That again? Ugh...
January 15, 2014 4:45 AM   Subscribe

We are in a supper rut. We need some suggestions for suppers that satisfy a fair number of requirements (no gluten, not too many servings, no chicken, etc).

Meals cannot contain:
- GLUTEN (oats are fine)
- shellfish
- yoghurt (sour cream is fine)
- chicken
- lamb
- eggs as a primary player (ie. eggs in a cake or something is fine, but an omelette is not). Nothing against eggs in terms of health. I just get really sicked out by them at the moment.

Things we like are:
- beef
- salmon
- haddock
- tofu
- spicy foods (as well as not-spicy foods)
- brussel sprouts
- greens (spinach, beet greens, swiss chard)
- broccoli
- cheese/dairy
- soups (but not watery ones)

We would prefer if the meals:
- didn't have a ton of leftovers as we never seem to eat leftovers despite our best intentions
- served 2-4 people max
- healthy (but unhealthy but fantastic recipes are welcome as well)
- not too expensive to make, or at least with ingredients that aren't too hard to find

Also: Assume that we are very good cooks so difficulty in preparation is a non-issue. Fussy meals and simple meals both are welcome.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I should have said that if you have a recipe that is great but doesn't satisfy all the "prefer"s, please still pass it along.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 4:52 AM on January 15, 2014

You might want to take a look at Mark Bittman's latest book, VB6 ("Vegan Before 6:00pm"). A few years ago, Bittman was told by his doctor that he had to make some dramatic changes to his diet because of his weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. As a food writer, he knew he couldn't just give up meat or rich food or whatever, so he decided that he would be a vegan all day and then eat pretty much whatever he wants in the evening. Anyhow, the first half of the book is all the explanation about the diet (which he designed for himself, and which has worked), but the second half features a ton of really interesting recipes, all with many variations depending on what you like or have on hand. I think you would find some recipe ideas in both the breakfast/lunch (vegan) sections and the dinner (non-vegan) section that would appeal to you.
posted by wisekaren at 5:16 AM on January 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you tried this spanish chickpea soup recipe from Serious Eats? It's a simple tomato/bean/green soup but I find the flavor profile is more interesting than your average soup recipe. It might be too watery, but I think you could "stew it up" a bit probably.
posted by itsonreserve at 5:17 AM on January 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

At my house we cook a lot of gluten-free, dairy-free, chilli-free vegetarian meals (though we do make lots of leftovers!). Dal is a standby and easy, as is saag paneer (for which we regularly replace paneer with tofu or halloumi), as is soup (locate pile'o'vegetables, boil in pan with stock, blend until soupy).

Dal in particular is really really filling and easy: you basically cook lentils in water for a while, then add spices and onion, and leave until you like the consistency. It's good with rice.
posted by katrielalex at 5:25 AM on January 15, 2014

We love this dish and make it with gluten free noodles. It makes enough for our family to have leftovers because we're just two adults and a toddler. It's great because it's all in one dish making clean up a breeze and it's super tasty.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 5:36 AM on January 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hiya, we're on the same diet.

How about Dominican Fish? It's delicious, you can make the sauce ahead of time and serve with rice. It's very easy, quick and absolutely delicious!

Marinate any wild, firm fleshed white fish in lime juice, salt, pepper and oregono. I do it overnight. Haddock is good, snapper is good, so is grouper. Whatever fish you can get. I steer clear of farmed fish, because...yuk.

The Sauce:

Minced onion, 1 small
Minced Celery, 1 stalk
Minced garlic, 2 or 3 cloves
1/2 cup chopped tomato (any tomato will do, fresh if it's in season, high quality canned if not, Hunts if that's all you can get.)
Olive oil
4 oz pineapple juice
1 can coconut milk (or coconut cream if you want it decadent)
2 tblspoons tomato paste

Saute the onion and celery in olive oil until softened. Do on low heat. Add the garlic. Then chopped tomatoes, pineapple juice and tomato paste. Pour in coconut milk. Simmer over low heat until bubbling. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove the fish from the marinade and pat dry. Saute in olive oil. When nearly done, pour the sauce over the fish and let it all finish together.

Serve over white rice. Sauteed spinach or a green salad is a perfect accompaniment.

