Tag Archives: Low FODMAP diet

Japanese Pumpkin

April is National IBS Awareness Month!

We have been busy at katescarlata.com working on some new educational handouts, packaging up and mailing balanced boxes, working individually with clients with IBS, helping dietitians out in the field with numerous FODMAP questions, outlining a new book (Yay!), and interviewing some smart GI docs for upcoming topics for the blog and articles I hope to publish. …And of course, coming up with fun new recipes to try. Japanese Pumpkin or Kabocha squash is a low FODMAP option. I tried it for the first time this week!Japanese PumpkinI just cleaned out the seeds, sliced into pieces (leaving skin on), drizzled with sesame oil, thyme,sea salt and roasted it up in the oven for 1 hour at 400 F.!  YUM!  Enjoy the orange flesh (not the skin) which is rich in anti-oxidant rich carotenoids.  Squash is a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, key nutrients for eye health.

While my work life is quite busy, I have been finding fun and balance outside of work.  It’s so important to find time for fun. Sweet Lucy helps me with work-life-balance as she loves to walk and I love to be outside walking with her! Don’t let those gray hairs on her chin fool you, she is going on 6 but acts like she’s 1!

Sweet LucyI have been minimizing my emails on the weekends and focusing more on downtime.  I hope you can do the same. Too much computer time can zap the life out of you! Russ and I are in the midst of having a very, very small cottage built in Maine. We have been enjoying our weekends of late by buying furniture and traveling up to Maine to see how the cottage is progressing. It’s been a life dream to have a place to go with our family to chill and relax close to the ocean. We are constantly pinching ourselves that our dream is close to reality. :)

The month of April is National IBS awareness month. I plan to write about a few IBS educational topics this month as my way of spreading the awareness of IBS for the millions of people impacted by this digestive disorder. The low FODMAP diet is an evidenced based first line therapy for IBS.  It has been shown in research studies to help manage symptoms in 75% of those who are challenged by IBS. For other resources on IBS, consider visiting The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders for information about IBS and other disorders related to the function of the gut. University of Michigan has a good low FODMAP diet overview sheet here.

For science-based and accurate nutrition topics about FODMAPs, of course, sign up here for my blog posts and follow Monash University’s blog here and my colleague, dietitian Patsy Catsos’ site here. King’s College London has low FODMAP info too, click here.

Be cautious what you read on the internet! Always check out the author’s credentials and be sure that the information provided is evidenced based research!

For a chance to win 21 Day Tummy, my latest book on gut health and weight management, check out my Instagram feed and comment on my most recent 21 Day Tummy picture post. Tag a friend and they too will be entered to win.

Oh and one last line item, for those following the low FODMAP diet in the Boston area, there is a wonderful opportunity to learn about low FODMAP cooking with 2 fabulous Boston based dietitians this June in Somerville!  Check out the event details here!




Low FODMAP Grocery Shopping: UK vs US

Last week, with the help of my colleague Emma Carder, a FODMAP expert dietitian from the UK and my friend Gill, we highlighted some cooking differences and tips in the UK vs US  for FODMAPers. This week, Emma and I provide some tips for grocery shopping and low FODMAP brand names in the UK along with a few US alternatives.  UKUSAgroceryshoppingAs most brand name food items have NOT been tested, brand name foods below are recommended  based on listed ingredients only.  Brand name product recommendations may change over time as more food analysis of brand name foods is accomplished.

If you live in or travel to the UK while following the low FODMAP diet, here are a few tips from Emma Carder Freelance UK Dietitian & Registered Nutritionist

Emma, do you recommend certain brand gluten free bread for those on the low FODMAP diet?  Thankfully, gluten free (GF) breads and bread products like pittas, wraps, bagels, pizza bases are a lot easier to find in UK shops now than they were a few years ago. Larger supermarkets tend to have a separate ‘free from’ section for these products again though, due to increasing demand, they often sell out! I often advise people to buy a few products and freeze them so you don’t get caught short! Plus as they’re more expensive to buy freezing helps avoid wasting any too!

These brands & supermarkets listed below all have a few FODMAP friendly bread and bread products available within their ranges. Be sure to read the ingredients for any high FODMAP ingredients such as fruit juice concentrates apple & pear juices, inulin, onion, garlic etc….

