When the gluten-eater is away, the FODMAP eater will play….

This past weekend, my husband went out of town, which left me plenty of time to cook and experiment. We are not on the same diet, and at times, I feel bad forcing him to eat low FODMAP food when he doesn’t have to. I decided to experiment with breakfast, dinner, and dessert.

For breakfast, I made Coconut Creme French Toast, and it was great! Fluffy, slightly coconutty, and decadent. Not to mention, incredibly easy! Dinner consisted of Butternut Squash Bacon Macaroni and Cheese, which is sweet, smokey, and perfect for a cold day. Finally, I made Strawberry Pineapple “Ice Cream” with coconut milk and maple syrup. Again, incredibly easy, and just sweet enough to cleanse the palate after dinner. See below for all recipes!

Coconut Creme French Toast
serves 2

coconuttoast

Ingredient:
1/2 can of full fat coconut milk
1/8 c. unsweetened almond milk
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. vanilla
pinch of cinnamon
4 pieces of gluten free bread (I like this brand)
coconut oil
maple syrup
coconut flakes

Heat skillet or pan over medium heat. Add coconut oil and swirl around the pan to grease it. Combine coconut milk, almond milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon in a shallow square dish, and whisk until eggs are completely combined. Adding bread one piece at a time, coat bread with this mixture on both sides. Let excess run off, and add bread to the skillet, and cook for about 3-4minutes on each side. Move bread to a plate. Top with maple syrup and coconut flakes. Enjoy!

This recipe is merely a variation on my standard french toast recipe. What I love about it is that the recipe is versatile. You can make any kind of french toast you want just by slightly changing the liquid and spice involvement.

Why use full fat canned coconut milk? Simply because it is fluffy, creamy, and rich! I have used boxed coconut milk before and found it did not give the same texture or coconut taste.

Butternut Squash Bacon Mac n Cheese
serves 8
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

butternutmac

Ingredients:
3 cups of cubed butternut squash
8 oz. of smoked hard cheese (I used cheddar at the recommendation of the original recipe), shredded
2 1/4 c. lactose-free 2% milk
1/4 c. gluten free flour
12 oz. gluten free pasta
2 slices of bacon, cooked and diced
2 tbsp scallions, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped

Preheat your oven to 425F. Heat a large, deep pan over medium heat. Add squash and 2 cups of milk. Cook until squash is very tender, about 30-40 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done when you can push a spoon or fork through it with very little effort, and your pushing causes the butternut squash to fall apart. While this is cooking, get your pasta going. In my opinion, it’s not ideal to start the pasta first, especially gluten-free pasta. If you cook it too soon, then have to wait until the squash part is done, you’ll end up with very clumpy, gooey pasta. As the squash process takes about 30-40 minutes, start the pasta at the 35 minute mark.
Once squash is “squashable”, add 1/4 c. milk and 1/4 c. flour in a slurry, stirring frequently. Your sauce will thicken up at this point, and more of the squash will start to fall apart. I found that gluten free flour gets really clumpy, so make sure to stir and break up all the little flour clumps. Add in 6 oz of smoked cheddar, stir until melted and blended. Add in the pasta, stir to coat pasta completely. Add bacon, stir again.

Add the pasta mixture to a 9×13 baking dish greased with coconut oil, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Put in oven and cook for minutes, or until cheese has melted and is getting bubbly and brown. Remove from oven, and sprinkle scallions and parsley on top. Serve!

NOTE: there is mixed information out there about butternut squash being appropriate for a low FODMAP diet. If you are triggered by polyols or just starting on the diet, this recipe may not be for you

Strawberry Pineapple “Ice Cream”
serves 4-6

icecream

Ingredients:

1/2 can of full fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge for 2 hours
1 c frozen strawberries
1 c frozen pineapple
1 tbsp maple syrup
scant amount of coconut water

Add milk, strawberries, and pineapple to a food processor. Pulse until you get a soft-serve ice cream consistency, adding a little of bit of coconut water to help facilitate blending. Stir in maple syrup, and serve. Keep leftovers in a plastic container in the freezer.

And there you have it! I love experimenting with food and making it low FODMAP, or using leftovers (hence the coconut milk) and finding other uses for them. This weekend helped buoy my spirits that you can be creative in the kitchen and eat low FODMAP. In fact, you might have to be MORE creative in order to eat the same things you used to enjoy! I’d love to hear about others low FODMAP experimentation, please share with me!

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Fitness first!

