Summer Rolls

These lovely little rolls are a delight to pack for lunch.   For a dipping sauce, I used leftover peanut dressing from the Bok Choy salad recipe.  When I pack up the rolls, I separate them from each other with wax paper.  Otherwise they stick together mightily and get torn when I pull them apart.   This is a recipe that you can customize endlessly depending on what you like and what ingredients you have on hand.  Last night, I filled mine with “crab”, lettuce, cilantro, mint, red bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber.  These are way easier to make than sushi rolls.

one package of 8 inch round rice paper wrappers

Choose any combination of the following:

Protein, choose 1 – “crab legs” made from surimi, shredded chicken or pork, cooked shrimp, tofu

Vegetables, choose 2 or 3 – very thinly sliced lengths of cucumber, carrot, red bell pepper, zucchini; bean sprouts; small lettuce or spinach leaves;  shredded bok choy

Fresh Herb, choose 1 or 2 – mint, cilantro, basil, Thai basil, parsley

Have all ingredients ready to roll before starting.  Fill a large shallow dish with hot tap water.  Take one rice paper wrapper and place it in the water.  Wiggle it around for at least 30 seconds until it is thoroughly softened.  Carefully place the wrapper on a flat surface as smoothly as possible.  I use a cutting board and I let about 1 inch of the wrapper hang over the edge. This makes it easier for me to grab it.  Place a small amount of each filling ingredient on the wrapper.  Grab the edge of  the wrapper that is hanging off the edge of the cutting board and fold it up over the filling.  Fold in the wrapper at each side and then tightly roll up the bundle to enclose the filling.  If you find that you have a big, sloppy roll that won’t stay shut, you probably used too much filling. Try it with less.   Repeat until you’ve used up your ingredients!  These can be stored for a day or two  refrigerated in a covered container and  separated by wax paper or plastic wrap.


Potato and Pesto Gratin

This recipe is by Martha Rose Shulman, I found it at the New York Times. It uses the garlic scape recipe I posted below.  The FODMAP load of garlic scapes is unknown.  Eat at your own risk!

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes

1/2 cup garlic scape pesto

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin with olive oil. Slice the potatoes no more than 1/4 inch thick and place in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the pesto. Stir the mixture until the potato slices are evenly coated, then transfer to the baking dish, making sure to scrape all of the pesto out of the bowl.

Cover the baking dish with foil or a lid and place in the oven. Bake 30 minutes, then uncover and return to the oven. Bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are thoroughly tender, the olive oil in the dish — now a beautiful green — is sizzling, and the top is beginning to color. Serve hot or warm.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Last fall, before I’d heard of the low FODMAP approach to managing IBS, I had planted a couple of dozen garlic cloves in my garden to harvest this spring.  Half of the garlic was a soft neck variety and half a hard neck variety.  Hard neck varieties of garlic produce a flower stalk called a scape.  Scapes can be harvested and eaten.  We know that garlic bulbs and onion bulbs are sources of FODMAPS.  We know that the green stalks of scallions are not.  I am making an assumption that the green flowering stalk of garlic is also low in FODMAPs.  I have made and eaten this pesto with no ill effect.  If you want to experiment and you run across some fresh garlic scapes at your local farmer’s market, here’s an easy recipe.  If garlic scapes prove to be a safe alternative to garlic cloves, I’m going to be using them a lot more in my cooking.  And I’ll be planting lots of hard neck garlic this fall!

Garlic Scape Pesto 
You will need a food processor.

1 cup chopped garlic scapes
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups Parmesan cheese
salt to taste


Wash and dry garlic scapes; then cut into one inch lengths. Add scapes to the food processor and process until they are starting to look finely chopped, about 2-3 minutes.  Add spinach and pulse the mixture about 1 minute more, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and pine nuts and process about 2 minutes more.  Add Parmesan and process 1-2 minutes more, or until the pesto reaches the texture you prefer.
Use this as you would any pesto. It freezes well.

Bok Choy and Pineapple Salad

Bok Choy is one of those foods that I never quite believe is FODMAP friendly.  But it is and I have eaten it numerous times with no ill effect.  This is another of the salad recipes from that is already quite low FODMAP.  The original recipe uses chili-garlic paste.  If you can tolerate a little garlic, go ahead and use it in place of the red pepper flakes.  Be careful with purchasing peanut butter.  Some are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, some with agave nectar. Avoid those!

For the dressing:

1/4 cup natural smooth peanut butter (low or no sugar)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 medium limes)
2 tablespoons wheat-free soy sauce
2 teaspoons cane syrup (or sugar)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
2 tablespoons garlic oil

For the salad:

2 pounds baby bok choy
2 1/2 cups fresh small-dice pineapple (from about 1/2 medium pineapple)
2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 medium English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced (green parts only)

Combine the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Toss all salad ingredients together in a bowl. Top with dressing and toss again.  Serve immediately.

Moroccan Vegetable Salad

The food website recently posted a bunch of recipes for “chunky, unusual summer salads”.  I found two of them were already very low FODMAP and needing only minimal modification.  I had this salad for supper last night and it was delicious! I’ve discussed preserved lemon before.  You can purchase it in international food markets or you can make your own.

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 1/2 medium lemons)
1 preserved lemon, rind only, finely chopped (about 5 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup garlic flavored oil

For the salad:

1 pound yellow squash (about 3 to 4 medium squash), medium dice
1 pound zucchini (about 3 to 4 medium zucchinis), medium dice
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and medium dice
8 ounces seedless green grapes (about 1 1/2 cups), halved
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
salt to taste

Combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk or shake until thoroughly mixed.

Combine all of the salad ingredients and toss.  Coat with dressing and toss again.  Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Tip: To pack the salad for lunch, put UNdressed salad ingredients in a bowl  with a lid and pack the dressing separately.