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Monday, January 21, 2013

What to eat on a Low-FODMAP diet: Grilled Polenta with Morel Vinaigrette and Garlic Lime Shrimp - recipe


Broiled Polenta with Morel Vinaigrette and Garlic Lime Shrimp

This recipe is SUPER low in FODMAPS, and it is an unbelievably delicious party dish, easy to serve to lots of people (thanks to Deny Soto for passing me the base recipe, which I’ve modified a little).  It takes about an hour to cook everything. but note that you need to make the polenta early and let it chill for a few hours before doing final steps.  

(NOTE: This is a modified, lower-FODMAP version of this recipe - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/grilled-polenta-with-morel-vinaigrette-recipe/index.html)

Polenta Ingredients:
Earth Balance butter substitute (which is dairy-free), for greasing pan
8 cups chicken stock or veggie stock
2 cups raw polenta
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup freshly grated lactose-free Parmesan cheese (or any similar lactose-free cheese, or you can skip this altogether)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Polenta Directions:
-Generously grease a large shallow baking dish and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring the chicken or veggie stock to a boil. Slowly pour in the polenta and the salt, whisking constantly with a wire whisk. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened and smooth, about 20 to 25 minutes. Fold in the corn, lactose-free cheese, and parsley. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.
-Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil polenta until browned. Grill on both sides until golden brown. Cut into squares. Arrange the polenta squares on a platter, add two shrimp (see below recipe) to each square, and spoon the vinaigrette (see below recipe) over. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Morel Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1/4 cup aged sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon walnut oil
3/4 cup pure olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound morel mushrooms, washed thoroughly and dried (Note that mushrooms are listed as high FODMAP, but they’re ok for me in small doses.  You might want to only use a FEW of these mushrooms, and chop them up super fine after they’re saut√©ed, so you still get the taste without too many FODMAPS J)

Morel Vinaigrette Directions:
In a blender, blend the vinegar and mustard until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the walnut oil and 1/2 cup of the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour into a medium bowl and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the mushrooms from the heat and coarsely chop them. Fold the mushrooms into the vinaigrette. Spoon the vinaigrette over the grilled polenta and shrimp.
NOTE: It’s delicious to add a blended shallot to this recipe if you can handle a little bit of FODMAPS. 

GARLIC AND LIME SHRIMP

(Shrimp recipe is a modified, lower-FODMAP version of this - http://www.food.com/recipe/chilis-spicy-garlic-lime-shrimp-76470)

Shrimp Ingredients:
2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil (note that garlic-infused oil has the taste of garlic, but not the FODMAPS!)
About 1 pound fresh large shrimp, peeled (make sure you have about 5-6 per person)
1 lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme

Shrimp Directions:
Make the seasoning blend by combining all the spices in a small bowl.

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add oil. When hot, add the shrimp to the pan.
Cut the lime in half and squeeze each half into the pan over the shrimp. Sprinkle the entire seasoning blend over the shrimp, and give it all a good stir. Saute the shrimp for 5 to 8 minutes or until they begin to brown. Be sure to cook both sides of all the shrimp.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Comprehensive list of high/low FODMAP foods


A lot of people had comments/questions about my blog on the low-FODMAP diet, which has eliminated stomach pain for SO MANY PEOPLE.  So I thought I’d compile a comprehensive, alphabetized list of good/bad foods on this diet.  If you have stomach pain and you haven’t tried the low-FODMAP thing, you’re doing your stomach a disservice.  Do it!  It is so much easier than you think it will be. 

Let me know if there are foods you’d like to know about that are not on this list, and I’ll do some research to find out where they belong on the good/bad spectrum.  Also keep in mind that this list is NOT UNIVERSAL.  For instance, some people can do tofu, some can’t (I can't do tofu).  Some can do corn, some can’t (corn's fine for me).  Some sources say beer is ok, some don’t (I can't go anywhere near beer).  But this is a pretty good general guideline, broken down into fruits/veggies, grains/carbs, proteins/fats/nuts, sweeteners, and alcohol:   

BAD FRUITS/VEGETABLES:
Apple
Apricot
Artichokes
Asparagus
Avocado
Beans
Beets
Blackberries
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Cherries
Chickpeas
Chicory
Dried fruits
Fennel
Garlic
Green pepper
Kale(?) - not much research on this one, but I personally can't tolerate it
Leek
Lentils
Longon
Lychee
Mango
Mushrooms
Nectarine
Okra
Onion (surprisingly, this is one of the worst for many people!)
Peach
Pear
Peas
Persimmon
Plum
Prune
Radicchio lettuce
Raisins
Rambutan
Shallot
Spring onion (white part).
Snow peas
Soybeans (some people say tofu is ok, but it isn’t for a lot of people)
Sugar snap peas
Watermelon

