I do love a Chinese takeaway. A tasty Friday night treat after a long week.
But, as always, it’s pretty hard to find any food on the menu that doesn’t have those pesky fodmaps hidden somewhere. The main culprits in Chinese food are gluten and garlic, although there are options you can go for that are safe after a few easy alterations.
It’s still a risk though, so I’ve been busy experimenting, trying to work out low fodmap Chinese takeaway style recipes that hit the spot.
The spring rolls are my current nemesis, but after playing with some different flour mixes, I think I’ve almost cracked it (once I’ve figured out how to make it stop sticking to the table!!).
In the meantime, here’s one of my more successful recipes: crispy chilli beef. Completely devoid of nearly all nutritional goodness, but delicious and a yummy treat all the same! Enjoy!
- 300 g steak
- 100 g cornflour
- 1 tablespoon chinese 5 spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 litre oil, for frying
- 2 red chillis (you can use 1 tsp chilli paste if you prefer)
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 spring onion (green parts only), thinly sliced
- 25 g ginger, thinly sliced (you can use 1 tsp ginger paste if you prefer)
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic infused oil
- 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce (some brands have garlic in them, but Lingham’s is low fodmap)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup (here’s a link to some low fodmap ketchup)
- spring onion (green parts only), to garnish
- red chilli, to garnish
- Slice the steak into really thin strips and pop into a bowl along with the cornflour, five spice, salt and pepper. Give it all a good mix until the steak is well coated.
- Carefully heat the oil in a deep saucepan or deep fat fryer until it reaches 190°C. If you’re using a saucepan, please make sure you keep an eye on it constantly and keep all pan handles pointed in a direction that they can’t be knocked. If the oil starts to smoke, immediately take it off the heat.
- Very gently, place the coated beef strips into the oil, making sure to keep your fingers far away from the hot oil. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until they’re crispy and golden brown.
- Use a metal spoon or spatula to remove the beef strips from the oil and lie them,on some kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil.
- In the meantime, pour the garlic infused oil into a frying pan. Fry the carrots, chilies/chilli paste, spring onion, peppers and ginger/ginger paste over a medium heat until they start to soften, but not fully cooked.
- In a mug mix together the soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, red wine vinegar, and tomato ketchup and then tip into the saucepan along with the beef strips and stir until it starts to thicken.
Garnish with spring onion and red chilies and enjoy!
This week I started the long journey to heal my SIBO. I had an appointment with my consultant and he’s started me on Rifaximin, a specialised antibiotic that works solely in the gut. He’s also chucked in some potent vitamins and a very strict version of the low fodmap diet. After just a few days I’m already feeling much better. Here’s to hoping that it’s not a placebo effect!
I’m nervous that this dose is only for two weeks and that it might not fully heal me, in fact I’m expecting it not to. I know how long this journey can be, I’ve been on it for years already.
He also thinks I have delayed gastric emptying otherwise known as gastroparesis. This is where my diabetes has damaged and paralysed the nerves in my stomach to the extent that doing its job is becoming difficult. This would explain a lot of my symptoms but is just another diagnosis I don’t want…
Having answers is always helpful though, so I’ll willingly go through the cameras and x-rays if it means I can get my life back.
After the week I’d had, this weekend I just tucked myself away in bed and let myself rest. I really needed it. I also made some nourishing chicken soup using the leftovers from a roast chicken. It was easy on the tummy, tasted good and soothed me, so I thought I’d share it with you too!
- Chicken, either left over from your roast, or fresh will do, diced or shredded
- 3 carrots, diced
- ½ swede, diced
- 1 courgette, diced
- 3 parsnips, diced
- ½ celeriac, diced
- The green tops of 6 spring onions
- ½ tbsp. Garlic infused oil
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh chives
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1 tsp yeast extract
- Low fodmap stock cubes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Throw all of the veg and chicken into a deep pan and drizzle over the garlic infused oil. Let is simmer gently whilst you boil the kettle.
