Gluten free cheap, picky-eater, friendly meals


So I know I spoke to many of you about a couple friends coming to stay in my all gluten free home and how they weren’t willing to eat gluten free in my home because one of them are picky. Well they decided that they WOULD eat only gluten free in my home after I had told them that really there is no other option because gluten makes me sick and I can’t take that chance of making my home unsafe for me. So now, they will be here in just a few short days (by 9pm on the 14th) and will be staying for about a week. During this time I have to plan to feed them 2-3 gluten free meals a day, for every day. I imagine they will want to go out to eat some times, but just in case they don’t, I have to make sure I have food that a picky eater who doesn’t understand gluten-free or what gluten is will eat. And my husband and I have very little money left over after bills but since they are staying in my home and have to eat food that is safe for ME, I figured I would go ahead and purchase it all since I am hosting. So my question for you all is: what are some cheap, picky-eater friendly meals that I can feed all of us (4 people) 2-3 times a day? I have the snacks down pat but I’m needing meal ideas. Here are some of my ideas so far:

1. Nachos
2. Spaghetti
3. Chicken nuggets with Mac and cheese
4. My friend wants stuffed chicken (not sure what it’ll be stuffed with) and bacon wrapped asparagus

Any other ideas? I’m panicking because I’m afraid this will cost a fortune and also because my friends friend has to be so dang picky about what she eats and is turned off by gluten free foods (I don’t think she knows what gluten is or why I have to eat gluten free). Child-friendly food would probably be best. Thanks!!

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Abigail 4 years 50 Answers 1510 views 0

Answers ( 50 )

  1. I hope they contribute something to food. even if you all ate regular cheap food, it’s considerate of someone staying with you to try to do at least that, especially if you do all the cooking. Naturally gluten free is the way to go to save $$! It’s also hard to say what the picky eater will want until they give you more info. That would be like you saying you have a food allergy and not telling what it is… nothing you can do. taco salad and nachos is a good one, you can pick out all your own toppings.

  2. when we did that for family – we had tacos, hamburgers, enchiladas, spaghetti, roast & potatoes – keep it really simple or I would be overwhelmed doing all that cooking! yes it’s going to cost some money so whoever said not to buy too much at once is a good idea… buy for a couple of days and then have your friend go shopping with you. She might help out!

  3. Hmmmm I seriously would not cater to a picky eater. Plan your meals, if she doesn’t like it she can do out and get something. I’m not quite sure why you feel you need to be so accommodating to these friends who are clearly big pains in the rear.

  4. Roast with potatoes and carrots over rice
    Grilled pork chops with baked potatoes and salad
    Baked chicken with veges
    Chili/frito pie
    Fried chicken
    Any vegetable cooked anyway
    Ribs/brisket with potato salad or
    Coleslaw and beans
    Whatever “normal” people cook, you can cook the same GF

  5. Funghi Risotto➡️ Cheap and easy yet a bit sophisticated.
    You only need: Rice/mushrooms/Butter or olive oil/Cream
    Additional depending on taste: white wine/shallots or sweet onion/cheese.
    Or you can try a spanish omelette (eggs+potatoes+onions)

  6. Chicken and rice, broccoli chili, soup,

  7. Make loaded baked potatoes, serve things over rice instead of gf pasta, have scrambled eggs for breakfast

  8. You’re getting great food ideas. But every time I read your posts I can’t get passed the fact that 1. Your guests are staying a whole week and 2. You don’t even know one of them. They took off time from work to visit someone they don’t know?

    My mom is the only person who has stayed with me a week and despite all the child care, cleaning and shopping she does I’m usually ready for her to
    Go. I’m visiting my best friend for 4 days (bc of flight times/costs) and I’m legit worried about it being overkill.

    You are a saint! I also hate picky eaters, it’s a huge pet peeve of mine. Be an adult and eat what’s offered (health concerns excluded of course.)

    Go you! I hope you enjoy this time and I really hope they pitch in, bc a week of nice meals adds up fast.

  9. My experience with a friend of my daughter who is a picky eater she ate high carb white pasta( no red sauce), chicken ( nuggets) apples, cheese bread( pizza with no red sauce or seasoning). Extremely limited veg and apples. She did eat omelettes.. maybe your picky eater will be similar. Good luck, this kind of thing drives me batty.

  10. Baked potato bar with toppings and baked beans and/or chili.

  11. This is one of the easiest meals ever….put some chicken breasts (you can season or not) in a crockpot with gf salsa (I use Pace). Once done the chicken will shred very easily. Then have lots of different toppings (fresh made guacamole, sour cream, cheese, diced tomatoes, diced onions, cilantro etc) and everyone can make their own tacos. Use corn tortillas…you can lightly fry them in a little oil.