You can save half of the sauce and use it again the following week. Or freeze. It keeps really well.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:42 AM on January 15, 2014 [7 favorites]

I regularly make this sausage and chickpea soup with Swiss chard from Real Simple, and it's great. The recipe calls for farro, but I've always made it with rice instead. There will be leftovers, but I find soup leftovers are more likely to get eaten than other types. Also, Real Simple magazine has great recipes that meet many of your criteria, or could be adapted to meet them, and are fast and easy to make.

Another weeknight meal at my house is fish (any white fish, it would be fine with haddock) prepared using a pared-down version of this recipe: I seldom have fresh herbs kicking around, so I skip those, and I usually substitute coconut oil or olive oil for some of the butter. It's fine in the oven, with the seasoning brushed on it before baking. Be aware that the recipe is for a 4lb fish; you'll be able to halve or quarter it easily. This fish and oven-roasted broccoli, some rice if you want, is a delicious and fast dinner.
posted by GreenEyed at 5:53 AM on January 15, 2014

Make some quinoa (use broth/stock instead of water for more oomph). When it's cooked, add: black beans, chopped green onions or minced red onions or shallots, chopped tomatoes, and cubed feta cheese. Toss with olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. You can wait for the quinoa to cool before adding the other stuff, or not. If you don't, the feta will get kind of melty.

Or, make quinoa; sautee a bunch of mushrooms and onions; add some herbs; toss with the quinoa and then stuff into (cooked) halves of acorn or small butternut squash. Eat.

This chickpea and tomato soup is also really easy, fast, and delicious. You can make it less soupy by letting it cook down or just adding less liquid, and you could add greens and tofu to it to make it even more of a stew. If you eat sausage, that would be good in there, too.
posted by rtha at 6:09 AM on January 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Grilled Sriracha salmon.

Also I think any recipe for miso-glazed fish should work within your requirements. You'd have to lay in a supply of 3-4 ingredients but they all keep well-- and would work with tofu, too and it is a very filling but healthy dish.

Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook, It's All Good, is gluten-free and most recipes are simple, weeknight ones.
posted by BibiRose at 6:09 AM on January 15, 2014

toss with the quinoa and then stuff into (cooked) halves of acorn or small butternut squash. Eat.

Forgot a very important step: Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a hot oven until the cheese gets crusty and brown.
posted by rtha at 6:10 AM on January 15, 2014

Split pea soup with ox tail and garlic bread.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 6:27 AM on January 15, 2014

Steamed sliced green beans
Shredded purple cabbage
Shredded carrot
Bean sprouts
Dump all the above in a big salad bowl. Add a tomato or two cut into wedges, if you feel like it. Open a small tin of whatever fish you prefer packed in oil over the top (I like tuna but salmon will work too). Huge glop of sweet chili sauce and a splash of soy sauce over the top of that. Jab ineffectually with a fork to smash up the tinned fish a bit. Dig in. Yum.
posted by flabdablet at 6:31 AM on January 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have similar dietary "preferences" to what you're looking for here. Some entrees from my repertoire that fit:

Sambar (Sri Lankan red lentil stew, typically served with rice)
Joloffe Rice (a West African rice dish with coconut milk, vegetables, and optional meat)
Hoppin' John
Pad Thai (or a noodle salad version of same)
Scandinavian Yellow Pea Soup (more like a stew, definitely filling by itself)
Kielbasa with Apples and Onions
Chicken and Rice (there are many possible versions of this, so I'm just giving the generic name)

Sorry about the (mostly) lack of recipes or links, but these are fairly classic dishes that you can easily find multiple recipes for online. I also have a number of dishes in my repertoire for which you would need a specific recipe. If you're curious, message me and I can send you some of those recipes. Although I'm sure you're going to get plenty of other ideas in these answers.
posted by Mechitar at 6:49 AM on January 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Miso-Curry Delicata Squash (with kale and tofu). Very fast. Very delicious. We usually serve over farro but quinoa or another non-gluten option would be fine, or it's amazing on its own. We add more kale and more sauce. It's worth finding the delicata squash because you don't have to peel it and it cooks fairly quickly.

Caramelized Tofu with brussels sprouts. So good. Add more brussels sprouts.
posted by barnone at 7:14 AM on January 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

A good glaze for salmon: equal parts maple syrup, soy sauce and orange juice, plus a bit of granted ginger and minced garlic.

