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!
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.
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.
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
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
diced and sauteed garlic scapes for garnish (optional)
- Place the cauliflower, potato, and broth in a small stockpot and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
- Place vegetables, broth, and spices (except garlic scapes) into a blender and blend until creamy.
- Serve warm as a side dish with sauteed garlic scapes for garnish as desired.
This recipe is great for a supper meal, but I have also found it to be particularly helpful at lunch. If I don’t eat more than a salad at lunch, I start getting that “migraine coming on” feeling mid-afternoon. I make a double batch for supper and freeze the leftovers to be warmed for lunches throughout the week. The original inspiration for this recipe included several migraine triggers and a dipping sauce. I’ve replaced the trigger ingredients and think these nuggets are great without a dipping sauce. I frequently serve them with roasted cauliflower and steamed beets.
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup rice flour
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 pound ground chicken
1 “egg” (1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G powder & 2 Tbsp. water)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
- In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup rice flour and 1/4 cup coconut.
- In a separate bowl, combine ground chicken, 1/3 cup rice flour, Ener-G egg, and spices.
- Form desired nugget-sized patties and roll in flour/coconut blend.
- Fry in coconut oil in a hot skillet. I keep the amount of coconut oil to 1 or 2 tablespoons, but you could use more if desired.
- Optional step – When fully cooked, place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes for a crispier crust. Update on 8/15/17 – We have found that this step tends to dry out the nuggets. We microwave instead if necessary.
Spaghetti squash is such a blessing! I still haven’t figured out a migraine-less option for pizza, but here is one for “spaghetti” without a tomato-based sauce. I make marinara from pepper puree that I also use for other recipes. So, I make large batches of the puree and freeze it in convenient portion sizes for our 2 migraineurs. I don’t add spices until I thaw a portion for a particular recipe. As I work out final versions of my other pepper puree recipes, I will post them as well.
It took some time to work out the spices for this marinara recipe since onions are not included. Sometimes, I add more garlic or red pepper flakes, but the recipe below is where I start. If I add sausage to the final dish as shown in the picture above, I use the marinara recipe as written.
A key to the spaghetti squash is the method of removing it from the peel. As shown here, I use a fork to pull “spaghetti” strands from the sides. Once the strands are removed, I use a spoon to scrape remaining squash from the peel. Since most of the squash can be removed as strands, it ends up resembling spaghetti noodles.
5 to 6 large red bell peppers
- Remove seeds and stems from peppers and cut into large chunks or slices.
- Place in a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until soft.
- Blend peppers and juices in a food processor or blender until smooth.
- I freeze 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 cup portions for use in other recipes.
Marinara Sauce with Spaghetti Squash and Sausage
1 spaghetti squash
1 1/2 cups pepper puree
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. white sugar
- Cut spaghetti squash into half lengthwise and remove seeds.
- Place squash halves peel side down in a baking dish with 1/4 inch of water.
- Bake squash for 1 hour at 350 degrees or until squash can easily be removed from the peel with a fork.
- Stir spices into pepper puree and serve warm on top of spaghetti squash and sausage.
- Non-migraineurs in our family eat the remaining squash with tomato-based sauce.