Sweet Potato Nachos (low-FODMAP)

Sweet Potato Nachos (low-FODMAP)

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Sweet Potato Nachos (low-FODMAP)

Often Saturday night is nacho night in our house. This version can easily be made into a low-FODMAP recipe that can work in your specific IBS diet. 

​And while sometimes we just go for the real thing with corn chips and all the toppings, this sweet potato version is a great alternative!

​With a sweet potato base and lots of veggies mixed into the minced meat topping, you can enjoy a comfort food with a good extra serving of veggies.

​The best part is, that the toppings are extremely customizable. Can’t do onion? Leave it out and up the green onion as garnish. Or swap it for the green part of a leek.

Have a bunch of leftovers in the fridge? Throw them on!

​Or maybe sweet potato is tricky? Do ⅓ sweet potato and ⅔ regular potato.

​Ready to make this tonight?

Sweet Potato Nachos

Light version of the classic nachos, made with sweet potato instead of corn chips.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • Mandolin

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g sweet potato*
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 200 g mince meat
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 red onion** diced
  • ¼ zucchini diced
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Optional Garnishes

  • green onion green top only for low-FODMAP
  • avocado ⅛ is low-FODMAP
  • sour cream lactose-free for low-FODMAP
  • fresh cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 200C / 390F.
  • Wash and peel sweet potatoes, and slice into 0.5cm (0.2”) thick rounds using a knife or mandolin.
  • Lay sweet potato slices out on a lined baking sheet and bake in oven for 15 minutes until beginning to brown and crisp.
  • In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini and cook until just soft (5-8 minutes).
  • Add the minced meat into the frying pan and cook until fully browned, (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the sweet potato from the oven. Using the baking sheet from the sweet potatoes, overlap the cooked chips to form your nacho base.
  • Scatter meat and vegetable mixture across the sweet potato base. Top with diced tomatoes and shredded cheese.
  • Return to the oven and bake until cheese ismelted and beginning to turn golden;around 10 minutes.
  • Top with any of the optional garnishes, and enjoy!

Notes

* 75g of sweet potato is considered low-FODMAP, above this can be high in the FODMAP mannitol. If this is a problem for you, you could swap ⅔ of the sweet potato for regular white potato instead.
** If red onion is a problem for you, as it is high in FODMAPs (fructans) then replace this with diced green tops of leeks.
Keyword Gluten Free, Vegetables

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Is Alcohol a Trigger for IBS?

Is Alcohol a Trigger for IBS?

Group of people cheersing with cocktails, Is alcohol a trigger for IBS

Is Alcohol a Trigger for IBS?

With the holiday season upon us, the influence of alcohol in our lives only continues to grow. But does alcohol sit well with your IBS, or is that glass going to send you running to the toilet?

There’s not a whole lot of research done yet on the effect or link between alcohol and irritable bowel syndrome, but anecdotally around 1/3 of IBS-sufferers self-report that they are triggered by it (myself included).

And when I polled my Instagram community, this number was far higher!

However, since alcohol is often served along with food (and often more indulgent dishes) it can be tricky to differentiate any symptoms from your drinks versus your food.

 

The effect of alcohol on your digestion

Alcohol can be an irritant to the gut and can cause inflammation. It can reduce your absorption of vitamins and minerals from your food.

By potentially reducing the frequency and strength of certain muscle contraction in the gut, alcohol can also disrupt the digestion of carbohydrates in the small intestine, resulting in more poorly absorbed carbs coming into the large intestine.

Cue bloating, gas, and change in bowel movements. This is the same effect that FODMAPs can have on your digestion.

It also can mean an increased transit time (a.k.a. the time it takes for your food to move from one end to the other), which can result in diarrhea.

Alcohol can also interfere with the working of some digestive enzymes – one of which is lactase. Lactase is the digestive enzyme that breaks down lactose, the milk sugar.

This means when drinking you could find yourself sensitive to lactose-containing dairy products even if you would normally do OK with some of them.

The pattern of alcohol consumption has been studied in terms of its impact on IBS.

While the study didn’t find an association between light or moderate alcohol consumption and next-day IBS symptoms, it did find an association between binge drinking (4+ drinks on one occasion) and next-day IBS symptoms.

