Lemony Grilled Chicken (low FODMAP)

Boneless skinless chicken breasts can get pretty boring. Chicken legs and thighs are much more flavorful, but they have a lot more saturated fat, so we mostly stick to chicken breasts here in the Dear household. The key to cooking flavorful chicken breasts is to marinate and not to overcook. This recipe for success keeps them flavorful and moist.  I decided to spice up my chicken breasts with a little lemony flavor. When my neighbor offered the use of his grill, I thought hey, why not. Well, I didn’t pick the right day because it started raining as soon as I got the meat on the grill. I ended up cooking the rest inside on my trusty grill pan, and it all worked out just fine.

For the marinade: lemon olive oil (it is delicious!) + lemon juice + lemon zest + dijon mustard + maple syrup.

lemony chicken ingredients

Here’s the marinade…I like to call it modern art.

lemony chicken marinade

Cut up your chicken breasts into long strips and marinate them for at least half an hour, but overnight would work too. Put the chicken onto skewers and grill on an outdoor grill or grill pan. It would also work to just bake them in the oven. Stop cooking as soon as the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

lemony chicken grill

Serve with fresh lemons for garnish and a side of vegetables and your choice of whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, etc.).

lemony chicken low fodmap

 Lemony Grilled Chicken (low FODMAP)

Ingredients:
1 Tbs lemon olive oil
Zest of one lemon
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into long strips

Instructions:
1. Mix the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, maple syrup, and mustard together.
2. Add the chicken and let marinate for at least half an hour or overnight.
3. Put the chicken on skewers or just lay the strips on a greased and heated grill. If you don’t have a grill you can bake them in the oven at 350 degrees F. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

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Simple Spring Chopped Salad (low FODMAP)

My mother-in-law is here visiting this week and requested a fresh Greek salad. I usually make this all summer long – it has tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olives, lemon, olive oil, and dill. I decided to switch it up this time and add a few more ingredients, so it’s not technically a Greek salad. My new version is made of tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olives, peppers, chickpeas, lemon, and olive oil. This is a very versatile salad. Add or subtract whatever ingredients you want. Any kind of herbs will really freshen it up as well. Here’s a version for for those that don’t like chickpeas or olives:

chopped salad 1
Here it is with with no chickpeas – more of a Greek salad without the dill.

chopped salad 2
Here’s the final version with all the ingredients!

Simple Spring Chopped Salad

Simple Spring Chopped Salad (low FODMAP)

Ingredients:
4 tomatoes, diced
1 large English cucumber, peeled and diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup olives,
chopped Fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, or basil
Juice of 1 small lemon or 1/2 large lemon
1 Tbs olive oil

Instructions:
1.  Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix it up. It’s that easy!

Matzo Brei (low FODMAP)

This past Monday my husband and I hosted Passover at our house for our family and some friends. Passover is a Jewish holiday that celebrates our freedom from Egyptian slavery many years ago. The first two nights of Passover are traditionally spent doing a Seder which includes telling the story of Passover, prayers, some songs and other traditions, as well as a big meal.

Here’s our Passover table:
passover table

The story of Passover tells us that when the Jews were finally freed from Egypt they had to leave in such a hurry that they did not have time for their bread to rise. This is why we eat matzo (unleavened bread) on Passover.  During this time I think it’s also important to think about all the people in this day in age who are still not free.

A typical weekend breakfast on Passover is something called matzo brei. Some people even eat it all year because it’s so tasty. Think of it as Passover french toast. There are a couple different ways to make it. One way is more like french toast – more matzo and less egg that’s cooked kind of like a pancake. I personally like more egg and less matzo, cooked like scrambled eggs. To make a gluten free, low FODMAP version of matzo brei, just use gluten-free matzo! Yehuda gluten free matzo is made with tapioca and potato starches and is delicious. In fact, it tastes even better than regular matzo, probably because of the added oil.
matzo brei ingredients

To make matzo brei (for 1 person), scramble two eggs with a little bit of water in a small-medium sized bowl. Then soften the matzo. Run one and half sheets of matzo under warm water for 10-15 seconds, then break it up and let it sit in the scrambled eggs for about 5 minutes.
matzo brei soaking

Next, melt some butter in a medium pan and cook the matzo brei like scrambled eggs. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

matzo brei
Matzo Brei (low FODMAP)
Serves 1

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 Tbs water
1 1/2 sheets of gluten free matzo
1 tsp butter
Maple syrup for serving

Instructions:
1. With a fork or whisk, beat two eggs with 1 Tbs water in a small–medium sized bowl.
2. Run matzo under warm water for 10-15 seconds to soften it.
3. Break matzo into small-medium sized pieces and mix them into the eggs gently. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
4. Head 1 tsp butter in a medium frying pan. Add egg matzo mixture and cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly until eggs are cooked through.
5. Serve with maple syrup.