  12. Taco Salad, where each assembles her own. Leftovers in corn tortillas rolled with gf enchilada sauce poured over all. Shredded cheddar cheese on top. Cover with Foil, heat through at 350* F. After thoroughly heating through, top each with sour cream, lettuce, gf salsa.

  13. Without reading all these posts, if your friend is bringing a friend who is not okay with it, then neither of them are your friend…i would tell them to deal with it

  14. Bbq bakes potatoes, veggie soup, chili, grilled chicken and salad. Surely your friend will help out with some of this if she is being demanding/particular. I’m not sure where you live but here’s my go-to cheap gf items: Sprouts:chicken breasts-usually 1.77 lb, ground beef. Sams: geek gods yogurt 3lb along with some fruit, bulk veggies, also pre cooked bacon and Milton Crackers. Also-potatoes and cabbage are cheap this week for st. Patty’s

  15. Fajitas. Can have it with beans or rice to be more filling.
    Salad (add meat or toppings).
    Chicken and green beans or broccoli.
    Stir fry.
    Eggs & gf toast.
    Gf Pancakes or waffles.

  16. Beef or pork roast seasoned with salt and pepper. Add onions, carrots and cut up potatoes. Add a little water to the bottom of the pan, cover and bake in oven 350 degrees for 2-3 hours or all day in the crockpot. Easy, not too expensive, tastes good and best of all – GF!

  17. Chicken alfredo. Whether eating gf or not they should be chipping in for food. I find this kinda messed up.

  18. Chicken tacos, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, baked pork chops, for dinner ideas. Lunch ideas left overs of all of the above and then send them out shopping

  19. Tacos, hamburgers with GF buns and oven baked French fries, baked chicken, fruit salad, omelets, pancakes, any roasted veggies, chili

  20. Good stressful\nShe should bring her own food if she’s that picky\nIf she doesn’t like what you make..tough sugar..a mint on her pillow will be perfect

  21. I can’t imagine going in somebody’s house & being so demanding as a house guest. Maybe I missed something, but feeding people for an entire week is expensive.

  22. roasts – feeds lots with potatoes and carrots, etc. burgers. chicken varieties. chops. pulled pork sandwiches. steaks. all options no one knows is actually gluten free til you add a bun. i have fooled many with the same things “normal” people eat. for the picky eater – ask what they normally eat and go from there. i am surprised they are saying things like bacon wrapped asparagus…. how rich are they? he he. as if that isn’t normally gluten free. a normal chicken dinner stuffed with gluten free stuffing – we do that lots here. (i eat the stuffing and hubby eats the chicken) could do a turkey with gf stuffing like a thanksgiving day dinner and have lots of left overs. chicken/turkey noodle casserole with veggies or rice n veggies casserole with chicken or turkey. tips n noodles, tacos, tater tot casserole with hamburger meat. so much to list and not enough time

  23. Potato soup is a favorite cheap food that my pickiest eater (9 yr old son) even eats. I thicken it with a corn starch slurry and sometimes add cheddar cheese to it. You could it as a meal or a side dish. Cheap and easy.

  24. Yes soup and gf rolls for lunches otherwise tell them to go out and eat! Free loaders not welcome!

  25. Baked potatoes with various toppings… cheese, bacon, sour cream, broccoli etc\n\nPlease keep us updated!!! Good luck, sounds like you’re going to need it.

  26. Cheeseburger casserole is wonderful and yummy. No bread involved, it’s topped with Tator Tots.

    Sloppy Joe, you make the sauce.

    GF lasagna made with Barilla noodles. Just make sure you pick sauce that is not thick, even if it’s two different types. The GF noodles need the moisture.

    Look up crockpot meals and casseroles with a few ingredients. The GF noodles need the moisture. \n\nLook up crockpot meals and casseroles with a few ingredients.

  27. What the actual fuck?

    First of all, it’s not their fault you’re GF but it’s certainly also not YOUR fault.
    Second of all, if you’re a picky eater, you can take your preferred foods that are also GF. She can easily buy some GF pasta if she doesn’t like anything else for instance.

    It’s messed up you would have to pay for everything, just because it’s a little inconvenient. Especially if you already don’t have a lot of money.

    Personally, I’d lay all the cards on the table and come to a solution together that doesn’t require you to be a martyr. Life’s too short. the cards on the table and come to a solution together that doesn’t require you to be a martyr. Life’s too short.

  28. Here’s what I made last night.
    Sauté chicken breast in 1 pan and vegetables in the other I like to use bell pepper onion and mushrooms put the veggies on top of the chicken and melt cheese over the top everyone loves it!

