Back on Track

The past few weeks have been WILD! First, our basement flooded and we had to get rid of everything down there, and then disinfect it (thank you sewer water). Then, we went on a week-long, much needed vacation. It was very relaxing and I’m so happy we were able to take the time off to spend with our families.

I cheated A LOT on vacation. I had a McDonald’s hamburger (with the bun), donuts, real pizza, bottled salad dressing, coleslaw, and potato salad with onion. I barely glanced at a vegetable. While I loved my vacation, I have felt awful for the past 5 days. I have had migraines, bloating, gas, and constipation. We got back in town on Friday, and I’m just now starting to feel normal!

In order to get back into the swing of things, I shopped for all low-FODMAP friendly items, and made food. Planning out my meals is the biggest challenge I have, and I work hard to make it happen. Having things that I’ve already cooked make this ordeal a little easier.

For lunches, I bought a big plastic box of salad greens. I made low FODMAP pesto (see recipe below) to add to salads and proteins. I also made some polenta for dinner, and had enough leftover for a to take for lunch for the next few days.

LOW FODMAP PESTO
makes about 6 oz
1 bunch of basil, washed
1/4 c. pine nuts, roasted (you can do this by putting pine nuts on a baking sheet, and roasting at 400F for about 4 minutes)
salt and pepper
grated lemon peel (at your discretion)
grated Parmesan cheese (again, at your discretion)
garlic-infused olive oil

Add all ingredients, except for the garlic-infused olive oil, into a food processor. With the lid on, and the food chute open, slowly add olive oil while pulsing the mixture. Add olive oil to desired consistency. Use it immediately, or store in a container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Simple and delicious! I added it to some GF pasta and chicken.
pesto

I admit, I miss the taste of a big hunk of garlic in there, so next time I may add green onions to the mixture as well.

I also made a delicious batch of Detoxinista’s pumpkin seed granola. I love to sprinkle it in my smoothies, or have it for breakfast with almond milk and a banana. It’s very filling and satisfying. I ran out of coconut, so I added GF oats to the granola as well.

granola

Speaking of breakfast, I didn’t totally blow it on vacation. I made this amazing raspberry french toast instead! Topped with real maple syrup and raspberries, it was decadent but healthy.

Raspberry GF French Toast

serves 2
4 slices of GF bread (I use this brand)
2 eggs
4 raspberries, mashed completely
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Almond milk (or soy, or coconut, or dairy milk)
whole raspberries
maple syrup

Heat skillet or griddle over medium heat, and grease with preferred greaser (I like coconut oil). In a very shallow square dish, add eggs, mashed raspberries,vanilla, cinnamon, and milk. I don’t have a milk measurement because I think it depends on how milky you want your toast to be. I prefer about a 2-3 second “pour” of milk. Using a fork or a whisk, combine until the mixture is frothy and the eggs and raspberries have been well mixed. Dunk bread into egg/milk mixture, one slice at a time, and make sure to turn over in the dish so you get both sides coated and drain off excess. With GF bread, I notice I need to leave it in the dish a little longer to make sure it’s all saturated. Add bread to your skillet, one by one, and cook for 4 minutes.
Using a spatula, turn over to other side, cook 3-4 minutes. Top with whole raspberries and maple syrup. Devour!

raspberry1

raspberry2

*note: you may notice that as you are dunking bread, the milk mixture is running low. Feel free to add another healthy “glug” of milk, and more vanilla.

That’s a Spicy Meatball!

I finally made spaghetti and meatballs! One of my biggest challenges as a low FODMAPper is cooking Italian food. I am Italian, and it’s the food I know how to cook best. I’ve been eating it 4 times a week my entire life, and while I’d found a decent substitute for jarred pasta sauce, and a great substitute for pasta, I wasn’t sure how to tackle my beloved bolognese sauce. My bolognese sauce is a family recipe, passed on through the ages. It is loaded with garlic and onion, and I’ve missed it.

This weekend, I decided to make low FODMAP meatballs from Low Fodmap Ninja, and attempt some sort of bolognese. The meatball recipe does have milk in it, but I do not have a lactose or casein intolerance, so I used it.