Parisian Buckwheat Crepes (low FODMAP)

I just got back from a trip to Paris where I went to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and 15 month old nephew! The weather was beautiful. We did a lot of walking, some shopping, and of course tons of eating. One of my favorite things to do in Paris is to wander around the grocery stores. I found gluten-free sections in both the regular grocery store and the organic grocery store. Check it out:

GF

Here are some goodies I brought home:
goodies

The markets in Paris are amazing. Farmer after farmer selling fresh vegetables, fruit, poultry, scallops, flowers, and on and on. This particular market we went to is open every day except Monday. I wish we had markets like this here in Boston!
market

Food shopping is so different in Paris. People generally buy fresh ingredients every couple days. The closest grocery store is usually a short walk away and there’s a bakery on just about every block. In general, the quality of food is so much better.

One of my favorite meals was getting crepes from a French creperie. Savory crepes in France are made with buckwheat flour, so they are gluten-free and FODMAP friendly! Traditional fillings include swiss cheese, ham, egg, goat cheese, mushrooms, and spinach. I had mine filled with swiss cheese and egg.
crepe1

I was surprised to learn that these crepes were made from 100% buckwheat flour because they were so light in color and texture. When I use buckwheat flour here in the United States I generally mix it with another flour because it is so dense and heavy. I suspected that our buckwheat flour must be different than the flour in France. To test out my hypothesis I bought a bag to bring home. In French, buckwheat flour is called farine de sarrasin.
crepe ingredientsMy hypothesis was correct! My crepes came out light and airy like the French ones.
crepe stack

Do not fear if you don’t have access to French buckwheat flour! I tested my recipe using buckwheat and oat flour and the crepes came out just as delicious. Try making a batch for dinner and filling the crepes with savory FODMAP friendly ingredients such as ham and cheese, an over easy egg and cheese, or spinach and cheese.

Parisian Buckwheat Crepes
Parisian Buckwheat Crepes (low FODMAP) 

Ingredients:
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
2/3 cup oat flour (or substitute another gluten-free flour)
1 egg
1 Tbs melted butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup lactose-free milk
pinch salt
Butter for cooking

Instructions:
1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Heat a large nonstick pan on medium heat. When hot, spread  a dab of butter over the pan and let it bubble. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and quickly tilt the pan to spread the batter until it looks like a thin pancake. It will probably take a few tries to get this down and you may need to add more milk to the batter if the crepes come out too thick.
3. Cook the crepe a minute or two until browned on one side, then flip and cook another minute until browned on the other side. Add your fillings and continue to cook a minute or so more until the cheese starts to melt. (If you’re making crepes for many people, you may want to cook all the crepes first, then add fillings and reheat right before serving.)

 

Lentil and Turkey Chili (Low FODMAP)

Here’s a fiber-rich chili recipe to go with that Zucchini Cornbread! Did you know it’s acceptable to have 1/4 cup of canned lentils on the low FODMAP diet? The FODMAPs are water soluble, so they drain out in the liquid. Since canned products sit on the shelf for a while, there’s plenty of time for the FODMAPs to leach out into the canning liquid. Just make sure you rinse them well.

To make a vegetarian version of this recipe, substitute more carrots and peppers instead of the meat. Most pre-made chili mixes contain onion and garlic powder, so for this recipe you’ll make your own with the following spices (the lentils are just for show):

spices

To make the chili, heat up 1 Tbs of olive oil in a large pot. Add the spice mixture and carrots, then cook the turkey until browned and add in pepper, zucchini, chopped tomatoes, FODMAP friendly broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer until carrots are tender.