Genius | Dietary Specials | Udi’s | Barkat (available via glutenfree-foods online shop)

Tesco | Asda | Marks and Spencer | Sainsbury’s | Waitrose | Coop

If you struggle to find any products in your local shops then buying online can be a good alternative (see below for some free from websites)

US low FODMAP bread/wrap alternatives: UDIs white sandwich bread is a popular choice for bread. Rudi’s original plain tortilla wraps appear low FODMAP as well. Udi’s also makes a nice pizza crust too!

Emma, do you recommend any suitable granola/muesli or ‘energy’ bars that are suitable for a low FODMAP diet?  This is a trickier question to answer as virtually all of them seem to have 1 or more added FODMAPS usually honey, fructose, FOS, inulin …….At the moment these are fodmap friendly :)

9 Bar: Peanut, Cracked Black Pepper

9 Bar Indulge: Cocoa & Raspberry, Cocoa & Coconut, Cocoa & Hazelnut

US Alternatives: Go Macro peanut butter bars (have plain and chocolate chip variety. There is a small amount pea protein in some of these but they are well tolerated by my clients), Nature’s Valley Peanut Butter Granola Bar (has small amount of soy flour-but well tolerated by my clients).

Homemade snacks (some ideas below) can be easy to make and frozen for when you need them!

Dietitian UK: Easy Banana & Yogurt Muffins (yogurt <2tbsp. per serving or could swap to a plain soya) CookLowFodmap: Homemade oatcakes (+ your fav topping *mine is peanut butter & sliced banana!)

Emma Carder Nutrition: Fodmap Friendly Scones

Two Dietitians Do The Fodmap Diet: Fruity Flapjacks

If you have a favourite recipe that’s got a high FODMAP ingredient, why not try it with a fodmap friendly swap it’s sure to taste just as good 😉

For a snack on the go to make at home, consider my peanut butter quinoa bars.

 Emma, I have heard of Sesame Snap Bars, what are they?

These are fodmap friendly bite sized sweetened sesame seeds basically just sesame seeds, glucose syrup & sugar!

 Are there any suitable milk brands in the UK you recommend?

For regular cow’s milk without the lactose – Arlo’s Lactofree milk is very popular and now available in full fat, semi skimmed and skimmed varieties (fresh & UHT long-life). It’s generally easy to find and usually sits alongside the fresh soya milks in the supermarkets. Marks and Spencer have also recently started selling their own lactose free milk.

In the US, lactaid, Organic Valley lactose free milk & Dairy Ease make suitable lactose free cow’s milk.

Dairy free milk alternatives; soya, oat, rice, nut and coconut milks are all widely available in UK from supermarkets, health food shops and online. Although the majority of these have added calcium and B12 it’s always wise to double check. Some of these milks contain FODMAPs especially– fruit juice concentrates, apple juice, fructose and inulin (chicory root) so do read the labels.

Popular brands in the UK include: Alpro, Oatly, KoKo, Provamel and My Dairy –Free Dream. The supermarkets: Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and Morrisons all produce their own varieties of dairy free milks as well.

In the US, the only suitable soy milk appears to be 8th Continent-made from soy protein vs. the whole soybean. There are many rice and coconut milks that appear suitable. Always read label ingredients to ensure no added inulin or other FODMAPs are lurking! Avoid almond milk at this time until more formal testing. It likely is high in oligosaccharides-fructans and GOS.

Provamel also make a pouring natural soya breakfast yogurt which is great with a suitable granola, museli or overnight oats. Again though it’s not supplemented with calcium so you’d need to ensure getting enough from other foods.

What is a good brand of lactose free yogurt that you have found in the UK?

Arla’s Lactofree yogurts are a great option, available in strawberry and raspberry. They tend to be located in separate lactose free chilled sections and often sell out as they are very popular! If you don’t see any, keep checking or ask the store if they have any in stock.

Other fodmap friendly lactose free yogurts brands in the UK include: Alpro and Provamel. These are made using hulled not whole soya beans. Not all flavours are fodmap friendly though as some include: inulin, fructose syrups and fruit concentrates such as apple. Some flavours below that are friendly include – :)

  • Alpro Big Pot: Simply Plain along with Strawberry & Rhubarb are suitable both AND contain added calcium, vitamins B2, B12 & D
  • Provamel Big Pots: Natural (& small pots), Lime & Lemon Balm, Vanilla, Blueberry (& small pots), Forest Fruits (& small pots), Raspberry & Vanilla (small pots only) No added calcium or vitamins need to ensure getting enough from other foods.

