The Gluten Free Husband puts his Spin on Steak & Eggs

by Jenn on March 29, 2011

in Dairy Free,Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,Meats,Salads

My husband's Sunday lunch DSC_2103LR

My husband Ryan is doing a guest post today! He made an awesome brunch a couple weeks ago and wanted to tell y’all about it, along with share a bit of his perspective as the member of this household who actually has to be gluten free.

Hi again!  Since I became gluten free, my restaurant experiences have been rather hit or miss.  Sometimes, I find myself in a conversation for 15 minutes with the waitress explaining that no, croutons are not OK because they are bread and bread is not ok.  In more than one instance, I’ve gotten rolled eyes from wait staff  at various restaurants who are “inconvenienced” by my limitations, or they have thought I’m just making it up because I don’t like something and then don’t take it seriously.  I find myself weighing if it’s worth being “glutened” because I am the hassle for wanting to eat out, or if I should just go hungry watching my friends around me eat, or stick up for myself to try to be accommodated.  And I only have one food issue. So many have multiple dietary restrictions.

Sometimes, following a gluten free diet can feel a little claustrophobic.  You feel like you are stuck in a cage and unable to break out and try new foods/places to eat.  A constant omnipresent fear is always in your head stopping you from trying that new restaurant or making your own bread or eating anything not made from scratch.  I had this fear for a long time (before I met Jenn, of course).  Rice, meat and potatoes were the staples in my diet and I dared not stray from this regime or I would react and feel awful for the next week or so (at least this is what I thought in my head).  This constant fear plagued me for a very long time, and as a result most of the time when I went out to eat with friends and family, I would only get a grilled steak with a plain baked potato.

Now I love a good steak, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes, it would be nice to feel comfortable eating something else.  And that is why I get so excited about enterprises that DO accommodate the gluten free crowd, and have options that are exciting.  Not just serving a hamburger without a bun, but a real entrée that I can enjoy to its full capacity.  Such places with their dedication to understanding what it is like with dietary restrictions have really helped change my perspective on eating gluten free, and have let me feel like a newly released convict from my food prison.

Ponte Rialto, Venezia

I had one such great dining experience when we spent Christmas in Venice this year.  Maybe it was the €100 bottle of wine we drank (!), or the spectacular service and charismatic friendly staff, or maybe it was just an all around great risotto and rack of lamb (with a sauce!) that I feasted on, but I walked away from that meal very full and satisfied, and I felt as if I wasn’t ever missing out on taste because I was gluten free.  I wish everyone who is gluten free can find places to eat where they can dine with such freedom.

Luckily, I know one place where I never have to worry about being accommodated for being gluten free.  Home.  We both have developed tools to cook over the past few years (just look at all the great recipes Jenn has shared here!), and so when we can’t go to our favorite places to eat (our favorite restaurant in Venice is a bit far away after all, and we aren’t exactly made of money) and don’t feel like being ambitious to try a new restaurant, I know that we are completely capable of making a great tasting dish on our own.

San Marco, Venezia

As I mentioned before, I love steak.  Beef steak.  A few Sundays ago, I treated myself to my ultimate Sunday brunch, my own spin on steak & eggs.  The steak was rather simply cooked, just pan-roasted.  Jenn poached some quail eggs, and together we made a dressing of sorts of puréed chives, basil, garlic and olive oil.  The dish is simpler than it looks, but it was tasty and satisfying, I would dare say healthy even with the green food in there (see the lettuce and avocado, Mom?).  And the scotch in the background? That was my Christmas present to myself after we got back from our trip :)

I know restaurant experiences aren’t always great when you’re gluten free.  But pay attention to the places that are.  Give them your business, and let them know how much you appreciate the efforts they make to accommodate you.

View from San Marco, Venezia

Also submitted to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Gluten Free Wednesday


Ryan’s Steak & Eggs Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes to slice things
Total Time: 45 minutes to cook everything
250g (1/2 lb.) your favorite cut of beef
For the “dressing”:
1 bunch chives
1 bunch basil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
For the salad:
1 avocado, sliced
4 quail eggs, poached
romaine lettuce
1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Heat an oven-safe pan on high heat on the stove and sear the sides of your steak, a few seconds on each side to lock the juices in.
2. Move the pan into the oven and let finish cooking until desired doneness, which will depend on your taste and the thickness of your cut. (During this time Jenn poached the eggs)
3. When done to your satisfaction, take out of the oven and let rest about 15 minutes.  While the meat is resting, you can add the “dressing” ingredients to a food processor to mince the garlic and herbs, and then add in the olive oil and salt & pepper to taste.  You may want more or less olive oil than I listed, I didn’t really measure it.
4. Assemble your salad – arrange the steak, eggs, lettuce, avocado, and sprouts any way you like.  Dip the steak in the “dressing” or mix it all together.



Rosa March 29, 2011 at 11:30 pm

What a great post! I can imagine how claustrophobic it must feel to be gluten-free. Not easy when you want to eat out. That dish sounds and looks marvelous.

I love that third picture of the boats! Stunning.



