Summer has officially hit Seattle! Here are 25 Summer-approved low FODMAP recipes.

Whether you’re soaking up the sun like Bailey, or you’re more of a Nellie and prefer to relax in the shade, I hope you’re enjoying this amazing Pacific Northwest weather! We’re experiencing crazy hot temperatures – for Seattle – this year and some of us are loving it…. some, not so much.

Unfortunately for Nellie, we think the heat might be a trigger for her epilepsy. At the very least, she doesn’t cope well above 25 C/80 F, the poor thing; she’s a lot like Evgeny (cue fur joke). Bailey and I, on the other hand, don’t really consider this as “hot” weather, it still seems more like late Spring weather to us, than high Summer. Yes, I realise I just put words in my dog’s mouth. Also, check out our Facebook page for a cute little video of Nellie Belly getting her den just so. It’s been so hot that she had to dig down to find the cool/damp soil.

Baily, rolling in the sun

Nellie, shade

In honour of this hot weather – and also to make my Mum jealous, as she suffers through Melbourne’s “freezing” temperatures (her words, not mine) – here are some good looking, low FODMAP recipes that are also appropriate for summer.

Salads, Snacks & Meals

  1. Ceviche – Not From A Packet Mix
  2. Grilled tofu salad – Not From A Packet Mix
  3. Seared rainbow trout in white wine – Not From A Packet Mix
  4. Strawberry salad, with a maple lemon vinaigrette – Not From A Packet Mix
  5. Sushi, Gunkan, Maki rolls, Nigiri – Not From A Packet Mix
  6. Toasted almond and cranberry salad – Not From A Packet Mix
  7. Warm salmon salad – Not From A Packet Mix
  8. Balsamic chicken salad with strawberries –  – from Delicious As It Looks
  9. Carrot and coriander soup – from She Can’t Eat What?
  10. Greek pasta salad – from Thrifty Kitchen
  11. Grilled Rosemary Salmon – from Delicious As It Looks
  12. Rainbow salad – from Fructopia

Sweets

  1. Baked peach in puff pastryNot From A Packet Mix
  2. Banana “ice cream” – Not From A Packet Mix
  3. Chia seed puddings, chocolate, coconut and strawberry (coming soon) – Not From A Packet Mix
  4. Classic vanilla ice cream – Not From A Packet Mix
  5. Dark chocolate tofu mousse – Not From A Packet Mix
  6. Pavlova – Not From A Packet Mix
  7. Blueberry ice cream – from Savory Lotus
  8. Chocolate Frosty – from Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth
  9. Coconut melon ice cream lollies – from Squashablanca
  10. Frozen yoghurt trail mix bars – from The Lean Green Bean
  11. Lemon mousse – from No Sugarless Gum
  12. No-bake cheesecakes in jars – from Amelia (use Google translate)
  13. Rhubarb pie ice cream – from No Sugarless Gum

Stay cool, everyone!

Warm Salmon Salad, Dressed in a Lemon, Ginger and Soy Sauce – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Warm Salmon Salad Dressed in Lemon, Ginger and Soy Sauce - Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free 1

Firstly, I apologise for the dodgy photos in this post; my camera’s battery had run out and I used my phone, which isn’t great for indoor photos.

Secondly, have I mentioned how spoilt we are for salmon in the Pacific Northwest? It’s crazy good. In Melbourne, you’re lucky to get lightly ripped off when you buy Atlantic salmon, which is really just farmed salmon that’s never even sniffed the Atlantic Ocean… side note to any ichthyologists out there, can fish smell? In Seattle, Atlantic doesn’t even factor into our choice of salmon, it’s the bottom of the barrel. At your local supermarket you can get whole Chinook, Coho and Sockeye (my personal fav) when they’re in season for about a third of what we pay for Atlantic back home; when they’re out of season, they’re still only about half the price. There are more varieties, of course, if you go to specialty fish markets.

Guess what July is? The middle of Sockeye salmon season.

Notes:

  1. The green tips of leek are low FODMAP.
  2. Zucchini is low FODMAP in servings of 1/2 cup.
  3. Cherry tomatoes are low FODMAP in servings of 1/2 cup.
  4. Mushrooms contain mannitol, so if you malabsorb mannitol then swap them out for more zucchini.
  5. Spinach is low FODMAP in servings of 1 cup.
  6. Lemon, ginger and soy sauce are all low FODMAP. Use gluten free soy sauce if you are a coeliac/sensitive to gluten.

