Traveling with Food Issues…

First, I feel I must apologize for being away from this blog for so long.  I have another chronic illness that has made the past year very challenging.  I have a lot of recipes to share with you, however my husband cooked most of them and I don’t have photos of most.  The recipes have passed our tastes test, and I hope you will enjoy them as well.

Road Trip by Quert10101 at DeviantArt.com

Road Trip by Quert10101 at DeviantArt.com

The beginning of November 2012 we started on a road trip from Durham, North Carolina to Tucson, Arizona. Looking to spend the winter in a warmer climate hoping my health would be better, we took off to stay at my father-in-law’s house (he recently married and is not living in his house any longer).  So we packed up a mini-van we rented with enough clothes and essentials to last us for 5 months, a cooler, some snack foods, and a cat.

We learned a lot on the trip out.  Quickly we realized this would be a very long drive, especially with someone with food issues. We had packed just a little food, enough to tide me over if we couldn’t find anything safe for a meal or two.  We soon learned that we couldn’t find very many places we could trust for me to eat at.  I had boiled eggs, quick oats, crackers, cheese and some cut up veggies….maybe a couple of other things, but it wasn’t nearly enough.  Most days I ended up eating a burger in a lettuce wrap, or a salad.  My tummy was not happy.  I did find some good food at two of the places we stayed.  One hotel restaurant even knew what Fructose Malabsorption was!  I was shocked.  I had a great steak, potatoes au gratin, and green beans.  But most of the trip out was not a happy tummy feeling.  Not only was I eating poorly to try to stay on a gluten-free and low FODMAP diet, I ended up eating way too much salt.  The salt affects my other illness, Meniere’s disease.  Meniere’s disease is a vestibular disorder that causes sudden attacks of vertigo, tinnitus, aural fullness, and fluctuating hearing loss (I’ve completely lost my hearing.)  When we arrived in Tucson I was sick!  The day after arriving we were in a restaurant, planning to go to the grocery store afterward to stock up on safe food, and I started to have a vertigo attack.  It was miserable.  One of my worst fears, a vertigo attack in public.  Luckily, I got to the car before it was too bad, but riding in a car when the world is spinning around you is a horrific car ride.  Something I hope no one out there has to experience.

The trip back was much easier, we learned so much from the trip to AZ, the trip back to NC was a breeze.  On top of my snacks (GF Nut Thin crackers, Mozzarella Cheese, boiled eggs, and nuts) my husband made a Roasted Chicken in the slow cooker, roasted veggies that are safe for me (just toss them with a little olive oil, you can use garlic olive oil if you like, and some seasoning…we often just use Applewood Smoked Salt, then broil them…so much flavor!), potato salad (I will post the recipe we love for potato salad  soon), and pasta dressed with garlic olive oil and herbs.  This was wonderful.  I could have chicken with veggies and/or potato salad on the side, potato salad with chicken mixed in, pasta salad with veggies and chicken…..there were many mixtures I could eat so I wouldn’t get bored.  This food lasted almost all the way home.

We also stopped at grocery stores on the way to pick up fresh fruit.  We found a gluten-free grocery in New Mexico and picked up some nice crackers, and restocked my gluten-free quick oatmeal.  The oatmeal was a very good thing to have along.  If I had a hunger at night but didn’t want our packed food, I could have oats; or if our hotel didn’t serve a safe breakfast I had oats and/or boiled eggs.

We filled zippered freezer bags with ice before we left, and at each hotel we replaced the ice.  This way we didn’t have to worry about buying ice along the way, or having our food slosh around in water.

I also found a free app for my phone called Find Me Gluten Free.  This app has been very helpful, you can look up local restaurants that offer gluten-free menus close to where ever you are, it also finds grocery stores with gluten-free options…ect.  When I found a restaurant that I found interesting I would call them to see just how knowledgeable they were about cooking for allergies.  I would ask at that time if they could also make a meal that was onion, and garlic free?  If I was told yes to that question, I would ask if I could talk to the chef when I arrived, if I got a yes to all of these questions I knew I could most likely eat there safely.  We found a few restaurants this way.  Two in hotels we stayed in.  When a restaurant understands the need for all the precautions to serve gluten-free foods, they are much more adaptable to help you in your request for low FODMAPs food.  I do not overwhelm the wait staff or chef with what I can or can’t eat.  I ask about gluten, onion, and garlic….then when they give me options I ask the ingredients in the options I’m interested in, and I can at that time ask them to change something if necessary.  (always ask ingredients in Salad Dressings, they can really get you!)