Provamel yogurts can be found in some health food shops e.g. Holland & Barrett or Whole Foods (mainly London but also Glasgow & Cheltenham) or online via e.g. Ocado, Goodness Direct & Real Foods.

US low lactose yogurt includes Green Valley Yogurt (low lactose sour cream and cream cheese also available) and some Yoplait lactose free yogurts (stick with low FODMAP fruit flavors).

Fodmap Friendly Shopping & General Info

Any particular stores that you recommend for patients to secure gluten free products?

All the big UK supermarkets mentioned above will have ‘free from’ sections where FODMAP followers can hopefully find some suitable products. If you live out of town or only have access to small stores then you may struggle to find suitable products. Online shopping could be your best option here via supermarkets, independent ‘free from’ stores or directly from manufacturers online shops.

Online Free From Stores e.g.

Simply Free, Goodness Direct, Gluten Free Direct, Real Foods, Freego

Product Specific Online Shops e.g.

Doves Farm

Glebe Farm

Foodamentalists – UK online gluten and wheat free store selling pies and baking mixes. Their brownie, chocolate cookie, doughnut and Yorkshire pudding mixes are all fodmap friendly.

Isabel’s Kitchen – UK gluten free wheat free home-baking range. Several products in the range; batter mix, easy pud chocolate, sponge cake and Yorkshire pudding mix are also fodmap friendly! The range can be found in Asda & Booth stores or online via Ocado, Real Foods and Simply Free.

Foods You Can is a great overall UK resource for anyone living with a food intolerance or allergy.

In the US, I have a grocery list to get you started!GROCERYPOSTER_sept29_blog_HANDOUT

I posted this info in my first UK post, but feels it bears repeating!   If someone is looking for a dietitian to guide them in implementing the low FODMAP diet, how would they go about finding a skilled dietitian in the UK?

King’s College London holds an up to date record of UK and international dietitians that have undertaken their Professional Low Fodmap Course.

You can also search The British Dietetic Association Freelance Dietitian Group for private dietitians with an interest in IBS.

In the US, Patsy Catsos has an online FODMAP knowledgeable RD listing and I have one in the works….should be posted in the next week!

Emma, do you have any UK sites that you recommend for low FODMAP diet followers? 

My Top 4 in no particular order!

 Kings College London (FAQs)

Cook Low Fodmap (Recipes)

Two Dietitians Do The Fodmap Diet (Recipes, information & links to other great resources)

Clinical Alimentary (Recipes, information & links to other great resources)

My site Emma Carder Nutrition also has a few fodmap friendly posts as well e.g. gravy, scones & cookies

So there you have it!  I can’t thank Emma enough for all the time she took to answer all of my questions! Hopefully this helps navigate the low FODMAP diet a bit easier whether you live in or travel to the US or UK!




Sue Shepherd Cookbook

Low FODMAP Cookbook Give-A-Way!

Hello Friends.

Today, I have another wonderful cookbook give-a-way!  Sue Shepherd’s latest cookbook, The Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook.Sue Shepherd Cookbook

Have I been giving lately or what? 😉  This book features 150 gluten free and low FODMAP recipes! How great is that!?  I had so much fun scanning through all the wonderful recipes selecting which ones I will try first.  My first recipe trial was the Chicken Drumsticks with Lemon and Cilantro.  Check these little drumsticks out!  They tasted quite delicious!!lemon and cilantro chicken I have so many sticky note page holders all over this cookbook!  The Chicken with Olives, Sun-dried Tomato and Basil with Mediterranean Vegetables looks super yummy too!  But I am most seriously excited to try out the Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Brownies… (Hello…serious yummmmmmmmmmm!)

Oh yeah..I need to tell you that the lucky winner of the Greek Yogurt Cookbook by Toby Amidor is Rachel H. Yay!  Hope you like it!! And a big thanks for all your amazing suggestions and tips on using Greek yogurt in recipes and in your diet.  I am inspired to trial some of your ideas and I know other blog followers will too!  It was amazing to see how many of you can tolerate Greek yogurt which is so great. NO need to be too strict w/ your diet if you don’t have too!!

As usual, I have been busy behind the scenes working on my FODMAP oriented projects in an attempt to help you guys all out.  As you know–it’s been my mission to make the diet easier to follow and help you feel your best.  So…stayed tuned as I have some more fun to share in the next month or so.