    Chicken breasts are really cheap right now so anything you can make with them

  29. Chicken and rice casserole, chicken noodle soup made with rice noodles, tacos, Black bean soup

  30. Lemon rosemary chicken and some veggies as sides. It’s our go to and we have 6 kids lol

  31. I don’t force my husband and daughter to eat Gluten Free. We take extra precautions when we are in the kitchen. I have my own toaster. I make most of the food. I make two versions of things like spaghetti. I made chicken and dumplings in two pots last night. GF dumplings are not that great. I wash my hands a lot. So far so good. I get contaminated when we go out to eat more than at home.

  32. I would stuff the chicken with cheese and artichoke or spinach… Hot dogs (GF buns) and baked beans with a salad. Korean Beef is amazing (use Tamari)

    You are a phenomenal friend. Friends love and support each other… this bending over backwards is something you do for family (you cannot choose your family but you can choose who is in your life.) If there is still no understanding after you spend time together you may want to consider releasing some people who cause strife in your life… it makes room for those who won’t…

  33. For those who have responded…Could you please link recipes if you have them under your original comment? Thanks!!

  34. Funny enough, if you didn’t tell them the meals were gluten free, they probably would not have known. As far as the “ picky eater” goes, unless you have a crystal ball, you may never know how to please them. Not your job really. If it is that bad then either they or their parents can bring their own special food.

  35. I like DiLuigis Sweet Italian chicken sausages with peppers and onions. You can make GF pasta to go with it if you like.
    Taco night
    Oven fried chicken – pound out chicken breasts (or don’t.. I don’t, husband does) bread them with a mixture of crushed up GF cereal (rice Chex I think I use.. please check ingredients bc I buy it so infrequently that I’m not sure which brand) mixed 50/50 with hazelnut meal and seasoning. You could pan fry it or bake it in the oven. It is the absolute shiznit.
    For the stuff in the chicken, Aldo has GF stuffing mix or just use GF bread to make breadcrumbs. I never throw out the bread ends and turn them all into bread crumbs and save them. They come in handy all the time.

  36. Depending on the “picky eater”, my go-to crowd pleaser is tuna casserole made with gluten free Mac n Cheese, canned tuna and some frozen peas. You can broil it with shredded cheese and crushed potato chips to be fancy.

  37. Pasta Fagiole. Italian for beans and macaroni in tomato sauce. Hearty and delicious.

  38. Chicken Tortilla Soup made with GF enchilada sauce (la Victoria is GF) and a gluten free cream of chicken substitute. Then fry up some corn tortillas. Feeds a crowd for very little.

  39. Oh and one more thing. Bacon wrapped asparagus???!!! Please. Maybe you can go grocery shopping WITH her so she can see what she’s asking of you.

  40. Steak or chops with baked or mashed and veggies or salad works

  41. Also chicken legs, with peas and rice and salad or veggies is another good affordable option

  42. I don’t understand why you have to accommodate them to that extent, yogurt and gf cereal in the am, there are tons of cereal options chex or Cheerios are plain and easy or eggs

  43. Lunches make salads, or let them fend for themselves during the day

  44. Make more items separately. (Pork chops, starch and a veggie). I like chicken baked in nugget form, ham, salads, tacos, fried rice.

  45. The Foster Farms GF corn dogs are delicious and you really can’t tell they’re GF! Naturally GF recipes like chicken and rice soup, fried rice (w/GF soy sauce), Cheerios, breakfast foods like eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, fruit, etc… veggies and hummus.

  46. I would tell them to pick up a roast ( unseasoned and some chicken breasts).

  47. Chili, shepherds pie, chicken pot pie and soup grilled chicken salad

  48. I do stuffed chicken with cream cheese and garlic. I put spinach in mine also but not the kids or hubbys. I slice the side of the breast not all the was thru to give it a pocket and stuff with mix. Bread and bake in oven. \n\nIdeas that are cheap are tacos, burgers, hot dogs, chicken skewers on the grill, fried fish, roast, soup and salad, stir fry

  49. I’m not quite sure where you are located at, or what stores are in your area. But Costco has a GF cheese pizza by Sabatasso’s. I add fresh veggies on mine along with pepperoni some times. There are three (I’d say medium-ish sized) pizzas in a box. If you have Costco I’d look into it. The price is $15.99 for the 3. You could also do hamburgers with no bread, unless they don’t mind using GF buns. I made a few nights ago Hawaiian chicken in a crock pot (all GF of course) and it was delicious. Put it in the morning and was ready 5 hours later. Chili would also be easy and can have for a lunch and dinner if they don’t care about having left overs. Depending how close you are to the friends, maybe also see if they don’t mind pitching in some for the days they are there. Even if they covered breakfast for the whole time or something. Just so it’s not all on you. Even though your hosting, GF food can become costly especially when your feeding more than just you and your husband.

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