Creamy Pesto Pasta with Bacon, Halloumi and Tomatoes – FODMAP Friendly

We’re following the FODMAP diet for the movement, and its super tough. The first four days were the worst; I craved after the whole enchilada and there were a complete lack of interest in cooking since it felt like everything I came up with was a downgrade from the kinds of food we usually eat. But now after a month I think we’ve come to understand how to cook good food with low FODMAPs.

Let me explain the concept of FODMAP a little more thoroughly. First of all – this is not a weight loss diet. Instead it’s all about feeling good by getting to know your stomach and what it likes and dislikes. FODMAP is about excluding food that is high in indigestible carbohydrates (carbs that has an excessive ability to ferment in the stomach). Some ingredients are more difficult to ferment than others, which for some causes stomach ache and bloating. Carbohydrates contain sugars, fibers and starches and are found in fruits, vegetables, milk and grains. All carbs are built upon carbons, oxygens and hydrogens which form chains. Short chained carbs are more likely to cause fermentation problems than others, giving the stomach a hard time. The carbs that are the most difficult to digest in big quantities can be divided into four groups:

FODMAPs

Carbs are one out of three macronutrients (the ways our bodies obtain energy); the other ones are fat and protein. In the FODMAP diet you’re not supposed to rule out all the carbs, since it’s an essential energy source, you just exclude the ones that are extra rich on the sugars mentioned above. Legymes, onion, garlic and wheat are examples of food high on oligosaccharides; these can be replaced by aubergine, spinach, hirs and sorghum flour which still contain oligosaccharides but in far less quantities. There are lists on the Internet where you can find what’s considered red, yellow/limited and green foods (but speak with a professional as a precaution and for being guaranteed a complete list). The red ones are high on FODMAPs, yellow ones are medium-high in FODMAPs and can be consumed in specified quantities in the second stage of the diet. The green ones are low on FODMAPs and are consumed without restriction.

The first step in the diet is the toughest one because you have to exclude all the red and yellow foods for about a month. After that period it’s time to add one yellow food at the time to your diet and always keeping track of if there are some of the introduced foods that give you symptoms. The last step is to introduce the red foods to your diet. A few months later you will be able to eat normal again apart from the ingredients your stomach didn’t agree with during the reintroducing phase.

Here are some links that might come in handy:

Dietvsdisease.org – General information about FODMAPs

IBSfri.se – General information about IBS and FODMAPs (Swedish)

Kolhydrater.se – A site about carbs (Swedish)

Thepaleomom.com – List of FODMAPs (WARNING! this isn’t a complet list and since it’s paleo they have excluded all kinds of cerials even thought some of them might be okej)

But enough information for now! If you have any further questions about the FODMAP diet, anything else food related or if you just want to ease your heart please leave us a comment below.

Even though it feels like as we have to sacrifice a lot on this diet we’ve also come up with some really great tasting recipes where you do not even suspect you’re dieting. This is one such recipe. I totally adore everything that includes pesto. Pesto in pasta, on sandwiches, in burgers, together with salmon, stuffed inside chicken with grated parmesan… The list is endless. This time I made a simple but oh so delicious pesto pasta. A splash of cream, crispy bacon, halloumi, some semidried tomatoes and you are good to go. And of course the mandatory shavings with parmesan on top 🙂

Pssst… look out for the hashtag #Fodmapfriendly on the blog. There will be more of these recipes in the future.

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Creamy Pesto Pasta with Bacon, Halloumi and Tomatoes – 3 servings

I know not everyone have these special ingredients at home, so if you’re not allergic or on a diet you can easily make this dish with regular pasta, cream, sundried tomatoes and with a clove of garlic in the pesto instead of the garlic oil. For a vegetarian version swap the bacon for fried aubergine.

Ingredients:

Pesto
20 g basil
20 g Parmesan cheese
20 g pine nuts
15 g garlic oil
50 g olive oil
Black pepper
Salt

Pasta
250 g gluten free pasta
100 g smoky bacon
125 g halloumi
100 g lactose free cream
1 batch with pesto
Salt
Black pepper

Semidried tomatoes
Parmesan

Preparation:

Pesto. Start off by making the pesto. Combine basil, grated Parmesan, pine nuts and garlic oil in a food processor or pestle and mortar. Mix/bash until roughly chopped. Add the olive oil and mix to a paste. It’s up to you how smooth you want your pesto, for a rough result be gentle with the mixing and for a fine result mix it for an extra minute. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Fill a big pot with water and add a generous amount of salt. When the water boils throw in the pasta, stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and let it cook until al dente. Meanwhile shred the bacon and cut the halloumi into smaller bites. Fry halloumi and bacon on medium-high heat until nicely colored and crisp. Lower the temperature and add the cream and pesto. Toss in your cooked pasta and adjust the taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve with semidried tomatoes (I also throw a handful of tomatoes into the pasta sauce) and some grated parmesan.

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