Adding Flavour to Low FODMAP Meals
One of the most common comments that I’ve had when telling others we are doing the low FODMAP diet, isn’t that they would miss bread, cereals and certain fruits…but ‘I definitely couldn’t do without onion and garlic!’ I think this is certainly true when eating out, as most cuisines such as Italian, Indian, Thai and Middle Eastern food rely on onion and garlic as a base flavour for many of their dishes. This is the same for many salad dressings, sandwich fillings and soups which makes many wheat free choices when out and about again unsuitable for restriction phase of the low FODMAP diet.
Garlic Infused Oil
The solution for replacing garlic is as simple as garlic infused oil. We cannot stress how important this ingredient has been in cooking over the past 5 weeks on a low FODMAP diet. We definitely use it in meals most evenings, and it means that meals that you usually enjoy stay true to their original flavour. Actually the flavour from garlic infused oil is stronger than we would have predicted, meaning it is perfect for using in all cuisines. Some of our favourites have been pad thai, bolognese, stir fried or griddled veg and in sauces and dressings all of which require garlic for that traditional flavour. IT IS ESSENTIAL, and available in most supermarkets now (we stocked up when we found a good offer)
Low FODMAP Herbs
One of our favourites so far is having a wide range of fresh herbs in the house. A plant can be picked up in the supermarket for not much more than a standard bag of herbs, they look and smell great and they definitely pack a punch with the flavour. So take the opportunity to get those green thumbs flexing! Currently we have basil, coriander, parsley, thyme and mint which we are using daily in meals like omelettes, salads, stews and many more. You will see lots of these used in the recipes we will be adding to the blog. For more information on Growing Your Own Herbs and plants check out The Royal Horticultural Society which is a great website. It’s been a pretty good summer in London this year so growing our herbs and even some tomatoes has been good fun. Although I have to admit I really do need to look after the tomato plants better as you can see from the photo!
What we have found however, whilst cooking at home and preparing meals for ourselves, is that adding flavour to food whilst adhering to low FODMAP is actually really simple with a bit of preparation. In fact it has really given us the opportunity to do a bit more experimenting and seek out some new products which we wouldn’t usually have as part of our weekly shopping.
Using up your herbs!
If it has now got to that point where your plants are looking a bit dishevelled, then the recipe below will help use them up. It uses saffron which is such an underused spice. I know the perception of high cost will put people off using it but you only have to use such a tiny amount! Just one or two small strands can really enhance and give a depth of flavour to your dish. We have recently been using it to flavour our side dishes, as seen in Yellow Rice & Peppers, and one of our first low FODMAP meals was a paella in which saffron is essential.
We’ve used lots more fresh herbs since starting the diet and this is something which is definitely going to continue post FODMAP diet. Making a pesto is another good way to use up herbs; in fact I think nearly all of the main meal recipes on the blog contain some sort of fresh herbs….so make sure you stock up! Here is a recipe that uses up your herbs, and would be delicious for any meal of the day….
Recipe: Persian Omelette with Fresh Herbs
- 4 eggs
- 1 handful coriander leaves
- 1 handful parsley leaves
- 1/2 handful chives
- 1/2 handful dill
Or use any combination of herbs, I used 1 handful of basil in place of the chives and dill
- Pinch of saffron
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 25g butter
- Pre-heat grill to a medium heat.
- Finely chop all the herbs.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a bowel then add remaining ingredients and mix.
- Place the butter in a shallow round pan and melt over a medium heat.
- Once butter is foaming add the egg mixture and fry for 2-3 minutes to cook the bottom of the omelette.
- Place under the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes but be careful not to burn the top of the omelette.
- Cut into wedges and serve, I served this with some simple griddle vegetables as I’ve shown below 🙂
- ½ courgette, cut into small pieces (make sure it is 65g or less to be low FODMAP)
- 10 baby / plum / cheery tomatoes (16 cherry tomatoes / 220g is moderate in FODMAP content)
- 1 tbsp. oil and some salt & freshly ground black pepper
- To Cook: Add 1 tbsp. oil to a frying pan and over a medium / high heat fry the courgettes on one side until you get a slight browning, then flip them over and fry for 2 more minutes.
- Add the baby plum tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes) and mix. Heat for 1 more minute and season at this point; serve with the omelette.
Overall Time To Make: 30 minutes
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Despite finishing the Low FODMAP diet there are still some habits we have continued in our usual diet like using more herbs in cooking, salads & including salsa verde / homemade pesto and other dressings with meals.
Good news! The first ever book dedicated to reintroducing FODMAPs is now available to purchase on Amazon. The book is titled ‘Re-challenging and Reintroducing FODMAPs – A self-help guide to the entire reintroduction phase of the low FODMAP diet’. Click on the logo for more details.
Looking for The Best Low FODMAP Diet Resources, click here.
Dietitian authored articles on the FODMAP dietary treatment available here.