Among the many foods I have had to eliminate from my diet is chocolate. I actually stopped eating it after I had a really bizarre reaction to it many years ago. In the past couple of years, I discovered that it was good that I had stopped eating it, because it can trigger migraines. I’ve grown used to not eating it, but I really enjoyed it when I was still able to.
Recently, my daughter was developing a new recipe in the kitchen, and I smelled chocolate. I was surprised to find out that she was not using chocolate though. Rather, several ingredients mixed together just smelled like chocolate to me (and they tasted really good on my fingertips as well). Her ingredients were only parts of a more involved recipe, but we decided to mix them together later to see if we could make candy.
This fudge doesn’t taste exactly like chocolate, but it has an awesome flavor on its own.. I mean really good… Like I can’t stop eating it good. Here’s the recipe:
1/4 cup smooth almond butter
2 2/3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla
- Mix all ingredients in a microwavable cup.
- Microwave for 25 seconds and stir until smooth.
- In parchment lined freezer container, spread mixture and freeze for 6 hours, or until hard.
- Cut and enjoy.
While we’ve been able to modify or develop recipes to meet many of our needs, there have been gaps that we haven’t been able to fill. Two of those gaps are now filled with yummy recipes we found online. I take no credit for these, but refer you to the original sources as applicable.
Until now, it has been a mystery to determine how to make a birthday cake that works for the different dietary needs of the people in our house: peanut and tree nut free, migraine free, and Low FODMAP. While not a traditional “cake”, this pumpkin bar recipe is definitely meeting our expectations for a birthday cake as well as an everyday snack option. Here are a few details that I think are necessary to remember when making this recipe:
- I found that the use of PAM to grease my baking dish resulted in a bitter flavor on the edges of these bars. I now spread coconut oil in the pan with my fingers instead.
- We bake, puree, and freeze pumpkin in the fall to use rather than canned pumpkin to avoid the amount of tyramine that builds up in canned goods.
- We chose the maple syrup option. We never tried honey in this recipe, because the maple syrup worked so well.
- We use King Arthur brand almond flour, because we feel comfortable with the way this flour is handled with respect to our food allergies.
- Since chocolate is off the list for a migraine diet, we do not add this optional ingredient. However, this recipe is so good that we can’t even imagine adding chocolate to it!
The second gap that is now filled is a much-loved recipe for biscuits. This recipe also uses almond flour, but we have been using honey for the sweetener. Although honey is not ok on the Low FODMAP diet, our family members on this diet have not had problems with the very small amount of honey actually present in each biscuit. These biscuits are so good that they don’t need any toppings like jam, butter, or gravy. We eat them alone as snacks or on the side with a meal. Here are the details I keep in mind for this recipe:
- We use coconut oil instead of butter.
- We use white distilled vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.
We have found both of these recipes to freeze well, making them easy snacks to warm for a few seconds in the microwave when the need arises. One person in the family even loves them frozen!
I used to love ordering a stir-fried dish at restaurants. However, this is impossible now that I know MSG and soy cause migraines for me. Once we had success with a recipe for “Soy Sauce” that didn’t contain these ingredients, I knew we had to keep going and create another stir-fry recipe. This is now one of my favorites.
1 cup broth
2 tsp. molasses
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
Stir all ingredients together and heat in a saucepan.
Stir Fried Chicken and Vegetables
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 c. broccoli florets
3 c. cauliflower florets
1 c. chopped fresh spinach
1 c. wild rice
2 c. broth
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. garam masala
1/8 tp. cayenne pepper
4 tsp. coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup “Soy Sauce” from above
- Heat broth in a saucepan and add rice. Cook covered for 45 minutes or until done.
- Blend spices and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Place chicken in a greased skillet and sprinkle with spice blend.
- Fry chicken until 165 degrees and remove from skillet.
- Place carrots in skillet with 1/2 of the “Soy Sauce”. Cover and simmer until carrots are just starting to soften.
- Add broccoli and cauliflower and fry until soft (about 10 minutes). Add “Soy Sauce” as needed.
- Add spinach, remaining “Soy Sauce”, and chicken and cook until spinach has wilted.
