Low FODMAP Breakfasts

As promised, here’s the first of my short lists of low-FODMAP recipes.

All of these dishes are nomeatnowheatnodairy compliant, they just happen to observe further restrictions so they are acceptable on a low-FODMAP diet, too.

Berry Quinoa Porridge

Quinoa PorridgeI’m not convinced that I can tolerate oats, but if you can, then oatmeal/porridge is a good option. Of course, even if you can eat oats, you might like this variation! If you like your quinoa a bit squishier, like oatmeal, add an additional 1/4 cup of liquid when you’re cooking it, and cook for longer before turning off the heat!

1/2 cup (3 oz.) quinoa
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz.) almond milk
sugar, to taste
1/4 cup (4 fl. oz) mixed berries

Mix the quinoa and almond milk with 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz.) water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook (stirring occasionally) until the quinoa is nearly soft (~15 minutes). Turn off the heat, and leave covered for 5 minutes until the quinoa is fully cooked.

Stir in the berries, and serve with sugar and additional almond milk as desired.

Variation: use diced banana instead of berries.

Tofu, spinach, and tomato scramble

Scrambled tofuI happen to REALLY like this one. How much of that is down to having been separated from tofu for 3 weeks while I was on the Comprehensive Elimination diet is unknown.

Two thoughts:

1) Apparently, corn is OK on a low-FODMAP diet, so you could serve the scramble on a corn tortilla if you don’t have other reasons to suspect that corn is a problem.

2) Although my nutritional yeast (brand name KAL) is grown on molasses (a high FODMAP substance according to Stanford), the nutritional data shows 0g of sugar per serving (as well as being gluten free), so I’m going to keep using it. :) ) I notice that the WholeFoods nutritional yeast not only says that it’s produced in a facility that also processes things I don’t want to eat (including wheat), but it also has 2g of sugars per serving … and I have no idea which sugars it refers to, so I’m not going to be using that one! It just goes to show how important it is to keep reading the labels!

1 tsp olive oil (garlic infused, if liked. Do not use garlic itself, if you’re avoiding FODMAPs!)
10 baby tomatoes, halved
2 oz fresh baby spinach
5 oz firm tofu (not silken), well drained
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt (or less, to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper

Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the tomatoes (cut side down), and allow to cook for 5 minutes until starting to soften and brown.

Pile the spinach on top of the tomatoes along with half the salt and pepper, and toss in the pan so that all the leaves start to wilt (~3 minutes).

Push the vegetables to one side of the pan, add the tofu, nutritional yeast, and remaining salt and pepper to the cleared side and mash with the back of a fork. Once the tofu has warmed through, stir the vegetables and tofu together, and serve.

Carrot and ginger juice

Only of interest if you own a juicer or can find a juice bar that squeezes things in addition to fruits!

5 large carrots, peeled
1 small piece of fresh ginger (1/4″ cube)

Juice and drink.

Breakfast potatoes

This is an adaptation of an earlier recipe for Home Fried Potatoes but without the onions.

1 lb potatoes, cooked, cubed (3/4″), and cooled if possible
1 + 1 tbsp vegan margarine (Earth Balance) OR canola (rapeseed) oil
1 cup (8 oz) red/orange/yellow pepper strips (no green ones, if you’re avoiding FODMAPs)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
paprika/cayenne pepper (optional)
2 spring/green onions, green parts only

Warm the first half of the fat in a large frying pan.

Cook the red/orange/yellow pepper strips in the fat until they’re soft and starting to brown. Remove from the pan, and put to one side.

Add the remainder of the fat to the pan, and once it is hot, add the potatoes. Keep them moving around with a metal spatula/fish slice, to reduce sticking, scraping the bottom of the pan as necessary (those crispy bits are tasty, but also stop the potato cubes from browning further, if not scraped off).

Fry until they start to brown on all sides (this will be quite quick, if the surface of the potatoes is dry and the fat is hot). Add the  peppers back into the hot pan to reheat, sprinkle salt and pepper (and paprika or cayenne pepper, if liked) over the vegetables, and serve hot for breakfast, with fried egg or the scrambled tofu, above, and garnished with the green parts of the spring/green onions.

Spaghetti Squash Omelette
spaghetti squash fritters omelet

Yes, OK, this sounds weird …. but so’s the low-FODMAP diet, and these are pretty tasty, and contain some much needed fiber due to the squash. I tried doing them using tofu instead of egg, but they weren’t as good …. a variation that needs more experimentation! These taste delicate, and slightly cheesy. I think I might well continue making these even after this weird diet is over!