The Gluten Free Husband March 29, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Thanks. We’ve found some great places to eat here in Switzerland too. As for the pics, they are all by Jenn.

The USA Kiwi March 29, 2011 at 11:31 pm

What a great guest post!
By the way, you totally would have gotten away with the scotch in the background – I thought it was tea in a fancy glass!

The Gluten Free Husband March 29, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Thank you – yeah but the scotch tastes a lot better :)

Linda March 30, 2011 at 12:10 am

Terrific post. It’s nice to hear from the gluten-free person in the family. I can totally relate to your feelings about eating out. The steak and eggs look delicious. Really! Great job.

The Gluten Free Husband March 30, 2011 at 9:37 am

Thank you! Yeah, eating out is probably one of the hardest things a gluten free person can do.

Barb March 30, 2011 at 12:47 am

I know just how you feel. If you don’t venture out, you never go anyplace. If you do, you’re at risk. Triumph Dining has disposable chef cards that I use every time I eat out. You can order them on their web site. Since I started using them, I have not had a reaction at any restaurant. I am very sensitive and have celiac so I take it very seriously. Look them up on line. I have traveled for a month twice in the past year and used them at every restaurant.
That salad looks amazing! My husband knows how to reheat in the microwave! He has lots of strong points also, including going gluten free at home for fear of not cleaning up well enough and making me sick. You have to love a guy like that! We celebrated our 40th anniversary last fall with a 30 day trip to the Pacific Northwest and California.

The Gluten Free Husband March 30, 2011 at 9:38 am

I have seen those cards as well but I haven’t tried them yet. I may have to print them out and see what a difference they can make. Thanks.

Barb March 31, 2011 at 5:24 am

You can’t print the ones I use. They come in a pad of 50 and are just made of paper thus becoming disposable. You can order them online from Triumph Dining. Just put them in your search engine and it will take you to their web site where you can order them. Peace of mind is priceless but they are not expensive.

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 30, 2011 at 2:41 am

Steak and eggs? Oh Ryan, we’re going to get on SO well. And you and Neil and scotch? It’s going to be a foodie match made in heaven! Fabulous post – thanks for telling us your point of view. It’s refreshing to hear from someone who thinks about a dietary restriction as something that doesn’t have to put a halt to eating well. I love Jenn’s blog because it has really opened my eyes to foods that are naturally gluten free. You’re a lucky guy!!

The Gluten Free Husband March 30, 2011 at 9:41 am

Thanks Mardi! And yes I am a very lucky guy : )

Irvin March 30, 2011 at 3:07 am

Steak and eggs. Fantastic! I love it. Your “dressing” sounds wonderful, full of bright colors and flavors.

I can only imagine that eating out with any food restriction is difficult. Especially if the wait staff don’t understand the seriousness of omitting anything with gluten in it from your dish. But once you find a restaurant that DOES get it, I’m sure you’re a loyal customer. Vote with your dollars. That’s what I do.

The Gluten Free Husband March 30, 2011 at 7:59 pm

We definitely try and support the good restaurants out there however, some of our most favorite places have left because they just haven’t gotten enough traffic from everyone else. Thanks!

Firefly March 30, 2011 at 6:24 am

Great post, yummy recipe :)

The Gluten Free Husband March 30, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Thank you! Glad you enjoyed!

Chika March 30, 2011 at 6:50 am

BEAUTIFUL pictures, and a wonderful post. While I don’t have allergies or Celiac’s, certain foods do affect me. When I find a place with options and waitstaff who are knowledgeable about what is in each dish, it is SO wonderful and I definitely make a point of going back often. The dressing sound lovely in this recipe. Can’t wait to give it a try!

The Gluten Free Husband March 30, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Thanks! I hope you enjoy it.

InTolerantChef March 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I agree totally, give these places all your support-after all they support you! I’m a chef, and it drives me up the wall when we have set menu banquets and some one just turns up on the night and announces they’re gluten free. I can make them fantastic food given the opportunity, but not with 5mins notice. These are the customers that spoil it for everyone else, if they don’t take their gluten free issues seriously, how can they expect restaurant staff too?
A good steak is a thing of beauty, and the resting time is the secret. Yumm…

The Gluten Free Husband March 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm

I totally agree. If someone is truly worried about eating any kind gluten they will do everything they can to make sure they are safe. I try to consider what an establishment can actually do for me. It’s kinda ridiculous if I want to stay gluten free and I decide to go to a regular pizza place. As consumers we need to take into account whats best for us and what is actually possible for the establishment to do before we go out. Thanks for the comment.

branny March 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm

What a heartfelt entry. Thanks for sharing, Ryan.

The Gluten Free Husband March 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Thank you!

Shirley @ gfe April 3, 2011 at 12:45 am

Thanks for the post, Ryan. It is frustrating when restaurant staff are not accommodating. I try to be as friendly, patient, and understanding as possible. Usually it works and overall I’d say that I’ve had good luck eating out, but not always. And those are tough times. Wonderful breakfast or dinner recipe. I’d go for the dinner option, sans the scotch. 😉 Amazing photos by Jenn, of course!


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