Category Archives: hamburger

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers – Gluten and Top 8 Free

deconstructed bell pepperThis is a recipe The Hubs created and makes frequently at our house. I love it because it is just as delicious as the original, but you are not stuck with a big bell pepper you have to “power through” at the end.  He loves it because it is faster than the original, and is half the work.

It is gluten and top-8 free; please note that if you want this to be corn free, you must choose a tomato sauce without citric acid. If it is slightly tart at the end, add a tablespoon (or two) of sugar to take the edge off.


  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 can tomato sauce (16 oz)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups rice, prepared
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sugar to taste

Brown the hamburger and onions in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. In a separate pot, boil the bell pepper for 20 minutes, drain and shock with cold water. Add the bell peppers and the remaining ingredients to the hamburger and heat in the skillet (about five minutes). Add sugar to taste.

Make-Ahead Chicken

A time saving and money-stretching trick I started employing at my house recently is cooking hamburger and chicken ahead of time so when I am in a rush, I can just pull it out and it is already made. This is not quite as easy as pulling out a freeze-ahead homemade meal, but to be frank, there just are not a lot of freeze-ahead meals that are gluten and top 8 free (rice noodles just don’t hold up the same way!).

The first time I did this, it was a huge hit with my husband (who really doesn’t like chicken-on-the-bone). I am able to get several meals out of it, and it is perfect for casseroles, Chinese food, enchiladas and goulashes, and you can save the bones for an allergy friendly, inexpensive chicken broth.

In the photos shown here, I cooked 10-12 lbs of chicken (I bought it when it was on sale for $.99/lb), removed the skin and visible fat from the chicken, drizzled it with canola oil, and seasoned it with garlic, salt and pepper (seasonings that will go with just about any meal). I baked it in a 350° oven for around an hour to an hour and a half. This is a great method, too, because you don’t have to rely on the expensive chicken in a bag that often has solutions that may bother an allergy sufferer.

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Fiesta Stuffed Peppers – a party in your mouth

Every time we go to Chipotle, my husband squeezes lemons over his burrito, and I used to think he was really weird. Until I actually tried it. Lemon compliments the spice and aromatic flavors of Tex Mex perfectly. Although the lemon, green onions and cilantro are optional in this dish, they really bring out the flavors of the beef and peppers, and give it a nice tangy zing.

4-6 large bell peppers (it doesn’t matter the color)
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 yellow onion, chopped
1½ cups cooked white rice, prepared in chicken stock
12 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
a few squeezes of a fresh lemon (1-2 tsp)
chopped green onions
chopped cilantro

Cut the tops off of washed bell peppers. Remove seeds and membranes (I also cut off the edible parts of the pepper tops and add those to my hamburger – waste not, want not, right?). Blanch peppers in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then immerse in an ice bath and let drain on paper towels.

Brown the beef with the onions and spices. Drain grease and add rice, 1 cup tomato sauce, diced bell pepper from the tops and heat until hot. Stuff peppers.

Place stuffed peppers upright in a baking dish (I put mine in ramekins in the baking dish if they don’t stay upright). Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the stuffed peppers. Cover and bake in a 350° oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until peppers are soft.
Squeeze lemon juice over the tops and garnish with green onions and fresh cilantro. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

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Hamburger Potato Casserole – a hearty "man meal"

I made this for dinner tonight, and my husband LOVED it and called it a “hearty man meal.” He ate so much of it, he lay on the floor for a few minutes to recuperate!

1 lb. ground beef
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼” slices
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼” rounds
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup dry white rice
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
½ tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 pinches dried rosemary leaves
½ tsp thyme
1 cup allergy friendly spaghetti sauce
1 cup fresh peas (or thawed frozen)

Brown the hamburger and half of the onion with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, cayenne, and garlic in a skillet and drain off the grease. Combine all ingredients (except peas) in crock pot and stir well. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours. Add peas in the last hour.

This recipe was adapted from M. Kaeter’s, “Dinner-a-Day Slow Cooker” cookbook (p.182).

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Tater Not Tot Casserol – A cheaper, healthier twist on the old version

This is a healthier, cheaper and allergy friendly twist on the much-loved tater-tot casserole. It is a recipe I adapted when I realized that tater tots and cream of mushroom soup are chocked full of soy and dairy. My husband loves this, and prefers it to the old version.

3-4 large potatoes, well scrubbed chopped
1 lb hamburger or ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
Canola oil
½ Tbsp powdered garlic
Italian seasoning
1 bag allergy-safe frozen veggies of choice (mixed veggies works well, but any are fine).

Preheat oven to 375 F. and grease a casserole dish with Canola oil. Chop potatoes into large cubes (about the size of tater tots) and place in casserole dish. Drizzle Canola oil over the potatoes and add spices. Mix well. Cover and bake for 20-30 minutes while you chop onions and brown your hamburger.

Brown your hamburger and onion with salt and pepper. When fully cooked, or almost fully cooked, drain well and distribute over the top of the potatoes.

Layer frozen veggies over the top, recover and bake for 15 to 30 minutes (or until potatoes are tender and vegetables are cooked).

Please note that this is a recipe I have been making for awhile, so the measurements on the seasonings are estimates only. Use your own judgment and personal tastes to season as you see fit!

Variation: if you don’t have an allergy to dairy, during the last 15 minutes, you can uncover and top with shredded cheddar and bake 10 minutes, or until until golden.

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Hearty and delicious Mini Meat Loaves – gluten and egg free!

This is a meal that I made up when I was nursing and looking for interesting foods that were cheap and didn’t contain ingredients that triggered Z’s reflux. I used to hate meatloaf, because I find it really gross the way the fat has no place to drain. Regular meat loaf is essentially a big ball of meat – sitting in it’s own fat… ick. However, this recipe eliminates that disgusting problems – because you aren’t making it in a loaf pan, the fat drains away from the mini-meat loaves.

This recipe doesn’t use eggs, so you must make your meatloaf into little balls for it to stick together. I love this meal, and will NEVER go back to making regular meatloaf again. It is moist and delicious, and is the ultimate comfort food.

1 lb hamburger (ground turkey works well, too)
1 small diced onion
¾ to 1 cup certified GF oatmeal
1 tsp salt
½ pepper
tablespoon of powdered garlic or 1 clove fresh garlic
tablespoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red pepper (optional)
¼ red pepper flakes (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. After it is thoroughly mixed, divide up the meat so that it makes 4- 6 balls (about the size of tennis balls). Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for an hour to an hour and a half (check the center of one to be sure they are done). Remove the aluminum foil in the last 15 minutes to let the mini loafs brown on top.

Make loaves smaller for a shorter baking time. Also, I never really measure when I cook, so these are just an approximation. Adjust spices and ingredients to suit your own tastes!

Variations: pour tomato sauce on the top in the last 15 minutes.
If you don’t like oatmeal, or if you have an allergy to oatmeal, I hear that instant mashed potato flakes work well (although I have never tried it!).

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