I also take a Digest Spectrum when ever I eat out, I’ve been served the wrong food before and taken a bite full of onions and the Digest Spectrum helped save me from a night of misery.  I don’t use it every day, only when I’m eating out and I’m afraid of cross contamination.

With a bit of planning, and a lot of patience, traveling with food issues can be accomplished with much more fun than when you are unprepared.  Taking a trip?  Have you traveled and have good tips? Please share what you do or plan to do, we can all learn from each other.

**Please note, I am not lactose intolerant, that is why I can take cheese to snack on.  On a low FODMAP diet it says hard cheeses are safe, I am not sure what hard cheeses are.  If anyone wants, I will try to find out for you.

Garlic Infused Olive Oil

I talk a lot about Garlic Infused Olive Oil, but I’ve never really talked about how to do this.  A reader asked me, so I thought I’d tell you 3 ways I get Garlic Infused Olive Oil.

Of course,  you can buy Olive Oil already infused with different flavors, such as garlic, but it can be pretty pricy.  I do usually keep a purchased bottle on hand in case I run out of my own, or simply don’t feel like making it.  I normally use Annie’s Naturals Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  I’ve been lucky and have found this on sale a few times.

In a Pan.

You can easily infuse small amounts of olive oil with garlic by simply adding some olive oil and garlic cloves to a pan, heat…but do not let the oil or garlic scorch.  (The temperature you use will depend on the amount you are doing and how hot your stove gets….just be careful not to burn it.)   I like to keep moving the garlic around in the oil for a few minutes…the longer you cook it the more infused the olive oil will be.   This method is good if you just need a little bit for a recipe you are making.  Personally, I’ve never gotten a really rich garlic flavor like this…I think I try to rush it way too much.

In a Slow Cooker

My favorite way to infuse olive oil with garlic is with a slow cooker.   I have a mini-slow cooker so I use it.  If you don’t have a small slow cooker, simply put a Pyrex dish in your cooker the size you need, and it will work.   Even in my small cooker, if I only have one small head of garlic I will use a small Pyrex dish in it.

Today I made some using 3 heads of garlic, in my small slow cooker.

First I cut the top of the heads off, exposing the cloves.

Head of garlic with top cut off to expose cloves

Then I simply put them in the cooker and cover them completely with olive oil.   Use plenty of oil.  I buy a big container of Olive Oil when it’s on sale to save even more money.   If you are using a smaller dish in your slow cooker, you will want to cover it with foil.  This will keep the steam and flavors close to the oil.

Garlic in cooker covered well with Olive Oil

I cooked the oil I made today on low for 3-4 hours.  It kept boiling, so I finally turned it off and just let it sit until it cooled down.  (I think I may use the Pyrex dish again next time anyway, I don’t recall it boiling so much in the dish.)   The garlic heads looked delicious.

What the garlic looked like after cooking in oil.

If you have anyone in your family who can eat garlic and likes roasted garlic, you can use some of the cloves.  Remember though that they are soaked in oil.  However, just squeeze them onto bread and you have instant garlic bread.  Remember though, if you have fructose malabsorption, Do Not Eat the Garlic.   After the garlic oil has cooled, strain the oil into a glass jar.  Be sure to label the jar with the date you made it.

Garlic Infused Olive Oil
(this jar was put in the refrigerator before I got a photo, so it looks a bit cloudy. It’s not really.)

This oil will keep well in the refrigerator for over a week.   If you are using it to cook with you can use it longer….2 weeks is good.   If you are using it on salads and such I would use it in a week.   Once you put this oil in the refrigerator it will congeal.  So if you need to pour it out you will need to wait for it to warm up a bit, this does not take long.   If you I’m using it on meats, or vegetables before cooking, I often just brush the congealed oil on.

I hope this helps you make some wonderfully Garlic Infused Olive Oil.   I’ve found the oil I make in the slow cooker has the most intense flavor.

WARNING….garlic in oil can cause botulism if not prepared correctly.

From my understanding, roasting the garlic in oil as I do takes away the threat as long as it is refrigerated and used in a timely manner.