chili 1
Next step is to add lentils, corn, and swiss chard. The combo of all these veggies makes this quite a nutrient dense dish! Simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve with Zucchini Cornbread (Low FODMAP)

chili 2
Lentil and Turkey Chili (Low FODMAP)
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
3 carrots, diced
1/2 lb ground turkey or lean ground beef  (or more veggies for a vegetarian version)
3 small zucchini, diced
1 1/2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 Tbs canned mild green chilis (If you like spice, add hot chilis)
1 26-oz container chopped tomatoes (3 cups)
3 cups low FODMAP chicken or vegetable stock 3 cups canned lentils, rinsed, and drained (2 cans)
5 cups swiss chard, rinsed, and chopped
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
Cilantro for serving

Instructions:
1. In a large pot, heat 1 Tbs olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add spices and carrots and cook about 1 minute until fragrant.
2.  Add ground turkey (or beef) and cook 3 – 5 minutes until meat is browned.
3. Add zucchini, peppers, green chilis, tomatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes until carrots are tender (the smaller the carrots are chopped, the faster they will cook).
4. Add lentils, chard and corn and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
5. Serve with cilantro and Zucchini Cornbread.

Zucchini Cornbread (Low FODMAP)

If you like zucchini and spoonbread, this is the recipe for you! I sought out to make a lightened up, healthier version of cornbread and ended up adding too much liquid to the batter. The result was a delicious moist cornbread, almost a cross between spoonbread and regular cornbread. For those of you not familiar with spoonbread, it is a southern dish similar to a savory pudding or soufflé. The moist texture of this cornbread comes from the grated zucchini, Greek yogurt, and lactose-free milk. The maple syrup gives the bread a nice sweetness. Here are the ingredients: cornbread ingredients
After you have all the ingredients measured out, combine the wet and dry ingredients in two separate bowls. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then mix in the grated zucchini. Bake for about 40 minutes and you’re good to go!

cornbread1 cornbread2
Zucchini Cornbread (Low FODMAP)

Ingredients:
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup FODMAP friendly gluten-free flour (such as King Arthur)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (this is very low lactose and should not pose a problem for FODMAPers)
1/4 cup maple syrup (white or brown sugar can be substituted)
6 Tbs butter, melted (for an even healthier version add less butter and more Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup milk
2 small zucchini, grated (about 2 cups)

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to blend.
3. In another bowl combine eggs, yogurt, maple syrup, butter, and milk. Stir to combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir just until mixed. Fold grated zucchini into the batter.
5. Pour batter into a buttered 8×8 baking dish.
6. Bake 30-40 minutes until the top is lightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
7. Store cornbread in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Curried Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup (low FODMAP)

It’s still cold here in Boston. I have to remind myself that it really doesn’t get warm here until June. But 30 degrees does feel nice right now! Hopefully we’ve seen the last of the big snow storms though. I saw this license plate on my way to the airport last week. It certainly made me laugh.

no snow
I was heading to the airport because I went to visit my mom to literally lend her a hand after carpel tunnel surgery. I cooked up a storm in the kitchen and am excited to share some recipes. This Curried Carrot & Butternut Squash soup is sure to warm you up on a winter day. The combination of veggies and spices will contribute vitamins and antioxidants to your meal.

Here are some of the all-star ingredients: carrots, butternut squash, spinach, cinnamon, curry powder, ginger, coconut milk, and cilantro.

curried soup ingredients

Turmeric is known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties due to a component called curcumin. You’d need to get a lot of curcumin to get the potential benefits, but adding turmeric to your diet can’t be a bad idea. Cinnamon also has touted health benefits such as antioxidant properties and having a positive effect on blood sugar. We need more research on the health benefits because the results are mixed. While I don’t recommend taking cinnamon supplements, I do recommend incorporating it naturally into the diet.

spices

Here are all the spices: turmeric, cinnamon, curry (no onion), cumin, and ginger. Ginger is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

ginger&spices
To make the soup, start by heating some olive oil over medium heat. Add the spices and the ginger and sauté until fragrant. Sautéing the spices allows some of the flavor to be released. Make sure to hold you nose over the pan and take in a nice big whiff. Then add the squash and carrots and cook another 2-3 minutes. The coconut milk and stock go in next and the entire mixture cooks until the vegetables are tender. 

carrots&squashBlend the soup or leave it chunky if you prefer. Add in the spinach and cilantro and cook until the spinach is wilted.