- Serve over rice.
Although Pumpkin Granola is the one we go through the fastest, here is another great one that doesn’t have migraine triggers. We used to add Cranraisins to this recipe, but discovered that these are major migraine triggers for us; the granola is a great snack without them though.
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
- Optional step: The quinoa can be rinsed and toasted in a skillet to give it a “nuttier” flavor. However, this is time consuming and not necessary in my opinion.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Place granola on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees in 10 minute increments until dry (approximately 30 minutes depending on your oven). After each 10 minute increment, stir the granola to keep the edges from burning. Once the granola is almost dry, turn the oven off, prop the door slightly open, and allow the warmth to complete the drying process.
- Although we have never added hemp hearts to this recipe, we are experimenting with them and plan to try this at some point.
This is one that my kids ask for every week! I had a hard time getting a picture that does this dish justice, but it is definitely a “go-to” recipe for migraine avoidance in our family. We love it served by itself or as a side to steak.
Note: I freeze zucchini and yellow squash cubes during the summer when it is plentiful to use through the winter for this dish. Squash will be soft after freezing, but it works well in this dish. Our favorite is the yellow squash, but the zucchini just keeps on coming all summer long, so we end up using it more often.
Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa Rice
2 sweet potatoes
3 small gold or white potatoes
4 large carrots
1 small to medium zucchini or yellow squash
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed
garlic cloves or powder
1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 cup quinoa
2 cups broth
- Cut all vegetables into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Drizzle olive oil lightly over the vegetables and toss.
- Sprinkle with garlic powder, basil, and sea salt.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender. Sometimes, we remove the aluminum foil halfway through the baking cycle if we desire the vegetables to brown. Check for tenderness with a fork.
- Once the vegetables are in the oven, cook the rice and quinoa in the broth in a medium saucepan. Leave the lid on after it finishes cooking until the vegetables are tender.
- Serve vegetables on top of the quinoa rice.
I always thought tomato sauce and onions were essential in any recipe for barbecue sauce, but here is a recipe that we have worked out without these migraine triggers. We enjoy it with this potato recipe.
Makes 1 cup sauce, just right for shredded chicken from 2 breasts
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup molases
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 cup distilled white vinegar
1/6 cup honey
1/8 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Blend all ingredients together and pour over shredded chicken from 2 breasts.
- Stir to evenly coat and serve warm.
I’m having a great reduction in the frequency of my migraines since my diet changes, and I’m starting to add some of the foods back in. The first I’m trying is almonds (but no other nuts). I actually have seen conflicting information regarding almonds. Nuts are considered migraine triggers, but almonds are sometimes recommended to migraine sufferers because of the magnesium in them. I’m not having trouble eating them in moderate amounts, so I’m exploring recipes. Here is one of my favorites.
I am overjoyed to be able to make protein bars like these. Our other migraineur is still not able to eat any nuts, but she is able to eat Sunbutter. So, we still make these for her, but just do the replacement. Adding small amounts of almond butter into my diet has opened up many recipe options. For me, it is totally worth giving up so many other foods so that I am able to reintroduce this migraine trigger without pain:)
The original inspiration for this recipe didn’t include any other migraine triggers, but we did make some changes that suit our family better. As noted earlier, too much chia just doesn’t work well with my “insides”. The addition of hemp hearts boosts the nutritional value as outlined here. So, we worked with hemp hearts, chia, and flax to get a better combination for us. Finally, we included the option of using Sunbutter in the same amount as almond butter to suit individual needs.
Now, we have a great travel option that can be stored at room temperature for short time periods, frozen, or refrigerated:)
1/2 cup dry quinoa
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup milled flax seeds
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped (about 50 almonds)
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup almond butter (or Sunbutter
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
- In a small, microwave-safe dish, combine honey, brown rice syrup, and almond butter (or Sunbutter). Microwave for 20 seconds to soften.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly mix.
- Transfer to a parchment lined 8 x 8 baking dish. Press into an even layer with fingers.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool.
- Cut into 8 or 16 bars as desired.
- Cut parchment used for baking into pieces to wrap around each bar and refrigerate or freeze.