Oyster mushrooms – a umami low fodmap option for IBS

It is autumn and the evenings are becoming darker. It is the season for mushrooms and many people really miss mushrooms when following the low fodmap diet. But if you are following the Kings College Low FODMAP diet oyster mushrooms are suitable. They are not as available as a few years ago and are now usually found in the section labelled up as wild mushrooms – so perhaps suitable for a treat only.

Mushrooms have an umami flavour – an earthy, complex meaty flavour that is very important particularly if you are vegan and missing the deep, rich flavour that meat offers. Mushroom also offers a texture that is robust, filling and satisfying. This is the flavour provided by glutamate (the natural variant of mono-sodium glutamate – MSG, a food additive) a chemical that in the past has been implicated in Chinese or Asian food intolerance or ‘Chinese restaurant syndrome’. It might be the FODMAP content rather than the glutamate that lead to perhaps some gastrointestinal upset in some people and not specifically the glutamate content – we have no evidence that ‘Chinese restaurant syndrome’ exists from eating food where MSG has been added (see the Compound Interest info-graphic above.) Some foods containing glutamate listed above also contain histamine, which also is implicated in developing symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain, headaches, asthma, flushing and gastrointestinal upset. They are cheese, fermented foods such as miso and tomato. These foods are possibly the foods which might have lead to Chinese Restaurant syndrome, although this reaction is likely to occur infrequently. If you do suspect a histamine intolerance and have the symptoms above see a dietitian who will provide help for you to check if you have. Please avoid information from the internet on histamine intolerance, as it is usually far too restrictive and might lead to nutritional deficiencies. Although actually we have no evidence that most people with IBS have histamine intolerance – in my opinion we need much more research in histamine reactions.

Who wouldn’t want to have this fantastic flavouring naturally found in mushroom, parmesan and soy sauce? I have developed a recipe for you. You can replace the parmesan with a vegan alternative, if you wish, and it really doesn’t change the flavour. Risotto is such a tasty filling meal for autumn evenings this recipe contains lots of umami from white miso, oyster mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Do enjoy it!

Ingredients

  • 160g Oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 250g arborio (risotto) rice
  • 15g white miso diluted with 700ml boiling water
  • 20g vegan or standard parmesan
  • 50g toasted pine nuts
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme
  • additional grated parmesan

Method

  • Now the only rule really in making risotto is that you shouldn’t leave it alone for a second! It takes time to prepare but it is worthwhile putting that additional work in – you get out what you put in.
  • Grate the parmesan and set aside.
  • Toast the pine nuts in a drizzle of oil until they are brown -watch them closely as they can easily burn. Set aside to cool and then add the thyme (chopped) and mix well.
  • Add the oil to the pan and gently fry the mushrooms for 5 minutes. Then add rice to the pan and cook to 2 minutes.
  • Start to incorporate the miso based stock slowly to the pan over 10-15 minutes and keep stirring – this will prevent the rice from sticking to the pan.
  • The rice is ready when it is al dente (slightly firm to bite)
  • You may need additional liquid – water is suitable – depending on the rice you use.
  • At this point stir in the grated parmesan and serve topped with toasted pine nuts and extra grated parmesan to taste (you shouldn’t need any seasoning as the flavours are deep but add some at this point after tasting the dish if you wish.)
  • Enjoy!

Chestnut, carrot & celeriac soup – low fodmap Christmas recipes

Having guests around for Christmas lunch and wondering what to serve for a starter? This recipe is a tasty soup, suitable for vegan low fodmappers and has Christmas flavours with mixed spice. I have been using my copy of the flavour thesaurus by Niki Segnit, a gift for my birthday, and this marries chestnuts with carrot, celery (celeriac is a low fodmap food with a similar flavour to celery – a good substitution) carrot and rosemary and yes, this really works. It is a slightly sweet, winter roots flavour with a light addition of spices. Your guests will never know you have a low fodmap starter for them that is really easy to make and really tasty!

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Ingredients

200g celeriac

500g carrots

200g cooked chestnuts

1/4 teaspoon of mixed spice

10 g rosemary

Drizzle of hazelnut oil

Some chilli flakes (if tolerated)

Seasoning

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Method

Chop the vegetables

Add all ingredients to a pan

Add water to just cover the vegetables

Season to taste

Puree

Serve, drizzle with hazelnut oil and chilli flakes!

serves 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate coated peppermint snow peaks – low fodmap Christmas recipes

Just the ticket for giving out to friends who come caroling.

