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.
Delicious, garlicy, creamy pasta. Filled with all the low fodmap alarm bells right? Not anymore!
With some quick and simple substitutions you can live out all of your delicious pasta shaped dreams without any of the belly ache. And, might I add, this dish has SO MUCH flavour!! You may never want to eat anything else ever again… just saying… you have been warned.
I served this up to my husband and friends last Friday evening and they loved it so I thought I’d share it with you too!
- 250g gluten free spaghetti/linguine
- 30 g butter (use olive oil if you can’t tolerate butter)
- 300 g peeled, cooked prawns
- 1 tbsp garlic infused oil
- 65 ml dry white wine
- 250 ml lactose free cream
- 125 ml low fodmap stock, the massel ones are great, cheap and available amazon
- 50 g grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- Black pepper
- Tip the pasta into a boiling pot of salted water. I add some olive oil at this stage because gluten free pasta sometimes needs a bit of help to not get stuck together. Cook for around 15 minutes or until soft but al dente.
- Drain the pasta and leave to one side.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and mix with the garlic infused oil in a large non stick pan over a medium heat. Add the prawns and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until they are warmed through. Remove the prawns and leave to one side. This will add flavour to the butter.
- Add the wine and stir. Simmer for 2 minutes until wine mostly reduces.
- Add the cream, stock and parmesan and stir until the parmesan is melted, then leave to simmer for 1 1/2 minutes until it thickens slightly. If it doesn’t thicken enough then I use a bit of cornflour to help it along.
- Add the prawns, stir, then add the pasta .
- Toss the pasta in the sauce, it will thicken in about 30 – 45 seconds and start clinging to the pasta.
- Turn off the heat and sprinkle in the parsley and black pepper, check to see if you want to add a bit of salt. Toss again until the sauce consistency is to your taste. Add a splash of water if it gets too gluggy.
Serve and enjoy!
There’s nothing like a slab of banana bread, dripping in cream cheese icing to cheer you up after a long day.
I remember having banana bread when I was little and it always feeling like a proper treat.
So when I saw the bananas that I’d bought in the delusional hope of making lots of healthy smoothies every day and then turning into a yoga health godess, browning rapidly on the side, I knew what to do.
Of course, this recipe is low fodmap friendly but I don’t think anyone would know that it wasn’t made with proper flour or that you were on a special diet. The bananas add such a lovely natural sweetness that you can afford to lower the sugar content without this cake feeling ‘healthy’ or deprived.
- 3 ripe bananas
- 200g gluten free self-raising flour mix (I used Doves Farm)
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 100g butter, cubed
- 70g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 125g cream cheese, softened
- 50g butter, softened
- 200g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 180 C then grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
- Mash the bananas together in a bowl and set aside
- Tip the flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder and eggs into a large bowl and mix together until fully combined.
- Fold the mashed banana through the mixture.
- Pour the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes (check it’s ready by piercing the centre of the cake with a skewer or butter knife – if it comes out clean then the loaf is ready).
- Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- Beat the icing ingredients together until smooth and slightly stiff. Smooth onto the loaf when it’s cooled. I like to top mine with chopped walnuts or blueberries.
My favourite food in the whole world is noodle soup. Whether that be ramen, minestrone, pho or my baba’s (grandma’s) Ukrainian veggie and pasta soup.
I remember the first time I tasted and fell in love with this particular Thai noodle soup was when a tiny noodle bar opened up in my small town in North Wales. I’d never had anything like ramen before but when I first tried that umami, soy rich, aromatic broth, I knew it was love.
Now every time I go back to visit my homeland, I have to make time for a trip to that little noodle bar, tucked away down a side street opposite the cathedral.
It’s taken me ages to figure out the recipe and I’ve adjusted it so it’s low fodmap too. It’s so ridiculously delicious and arguably pretty healthy too!
- 2 litres of low fodmap stock
- 10g black peppercorns
- 25g smashed, peeled galangal
- 1 full star anise
- ½ tbsp. garlic infused oil
- 12g coriander seeds
- 20g lemongrass puree with oil
- 4 kaffir leaves
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 20g green tops of spring onions
- 1 tbl molasses (optional)
- 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- 10g sugar
- 1 red chilli
Garnish (all optional)
- Protein of your choice, my favourite is king prawns but duck, chicken or beef are great too!
- Rice noodles
- Fresh limes
- Coriander leaves
- Bamboo shoots
- A boiled egg
Chuck all of the broth ingredients into a pan or a slow cooker and let it simmer for 2 hours. Then strain the broth and return the liquid to the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Go ahead and drop some rice noodles in boiling water for the required cooking time. They should be firm and chewy and will cook the rest of the way in the steaming bowl of broth.
Tip the noodles into your bowl and top up with the broth and all your garnishes.
Now go and introduce your taste buds to a whole new world of yum!
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.