FODMAP Free Baking for Christmas

It’s that time of the year again… Christmas!!! Over the years I’ve gone through Christmas with a varying degree of enthusiasm.  There was the Christmas that I celebrated by making Martha Stewart look lazy.  There was the Christmas that wasn’t so much celebrated as… endured.  This year I fall right in the middle of the two extremes and I have to admit part of my hesitation is the challenge of FODMAP-free baking for Christmas.  Can it be done?  Yes!

Dairy free, egg free, gluten free and FODMAP free.  And YUMMY!
Dairy free, egg free, gluten free and FODMAP free. And YUMMY!

The lights were up on our house at the beginning of December, the tree was up the following weekend.  We sent out about 60 Christmas cards (complete with cheezy family photo), and have attended various parties.  The one big thing that was missing from my Christmas preparations was the marathon Christmas baking that I used to do.

Now that I am dairy, egg and FODMAP intolerant, my tried and true Christmas baking recipes just make me a tad blue.  I did attempt last year t0 modify shortbread using rice flour and goats butter, but the cookies were a crumbly mess.  I vowed then not to attempt to bake Christmas cookies again.

But, another year later, I feel like something is missing from the Christmas festivities if I don’t do some baking.  There’s’ nothing worse than having food around that I can’t eat, so I asked The Husband and The Son what kind of Christmas cookies were their favourite and I would bake only that.  The Husband chose shortbread so I bought butter for the first time in years and made him up a batch of that (careful not to lick fingers!!).  The Son surprised me and chose gingersnaps.

“But those aren’t Christmas Cookies”  I said.

“That’s what I want” he said.  So that’s what I made for him.

Of course, all this baking made me crave some treats that I could have too, so I did some experimenting.  I used the basic white cookie recipe that I got out of the Living Without magazine, and attempted something… Christmassy.

I experimented and came up with three different cookies and I’m quite proud of them.  Not only do they look great on the cookie tray, they are so tasty that someone who didn’t know they were dairy free, egg free and FODMAP free (including gluten free), would be surprised.

Here’s my recipe for the Citrus Pops.  They are soft and sweet, with a crunchy citrusy zing.  Very pretty on the plate too!

Lemon and Orange candied peel make these zingy and pretty!
Lemon and Orange candied peel make these zingy and pretty!

FODMAP Free Baking – Citrus Pops

Cookies:

  • 1 box gluten free vanilla cake mix
  • 1/2 c Earth Balance baking margarine
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of egg replacer (of choice) and 3 Tbsp of water
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract

Icing:

  • 2 cups Icing Sugar (more if needed for consistency)
  • Sugar water (see candied peel recipe)

Topping

  • Candied orange and lemon peel

Instructions:

Mix cookie dough, it should be very soft.  Use damp hands to roll into balls (dough will be sticky), and bake on parchment at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Remove from parchment and cool.

Cooling and waiting to be iced!
Cooling and waiting to be iced!

Add 1-2 Tbsp sugar water to the icing sugar and beat.  Add more icing sugar or sugar water depending on consistency.  You want a thick, but not too dry icing.  Dip tops of cookies into the icing (use spatula to smooth over the top of the cookie) and then dip immediately into candied peel (I kept the orange and lemon candied peel separate so I had two different types of cookies).

Let icing firm up and store.

Candied Orange Peel

  • 4 oranges
  • 4 cups water
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sugar (for dredging)

Wash oranges thoroughly.  Peel oranges, trying to keep pieces as large as possible (makes the next step easier).  With a sharp knife, slice off as much of the white part (pith) as possible (it’s bitter).  Dice the peel finely.

Dicing Orange Peel

Combine water and first amount of sugar into medium pot over medium heat.  Bring to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add peel and simmer for about 2 hours (check frequently to make sure pot doesn’t run over or dry out).  I’ve seen advice not to stir, but I run a spoon around the sides once or twice.  Remove from heat and let sit to cool.  Drain in colander (keep this sugar water to make the icing).

Dredge the peel in sugar (about 1 cup), and place on parchment covered pan in a 200 degree turned-off oven to dry out.  Check to make sure the oven isn’t too hot – you don’t want to bake these!  Let the peel dry out (you can leave them for an hour or overnight).  Store in a dry location.

This works with lemon peel as well, but I found the colour didn’t stay as vibrant after boiling.  To spruce up the colour, I put the 1 cup of sugar (for dredging) in a clean empty jar, added 1-2 drops of yellow food colouring and shook until the sugar was the desired colour.  I then dredged the boiled peel in this before drying out in the oven.

