Small Life, Slow Life: 40/100 {Gluten-free In-n-Out burgers + oven-baked crispy French fries!}

Today was the second Monday in my “make dinner four Mondays in a row” goal!

I’ve been thinking about what I would make today for over a week. I wanted to make something that felt like a treat, but with much better ingredients. My daughter loves French fries, but we never give them to her because they’re fried in crappy dirty oil, so I knew I wanted to make those the right way for her to enjoy. And my husband and I, like the good native Californians we are, both love In-n-Out but very rarely eat it. So I scoured Pinterest, and because everything in the world that I could ever dream about has already been created, I found easy recipes for both.

The baked crispy fries are here. The yummy Whole 30 “animal style” burgers are here. (Note: I subbed gluten free buns from the freezer section of Whole Foods before attempting to lettuce wrap. I basically have two left hands and I knew it would’ve gone all wrong.)

What made this dinner “healthier” than just pulling up to the drive-thru is:

– grass-fed beef

– gluten free buns (not always healthier & always read labels — you can just lettuce wrap if you’re trying to keep your sugar/carbs low)

– “secret” sauce made with Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayo vs regular mayo, sugar free ketchup, organic relish and Coconut Aminos instead of sugar

– fries are baked organic potatoes instead of fried in a fryer; they are tossed in seasoning + avocado oil instead of canola oil. You could also use sweet potato fries instead or just make a big salad! We never have French fries so it was a true treat for us

Because of this, what would have cost $15 at In-n-Out cost almost $60. Yeowch! A lot of that was the better quality condiments, and the avocado oil was $15 by itself. If you already have this on hand, it won’t be so bad. I also upped the burger recipe to 1.5lbs of meat instead of half a pound.

I took no pictures during the cooking process, because the cooking process was SO HARD! Timing the oven (French fries) with two pans on the stove (grilled onions and burgers) was almost more than I could handle.

Also, I now know exactly what Michael Pollan meant when he said, “You can eat any cheat food you want…as long as you make it yourself at home.” Making French fries takes a HUGE amount of labor and I cannot imagine anyone doing that every day, let alone twice a day! The washing, peeling, slicing, soaking, seasoning and baking of the potatoes took an hour and a half. (Probably much less for someone with better knife skills.) The In-n-Out sauce also has a lot of ingredients (especially if you’re trying to get the taste through better ingredients). And the grilled onions? Totally not worth it; I can promise you I’ll never do that again.

But to see these two making happy faces eating their dinner…that was worth the smoky kitchen and slightly burnt fingers and stovetop splattered with avocado oil. I felt such pride as V happily chewed one French fry at a time and tried to refuse the meat so she could eat more fries. 🍟

And C cleaned the whole kitchen after and wouldn’t even let me help. ❤️

And now I’m exhausted. See you with another meal next Monday!

(But seriously. Three hours and $60 later…next time I’m just going to In-n-Out!)

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