The biggest danger comes when people just drop raw garlic in olive oil and wait for it to get strong enough.  The water in the garlic is then sealed in and can grow botulism.  To avoid this, you can preserve the garlic first in vinegar or a brine.  But I think that would take away the flavor, and I still wouldn’t risk it.

Sesame Crusted Chicken Nuggets

I saw this originally on Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals, and finally found the original recipe on line….after much searching.  She called it Sesame and Herbs de Provence Chicken Tenders.   Please follow the link to see the original recipe.  I’m going to print my updated version.

Again, I’m sorry there is no photo…no real excuse this time, except I didn’t think they looked as good as they tasted.  I cooked them on parchment paper and the seeds didn’t brown, I think I will toast them first next time, it will also bring out more of the flavor.

Sesame Crusted Chicken Nuggets  (yes, you can make chicken fingers, but I had whole chicken breast and just cut them in nugget shape.)

  • 1 tablespoon or less of coarse sea salt.  (she added much more, it’s supposed to give a glaze like a bagel has on it, and help the seeds stick.  I’m on a low salt diet, so we didn’t use nearly as much as they said.  Also the only course salt I had on hand was Apple Wood Smoked Salt, so I used that.  However, we really didn’t taste the smoke, so I’m thinking I didn’t have much salt on the.)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds   (I didn’t use as much as this called for, and felt bad I wasted so many…I think 1/3 cup would be plenty….and as I said I think I will toast them next time.)
  • 4 tablespoons Herbs de Provence  (my husband thought this was a bit much.  I thought it was just right.  Of course, we didn’t really measure it precisely…do we ever?  But it was pretty close I’m sure.)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds Chicken Breast (cut into fingers or nuggets…your choice.)

Instructions  (These are Rachel Ray’s cooking instructions, except for the ingredients I omitted.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix the salt, seeds, and herbs on shallow plate then coat the chicken in mixture and bake on nonstick baking sheet 18 to 20 minutes until golden and firm. Turn halfway through the cooking.

I really loved the taste of these, but mine never got “golden”  I’m sure it’s because I used parchment paper, but it was disappointing.  I really think toasting the sesame seeds would enhance the recipe.   And really I didn’t have to put oil on the chicken or anything before dipping them in the mixture, it stuck very well. 

I promise, I’ll make this again with revisions, and post a photo…but it’s worth the risk if you want to try it.

(If you look at the ratings on Rachel Ray’s recipe it’s pretty low, because everyone said there was too much salt…so I think I did a good thing in reducing the salt.)

Hope you enjoy.

Cheers!

The Best Chicken Soup I’ve Ever Eaten!

As I mentioned in my last post we had visitors for a while and one of them cooked for us a few times.  Chris made the most delicious Chicken Noodle Soup I’ve ever eaten!  And that’s saying  a lot!

Again, he’s like me….no measurements.   But I think you can probably figure it out just by looking….does it look like it should have more celery?  add more….it will still be great!

When I make this soup again, I’ll try to get better measurements for you.  But if you cook like I often do, give it a try!  This really is some great soup!

image from smartexchange.com

Chris’s Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 2 Bone-In Chicken Breasts  (Split Breasts)
  • 4 Bone-In chicken Thighs
  • carrots – a good amount, this soup did not skimp on the carrots and celery.
  • celery – same as above.  Use a good amount.  Celery is normally very well tolerated, and gives a nice texture.
  • green onions or chives (he used the green parts of the green onions)
  • GF Noodles  (he used Tinkyada spirals)
  • Pot Herbs  (chives, chervil, parsley, thyme, marjoram, and bay leaves)
  • Sage
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil
  • Peas  (these were baby frozen peas)

Boil Chicken until done, remove chicken from stock.  Reserve stock.  Set aside meat to cool, then pick bones from meat and shred to bite size pieces.

Chop Vegetables.  Saute in post over medium heat with garlic oil.  When Vegetables are a little soft add seasoning cook another minute or two.

Add Stock and chicken pieces.   Bring to a boil.  Add Peas, return to boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Season to taste.

Cook noodles separately, add to soup when ready to serve.

 

Everyone in the house loved this soup.  He made a huge pot, and it didn’t last long!  When I cook this next time, I plan on making a big batch and freezing the soup part without the noodles, then when we want Chicken Noodle Soup we can just heat up the base, and add cooked noodles.  Do not freeze with the noodles, the noodles will turn to mush and you will not have a very good soup.