You don't mention being either pro or con pork --- if you are pro, a small pork tenderloin can be grilled or roasted in about 20 minutes with not too many leftovers. Can do a bunch of different ways --- a paste of salt, rosemary and garlic rubbed on the outside is good, or you can do a Caribbean jerk rub and serve with coconut rice and pineapple salsa. Or over a bed of sautéed red bell peppers and onions, almost like chicken cacciatore.

Also, I've been watching old episodes of Rick Bayles' Mexico:One Plate At A Time on the LiveWell network site -- he explores some interesting Mexican ingredients, which I've found inspirational. Sometime I find diving wholesale into a new cuisine for a bit helps sort of reset my tastebuds if I'm in a rut.
posted by Diablevert at 7:23 AM on January 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Potato-Leek soup. Amazing deliciousness with just a few ingredients.

We never add dairy but often make it with chicken stock (this recipe and Julia's version use only water). We almost always add peeled/chopped celery root in addition to the potatoes. This comes together quickly and freezes well.
posted by donovan at 7:42 AM on January 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Beef and mushroom stew with barley

I'm sure this started out as a soup, but every time I make soup I get a stew, so there's that.

1 small onion
2-3 garlic cloves
sprig of thyme if you have it, if not, steak spice.
1 tbsp soy sauce, or worcestershire sauce or both
a dozen mushrooms
1 small steak
1 small potato
1 medium carrot
1/2 cup barley

Brown steak in soup pot, add a tbsp soy sauce, or steak spice. Add onions, half the garlic and thyme. Cook for a few minutes until onions not raw. Add enough water to make 2-4 servings, with some chicken boullion if you have any. Add barley, about a half a cup. Simmer for 20 min. In the meantime, brown mushrooms in butter adding remaining garlic and carrots at the end. Stir into soup and simmer all together. Taste for salt, pepper. Serve with sour cream.
posted by tatiana131 at 8:52 AM on January 15, 2014

I like pork but I think it is my husband's least favourite protein.

tatiana131: Beef and mushroom stew with barley

It sounds delicious but barley is gluten. :)
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:54 AM on January 15, 2014

This might be a little pricey due to the nuts, but pistachio crusted salmon with lemon cream sauce is really, really tasty. There will be no leftovers. Last time I made it, I served with swiss chard braised with garlic and a wild rice mix on the side. I also baked it like the note at the bottom of the linked page, easier than trying to flip filets with nuts on them.

Socca pizza is pretty good. Just remember to give yourself at least 30 minutes to let the batter sit. The topping possibilities are endless.

Recently made a beef bolognese served over cheesy polenta. Did have a little polenta leftover but I smooshed it into a small storage container and it made a fine midnight snack straight out of the fridge.

Mushroom risotto is always a winner here. You can adjust the quantities for 2 or 4 people and serve with a fresh salad, roasted brussels sprouts with lemon mustard dressing, or asparagus.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:58 AM on January 15, 2014

You can easily sub in oats for the barley. Or quinoa, for that matter! Or rice (wild rice especially would be great in that, I bet, just allow for a longer cooking time).
posted by rtha at 8:58 AM on January 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Lately I've been thrilled to discover Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie -- I don't make that exact recipe; I put in some of a can of diced tomatos and half a bag of roasted corn from Trader Joe's and don't bother with the cinammon and whatnot but do put a smidge of sweet curry powder in the sweet potatoes and bake it and it all turns out wonderful. You like spice so I bet you could add in jalapenos or something. It seems like a pretty versatile recipe to scale up/down and put different things into.

I also like to make Salmon stuffed with Mascarpone except screw buying Mascarpone, I just put in pure cream cheese with spinach, and I use Panko bread crumbs from a local Cash&Carry restaurant supply store since they're so much cheaper there than at a grocery store and SO much easier than actually making bread crumbs from stale bread. Apparently you can order gluten free crumbs.

I also love roasting sweet potato chopped up into little cubes with onion bits or garlic cloves and covering it in olive oil and sweet curry powder, but this is more of a side.

If I was you, I would make beef and broccoli stir fries with a bit of onion/garlic some kind of spice sauce.

I also like making tofu that's pan fried with garlic, pour a ton of lemon juice over it in the pan and cook it until it thickens. REALLY tart.
posted by foxfirefey at 9:41 AM on January 15, 2014

Well, if you like meat, pretty much any meat tastes good prepared well and next to an equally tasty vegetable. Steak and salad, fish and swiss chard--same thing with tofu or tempeh, to an extent. Try barbeque tempeh with green beans. This is a simple meal but has almost endless variations.

