Menu #1

Sometimes meal planning with dietary issues can be a real drag… When I was new to following a FODMAP diet I really struggled to put a varied menu on the table.  The difficulty level went up a notch if I tried to make it appealing to The Husband and The Son –  and there were many evenings of intense frustration.  Or boredom from serving the same thing over and over again.

What's for Dinner?
What’s for Dinner?

That’s why I’m going to do a series of dinner menus, hopefully to help someone who is getting started, or just tired of thinking up the answer to:  ‘what’s for dinner?’.  The first one, appropriately, is Menu #1 :

Ham is one of the foods I found that by reading a label carefully, I could find one that had minimal additives  and ingredients – I particularly watch for garlic.  This one from Harvest meats I know my tummy can handle:

 

 

Always read the label!
Always read the label!

The slices were of nice size and easily grilled for a few minutes on the BBQ.  I didn’t brush them with a glaze – just kept it simple.

 

 

 

The Herbed pasta is really easy.  Mini Recipie:

Herbed Pasta

  • Cooked rice pasta
  • Olive Oil
  • Italiano blend (I make my own, without onion or garlic)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Toss and serve!  The trick, I found, was to use enough olive oil to prevent the pasta from cooling into a thick gooey mass.

Summer = Salads
Summer = Salads

I chose to have a Garden Salad as the veggie – my garden gave me a stellar crop of lettuce this year, and nothing says summer like a fresh salad.  Finding a salad dressing is really tough, so I make my own.  Here’s another Mini Recipe:

 

 

 

Salad Dressing

  • Orange Juice
  • Brown Sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

Shake and pour.

The salad dressing keeps for a while in the fridge, so probably the pasta takes the longest to cook and serve.  It all puts together to get this:

Menu #1
Menu #1

To rate this meal, out of 3 stars (3 being the most), I’d give the following:

Ease of grocery shopping: * * *

Ease of preparation: * * *

Family friendly rating * * *

The ease of grocery shopping is assuming that you’ve already found a place where you can buy your gluten free pasta – I have been pretty lucky and found my favourite brand in most grocery stores I’ve shopped in.  The bags of pasta (I buy Tinkyada) keep a long time and are easy to transport, so I can stock up if I think it will be difficult to find when I’m on the road.

Happy eating (yes!  even with IBS!)

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Chili and Pasta

I have to admit that this winter is wearing on me.  It takes a great deal of effort to talk myself out of wearing my oversized flannel shirt every day!  I’m so lazy that I might as well be hibernating – and that’s why this recipe for Chicken Chili and Pasta is perfect.  It’s very, very easy and is one of my go-to recipes for when my tummy isn’t feeling well.  Very FODMAP friendly!

It’s also quick and uses so few ingredients that I almost always have them on hand.  It’s a good recipe for beginner cooks to learn.

Chicken Chili and Pasta
Chicken Chili and Pasta

Chicken Chili and Pasta

  • 1 Package of ground chicken (you could substitute ground turkey as well)
  • 1 can of Aylmer Accent Fire Roasted diced tomatoes (they have no onion or garlic included)
  • 1 Tsp Cumin (I add more because I like it)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked Rice Pasta (I use the Tinkyada brand)

That’s it!  That’s all the ingredients!

Chicken Chili Pasta ingredients
Chicken Chili Pasta ingredients

First brown the ground chicken in a frying pan (I sometimes use a bit of olive oil).  Once browned, stir in the cumin, salt and pepper and tomatoes.  Simmer for about 5 minutes and serve over cooked pasta!

This recipe serves 3 hungry people and I often will double the recipe to make extras for leftovers to keep in the fridge.  Because the Aylmer diced tomatoes are so chunky, I will sometimes add half the can as is, and then blend the rest with my hand blender in the can before adding it.

Here’s hoping for an early spring!

Road Trip Preparations AKA: Kitchen on the Road

Road Trip Preparations AKA: Kitchen on the Road

As anyone with IBS knows, the thought of going on a road trip doesn’t fill oneself with carefree thoughts of the open road.  There is fear, anxiety and a general feeling of helplessness.  That’s why I thought that making a lot (a LOT) of road trip preparations would really, really be important.

Our road trip this summer is to take us through the American mid-west with a goal of visiting family and doing some touristy things.  The Son and The Husband are eager for new sights and are really looking forward to the journey.  We will be on the road for 10 days, staying in 4 different hotels.  The Husband has been so very supportive, and has booked us hotels with fridges and microwave ovens in the room.

road trip

I am preparing on two fronts:  for Day-to Day meals and for Emergencies.  Here’s my plan for day to day meals…

Road Trip Preparation AKA Kitchen on the Road

My road trip preparations for regular meals means that I am going to be travelling with a small kitchen in a cooler (good thing we have a big car!)  Here are my plans for each meal:

Breakfast

To start my day I need two things to function:  a hot cup of tea with milk (dairy free) and sugar, and something with protein to keep me full.  The tea should be easy, I’ve found small tetra-packs of almond milk that I can bring.  Best of all, they don’t need to be refrigerated if they are unopened!  On the downside, once the container is opened, it can’t be sealed shut again.  Ill either drink a lot of tea each day (to use up the container), bring tape to try and seal it shut, or throw the remaining contents out.  I hate wasting food, so well see how this goes.  For the protein, I’ve decided to bring plain rice cakes and organic peanut butter.  I can eat this in the room with a minimal of fuss – maybe add a banana for flair.  The organic peanut butter needs to be refrigerated, and I figure I can manage this with the in room fridges and our cooler.  I’ll need to bring cutlery, and some sort of container that I can fill with hotel ice each night, as I doubt the hotel fridge will be able to refreeze a freezer pack.

Lunch

This will often be eaten at small road-side diners and I don’t want the hassle of checking with the waitress about ingredients, cross-contamination, and that sort of thing. My plan is to bring along a FODMAP friendly granola bar (heavy on the nuts for protein), or a small Tupperware container of nuts, a small baggie of carrots or an orange.  I’ll need a lunch kit that I can fill up each morning and then have accessible for when we stop.

Dinner

Dining out is usually one of the joys of travel, but I’d rather be safe and healthy than adventurous and sick.  So, my plan is to try and find a restaurant where I can get plain rice, baked potato, or fries that are uncoated and cooked in a dedicated fryer (no cross-contamination).  Also, I think it’s pretty easy to ask for steamed carrots or broccoli, so that will take care of my dietary need for veggies.  For protein, I hope I can get a plain grilled chicken breast, but ‘Ive got a back up plan.  I’ve discovered pull-tab single serving sized tins of tuna – easy to pop into my purse and have in an emergency!

Snacks

For snacks, I’ve discovered that salt and vinegar chips are fairly safe (still read the label as some brands list dairy on the ingredient list – what’s up with that?)  I know this won’t wash with the health food advocates out there, but I’m on vacation and have enough food denial in my life.

Everything but the kitchen sink!
Everything but the kitchen sink!

So, Ill take some stuff, buy some stuff on the road.  Hopefully my road trip preparations will take some of the adventure out of travelling with IBS!

I’m still working on what Ièll bring for emergencies… stay tuned for my next blog….