GOOD FRUITS/VEGETABLES:
Alfalfa
Arugula
Bamboo shoots
Banana
Bean shoots
Bell pepper
Blueberries
Bok choy
Boysenberry
Cantaloupe
Carrot
Celery
Chives
Choy sum
Coconut (ok for some people)
Corn (ok for some people)
Cranberry
Cucumber
Durian
Endive
Eggplant
Ginger
Grapes
Grapefruit
Green beans
Honeydew melon
Kiwi
Lemon
Lime
Mandarin
Olives
Orange
Parsnip
Parsley
Passion fruit
Paw paw
Pineapple
Potato
Pumpkin
Radish
Raspberry
Rhubarb
Rutabaga
Scallion (green part only)
Spring Onion (green part only)
Spinach
Squash
Starfruit
Strawberry
Sweet potato
Swiss chard
Tangelo
Taro
Tomato
Turnip
Water chestnuts
Watercress
Yam
Zucchini

BAD PROTEIN AND NUTS:
Beans
Cashews
Cream
Ice Cream
Lentils
Milk
Pistachio
Yogurt

GOOD PROTEIN/FATS/NUTS (note: all nuts in moderation):
Almonds
Canola oil
Chia seeds (small quantity only)
Chicken
Eggs
Fish
Flaxseed (small quantity only)
Garlic-infused oil
Hard cheeses are ok for SOME people (not for me)
Lactose-free dairy products
Macadamia
Meat (lean meat preferable)
Olive oil
Peanuts
Pecans
Pine nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
Turkey
Walnuts

BAD GRAINS AND CARBS:
Barley (in high quantities)
Chickory
Rye
Wheat

GOOD GRAINS AND CARBS:
Barley bran (small quantities)
Buckwheat
Millet
Oats (personally, I have trouble with oats)
Potato
Quinoa
Rice
Sago
Sorgum
Tapioca

BAD SWEETENERS:
Agave
Corn syrup
Honey
Splenda
-and any sweetener ending in “…ol”

GOOD SWEETENERS:
Aspartame
Golden syrup
Treacle
Molasses
Maple syrup
Stevia 
Sugar

BAD ALCOHOL
Beer (some sources say ok, some don’t, so I think best to avoid)
Rum
Wine (sweet)

GOOD ALCOHOL
Gin
Vodka
Wine (dry) - SMALL AMOUNTS
Whiskey

Note that you may have ADDITIONAL issues with some foods that are low-FODMAP.  Like, I can’t eat hard cheeses (or any dairy) even though they’re supposedly ok…  So you can modify this list to accommodate your personal tolerances. 

This list has been compiled from several sources, including:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Low FODMAPs – the diet that changed my IBS-enslaved life


For the first 30 years of my life I ate whatever I wanted.  I drank soda every day, and ate chocolate and bacon and potato chips with reckless abandon.  That version of myself now makes me sick.  Literally.  Because in my early 30s, I suddenly got stomach aches from almost everything I ate. 

I tried eliminating dairy, and that helped a little, but I still had chronic low-level stomach pain every day.  I tried everything – cutting out gluten, cutting out chocolate, cutting out everything but simple carbs and lean meats.  Sometimes I’d feel better for a few days, but every time the stomach pain would come back, and I’d find myself wanting to just go on an IV drip just so I could not feel stomach pain for a day.

Then a friend of mine introduced me to the low FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) diet, developed by some Australian geniuses (see this article in the Wall Street Journal - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204554204577023880581820726.html).  The theory is that certain TYPES of carbohydrates (but not ALL carbohydrates) are harder to digest than others.  And those difficult carbohydrates are found in only certain types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.  So the theory goes that if you cut out the carbs that are hard to digest, you’ll also cut out your stomach pain. 

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I IMMEDIATELY had a complete cessation in ALL stomach pain, as long as I stuck with this diet completely.  And I’ve heard the same from other friends who’ve tried it.  If you have stomach pain and you haven’t tried this diet, you are doing yourself a disservice – I can’t recommend it highly enough. 

So, here’s the deal – you can eat some fruits (like canteloupe and less ripe bananas) but not others (like watermelon and overripe bananas).  You can eat some vegetables (like green beans and butternut squash) but not others (like broccoli and onions).  I had no idea that onions are one of the most common triggers for IBS!  It’s certainly true for me.  Anyway, most nuts are ok, but stay away from pistachios.  Don’t do ANY gluten or dairy.  Here’s a comprehensive list of foods that are good/bad: http://laurabama.blogspot.com/2013/01/comprehensive-list-of-highlow-fodmap.html .  

After you feel clean and healthy again, you can start adding in foods from the high-FODMAPs list to see which ones you can tolerate.  I’ve been able to add back in some things like mushrooms and little bits of high-FODMAPS foods, as long as the bits are truly little.

Here are some articles that elucidated for me exactly what FODMAPs are, and how they affect the gut:
These guys were responsible for discovering and disseminating info about the effects of a low FODMAP diet: http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/
http://stanfordhospital.org/digestivehealth/nutrition/DH-Low-FODMAP-Diet-Handout.pdf
http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/low-fodmap-diet

I truly hope that this diet makes the rounds among people with IBS, because it’s brilliant and life-changing.  Let me know if it helps you too – I’m curious to see how universal its effects are.  Good luck!