Green cocktail in a martini glass, is alcohol a trigger for IBS

Alcohol and FODMAPs

While alcohol can function similarly to FODMAPs in the digestive system, they aren’t one and the same.

However, some alcohol can also contain FODMAPs (so possibly a double whammy on your gut) and warrant some additional focus. 

According to Monash University, the following are high-FODMAP containing alcohols / alcoholic drinks:

  • Cider
  • Rum
  • Sherry
  • Port
  • Sweet dessert wine

Conversely, the following are considered low-FODMAP:

  • Beer (but watch out for gluten if you’re gluten intolerant)
  • Red, sparkling, sweet, white and dry white wine
  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Whisky

If you’re consuming a cocktail, don’t forget to take the additional elements into account as well for FODMAP content. (Check out the recipe at the bottom of the post for my favourite, festive cocktail!)

 

Drinking responsibly

In general, any potential benefits from alcohol don’t really outweigh the possible negative consequences. That being said, drinking alcohol is a personal choice, and it’s so interwoven into our social life that it’s understandable if you don’t want to abstain completely!

Just remember to enjoy it responsibly. While your country’s guidelines of alcohol consumption may vary, here in Belgium we recommend (for adults over the age of 18) a maximum of 10 units of alcohol per week, and several days with no alcohol.

One unit of alcohol is equal to:

  • 10g / 12.7mL pure alcohol
  • 250mL standard beer
  • 100mL wine
  • 50mL aperitif alcohol (sherry, port, etc.)
  • 35mL strong liquor (gin, vodka, etc.)

And, of course, remember the general recommendations: avoid alcohol when driving or operating machinery, if you’re pregnant, if you’re under 18 (and/or under the legal age in your country), when doing heavy physical activity, and talk to your doctor if you’re on any medications.

 

Practical tips for alcohol consumption 

  • Watch out for what you are mixing it with (pop, fruit juice, etc. could all contain FODMAPs or other triggers for you)
  • Abstaining might be the best option for you If you notice an increase in symptoms when drinking alcohol
  • Drink plenty of water: alternate each alcoholic drink with at least one glass of water
  • Consume food along with alcohol (but be sure to consider your food triggers)
  • Space out your drinks over a longer time frame
  • Swap in some non-alcoholic mocktails; no one has to know!
  • Avoid binge-drinking
IBS friendly cocktail mocktail, red cocktail in a glass surrounded by fresh cranberries and rosemary

IBS-friendly festive holiday gin & tonic:

Serves one

  • Ice
  • 35mL non-alcoholic gin
  • 35mL cranberry juice (check the ingredients list for any high-FODMAP additives)
  • Tonic water
  • Fresh rosemary and/or cranberries for garnish

Fill your glass with ice. Add in the cocktail ingredients in the order listed. Top off with your garnishes and enjoy!

 

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Breakfast Root Veggie Hash

Breakfast Root Veggie Hash

Breakfast Root Veggie Hash

Sometimes breakfast doesn’t need to be sweet!

And often when we go for a savoury option, eggs are involved. I love eggs as much as the next person, but do yourself a favour and give this breakfast hash a try for a different take on the first meal of the day.

The root veggies actually do give a bit of a sweetness to the hash, and as a bonus you’re ticking off a serving (if not more) of your 5-a-day right away!

The original recipe isn’t quite FODMAP-friendly, but if you refer to the notes below the recipe you’ll see some easy swaps to ensure it’s low-FODMAP if you need it to be.

Breakfast Root Veggie Hash

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Breakfast, Main Course
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 sweet potato small, diced
  • 1 parsnip diced
  • 1 beet large, diced
  • 1 onion small, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 500 g ground pork
  • 100 g spinach
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ avocado garnish

Instructions
 

  • Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add in the sweet potato, parsnip, beet, onion, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Cook for roughly 10 minutes.
  • Add in the ground pork and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, breaking apart the ground meat as you go until it is browned and cooked through.
  • Stir in the spinach and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until spinach is wilted.
  • Garnish with avocado.

Notes

Make this FODMAP-friendly!
  • Skip the beet (you can add in more parsnip).
  • Replace the onion with chopped leeks (green part only).
  • Remove the garlic cloves and use garlic-infused olive oil instead of regular olive oil.
  • Limit the avocado to ⅛ of an avocado per serving.
 
