More Important Than Gluten?

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MORE IMPORTANT THAN GLUTEN?

MAYO CLINIC GOING GLUTEN FREE:

Essential Guide to Managing Celiac Disease and Related Conditions

Joseph A. Murray, M.D.

(Also mentioned: article in 11/3/2014 issue of The New Yorker magazine.)

 

Mayo Clinic keeps publishing books that are helpful without either dumbing down or getting too technical. I confess I bought this one out of curiosity, wondering whether the low-FODMAP diet is getting well enough known to appear in new books on related topics.

 

Sure enough, FODMAPs are listed in the index and discussed under a heading “Is It Something Else?” This book really is about coping with Celiac Disease more than the “related conditions” mentioned in the subtitle—naturally! Dr. Murray is president of the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease and has studied wheat genetics, so he definitely knows the topic.

 

We FODMAPers really are going mainstream, though. That article in The New Yorker (“A Reporter at Large: Against the Grain: Should you go gluten-free?” by Michael Specter) spends a full page on the topic, describing the 2011 Monash University research that turned up the FODMAP complication, describing it as a spinoff from research into the gluten/celiac connection. Dr. Murray’s research is mentioned here too, and he too seems convinced that FODMAPs are important—as important as gluten, or rather, more important. Specter’s conclusion, after interviewing Dr. Murray: “In fact, FODMAPs seem more likely than gluten to cause widespread intestinal distress, since bacteria regularly ferment carbohydrates but ferment protein less regularly….”

 

If you’re a new FODMAPer, I hope that’s encouraging. A lot of people who give up wheat are feeling better these days.

Oven-Baked Lamb Ribs

oven

Oven-Baked Lamb Ribs

Gluten-free, lactose-free, FODMAP friendly

It’s been a long time since I could eat pork, and when I spotted a pack of lamb ribs at the grocery store, I couldn’t resist. Since I keep several jars of Safe BBQ Sauce in my freezer, this method took some time but very little work. I bet it would be wonderful with pork ribs, too.

Serves two generously.

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Chicken Salad with Crispy Rice Noodles

asian chicken

Chicken Salad with Crispy Rice Noodles

Gluten-free, lactose-free, FODMAP friendly

Not a standard comfort food in my part of the US, but a refreshing break from the ordinary. My grandmother’s caregiver from the Philippines made this salad with shredded raw cabbage and raw, pulverized ramen noodles. Grandma loved it, and so did we. Here’s a new version.

Serves two.

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Slow Cooker Swiss Steak

steak

Slow Cooker Swiss Steak

Gluten-free, lactose-free, FODMAP friendly

This recipe lets you improvise. You can use beef, bison, elk, venison, or other game meat, because slow cooking will tenderize it. Fresh tomatoes can be substituted for all or part of the canned tomatoes, if you have a plethora (lucky you!). Some folks might like to add a bay leaf. In a hurry? Try substituting about 1½ cups of safe ketchup and ¼ cup dry red wine for the sauce ingredients.

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Scarborough Fair Chicken and Rice

scarborough

Scarborough Fair Chicken and Rice

Gluten-free, lactose-free, FODMAP friendly

Recently I took a slow cooker full of this chicken/rice medley to a potluck. It’s self defense: When I bring a FODMAP friendly dish, I know I’ll be able to eat. There were just a few grains of rice left over. I love it when that happens.

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Fresh Blueberry Tart

blueberries

Fresh Blueberry Tart

Gluten-free, Very low lactose, FODMAP friendly

Yield: Serves 6-8

Blueberries are FODMAP friendly—just don’t over-indulge. You might be tempted to eat too much of this luscious fresh-fruit tart. Offer freshly whipped real cream for those who can digest it (Remember, most of milk’s lactose is in the water-soluble portion, not the cream. Monitor your own body’s reaction). Still, this tart is heavenly plain—and there’s a bonus: several pecan cookies to munch while you cook.

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Tabouli-Style Rice Salad

mint

Tabouli-Style Rice Salad

Gluten-free, lactose-free, FODMAP friendly

Yield: About 3 cups

I miss Tabouli! The sprigs of fresh mint, the tangy, just-squeezed lemon juice, the pungent garlic, the yielding crunch of bulgur wheat…

Here’s a FODMAP-friendly variation that ALMOST matches the heavenly flavor melding of that classic Lebanese salad. I based this version on the recipe in the classic vegetarian cookbook, Laurel’s Kitchen.

Mint is easy to grow in most climates. Be sure to sink a flowerpot in the ground and plant the mint inside the pot, to keep it corralled; otherwise, it can take over a flowerbed within just a few years. Throughout the warm months, keep it well watered and periodically snip off the tallest stems. Tie them with thread, and dry them indoors to last the winter. Dried mint leaves also make a lovely tea.

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Car’s Oatmeal Cookies: New GF Version

oatmeal cookies

Car’s Oatmeal Cookies: New GF Version

Gluten-free, very low lactose, FODMAP friendly

Thin and crisp, slightly spicy, with just enough GF flour to bind them together and just enough nuts to accentuate the toasty oatmeal flavor. Dipping the drinking glass in sugar between flatting the cookies helps keep the dough from sticking and gives the baked cookies a pretty sheen.

In memory of “Car” (Mrs. Carlson), our cookie-baking babysitter of long ago.

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