A low-FODMAP and gluten-free variation on one of my favorite vegan recipes. Full of vegetables, fiber and plant-based protein, but so delicious you’d never complain about the missing FODMAPs or absent meat!
One tricky thing about the low-FODMAP diet is that it restricts a lot of the most common sources of dietary fiber. Oatmeal is limited to 1/4 cup dry, a lot of whole grain cereals and breads are out, only a very few kinds of legumes are allowed in small quantities, and many fruits and vegetables are limited or disallowed. The diet also limits a lot of foods naturally high in vegetarian protein, such as legumes, pasta, almonds, soy, milk and yogurt.
Actually, limiting fiber (especially soluable fiber) and protein can be good when you’re having an IBS flare-up, since both are hard to digest. However, for those who are following the low-FODMAP diet strictly through the elimination and re-testing phase, as well as those who have to remain on a modified lower-FODMAP diet after the re-testing phase, it can be easy to eat a lot of low-fiber, high-meat meals. That’s a constipating combination, and therefore, no good for IBS in the long term.
This is a recipe I modified from my undergraduate days when I lived in a scholarship hall (kind of like a university-sponsored co-op) and shared a kitchen with six women. One of our duties in the hall was to cook a meal for the members of our small kitchen a couple of times a month. Since I was in the vegetarian kitchen and at the time mostly vegetarian, I starting cooking from an amazing little cookbook I’d acquired from my brother, Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons. I made her red pepper chickpea stew with couscous several times, and it was always a hit.
Since going low-FODMAP, I’ve re-created Didi Emmons’ recipe by using canned chickpeas, omitting the onion and garlic, and using quinoa in place of the couscous. Not only is the recipe vegetarian and full of plant-based protein and fiber, it’s unique in flavor: the cinnamon and paprika give at a Moroccan kind of savor.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup red wine or sherry
- 1 tsp. paprika
- a pinch cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp. chopped or slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup sliced green onion (tops only for strictly low-FODMAP version)
- a few sprigs cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp. (1 1/2 tsp.) lemon juice
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- Slice the garlic clove in half. Heat the garlic in the oil until brown. Fish out the garlic clove halves and discard. (Or, skip this step and simply use a tablespoon of garlic-infused oil.)
- Add the carrot, red pepper, tomato, wine or sherry, paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper to the garlic-infused oil and bring to a boil. Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the quinoa and 3/4 cup of water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and let stand 12 minutes.
- After the stew has been cooking for 15 minutes, add the chickpeas, almonds, green onion, cilantro and lemon juice. Heat through.
- Divide the cooked quinoa and stew between two bowls to serve.
- Double or triple the recipe if serving a larger crowd.