Warm Salmon Salad

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cm of ginger root, minced finely
  • Juice of half a lemon, plus a little from the other half

Salad

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic infused olive oil
  • 225 g/8 oz salmon fillet – I like sockeye
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup green leek tips, finely sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 button mushrooms, finely sliced

Seal your pan with the olive oil and pan fry the salmon fillets over a med-high heat; it should take about 4 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second, though this will depend on the thickness of the fillets. Once for each side, drizzle with the “little bit” of lemon juice from the second half of the lemon.

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Meanwhile, lay out washed baby spinach on a serving dish. Saute the leek tips, zucchini, cherry toms and button mushrooms in the garlic infused olive oil until tender (not over cooked) and remove from the heat.

By this time, the salmon should almost be done. Turn down the heat to low and cut the salmon into bite-sized chunks and stir through the sauce ingredients. Once the sizzling has stopped, stir through the sauteed veggies.

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Layer the warm salmon and veggies over a bed of fresh baby spinach (you could wilt the spinach if you like but I prefer it fresh) and serve with white rice. The white rice takes 30 minutes to cook (without a rice cooker, I couldn’t tell you how long it would take with one), so make sure you get it going before you start cooking the salmon and veggies, as they only take 10 minutes once they’re on the heat.

Oh and the most important part – enjoy!

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Basic Brine for Poultry

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A brine is a fool proof (famous last words?) way to ensure you get moist, juicy chicken or turkey every time. It actually doesn’t have to be poultry, that’s just what we use it for the most. Any dry meat is fair game. Simply soak the bird in the brine (time depends on the size of the meat), rinse thoroughly and then use in the recipe of your choice.

Bringing works in a couple of ways:

  1. Moisture enters the flesh, so the meat is juicier before cooking, thus the typical fluid loss during cooking does not dry it out to the same level as non-brined meats. This happens in two parts – firstly, the water leaves the chicken’s cells to create an isotonic solution with the brine; once equilibrium has been reached, the water flows in and out of the meat, carrying with it the dissolved salt and flavourings that you added, trapping them within the flesh.
  2. The dissolved salt also acts directly on the proteins, causing the peptides to swell and then unwind. Water then flows within the protein and is trapped there when heat denatures them and causes the protein chains to bind together once more.

Brine

Enough for one 2.5-3.0 kg (5.5-6.0 lb) chook/other bird.

  • 2.5 litres of water
  • 0.5 litres of FF stock (or water)
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper
  • Aromatic vegetables – such as celery, green leek tips and carrots (optional, performs the same role as the FF stock, if you have none)

Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Watch it closely, as it will boil very quickly with all the salt in there. Let it gently boil for 5 minutes, then take it off the heat and allow it to come to room temperature. Do not strain it.

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Once the brine is at room temperature, submerge the (cleaned) bird and weight it down, if necessary, to ensure that the entire bird gets the brine treatment. Leave a chicken in the brine for 3-4 hours and a turkey for at least 6 hours. Place the saucepan with the brine and chook inside in the fridge to keep cool while the process takes place. If your pot won’t fit in the fridge, put the lid on and submerge it in icy water. The ice will need to be replaced regularly to maintain a cold temperature, so you’ll need to stick around to keep an eye on it. An Eski (cooler) also works to keep the temperature at or below 38 F/3 C.

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Once the brine is complete, remove the bird just before cooking and rinse thoroughly to get rid of excess salt etc. Use it in the recipe of your choice, such as this spatchcocked turkey for Thanksgiving or BBQ smoked rosemary chicken.

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FODMAP Friendly Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe – Spatchcocked Turkey & Gravy

Fructose Friendly Christmas Recipe - Turkey and Gravy

This post is a follow up to the previous post, in which I showed you a low FODMAP cornbread stuffing. Or dressing, depending on which part of the US you come from. Speaking as an Aussie, I always called it stuffing, because it was generally stuffed up the bird’s you know where. But anyway…

This is the turkey that we served alongside that stuffing – which wasn’t stuffed into the bird because Alton Brown told us (in the season 1 special of Good Eats, Romancing the Bird) that that increases mass, thus cooking time, leading to dry meat – and we always do what AB tells us to. He hasn’t failed us yet.

