Your IBS/Migraine Cooking Mission, should you choose to accept it!
December 4, 2013 6:19 AM   Subscribe

Help me come up with new recipes! My partner has a VERY restricted diet... he has IBS and Migranes...It will be easier for me to tell you what he CAN eat, so here we go: Cauliflower, Carrots, broccoli, Swede, sour cream, butter and oils, garlic, stocks, mushrooms, pasta, rice, barley, pastry, tomatoes, corn, sweet potato, and courgette/zucchini and most meat- plus salmon and chicken.... and I can use a lot of herbs (but no paprika, chili or anything hot)...

I've been good making some of my own recipes (in fact he thinks I am a genius since I've managed to get some really varied tastes into our diet) but am turning to the hive mind for more. Here is what I have made so far:

Lasange with mashed cauliflower as cheese
Chicken pie using stock and cream- pastry on top
Shepards pie with cauliflower as potato
Pizza using cauliflower as cheese
Pork casserole (uk style)
Sweet potato curry with garam masala instead of curry
Chicken succotash with barley, carrots and corn
Roast dinners
Sauteed carrots with dill
Zuccini risotto
Zuccini soup
Chicken noodle soup
corn chowder
lamb wellington (minus the good stuff but it still tasted good)
various meat and 2 veg meals...

My mashed swede always tastes a little weird though.

Also, I think chicken and dumplings would be great but last time I tried my dumplings were mush.

It would also be great to get a fish pie idea... I'm afraid to try since he is dubious about wine in sauces and doesn't eat shellfish.

Here is some of what he CAN'T eat: onions, onion powder, onion extract, any potato ANYTHING, paprika, celeriac, celery, leek, peas, spices, ginger, vinegar, preservatives and colourings.... and no cheese.

I use a ton of: sage, dill, garlic, basil, mixed italian herbs

So there you go! Ideas!?
posted by misspony to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A tiny bit of a derail, but I was diagnosed with IBS and had migraines for years. I've since discovered that I have a gluten intolerance. Removing all traces of gluten from my diet has completely fixed me up. No more IBS and I haven't had a migraine in months (and that was only after accidently eating gluten). Just something to think about.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:28 AM on December 4, 2013 [4 favorites]

Mushroom Barley Risotto?

I can't really tell you how to make this, as I just wing it every time. Generally, I;
-Fry the mushrooms to get maillard reaction going (or merely hydrate in the case of porcini)
-Wash the barley
-Cook the barley in stock (any stock will do). Cook it just like risotto rice adding more stock as necessary.
- Add the mushrooms
- Moments before serving, dump a good handful of fresh chopped parsley in and stir.

If you don't mind the colour being an off putting brown, add loads of soy sauce or mushroom ketchup.
It's potentially vegan, but bits of parmesan keep falling into the mix when i do it.
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 6:48 AM on December 4, 2013

This is my favourite sweet potato recipe ever, and dead easy:

- a bunch of sweet potato (lets say 3, but really whatever you want), chopped into cubes about 1cm a side
- a few tablespoons of coconut oil (Errrm, maybe a teaspoon a potato? We don't really measure this stuff out.)
- a teaspoon of dried thyme (for about 3 potatoes)
- I tend to dislike salt so I don't cook with it, but sea salt is nice on this

1) Preheat oven to 400F, get a baking sheet (we foil ours, no real need to if you don't want to, and the oil will come later)
2) Put the coconut oil and thyme into a cup, melt them together in the microwave for 10-15 seconds - just get it liquid, doesn't take long.
3) In a bowl or the pan, mix the potato and oil together and coat as best you can. Cool thing is the potato is usually cold enough to resolidify the coconut oil so it will be a bit globby. Don't stress about it. :) Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet (it usually takes two for 3 big potatoes)
4) Bake, flipping them as best you can with a spatula about 20 minutes in, then every 10 minutes afterwards until they're done. Depending on cube size and exactly what temp we take it to, it takes 35-45 minutes. "Done" is kind of what you want - I like it when the edges are all a little blackened and everything is a little crispier, my fiance likes them a bit smooshier. One corner of our oven is hotter than the other, so I tend to take from that side of the pan.