This quantity makes about five 3″ omelettes …. perfect for 1 person.

1 egg
1 cup cooked spaghetti squash
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp oil

Beat the egg. Stir in the cooked squash, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan (seasoned cast iron for preference, but non-stick will probably work, too), then use two forks to grab hold of 1-2 tbsp quantities of the mixture and transfer to the hot pan. Use the back of a fork to pat the mounds down into 3″ rounds. Allow the bottoms to solidify slightly (30-60 seconds), then start pushing the omelettes around gently to prevent them from sticking. Continue cooking until the bottoms brown, flip them over, and brown the second side. Remove from the pan onto some kitchen paper blot up any excess oil and to keep warm. Repeat with any left over mixture.


Well, I’ve had an ‘interesting’ month or so! I finally found a doctor who would take seriously my concern that my symptoms were gradually getting worse despite staying off the wheat and dairy. Initially, I had allergy bloodwork done (the only things I was highly allergic to were fish … and I haven’t eaten any of them for some 25 years, and don’t intend to ever again, so that wasn’t my problem).

We then tried the Comprehensive Elimination Diet, which was supposed to remove all food-stuffs that folks are often allergic or sensitive to, with the aim of settling my tummy then reintroducing offending foods one at a time …. except that my tummy never got any better. Having spent three weeks feeling a little like Roger Rabbit trying to resist ‘shave and a haircut’ whenever I was faced with feeding the family (and not being able to join in, nor go to restaurants), I’ve now moved onto a low FODMAPs diet (temporarily), and have high hopes for success, though I’m now constantly having to refer to lists of un/acceptable foods so as not to get muddled with the previous list of un/acceptable ones.

If you haven’t heard of them before, FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates/sugars which are badly dealt with in some people’s intestines, causing gastric distress. (For further information, Wikipedia has a good introduction!)

The advice on the web can seem heavily contradictive in the details, however, even between reputable sources such as Monash University of Austrailia, which was the cradle of FODMAP research, and that bastion of educational excellence, Stanford. I think some of the confusion relates to where the line is drawn regarding how much FODMAP is allowed in a food before it is considered significant. This leads to assertions such as ‘almonds are allowed, providing you don’t have more than 10 of them’ (which isn’t enough to make pastry or almond bread :( ).

What they all tend to agree on, is the names of the carbohydrates that you need to avoid. Note that they’re all carbohydrates, so pure fats do not contain any, even when they come from foodstuff that is high in FODMAPs. However, high intake of fats can also disrupt bowel action, though for other reasons! Sigh.

This is NOT a complete list of foods to avoid:

Lactose (Dairy sugar): If you’re on this website because you’re already following a diet deviod of dairy products, you’ve already got this one covered.
Fructans (inulin): Wheat, onion, garlic, brassicas, chocolate …
Galactans (long strings of galactose): Beans, lentils, agar (galactose), and such like.
Polyols: Alcohol sugars, found predominantly in artificial sweeteners whose names end in ‘ol’, but also in fruit with stones in them such as my beloved avocado, cherries, plums; and in watermelon, cauliflower, mushrooms, mange-tout …
Fructose: Fruits (ripeness plays a factor, and not all fruits are a problem!), and apples and pears inparticular; honey, agave, high fructose corn syrup ….

Oddly enough, apparently Glucose is OK on this diet, and if taken with fructose, it balances out the undesirable effects and it is this that causes some fruits to be included on the acceptable list! See this document.

Because there are so many foodstuffs that have to be avoided, it’s easier to work from a list of foods that are acceptable. These links to Monash, Stanford, and DieticianToday, have these … and I’m working on a short list of recipes that will work, before returning to my standard (and far more lenient!!!) meat, wheat, and dairy free adventures! Watch this space …..


Lentil Soup (Dal), and variations

The recipe below is my basic lentil soup recipe. Below that are some variations that I have enjoyed. Both this and the lentil and spinach soup are actually fairly standard Indian curry accompaniments, when served thick. It’s one of those very comforting meals, sating hunger without expanding your waistband.

1 tbsp Earth Balance (vegan margarine) or oil
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 lb red lentils
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp lemon juice

Heat the margarine/oil, in a large saucepan, over a medium heat, and fry the onion until it becomes translucent and starts to brown.
Add the garlic and cumin to it, to warm through for a couple of minutes.
Pick the lentils over for stones, and then rinse them.
Add 6 cups (48 fl oz) of water to the onions, then the lentils, and bring to the boil. Simmer the soup until the lentils have completely disintegrated (about 20-30 minutes. The lentils should disintegrate just with vigorous stirring with a spatula).
Adjust consistency with more water, if desired.
Stir in the salt and lemon juice (and any other desired additions); taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.