The Citrus Pops have been a big hit around here, and also generates some interest when I take them to gatherings.  Many people have food intolerances, and they welcome something safe to indulge in!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

 

Gutsy Broad’s FODMAP Free Salsa

I’m swamped by tomatoes!!  I had to pick my garden’s bounty of tomatoes because of the impending frost, and when I peeked in to check on them a week or so later, I discovered they had all ripened at the same time.  I needed a plan to do something about it!

I’ve already frozen some tomatoes (washed, frozen whole), made up some pasta sauce, and have tinkered around with my usual salsa recipe to use up the last of the tomatoes…  I love salsa, and am so glad that tortilla chips are allowed on the FODMAP diet.

Home-grown tomatoes make this an extra-special treat!
Home-grown tomatoes make this an extra-special treat!

Of course, the big problem with purchased salsa is that it contains a lot of garlic and onions, both of which are high on the FODMAP list.  I left out the garlic (I could use garlic flavoured oil, but I didn’t want to add oil to this recipe(, and just used the green tops of onions.  to get that satisfying crunch, I made sure I added lots of diced red and green pepper.  If someone didn’t know this was a ‘special’ recipe, they wouldn’t be able to figure I out form the taste!

Gutsy Broad’s FODMAP Free Salsa

This is makes just a small amount, and easy to double or triple if you need to make more.  The dicing and draining take a little while, but it’s a fairly fast and easy recipe.  If you like your salsa crunchier, add more red or green pepper.  The amount of cilantro can be easily adjusted to taste as well.

  • 4-5 tomatoes (finely diced)
  • 1/2 red pepper (finely diced)
  • 1/2 green pepper (finely diced)
  • 2-3 stalks green onion (diced)
  • handful cilantro (diced)
  • Salt and pepper
  • lime juice
Fresh and delicious!
Fresh and delicious!

Combine all ingredients and let sit for a half hour or so.  There will be lots of liquid at the bottom of the mixture, use a sieve to drain off.  (I retain the drained juices and will use them in another recipe).

I find this salsa tastes better the next day, after the flavours have blended a bit.  This salsa keeps well in the refrigerator, so is a great make-ahead dish for a party or the big game.

Served with tortilla chips, this is a terrific and nutritious snack that even The Husband and The Son enjoy!  The Son currently doesn’t like spicy foods, but it would be easy to add pepper or pepper flakes to up the zing factor.

Gutsy Broad's FODMAP free Salsa!
Gutsy Broad’s FODMAP free Salsa!

Gutsy Broad’s Coconut Fish

This recipe for Gutsy Broad’s Coconut Fish is a bit of work in progress.  I had wanted to develop something that had a bit of a different flavour (with a limited variety of ingredients, I didn’t want all my food tasting the same!), was easy to make, and was very, very gentle on my tummy.  When I have an IBS flare up this is one of my go-to recipes – I put it together after learning about the FODMAP diet this spring.

Yummy and gentle on the Tummy.
Yummy and gentle on the Tummy.

I had read that coconut and ginger are both good for the digestion system, so I wanted to incorporate both.  You can change this up a bit, to suit yourself.  I did find that I needed more salt than I was used to adding to food.  I think I’ve discovered just how much salt is in prepared foods now that I am making everything from scratch!  My taste-buds miss salt, so I’m slowly trying to wean myself off it (that being said, when I’m feeling icky, I crave salty foods!).

At the time I put this recipe together, I was mourning the loss of Indian curry dishes from my diet.  Too much butter, garlic and onions!  I found that pre-packaged curry spice mixes often have garlic and onion in them, so I experimented with just using the Tumeric, wich has a mild flavour but gives the dish a very curry yellow colour.

This FODMAP friendly recipe serves 2 to 4 people, depending on how big your serving sizes are.  It takes about 25-30 minutes to prepare.  The Son is suspicious of curry sauce, so I pan-fry the fish in a separate pan and add to the sauce at the end.  You could easily modify the reicipe and cook it all in one skillet.

Gutsy Broad’s Coconut Fish

  • 4 fillets of fish, chopped into large chunks. (I use whatever I have on hand – salmon, basa, cod, even shrimp (though shrimp takes a shorter time to cook))
  • Olive oil
  • 5-6 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Tumeric (more or less to taste)
  • 1 Tsp paprika and or chili powder (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1-2 handfuls of washed and chopped spinach (optional)
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • dash of lime juice (optional)

In skillet, sauté the fish in olive oil until cooked and a bit crispy.  It will get very crumbly, but this is ok.

In another skillet, start with sautéing the tomatoes, ginger, and spices in olive oil.  It will get very liquidy, but keep boiling until all the moisture has been steamed off (otherwise this dish is too watery).  Add the pepper and spinach if desired and sauté for a minute or two.  Add the coconut milk and cooked fish and then heat through.  Sprinkle with lime juice if desired.

