Sweet and Sour Chicken {Low Fodmap and GF}

Image credit: simplyrecipes.com

Image credit: simplyrecipes.com

4 skinless chicken breasts

1 cup water

1⁄3 cup rice wine vinegar

1⁄3 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp wheat free soy sauce

1 tbsp  cornstarch

1⁄4 tsp  hot pepper flakes

1 red pepper, cut into strips

1 yellow pepper, cut into strips

1 tsp ginger

14oz can pineapple chunks

1⁄3 cup cashews (optional)

In a small bowl, combine 1⁄2 cup of water, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger, and pepper flakes. In a nonstick skillet with 1⁄4 cup of water, cook chicken breast (or microwave). Cut into small pieces and set aside. In same skillet, add peppers and 1⁄4 cup of water. Simmer until peppers are crisp-tender. Add chicken, pineapple and sauce to skillet and stir-fry. Bring to boil and add more cornstarch if necessary to thicken sauce.

Spoon out onto a platter and sprinkle with cashews. Serve with rice. Makes 4 servings

A Note About Garlic

I find there is a bit of confusion amongst experts regarding whether garlic powder is tolerable on a low fodmap diet.  I read on Standford University Medical Center’s handout for the low fodmap diet that garlic powder is okay but fresh garlic is not. Other experts say no garlic except garlic infused oil. Personally, I’ve used garlic powder and been okay.  If you want to add garlic to this dish, you can do so with a little bit of garlic infused oil:  cook a garlic clove in a bit of oil until the garlic is browned, remove garlic, add oil to this dish.  Here is a recipe to make garlic infused oil in bulk:  http://fructosefreeme.com/2012/03/29/garlic-infused-olive-oil-that-keeps-for-months

Cornbread {Low Fodmap and Gluten Free}

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I adapted this recipe from:  http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/old-fashioned-gluten-free-cornbread/ to make it low fodmap. I was a little nervous about baking with 100% cornmeal but it turned out beautifully.

 

2 cups cornmeal

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

4 T. sugar

1 egg, beaten

4 T. oil

1 cup lactose free milk, soured with 1 T. vinegar (let stand for a few minutes before using)

1/2 c. lactose free plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Grease  a 9 x 9″ glass baking dish.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk together liquid ingredients in a smaller bowl.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients. Stir until just blended.

Pour into prepared baking dish.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

 

Pasta with Chicken and Peppers in Peanut Sauce [Gluten and Dairy Free, and Low Fodmap]

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Image credit blogchef.net

With my doctors blessing, I’m trialing a new diet for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) [which I've had for many, many years] called low fodmaps http://www.health.arizona.edu/health_topics/nutrition/handouts/FODMAPs%20diet.pdf which basically limits certain types of sugars found in foods, such as lactose, fructose, as well as sugars found in legumes, some vegetables such as broccoli, onions and garlic (that’s a tough one, onions and garlic are ubiquitous) and the sugar found in wheat, rye and barley. I’m in week two of this diet. It’s quite challenging.

Here is a low fodmap recipe I developed for supper yesterday.
3 chicken breasts
1 c. water (broth could also be used – but for low fodmap, needs to be wheat, onion and garlic free)
2 T. cornstarch
¼ c. peanut butter
1 T. coconut oil
2 T. wheat free soy sauce
2 T. hoisin sauce
3 Chives (green part of green onions), chopped
1 pepper, sliced
I package rice pasta, cooked according to package directions

For spices, I used about 1 T. of a curry type spice blend called Kitchen King from MDH. This spice blend is low in garlic and onion powders, and thus I believe it is low fodmap.  For spices, if following a low fodmap diet, read labels – ingredients are listed in descending order). In Canada , Kitchen King is available at Superstore.
Cook chicken breasts in oven in casserole dish – 400 for 30 minutes. Slice into small pieces. Brown pepper and chives in a small sauté pan with a little oil. Whisk together water, cornstarch, peanut butter, coconut oil, soy sauce and hoisin sauce and spices in a large pot and heat until thickened. (If sauce is too thick, add about ¼ c. water). Add chicken, pepper and chives to the peanut sauce. Serve over rice pasta (or other gluten or wheat free pasta). Serves 4.

 

Barley and Brown Rice Salad

Photo credit: gobarley.com

Photo credit: gobarley.com

This versatile recipe is very tasty.

1/2 c. pearl barley, rinsed

1/2 c. brown rice, rinsed

2 c. water

dash salt

2 cups diced vegetables – I used a mixture of celery, green onions, and carrots)

1/2 c. each dried cranberries and chopped walnuts

1/2 c. crumbled soft cheese – I used Boursin, but feta or goat cheese would work well too

Dressing:

1/2 c. oil

1/4 c. vinegar

2 – 3 T. each maple syrup and mustard

2 T. soy sauce

salt and pepper

While this version is vegetarian, chopped diced chicken, canned tuna, or tofu can also be added.

Bring water to  a boil.  Add rice and barley. Cover and lower heat to medium low and cook for about 40 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes or until any remaining water is absorbed.  Combine with remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix up dressing in a jar and pour over salad.  Refrigerate for a few hours to cool and let flavors meld.  Serves 4- 6.

Make it Once, Eat it Twice: Salmon and Quinoa Salad

Planned overs from dinner for lunch yesterday.