I’ve had a bit of difficult week, with some personal issues going on. This happened to coincide with my dedication to an 8-week fitness program, through Tone it Up. There’s a workout to do every day, and contests to win via check ins with social media, so it really keeps me motivated and holds me accountable to complete the challenges. Normally, when I experience a personal crisis or emergency, I give up eating well and taking care of my body. I figure my mental resources are more important and being tired is a viable excuse to stop taking care of myself. Sometimes, being tired isn’t an excuse, it’s a reason, and I need to relax in order to engage in proper self care. But other times, it is just an excuse. While I’ve only been committed to the program for a week, I’m proud to say that my personal issues haven’t gotten in the way. I’m trying to view fitness and eating well as something that is really important to do when I’m tired and emotionally exhausted.

In terms of FODMAP, it’s been good and bad. I purposefully slipped on Friday, when I indulged in a Reese’s Ice Cream sandwich. My office was sweltering, and I had drank a lot of water but still wasn’t feeling any relief. I decided I needed ice cream! On the plus side, it was gluten free….I also slipped on Saturday when I ordered fries, asked if they were battered or breaded, was told “no”, then started eating them and realized that some of the crust on the fry wasn’t from being burned but from breading. My stomach was really unhappy after that!

The good: I found yet another great gluten free pizza at Benitos!The small was so good, I ate the whole thing…whoops! I made a delicious filling breakfast after my Sunday run, of gluten free oatmeal with peanut butter, maple syrup, and granola topping. Just look!

lemongingeroats

Gluten Free Maple Peanut Butter Oatmeal
serves 1

Ingredients:
1/2 c. Gluten Free Rolled Oats (not quick oats)
1 c. liquid (water, almond milk, regular milk, etc)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
pinch of cinnamon
1 tbsp. natural peanut butter
1 tbsp. maple syrup

To Make
Bring your liquid (I used unsweetened almond milk) and salt to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium, and add oats. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Pour your oats into a bowl. Add peanut butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.

Now you’re ready to top it off! I added Secret Squirrel Food Lemon ginger granola to mine, but I can imagine this topping with bananas, coconut, strawberries…any fruit, really! I cooked some bacon with it for extra protein, and it kept me full for about 4 hours!

This week, I’m going to be experimenting with sweet potato gnocchi, butternut squash mac and cheese, roasted chicken, and tomato soup. Butternut squash is on the “watch out!” list for FODMAP’s, but I’m hoping it’s something I can consume occasionally.

Can’t wait to update with more great recipes!

Potatoes: Changing your life, one meal at a time

My digestive system is finally back on track. Things are looking up and my mood has been really positive! I’m going through some big changes in my life: the FODMAP commitment/diet, another new year at work (I work at a university, so each fall is a new year), and I’m going back to school in the winter.

I contemplated continuing my education way before FODMAP, and my new lifestyle changes just fueled my desire to build onto my knowledge and degrees. I’ll be starting a post-bacc program in integrative holistic health and wellness, and I’m really excited. Not only will this build upon my present degree (counseling), it will expand my career opportunities and possibilities. I’m really looking forward to learning more about nutrition counseling, wellness coaching, and other holistic methods for total health and wellness.

After going low-FODMAP, I really, really REALLY wanted to try to get a master’s in nutrition or a post-bacc in dietetics, so I could become a dietitian. Being that I have a professional degree and a license, I felt somewhat uppity about having a “legitimate” degree to advise people in nutrition. But, after looking at the pre-requisite requirements, and how many classes I’d have to take during the workday (that would ALL of the classes!), I decided to do something else. It was a tough pill to swallow; at this stage of my life, I don’t want to tell myself “no” or that it’s not possible for me to do what I want to do. But there is always plan B, and plan B is a better fit for me!

This week, I made few awesome things:

Roasted Potato Nachos
I love roasted potatos, and I make 1.5lbs at a time (from a 3lb bag) so that I have potatos leftover to put in salads and eggs. Potatoes are filling, versatile, and really satisfy my gluten cravings. Roasted potatoes don’t have to be limited to a side dish! In this recipe, they are the main event!

Potatonachos

fresh and exciting!

Ingredients:
1.5lbs of quarted roasted potatos (for that recipe, see below)
1 tomato, diced
1/8 c. scallions
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, diced
diced red pepper
1/8 c. shredded cheddar cheese
lime juice (I just like to squeeze a lime half over the dish at the end of cooking)

Heat oven to 400. Put potatoes, jalapenos, red pepper, and cheese on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place in the oven and cook until cheese is bubbly, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven. Add tomato, cilantro, and scallions over the potatoes. Squeeze lime over the potatoes. And….you’re done! Not going to lie, I have eaten an entire sheet of this!This is about 2-3 servings. I like to eat it straight from the baking sheet, but if you’re more civilized, it’s great on a plate too.

This recipe would be great with pre-made bagged roasted potatoes, too!