If you want  a chance to win Sue Shepherd’s latest cookbook–just leave a comment on this post!

Note: Sue Shepherd’s Cookbook was provided to me for review and as a give-a-way from the publisher.


Simply Seared Scallops

I went to pick up my CSA farm share yesterday at Tangerini’s farm.  There is nothing like being on a farm.  It really is a happy place for me. :)  In addition to fresh lettuce, summer squash, beets, scallions and Bok choy, I went out in the fields to pick some fresh chives, thyme and oregano.  I also picked a few sugar snap peas too.sugar snapsThe local fish guy from Foley’s fish was selling fresh sea scallops and I knew I needed to get some of them too! The scallops were out of this world!  I mean melt in your mouth GOOD!

To prepare the scallops for cooking, I gave them a quick rinse.

rinse the scallop

I decided to simply sear the scallops in a bit of garlic infused oil and a tad of butter, to help with the browning.  I sprinkled a bit of sea salt and pepper on the scallops and added a few sprigs of thyme to the skillet to infuse it’s gentle flavor.

The scallops cooked up in now time and Russ and I were ready to feast!  Have you tried sea scallops? They are super yummy and quick to cook up in a skillet, on the grill or in your oven.scallops seared

We also enjoyed a big slab of carrot cake too…because, yesterday was my birthday! :)cake

Russ and the kids bought me my first ever Vitamix! I can’t wait to whip up all sorts of new recipes and treats!

Simply Seared Scallops (FODMAPs friendly)


  • Sea Scallops ( I cooked up about 3/4 lb)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste


  1. Rinse scallops and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium heat.
  3. Season scallops with salt and pepper, and then add scallops gently to skillet.
  4. Allow to brown on each side about 2-4 minutes or until scallops are opaque and cooked through.
  5. Cooking time may vary...I like my scallops cooked through and nicely browned

Sweet and Nutty Quinoa Parfait

One of my clients told me she used quinoa in place of granola in her yogurt parfaits.  I LOVE this idea! So I whipped up a recipe to share with you!

Check out this yumminess. Berry & Quinoa Parfait

Russ and I love to add quinoa to our hot breakfast cereals.  We toss in steel cut oats and oat bran. Add some chia seeds, strawberries and a few pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds).  Maybe a little bit of maple sugar too if I need a little extra hint of sweetness.   Have you tried quinoa for breakfast yet?  Or better yet, have you tried quinoa yet?

Although I do enjoy a nice quinoa salad, I love quinoa sweetened up too!

Today, I cooked up some red quinoa.  Added some shredded sweetened coconut, a few sliced almonds and a hefty dash of cinnamon.Sweeetened quinoa

What a delicious looking mix.Mixed quinoa

Then I layered this amazing quinoa mixture with some Greek yogurt (FODMAPer can substitute in lactose free yogurt as necessary) and some fresh berries.  I am a fan of Chobani but Green Valley lactose free yogurt is good too.yogurts

My crazy chocolate lab, Lucy and I enjoy Greek yogurt.  We usually share a container….and this morning she not only enjoyed some Greek yogurt but is proudly wearing some on her chin. :)

I do love to add a few raspberries to pretty much anything when I get a chance.  Our neighbor, Mr. Hubbard grew BEAUTIFUL raspberry bushes that creeped over onto our property. Fresh sweet raspberries fondly remind me of our sweet neighbor, his tasty berries and my childhood.raspberries

So delicious!

After our wonderful parfait, Lucy and I went on a nice run.  A perfect start to a beautiful sunny day!Quinoa Parfait blog.katescarlata.com

Sweet and Nutty Quinoa Parfait


  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon sweetened shredded coconut
  • Generous dash of cinnamon
  • 8 ounces Lactose vanilla or plain yogurt (such as Green Valley)
  • 1/2 cup washed fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries)


  1. Blend quinoa with sliced almonds, shredded coconut and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Layer yogurt followed by 1/2 of quinoa and top again with remaining yogurt.
  3. Finish parfait with the rest of the quinoa mixture and add the berries as the final topping.

Maple Peanut Sesame Chicken

Did I mention that I LOVE Pinterest!  It’s such a fun website to find new recipe inspirations.  Click here to follow my pinterest boards (I have a couple dedicated to low FODMAP recipes)  I ‘pin’ mostly healthy foods but of course, some recipes I pin because they just look fun and tasty.