I also think this would be great with dumplings instead of noodles.

I promise to add a photo, as soon as we make up a pot!

***All the ingredients listed are on the latest sage Low FODMAPS list I have.  I think peas may be on the moderate list.  I have no problem with little green peas, but be sure to always check your personal tolerance levels.

No Recipe…but hopefully soon.

I’ve been having a very hard time with my health.  So I haven’t been cooking.  Actually, I tried a couple of times, we decided it wasn’t a safe thing for me to do.  I burned a pan to the point that it’s useless and it took days to get the smell out of the house.  Then I caught a dish cloth on fire, and didn’t even notice.

Nope, not cooking right now.

But I do have a new diagnosis to put in my bag of tricks.  Idiopathic Intercranial Hypertention.  A fancy way of saying I have too much Cerebrospinal Fluid in my brain…and no one knows why I started making too much.  So we are working on lowering it, hopefully then I can get back in my dear, dear kitchen, and knock your socks off.  I haven’t been idle, I’ve been reading and finding out all kinds of different herb combinations that should liven up some culinary delights!  (can you tell I’ve also been watching the food network?)

So…stay tuned I will be back.

I promise.

wendy

Meatballs – with no onion or garlic

My husband loves spaghetti and meatballs, unfortunately I’ve always hated making meatballs.  They’ve always been time-consuming, and messy.  You have to mix them up then form the balls, then bake them, and finally you can add them to your sauce.  How long did that take, and how many dishes did we dirty?  I’d make them occasionally because he loves them so, but not very often.  After finding a slow cooker recipe and changing it to fit a low FODMAPS diet, I may be making meatballs much more often!

Once again, I found the original recipe on Stephanie O’Dea’s site, A Year of Slow Cooking.  Her recipe is called Not Your Mother’s Meatballs, it sounded easy and with just a few minor adjustments I made gluten-free, fructose friendly meatballs!

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Spaghetti Sauce

Meatballs 

Here’s the original recipe Not Your Mother’s Meatballs in blue, my adjustments are noted:

1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley    I used Italian Seasoning
1.5 pounds lean ground beef  
4 slices smoked bacon, diced (raw; don’t cook it)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Panko-style breadcrumbs (I used Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Bread Crumbs)
2 eggs  (I only used one large egg)
2 tablespoons dried minced onion flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt  (I don’t salt anything while cooking, if salt is needed we add it at the table)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 good tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
(you could add some asafoetida powder if you wanted, but I didn’t this time)
additional ingredients:
1 cup flour (I used rice flour)  I used potato flour, just what I had on hand)
2 cups chicken broth (can use beef)
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 can Tomato Puree  (it’s the large can, I think it’s 22oz)or 
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
(as is this was very tasty, but I think next time I’ll add a little asafoetida powder or spring onion to the sauce, I missed the onion flavor, but everyone else said they loved it just the way it was!)
The Directions.
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. (I used a 4.5 qt slow cooker, this cooker is oval so it held more meatballs in a single layer) Spray the inside of your cooker with cooking spray, or rub it down with a bit of olive oil (don’t go crazy, just a little glisten)  *we simply forgot to oil the cooker, but had no sticking*  and set aside.
In a good-sized mixing bowl, combine the chopped parsley Italian Seasoning, ground beef, and diced bacon. Add in Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs, and the dried spices black pepper. Combine well— I’d use your hands (remove rings, wash appropriately, and all that good stuff that if I had a legal team they’d tell me to include).
After the meat is mixed, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or non-stick foil. Pour 1 cup of flour (I used rice potato flour) into a shallow dish (pie pan works great).
Roll meat into golfball-sized balls and then lightly dust each meat ball with flour before placing  onto the lined cookie sheet. When all the meat is gone, put the whole cookie sheet into the freezer for 1 hour, or until completely frozen. It’s okay to freeze overnight, if you’d like to break this into two days (put in sealed dish/Tupperware if freezing for longer).  
Once your meatballs are frozen, place them one-by-one (this means don’t dump!) into your lightly greased slow cooker. It’s okay to stack them. In a  small mixing bowl, whisk together the broth and tomato paste to create a gravy. Pour this evenly over the meatballs. Cover, and cook on low for 5 hours, or until the meatballs have browned and are fully cooked. I cooked the meatballs pictured above on low for 5 hours, then let them sit on warm for another 3 1/2 hours before dinner was served.  I made the meatballs at night, and put them in a container and froze over night.  In the morning my husband simply added them to the cooker, and added the tomato puree, and Italian Seasoning.  Cooked on High for 4 hours, they smelled so good and looked done, so I tested and they were cooked through.  We weren’t going to be having dinner for a couple of hours and the cooker we used doesn’t have a warm setting, so I turned it off and about 15 mins before serving I turned it on High again.  Note: we did carefully stir these a few times because it was getting too done around the sides.  I suggest not to stir them for the first hour or so to make sure they stay intact.
Serve alongside pasta or rice, or all on their own. These are filling!
We served them with Tinkyada’s Spinach Spaghetti Pasta, and extra Parmesan cheese.
The verdict at my house?  Please make these again!!   Meatballs often fall apart in the slow cooker, the freezing is the key to this recipe!
The only things I might change, not add as much bacon and dice it up smaller than I did this time (possibly leave it out all together).  Add some asafoetida powder or the green parts of spring onions to the sauce.

