Keeping it Simple – A Week of Easy Gluten Free Recipes

There are times in one’s life when it is imperative to keep things simple.  Maybe you are working long hours, have new or increased family responsibilities, or are going through a major life change like a move, new job, or loss of a loved one.

It can be overwhelming to carry on during life’s ups and downs, and what’s for dinner is often the last thing on your mind.  With Celiac disease of course, there may not be options for ordering takeout or stopping for fast food (plus it costs a fortune).  The kitchen must be our safe space, because on top of whatever life throws at us, we do not need to get sick from consuming gluten.

That’s why I decided to put together a week’s worth of meals that I like to make when things get hectic.  May they be an inspiration for you during life’s busy moments, as well as a reminder that gluten free doesn’t have to be difficult or fancy.  These are healthy, balanced meals, that combine a quick cooking protein with sides like rice, potato, or pasta and microwaved veggies (from the freezer).  Use these ideas to make dinner for one, two or a family.  Make extra for leftovers, so you get a night off.

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1 Salmon, Rice and Quinoa, Mixed Veggies

Salmon is widely available in the frozen section of most markets.  It often comes packaged in individual portions.  For this meal, I sprinkled the salmon with a Maple Garlic Seasoning, and cooked in a skillet misted with olive oil spray.  For sides, I cooked white rice and tri-color quinoa together in chicken broth and microwaved mixed veggies.  Total time, 20 minutes.

2 Taste Republic Tortellini with Quick Meat Sauce

Taste Republic has some amazing gluten free pastas, I found their Four Cheese Tortellini in the refrigerator section at Whole Foods.  For the sauce, I browned 1/2 lb. ground beef, 1/2 diced onion, and 2 garlic cloves then added one 29 oz. can of tomato sauce, brown sugar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Simmered and ready in 30 minutes.

3 Lamb Chops, Rice and Quinoa, Green Beans

Cook once, eat twice is a good strategy when you’re busy.  I had these Lamb Chops (cooked in a skillet with olive oil and rosemary) with leftover Rice and Quinoa from the other night.  Served with a side of French style green beans.

4 Breakfast for Dinner, Scrambled Egg, Toast and Bacon

When you’re just too tired or there’s not much in the fridge, breakfast for dinner is such an easy option.  One of my favorites is a scrambled egg, bacon and gluten free toast (from the freezer).  Easy peasy.

5 Swordfish, Brown Rice and Broccoli

Swordfish can also be found individually portioned in the freezer section.  Cooked simply in a skillet with a pat of butter and sprinkle of Old Bay.  Served with a side of brown rice and steamed broccoli.

6 Thin Ribeye, Potato Wedges and Green Beans

Thin ribeye cooks in minutes!  Just add to a hot skillet with olive oil and Montreal Steak Seasoning, cook 2-3 minutes per side.  Served with roasted potato wedges and French green beans.

7 Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is delicious on its own but wrap it up in bacon and wow!  Roast at 325º until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees for medium.  A one-pound tenderloin will finish cooking in under 30 minutes.  Serve with leftover sides from all the other nights!

Notes ♪♫ I hope you enjoyed these easy, gluten free meal ideas.  Drop me a line if you have questions and be sure to let me know if you have tried any of these recipes at home!


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Sheet Pan Breaded Pork Chops, Sweet Potato and Delicata Squash

It’s sheet pan dinner night, and Mr. Cucina (our official dishwasher) is going to be happy!  With just one baking sheet that I lined with foil, he is going to be finished with cleanup in minutes.  Of course I took care of the prep bowls before we had dinner, he deserves a night off!

Dinner for two

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Ready?  Start by preheating your oven to 375º.  Line a half sheet pan with foil and mist with cooking spray.  The cook time is 40 minutes total, with the potatoes going in for a 10 minute head start, followed by the pork chops and squash cooking for the remaining 30 minutes.

For the potatoes

Peel and cut the sweet potato into cubes, toss with canola oil and sprinkle with maple seasoning and cinnamon.  Arrange the potatoes on one side of the pan in an even layer.  Give them a 10 minute head start in the oven while you prepare the pork chops and Delicata squash.

For the pork chops

This is how my mother made pork chops when I was young.  At that time she belonged to weight watchers, and this was her lightened up version of traditional breaded and fried pork chops.  Now I make mine the same way, with a simple substitution of gluten free seasoned breadcrumbs for regular.  Set up two breading trays or bowls with the skim milk and the breadcrumbs.  Dip each pork chop in the skim milk, then in the breadcrumbs.  Add them to the center of the sheet pan.

For the Delicata squash

Wash the squash (you can eat the skin).  Remove the ends, cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  Slice into half moons, toss with olive oil and Italian seasoning.  Spread the squash out on the other side of the sheet pan in a single layer.

Once the pork chops and squash are in the pan, continue baking for another 30 minutes.  Use tongs to toss the potatoes and turn the squash halfway through.