Keyword Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegetables
Curry Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

Curry Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

Curry Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

No hating on rice, but sometimes you need to get creative in order to ensure you’re getting your 5-a-day in! 

This curry chicken & cauliflower rice recipe packs in the flavour and keeps things bright with yellow curry powder and turmeric. You might not even immediately realize that it’s cauliflower and not rice or couscous!

This is a great batch cooking meal – make a bunch to repeat throughout the week, or freeze some portions for a quick dinner when you’re running behind or can’t be bothered to cook. 

You can easily make the cauliflower rice yourself with a blender or food processor. Or else keep an eye out at the grocery store as many now sell cauliflower rice ready to go! You’ll pay more for the convenience, but you’ll save yourself a bit of time.

Curry Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Curry Chicken

  • 4 chicken legs (or 8 thighs)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp yellow curry powder

Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 carrots medium, diced
  • 2 onions small, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 180C / 360 F.
  • Remove leaves from the head of cauliflower. Roughly chop cauliflower into florets.
  • Put ¼ of the chopped cauliflower into a blender or food processor. Pulse the blender until the cauliflower reaches a rice-like consistency. Always err on filling the blender on the lower side as too much will can result in over-blending and a mashed potatoes consistency instead of rice. Set aside and repeat with remaining cauliflower.
  • Place the chicken in a lined baking dish or tray. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle generously with the yellow curry powder.
  • Bake chicken in the oven for 30 minutes until cooked through (insides should no longer be pink).
  • While the chicken is cooking, continue with the cauliflower rice. In a large frying pan or wok over medium heat, melt the coconut oil.
  • Add in the carrots, onions, and garlic and sauté until onions are soft, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add in the cauliflower rice, chicken broth, raisins, and all the spices, stirring well to combine.
  • Continue to cook, stirring often, until cauliflower is soft, around 15 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven, shred the meat off the bones and toss with the rice mixture.
Keyword Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Side Dish, Vegetables
Sausage Pizza Frittata

Sausage Pizza Frittata

Sausage Pizza Frittata

Are you familiar with the frittata?⁠

It can also be considered a crustless quiche, and is such an easy and delicious item to make for any meal.⁠ ⁠

Even better, you can really put almost anything in there. We often make them to use up whatever leftovers are hanging out in our fridge.⁠ ⁠

This one in particular is a favourite – I call it my pizza frittata!⁠

And did you know that mozzarella is a low-lactose cheese? This means it’s also low-FODMAP and tends to be easier to tolerate than other forms of dairy.


Sausage Pizza Frittata

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Breakfast, Main Course
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 eggs
  • 300 g ground chicken or turkey
  • 250 g tomatoes diced
  • 125 g mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 180C / 360F.
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, melt half of the coconut oil. Cook ground chicken until brown. Remove from heat and mix well with herbs and spices.
  • Use the remaining coconut oil to grease a 28cm / 11" round baking dish.
  • Spread out the chicken mixture evenly into the baking dish. Scatter the diced tomato and mozzarella.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs. Pour evenly into the frittata dish.
  • Bake for 40 minutes in the oven until the egg is no longer liquid and the frittata is firm.

Notes

You can make this in muffin cups for easy grab and go servings! Makes about 8 muffins. Reduce cooking time to 25-30 minutes. 
Keyword Gluten Free

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was in high school, our cafeteria made these amazing oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. 

Let’s be honest, they were probably brought in frozen and baked each morning, but what teenager is really thinking about that anyway?

If you got to school early before the first bell, you could get one fresh out of the oven, chocolate still a bit melty. They were AMAZING (and worth the early wake up).

Ever since, oatmeal cookies have been my favourite. This version is light, not too sweet, but still has those necessary chocolate chips.

Just say no to oatmeal raisin!

Make these when you’re feeling a bit nostalgic. 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 20 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour or 1:1 gluten free swap
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 banana ripe
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup walnuts chopped

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 175C / 350F.
  • Mix the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the banana, eggs, vanilla, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup. Make sure the oil isn't too hot - you don't want scrambled eggs!
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix well to fully combine.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  • Roll mixture into golfball sized portions and place on a lined baking sheet. Use a fork to press the dough down into shape.
  • Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!
Keyword Dairy Free, Vegetarian
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