Low FODMAP Meatballs

low fodmap meatballs

For the last few weeks I’ve been roasting a chicken every Sunday, so that I have a good base to work from for my lunches during the week. It means I can make some chicken stock up the same evening, which I use for all sorts of meals during the week: soup, stews … or even just cooking ‘grains’ like rice or quinoa in to add some extra flavour.

Last week though, I got a little sick of chicken. I often do this with food; find an ingredient I love and eat it, and eat it, and eat it until I’ve totally ODd. But unlike Sesame Snaps, which I haven’t been able to eat since year 9 following an 8-week lunchbox obsession, a roast chicken can’t really be replaced in my eyes.

Acting quickly following this realisation, I decided to try a new kind of meat-feast. I like meat in my lunches, and I l-o-v-e meatballs. Meatballs with rice … with slaw … with salad … I repurposed these guys each day last week with joy.

you will need:

1 x 250g pack of lean beef mince
a big handful of fresh basil
a not so big handful of fennel seeds
1 x egg
1 x pinch of asofatedia powder (optional)
garlic oil (for frying)

method:

Start by beating an egg in a large mixing bowl. Roughly chop up your mince on a board so that it is a little easier to work with. Finely chop up your basil, and crush the fennel seeds (either roughly with the base of your knife or with a pestel and mortar if you have the energy). Add all the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix together with your hands. If you want to get an oniony flavour coming through in these, you can add a pinch of asofatedia powder to the mix. But be warned – it’s strong stuff! You only need a pinch.

Roll into balls, frying in garlic oil when you’re ready. I like to cook the whole lot (3 mins on each side should do it) in one pan and then just either freeze or keep in the fridge for the week, eating as I need them.

These really do take hardly any time at all – and when you consider that most off-the-shelf meatballs contain onion, it might be worth giving them a go!

low fodmap meatballs

Comforting sausage cassoulet

Comforting sausage cassoulet

I love making this dish. It’s so simple but the flavours are everything you want in a big bowl of mid-winter comfort food. And although it’s almost Spring in England … it’s still coat and glove weather, which means cassoulet remains firmly on my mid-week menu.

My version contains a high amount of GOS thanks to the white beans here, however I’ll pop a few suggestions in the recipe for those who are going through eliminations / can’t tolerate the beans.

you will need:

(makes enough for two people)
2 cups white beans (e.g. cannellini), soaked and cooked*
half a packet of good quality pancetta
4-6 good quality sausages
1 x tin of tomatoes
4 cups low FODMAP bone broth / chicken stock
splash of red wine
a few bay leaves, sprigs of thyme and rosemary
garlic oil

* substitute for white beans: use a few potatoes (boil first) or two finely diced carrots, to be fried in the pan with the sausages.

method:

If you aren’t using canned beans, the first step is to soak the beans, and cook them. If you are cooking them, do so in a good amount of chicken stock – about 2 or 3 cups. This will make sure they start out full of flavour. Cook them in a big enough pot – you’ll be adding other bits to this later.

Take the leaves off a few spriggs of rosemary and thyme, reserving the stalks. Pop the stalks into a frying pan with the pancetta. Once the pancetta is crisp, remove it from the pan and reserve.

*If not using white beans, ensure that a) your potatoes are cooked or b) that your diced carrots have been fried in the pancetta fat and reserved before the sausages have gone in.

Chop the sausages into meatball sized chunks; it’s up to you whether or not  you leave the skin on. I like to take it off and just use the sausage meat. Pop these into the pan (still with the herb stalks), adding a little garlic oil if you need. You’re just browning the sausages here, but I would advise cooking them most of the way through.

When your beans are cooked, or have been cooking in chicken stock for at least a little bit if they were from a can, you can start to add the other elements to your cassoulet.

The way I like to do it is this; add a tin of tomatoes, followed by a splash of red wine and the remaining cup of stock, and all the leaves and stalks of the herbs (chop the rosemary really finely and crack the bay leaves to help release their oils). Let this bubble and reduce a bit.

Once you’ve got a slightly thickened, gorgeous smelling base for your cassoulet, add the sausages. I like to add the pancetta here too because I think the longer it has to kind of melt into the stew the better, but if you like it crispy you can add this at the end too. Give it a taste, it may want some pepper.

This is comfort food …if you’re anything like me, hugging a bowl of this close to you as you eat it will always make your day a little bit better.

Salmon and parsley pesto salad

Salmon and parsley pesto salad

Mondays are hard. I know that before the low FODMAP diet, the way I felt tonight when I came through the door… there would’ve been one thing on the menu tonight. It would’ve been pizza. I’d have stopped into Tesco on the way home, I’d have bought a Hawaiian pizza and a beer, and I’d have eaten the whole thing in one sitting.

Alas. This isn’t a Hawaiian pizza and a beer – it’s not really even worthy of comparison to a Hawaiian pizza and a beer, but it is comparably quick to make, delicious to eat – and it outranks the Hawaiian when it comes to health, post-meal smugness and of course – the bloat factor.

You make a salmon parcel in foil – which takes all of two minutes. While that’s cooking in the oven, whizz up the pesto. On a bed of rocket, rests your salmon, under a heap of fresh, fragrant pesto. What a cracking mid-weeker.

you will need:

1 x salmon fillet
1/2 a lemon
knob of butter
Couple of glugs of white wine (1 in the sauce, 1 for you)
handful of parsley
5 or 6 brazil nuts
handful of grated parmesan
garlic oil
a few generous handfuls of rocket leaves

method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. On a baking tray, lay out some foil. Pop your salmon fillet on the foil, with a knob of butter on top. Pour on a little white wine, a good squeeze of lemon, and season well. Wrap the salmon up and pop in the oven for about ten minutes. You can check it isn’t drying out after 7 minutes and just spoon over some of the sauce to keep it moist.

While the fish is cooking, take a mini chopper / food processor and add your brazil nuts, a good drizzle of garlic oil, one  handful of rocket and one handful of parsley (include the stalks). Whiz it up. Next, squeeze lemon juice into the mix and grate a small amount of parmesan in there too. You can zest some lemon if you like too and add a little bit of black pepper. I don’t like my pesto too wet but if you prefer the texture, simply add more garlic oil – or just regular olive oil. Be sure to use a good quality one if you can though as it does make a real difference.

By the time you’ve done this, your salmon should be cooked. Take it out and have a look, and if it flakes away in the middle slightly, you can serve up. Pop your salmon onto a bunch of salad leaves (be it rocket or otherwise) and top with your pesto. Monday is saved!

Posts will resume on MONDAY!

I have to begin this post with an apology for falling off the low FODMAP map these past few weeks! I started a new job recently, and after travelling four hours a day to and from said job for a month, I’ve finally made the move to the big city.

Wifi was installed TODAY – so I’ve dusted off my keyboard to bring you nothing really… except a promise of some tasty, inspiring low FODMAP recipes in the coming months as we step into spring.

I’m so excited to say that I now live a stone’s throw from a whole load of markets and ethnic food stores – treasure troves of fresh herbs, spices and some really impressive looking veg – yesterday I spotted spring onions the length of my arm … I’m pretty excited!

I also plan to walk you through the reintroductions process when I commence that next week, let you know how I got on using asafoetida powder as an onion substitute and share my top tips for weekend meal prep – saving you time, money, and keeping you on the straight and narrow!

Weekly posts will resume next Monday!

alright