Roasted Potatoes
1.5 lb potatoes
olive oil
salt
pepper
paprika
rosemary

Heat oven to 400. Quarter the potatoes. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes. Sprinkle salt, pepper, paprika, and rosemary over the potatoes. Mix with a spoon or hands, until all potatoes are coated evenly. Bake for 25 minutes, turning halfway through.

This weekend, I tried to make snacks so I would have some things to eat at work. I made those delicious hazelnut brownies again (with chopped nuts this time!!!), and The Secret Squirrel Ginger Lemon Granola. I love the recipes on this website! They are easily low-FODMAP adaptable, and delicious! The granola calls for honey, and I subbed maple syrup. It suggests using any nuts or seeds that you’d want for the granola, so I used all low-FODMAP friendly seeds and nuts (hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas). I had to cook mine a little longer than suggested, so I don’t think I did the Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion correctly. I also sprinkled some lemon zest over the granola right when I took it out of the oven. Mmmm, mmm!

I think I’m getting the hang of this low FODMAP stuff! I feel great, and I realized I’m eating healthier than I ever have! How’s your low-FODMAP journey going this week?

Cook Better to Take Care of IBS!

I have continued to have stomach issues/a flare up for the past week, and it’s been awful. I can’t pinpoint what could be causing, or could have, caused the problem. In order to combat the issue, I’ve been eating as strictly low FODMAP as possible: no possible/hidden gluten, refraining from dairy, staying away from HFCS, etc. I am slowly getting back on track, but it’s been a rough road. Here’s what I ate this week to “reset”:

1. Green smoothie for breakfast every day
2. Polenta with low FODMAP meatballs and FODMAP free sauce (mmm mm! This was so good)
3. FODMAP free hot dogs
4. Vegetarian stir fry with brown rice and FODMAP free stir fry sauce (again, MMMM MMM! SOO GOOD!)
5. Beef tacos with low FODMAP taco seasoning, and a vegetable mix stir fried in spices (always good!)
6. Gluten free pizza
7. Lots and lots of salads

Again, I’m slowly getting back on track. Also, while I’m getting a little misty-eyed that summer is coming to an end, I’m also getting a little excited for all the low FODMAP comfort food that I’ll be making as it gets colder! Looking forward to trying my hand at shepherd’s pie, minestrone, spinach pasta bake, and meatloaf.

I went out on a limb this weekend and decided to try a gluten free, vegan pancake recipe. Buckwheat Flour/Oat Flour pancakes filled me up, and I had plenty leftover. In fact, I packed some for my lunch today! I’ve been somewhat dissatisfied with pre-made gluten free pancake mixes, and have been searching for homemade, gluten free mixes. I also had a ton of buckwheat flour to get rid of. I put that all into Pinterest, and this recipe came up! It is from The Glowing Fridge. This blog has many, many recipes that are healthy, vegan, and easily low FODMAP modified. Check out my modified pancake recipe below!

Buckwheat Oat Flour Pancakes
total cook time: 30 minutes
serves 4 (or 8 if everyone has 1 pancake)

Dry ingredients
1 cup oat flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet ingredients
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (*note: NOT FODMAP FRIENDLY, but such a scant amount that I don’t think it did me any harm. If you don’t want to use this, you could use an egg)

Peanut Butter Syrup
4 tablespoons peanut butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons warm water

1. Preheat a skillet, griddle, or pan over medium heat
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix. Add in wet ingredients and mix well.
3. Coat pan or skillet with coconut oil
4. Scoop out pancake batter (about 1/4 cup) and spread out in a circle on the skillet. These pancakes are quite thick, so use the back of a spoon or flat measuring cup to help spread the batter. When edges of pancake appear “stiff” and no longer liquidy, flip over. Cook for a couple more minutes, until pancake appears completely stiff and without liquid.
5. Add more coconut oil and repeat for the rest of the pancakes.
6. Prepare peanut butter syrup by adding all ingredients together, and stir until completely mixed. Add to microwave and cook for 20-40 seconds, or until desired consistency. Alternatively, you could make this on the stove top and heat all the ingredients together.
7. Pour syrup on pancakes, and add toppings, if you so desire.

This recipe above is my modified version. The original recipe calls for ground flaxseed instead of chia seeds, which I didn’t have, so I used whole chia seeds. It also called for coconut sugar or sugar of choice, and I had white sugar, so I used that. The original recipe also indicates that my pancakes will turn “golden brown”. I used buckwheat flour as opposed to grinding my own groats, so my pancakes were the color of cement…no golden brown there. But don’t let the color deter you. They’re amazing, fluffy, and hearty. I would definitely make a few more adjustments, by adding an egg somewhere along the line and maybe grinding my own groats to limit the grainy texture of buckwheat.

Check out the process!

bwpancake

bwpancake2

bwpancake3

How’s your low FODMAP life going? What do you do when you have a setback or flare up?