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!

LOFFLEX Recipes – second edition (recipes are Dairy Free, Milk Free, Gluten & Wheat Free)

LOFFLEX Mushroom & Courgette Risotto (serves 1) by Kirrily Gunn RD

1 tsp Rapeseed oil

1 clove of garlic

80g of sliced mushrooms

80g peeled courgette cut into thin strips

80g arborio or risotto rice

300 mls of unsweetened soya milk

1 tsp Tamari (check  – wheat and gluten free)

2 tsp chopped fresh parsley leaves

Salt + pepper to taste

Cold water as required (approx 200-300mls)

Method

Cut garlic clove into quarters and fry in oil to flavour it – remove clove quarters when cooked (or use garlic flavoured oil)

Saute the mushrooms and courgette in the flavoured oil

Once the vegetables start to soften add the rice, cooking for 2 minutes until the edges of the rice go translucent

Add tamari, chopped parsley and pepper and stir

Slowly add quantities of the soya milk, stirring continuously adding more milk as required as it is absorbed by the rice

Once all the milk has been used continue the process with cold water until the rice has softened to a risotto consistency (al dente)

Taste and flavour as required with salt, extra pepper, parsley and tamari

Serve hot, topped with dairy free cheese, if desired (check against your suitable ingredient list)

Please note this recipe is not suitable for FODMAPs diet, cook without mushrooms to make it FODMAP free.

Suitable for Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Milk Free, Gluten & Wheat Free

Pear and Plum Fairy Cakes by Faye Morton RD

(serves 12)

Ingredients

You can use icing sugar if desired to decorate - no colours or flavourings should be added

150g rice flour

75g soft brown sugar

6 tablespoons sunflower oil

3 tablespoons golden syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons of gluten-free baking powder

3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

60g pears (tinned)

60g plums (stewed)

Method

Pre heat the oven 190 C/gas mark 5

Mix flour with bicarbonate of soda and baking powder

Add sugar and the fruit mix together

Add the oil and golden syrup and beat the ingredients together

Put into silicone or paper cases and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Please note Fairy Cakes are not suitable for FODMAPs diets.

Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Milk Free, Gluten & Wheat Free

LOFFLEX recipes

These recipes were ‘donated’ at a recent recipe drive at the hospital. They are suitable for the LOFFLEX diet for people who have crohns disease and have been previously treated with liquid/elemental diet therapy at the advice of their Consultant. It stands for low fat, low fibre limited exclusion (diet!) The recipes are wheat free, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, so will be fine for lots of other folks too! Will post more later in the week.

Smoked Salmon Risotto – donated by Eimear Bradley SRD

Ingredients – serves 2

70g Smoked salmon

1 Finely chopped pepper

180g Arborio or risotto rice

Black pepper

Salt/Herbs/Water

1/2 Tablespoon of garlic infused or garlic flavoured oil (do not use Garlic!)

Method

1. Fry risotto rice in 1/2 tablespoon of garlic infused oil

2. Make stock with boiling water and seasoning/herbs/small amount of salt

3. Slowly add stock to risotto and stir consistently for 25-30 minutes.

4. Skin peppers (blacken skin over a flame the put warm pepper in a plastic bag, allow to cool and skin will be easy to remove) chop finely, add to risotto during cooking.

5. Flake smoked salmon over the top and serve hot.

Beef Stroganoff with butternut squash (serves 4) – donated by Rachel Sharp SRD

Ingredients

400g beef rump steak, trimmed of fat (and gristle)

1 tbsp dairy free margarine

1 tbsp olive oil

250g mushrooms (without stems)

250g Butternut squash – peeled & chopped

400g white rice

1 tbsp rice or potato starch flour

300 mls boiled water

6 drops of gravy browning (no wheat or additives)

3 tbsp Soya cream

1/4 pack flat leaf parsley

1. Freeze beef (will allow you to slice it thin) and slice thinly, then season

2. Peel, de-seed and chop butternut squash into cubes. Boil for 9 minutes until soft.

3. Boil rice (cover with water just above the level of rice in the pan and simmer till soft)

4. In a large non stick frying pan, melt half the butter with half the oil, increase the heat and sear the beef in batches until browned on both sides. Remove from the heat and set aside. Repeat this process with the mushrooms.

5. Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan and melt. Stir in the rice flour for 1 minute, then gradually stir in the stock (300mls water + gravy browning) cook till thickened, then stir in the soya cream, season to taste and add both the beef and butternut squash, add etra water, if needed.

6. Drain the rice & serve hot with the creamy stroganoff.

Please note: Everyone’s dietary tolerance of foods, with crohns disease, is individual. If you suspect you have problems with these ingredients please check with your dietitian if the ingredient is OK for you, before trying the recipe. The recipes are designed for stage 1 of the LOFFLEX diet, but occasionally people can have reactions to foods in stage 1, so it is very important to keep in touch with your dietitian, when following the treatment.