I found this Thai Chicken recipe on Pinterest that looked so easy and I just so happened to have all the ingredients on hand. But, of course, I changed up the ingredients a bit (because that is what I do!)

It’s was a bit of a cold, rainy and grey day yesterday so running around outside was not too appealing.  But…cooking and eating, well, that’s another story! So, I stayed in most of the day and did a bit of cooking.

I am proud of myself though because I did take a nice long walk with my friend Sara and my other friend, Lucy (my crazy chocolate lab).  It was cold and kinda spitting out but I am so glad I got in some exercise!  And, the impact on Lucy…priceless.  She was pretty much zonked on the couch beside me while I worked on some writing projects.  Is there anything greater than snuggling with a sleepy dog?  I think not. :) (Well, maybe a few things are greater but it certainly is pretty relaxing)Lucy exhausted

Seriously, how cute is my girl Lucy?Lucy running w: ball

I am working on a new writing project. So…I will be locked up in writing mode for the next few months.  It’s all good, ’cause I do like to write.

So back to this quick recipe.  I whisked some peanut butter, reduced sodium soy sauce, ginger, maple syrup, sesame oil and some sesame seeds.  Add some raw chicken tenders. Marinate.  Bake. Eat.  (Yup, it’s low FODMAP)maple chicken

Toss over salad or with a side of rice and your favorite veggie or serve over some rice vermicelli. I adjusted the recipe a bit, so have provided the recipe as I made it.  I enjoyed my Maple Peanut Sesame Chicken with a side of kale salad. maple peanut chicken Have you seen the Olivia Organic Baby Kale?  I LOVE it!

Maple Peanut Sesame Chicken


  • 1 pound chicken tenders (boneless, skinless)
  • 2 Tablespoons all natural peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons reduced sodium tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup


  1. Wash and pat dry chicken.
  2. In medium casserole dish, add peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, ginger and maple syrup whisking to blend.
  3. Add chicken and toss to coat with mixture.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes-several hours.
  5. Keep chicken in 'marinade' and place casserole uncovered in oven.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice vermicelli noodles or baby salad greens.


Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon and Chives

Russ and I headed to Tangerini’s Spring Street Farm this weekend to pick up our first winter share.  Wow!  We came home with 2 FULL bags filled with produce from the sweetest carrots ever, pounds of potatoes (both sweet and white), butternut squash, broccoli, radishes and the largest beet I have ever seen, really…

And more!

My favorite part of the share is cutting fresh herbs to use all week in my cooking.  This weekend, I cut some thyme, sage and cilantro to bring home…Yup, I am happy!

I decided I would whip up some soup.  Butternut squash or potato?

Potato, it is!

With a few tweaks this recipe can be made low FODMAP.  I did use leeks in my recipe BUT scallions (green part only) or chives could easily be substituted. I also served my soup in a bread bowl for fun.  FODMAPers could use an appropriate GF roll or special soup dish.  Today, I worked on a very fun blog post with a dietetic intern, Lauren, from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital…. Stay tuned, Lauren came up with a very fun recipe just for YOU…we’ll post her recipe later this week!

I hope you are all having a great week.  In the spirit of November and the upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving, I would like to add a note of THANKS….Today I am thankful for the Australian researchers for creating a diet that has been life changing for many of my clients.

What are you thankful for?  Good health, wonderful friends, a warm house, cute pets, a nice husband/wife/partner?  HOPE it’s all that and more!

Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon and Chives


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced and washed leeks (white part) OR sliced Leeks (green part) or chives for FODMAPers
  • 4 medium size potatoes -yukon gold or red skin, peeled and chopped into bite size chunks
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (FODMAPers use home made broth)
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 cup Pepper Jack cheese, grated (can sub in grated cheddar)-reduced fat can work too
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or (FODMAPers use lactose free milk)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Bacon, 1 slice per person, cooked and crumbled
  • Fresh chopped chives, for garnish
  • Bread bowl if you choose (FODMAPer use an appropriate gluten free roll)


  1. Saute oil and leeks (or green part of scallion or chives for FODMAPers) in medium sauce stock pot for about a 2 minutes over medium heat. (Cook for about 1 minute for scallions/chives)
  2. Add potatoes, broth and thyme and bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium-low to simmer.
  3. Cook for about 40 minutes or until potatoes fork tender. Shut off heat and let soup cool down a bit, about 15-20 minutes. (Remove thyme sticks)
  4. Slowly add soup to blender and blend until smooth consistency. (Can choose to blend only half the soup for a chunkier version)
  5. Pour soup back into stock pot and add cheese and buttermilk (or lactose free milk) and cook over low heat to warm soup up and melt cheese.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve in bread bowl (FODMAPers use gluten free) or soup bowl.
  8. Garnish with bacon and chives.

Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry Nut Topping

Again, I was inspired by a recipe on Pinterest.  Honestly, that site is so addictive.  This week’s recipe find was a delicious looking sweet potato concoction.

Here is the original post.

It looks amazing, but it is not at all  FODMAPs friendly.  So I modified the recipe, as I have been known to do. :)

The Scarlata kitchen has been all about Fall lately.  Lots of cinnamon, nuts, squashes  and some pumpkin thrown in there too.

So this is what I whipped up…

So simple. Cut up the potato into thin slices–not all the way through.

Mix up some melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Brush the mixture all over the top of the potato.

Top with chopped cranberries, pecans and pumpkin seeds. {Dried cranberries have not yet been tested by Monash University for FODMAP content but they are on the waiting list of foods to be tested-to be cautious you may delete the fruit.}

Here’s the potato ready to be covered  up with tin foil on its way into the oven.

Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry Nut Topping


  • 1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed (can skin if you'd like)
  • 1 1/2 TB butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 2 TB dried cranberries, chopped [FODMAPers try with caution]
  • 2 TB pumpkin seeds
  • 2 TB pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Slice potato in thin slices-but not all the way through.
  3. Mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Brush melted butter mixture using pastry brush over top of potato--try to get some into the sliced areas.
  5. Top with chopped fruit, nuts and seeds.
  6. Cover completely with tin foil and bake on cookie sheet or in casserole dish for about 1 hour.
  7. Drizzle with a bit more butter before serving, if desired. [Note: drizzle, just a little!]
  8. FODMAP followers--limit to just a 1/2 cup portion of sweet potato and half of nut mixture.

I am heading to Philadelphia this weekend to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual conference.  Hoping to learn some exciting news in the field of nutrition.  Have a great weekend!



Slow Cooker Stir-less Risotto

I love risotto but cooking it can be cumbersome.  The process requires constant stirring and the addition of  hot broth every second–or maybe it just seems that way– and sometimes, I simply don’t have the time to spend over the stove.

That is why, I love my slow cooker.

Simple add your favorite risotto ingredients and slow cook while you run around picking up kids, get a walk in with the dog, create a blog post…or at least that is what I will be doing. :)  With just one child left living at home… I still find I am busy, especially at the dinner hour.

Risotto is made with arborio rice.  This rice has high starch kernels that are white, short and fatter than most short-grain rices.  The increased starch content lends itself to a finished creamy textured rice dish.  What’s not to love about that!

This recipe is easy and yummy and can be adapted to your own concoction by  adding in your family favorites–peas and chunks of ham, chicken sausage, shrimp, caramelized butternut squash and spinach, kale, golden raisins and toasted pine nuts….you can get fancy or keep it simple. And of course, FODMAPers, choose your add ins according to your own tolerance.

I saute a bit of oil with fresh garlic.  [FODMAPers remove the garlic after you infuse flavor]. Carefully add the oil right in the crockpot, and add in some chopped basil leaves. Love fresh basil!

Add some chicken or veggie broth[FODMAP followers use homemade] and white wine [can omit wine if you want-just up the broth] and put on high for about 2  hours.

Just prior to serving toss in cooked meats, if desired–shredded chicken,diced ham chunks, sautéed shrimp. And add in some favorite leafy greens or peas–just to wilt or lightly cook up.

Garnish with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese–expensive but OH>>>so tasty. This Italian Parmesan cheese has a granular texture that simply melts in your mouth and adds a savory finish to the risotto.

And of course you can always toss more fresh basil or chopped chives for a flavorful garnish.

Here’s a peek of my spinach risotto–simply make the basic risotto and add in chopped fresh baby spinach.  YUM!

I also experimented with a kale, raisins and pine nuts mixture.

{Kale has not yet been tested FODMAPers}

I just tossed in some chopped kale, raisins, and toasted pine nuts on top of the almost cooked risotto and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes.

Get creative people!  I know you can!