I serve this with rice or quinoa, and have a side of broccoli or carrots.

If you have a picky eater (ha!  That’s coming from someone who’s following a FODMAP diet!) like The Son, I reserve some coconut milk and heat it with some pan-fried fish, salt and pepper.  Served over rice with a side of veggies, it’s pretty good.  Once his taste buds mature, I’ll be able to do this all in one pan, which will make the washing up easier.

Next post I hope to update you on my ongoing efforts to keep my symptoms in check.  We’ll see what I’m trying and how I’m doing…

 

GUTSY BROAD’S SIMPLE SUMMER LUNCH SALAD

 

I started following the FODMAP diet in the winter and as the weather changes I’m finding that I have to scramble to find something suitable for warm days.  This has become one of my fast, go-to lunches –  I usually have the ingredients on hand and it’s simple to prepare.  

 

This FODMAP friendly recipe serves 1, but can easily be doubled (or more!).  I’m planning on packing it for a lunch at work this week, will probably throw a frozen juice box to sit beside the salad so I don’t have to worry about the tuna going bad. 

 

Gutsy Broad’s Simple Summer Lunch Salad

 

  •       ½ can chunked or flaked tuna, drained (I usually save the other half for another salad later in the week)
  •       1 medium tomato diced (picked up from a farmers market or your garden will improve the taste immensely)
  •       Bowl of shredded lettuce, any kind or blend (that is FODMAP friendly).  (I like to chop mine into little bits – I hate trying to awkwardly fit an entire leaf in my mouth.) 
  •       Salt and pepper
  •       Olive oil – the best quality you can afford.  I have a small bottle of expensive olive oil that only I can use, and just for this salad.

 

I basically combine the ingredients, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on to taste.  Don’t drizzle or sprinkle too lightly – think of how much salad dressing you’d normally toss a salad with.

 Tuna Salad

 I don’t like eating cold salad, and have even warmed the tuna slightly in the microwave first.  There’s no carbs in this recipe, but I usually have enough with breakfast or dinner, so missing out at lunch is no big deal. 

Pasta with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce

Ok, this is my first experience blogging with a recipe – let’s see if I can get the ingredients right!  This is a go-to recipe for me when I want something flavourful, but easy on the tummy.  If my gut is giving me trouble, this is the first dinner I make to calm IBS symptoms down.  Originally a Weight Watchers recipe, I’ve heavily adjusted it so that it is FODMAP friendly. 

      • 1 package ground turkey
      • 2 – 3 Tbsp olive oil
      • Salt and Pepper
      • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (check the can ingredients listing  to make sure that’s the only ingredient as onion and garlic is commonly added)
      • 1 Tsp cumin
      • Rice pasta – I cook the entire 340g package of Tinkyada rice pasta and refrigerate leftovers. 

Here’s a photo of the ingredients, all laid out.  Don’t worry if your can of fire roasted tomatoes is bigger, or if you  have slightly more ground turkey than specified.  It’s one of those recipes where you can’t really mess up.

 Chicken Pasta ingredients

Instructions:

  • Start the water for pasta.  Cook pasta while preparing sauce.
  • Brown turkey in olive oil – make sure the meat is starting to get crispy brown as this adds flavour.  Season with Salt and Pepper.
  • Add fire roasted tomatoes.  The husband isn’t a fan of chunky bits of tomatoes, so I add half the can as is, and then use my wand blender on the remainder in the can to make it more ‘saucey’.
  • Add Cumin, stir and sauté.  When pasta is done, serve.

 Chicken Pasta done

And that’s it!  Simple, yummy and FODMAP friendly – what more can you ask for?  Oh yeah! – The leftovers are great too – I’ll often double the recipe to make sure there are leftovers in the fridge for weekday lunches.

 

 

About My Recipes…..

I’m no Martha Stewart.  Or Julia Child.  Or any well-trained, disciplined and talented chef for that matter.  I learned how to cook by a) trying not to flunk out of high school home-ec classes, b) watching my mom cook and c) loving food.  None of these have helped me much in trying to learn a new, IBS-Friendly way of cooking.  So I’m winging it.  These are my recipes, that work for my stomach and my family.  If I’ve taken an old favourites and adjusted it to suit my dietary requirements, I’ll try to credit where I found the original recipe… if I can remember where it came from! 

I’ve tried to include really helpful instructions, but I tend to cook like my mom – ‘you just cook it’.  So if my recipes work out a bit dodgy for you, please let me know, and I’ll see what I need to fix.