Combine in large bowl:

1 cooked salmon fillet, chopped

1 c. cooked quinoa

1/2 c. roughly torn fresh spinach

1/2 c. frozen mango chunks, thawed

Splash or two of olive oil

Add salad dressing of your choice. Serves one

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

I have been having this for breakfast every day for two weeks now and I’m still not sick of it. Mind you, I ♥ oatmeal and eat it every day.

Combine in large bowl

1 1/8 c. water

1/2 c. large flake oatmeal

dash salt

Microwave on oatmeal setting in microwave (or about 3 minutes on high, until oatmeal is set).

Add:

1/8th c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 T. brown sugar

1/2 T. coconut oil

1/8th c. chopped walnuts

dash each of cinnamon and vanilla

Stir together until coconut oil is melted. Serve with milk or dairy-free milk.  Serves one.

Polar Vortex Soup (aka Sausage and Lentil Soup)

Forget me not pond, Kananaskis Country, taken by me November, 2013.

Forget me not pond, Kananaskis Country, taken by me November, 2013.

This soup is great for when cold weather hits – hearty and filling. All that’s needed are some crusty buns.

1 onion, chopped

1 T. oil

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 pepper, chopped

15 small fresh tomatoes (the ones I used were called “blushers” – bigger than a cherry tomato but smaller than a Roma), halved

1 liter carton beef or chicken broth

1/2 farmer’s (or Mennonite) sausage ring, cooked and chopped

handful each fresh baby spinach and kale

1 can lentils, drained and rinsed

1 T. each dried parsley, basil, oregano and rosemary

1 tsp. (or to taste) white pepper

Saute onion in oil until brown. Add the next five ingredients (celery through broth) and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add sausage, spinach, kale and lentils and heat until spinach and kale are wilted.  Stir in herbs and white pepper.  Serves 4-6.

Is Dinner The New Breakfast?

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Studies out last year seem to indicate that higher calorie breakfasts (including chocolate cake!) help your health. These studies have shown that skipping breakfast is associated with higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/health-headlines/skipping-breakfast-may-lead-to-higher-risk-of-heart-attack-heart-disease-study-1.1378307. Also, eating a higher calorie breakfast can be useful in managing obesity and metabolic syndrome. By switching to a higher calorie breakfast and a lower calorie dinner, participants in the study were able to change their weight and improve their health:  http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?id=18956

My personal opinion is that a higher calorie breakfast will naturally result in consuming slightly lower calorie lunches and dinners just as a lower calorie intake throughout the day will result in being ravenous by dinner (usually how I roll –not too much during the day resulting in starvation by dinner — so this will take an adjustment on my part). Fortunately, breakfast items are usually my favorite items to eat, any time of day.

Too time-crunched on weekday mornings to grab breakfast? Here are ten of my easy, fast breakfast recipes:

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2012/10/29/breakfast-scramble-2/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2011/10/12/pears-with-yogurt-and-honey/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2011/05/10/breakfast-scramble/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2011/03/09/missed-fat-tuesday-strawberry-smoothie/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2011/02/02/pimp-my-oatmeal/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2010/10/18/sesame-seed-squares/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2010/10/18/swiss-breakfast/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2010/10/18/breakfast-wrap/ (tip:  hard boil the egg the night before)

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2010/09/09/quick-skillet-granola/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2010/05/31/pb-b-wrap/

For more great breakfast recipes follow this tag.

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/tag/breakfast-2/

Dinner — it’s what’s for breakfast!

Fast and Fabulous Vegetable Frittata

I don’t do omelets, but I make a mean frittata.

image from femaleflare.com

image from femaleflare.com

8 large eggs

3/4 c. milk

3/4 c. cheese, shredded

salt, pepper, spice mix (to taste)

2 c. chopped broccoli

1/2 c. chopped pepper

3/4 c. chopped mushrooms

Grease large frying pan. Place broccoli and pepper in it with 1/4 c. water and simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until tender-crisp.  Meantime, mix eggs, milk, cheese,  mushrooms, salt, pepper and spices in a large bowl.  Add to vegetables in frying pan. Cook over medium heat until eggs are almost set, about 8 minutes.  Turn off heat and leave on burner another 8 minutes until eggs are completely set. Serves 4 – 6. Good with a crusty bread and some fruit and perfect for any meal.

Christmas Baking, Day one – Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Makes a great gift this Christmas season

Makes a great gift this Christmas season.

This is so easy to make, there is no need to spend money on pre-made Chocolate Peppermint bark at expensive specialty stores.

2 cups chocolate wafers (available in Canada at http://www.bulkbarn.ca/en-ca/index.html)

Chocolate making wafers

Chocolate making wafers

2 large candy canes, crushed

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Few drops of peppermint flavoring

Temper chocolate by placing wafers in the top of a double boiler. Fill the bottom half of the boiler one-third to one-half full with water. Heat chocolate over medium heat, stirring,  until melted and glossy:

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Remove from heat, stir in crushed candy canes and peppermint flavoring.

Freeze until firm, 2 – 3 hours, in a pan lined with wax paper. Remove from freezer.  Using wax paper, so the bark doesn’t melt onto your hands, break it apart into pieces.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

For gift-giving, place in a pretty container, and wrap with seasonal cellophane paper.

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