Junk Food without the “Junk”

You guys know all about my Gluten-free journey.  I want to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone for your support and suggestions on how to live a delicious and healthy GF life.  For those of you experiencing this life, you know that some of the substitutions out there just aren’t as good as the real thing – well, I want to put the Gourmet (Dad, that is!) in Gluten-free!

No matter how gourmet your every day life may be, we all get the craving for a good burger and fries. But swinging by a fast food joint can be a frustrating process when trying to find what’s okay for a Celiac diet. Some places list items that are GF, some just list ingredients – sure, lettuce is GF, but what happens when it’s mixed with the rest of the salad ingredients? You have to really do your research before safely ordering – and even when you DO find a good option, there’s always the possibility of cross-contamination. You get the idea – by the time you do the necessary due-diligence, well… that fast food just cost you a whole lot of time! Here’s my answer to junk-free junk food – enjoy with peace of mind!

Inside Out Burger



  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 3 thick slices of cheese (American or Pepper Jack are great)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce 
  • Freshly ground pepper 
  • 4 gluten-free hamburger buns (I like Udi’s) or ditch the bread and use big leaves of romaine as ‘buns’!  


In a bowl, combine the garlic, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and egg, then add in beef and combine very well.

Cut cheese slices into fourths and stack the fourths on top of each other. Divide the beef mixture into 4 even balls, then half so you have 8 total.  Take one beef ball and completely mix a cheese stack into it. Make sure there are no holes so the cheese doesn’t escape. Smash another beef ball very flat and wrap it completely around the cheesy ball. Repeat for the other three burgers.

Add olive oil to a medium-high skillet and add burgers. Or pop them onto the grill! Cook for 4-7 minutes, flip and cook (covered) on other side for 4-7 minutes, depending on how you like it.  Remove from skillet and let rest for 5 minutes.  It’s gonna look and smell delicious and you’re gonna want to dig in right away, but don’t do it yet! Letting it rest will keep the juices inside and you’ll get a really juicy, yummy burger.

Build with GF buns or romaine lettuce and add whichever GF condiments you love (Heinz ketchup and French’s mustard are good options) – and enjoy with a side of…

Sweet Potato Fries




  • 2 sweet potatoes, rinsed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Cut the potatoes into strips (or any shape you like – thick or thin strips, squares, round discs, etc). Place in a large bowl, and toss with the oil and spices until potatoes are evenly coated.

Spread out the potatoes evenly on a baking sheet (Try not to overcrowd the sheet, or have multiple layers of fries — you want them to be roasted, not steamed.)

Place in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, turning the fries once or twice during that time to cook evenly. (This may take more or less time, depending on the size and thickness of the fries.) Remove once the edges slightly begin to brown and fries begin to crisp.

What’s your most successful GF recipe? Please share below – I’d love to try it out!




Photo credit: Weber Seasonings, GimmeSomeOven.
Gourmet Dad
  • Kathleen O

    I don’t know why it has never once crossed my mind to add some extra virgin olive oil to my homemade hamburgers! DUH! Thanks for the tip! For me, I skip the cheese and salt and use Mrs. Dash instead. Love the veggie flavours it imparts. For my husband, I would totally follow your recipe since he loves his meat. Me, not so much. Still looking for a homemade veggie burger recipe that doesn’t taste or feel like sawdust. I don’t want to buy ready made (aka processed) ones.

  • Rachel S.

    It is wonderful that you share your journey and gf recipes. Thank you. Looking forward to trying this!

  • Jun Alapag

    here here too. thank you for the tip as well. i’ll never give up on hamburgers big or medium size. lol. i have no problemo about that for junk food w/out junk food. until next time.

  • jennifer korpics

    we make our sweet potatoe fries on the grill & also add a dash of cinnamon. it’s almost as good as dessert!!!

  • Dean McDermott

    I’ll see what I can do about that veggie burger recipe!

  • Dean McDermott

    Thanks Rachel! Hope you enjoy this :)

  • Dean McDermott

    Haha, I know, they are so good!

  • Dean McDermott

    Love that, Jennifer, it’s like a summer time Thanksgiving-on-the-grill dish :) Thanks for sharing!

  • Michelle Zambito

    I really enjoyed reading this recipe! I have been cooking so much recently and I love it! And one of my favorite foods are burgers and sweet potato fries so I am absolutely trying this! I’ve heard GF has been a good dietery lifestyle even for those who do not have celiac disease and I have been doing my best with it and feel great! I have some recipes for different foods if you’d like the recipes!