Even though we cooked this turkey as a belated Thanksgiving dinner, it would of course work well for a Christmas turkey. This was the first turkey that either Evgeny or I had dealt with, other than the sandwich meat type shaved turkey – we don’t have Thanksgiving in Australia and Christmas is during summer, so most sane people either do seafood (cooks very quickly) or buy a leg of ham from the supermarket and have cold cuts of meat instead.

Notes:

  1. These guidelines are relevant to a 13-15 lb/5.5-7 kg turkey (ours was 13.55 lb), once it has been thawed. Follow the thawing guideline provided when you purchase the bird.
  2. Make sure your turkey isn’t pre-basted or injected with any fillers that contain onion and garlic – or anything else you are sensitive to.
  3. Remove the giblets and the neck from the cavity inside the turkey and keep them. They make a fantastic stock, which can be made ahead of time, to use in the corn bread stuffing.
  4. Green leek tips are low FODMAP.

Roast Turkey

  • 1 x 13-15 lb turkey – fresh, thawed from frozen… basically ready to cook.
  • 4 large sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups green leek tips, roughly chopped
  • 1 big bunch of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

Spatchcock the turkey. I found a great slide show with detailed instructions here, because we didn’t take photos of this stage – messy hands and all.

  1. Place the turkey on a chopping board, with the breasts down and the spine up. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity if they are still in there.
  2. Using kitchen shears, or a strong knife, cut along each side of the spine and remove it completely – place it with the neck and giblets to make stock later on.
  3. If you need to cut the turkey in half to fit in your roasting pan, like we did, you need to remove the keel bone (a bird’s version of a sternum). Leave the bird on it’s front and find the keel, which runs centrally between the two breast sections. Use a sharp fillet blade to slice along the membrane on either side of the keel bone (cartilage, really) and pry it out with your fingers. It’s tricky but necessary for us.
  4. Flip the bird over onto what was its back and press down HARD on the breast meat. If you didn’t remove the keel bone cartilage, you will hear some loud cracks as the ribs break. If you struggle to remove the keel bone cartilage, this might help to loosen it a little and make the removal easier. At any rate, this step is necessary to flatten the bird, if you didn’t remove the keel.
  5. Your turkey is now spatchcocked and ready to bake.

Preheat your oven to 475 F/250 C.

Remove the wire rack out of your roasting pan (ours is flat, yours might be V-shaped). in the base of the pan, evenly spread the chunks of carrot, green leek tips, celery and most of the rosemary. Replace the wire rack and lay the turkey down, with the skin facing up. Tuck in the wing tips and close up the legs. Rub the olive oil into the skin and shove the remaining sprigs of rosemary into any crevices, then lightly sprinkle with salt. Please excuse the toothpicks in the following photo, we had to keep the skin in place after we had cut the turkey in two.

Let it sit until the oven has heated fully, as the super high temperature is going to brown and crisp the skin before you reduce the temperature to 180 C to complete cooking the turkey.

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Before you put it in the oven, insert a meat thermometer into the breast; make sure that it is inserted into flesh and not pressing up against any bones, or the temperature will be incorrect.

Put the turkey into the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 475 F/250 C. The turkey should become a nice shade of golden brown in that time. Reduce the temperature to 350 F/180 C and bake for another 30 minutes, at which point you can open the oven door quickly and check the temperature. The breast is done at 161 F/72 C and the leg is done when it reaches 180 F/82 C (thanks, AB). If you have a fancy digital probe thermometer with an alarm option, set it to the breast temperature and the turkey is done when it goes off… if not, you need to do what we do and take quick peaks at the dial. If you have an oven with a glass door, that is fantastic – we don’t.

All up our turkey took 1 hour and 30 minutes for the breast meat to reach 161 F, by which time the thighs had also reached 180 F. Remove the turkey form the oven and loosely cover with foil and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before carving it. The slide show that I linked to above also has carving instructions.

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Turkey Gravy

  • The drippings from the roasting pan.
  • 1/2 cup turkey stock (that you made with the neck and giblets) or any FF chicken or veg stock – beef would be too strong here
  • 1/4 cup GF plain flour
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

If you have a decent roasting pan, your life will be a lot easier. Ours… well, it’s from Ikea. Let’s just leave it at that.

