RECIPE: Low-FODMAP Cold Peanut Soba Noodles

Cold soba peanut noodles

Cold comfort. (Literally.)

I recently had a bad noodle experience. It was a bummer. But in the spirit of “getting back on the horse,” I decided I had to immediately wipe the quinoa-wheat pasta fiasco from my mind. And since it’s still stiflingly hot where I live, I decided the time was right for a cold noodle dish, with a refreshing green smoothie on the side.

Soba noodles are typically made with buckwheat, but beware: most are actually made with a blend of buckwheat and regular wheat. You can find buckwheat-only versions, but make sure you check the package carefully. I like them with peanut sauce, a splash of sesame oil, some chopped green onion tops, shredded carrot, some toasted sesame seeds and a squirt of Sriracha (which contains garlic, so be mindful if you have trouble tolerating it.)

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RECIPE: Low-FODMAP Migas, for Breakfast or Lunch

Low FODMAP breakfast or lunch migas

Scrambled plus.

Eggs. I’m a little obsessed with them, even if I (as I’ve mentioned before) so often mess them up. Still—poached, scrambled, omelette-ed, I love them all. And while I eat steel-cut oats for breakfast basically every day of my life (more, much more, on that soon), I’ve found that eggs often form a great basis for my new sandwich-less lunch lifestyle. I’ve talked before about the Feta Double Heada I sometimes have as a treat on weekends, and today I want to introduce another favorite. It’s a breakfast/lunch (there must be a word for that) with a Tex-Mex twist, but I’m not talking about huevos rancheros, as delicious as they are. No, today I’m talking migas.

Migas are basically scrambled eggs plus, and the “plus” I’m talking about here are crispy strips of corn tortillas. They’re fast and easy to make, endlessly customizable, and they go perfectly with a splash of your favorite hot sauce (I’m personally addicted to Frank’s, but Tabasco, Valentine, heck, even Sriracha* will do the job, though mind the garlic). A tomato salad on the side balances out the meal nicely and adds some brightness.

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A Day in the Low-FODMAP Life

A tasty dinner side salad

Salads are fun. Seriously.

One of the most challenging things about changing the way you eat, particularly when you’re eliminating broad categories of food, is visualizing just how it’s going to work on a day-to-day basis. I know that was one of the most difficult parts of adopting the FODMAP-free lifestyle myself, and it took me a while to get my head around the fact that I wouldn’t be able to rely on some of my oldest, most relied-upon eating habits.

If you’ve ever tried to eat gluten-free, you know what I’m talking about: life without bread is hard! I used to feel like Jerry Seinfeld, who once said, “The whole concept of lunch is based around tuna.” For me, it was sandwiches. Imagining lunch without sandwiches, or breakfast without toast, or dinner without pasta… it seemed impossible at first.

But gradually, it got easier. It was all about picking up new habits and getting used to planning things a little more in advance. Now there’s a barely a day when I don’t wake up with a hot breakfast of oatmeal already waiting for me in my rice cooker and a plan for at least lunch, if not lunch and dinner.

I thought I’d share a typical day in my Low-FODMAP Life to help newcomers to the diet understand how possible it can be with just a little forethought and effort.

Steel-Cut Oats in the Rice Cooker

Oats are your friends.

Breakfast

You’ve got tons of options when it comes to breakfast. Personally, I’ve left toast in the dust and become addicted to oatmeal. (Most oatmeal is processed with wheat, so there’s a bit of gluten to be found, but in such small amounts it probably won’t affect people on the low-FODMAP plan. Still, there are plenty of gluten-free options available). Typically, I put 2/3 of a cup of steel-cut oats in my rice maker before I go to bed, along with the appropriate amount of water, some brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. I put it on “porridge” setting at set the timer, and wake up to a hot, delicious breakfast. I’ll sometimes add some raisins right before serving, or slice up some bananas and put them in the pot before setting the timer so they get all nice and baked-tasting. When I’m out of steel-cut, I’ll just cook up a small pot of regular rolled oats in the morning. Eggs are also your friends in the morning—hard-boiled, scrambled, or fried. Try frying up some strips of corn tortilla and adding beaten eggs to the pan to make migas, a Tex-Mex treat (just avoid the milk and onions if you use that recipe!).

Lunch

Lunch without the sandwich or wrap option can be challenging, particular if you’re eating on the go. What I typically do is make a grain salad and add whatever veggies and proteins I desire. I’ll cook up some quinoa with spices, like a bit of curry powder, let it cool and then mix in greens and shredded carrots. Topped with smoked chicken or canned tuna, and some crumbled feta cheese, it makes for a surprisingly filling mid-day meal. Alternately, I might fry up a couple of eggs and have them on top of the salad, or make an omelette and have sliced vegetables (cucumbers, bell peppers) on the side.

Dinner

Sadly, you’ll have to say goodbye to pasta and pizza (I’m ashamed to admit that those were two of my staples, and let’s not get started on hamburger), but I still haven’t run out of new, delicious combinations. I’ll often set my rice cooker to make brown rice, sometimes adding a splash of coconut oil, and then roast, pan-fry or grill up a protein of my choice—sausage, chicken, pork chops to name just a few. Then we’ll make a nice salad on the side, or steam some green beans. If I want to mix things I’ll up, I’ll make potatoes, roasted or mashed (without milk of course) or sometimes go for a larger portion of protein and forgo the carbs completely. I’ve also become addicted to one-pot meals that incorporate proteins and rice, like arroz con pollo or paella variations, many of which can be de-FODMAP-ified. And we’ve just discovered the many uses of polenta. (All of these I’ll be discussing more in depth in the future—recipes to come!)

Dessert

Going FODMAP-free doesn’t mean you have to skip the sweets. I might have some sliced strawberries, treats like flourless chocolate cake (recipe coming soon!) or a dairy-free sorbet.

I’d love to hear about your daily routine. Drop me a line or leave a note in the comments below!