Spring_Onion_Chicken_Sweet_And_Sour_Chicken_small Low FODMAP Chinese sweet and sour sauce dish. From scratch. Requiring approximately 30 minutes of prep time. With gluten-free and vegan options. Need I say more?… Race me to the kitchen? I’m really, really happy with this newest chapter of my cooking adventures – so much so that I prepared big batches two weeks in a row, varying ingredients and preparation methods. All for you dear readers, to make sure you get the best possible experience with minimal effort! (Just kidding. Give. Me. Ethnic. Food!) Whatever my reasons were, I hope that you get to try this recipe and that you enjoy it at least half as much as I did. Because really, don’t you just love it when an exotic dish turns out to call only for simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry? And when they’re almost all safe? Score for team low FODMAP! Also, good news for busy people: this dish is crock-potable! Details on that sweet deal are at the bottom of the post. Squash_pineapple_chard_Small Spring Onion Chicken (Servings: 6, preparation: 30 minutes, total time: 1.5-6 hours, difficulty: easy)

  • 2 large chicken breasts or 2.5 cups of cubed seitan
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 1.5 cups pineapple
  • 1 can of bamboo shots or 1 medium red pepper
  • 1.5 cups spring onions, green parts only
  • 1/2 medium acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons of oil

Low FODMAP Sweet and Sour Sauce (Servings: 6, preparation: 5 minutes, total time: 15 minutes, difficulty: easy)

  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli

When using chicken and appropriate soy sauce, this recipe is gluten-free; if, on the other hand, you like to keep your food vegan, then choose seitan instead of meat. For a gluten-free, vegan and low FODMAP triple-whammy you could try tofu with peanuts; I have not tested that option, but bet it’s delicious. Bowl_Chiaroscuro_Small Start with the chunky part of the recipe – rinse the chicken, spring onions and Swiss chard, and scrub the squash. Then, cut the meat/seitan, squash and pineapple into small pieces. I’m too lazy to bother peeling the squash and given my manual dexterity near knives, I’d probably lose a couple of digits in the process… besides, the peel turns tender and crunchy when cooked and I rather appreciate the texture. Reminds me of caramelized sugar – but if that sort of thing puts you off, consider removing it. Also, if you’re lucky enough to be using fresh pineapple, here’s a handy video on how to pick and prepare one; for this recipe, both fresh and frozen work well. Canned might be too sweet but if that’s all you can get, try decreasing the amount of sugar in the sauce to 1/2 cup. Important – make sure the pineapple isn’t canned in anything high FODMAP! The Swiss chard comes with a warning: only use it if you like roasted, glazed beets. I love beets in all forms, they were one of the hardest things to give up (next to broccoli and apples) – but life has a way of surprising us with little pleasures! Or, as in this case, with massively bombastic super-wins. Turns out, if you combine Swiss chard with sugar, you get that delicious roasted beet flavour. Yum. So go ahead, remove the white stems and slice those beautiful, dark green leaves into ribbons.  If, however, beets are not your cup of tea (really?!!!!), replace the chard with 1.5 cups of green beans or zucchini cut up into small pieces. Acorn_squash_swiss_chard_red_background_small Bamboo shoots don’t have a FODMAP rating in the Monash app. I saw them listed as OK on some internet websites and they sit well with me, but judge for yourself. If in doubt, replace them with a medium red pepper, washed, deseeded and sliced into small pieces. Both versions passed the Squashablanca deliciousness test. Last but not least, the star of this recipe: spring onions! While they don’t taste exactly the same as onion bulbs, the shocking amount we use here does lend a deep, rich foundation to this recipe. As an additional benefit, they won’t make you cry! Chop them into small pieces and we’re ready to move to the good part. Heat up the oil in a wok or a large pot; add the chicken or seitan and let it brown, stirring once or twice. Then, throw in all the vegetables, cover and let the dish cook in its own juices for 30-40 minutes. Stir it every 5-10 minutes. While this is happening, prepare the sauce. Mix all ingredients (cold!) in a saucepan, whisk well to ensure there are no tapioca clumps. Bring to boil on a small heat, mixing very frequently as the sauce thickens. Once you see bubbles, take the sauce off the stove – you’re done! It really is so easy. When the vegetables and chicken are cooked through, you can either mix in the sauce (freezer meals, people) or pour it over the top. Serve this dish with rice or low FODMAP noodles; if you wish, decorate with a small handful of spring onions for a splash of green. Lemon_basket_pineapple_small A few notes on the sauce: most of the recipes I found online called for ketchup. While the small amount we’d use would probably be fine FODMAP-wise, I simply didn’t have any. Using my amazing powers of deduction, I figured out that ancient Chinese chefs probably didn’t have ketchup either and came up with an alternative, swapping the traditional white sugar for brown and adding some sweet lemon juice (which you can omit). By the way, did I ever tell you that I have a Meyer lemon tree in the yard of my tiny rental house? It bears fruit year-round – how exotic for this Eastern European girl, used to three feet of snow in winter! Anyway, I digress… back to the sauce. Another modification I employed was using tapioca starch instead of corn (again, did not have the latter); potato starch will work just as well. Finally, please bear in mind this is a very basic version, I kept it so intentionally to avoid the all-too-familiar pitfall of ‘Wow I could totally cook this tonight… oh wait, where do I get insert-obscure-ingredient-here”. Feel free to add some ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, maybe swap some sugar for maple syrup… Also, go ahead and utilize the sauce in other recipes! It would make a great gyoza dip or barbecue glaze, and could likely be modified to form a base for a salad dressing (thus, the ‘Condiments, dips and spreads’ categorization). Spring_Chicken_Sweet_n_Sour_Sauce_Small And now – drumroll… the crockpot version! Full disclosure: this happened completely by accident. The first time I cooked the recipe, I had been on my feet for 17 hours, was going to be getting up in 6 more and waiting half an hour for the veggies to cook in a wok seemed like an insane idea. So I threw everything in the crockpot (pre-coated with oil to prevent sticking), poured the sauce on top, mixed well, set the crockpot on medium and went to sleep. Six hours later I woke up to an amazingly fragrant kitchen. While the dish tasted better that way, it was a little too runny, but I dealt with that by leaving the crockpot on high for another 1/2 hour with the lid off and using a lot of rice to sop up the juices. Right, enough of my ramblings – happy cooking, dear low FODMAPpers!


  1. Silvana says:

    Deliciously written! Enjoyed the post and the pictures and the recipe looks very tasty!! Great job again my dear!

    • odrowaz says:

      Thanks dear – you are my most treasured follower! I’m about to soak some cornmeal, you know what that means…

  2. Jesse Watson says:

    Beautiful recipe! All FODMAPs issues are very carefully considered from what I can see… I will tweet to my followers, thanks!

    • odrowaz says:

      Thanks Jesse, I’m happy to see you like the post enough to share it with your friends! I love this dish so much that I recently had it for breakfast… Crazy as that sounds.
      Yes, I try to be as thorough with FODMAP issues as possible but research changes and I don’t always remember to update posts, so if you ever see anything looking suspicious, please let me know!
      Happy FODMAPping :)

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When your love for onion rings, whipped cream latté and apple pie has to surrender in the face of a gastrointestinal war... when the world becomes a bleak place, full of chicken soup and carrots... do not despair! There's more than one sweet fish in the sea, and your culinary adventures have only just begun. I hereby present you Squashablanca, the land of plenty for people following a low-sugar version of the low FODMAP diet. Enjoy your food!

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