I've recently discovered that potato au gratin is not the only gratin. Try a summer squash gratin, or a turnip or parsnip gratin.

When you get stuck, try thinking about foods in groups or shapes. So, there's soups (times a billion), and patties (hamburger, black bean burgers, felafel), and dumplings (egg rolls, pierogi, ravioli, momo, infinite varieties depending on culture), and sandwiches (loosely defined), and things-in-a-crust (pot pie, empanadas, etc). Having thus categorized them, when I'm short on inspiration I ask myself what shape of food I'd like and then narrow them down by what I actually like or can eat, and substitute ingredients as necessary.

Do you have a preference for cuisine? Getting deeper into "ethnic" cooking can be helpful too. I took out a book of Tibetan recipes from the library and that kept me busy for a month.
posted by epanalepsis at 9:58 AM on January 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Aack - you're right. But I've made it with rice before too, as well as quinoa. All different textures, but similar taste.
posted by tatiana131 at 11:11 AM on January 15, 2014

Here's a random assortment of recipes I've collected over the last few years:

Brussels Sprouts Gratin - GF except for the flour in the roux, which according to Serious Eats can be substituted quite well with sweet rice flour for a GF roux.

Spaghetti Squash with Swiss Chard, Dried Cranberries & Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe

Sweet Squash Stuffed with Mushrooms, Greens and Cranberries - use GF breadcrumbs or omit, replace wine with stock if desired.

Baked Salmon with Browned Butter Sauce - I believe this can also be modified to use sweet rice flour for the sauce to make it GF.

Broccoli Beef

Sautéed Citrus-Herb Salmon - my favorite salmon recipe

Sour Cream Baked Salmon Recipe

Warm Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts Salad with a Parmesan Vinaigrette

If leftovers are a problem, try putting them in the freezer or halving recipes. Also, sites like FoodGawker, TasteSpotting and Chowstalker can be good for searching for new ideas! (The latter is geared toward a variety of diet restrictions.)
posted by geeky at 12:18 PM on January 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Whole Branzino makes for an easy super-yummy dish, size is perfect for two people and it's not pricey either:

Get a whole Branzino (we see them at markets here in LA all the time).
Brush with olive oil and rub gently with salt and pepper (both outside and cavity).
Put the following into the cavity: bay leaf, thin slice of lemon, sprig of rosemary.

Put on hot grill, turn once, 7 minutes each side. Or alternatively wrap it in aluminum foil and stick it into the oven, same timing and turning procedure.
Serve whole, pick at it communally, enjoy the tender meat, crispy skin and great flavor.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:10 PM on January 15, 2014

When I was young, I very often cooked salmon as follows: put a lot of fresh young spinach in a pan. Add some cream. Place pieces of salmon on the spinach. Spice with salt pepper nutmeg, not too much chili. Place alices of butter on the salmon pieces. Put a lid on it, and cook till salmon is good, maybe 12 mins. Serve with rice, and lots of lemon. Sometimes I'd add scallops to the fish dish.
Now I want to try it out tomorrow, it was a great simple dish, very popular with all our friends, I have no idea why I stopped doing it. Probably I thought it was fun to try out the more complicated stuff.
posted by mumimor at 2:57 PM on January 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Our family favorites are:

Lettuce wraps made with grass-fed beef. Good way to sneak in chopped up veggies and make spicyasyoulike.

Spaghetti made with spaghetti squash. You bake the halves of spaghetti squash in the oven and then scrape the contents into a bowl. The contents look like, well, spaghetti. (Actually more like vermicelli). Then we serve it with italian meat sauce. Warms my heart to hear my kids say, "Awesome! We're having spaghetti squash!"

And then you could make the Best Appetizers Ever. Stuff medjool dates with olives (we use the ones with jalapenos in them) and then wrap each with half a piece of bacon. Roast in the oven on 400 degrees or so until the bacon is brown and crispy. These are yummy. Without the olives I think this dish is called "Devils on Horseback." And the variation where you skip the olive and just stuff the date with pickled jalapeno slices is damn fine as well.

But out favorite gluten-free feed a crowd don't mind leftovers because the dish gets better overnight in the fridge is chili. Cooks Illustrated has the best chili recipe I've ever seen written down. (It helps that it is very close to my own chili recipe, which is awesome.) And you can top with cheese and other yummy things on your list.

Bone Apetite!
posted by cross_impact at 3:28 PM on January 15, 2014

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