But before I let you go, I have a give-a-way for my FODMAP followers.  I just received a 3rd edition Monash University low FODMAP diet booklet to give-a-way!

One lucky winner will be randomly picked! Just provide a comment about what types of recipes you are hoping to see on the blog.  I need your help for some creative inspiration!

And on another important note:  The Kate Klim CD winner is Nan!  Thanks for providing a nice comment about how you spend quality quiet time with those you love!  Love it!

Here’s the basic risotto recipe for YOU!

Slow Cooker Stir-less Risotto


  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut in slivers
  • 1 1/4 cup arborio rice
  • Splash white wine (about 2 TB)
  • 2, 14.5 oz cans chicken broth [FODMAP followers use 3 3/4 cup homemade chicken broth}
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • ADD ins of choice: 2 cups fresh spinach {FODMAP friendly}
  • OR 1 cup chopped Kale, 1/4 cup raisins and 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts {not sure about FODMAP content of kale; limit raisins to 1 TB per serving}
  • OR Ham chunks and peas {FODMAP followers limit peas to 1/3 cup/ serving}


  1. In medium size saucepan, add oil and garlic over medium heat to infuse garlic flavor. {FODMAP followers remove garlic}
  2. Add oil to crockpot carefully and add in chopped basil.
  3. Add in rice and mix to cover rice in oil mixture.
  4. Add in wine and broth. If not using wine, add 2 TB water or a bit more broth.
  5. Cook on high for about 2 hours or until rice looks creamy-not dry. DO NOT overcook or rice will become mushy.
  6. Add in cooked meats or green vegetables--just to warm up and blanch--about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Garnish with a generous amount of finely grated Parmesan cheese, chives and/or basil --if desired.


Creamy Polenta with Thyme and Parmesan

I love anything made with corn meal and creamy polenta is one of my favorites.

Like mashed potatoes and gravy, polenta is truly a comfort food (and perhaps a bit healthier.)

Just look at this creaminess dish of love.

Being married to an Italian, I do like to experiment with traditional Italian dishes.  Polenta is an Italian word for hulled or crushed grain. Polenta is an Italian dish served alone, or with a variety of toppings.  I like it simply as a side dish or sometimes, formed into squares and grilled topped with a thinly sliced tomato, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.

Although Russ is more of a pasta kinda of guy, he is always willing to try anything I cook.

So tonight, along side some sautéed veggies, and grilled shrimp, we enjoyed a big ladle of creamy polenta infused with some garlic, thyme and parmesan.  (Don’t worry FODMAP followers you can infuse your oil with garlic and remove prior to eating and still enjoy this yummy recipe!)

Here’s our shrimp ready to eat! I marinated it first with a bit of soy sauce, oil and vinegar–and of course my fresh thyme. I grilled the shrimp in a vegetable basket made for the grill and the shrimp stayed so moist and delicious.To make the polenta,  I started with a bit of oil and garlic in a medium size pan over medium heat.

Then I reduced the heat and carefully added 3 cups of water and 1 cup of corn grits.The key is to stir frequently while cooking.  But, I had to run out and pick up Brennan from soccer so after it cooked up for about 5 minutes, I turned off the heat and put a cover over it.

When I came home about 20 minutes later, the polenta was perfectly done.

You really can’t mess up polenta, it’s an easy dish to make.

To season it up, I added about 1 TB butter and some sea salt & pepper.

And of course, I added some shredded parmesan cheese but grated parmesan works too.

This stuff was so yum.

And for all you FODMAP peeps, polenta is on your low FODMAP list–straight from Australia.

Creamy Polenta with Thyme and Parmesan (low FODMAP)


  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced into 3 pieces
  • 1 cup corn grits/polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill Corn Grits)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1-2 pieces of thyme stems
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese ( I used shaved Parmesan)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Saute garlic in olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. (FODMAPs peeps remove garlic pieces)
  2. Reduce heat, and carefully add water and polenta to pan.
  3. Stir while cooking on low-medium heat.
  4. Add in thyme stems and place cover on pan. Stir occasionally, cooking for about 20 minutes or until creamy consistency.
  5. Add butter and Parmesan cheese and gently stir to incorporate.
  6. Remove thyme stems.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.

In New England, there is a bit of crispness in the air and the Fall weather is working its way in…just the perfect weather for warm and creamy polenta.  mmm…mmm!