 

Italian Sausage without onion or garlic – and a meal to go with it.

We bought some plain ground pork so I could make some sausage I could eat.  I simply cannot find any that doesn’t have onion or garlic.

I looked up a few recipes, but decided to just wing it.  I’ve made Sage Sausage before, but this is the first time I’ve made Italian Sausage.

Italian Sausage with NO onion or garlic

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup Italian Seasoning.  (I put in about 3 tablespoons but decided it needed more, so added even more…I think this is a good guesstimate on how much you should use.)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil  (yes I know I said, no garlic, and you can leave this out, but if you infuse the olive oil with garlic but DO NOT EAT THE GARLIC, it is low in FODMAPS)
  • 1-2 tablespoons black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika

I mixed everything together in my Kitchen Aid mixer. So much easier than mixing by hand.

Just cook and eat.  I normally add Italian Sausage it to recipes.

Of course, this sausage does not have a casing, you can buy casing if you’d like and stuff them yourself.  I think it’s too much trouble, and kind of gross.  Plus, I normally remove the casing to use this type of sausage.

The night after I made the sausage I made Sautéed Kale and Potatoes with Italian Sausage.

simply brown crumbled sausage in a pan, remove sausage and drain most of the grease.

Chop and add potatoes.  Cook until tender.

Add the sausage back in.

Chop and Add the Kale, splash with Aji-Mirin Sauce (by Kikoman, this is the only brand I can find that does not have fructose. It has glucose as the first ingredient.  This sauce will not only add a little sweetness to your Kale, which is often a little bitter, it will also make them easier to digest.

Cook until Kale is wilted.   (you can add some herbs or spices if you like.  I think the sausage added enough flavor to this dish.)

If you would like further directions for this recipe, please see a previous recipe Sautéed Kale with Potatoes.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken (not lactose free, but low in other FODMAPS)

Yesterday, I was happy I felt like cooking.  Recovery from my surgery on December 1st, and all the trouble before it, has made it almost impossible for me to enjoy my kitchen.  However, yesterday I decided to take the plunge.

We had boneless skinless chicken breast thawed, so I thought…what can I do with this that is Fructose Friendly.  For some reason I’ve been thinking about Alfredo.  I rarely ever eat anything Alfredo because it’s so fattening, and rich.  I thought I could improve on that, plus, I hadn’t eaten a lot of calories yet that day so…why not give it a shot?   (I’m sorry this doesn’t meet low FODMAPS requirements because it does have lactose, I’m very lucky, I am not lactose intolerant.)

Chicken Alfredo over Brown Rice Noodles.

