I’ve forever been the tummy ache queen, having had stomach pains from when I was a baby. After I had my appendix whipped out aged six, we decided to try cutting out food groups to see if that helped. It became glaringly obvious that gluten was a big no, no.
Back then, gluten free diets weren’t really a ‘thing’ so the free from options at supermarkets were pretty rubbish. It meant cutting out lots of normal day to day foods from my diet, my beloved fish fingers being one of them!
My dad (what a legend) decided to get creative in the kitchen and figured out how to make gluten free fish fingers by using crushed up cornflakes as the crumb. It was surprisingly effective and almost identical to the freezer friend we all know and love.
I’ve taken his recipe and adapted it to chicken so that us fodmappers don’t have to miss out on our fast food fave… enjoy!
- 2-3 chicken breasts (this will also work for fish or prawns)
- 1 bowl of cornflakes, crushed up into small bits
- 125g gluten free flour
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 tsp black pepper,
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp powdered mustard
- Dice the chicken up into bite sized pieces (or you can do strips if you prefer).
- Mix the flour with the spices and then coat the chicken lightly with the flour mix.
- Dip the individual pieces of chicken into the whisked egg then straight away into the crushed cornflakes, making sure they’re coated evenly.
- You can either bake the chicken in the oven at 200c/gas mark 6 on a greased baking tray for 25 minutes or deep fry it using a deep fat fryer or a pan with enough hot oil to cover the chicken. The timings will obviously depend on how big you cut the chicken, so make sure you check it’s cooked all the way through before serving.
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 recipe is an adaptation of the red cabbage we always had at Christmas when we were growing up. My dad is a diehard ‘The Times’ red cabbage recipe fan, but I like to make recipes my own so I haven’t quite stuck religiously to his recipe (sorry dad). I’ve also adapted it for us low fodmappers so we don’t have to miss out either!
- 1 red cabbage, sliced finely
- 1 heaped tsp of salt
- Half a bottle red wine
- Low fodmap stock cubes (beef preferably – Massel do some great ones that you can get on Amazon)
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp garlic infused oil
- 1 tbsp sugar, brown preferably
- 1 tbsp butter (optional)
- Black pepper to taste
- Tip the sliced red cabbage, salt and garlic infused oil, into a deep casserole dish over a medium heat and mix well. The salt will start to soften the cabbage and break down its juices.
- Once softened pour in the wine, stock cubes (crumbled), vinegar and sugar and mix well. Half cover and heat on a low heat for at least half an hour, returning to stir frequently. If it needs a bit more liquid then feel free to add in some more water or if there’s too much liquid then take the lid off to let it reduce down (I like to let it reduce down a bit at the end anyway, to make it nice and sticky).
- When the cabbage is soft and you’re happy with the seasoning, stir in the butter to give it a really rich, indulgent glaze.
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!