Fall is definitely in the air… and the crisp cool weather makes me want to be active outdoors during the day and enjoy warm comforting food in the evening. Fall is ragweed season too, and studies have shown that allergies are common in people with IC. Like many people, I combat the mold spores and ragweed pollen with antihistamines, but since those medications tend to be drying to the system, I find fall is a also a good time to include more fiber in my diet. Like many of us, I have IBS, so I have to be careful of what kind of fiber I include— bran, for instance, is definitely out. I also try to keep well hydrated, so soups for lunch fill the bill perfectly.
There are many delicious and comforting fall foods that are fiber-rich. One of my breakfast favorites is hot oatmeal. My family thinks it’s odd because they know I can’t stand the slippery texture of oatmeal that’s been cooked with water. But on cool fall mornings I do like a bowl of hot oatmeal done this way. Put a quarter-cup of dry Quaker Quick-oats in a bowl, douse it with milk just to cover the oats, and pop it in the microwave for a minute or so. Add a bit more milk if needed. It’s then ready to top with IC-safe condiments that make it a treat.
- Try a few drops of almond extract, some chopped almonds, and a chopped fresh pear.
- A dash of cinnamon, a spoonful of maple syrup, and a handful of organic preservative-free raisins.
- A quarter-cup of fresh blueberries and a dash of nutmeg.
- A swirl of brown sugar, some sunflower seeds, and a few chopped sulfite-free dates.
Basic Homestyle Chicken Soup – makes 4 servings
Soups are warm comfort for fall lunches, and this is my family’s tried and trusted recipe for chicken soup (the kind that grandmothers will swear treats colds and flus too!)
3-3/4 cups water
2 cups chicken broth (preservative-free & msg-free)
2 skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 medium carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper (optional)
1 pinch of turmeric
Bring water and broth to a boil in a 2-3 quart pot. Add chicken and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 6-7 minutes. Cover and turn off heat. Let sit for 15 minutes. Remove chicken breasts to a plate to cool. Reserve liquid that the chicken cooked in.
While chicken breasts cool, cook the onion* in oil in a large skillet. When onion is soft but not browned, (about 5 minutes), add garlic. Continue to cook, stirring about a minute more.
Pour the liquid from the chicken through a strainer, into another container, then pour the strained liquid back into the pot. Add the onions and garlic to the pot. Add the other chopped vegetables. Cover and simmer on low.
Meanwhile, cut up the cooked chicken into bite-sized. Add chicken and parsley* to the soup along with salt, pepper and turmeric. Simmer covered about 30 minutes more. Ladle into bowls and serve with warm crusty bread.
*Note: Frying the onion destroys sulfur compounds in the raw onion that might irritate sensitive IC bladders. Boiling doesn’t get the onion hot enough to do that. For those with oxalate-sensitive vulvodynia: if parsley is a problem, try chervil instead. You can also add one of these for variety: ¼ cup of rice, ½ cup of pasta shells, or ½ cup of diced boiling potatoes.
Boston Glazed Pork Chops -serves 2
This unique marinade & glaze combination gives ho-hum pork chops a succulent and moist texture while imparting a subtle salty-sweetness. A hint of rosemary rounds out the meat’s flavor. Best of all though, this dish is completely lacking in the usual vinegar or fruit acids in marinades. The trick is a chemical reaction that makes the meat protein absorb moisture so the chops stay juicy and flavorful during cooking.
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup hot water
1/4 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/3 cup dark rum or vodka
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
2 pork chops, medium thickness, trimmed
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Combine ingredients for marinade in a plastic bag or a covered dish, mixing well to dissolve the salt and sugar crystals. Add the two pork chops, making sure they are covered with liquid. Place in refrigerator for 45 minutes- no longer. Remove pork chops, rinse well under running water, and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade.
Mix all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer on low for ten minutes. (Alcohol boils and evaporates at a lower temperature than water.) Meanwhile, in a skillet brown the pork chops in vegetable oil. Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cover. Reduce heat and cook until chops are thoroughly cooked.
To glaze: Turn heat to high under the skillet and pour the glaze into the skillet, scraping up browned bits and meat juices. As the glaze turns frothy, stir the liquid with a spatula and turn chops in the liquid for a minute or so. Remove chops to a platter and serve.
Note: You can vary the saltiness of the meat by increasing or decreasing the amount of salt in the marinade.
Sichuan Baked Pears – serves 2
This dessert recipe is from my classic IC cookbook, A Taste of the Good Life. It’s delicious made with either with round yellow Asian pears or red D’Anjou pears.
1-1/2 Tbsp. butter
2 firm pears, peeled
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. anise seed
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. coriander
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt butter and pour into a shallow baking dish.
Core the peeled pears and cut in quarters. Place in butter, turning to coat. Mix sugar and spices and sprinkle over pears. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 5 minutes. Baste with pan juices.
Bake another 7 minutes until sugar is bubbly. Cool slightly, then serve warm. (You can keep these warm while dinner is served by covering with foil, or just rewarm them for a few seconds in the microwave).
About The Author
Bev Laumann authored the first formal cookbook for interstitial cystitis: A Taste of the Good Life – A Cookbook for an IC Diet which has helped thousands of patients navigate the complex dietary demands of IC. A former IC support group leader (Orange County, CA), Bev was one of the first to create a formal IC foods list and developed the three column format of “Safe” “Try It” and “Caution” food lists which, over the years, have been expanded greatly. Author of the “Fresh Tastes by Bev” IC Network feature column, she is one of the most knowledgeable and respected patient advocates in the USA.
Our Generous Sponsor
The IC Diet Project is made possible by the generous support of AkPharma, Makers of Prelief. Prelief is an acid reducing food supplement that can help you enjoy some of the foods that you may be missing! Prelief even takes the acid out of favorite foods containing “hidden” acid you aren’t aware of, like chocolate, baked beans, sherbets, yogurt and too many others to even name. Try Prelief for a week or two and see if there isn’t a difference you can feel. Buy it now!
The Simply Delicious Team
We admit it. We love to eat even though we all have IC. The authors know the in’s and out’s of eating low acid because we are fellow patients and activists, including:
Julie Beyer RD, author of the Confident Choices: Customizing the IC Diet, Confident Choices: A Cookbook for IC and OAB & Interstitial Cystitis: A Guide for Nutrition Educators
Bev Laumann, author of A Taste of the Good Life: A Cookbook for an IC Diet & the Fresh Tastes by Bev feature column
Jill Osborne MA, president & founder the IC Network and author & editor of the 2012 Guide to the IC Diet & the ICN Food List iPhone Application