Once you have removed the roasting pan from the oven and removed the turkey to a chopping board, while you are letting the turkey “sit” for 20 to 30 minutes, put the roasting pan back on the stove top (you will probably need to span two elements) and deglaze the pan with the 1/2 cup of stock. It should only take a minute or two. Then strain the mixture into a measuring jug (makes pouring it out later easier) and place it in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to get the fats to congeal at the top.

Once the fats have started to rise to the top, remove some (not all, as they do add some flavour) of the fat and discard. In a separate saucepan, make a roux with the butter and flour – melt the butter and flour together and whisk until smooth – before adding in the remainder of the turkey drippings/stock mix and stirring until it has thickened unto a gravy-like consistency. If it isn’t thickening and you want to add in more flour, dissolve 1 tbsp. of corn starch or GF plain flour in 1 tbsp. of water and then add it into the gravy; if you just tip in flour, it will become lumpy and you will need to do a lot of whisking to smooth it out again.

Pour into a gravy boat and serve alongside the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and any other side dishes you and your guests have made.

May I suggest one of these beauties for the end of the night?

Merry Christmas (or happy whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year) to all of you, I hope you manage to stay low FODMAP – or that any indulgences aren’t too disasterous 🙂

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New Style Sashimi – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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When you can buy a whole, fresh sockeye salmon for around $10/kg ($5/lb), you do it. We never had the option – unless we trekked into the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne’s CBD – of buying a whole fish so when we moved over here, we initially continued to by pre-filleted fish as we did back home.

After a little while, though, we realised that it was really much cheaper to buy a whole fish and fillet it ourselves than it was to buy the pre-packaged stuff. And fish stays fresher for a little longer if it isn’t cut.

When we do get a whole salmon, we use as much of it as possible: sushi (maki rolls or gunkan/nigiri)/sashimi on the first night, the rest is filleted and either refrigerated/frozen or turned into lox. The skeleton and any little scraps that you can’t do anything with make a fantastic fish stock.

Our typical sashimi consists of nicely prepared slices of sockeye (or ahi tuna if we feel like splurging) with pickled ginger and wasabi – very traditional. This time, however, we decided to change things up. This video on “New Style” Sashimi caught Ev’s attention and we decided to simplify it and create a fructose friendly version. If you want to get technical, the dish in the video isn’t really sashimi anymore, because the chef used hot oil – we decided to use a room temperature sauce for this dish and keep it truly sashimi.

A massive pro of this dish? Once the fish is filleted, it is so quick and easy to throw together.

Notes:

  1. Be careful with sashimi (raw fish). It can be safely prepared with a fresh fish that has been handled well but there are a few pointers that you should follow: the fish should not smell fishy (after the skin and the thin layer of flesh next to the skin has been discarded), the fish should be washed with water and dried properly with good paper towelling and the fish should never be eaten raw after the first day. And of course, store it in the fridge when it’s not being handled or eaten. Also, make sure you trust your fish supplier – talk to the supplier and they will most likely be able to help you choose a sushi grade fish.
  2. The green parts of chives are lower in FODMAPs than the white base, however some people are still sensitive to them. You can always add them in for looks and remove before eating – there’s no heat applies here, so no fructans should really be transferred to the sashimi.
  3. Sesame seeds, like other seeds, can irritate some IBS sufferers – there’s only a half tsp. on each piece of sashimi.
  4. Use GF soy sauce if you need to avoid wheat even in such small amounts.
  5. Lemon juice is low FODMAPs in the amount included here.

New Style Sashimi

Serves 2-3 as an appetiser. It all depends on how many sashimi slices you want per person.

  • 8 slices of salmon sashimi, approx. 2 x 5 cm – we use sockeye, a fish local to the Pacific Northwest
  • 8 x 4 cm lengths of green chives
  • 1-2 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted if you wish
  • 4 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp. GF soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Combine the soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil – shaking it in a sealed container will allow the oil to disperse more evenly in the soy/lemon juice than mixing alone would.

Arrange the salmon slices on a plate (as shown, or however you’d like). I wish we had a square plate for sashimi, that would look awesome.