This is possibly the best thing I've ever put in my mouth.
posted by aggyface at 7:01 AM on December 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

The website is designed for you to put in whatever you have in your fridge and it will tell you every recipe (it knows) that you can make with those ingredients. This could help you come up with new recipe ideas using the foods he can eat.
posted by horizonseeker at 7:01 AM on December 4, 2013 [4 favorites]

On first glance:
- broccoli cream soup (stock+broccoli+sour cream+blender).
- cream roasted swede soup (recipe calls for onion & celery, just skip that)

Do you like rosemary? It is also one of the stronger herbs and adds great flavor to almost all veggies.
posted by travelwithcats at 7:09 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Marcella Hazan's pasta sauce.
posted by Kiwi at 8:19 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

For clarification: is it all cheese, or just aged cheese? And wheat is okay, right?
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:38 AM on December 4, 2013

With butter, mushrooms, sour cream, and pasta, seems like you might be able to do a modified Stroganoff. (no onions would be the problem.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:47 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

A lot of risottos have cheese in them, but I've had really good luck with this vegan risotto recipe.

I'm not vegan, but I wanted a risotto recipe that didn't have cheese in it. What I do is follow the directions in the linked recipe, but add 3 cups of whatever veggies I want and 1 cup of whatever cooked meat I want, in place of the mushrooms and spinach listed in the recipe. It's really good with cooked sausage and chicken.
posted by OrangeDisk at 8:47 AM on December 4, 2013

You don't mention fresh peppers (as in red and green bell peppers), or soy-based items, but if he can have those, that's helpful, especially for Asian and/or stir-fry dishes, which is the first thing I thought of since they rarely call for cheese or potatoes. A simple pepper steak stir fry is on our regular rotation: I just stir fry green and red bell pepper, onions (leave out, obviously), ginger (leave out again), garlic and sliced steak witha bit of soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, and we have this with rice (wild and white rice mix, usually) and a salad. I was also thinking of Thai chicken and coconut soup because the coconut is an exciting flavor to add in lieu of some other banned items, and just leave out the ginger, hot peppers (sub with some fresh peppers if they're okay), and any questionable spices. Add zing with some lime juice.

I'd also look at adapting any wine-based dishes if alcohol is okay (like chicken or pork with Marsala sauce), since that will definitely add a flavor punch, as well as recipes that include/feature nuts (or you can just add to some existing recipes where they will work), or yogurt or sour cream if either one of those is okay. A Greek tzatziki or a modified Indian raita (leave out the spices) as a side dish with your meat / chicken and veg or salad will help liven things up a bit. If sour cream is okay, beef stroganoff without the onions would be a great flavorful winter dish.

If herbs, or some herbs, are okay, I'd definitely have some pots or plots of whatever is permitted and fairly easy to grow since fresh herbs are so much more flavorful than their dried counterparts. Fresh basil will carry a pasta sauce all on its own, no onions required, lemon thyme is lovely, rosemary sprigs, mint. Regular dried oregano, on the other hand, is a great flavormaker that's not better fresh.

If you are allowed fresh peppers (or even without) you can try our Chicken Riganato by sauteeing peppers and garlic (we also use onions), adding chicken breast and/or leg-thigh piece or pieces, a bit of water and cooking down for a long time (works great in a slow cooker) or quickly in a pressure cooker, and sprinkling in a generous bit of dried oregano near the end. I use a lot of onion and peppers to create a "gravy" and we have this on top of country noodles. Delish. If you cook on the stove, you will start with enough water to completely cover the chicken, and cook it down. Slow cooker or pressure cooker requires less water. But there's pretty much no way to go wrong with the dish – you just cook chicken in liquid until it's completely falling off the bone and the liquid is cooked way down, remove the chicken to debone and add oregano (more than you would for most dishes), add the chicken meat back, simmer a little bit longer, and have it over noodles.

