Blender Gazpacho

soup

Blender Gazpacho

Gluten-free, lactose-free, FODMAP friendly

Serves: about 6 side-dish servings

Some summer days call for a cold, refreshing vegetable soup. Here’s a Comfortable Comfort Foods version of an old favorite. Garnish with a sprig of parsley if you like, or sliced hard-boiled eggs if you can digest them. Or both. Super easy!

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Frying Pan Chicken Satay

chicken beef

Frying Pan Chicken Satay

Gluten-free, lactose-free, FODMAP friendly

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp Kitchen Bouquet
  • ½ tsp dried ginger
  • 1-2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic-infused olive oil

 

Peanut sauce:

  • ½ cup good peanut butter, either smooth or chunky
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp Kitchen Bouquet
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh or frozen cilantro
  • 1-2 dashes cayenne or Tabasco

 

  • Fresh, hot rice
  • Cooked peas
  • Cooked sliced carrots
  • Optional: fresh lime slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prepare marinade: Mix ¼ cup lime juice, 2 tsp sugar, salt, ½ tsp Kitchen Bouquet, dried ginger, 1 or 2 dashes Tabasco, black pepper, and garlic-infused olive oil.
  2. Prepare chicken: Thinly slice chicken breasts against the grain, angling your knife slightly on the diagonal to make the slices wider. Add to marinade in a medium bowl, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  3. Prepare peanut sauce: Measure peanut butter into a bowl. Pour in the hot water, and stir until it’s smooth. Have faith. It will smooth out. Stir in 2 tsp sugar, ½ tsp Kitchen Bouquet, 2 tsp vinegar, 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice, cilantro, 1 or 2 dashes cayenne or Tabasco. Cover and set aside.
  4. Cook chicken: Drain off excess marinade (reserve in a small, microwave-safe bowl), and sauté chicken in large frying pan until cooked through. Some marinade will cling to the chicken, creating a lovely juicy mess in the pan.
  5. While chicken cooks, prepare side dish: Cook peas and/or carrots, if not already cooked. Cook the drained marinade WELL in microwave—be sure it boils, since it contains raw chicken juices. Add rice and vegetables and keep hot.
  6. To serve: spoon rice and vegetables onto serving plates. Add cooked chicken and pour peanut sauce generously over all. Garnish with fresh lime slices, if desired.

Supplementing a low-FODMAP diet

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Some nutrients can be tricky to get enough of on the low-FODMAP diet, especially during the early elimination phase. Many people get all the nutrition they need from following a good, balanced eating plan, but it’s not a bad idea—when giving up such an array of foods, including wheat and milk—to take a balanced B vitamin supplement (a naturopath suggested a blend called “B-50” to me several years ago) and a calcium supplement. Also, most of us in northern climes can benefit from taking D-3. Finally, an age-appropriate multivitamin is a good idea. Be sure to check with your health care provider regarding supplements.

Easy, Spicy Lemon-Ginger Dip

ginger dip

Easy, Spicy Lemon-Ginger Dip

Gluten-free, lactose-free, FODMAP friendly

This is ridiculously easy (the only hard part is locating a jar of lemon-ginger spread or marmalade). I love it with halved white rice crackers. If you can have lactose, I bet it would be wonderful poured over a brick of cream cheese like hot-pepper jelly. Remember to check the ingredients on the lemon-ginger spread, and make sure it doesn’t contain forbidden sweeteners.

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Fructose in the News

Fructose in the News

Spotted in THE WEEK, a news digest magazine, on their “Health and Science” page –

It looks like researchers are finally taking seriously the fact that our bodies react differently to different sugars. This applies to AFTER they’re absorbed across the gut wall – if they’re absorbed at all, which in the case of IBS sufferers, they might not be – but I digress.

According to the article, which quotes “new research” but doesn’t say where it was conducted (alas), glucose is “absorbed directly into the bloodstream to produce energy” while fructose (a FODMAP sugar) “is metabolized in the liver” and “doesn’t stimulate insulin secretion,” which apparently leaves you craving more and more. That seems especially dangerous when it’s added to processed foods, don’t you think? And get this – they say that fructose also triggers brain activity that actually intensifies cravings for “high-calorie foods such as candy, cookies, and pizza.”

I realizing that preparing almost everything from scratch makes life just that much more complicated for FODMAPers – but here’s one more reason to pat yourself on the back if you avoid high-fructose corn syrup-containing foods. We probably aren’t absorbing enough fructose into our bodies to create those nasty effects, but whoever else we cook for DOES get the benefit of reducing added fructose.

Comfortable Comfort Foods Gluten-Free Baking Mix 1

flour blab

Comfortable Comfort Foods Gluten-Free Baking Mix 1

Gluten-free, lactose free, FODMAP friendly

This blend substitutes for white flour in many recipes. I’m listing the ingredients first, so you can get right to baking. But below, you’ll find a bit of the science behind GF baking. If you’d like even more, Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies (Dr. Jean McFadden Layton and Linda Larsen) has a great informational section.

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Lemon-Roasted Chicken

lemons

Lemon-Roasted Chicken

Gluten-free, very low lactose, FODMAP friendly

There’s a secret to this recipe’s pungency: instead of using just lemon juice and zest (the thin, yellow skin), you grind half a lemon in your blender or food processor—even the white rind, though not the seeds—and add it to the juice of a whole lemon. Pow!

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Experimenting with Reintroducing FODMAPs

Experimenting with Reintroducing FODMAPs

I keep reading that three years is too long to stay on the low-FODMAP diet, no matter how delightful it has been to feel so good. We’re urged to reintroduce some of the FODMAP sugars at two months.

So tonight my tummy is noisy, uncomfortable, and generally unhappy… but the symptoms aren’t nearly as awful as before I went on the diet. My dietician is encouraged.

On page 46 of Dr. Sue Shepherd & Dr. Peter Gibson’s The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet, they suggest “Reintroducing the FODMAPS one at a time… to determine which contribute to your symptoms and how much of each you can tolerate.”

Well, yes. Limiting my diet too strictly for too long could mean missing some vital nutrients. I didn’t feel brave enough to do this alone, and I wanted an accountability partner, so three weeks ago I contacted a licensed dietitian and started this phase of the journey.

Polyol sugars are least likely to create IBS symptoms, and reintroducing polyols via mushrooms and then dried apricots seems to have been a success. My dietitian suggested a gradual (three-day) reintroduction of each food, maybe because I’ve gone without them for so long. She said to expect some mild symptoms, but not to back off unless they become severe. I’m simply reminding my system that these substances are food.

We’ve moved on, as per the “reintroduction plan” chart on page 47 of the book, to lactose. This week’s introduction was 2% milk. Next week: ice cream (because of its higher fat content). Oh, twist my arm!

It might take months to complete the challenge plan, and we expect setbacks. I suspect I’ll flunk fructose and fructans. But it’s great to know that the strict introductory phase doesn’t have to last for life.