Curried Carrot & Butternut Sqush Soup2jpg

Curried Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup (low FODMAP)

Ingredients:
1 tsp curry powder (FODMAPers, choose a curry powder that contains no garlic and onion, such as Frontier Organic brand)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs + 1 tsp olive oil
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2” pieces
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1/2” pieces (or use precut squash)
1 cup light coconut milk
2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock + extra for thinning the soup (FODMAPers use homemade stock with no onions)
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed and chopped

Instructions:

1. In a medium-large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the spices and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add carrots and butternut squash and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
3. Add coconut milk and stock. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
4. Blend soup with an immersion blender or regular blender until smooth. Add more stock if the mixture is too thick. Or leave it chunky if you prefer.
5.  Add the soup back to the pot with the spinach and cilantro. Cook until the spinach is wilted, just a few minutes.
6. Top with a cilantro sprig before serving.

PB&J Smoothie (low FODMAP)

A peanut butter and jelly smoothie may not sound so appetizing to you at first, but it is quite a tasty treat. I must first confess that the smoothie contains peanut butter, but no jelly. Frozen raspberries take the place of jelly in this recipe.

Raspberries are not only full of vitamin C, they are also full of fiber. The  half cup of raspberries in this smoothie contains 8 grams of fiber. Fiber keeps us full and aids in healthy digestion. Most adults should get about 25-35 grams of fiber a day, but Americans average about 15 grams a day.

Add protein-rich Greek yogurt and a little healthy fat from the peanut butter and here you have a “stick to your ribs” smoothie.

smoothie ingredients

Just combine all ingredients in a blender or use an immersion blender (my favorite way to make smoothies) and blend until smooth.

pb&j

smoothie1

Have you noticed how much I adore pink and teal kitchen items?

PB&Jsmoothieblog

PB&J Smoothie

Ingredients:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (1/2 cup is 4oz, which is very low lactose and FODMAP friendly)
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 Tbs natural peanut butter
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs lactose-free milk

Instructions:
1.  Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Top with a frozen raspberry and enjoy.

Nut Butter And… (Gouter #2)

A little while ago I wrote a post about goûter, a small afternoon meal that children get in France. Click here to read the post. The stretch between lunch and dinner can be a long one. If you’re hungry, having a nutritious snack can help limit impulse buys of “empty calorie” snacks. It’s also a great way to pack in extra nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and calcium. I recommend to my clients that snacks always be paired. So instead of having a few crackers, have some crackers and peanut butter or crackers and reduced fat cheese. The combinations will hold you longer and keep you more satisfied until dinner.

Today’s post tells you how to incorporate my Coconut Peanut Butter recipe or any other kind of nut butter into a delicious snack. First up, FODMAP friendly toast schmeared with nut butter, topped with banana slices, and sprinkled with cinnamon. I used DeLand Bakery  Special Millet bread, but you can use any FODMAP-friendly bread (preferably one with at least 2 grams fiber per serving).

toast

Second: 1 small banana with 1 tablespoon nut butter.

Another idea is to have a few FODMAP friendly crackers with nut butter and chia jam. Kate Scarlata has a great recipe you can find here.

Last up: peanut butter and jam smoothie. Just combine frozen raspberries or strawberries with peanut butter, lactose free milk, ice, and blend.

pb&j

I encourage you to try different kinds of nut and seed butters such as sunflower seed butter and almond butter. Just remember FODMAPers to keep the serving size to 1-2 tablespoons. This is also a good limit for people who don’t follow the low FODMAP diet. Nuts are full of healthy fats, but moderation is best.

Coconut Peanut Butter (low FODMAP)

For those of you getting hit hard with snow today, I hope you are staying warm and cozy. While the snow storm continues outside, I’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I decided to experiment making nut butter in my food processor. While the end result isn’t as smooth and creamy as if  I had made it in a Vitamix (a high speed blender), it still turned out quite tasty.

Here’s how easy it is: Add peanuts, toasted coconut, and a pinch of salt to the food processor and blend until everything is finely chopped. Add a small amount of coconut oil to gel it all together. Blend until it has a peanut butter consistency.

peanuts

This coconut peanut butter is a great addition to an afternoon snack or goûter. More ideas on what to enjoy it with coming later this week!

coconut peanut butter

Note: 1-2 Tablespoons of nut butter is FODMAP friendly

Ingredients:
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp coconut oil

Instructions:
1. Combine the peanuts, coconut, and salt. Blend in a food processor or Vitamix until finely chopped.
2. Add coconut oil and blend until the mixture has a peanut butter consistency.