Lentil and Tomato Soup: Add 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes (halved) to the soup 5 minutes before the end of cooking.

Lentil and Spinach Soup: Add  ~8 oz fresh or frozen spinach to the soup at the end of cooking, along with 1/4 tsp salt.

Chili Lentil Soup: Mince 1/2 cm squared piece of chipotle chili in adobo sauce (check for gluten) with the blade of a knife (so you don’t end up with exciting lumps in your soup), and add with the water and lentils.

Creamy Zucchini and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I made this sauce one evening when I wanted to make Rich Mushroom and Black Olive Sauce, but only had 1/2 the mushrooms I wanted and a child who, for stuffed jacket potatosome unfathomable reason, had decided that she didn’t like mushrooms! It has the advantage that it is more colorful than the original, but apart from that is similarly easy to knock together, and it has my husband’s seal of approval!

I have served it up on pasta, and as a stuffing for baked potatoes. It’s also good in the baked tofu shells that I recently figured out as Halloween fare ….. but this sauce is a little too bright and jolly to be served up on that holiday occasion.

4 oz (1 scant cup) raw cashews
1 tbsp margarine
4 zucchini (courgettes), quartered lengthways then sliced
4 large roasted red peppers, deseeded and cut into 1″ squares
3/4 cup (~40) black olives
1 tbsp light chickpea miso
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt (for the sauce)
1/8 tsp black pepper
pinch of nutmeg

Put the cashews into a blender with 1 cup (8 fl oz) water, and leave to soak, briefly.

Heat the fat in a large frying pan over a medium/high heat, then fry the sliced zucchini (courgettes), stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown.

Add the roasted red peppers and black olives, and allow these to warm through over a low heat.

Add the remaining ingredients (miso, lemon juice, salt, pepper, nutmeg) to the cashews, and blend everything together until completely smooth.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables, then use an additional 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) of water to rinse the blender out onto the vegetables.

Turn up the heat, and stir frequently until the mixture thickens.

Check for seasoning, and serve hot with pasta, baked potato or baked tofu shell.

Tofu Coffins

Halloween is just around the corner, and for the first time in their lives, my daughters live in a neighborhood where walking down the street trick or treating is a possibility. Some folks have already decorated their houses in their enthusiasm for the event. I try to discourage my kids’ interest in the candy, but playing with food once in a while does no harm. In previous years, Coffin with mummywe were mostly restricted to Halloween parties at home, drinking tomato juice with stuffed green olive ‘eyes’ floating in it, and eating mashed potato ghosts (tall mounds of stiff mashed potato draped with rice paper). Daughter #1 made a comment about making hollowed out tofu shapes, the other day, and I was suddenly overcome with this idea for tofu coffins. The tofu turned out pretty tasty, so I think this idea (without the rice-paper shroud) could morph into a regular menu offering quite easily. (Try this zucchini and roasted red pepper filling!)

For four coffins:

2 x 14 oz block firm tofu
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
4 tsps nutritional yeast

haggis stuffing or other such stuffing

tomato based sauce (such as ranchero, or marinara)

4 rice papers

Cut the tofu blocks in half, and use a sharp knife to cut slits 1/2″ in from the sides of each of the four blocks to allow you to scoop out the insides and form the coffins. Leave these to dry in the fridge, upside down, for at least an hour and up to overnight. Blot with kitchen paper, if needed.

Raw coffins

Mix the pepper, salt, and nutritional yeast together in a small bowl, and use to dust the sides and insides of the tofu coffins. Place the tofu on baking parchment on a baking (cookie) tray, and bake the coffins for 45 minutes at 400F, or until the texture has turned Cooked coffinsslightly hard at the outer edges.

Heat 1/4″ of water in a large frying pan until finger hot, and soften the first of the rice papers in it for about 30 seconds, keeping the edges of the paper down in the water until it stops curling up. Transfer the paper to a work surface, fashion a 2″ by 1″ sausage out of filling, and drape the rice paper shroud around it before interring it in the coffin. Repeat with the remaining coffins.

Serve with tomato ‘blood'; and cooked, white rice ‘maggots’, if desired.

