun and easy (and sounding good for tonight) :D

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Here are some quick ones but I have no idea if they contain soy though.

Frozen Tilapia over hashbrownsFrozen hasbrowns are usually gluten free. Read the label though.

Canned diced tomatoes

frozen tilapia (sometimes b1g1 free at Kroger)

Make your hashbrowns like directions say. Bake your fish in the oven. I never thaw mine first. Layer Hashbrowns, canned diced tomatoes, and then the fish. You can add seasoning to the fish. I like dill, Nature's Seasonings, paprika or any others. I thought this sounded gross but when I made it my daughter actually said it was her favorite meal so far.

Loaded Baked Potatoes and SaladCheap lunch or dinner. If you are doing dairy, load it with sour cream, bacon, cheese, etc.

If not doing dairy, then load it with chili.

Grilled Sausage/Chicken/Hamburger SteakAlot of marinades are gluten free and so we grill alot during the summer. We grilled corn in the husks yesterday!

Chicken Nuggets and FriesYou can make your own rolled in Gluten Free Bisquick (love this stuff) When you batter things to fry. double batter it. Dip in egg, roll in bisquick and repeat.

Spaghetti with gluten-free noodlesThe corn noodles are the best. Rice is ok but tends to get soggy. I find them in the health food section of Kroger. My girls will eat just buttered noodles a lot for lunch. Or for dinner you can do just reg. spaghetti.

Breakfast for dinner-the gluten free pancake mix is pretty good! Add some blueberries or bananas to get a fruit in.

Mandarin Pork Chops-

4-6 pork chops

1 large can mandarin oranges

1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 t salt

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 t cinnamon

1 T vinegar

1 t mustard

brown pork chops on both sides drain. Drain oranges reserving juice. Combine that juice/remaining ingredients. Add oranges and juice mixture to pork chops. Cover and simmer for 45 min. Serve over rice.

Pineapple Chicken-I don't know if there is a soy sauce that doesn't have soy. ha ha Anything similar?

enough chicken for 4.

20 oz can pineapple chunks

1/4 cup soy sauce (gluten-free of course)

1t red pepper flakes. (I would leave this out for the kids but maybe add it at the table for you guys. It really makes it spicy.

Put all in crockpot on low for 4-6 hours or high for 3-4. You can plop the chicken in frozen, too. Serve over rice.

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I try to always keep homemade soup in the freezer. But my favorite quick meal is stir fry. I keep Boneless/skinless chicken breasts in the freezer. I also use frozen veggies (either stir fry blend or large cut varieties) if I'm in a hurry. If I have chilli in the freezer I sometimes put it over microwaved sweet potatoes. Bob's a big salad lover, so I also try to keep salad fixin's on hand.

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Pineapple Chicken-I don't know if there is a soy sauce that doesn't have soy. ha ha Anything similar?

enough chicken for 4.

20 oz can pineapple chunks

1/4 cup soy sauce (gluten-free of course)

1t red pepper flakes. (I would leave this out for the kids but maybe add it at the table for you guys. It really makes it spicy.

Put all in crockpot on low for 4-6 hours or high for 3-4. You can plop the chicken in frozen, too. Serve over rice.

I use coconut aminos as sort of a soy sauce replacement. It is sweeter and slightly thicker than the soy sauce that most Americans use so it is not a direct spoon per spoon, cup per cup replacement.

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Teff Wraps. From La Tortilla Factory. Nuke for about 10 seconds to soften. Spread with whatever they can eat such as margarine, mustard, coconut oil, mayo, etc. Or they may prefer without a spread. Sprinkle on some shredded lettuce or cabbage then top with lunch meat or leftover cooked meat. Roll like a burrito.

Hummus with gluten-free crackers or chips or even celery and carrots.

Spanish Rice. We use brown rice, salsa, red and green peppers, chiles, ground beef and sometimes add beans.

Bean tacos. We buy canned refried beans but I'm not sure you can get them that don't contain soybean oil. It's easy to make your own though by cooking some pinto beans, then draining, mashing and adding a bit of olive oil. Or simply mash canned pinto or black beans.

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    • For the brown rice, it could be the fiber (assuming you mean whole grain rice, which still has husk on it). If I have been glutened recently, whole grain brown rice and other fibrous foods are not digested well by my GI tract. Because I get non-GI symptoms, I am quite sure that the cause is not gluten. You might stay away from whole grain rice for a bit, or transition slowly (mix white/whole grain in increasing proportions as tolerated). For pork, it is unlikely that the type of feed would have an influence on the gluten content of the meat. Gluten is not transferred into the muscle (meat) or eggs of animals. It stays in the GI tract. There could be some small chance of contamination from the GI tract during butchering. I don't know much about commercial butchering/abattoirs, but I think that this is heavily guarded against due to the risk of fecal contamination. Sometimes, the thing we think is making is sick is in fact not - sometimes it is something else that we do in association with that food. Perhaps there is a seasoning that you use with pork, or perhaps you use certain kitchen tools for pork that are contaminated. I used to always get sick when I cooked butternut squash. It was because I was using a hacksaw to cut them, which was contaminated with drywall (drywall contains wheat). If you are buying your meat from a small, independent butcher (where they bread/flour meat in-store), you might think about switching to buying big box grocery meat. At big box grocery stores, they just section up the meat that is pre-butchered. You could also be allergic to pork - this is rare, but some people are (especially those who are allergic to cats). Hope this helps.  
    • What pigs eat would note really get to your eating their meat, this might be different with something that you can not clean out well or eat part of the digestive tract like farmed crayfish, shrimp, or poorly cleaned fish/chicken. But pork...unless your eating part of the intestines the meat should not bother you if they ate even pure wheat.

      Brown rice, this could be a issues with CC, starches, fiber etc.  There have been major CC issues with grains and legumes in recent months. I suggest sticking to a safer brand like Lundenburg and or visually sorting your rice, and washing it before cooking it. Again it could also be a fiber issues or starches.

      Other thoughts some people bit by a lone star tick develop allergies to pork and or beef.

      Some people are just intolerant to certain foods, and we can develop many food sensitivities to just about anything with this disease. Often new or certain food intolerance can be linked to something we ate when we ate gluten and our body just has a associative issue that might go away in a few years. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/are-food-sensitivities-for-life
    • Brown Rice and pork are meant to be gluten free yet they set me off. Pork I reckon is due to them eating cereals.  Brown rice I have no idea although white is fine . Does anyone else get set off by them or is my body just strange?
    • I live in a town with hy-vee grocery stores. If you go to their website https://www.hy-vee.com/meal-solutions/special-diets/default.aspx and click on the gluten free foods link you will find every hy-vee product that is gluten free. I have had many and have never had a problem.  This list is for Hy-Vee products so it will not include other companies. I seem to survive off a lot of PB and J sandwiches when traveling. 
    • Hi Mavis, Celiacs are often low on Vitamin D, vitamin B-12, and sometimes iron, and selenium. Wheat is pretty popular here too.  But there are other options like rice and buckwheat, quinoa, etc.
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