My wonderful man has some not-so-wonderful issues with allergies. In addition to the usual dog/cat/pollen trifecta that afflicts the average person, he also has to avoid many delicious things that normal people consume daily like dairy, soy, eggs, shellfish and (that saddest allergy of all) …gluten.
In the five years since we said I do, I have slowly collected recipes that are both a) non-life-threatening, and b) yummy enough to pass my hubby’s taste test. Oh, and they also have to be easy enough that I’m not spending hours of my precious evening in the kitchen after I work all day. Priorities!
These are ten of those recipes that pass all three tests, and they’re the ones that I turn to again and again.
1. Man-Pleasing Chicken
Why I love it: The amber-colored sauce and fresh rosemary make it *look* fancy, but it’s one of the easiest dinners in the world to whip together. I literally stir three (three!!) ingredients in a bowl, pour it over some raw chicken, and pop it in the oven. Plus, it really does live up to its name! Every guy who has taken a bite of this tender chicken has not been able to stop raving about it.
2. Crunchy Black Bean Tacos
Why I love it: There is something about the combination of black beans, red onions, paprika and crisply golden corn tortillas that speaks comfort and home to my mouth. The original recipe uses grated Pepper Jack cheese, but we just leave it out and I’ve never missed it. When you add the creamy texture of fresh avocado and a zip of salsa–wow! My mouth is watering just writing about these babies. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest dinners in my arsenal.
3. Apple and Butternut Squash Hash
Source: my friend, Rebekah (but I’m pretty sure she got it from Paleomg.com)
Why I love it: Okay, I almost didn’t include this one because you have to wait for the glory of butternut squash season to make it affordable, and grating the squash by hand can be a little time-consuming if you don’t have a food processor, but it is just so good that I couldn’t leave it off this list. When I first tried this flavorful autumn concoction, I could barely stop myself from getting thirds!
4. Mexican Lasagna
Source: my own brain
Why I love it: This is an easily-customizable dish that allows me to make good use of leftover rice, stale tortillas and veggies that would otherwise go bad. We invented it when our food budget was tight, but it’s one that my husband still asks for regularly! Most Mexican casseroles rely on cheese to give them cohesion, but I use salsa. It adds plenty of moisture and flavor, and is a healthier option for those watching their calories. (For full recipe, go to the bottom of this page)
5. Roasted Cabbage with Bacon
Why I love it: Suuuuuuuper easy and cheap! The bacon flavors drip deliciously down into the folds of the cabbage, which becomes fork-tender and sweet in your oven. Even people who don’t like cabbage usually get seconds.
6. Garlicky Roasted Broccoli
Why I love it: Every time I make this, I can’t stop eating it! Roasting broccoli is so much better than boiling because it makes it tender without being soggy, leaves the spices in all their richness instead of washing them away, and adds just a hint of smokiness on the edges. Mmmmm!
7. Lentils and Spinach
Why I love it: Sometimes meat is just not in the budget, but I’m craving some good, hearty protein that I can feel good about. This dish is chock-full of iron, folate, fiber, and low-fat complex carbs that fill you for hours without making you sluggish. Plus, there is only one pot to clean!
8. Quinoa Vegetable Soup with Kale
Why I love it: It’s fragrant, it’s savory, it’s filling, and it makes enough for leftovers! Plus, it’s an easy way to eat kale without having to massage it for a salad and get lemon and oil all over my hands…
9. Texas Caviar
Why I love it: This one is a tad nostalgic for me, because we served it at our wedding! But seriously, this stuff is the easiest, healthiest, most delicious mix of Tex-Mex and love you’ll ever make. It can feed a party crowd as a dip for chips, make an awesome addition to any salad (just keep it in the fridge and pour over lettuce…voila!), or make a hearty snack or meal straight out of the cereal bowl.
10. Flourless Chocolate Brownies
Why I love it: So many gluten free baking recipes require fifteen different flours to get the right consistency, but not this one! It comes out dense, moist, and decadent without leaving you with a sugar crash. It does contain dairy and eggs, but since those are the allergies my husband can tolerate occasionally, this is a splurge we feel okay justifying once in a while. Even my non-gluten-free friends have asked for the recipe!
So there you have it–the top ten recipes we eat all the time! I have to admit, just writing about these has got me already dreaming about which ones will go on next week’s meal plan. I’m always game to try new things, though, so if you have a favorite recipe, please share it in the comments!
Oh, and here is the Mexican Lasagna recipe I promised earlier:
- 2 c cooked rice
- 6-7 old corn tortillas
- 1 lb ground meat
- 1 25oz can black beans, drained
- 2 small cans red salsa
Optional Ingredients (but they’re yummy!)
- green onions
- Mexican-blend shredded cheese
- Prior to assembly, brown ground meat and cook the rice
- In a glass casserole dish, lay down a thin layer of salsa, a layer of tortillas, rice, beans, ground meat, and optional veggies. Repeat.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes to heat through (and brown the cheese if you used it)