Pour enough hot water over the veg until it’s completely covered and mix in the rest of the ingredients, except for the fresh herbs.
Let is simmer gently for up to 1 hour. Once the veg is soft, season and throw in all of the fresh herbs.
A basic tomato sauce is the base to so many meals. But it’s usually full of delicious, delicious, tummy ache inducing onions and garlic.
A staple of mine and Steve’s weekly dinners for when we’re tired or in a rush is simple pasta, passata, cheese and salt and pepper. So simple but it tastes so good! You can really taste the tomatoes.
I’ve taken that recipe and played around with it a bit to make a sauce that tastes like good, old fashioned marinara sauce. You can use it on pizza, pasta or whatever you want. It’s such a staple sauce it would be a shame for us fodmappers to miss out.
- 500g Passata
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp garlic infused oil
- 1 low fodmap stock cube (these cubes are great)
- 1 tsp low fodmap yeast extract (most own brand supermarket versions are fine but check the label)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- A pinch of sugar
Heat up the passata in a saucepan then add all of the ingredients. Feel free to add a splash of water depending on how thick/thin you want the sauce.
Simmer for 10 minutes and you’re good to go!
I like to mix in fresh basil too if I have some.
At our house we have a weekly tradition with our best friends to all come together on a Sunday and have a good old family roast dinner and I absolutely love it. It’s hands down my favourite part of the week!
Last week I decided to get a bit creative and try a herby rub on our roast chicken and after we all finished drinking the gravy from our plates we agreed that the recipe was definitely a keeper!
- Garlic infused oil
Finely chop all of the herbs then mix with softened butter and the garlic infused oil and salt and pepper.
Rub all over the meat. If you’re using it on a chicken then rub inside the cavity and, if you can, under the skin.
Roast the meat at the recommended settings and enjoy!
This would also work well on other roast meats!
A warming, delicately spiced, melt in your mouth tagine is a wonderful thing. I discovered my love for this tasty dish at one of my best friend’s wedding, where they served steaming bowls of delicious tagine packed full of flavour to us hungry guests! It’s such a crowd pleaser!
And just because you’re on low fodmap doesn’t mean you should have to miss out. But if you’re on this diet then you’re probably dealing with some pretty horrible symptoms and the thought of slaving over a hot oven after a long day is not a happy one…
And this is where the magic of a slow cooker comes in. An authentic Moroccan tagine is made in a proper tagine pot but when energy is in short supply a slow cooker is your best friend. You can chuck everything in at once and just leave it to do all the work.
I also like to pack it full of veg to get as many nutrients in as possible.
Although tagine is usually bursting full of glistening, plump apricots and sultanas, they’re high in fodmaps so I’ve sadly had to leave them out of this recipe but I think the spices more than make up for that.
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1½ tbsp paprika
- 1½ tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 500g lamb, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- A handful of olives
- ½ butternut squash, peeled andchopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 courgette, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic oil
- 700g passata
- 1 tsp saffron stamens, soaked in cold water
- 600ml/1 pint low fodmap stock
- 1 tbsp clear maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Place the cayenne, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon into a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and toss together with half of the spice mix. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge. You can skip this stage and just put all of it in the slow cooker at once if you’re short on time or energy!
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of garlic oil in a large casserole dish. Add the veg and the remaining spice mix and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes so that the veg is soft.
- In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining oil and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides then add the browned meat to the slow cooker. De-glaze the frying pan with a glug of passata and add these juices to the pan.
- Tip everything, including the remaining ingredients into your slow cooker and let it cook for at least 2 hours, until the lamb is meltingly tender.
Low fodmap cooking can be a pain. So many ingredients we can’t have and flavour quickly can become a thing of the past…
But it doesn’t have to be!
A few little substitutions here and there and using different types of veg to add extra flavour can turn bland and boring into a big bowl of tasty!
