Fudge

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:

Fudge


1/4 cup smooth almond butter
2 2/3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla

  1. Mix all ingredients in a microwavable cup.
  2. Microwave for 25 seconds and stir until smooth.
  3. In parchment lined freezer container, spread mixture and freeze for 6 hours, or until hard.
  4. Cut and enjoy.

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Cake and Biscuits

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. We chose the maple syrup option.  We never tried honey in this recipe, because the maple syrup worked so well.
  4. We use King Arthur brand almond flour, because we feel comfortable with the way this flour is handled with respect to our food allergies.
  5. 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:

  1. We use coconut oil instead of butter.
  2. 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!

 

 

Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables

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.

Soy Sauce


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
8 carrots
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

  1. Heat broth in a saucepan and add rice.  Cook covered for 45 minutes or until done.
  2. Blend spices and olive oil in a small bowl.
  3. Place chicken in a greased skillet and sprinkle with spice blend.
  4. Fry chicken until 165 degrees and remove from skillet.
  5. Place carrots in skillet with 1/2 of the “Soy Sauce”.  Cover and simmer until carrots are just starting to soften.
  6. Add broccoli and cauliflower and fry until soft (about 10 minutes).  Add “Soy Sauce” as needed.
  7. Add spinach, remaining “Soy Sauce”, and chicken and cook until spinach has wilted.
  8. Serve over rice.

Maple Granola

Quinoa Granola

 

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.

Maple Granola

Quinoa Granola
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

  1. 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.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. 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.
  5. Although we have never added hemp hearts to this recipe, we are experimenting with them and plan to try this at some point.

Barbecue Sauce for Chicken

barbecue-sauce

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.

Barbecue Sauce

Makes 1 cup sauce, just right for shredded chicken from 2 breasts

barbecue-sauce

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

  1. Blend all ingredients together and pour over shredded chicken from 2 breasts.
  2. Stir to evenly coat and serve warm.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup light

I used to only have 3 soup recipes.  This new adventure of figuring out what to eat on a migraine diet has opened my eyes to so many more options.  My sister-in-law sent the original idea for this soup to me, but I have made several changes to accommodate our dietary needs.  We love this served as a side dish with chicken recipes.

The garlic scape that I have used for garnish in the picture is a delightful replacement for onions or mushrooms.  The difficulty is finding scapes, which are the stalks for the flower buds of the garlic plant (see one of mine here).  They are usually removed from a garlic plant to allow the bulbs to grow larger.  However, I usually let a few scapes grow so that the flowering buds develop for planting the next year.  I used to compost the others, but have recently begun using them in dishes such as this one.  This year, my plan is to freeze them for use all year long.  If garlic growing is something you would like me to include in a future post, please comment below.

Note that this recipe fits nicely in a blender.  However, if you want to make a larger batch using the entire cauliflower head, you could use a stick blender right in the stockpot.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup light

1/2 of a large cauliflower head (or 1 very small head), chopped
1 medium white or yellow potato, peeled and diced
2 cups broth
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/16 tsp. cayenne pepper
dash cumin
diced and sauteed garlic scapes for garnish (optional)

  1. Place the cauliflower, potato, and broth in a small stockpot and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Place vegetables, broth, and spices (except garlic scapes) into a blender and blend until creamy.
  3. Serve warm as a side dish with sauteed garlic scapes for garnish as desired.

Ginger Chicken with Carrot Noodles and Broccoli

Ginger Chicken with Spiralized Carrots and Broccoli

I am learning to embrace new herbs and spices since I can no longer add onions for flavoring.  It does seem that so many recipes include onions, but they don’t have to.  I have found that garlic fills much of this gap.  However, I don’t want garlic to be the primary flavor in everything.  So, I am learning to cook more with other spices such as ginger.  The last time that I had leftover Honey Mustard Salad Dressing, I wondered what it would taste like baked on chicken.  The flavor that seemed to be missing in my first try was what I sense when I smell ginger, so I tried it!

Ginger is reported to have benefits for migraineurs.  I have no idea if it is playing a role in my reduced pain or not, but it isn’t hurting either.  I had not used it much previously except as an ingredient in gingerbread cookies.  Initially, I started adding 1/4 tsp. to a glass of water 2 times a day.  Since then, I have also ventured into an increased use of it in other recipes, including this one.  I recognize that it may appear as if there is too much ginger called for in this recipe.  However, I have tried 1/2 to 3 teaspoons as I have worked out this recipe.  Since the chicken is turned over part way through the baking time, the sauce acts like a marinade.  In the end, the amount of ginger included in the recipe is just right to flavor the dish without an overwhelming ginger taste.  It is so good, that we even take the juices at the bottom of the pan and ladle them over the carrots!

Note that I did end up adding garlic to the dish, but ginger is the primary flavor.  The diced garlic scapes that are included in the picture and as an optional ingredient in the recipe do work nicely with this dish, but are primarily included for visual appeal.  I also have fun using scapes since I grow garlic in my garden.  I cannot find the scapes in a grocery store, so it is a treat to have them as my garlic grows.  If you are interested in having me post about how to grow garlic (and the scapes), please comment below and I will work on a post as this year’s garden develops.

Garlic Scape

Garlic Scape

Ginger Chicken with Carrot Noodles and Broccoli

Ginger Chicken with Spiralized Carrots and Broccoli

2 chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
6 large carrots, spiralized
1 bunch broccoli florets
garlic scapes, diced (optional)

  1. In a small bowl, stir the mustard, honey, olive oil, ginger, and garlic powder together.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish, and pour the sauce over each.
  3. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until no pink remains.  Turn the breasts over at least once during the baking time to allow spices to bake into the chicken evenly.  Turning will also prevent a crust from forming.
  4. Serve over spiralized carrots with broccoli florets.
  5. Spoon remaining baking juices over the carrots.