No onion and garlic but still delicious

People might avoid eating onion and garlic temporarily, while they are on the elimination phase of the FODMAPs diet for IBS.  Or, they might avoid onion and garlic longterm, if the challenge phase of the FODMAPs diet shows them they don’t tolerate the fructans which onion and garlic are rich in.

It’s not usually until then that someone realizes how widely used onion and garlic are. They seem to be everywhere, both in our recipes and in pre-prepared foods!

But with a little planning, meals can still be delicious.  Here are some ideas for adapting your cooking.

  • use garlic infused oil in your cooking.  You can buy it pre-made, or make your own following my recipe .  This oil adds the wonderful flavour of garlic to a dish, without the fermentable carbohydrate of the garlic.  You can also use the garlic infused oil as the base for a vinaigrette or to drizzle over roasted root vegetables.
  • develop a rich flavour base for a dish by slowly caramelizing onions in oil.  Once the onion turns a deep, dark gold, carefully scoop it out of the pan, leaving behind as much of the oil as you can.  Save the caramelized onions for someone who tolerates them, and continue to build your dish using the flavourful caramelized onion oil.
  • add a big handful of chopped green onion greens when your dish has almost finished cooking.  The green onion greens keep more flavour if added late.
  • if making stock, soup or stew, add well-washed chopped leek leaves.  This is the part most recipes say to discard, and the dark green leaves do require long, slow cooking.  However, they do soften up and they add the flavour of onion with out adding fermentable carbohydrate.
  • if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to use any of the above strategies, add a pinch of asafoetida.  Asafoetida, or hing, is a gum secreted by the root of a type of giant fennel plant.  It smells very powerful before cooking but afterwards, it has a mellow garlic flavour.  South Asian stores sell it as a yellow powder, a mixture of asafoetida and turmeric.  Experiment with adding just a pinch to the early stage of a recipe.