There is so many wonderfully creative people out there, making beautiful recipes that are also safe on a Low FODMAP Diet, I thought it worthwhile showcasing some of these! I am really excited to introduce Stephanie Papillo, of A Friendly Little Kitchen!
Stephanie has IBS, and is also an avid cook. Read on to find out more about Stephanie, some of her favourite low FODMAP recipes, and where you can find out more about her event A Friendly Gathering.
Thanks for joining us Stephanie!
What is your background, and how did you become interested in FODMAPs?
My life has always been somewhat surrounded by food and I have loved cooking from a very young age. Though my career didn’t follow this path, my spare time is encompassed by cooking and sharing food with loved ones. I was advised of the low FODMAP diet after suffering severe digestive issues and being diagnosed with fructose malabsorption and lactose intolerance. The diet was a saviour for me! It not only helped me get my health back on track, but allowed me to fall in love with new and exciting ingredients (which made eliminating others that little bit easier).
How did ‘Friendly Little Kitchen’ come about?
As an avid home cook already, I started Friendly Little Kitchen as a way to share my recipes with the world, and to help others facing similar challenges following a restricted diet. I really wanted to show that there can be a bright side to food intolerance and food can still be exciting and delicious!
Can you tell me about ‘A Friendly Gathering’? Any plans to spread to Sydney…?
A Friendly Gathering is an exciting project I started with Melissa, who is also a food blogger, to connect like-minded people with friendly food and conversation. We bring together fellow low FODMAPpers and give them the opportunity to enjoy stress-free gatherings like this. There are many challenges we face having a food intolerance, so A Friendly Gathering is an oasis away from these stresses, and an avenue to connect the ever growing low FODMAP community. At this stage we are Melbourne-based, but who knows what the future can bring!!
What do you find most difficult about managing your IBS?
Having been on the low FODMAP diet for 5 years now, I have thankfully overcome many of the challenges with managing IBS. But with time, comes a different type of challenge, and that’s becoming too laid back! Sometimes things are going so well that I forget how bad my symptoms can be and slip up a few too many times (or treats).
Do you have any tips and tricks that you swear by?
Planning! You probably knew that’s what I was going to say but that’s because it is SO important. Whether I’m eating at home, at a friend’s house or at a restaurant, planning my meals and daily snacks and calling restaurants ahead of time, means I don’t get caught out without food I can eat symptom-free.
A more fun trick, is I love to use lots of spices, fresh ginger and herbs in my cooking to add heaps of flavour, instead of onion and garlic.
Do you have a favourite low FODMAP recipe to make? What is it?
One of my favourites is my Paella! It’s one of those dishes that is rather hard to come by without onion and garlic, but is something no one should miss out on eating. With a lot of love going into the preparation of paella, it’s a perfect one to share with friends and family around the dinner table.
Friendly Little Kitchen’s Low FODMAP Paella
Serves 4-6, using a 36cm paella pan (or a deep dish fry pan for similar results)
1 chorizo sausage (make sure it’s onion and garlic free)
One chicken breast, sliced
1 large red capsicum, chopped
Parsley stalks, finely chopped
Sea salt & ground pepper
200g tinned tomatoes
400g paella rice (Arborio works well too)
1L chicken stock (homemade or an onion and garlic free stock)
10 strings of saffron, ground with salt in mortar and pestle until fine powder
2 tsp sweet paprika
~8 large whole prawns
~8 fresh mussels
120g peas or green beans
Fresh parsley leaves
First and foremost, prepare all your ingredients so they are ready to go. Cover base of paella pan in oil and heat over medium heat. Add chopped capsicum, chorizo and chicken, fry for 5 minutes or until coloured. Then add parsley stalks, salt and pepper and continue to fry gently for 2 minutes. Add rice, chillies, paprika and ground saffron powder, stirring until the rice is coated. Add tinned tomatoes, stock and more salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stir for the last time, then turn down to a medium-low heat.
Simmer for about 15 minutes, until rice starts to look cooked. This can be a bit of a guessing game so use your instinct. Then press the prawns and mussels on top of the paella. As the mussels start to open and the prawns begin turning pink, turn the prawns over and sprinkle the peas or green beans on top. Cook for another 5 minutes or until everything is perfectly cooked.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley and squeeze half a lemon over the top. Plonk the paella pan in the middle of your table and dish up with a lemon wedge on the side.