The meatballs turned out really well! Flavorful, and they didn’t fall apart. I could never get my other meatballs to stick together, so this was a personal victory for me. Check out those beauties:

meatball1

meatball2

Here is the recipe below:
Low FODMAP Meatballs from Low FODMAP Ninja
Ingredients:
1 thick or 2 thin slices of gluten-free bread
1/3 cup milk (you can try substituting rice or soy milk)
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped green spring onion (just the green part!)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 T fresh chopped parsley or 1/2 T dried parsley, ground
Instructions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Soak bread in the milk until soggy, about 5 minutes.
Squeeze the milk from the bread and combine with all other ingredients. Break up the bread into small bits while mixing.
Shape mixture into 1-inch balls (about 1 rounded tablespoon), pressing no more than necessary. Important! – don’t make the balls too big.
Place meatballs on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 7-8 minutes until no longer pink on the inside.

Rather than using two different meats, I just used 1 lb. of ground beef. I cooked the meatballs for about 11 minutes, and put foil on the baking sheet for easier clean up. They were really good, and I have a ton left over for future meals.

I had some meat leftover from the package of ground beef, and decided to attempt bolognese. I sauteed some cut chives in olive oil, added the beef, threw in salt, pepper, and italian seasoning, and stirred it until the beef was brown and crumbly. I then added Rao’s Sensitive Spaghetti Sauce, and some additional Italian spices. It was really bland compared to my usual bolognese. I need a little more tweaking to make it almost as good as my family version.

This week has been a good low FODMAP week! I made a concious decision to avoid all gluten because I really wanted to eat pizza this weekend, and my recovery from gluten was much quicker and less painful.

Any have some bolognese suggestions to share? I already plan on adding Italian sausage and garlic infused olive oil to my next batch….

When it’s unavoidable….

There are times when it is difficult to avoid the foods/food categories that trigger my IBS. This past week, it seemed that everything I ate had garlic in it, and there was no way to remove it. I’m still learning how to accommodate for these things. As mentioned last week, I (not-so)secretly hate that I can’t eat what I want, when I want. And I’m very jealous of those who can. I need to chant “It’s for your health!” over and over again. FODMAP requires a lot of planning. Breakfast isn’t too difficult for me, but lunch and dinner are a challenge. If I don’t plan out my meals the day before, then I”m usually scrambling to make something, or find something that is “mostly” low FODMAP. And that’s how I ended up eating so much garlic this past week! Already, I was recovering from having gluten, and then I ate garlic, too! That is a much quicker recovery, but can be unpleasant.

On to the highlights….

I made GF waffles with my mix, and since I am tolerating dairy, I was able to add milk to the mix. Yay! It made a big difference; they were much moister than my previous versions. I added in some mashed banana, and served with banana slices and peanut butter-maple syrup sauce. MMMMM, MMMM! This set my Sunday off right. It was filling, but light. See the beauty below:

breakfast

I take horrible pictures, I know. Maybe I’ll splurge and buy a camera. Also, maple syrup-peanut butter sauce? Easiest thing ever. Combine desired amount of maple syrup and peanut butter (I use natural peanut butter) in a microwave safe bowl. Nuke it for 20-30 seconds. Stir, and pour.

Next highlight: Gluten free, grain free Hazelnut Brownies!

brownies

Adapted from this recipe by Everyday Maven, these were easy to make, and they’re AWESOME. I must have had half the pan between Saturday and Sunday. Crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, which rich chocolate flavor and a hazelnutty crunch…they are perfect. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything with these! In fact, I think these taste better than gluten brownies! Just a sidenote: I omitted adding additional nuts because I did not have any. Had I had more, they would’ve been there!

Here’s how you make them:

MODIFIED HAZELNUT GLUTEN FREE BROWNIES
Serves: 24 (if they all take one brownie, which they won’t because they are so DAMN GOOD)

Ingredients:
12 tbsp. baking cocoa
8 oz. coconut oil, solid
4 extra large eggs, room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
⅛ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup hazelnut flour/meal

For original recipe, click here!

1. Preheat oven to 325F
2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, set aside. I used 9×13
3. Melt coconut oil over low heat with baking cocoa, whisking until completely smooth. Remove from heat
4. Cream eggs, sugar, espresso powder, and sea salt in a mixer or using a hand mixer, on medium speed, for 2 minutes
5. Add in melted chocolate/coconut oil combo and mix again on medium speed until well combined
6. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla extract
7. Stir in hazelnut meal/flour
8. Pour mixture into prepared pan, top with remaining hazelnuts
9. Bake for 50-55 minutes
10. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes
11. Try not to eat them all!

Again, I did not make meatballs, but that is my goal this week! Also, I’m going to try to refrain from eating “whatever, I”ll just have this because they don’t have anything low FODMAP”. No, no, no. There is always something I can make, or adapt, so NO EXCUSES! Eat good, feel good!