Arrange a chive stick on each of the slices and sprinkle with sesame seeds, Drizzle with the soy/lemon juice mixture and guess what? You’re done! Make sure to refrigerate this dish if you’re not serving it straight away. It pairs really well with maki rolls, Gunkan sushi or Nigiri to create an entree (appetiser) that will blow your guests away – just don’t let on how simple this sashimi dish really is!

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Sushi Revisited – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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Sushi, for us, is pure bliss. Made well, the flavours blend as much as the textures do and the whole thing just fits together – no odd tastes here or there.

In Australia, sushi shops are like Starbucks in Seattle – they are everywhere but aren’t always great, however you can easily get your sushi fix for under $5. You can’t just go up to a sushi stand in Seattle (that I’ve seen, anyway) and to get our sushi hit we have to go out to a proper restaurant or make it ourselves. The problem? It takes about 2 hours to make from beginning to end and we can eat our fill in 20 minutes tops… it’s not really value for time but damn it’s still worth it.

In my previous sushi post, I discussed your typical maki sushi, the roll that most people will know about and have probably eaten. In this post, I will discuss a couple of other sushi styles that we have added to our repertoire, Nigiri and Gunkan sushi.

Our sushi/sashimi fish of choice is the sockeye salmon, which is wild caught around the ocean and rivers here in the Pacific Northwest. It has enough fat for flavour but isn’t as fatty (we’ve found) as the coho salmon that we’ve also tried. The colour is a striking red, due to the salmon’s diet of almost 100% zooplankton; this diet has another bonus, besides the amazing colour – because the sockeye don’t feed on larger aquatic creatures, they have been found to have much lower mercury levels than other fish their size. We really are spoilt for choice with seafood in the PNW.

Notes:

  1. Be careful with sashimi (raw fish). It can be safely prepared with a fresh fish that has been handled well but there are a few pointers that you should follow: the fish shouldn’t smell fishy (after the skin and the thin layer of flesh next to the skin has been discarded), the fish should be washed with water and dried properly and the fish should never be eaten raw after the first day. And of course, store it in the fridge when it’s not being handled or eaten.
  2. Rice, nori and fish are all low FODMAP but be careful of anything else that is added, such as chili pastes in dynamite sauce, which shouldn’t contain onion or garlic if you can’t tolerate them.
  3. Wet hands make handling the sticky rice much easier – it stops it sticking to you.

Nigiri Sushi

Makes 8.

  • 1 cup cooked sushi rice
  • 8 strips salmon sashimi, cut approximately 2 x 5 cm, with the grain of the fish running lengthwise down the slice (see photo)
  • Wasabi

Take a heaped tbsp. worth of the cooked rice and form it into a rounded oblong in the palm of your hand. Take the strip of sashimi and spread a tiny dab of wasabi along its length, then place the wasabi side of the salmon down onto the rice you shaped earlier. Squeeze the whole thing together, gently, with your palm and two fingers of your other hand, before placing it down on the serving dish. Watch this video for a good visual on how to form Nigiri sushi.

Nigiri sushi is the simplest to put together, as it does not require the sourcing of nori (which can be expensive at non-Asian grocers) or a bamboo rolling mat (a maki).

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Nigiri sushi – front

Gunkan Sushi (Gunkan Maki)

Makes 8.

  • 1 cup cooked sushi rice
  • 8 strips of nori, approx. 5 x 15 cm
  • Your topping of choice – spicy salmon or tuna, masago (basically anything finely diced)
  • A ramekin of water

Take a heaped tbsp. of the cooked rice and shape it into a rounded oblong. Next, wrap a strip of the nori around, with the rice sitting at one end and the other end empty – dab your finger in water and rub it onto the nori where the seam will meet, because this will help it stick to itself and seal the roll.

Finally, take a tbsp. of your filling and dollop it into the top (empty) half of the gunkan, before placing it on the serving dish. Our filling was a spicy salmon sashimi (finely diced salmon mixed with mayonnaise and chili paste).

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Serve with soy sauce (gluten free if necessary) to dip. Alternatively, you could add a drop of lemon juice or sesame oil to the soy sauce to change things up a little bit.

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Seared Rainbow Trout in White Wine – FODMAPs, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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Fish is officially back on the menu in our house! I’m glad. As much as I think we were relying too heavily on meat in our cooking and that too much meat is consumed in general these days – we were as guilty as the rest – I have to admit that, after 2 months of trying to be a good vegetarian and ensuring I got enough protein etc in my diet, I got sick twice and the one time I had chicken, I felt better within a few hours.