You can also infuse olive oils with some allowed herbs and / or garlic to have an easy cooking aid or condiment. And nearly any vegetable steamed and drizzled with olive oil and lemon is completely delicious, hot or cold. And speaking of olives, there's another great flavor additive, if it's an allowed food. There are all sorts of different olives that are worlds more wonderful than the typical pimento stuffed green olives in a jar of brine, and well worth exploring as a flavorful addition.

Definitely look at all kinds of ethnic foods to find combinations you may not have thought of that might fit with or bend to your restrictions. For example, I thought I hated beets, but then had a salad from a Russian chef (maybe it's not a Russian dish, per se, I don't know) of sliced cooked beets with Greek yogurt, chopped Arugula, and chopped (and maybe toasted) walnuts, probably also with lemon and olive oil, that blew me away. (And arugula generally is something that I add to many, many things to enliven the flavor.)

And just a couple of last thoughts, and I'll shut up: if smoked things are okay, that's one way to add a lot flavor; b├ęchamel sauce can help substitute for cheese (for example on stuffed pasta like Cannelloni); and if you learn to make a good dark Creole/Cajun roux, you can make gumbo (leaving out the prohibited items) with a lot of flavor because of the roux, and use it for other items to create flavor in the place of spices and onions. Also look at fruits in addition to lemon and lime to add flavor to things, if these are okay – so many flavors!

Okay, one last, last (really) final word. If I had to pick one single meal to have for supper for the rest of my life, it would probably be this simple: salmon steak with stir-fried broccoli (I usually make it with garlic, red bell pepper strips, and teriyaki) and wild and white or brown rice. And indeed I do indulge in this as much as possible, and never, ever get tired of it.
posted by taz at 9:23 AM on December 4, 2013

Seconding My Fridge Food it really is a great way to come up with new recipes. I also have IBS along with other comorbid diagnoses (including migraines) and draw a blank when looking at what my hubby and I what have in the fridge v. what I *shouldn't* be eating.

the corpse in the library I dunno about the partner... but for me, I can eat hard cheeses with no problems, but soft cheeses are out. Could be the same. Everyone's different, of course. I can eat gluten without any complications, but if I eat onions or broccoli (which I love) I'm in pain for days.

Misspony, is your partner on a low FODMAP diet? It kinda sounds like he is (except the broccoli) -- but I could be wrong. If he is, there's a link to recipes on the previous link that follow the low FODMAP plan which are pretty good. Or you can google "low FODMAP" and get a few. It's specific to IBS.
posted by patheral at 10:01 AM on December 4, 2013

Hi guys thanks for all your help so far!

@corpse in the library- no cheese I'm afraid. But I love cheese and can't get enough- so I do make stuff with cheese in it at times but then just eat it myself- he has to have a cheeseless alternative or he gets really jealous...

@taz- no peppers or soy (or lemon even!) but your recipes are making me hungry!

@patheral- hmmmm, I don't know what FODMAP is, I will have to check it out.

Also, rosemary.... I keep meaning to buy some and haven't... its going on the shopping list today.

Seriously, can't thank you guys enough!
posted by misspony at 11:27 AM on December 4, 2013

For fluffy dumplings with your chicken, try this tea biscuit recipe. Instead of adding the mentioned quantity of milk, add water gradually until all of the dry ingredients are just barely mixed in. (If you're not comfortable with adding liquid freeform, you could try starting with 1/2 cup and then increasing tablespoon by tablespoon from there as needed.) Drop tablespoons of batter into your finished chicken soup. Cover and boil about 10 minutes, or until all dumplings float.

The key is not to use too much liquid in your biscuit/dumpling batter.
posted by snorkmaiden at 11:48 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, dumplings are like biscuits: stir as little as you can possible manage, or else you'll stretch out the gluten and they won't be any good.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:00 PM on December 4, 2013

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