Silky Smooth Carrot and Coriander Soup

Thick, creamy, warming, and gloriously yellow. This soup is brought out of the realm of the ordinary with its silky smooth texture, and subtle use of coriander and lemon zest. It’s one of those dishes that has you trying to analyze the ingredients, if you don’t already know them. So, the trick is to take your time frying the carrot and onion; make sure all the ingredients are totally soft before pureeing, and err on the side of caution with the coriander and lemon zest. Start with the lesser amount and check the flavor before adding more. The flavor should be uplifting and curious, and certainly not bland! The same goes for the carrots. If they’re fresh and sweet, you might not want any sugar at all! If they’re a bit older, then a little help from the granular white stuff is appreciated …. but taste before you add; this is not a sweet soup. If the carrots are distinctly old and tasting soapy, use them for something else instead.


1 tbsp vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance)
1 lb carrots, scraped and chopped into dice (the pre-peeled baby ones make this dish pretty quick).
1 large onion, diced
2 – 4 tsp ground coriander seed
pared zest of ½ a large or 1 small lemon
1 ½ pints of water
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 tsp lemon juice
1 – 3 tsp sugar (depending on how sweet your carrots are)
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper (that’s right, no salt!)

Melt the margarine in a wide pan, add carrots, and fry over a medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the onion, and fry gently until both are slightly browned. They should start to sizzle instead of steaming, after a total of about 15 minutes.
Stir in the coriander and lemon zest, and warm through for a minute.
Add water and cashews, and bring to a boil; simmer for 10 minutes or until all ingredients are soft.
Add the lemon juice and other seasonings.
Blend in a high speed blender, or puree and pass through a chinois to make perfectly smooth.
Check seasoning, reheat, and serve.

Aloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower Curry)

When eating out, curry is so often a good option for me. A decent curry house doesn’t have problems substituting oil for ghee and coconut milk for cream, being vegetarian is always understood, and wheat flour isn’t used in everything the way it is used in western cooking. They do, however, have a tendency to use much more fat than I could possibly contemplate while cooking at DSC_0001home, which is probably a really good reason for cooking my own! If you want to make yours ‘richer’ (and I don’t dispute that it tastes good!), then by all means increase the oil used to a couple of tablespoons per pan, but I don’t think it really needs it. It does benefit greatly from the use of fresh ginger and coriander, though. I peel my ginger by scraping a knife blade firmly over the surface, and I like to use a micro-plane to grate it, as this tends to separate out the fibrous parts that can be a little unpleasant. I also keep it vegetarian by discarding the last part so I don’t grate my fingers!

I’m sure I’m not the only person on the planet to get intimidated by long lists of spices. This curry recipe, however, is relatively short and remarkably quick to make, cooking in only a little longer than it takes the potato to soften. One pan for veggies, one pan for sauce, and one pan for rice if you’re serving that too. This curry is mild in heat, and the flavors of the vegetables are still evident through the permeating spice flavor. This is a good starter curry for both cook and diner. Delicious!

This serves 3 – 4

1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tbsp garam masala

1 tbsp coconut or other cooking oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped

12 oz potato, (2 smallish bakers) peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
12 oz cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 square inch fresh ginger, peeled, and minced or micro-planed

1 cup (~8 oz) chopped, tinned tomatoes
1 teaspoon honey / agave nectar (for vegan option)
1/2 tsp tamarind paste, or 1 tsp lemon juice, if tamarind is unavailable

Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped

Measure out the mustard powder, cumin, coriander, and garam masala, into a small bowl.

If you’re serving rice with your curry, now is a good time to put the water on to boil!

Warm 1/2 the fat in a frying pan, and gently fry the onion over medium/low heat until completely soft and starting to brown.

While the onions are cooking, warm the other 1/2 of the fat in a saucepan, and gently fry the cauliflower and potato for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Coating the vegetables in oil will help them to hold their shape during the simmering process.
Add the turmeric, and stir until it evenly coats the vegetables and has warmed through.
Add 3/4 cup (6 fl oz) of water and the salt to the potato/cauliflower, bring to a simmer, cover, and steam gently until the veggies are barely cooked.

Once the onions have browned, add the garlic and ginger, stir and allow to warm through for a minute.
Add the dried spices, stir, and allow them to warm and become fragrant.
Add the tomato, 1/2 cup (~4 fl oz) water, honey, and tamarind.
Simmer until the tomato chunks break down slightly.

Add the onion/tomato mixture to the cooked potato and cauliflower along with a couple of tablespoons of chopped, fresh coriander, and simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check seasoning for salt.

Serve hot, garnished with more coriander, and rice or GF naan bread.