It is already a struggle at times cooking tasty low FODMAP food for yourself. But when you need to cook for the whole family and only you have IBS, it can become quite the dilemma. Your family might have a few fussy eaters, or perhaps a couple who are crazy for all things garlic. So do you cook the family dinner plus a separate low FODMAP meal for yourself, whilst bearing the brunt of food envy? Or do you make a low FODMAP meal for everyone and deal with the complaints of blandness?
Well I am here to tell you some tips to conveniently cook low FODMAP meals which both you AND the family can enjoy!
Garlic and onion infused olive oil
It is incredibly painful finding any recipe which doesn’t contain onion or garlic. Reason being – they are super tasty and add flavour to foods. Using a garlic or onion infused extra virgin olive oil is a great option. You still get the garlic/onion flavour, without the nasty tummy upsets. Perfect in stir-fries, brushed on meat for BBQ’s, drizzled on roasted vegetables/salads, and for dipping bread in on tapas plates. TIP: if you run out, simply stir-fry 2-3 peeled whole cloves in olive oil for 2 minutes. Then remove the garlic cloves from the oil and voila! As the FODMAP component of garlic is not soluble in oil, you get the flavour without the flatulence.
As canned coconut cream and milk don’t contain lactose, they are low FODMAP in appropriate amounts. This means you can still make tasty curries and pasta dishes for the whole family to enjoy. Be careful with UHT versions in a carton, as these can be high FODMAP.
The variety of products available in the supermarkets these days can be a nightmare when it comes to decision making. On the bright side, more and more lactose-free products are becoming available. There is now lactose-free mozzarella cheese, cream-cheese, thickened-cream, sour-cream, milk, ice-cream and yoghurt! Both you and the family wouldn’t guess that these are lactose-free. They taste like the real thing, which means you can sneakily substitute them in recipes without anyone knowing the difference!
It isn’t the gluten itself in bread products which contains FODMAPs, it is the wheat. The reason most gluten-free products are safe for IBS, is because they are also wheat-free/low-wheat. Gluten itself only needs to be avoided if gluten-intolerant or coeliac. There is a decent range of gluten-free breads, pastas, and wraps available these days which are usually low FODMAP. Some sourdough, spelt-bread, and mountain bread wraps are also low FODMAP.
Regular potato and jap/kent pumpkin are low FODMAP, so a perfect option for roasting with garlic-infused olive oil and fresh rosemary. Sweet potato and butternut pumpkin are low FODMAP in small doses (try having no more than ½ cup cooked). Create a delicious mash with ½ normal potato and ½ sweet potato, a couple of teaspoons butter, dash of lactose-free milk and some sea-salt/cracked pepper!
Rice (especially brown rice) is a great low FODMAP option, as is quinoa. Both make for a delicious side and cold left-overs are great tossed through salad!
Oats should be well-tolerated on a low FODMAP diet, so porridge is a great breakfast option. If you oats don’t go down well, use quinoa flakes to make porridge instead.
Cheese glorious cheese
The good news for cheese-lovers is that most cheese is actually low FODMAP. During processing, most of the lactose is actually removed. The best options include….If you haven’t already, check out the article on what the deal is with cheese and lactose for more detail.
Veggies and salad can be a bit difficult since there are a few varieties which are not low FODMAP. If there are a few types your family loves but your gut doesn’t agree with, try meeting half-way. You can chop up low FODMAP veggies and put a small bowl aside for yourself, then add in 1 or 2 of their requested veg. You can steam yours separately, or if it is a stir-fry dish chop the high FODMAP veg large enough for you to pick out.
Adding a bit more flavour
You don’t always need onion and garlic to make a great tasting meal. Chilli, fresh/dried herbs, spices, lemon, and lime are all low FODMAP and a great flavoursome addition to meals. Be cautious with chilli and spices, as too much can unsettle a sensitive stomach.
How to make a few family favourites low FODMAP!
-Use gluten-free or quinoa pasta
-Pan-fry the mince in garlic/onion infused olive oil
-Make with passatta (pureed tomatoes) instead of a jar bolognaise sauce (tinned bolognaise sauces contain onion and garlic).
-Add diced/tinned tomatoes and grated zucchini/carrot to increase the veggie content (without the family knowing!)
-Add oregano and basil (fresh or dried) for flavour
-Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
-Don’t coat meat in garlic or onion. Brush with garlic-infused or regular olive oil, then season with salt/pepper.
-Use Massells 7 stock cubes for the gravy (as they don’t contain onion or garlic)
-Toss some chopped potato, sweet-potato, pumpkin, zucchini and eggplant together with onion-infused or regular olive oil, sea-salt, and rosemary then roast.
-Serve with steamed low FODMAP veg such as green beans, carrot, and broccoli. Limit corn to ½ cob.
-Choose meat which is not marinated (as contain onion/garlic/wheat) and make your own marinade instead. Avoid sausages as they usually contain garlic, onion and wheat.
-Make your own low FODMAP rissoles by using gluten-free breadcrumbs, green end of shallots, and fresh herbs.
-Make a low FODMAP potato bake by layering with lactose-free cream, crumbled massels 7 chicken stock cubes, green end of shallots and sprinkle with mozzarella/parmesan.
-Serve up a salad of low FODMAP veg and a home-made dressing (can be easy as ½ red wine vinegar + ½ olive oil).
-Make up a low FODMAP bolognaise mince sauce (as above).
-Use gluten-free lasagne sheets
-Make béchamel sauce (white sauce) using gluten-free plain flour, lactose-free milk, and butter.
-Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan on top
-Use diced chicken breast, diced rump steak or lean beef mince. Pan-fry in garlic/onion infused olive oil.
-Use cumin, smoked paprika, and chilli powder instead of packaged taco seasoning.
-Add tinned tomato, diced capsicum, tomato paste, coriander and massels 7 beef stock cubes (made up with boiled water). This is a low FODMAP alternative to tinned salsa/burrito sauce.
-Add filling to corn-tortillas/tacos or mountain bread wraps, top with salad, a sprinkle of cheese, and dollop of lactose-free sour-cream or natural yoghurt!
By Amanda Gaukroger