This recipe took a lot of guess work, a lot of substitutions, and a lot of just trying stuff.   This is one of those times I just threw what I had together, and kept tasting it to get it right, so all measurements are a guess.  (sorry)

Chicken Alfredo

  • 1 large chicken breast half, sliced  (I cut it in half then cut slices less than 1/4 inch thick)
  • Olive Oil – enough to cover the pan plus a little.
  • 3-4 cloves are garlic  (this will be removed)
  • 3-4 shallots (this will be removed
  • about 3-4 oz cream cheese – cubed (I used low fat)
  • 1/3 cup (about a handful) of Pizza Cheese (I would have used all Parmesan, but I didn’t have enough, we had a blend of cheeses including Pamesan, Romano, Mozzarella … so I used that.)
  • enough milk to make smooth (I used 2 %)
  • Italian Seasoning – I just sprinkled it over the mixture.
  • Black Pepper – to taste…I used more of this than I normally do in things, and I really think it made the dish.  The undertones of the pepper made it just right.

 

Add Olive Oil to Pan and begin to heat over medium high heat.  Add Garlic cloves and Shallots, reduce heat to medium.  Heat thoroughly, and  cook for about 5 minutes, letting the flavors infuse in the oil, being careful not to burn (reduce heat more if necessary…I had to.).

While the oil was infusing, I cut up the chicken, occasionally stirring the oil.

Remove the garlic and shallots from the oil, the flavors should be infused in the oil.  (I think my garlic was a bit to old, so I didn’t get as much garlic flavor as I normally do.)

Brown the chicken in the oil.  Cook through.   (normally I cook the chicken and sauce separately and layer the dish, but I was reading a recipe where someone just added the sauce ingredients to the chicken, so I did that this time.  It worked well, but I think it’s easier to do it separately to ensure the cheeses melt evenly.)

Add the Cream Cheese Cubes, the Pizza Cheese, and Milk.  (I just added a little milk to start, then as things melted and I saw how thick it was I added more.

Stir until cheeses melt.  Add Italian Seasoning and Pepper.

 

This was a huge hit.  My husband was thrilled….and now swears I’ll never be able to duplicate the recipe because I didn’t measure anything.  He’s probably right, I won’t be able to do it exactly, but I’m sure I can come pretty darn close…heck, maybe it’ll be even better.  I’d like to have had more of a garlic taste, and I think all Parmesan cheese would be better…have more flavor.

I served this with petite green peas.

(about the lactose content.  I know you can substitute the milk, and parmesean cheese is allowed on low FODMAPS, and I’ve seen a lactose free cream cheese alternative, but I don’t know if it’s any good.)

Cheers!

Updating Recipe Index – New Favorite Spices and products.

I know…another long time between posts.  I’ve been on kind of a forced hiatus.

The Meniere’s has been making it impossible for me to cook like I used to.  Hubbies been doing most of the cooking, and he isn’t really making anything new.

Today, I’ve been going through my Recipe Index, and looking at some recipes, trying to update things so you can tell if the recipe is gluten free (gf) – All Recipies are Gluten Free, lactose free (lf), or Fructose Friendly (ff)  - I say Fructose Friendly instead of low FODMAPS because I am not lactose intolerant, and there are some things I can eat that others cannot.  I felt this was more precise for my recipes.   I still have a long way to go, but I hope you will find some recipes that you can use, or at least adapt to your diet needs.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate in contacting me.

Most of my recipes have Onion and Garlic in them.  One of my new favorite spices is Asafetida Powder, it can replace onion and garlic in most dishes.  However, it really STINKS!  But give it a chance, it doesn’t taste like it smells.  I advise to try this a little at a time in your recipe.  Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out.  It can be difficult to find Asafetida without wheat in it.  In the US you can only get it in powdered form, and it’s always cut with something…usually wheat flour.  However, I did find some at My Spice Sage that is cut with Rice Flour.  I wrote to the company, and they assured me it is completely gluten free!  (Remember companies can change things, so always check the ingredients before ordering.)  I must say, this spice has saved me.  I really missed my onion and garlic.  You can use big hunks of onion and garlic and remove them before eating, or you can use garlic infused olive oil (I still do this sometimes).  But I’m always afraid I’ll still get some when I’m removing the hunks of onion and garlic, after all, they kind of fall apart while cooking.  And garlic infused olive oil doesn’t keep well.  If you buy it already made it does better, but then you often get preservatives and I don’t want that.

ginger root

Another spice…or is it an herb…really it’s a root, that has made it’s way to our table much more than it used to is Ginger.  I’ve used ginger many times before, but now, we reach for it much more often.  It adds a great flavor, and it’s fructose friendly!!  It’s great with lemon, orange, basil (and other herbs like thyme, and tarragon).  Just play with it, you’ll find it adds a lot of dimension to many dishes.  Plus it makes a great tea when you have an upset tummy.  (I like to make Green Ginger tea with Lemon when I’m not feeling well.)