 

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Ingredients

4 egg whites

200g castor sugar

Pinch of cream of tartar

400g of mint dark chocolate

3-4 drops of peppermint flavouring.

Method

Add the egg whites to a bowl and add the peppermint, cream of tartar and whisk, when they are forming peaks add half the castor sugar and whisk till they form stiff peaks.

Add the rest of the castor sugar, mix and then spoon out into a Teflon baking sheet.

Cook for 1 1/2 hours at gas mark 1/4 or 107  degrees C

Cool

Melt the chocolate and cover the surface of the meringue and allow to set.

Makes around 12.

Chive salad – for low fodmapers missing onion.

This salad has onion flavour as it’s base and uses chives to achieve this. It can be made without the chive flowers but if you can get them they do make a really pretty addition to this dish. I am really lucky where I live as we have the Incredible Edible scheme. This is a organisation that has planted lots of edible herbs and fruit trees around the town that are available for all residents and visitors to sample for free – as long as you know what you are looking for and what flowers are edible and can be used. I have gathered the chive flowers (the light purple ones – see image below), fennel leaves and borage flowers (the deep blue ones that I have used for garnish.) So for me this recipe was reasonable in cost because the herbs were free. There was also a pleasure gained in going for a walk and gathering my own food.

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You can modify this recipe to make it more simple by just using chive stems and any green/red salad leaves to base the salad on, plus the borage flowers are not a necessary ingredient for the integrity of the dish. I produced this recipe without dressing as I felt the chives added plenty of strong flavour but you can add some if you wish- do check the label for fodmap ingredients. If you struggle with resistant starches then serve the rice whilst it is still slightly warm.

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Ingredients

75g of cooked wholegrain and red rice

4 chive flower heads and stems

4 chard leaves and stems

1/2 packet of low lactose mozzarella

2 sprigs of fennel leaves

seasoning

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Method

Chop the chive stems and chard stems into small pieces

Rip the chard leaves into small pieces

If needed cook the rice by covering in cold water and bringing it to the boil – season then cool and drain.

If using the chive flowers cut the individual flowers from the flower head

Rip the low lactose mozzarella into bite size pieces

Pull the fennel leaves into small pieces

Combine everything and serve

Serves one – enjoy!

 

Peppered leaf salad with prosciutto and berries – low fodmap

On the theme of salads again here is a lovely refreshing peppery salad. Watercress is suitable for the low fodmap diet according to the Monash App and I love it’s hot taste. I also added a few mint tips and radish shoots. The fruit is a portion so don”t have a piece of fruit after this salad or you will trigger symptoms if you have fructose malabsorption. Check it out for a great lunchbox or add to a gluten free wrap.

Ingredients

1 pack of watercress

80g blueberries

80g raspberries

1 pack of prosciutto (check the ingredients and avoid those with spices)

A few mint tips

A few radish shoots

balsamic drizzle – don’t exceed a tablespoon

Method

Simple – wash the fruit and leaves and arrange the ingredients in a bowl.

Drizzle with balsamic

Serves two.

Chicken, chard and pine nut conchiglie pasta – low fodmap

I adore chard – it is so pretty and very tasty. I have not been able to source a regular supply of it, perhaps because it may be a seasonal leaf. I was surprised and very pleased to find it in a local store, so I bought some to use over the weekend. I always keep some celeriac in the vegetable compartment of the fridge, it replaces the celery flavour of low fodmap dishes and adds a another depth of flavour to the dish. This is a nice spring recipe to start the Easter weekend and herald the start of better weather, lighter nights and fresh food.

Ingredients

300g of dried gluten free pasta

2 tablespoons of pine nuts

4 cooked chicken thighs

30g grated parmesan

I tablespoon of oil

1 slice of celeriac

100g chard

70g spinach leaves

Method

Chop the chard, spinach and celeriac into small slices.

Fry in the small amount of oil with the pine nuts.

Slice the chicken and add to the pan to warm through (must heat the chicken to at least seventy degrees C, if the chicken has been chilled and only reheat it once.)

Grate the parmesan cheese.

Cook the pasta in a pan of hot water whilst the sauce is cooking.

Do take care when cooking gluten free pasta as it is very easy to overcook it and end up with a ball of starch in your pan! Review the cooking instructions on the packet before you start.

Drain the pasta, add the vegetables and chicken and stir thoroughly.

Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan.

Serves 4.