I’ve been itching to get this mini-series started on the blog for a long time, but because of work and life and adulting, it hasn’t been so easy. It’s not that I no longer cook weekly meals for my SIBO diet (although due to my busier schedule, my super-heroine of a mom has been saving my life as of late). It’s a number of reasons that hinders me from churning out these posts which, in a perfect world, could be a weekly affair.
I usually meal prep at night on Sunday, when I’m winding down from the weekend. There’s something so therapeutic about cooking. Whether I’m chopping vegetables or whisking eggs, my mind is able to shut down. It’s my alone time, and sometimes I’m just too lazy to document the process. Also, when I envisioned my food-related posts, I wanted to take beautifully lit photographs. Obviously, this just isn’t possible at night, so I’ve had to battle my inner perfectionist to make compromises, accepting the fact that I won’t have the luxury of natural lighting for great photos, and that I’ll have to dedicate as little effort as possible writing and editing these posts for the sake of time (which is easier said than done for me).
You might be thinking, if it’s so difficult, then just don’t do it! But the reason why I find it important, at least for myself, to put this series out there is due to the lack of paleo AND low-FODMAP recipes on the food-blogsphere. I’ll either find paleo recipes that use ingredients that are high in FODMAPs, or low-FODMAP recipes that conflict with the paleo protocol. Granted, I won’t be on this very restricted diet forever (hopefully), but from my experience of reading the stories of so many different people suffering from SIBO or GI afflictions, I’ve realized that diet is an individual journey. What works for others will not always work for me, and I’ve had to learn how to navigate recipes, substituting what needs to be replaced, to create meals that work for my unique body.
Alright, without further ado.
BREAKFAST: Breakfast frittata muffins, adapted from PaleoLeap’s recipe
- 2 tbsp ghee (or butter)
- 12 eggs
- 1 large sweet potato, 2 zucchinis, 1 bell pepper diced into small cubes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease up a cupcake/muffin pan (I brushed olive oil, but next time I’ll use cupcake liners to prevent sticking.)
- Heat pan over medium heat. Add ghee and chopped sweet potato; cook for 8-10 minutes.
- Thoroughly whisk all 12 eggs in a bowl, season lightly with S&P, and set aside.
- Once sweet potato is softened, add the zucchini and red bell pepper; lightly season and sauté for another 5-10 minutes until all veggies are cooked through.
- Turn off heat and let veggies cool for a few minutes; then mix it into your egg mixture.
- Distribute the mixture into the 12-slot muffin pan. Bake for around 18-20 minutes. (I don’t like to overcook my eggs, so I took them out when the top was still slightly wet.)
These are so good. The sweet potato adds the perfect touch of sweetness, balanced out by the bell pepper and zucchini (and I’m sure this recipe would work for a different combo of veggies). Plus, it’s the epitome of an on-the-go breakfast. Pop it in the microwave and you’re set. It’s also delish with a side of bacon (paleo-friendly, of course) or avocado.
LUNCH: Slow-cooker chicken with sauteed kale
- a pack of 4 chicken drumsticks and 2 breasts with bone and skin on from Trader Joes (you can use any brand or combination of chicken parts, but make sure they have both bone and skin!)
- salt, pepper, and chipotle powder
- 1 orange, cut into 4 wedges
- a bag of organic kale + olive oil
- Liberally season your chicken with salt and pepper, and a dash of chipotle powder.
- Optional: cut a sweet potato (or any starchy or root vegetable like carrots) into slices and place them on the bottom of the slow cooker. Most recipes will use onions (high FODMAP), so that the chicken won’t burn on the bottom of the dish. I used a leftover sweet potato, but seeing how juicy this turned out, it might not be necessary.
- Place seasoned chicken on top of sweet potato, and wedge the oranges in between the chicken. (I read that oranges were good for moistening chicken, so I just went for it.) Heat on low for 7-8 hours.
- Heat a pan on medium heat; add olive oil. Sauteed kale with salt and pepper for 5-10 minutes, making sure it is thoroughly cooked through (easier to digest). If it gets too dry, you can add a tablespoon or two of water to help steam up the veggie.
Oh em gee. The chicken turned out surprisingly so good. It’s the first time I’ve made really moist, fall-off-the-bone chicken that made me wonder what I’ve been doing my whole life. And there’s no overpowering orange flavor at all, which was something I was concerned about. The simple kale sauté is a perfect side dish for an easy, light lunch meal.
DINNER: Butternut squash “pasta” with meat sauce, adapted from PaleoLeap’s recipe
- 1 lb. ground beef
- roughly 2-3 lbs. of butternut squash (I bought 1 pack of “butternut squash zig zags” and 1 pack of pre-cut butternut squash from Trader Joes–life savers.)
- 1 can of San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes with Basil Leaf (PS: I forgot the ounce amount, but it’s the one sold at Trader Joes) (PPS: I know tomatoes are night-shades, so this recipe may not be suitable for everyone.)
- a handful of chives, chopped (this replaces the onions and garlic in original recipe)
- dried basil, salt and pepper
- cooking fat such as ghee or coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a pan over medium-high heat, melt cooking fat and sauté the chives until heated through. (I also had half of a bell pepper leftover, which I threw in for good measure.)
- Add the ground beef, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break it up into small pieces. Lightly season with salt and pepper, and cook until no longer pink.
- Pour in the canned tomatoes, and again, break up the tomatoes into smaller pieces. Lightly season with salt, pepper, and dried basil. Turn heat down, simmer for 10-15 minutes, and let the flavors develop. At this time, I also added two tablespoons of butter because, why not? (I know it isn’t paleo, but my stomach is fine with a little butter.)
- In the meantime, spread out your butternut squash pieces onto a foil-lined baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and a little salt/pepper, and stick it in the oven for about 10 minutes. (I did this to get a head start on cooking my butternut through, so that later I wouldn’t overcook my meat sauce in the oven.)
- Take the butternut squash out from the oven, pour the meat sauce over it, and then return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes (or until the squash is cooked through). Once done, remove and serve.
I’ve loved using butternut squash to fulfill my pasta cravings. This dish was so simple, clean, and light–and it tastes just as good (or even better?) as leftovers. A serving of “no frills dills” pickles completed the palate of flavors for me.
I made all three dishes in the span of a few hours, and I was set for the week with delicious and hearty meals!
// ruth kim