Dextrose – If I’m making a dish and think I might be getting too many vegetables, I’ll sprinkle on some Dextrose just to make sure I can digest them better.  I also cook with it in my baked goods.

Kikoman Aji- Mirin Sauce - Yes, the brand is important.  A lot of Mirin sauces have fructose in them.  This one does list Corn Syrup, and I know in the US sometimes Corn Syrup means High Fructose Corn Syrup, so I wrote to the company, and they assured me this was regular Corn Syrup.  The ingredients are: Glucose Syrup, Water, Alcohol, Rice, Corn Syrup, Salt.   As you can see Glucose Syrup is first.  I use this often when stir frying any vegetable.  It’s great on Kale, and other greens, takes the mellows that sharp flavor so many don’t like.  I like that I can use this and it helps me digest fructose.  We use it often.  (My husband made a roast in the slow cooker and put this in by mistake…I told him to keep making that mistake, it was delicious!)

I’ve also found that I use more spices/herbs.  I’ve branched out from my usual, and have really enjoyed some new herbs.  Beware, not all spices are fructose friendly.  Allspice, is made from a berry, it is not recommended.  Anise is made from a vegetable, I’m not sure if it’s alright or not, so be sure to check.

Remember, the low FODMAPS allowed list is just a guideline.  You must figure out how much fructose you can handle.

 

Long time, not cooking – therefore, no new posts.

Didn't have a picture to go with this post, so i thought I'd post a drawing I did recently. If you'd like to see more of my drawings, you can see them on my blog Create To Heal.

I’m sorry to all of you out there who are starving for new recipes to try that you may be able to tolerate.

I’m having a very hard time with my other chronic illnesses, and simply have not been able to cook.  (having balance, and spatial relations issues due to vestibular disorder – these things to not a happy cooker make)

I wanted to let you all know that I’m thinking about you.

Hubby, has been cooking.  Simply tried and true things I can eat…but not necessarily the healthiest.  : )

Have found that Annie’s Gluten-Free Deluxe Mac and Cheese is great, for Mac and Cheese in a box).  And since I’m not lactose intolerant, I tolerate it very well.  Found some hot dogs with no offending ingredients.  (one of the Earthfare brands – however Earthfare is only in the south east, started in N.C.)  But they are all meat!  No nitrates, preservatives, or….duh, duh, de, dum….onion!

I have found that I’m lucky and can tolerate a little onion powder, and a little bit of garlic in things.  (better than when I started on this journey, so it looks like there is hope that if you stay strict for a while you can re-introduce some things, at least in small quantities.)

However, I think I may have mentioned, that I bought some Asafoetida Powder at My Spice Sage on line.  They are the only place I’ve found that carried this stuff and cuts it with rice flour instead of wheat!  We’ve been using this in place of onion and garlic powder (or onion and garlic) and it works great!  (even in my coleslaw recipe… thank goodness because people request it when I go to parties!  Oh, and the cabbage, in small quantities, does well with me, but I do put some dextrose in my coleslaw now.)

One big note about using Asafoetida Powder – It Stinks!  There is a reason it is nicknamed Devil’s Dung!  It came in a plastic bag, I up the plastic bag in a glass jar before putting in my spice cabinet, and still, I can smell it a little.  Use very little, when you start out and add more if needed.  You can always add, but you can’t take away!

I’ll add some simple recipes that my husband has been using over the past month soon…probably tomorrow.

Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken, Slow Cooker Roast Beef…both changed to be fructose friendly…

Thanks for still reading.

(I will admit, I considered letting this blog just wither away.  The Fructose Intolerance is just so different for everyone, trying to post recipes that work for so many different people is very hard, and I don’t want to give anyone wrong information.  Then, I started receiving requests from people for help.  Even if I can help just one person get through some of this, then I will try.  But always keep in mind that EVERYONE with FM, Dietary Fructose Intolerance and HFI are all different.  A great resource I’ve found is the Fructose Friendly group on Facebook.  Yes, there is a huge Yahoo group about Fructose Malabsorption, but there are so many people on there I feel lost and overwhelmed.  The people on Fructose Friendly, are really a friendly bunch.)