Garnish with parsley leaves and bring it to the table right in the pan!

Notes ♪♫  I love sheet pan meals like this!  The variations are endless, here is another spin on the 3 course pork chop dinner, check it out here!  Or, when you need a veggie side to feed a crowd check out my beautiful sheet pan roasted veggies!

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Gluten Free Veal Piccata

I wrote this post a few years ago, when we finally went out to dinner after many long months of staying home during the Covid pandemic.  Of course I chose a restaurant with gluten free options, in fact most of the menu could be made gluten free upon request.  I ordered the Veal Piccata, and it was SO good!  I enjoyed every single bite, so much in fact that I decided to recreate that meal at home.  Here is my version and I dare say it was just as good as the restaurant!

I am fortunate to live in an Italian neighborhood, where thin sliced veal cutlets are readily available at local markets.  This is a huge time saver, since I did not have to pound the cutlets to the right thickness.  Look for veal cutlets that are 1/4″ thick, or you can place them between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat mallet.  If veal is not available where you live or just not in your budget, you can make this recipe with chicken.

4 Servings

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  • 16 oz. thin sliced veal cutlets
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil + more as needed
  • 1/2 cup gluten free chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 1 lemon, divided use
  • 4 tsp. capers
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley


Divide the lemon in half, cut one half into slices for serving and reserve the other half for its juice.

Pat the cutlets dry.  Dredge them in rice flour, shaking off the excess.  Season with fresh ground pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet.  Cook the cutlets 2 minutes per side in a single layer.  Cook in 2 batches if needed.

Set the cutlets aside on a serving platter while you make the sauce.  Add the stock, wine and lemon juice to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Simmer 1 minute, then add the capers, parsley and butter.

Stir to cook 1 minute longer, then return the veal to the pan and heat through, turning once.

Plate the cutlets and spoon some of the pan juices over the top.

Serve with lemon slices.

Notes ♪♫ I copied my restaurant meal right down to the sides.  We had roasted potato wedges and garlic green beans.  I’m so glad I did!  This recipe is perfect for date night or when you want to treat yourself to something special.

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Gluten Free Cornish Hens

Update: I wrote this post in April of 2020, at the height of the pandemic.  We are so thankful that those days are (hopefully) behind us, and we can celebrate the holidays with family again.  I debated rewriting the introduction, to remove references to this point in time, but decided to leave it as is for now, as a reminder to cherish our family gatherings and take nothing for granted.

Like so many this year, we will be spending Easter at home and practicing social distancing.  Plans to invite family over, go visiting or eat at a restaurant are all on hold.  I hope that everyone is staying healthy and keeping their spirits up while we wait for this virus to recede.

I have been passing the time doing some deep cleaning and home reorganization.  But my happy place is and always will be the kitchen.  So, I’m taking advantage of the extra hours to create some delicious quarantine cuisine that I wouldn’t normally have time to make!  Today’s post is a special dinner that you can make at home for one, two or more.  Easter is going to be different this year, but it can still be delicious!

A single Cornish Hen should yield 2 servings, or for hearty appetites plan on one hen each.  For this meal I borrowed some inspiration from my Whole Roast Chicken recipe as well as my Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing.  The result, a delicious, flavorful and very moist chicken dinner, completely gluten free.


  • 2 Cornish hens
  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. each, rosemary and thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the stuffing:

  • 2 strips of bacon, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup onion, small dice
  • 1/3 cup celery, small dice
  • 1/3 cup apple, small dice
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • gluten free sausage seasoning
  • 1/4 cup gluten free seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. gluten free chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste


Cook the bacon and drain on paper towel, reserving the fat in the skillet.

Add 1 tbsp. butter to the skillet with the bacon fat and begin cooking the onion, celery and apple.  Sprinkle with sausage seasoning.  Chop the bacon and add it back to the pan, and let it cool slightly while you prep the hens.

Place the hens in an empty sink.  Remove the gizzards from the cavity, rinse the hens inside and out with cold water and place in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  I used a 9″ x 13″ Pyrex dish.

Wash the sink thoroughly and now we’ll finish the stuffing.  Stir in 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and about 2 tbsp. chicken broth, just enough to bring the stuffing together.  Gently spoon the stuffing into each hen.

Mash together the softened butter, rosemary and thyme.  Rub the hens all over with the herb butter, be sure to get under the legs and wings and place a pat under the skin.  Season with salt and pepper.

Use twine to tie the legs together and wrap another strand around the center of the bird to secure the wings close to the body.  Add 1/2 large onion, 1 carrot and 1 potato to the pan.

Roast for 70 minutes at 350º or until the internal temperature reaches 165º.

Broil on low for 5 minutes to get more color on the skin.

Aren’t they beautiful?  Whether you are dining solo or with those you love most, I hope you find some gluten free meal inspiration for your holiday table!  May your home be filled with Easter blessings and the hope that we will soon be together again with all our family and friends.

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