One of those recipes that can easily become low fodmap is shepherd’s pie. I love shepherd’s pie. It’s proper comfort food. And I promise you, the low fodmap version will taste just as good as the onion, lactose, wheat laced tummy ache that shepherds pie usually is.
It might not be a traditional recipe but I promise you it will hit the spot!
- 500g lamb mince (beef works well here too but is called cottage pie instead)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- Half a swede, peeled and diced
- 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp garlic infused oil
- 2 red peppers, diced
- 1 small glass of red wine (optional)
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- ½ tbsp. dried oregano
- ½ tbsp. dried basil
- Low fodmap stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp cornflour to thicken
For the mash topping:
- 1kg potatoes
- Olive oil
- 100g lactose free cream cheese
- 1 tsp mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the mince base, start off by browning the mince in a deep casserole pan. Then add in all of the veg and the garlic oil and fry gently until they start to soften, this should take about 5 minutes.
- Then pour over the red wine and leave it to simmer for 5 minutes to cook off the alcohol.
- Tip in the rest of the ingredients and then simmer until everything is soft and cooked.
- I like to thicken the mix a bit to stop the mashed potato from sinking, so I mix a little cornflour with some water and stir in to the mince whilst it’s still hot. You can add more or less depending on how thick you like it.
- For the mashed potato, peel and slice the potatoes thinly. Slicing them thinly will mean they cook faster and you’re less likely to get lumps. Boil the potatoes in water until soft then drain. I like to put my potatoes into my food mixer to really get them fluffy but you can mash by hand or however you like. As you mash, pour in the oil 1 tbsp at a time until it’s the right consistency. Then add in the lactose free cream cheese and the mustard and beat the mixture until fluffy. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a deep oven dish, pour in the mince mixture, then top with the potatoes. If you can tolerate cheddar, you can sprinkle a little on top.
- Bake in the oven until the top is brown and it’s piping hot inside (usually around 30-40 minutes).
I like to serve it with some green veg and some gravy on top (see my recipe for gravy below).Enjoy!
Now gravy is a very important piece of my happiness pie. There’s no such thing as too much gravy and the idea of a dry roast dinner is just wrong. Wrong.
But since going low fodmap, gravy is pretty much out of bounds.
Most people make it using flour as a thickener or granules for their quick gravy fix. But due to the wheat content (and usually the onion or garlic powder mixed in) this is a no no for us fodmappers.
But I have a solution! My dad always made gravy for our Sunday roast using a bit of stock, the meat juices and some cornflour. You could really taste the true flavour of that meaty goodness. It was (and still is) delicious and more importantly low fodmap!
For my recipe, I’ve added a splash of wine and a knob of butter for a bit of extra richness, not that I’m trying to improve on perfection!
Now you never have to suffer a dry roast again!
- 500ml low fodmap stock (there’s a recipe for this a few blog posts down)
- Meat juices if you’re cooking a roast (optional – leave out if veggie)
- A splash of red or white wine (optional – red for red meats, white for white meats)
- A knob of butter
- 1tbsp cornflour
Optional: depending on the flavour I want I sometimes add a teaspoon of tomato purée or yeast extract to give a richer flavour. (If you buy the shop’s own brand yeast extract it’s usually barley free but branded marmite isn’t low fodmap).
- Pour stock, wine and meat juices into a saucepan ( I prefer a wide, shallow saucepan as it helps the gravy reduce faster) and simmer until slightly reduced. You can reduce the wine first but as we’re only adding a splash it’s not too important.
- Mix the cornflour with 2-3 tbsp of water and mix until lump free. Don’t worry too much about quantities as you can always add a bit more if your gravy isn’t thick enough.
- Wait until the stock has reduced slightly and is simmering then pour in the cornflour mixture whilst continuously stirring to avoid lumps. It’s important that the stock is hot enough otherwise the cornflour won’t be absorbed.
Melt in a small knob of butter for richness then serve!