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Easter Festivities & Low-FODMAP, Artichoke-Free Spaghetti Squash Dip

Easter is traditionally a holiday celebrated with family. But this year, I’m in Colorado, my mom and brother are in Kansas, and my dad is in southern Germany on sabbatical. Instead, I enjoyed a few lovely holiday festivities with good friends after what has felt like a very long week. Productive, but long.

Whenever I write these Week in Review posts, I think about what I did on Monday and wonder, “Was that only a week ago?”

  1. Tuesday night, I had a piece up for workshop. I tried my hand at literary journalism, something I dabbled in as an undergraduate, but never to the same extent as what our professor assigned this semester. For the piece, I attended and observed the meeting of a local branch of the weight-loss organization TOPS. It was pretty uncomfortable for me: the organization measures everyone’s weight to a quarter pound and keeps them accountable to it every single week. It was one of those interesting pieces that went in a really different direction than I anticipated it would. I was expecting it to be a reflection on the past, telling the story of my own disordered eating in relationship to a larger culture in which so many men and women are taught how to starve themselves. But it ended up being more about my current position in the world, how I want to use my story to maybe, hopefully, help others get out of that awful place of fear and self-denial. My classmates were really encouraging–several said they thought it was the strongest piece I’ve submitted to workshop so far this year!
  2. Monday and Tuesday were beautiful, sunny, 70 degree days…and Wednesday we woke up to this.DSCN0862 School was out in the great state of Colorado. Because that’s how Spring is…temperamental. Since my classes were cancelled, the students missed their scheduled research instruction with the library, which meant a lot of rescheduling for me. Not a big deal. The snow day also meant, however, that swing dance was cancelled. ?
  3. I also tried re-introducing wheat for a second time this week. I had gotten some nausea symptoms after trying some French toast with my folks over spring break, but that’s so different than my usual bloated symptoms that I thought it might be a fluke. Thursday, though, I felt super-queasy again. In fact, I almost wasn’t sure I could make it to class. The bagel I attempted for Wednesday breakfast might be to blame. Ironic that I felt so cruddy on Thursday, since just that morning first thing I had posted about how re-introducing wheat seemed to have gone okay.DSCN0857
  4. Over the weekend, I finished grading my student’s second major assignment, although it took two days longer than anticipated.
  5. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was a social butterfly at all of the Easter festivities! Specifically, on Friday night, a few of my swing dance friends hosted a cocktail party. It was a lot of fun, with cute cocktail dresses, an Easter egg hunt, blues dancing, and lots of good food and drinks. I tried modifying an artichoke dip recipe by subbing in spaghetti squash to make it low-FODMAP, and it was a huge hit! All night, people were telling me how much they loved it. Of course! The secret ingredient–mayonnaise. (Makes everything better.)DSCN0890
  6. Easter Sunday, my friend Dana hosted a few of us in the English department for a lovely Easter morning brunch. The hostess even kindly made some onion- and garlic-free potatoes for me!DSCN0906 DSCN0899 DSCN0904 DSCN0913 DSCN0914Dana’s dog, Dozer, is adorable.

And here’s the recipe for my big hit artichoke-free artichoke dip (with spaghetti squash)! Great for a cocktail party and FODMAP friendly!

Low-FODMAP, Artichoke-Free Spaghetti Squash Dip
Hot and creamy, like artichoke dip, but without the fructans!
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  1. 1 medium spaghetti squash
  2. 1 10-oz package of chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  3. 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  4. 1 cup mayonnaise
  5. 1 cup grated Parmesan
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and membranes. Place cut-side-down on a baking sheet or pan and bake for 45 minutes, until the squash flesh easily comes apart into noodle-like strands with pierced with a fork.
  3. Remove the squash flesh and place in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. (I recommend using two forks to do so.)
  4. Spray a large pie plate or small-medium casserole dish with cooking spray. Spoon the spaghetti squash mixture into the dish and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until hot.
  5. Serve warm with crackers or chips.
The Hungry Caterpillar
 Do you celebrate Easter? Were you able to spend the holiday with your family or someone else special?


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  1. Cora says:

    Blues dancing!? Seriously – you and your peeps do the coolest things.
    Congratulations on the piece of writing you workshopped – not only for what I’m sure was very well written, but for doing something so close to your personal history and using your own experience to shed light on the topic. I’m sure everyone was marveled at the fresh and true perspective you brought to it.
    You have the kindest friends to host such a brunch and adhere to your needs! It looks amazing. As does that dip!

  2. Ellie says:

    I had a pretty low-key Easter. I went on a run with some friends and then went to work. It was a beautiful day! Today however, was torrential rain on and off so that was…unpredictable to put it mildly. I actually forgot it was Easter weekend because St. Patrick’s Day was so close! I’ll have to get to the store for some post-holiday deals 🙂

  3. It feels so nice when someone goes out of their way to make something special for you to accommodate food issues. My one baby shower was entirely vegetarian and I was so touched.

    I’m glad you had a great week, and even some snow days, although it’s a bummer about swing dancing being cancelled too.

    Good for you on the literary journalism piece you submitted for your workshop. It sounds like it was a huge hit. Sometimes opening up and being vulnerable leads to our best stuff.

  4. Kate says:

    That dog is so beautiful! I have a thing for dogs that resemble wolves and bears.
    I’m glad you had a good Easter holiday- time spent with friends makes it pretty special.
    I am sorry wheat still bother you. Wheat is in so many things, so I know it would’ve made life easier to be able to eat it. I am considering going back to the low-FODMAP diet, even though I didn’t have great success last time. I wish IBS were less complicated to figure out!

    1. Joyce says:

      Oh my goodness yes! IBS is so complicated to deal with–I’ve found that the low-FODMAP diet reduces my symptoms a lot, but not 100%. Hope you’re able to find something that works for you!

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