Maybe my body would have eventually got used to the change. Maybe timing the vegetarian diet just before the season began to change wasn’t such a bright idea. Whatever the reason, I’m happy that we’re having fish once a week again, and this was a great re-introduction of fish to our menu.

Notes:

  1. Butter’s lactose concentration is reduced, as it is mostly fat and lactose is a water soluble molecule, which is separated from the cream. If you are sensitive to lactose or want a low FODMAPs meal, you may omit the butter. It is a massive flavour enhancer but you could replace it with some herb infused olive oil to bring some new flavours to the dish instead. You know your own tolerances, so do what works for you.

Seared Rainbow Trout in White Wine

Serves 2 people

  • 1 x 1 lb/500 g whole rainbow trout (or white fish of choice)
  • Enough olive oil to seal pan
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper
  • Lemon slices to garnish

Fillet your trout – if not done already. Trout have pin bones, so make sure you feel for them and remove them – tweezers work well for this. You can leave the skin on or off. We like skin on; it helps to give the fillet some structural integrity for transferring between pan and plate – fresh fish can be quite delicate – and is full of omega 3 fatty acids, aka “healthy fats.”

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Seal your pan, then remove the pan from the heat and turn it down to slightly above medium. Stab the butter slice onto the end of a knife and spread the butter around the pan, it will gradually melt and smell delicious.

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Return the buttered pan to the now medium heat and place the fish fillets inside. Cook for 5 minutes with the skin side down; season the fillets and drizzle with lemon juice and white wine. You can let the juice and wine flow into the pan, as it will let the flavour cook through from the bottom as well.

As the fish cooks, you will notice a colour change that moves from the bottom upwards. At the 5 minute mark, only the top should retain it’s raw colouring, this will cook when you flip it.

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Flip the fish carefully – it can be very fragile – and cook for a further 1 minute, seasoning the fillets again with salt and pepper.

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Once the fish is cooked, place it gently on the dish with slices of lemon to garnish. Serve with a side salad and maybe some oysters au natural if you’re feeling a little fancy and they’re currently available at your supermarket. How lucky, they were!

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Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagel Crisps – Fructose Friendly Canapes

My last post was about the main course for Ev’s birthday dinner. This one is about the entrees/canapes that we had beforehand. Well, one of them. The other canape, a green olive dip, I will detail in a separate post.

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One of my favourite flavour combinations is smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers. Who doesn’t love it?

And when cutting out fructose meant I could no longer enjoy the smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion and caper bagels we used to make as an entree I was pretty heart-broken.

So, here is my low fructose and gluten free alternative:

Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagel Crisps

  • 115 g/4 oz smoked salmon, sliced
  • 1 tub/box cream cheese (you probably won’t use it all – any size will do)
  • 1/3 cup capers, drained
  • 1 box (170 g/6 oz) Glutino plain bagel crisps

Slice/scoop a tspn. worth of cream cheese and spread it gently on the bagel crisps. I haven’t had a problem with these bagel crisps breaking but the Glutino brand crackers break all. the. time. You’re lucky to get the box with half still intact on opening.

Peel up a slice of the smoked salmon and cut it in half; roll it into a conical shape and place it onto the cream cheese, off to one side. Finally, place three capers in the empty space not covered by the salmon roll.

Arrange tastefully on a serving dish and you’re done!

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These can be made an hour or so ahead of time (the bagel crisps are best if not refrigerated for too long) but they are so quick and simple. The hardest bit is peeling the smoked salmon slices from each other; they can be pretty finicky.

You can choose your own design as well, you don’t have to copy this; laying the salmon flat is one option, using a circular cutter to get salmon circles that match the bagel crisps shape is another. Go and experiment!

Fish & Chips – Low Fructose and Gluten Free

I don’t know about you but warm weather always gives me cravings for fish and chips. Only problem is, since wheat has been off the menu I can’t just pop down to the local Fish and Chippery for a fix. As an added kick in the pants, they don’t use flake (gummy shark) for fish and chips in America like they do in Australia, so it kind of tastes wrong anyway but hey, we have to take what we can get sometimes.

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Please ignore the red onions, they are easy to pick around!

