Help me make my lunch more delicious.
July 31, 2011 7:40 AM   Subscribe

As a pescetarian who is pretty much on the FODMAP diet, what can I eat for lunch?

After some (continuing) experimentation, I've figured out that I can't eat a lot of the things on the FODMAP diet. I'm waiting to go back to the doc for a confirmed diagnosis, but she thinks I have IBS. I've found that most dairy products are fine, and I definitely eat avocado still with no issues. Other than that, I'm not eating the rest. Also, as stated above the fold, I only eat fish and no other forms of meat.

Finding good lunches are really making me suffer. Pretty much all I'd ever eat for lunch was a sandwich, maybe some bean soup, or a burrito. I've found that things without beans and especially wheat are a lot harder to buy for lunch. I'd prefer to make lunch at home, but I don't even know where to START! I've never been a huge fan of salad at lunch, so that one is immediately out. Also, I've seen a trillion "save my salads" askmes and we don't need another.

Can you recommend some good lunch-friendly meals with my restrictions? I have access to a fridge, microwave, and toaster oven at work, but due to my schedule, I can't spend a lot of time at work fixing my lunch. I'd be happy making things in advance at home. If you have any good resources other than recipes, that'd be great, too. Thanks!
posted by two lights above the sea to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If I were in your position, I would make a bunch of baked fish once a week (or just buy a big box of frozen toaster-oven heatable fish) and then eat it either in a (gluten-free) tortilla or naked, either way with some delicious vegetable slaw. "Salad" means green leafies to me, which doesn't please, but a mix of tomatoes and corn and carrots in a dressing goes well in a burrito or as a side dish.
posted by contrarian at 7:46 AM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you can eat tortilla chips, try making tostadas with tomatoes, corn, guac, and whatever else you can get on there. I have Celiac and these are easy to throw together; just keep the guac/veggies separate from the tortilla until lunch. I think you could get fish in there, too, if you wanted. These are really filling and tasty! I also don't know if you can do rice noodles or corn pasta, but those have been heaven-sent diet additions for me lately. Lastly, baked eggplant is also good; halve + hollow out an eggplant, fill it with what veggies you can eat, and then bake, maybe even with chickpeas if you can handle them, too. It saves well for lunch.
posted by ShadePlant at 8:51 AM on July 31, 2011

Response by poster: Chickpeas are one of the worst things for me. Which is frustrating because it was a huge part of my diet! The rest sounds pretty good, though. :)
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:01 AM on July 31, 2011

I understand about the chickpeas; Lentils are my personal GI nightmare! :)
posted by ShadePlant at 9:36 AM on July 31, 2011

Tuna salad can be not like salad, more a lot of tuna with veg like carrots, peppers, onion in and some kind of dressing.

You can also mix up sardines like this.
posted by Not Supplied at 10:13 AM on July 31, 2011

krab (or steamed crab) with rice and broccolli.

corn chips with a bowl of salsa and a bowl of guacamole.

fish cakes can be made ahead of time, then just nuked in short order. pair with a green salad dressed simply.

btw, thanks for introducing me to this diet. The mrs. has a lot of the symptoms described, and this is a good lead on what the solution might be.
posted by Gilbert at 10:33 AM on July 31, 2011

As someone who dealt with many years of "IBS" misdiagnosis (and accompanying pain and discomfort), please let me give you some unsolicited advice...

I highly recommend you read about fructose intolerance and see if that sounds like you. When I finally was put on an elimination diet by a doctor who knew what she was doing, the culprit turned out to be fructose, which is in just about everything that has a label (as well as all fruits and many vegetables). The treatment? Don't eat fructose. Ever. In any form.

The FODMAPS approach addresses this somewhat, but is way too liberal with table sugar (50/50 ratio of glucose to fructose) IMO - if I ate all the processed stuff and white sugar that is generally allowed I'd be sick all over again. And the fruits on the list you linked to? Forget it.

That being said - I'm a former vegetarian who had to start eating animal protein after this diagnosis. I still only eat fish and chicken, and reluctantly at that. But for me it's preferable to being sick all the time.

My lunches are almost always the same thing every day: salad of raw kale and spinach with whatever is left over from dinner the night before (usually salmon, chicken, or tuna). Sometimes I'll get creative and make a frittata, which makes for great leftovers. If you eat eggs, this might be an option for you.

Good luck with this. It's a difficult adjustment but if it's the right solution for you, eventually you will start to feel so much better that you really won't care that you eat the same thing for lunch every day!
posted by chez shoes at 12:37 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've been doing well in this diet, though I still sometime drink a beer and suffer for it. I don't think my potential diagnosis is incorrect, but I'll keep an eye out.
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:53 PM on July 31, 2011

I'm in heaven if you give me a hunk of hard cheese and a few good tomatoes with salt and pepper. I notice both of those are on the thumbs-up list.

Or how are you with peanut butter? Celery and peanut butter is pretty classic.

I think it's easier to do a bag lunch if you use stuff you can just chow down on as-is or with minimal prep, instead of needing to turn on the stove or assemble a burrito or whatever. YMMV.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:53 PM on July 31, 2011

are you good with lentils? I just have Daal with rice for lunch. I also make a mean Palek Tofu, both freeze really well with rice to be reheated at work.
posted by Gor-ella at 2:57 PM on August 2, 2011

Response by poster: Nope, no lentils.
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:31 PM on August 2, 2011

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