Oh, and we don’t have a beach nearby to eat them at, with seagulls begging for chips. But maybe the latter is a good thing… have you seen the seagulls in Seattle?! HUGE. Some are almost as big as Nellie.

The Fish

  • Enough of the fish of your choice required to feed the amount of people you have – we used Tilapia, and 2 fillets each is a good amount for average eaters, 3-4 for hungrier people.
  • 1 cup corn flour/meal
  • Butter and/or olive oil for cooking – we used a combination for added flavour; seal the pan with oil first and then add the butter with the fish.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Fillet your fish of choice, or buy them pre-cut to save time.

Pour the corn flour in a zip-lock bag and place the fish in after it. Roll it around gently – you don’t want to damage the fish fillets – and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it. The potato chips (fries) can take a while, so don’t start cooking the fish until the potatoes are almost done – the fish only takes 5-6 minutes to cook.

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When you are ready to cook the fish, seal your pan with olive oil and then place the fish fillets and approx. 1 tbsp. butter in to cook on a med-high heat. Squeeze some of your lemon juice over the fish, leaving half for the other side.

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As the fish cooks, the colour of the flesh will become less translucent; as this colour change works its way up the fish fillet, use it as your guide as to when to flip the fish. When the colour has changed 3/4 of the way – for Tilapia sized fillets, approximately 3-4 minutes, turn the fillets over, drizzle with more lemon juice and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

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The Chips

  • 1 medium potato per person, more depending on how hungry you are
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Herbs of your choice

Wash the potatoes thoroughly and then slice them in half length-wise and then further into wedges. You can remove the skins if you’d like.

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Boil the potatoes for 8 minutes and then drain. Place them onto a lined baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and any herbs you choose and bake at 180 C/350 F for 45-60 minutes, until golden brown.

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These chips could have browned a little longer but we were getting hungry.

This dish is best served warm, so timing the chips being done at the same time as the fish is crucial; the salad you can make ahead, or in downtime while the chips are baking in the oven. Nobody likes cold fish and chips. Yuck.

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Plate them up and serve with condiments of your choice. The spiced capsicum dip that I made last week went down a treat with the hot chips.

Oh, and who needs seagulls when you have two hungry dogs looking on?

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I swear that Bailey was a cat in a past life. Or a mountain goat.

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On the other hand, Nellie uses the pathetic approach to begging.

Simple Oysters – Low Fructose

Every time we serve oysters, a huge debate over whether they are better “fresh” (raw) or cooked ensues. I prefer them cooked; Ev thinks that’s a travesty – according to him oysters shouldn’t be cooked. Ever. But hey, to each their own. It’s the texture that gets me. The flavours are great but the feeling of an uncooked oyster doesn’t really float my boat.

So, for those of you who do like uncooked oysters, or are wanting to try them… this is for you.

First, you need to make sure your oysters are good. They should still be alive when you buy them. If their shells are closed then they are alive. If they have cracked open then they have died. Don’t buy or eat them, they might have gone bad.

Next, shuck your oysters. It’s much easier to describe this in a video, and this clip from YouTube is pretty concise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5DXV1pdGtU Just make sure you have a tool similar to his, or a steak knife might also work. I like his idea of covering it with a cloth to protect your hand from possible slips.

Essentially, you just lay the oyster with the flattest side up and slide your shucking knife into the little divet at the hinged (narrowest) end. Give the blade a quick twist while maintaining the inward pressure and the hinge should pop open. Make sure you cut through the muscle that joins the oyster to the shell, otherwise people will have a hard time eating them later on.

To Serve

As an entree (appetiser) I would allow for two oysters per person.

Lay out a bed of lettuce, such as Cos or Oak Leaf and then place the oysters in the curls of the leaves, which will help them to stay upright.

Place a couple of drops of GF soy sauce (like Tamari) and freshly squeezed lemon juice in each oyster. This really boosts the flavour… as I said, I like the flavour, just not the texture. I can’t get my head around it.

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These are best prepared right before serving. I don’t like to leave them sitting around for too long, an hour at the absolute maximum, and even then they should be in the fridge. No one wants to give their guests food poisoning…

On that note, I do hope you enjoy them. Oysters are so cheap here in the Pacific Northwest. About 50 cents each. It’s safe to say that Ev is making the most of it while we’re here, before we move back home.