The Elimination Diet doesn’t have to be just about chicken and brown rice. Here’s how to enjoy delicious Asian food-cart food from the comfort of your own home, without sacrificing your diet.
This pad thai recipe is not only safe to eat, it actually contains ingredients that help heal the gastrointestinal system, which helps get your digestion back on track even faster.
– 3 cloves of minced garlic. Garlic contains allicin, which is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It helps strengthen the immune system and gets rid of pesky bugs that may be hanging out in your GI tract, making you sick.
– 1 chopped onion. Onion contains healthy carbohydrates like inulin, which feeds our friendly bacteria in the gut. It also contains antimicrobial properties.
– 1 chopped red bell pepper. This option might be out if you’re currently eliminating night shades, however, red bell pepper contains vitamin C, which also strengthens the immune system.
– 2 cups of chopped broccoli. Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables, containing cell-repairing flavenoids and iron. People who suffer from GI problems may have problems absorbing iron, so broccoli gives you an iron boost (the iron’s absorption is helped by the vitamin C in the bell peppers). Broccoli is also a source of glutathione, which is essential for our liver’s detoxification processes.
– 2 chopped baby bok choys. I once heard that bok choy is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Like broccoli, bok choy contains flavenoids and glutathione. It also contains a host of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and K.
– 1 can of coconut milk. Coconut milk contains a healthy (and delicious) source of saturated fat. Not all saturated fat is bad and coconut milk has been shown to benefit arteries and blood vessels, decrease inflammation and even repair gut cells, which helps those who are trying to heal their GI systems.
– 3 tablespoons of almond butter. Used instead of peanut butter, which is often eliminated during a hypoallergenic diet. However, if peanuts are ok, you can always substitute back. Almonds contain heart-healthy fats and are allergen-free for most people.
– 1 tbs of gluten-free soya sauce. Most soya sauce contains wheat, which is a no-no when following an elimination diet. However, there are GF soya sauces available in most health food stores, most go by the name of tamari or tamarind sauce.
– The juice of 1 small lime. Lime helps alkalinize the body, which is associated with lower rates of disease, bone mineral density loss and inflammation.
– Sliced fresh ginger. Anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory, fresh ginger is one of my favourite spices. It helps digestion and warms the body, increasing what Asian medicine terms “digestive fire.”
– Spices: a pinch of cumin, coriander, ground pepper and red chili pepper flakes. Spices are warming, blood-cleansing and contain a variety of healthy compounds. Not to mention, they’re delicious.
– a pinch of sea salt.
– 1 packet of rice noodles. There’s a reason that the hypoallergenic or elimination diet is often called “The Brown Rice Diet.” Rice is easily digested and absorbed and contains no gluten, therefore it is mostly allergen free. Brown rice is preferable to white, because it contains more fibre, but in the early stages of an elimination diet, most people opt for white rice, because it is more easily digested and absorbed, creating less work for an already taxed GI system.
In a large pan or wok, saute onions and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add in peppers and broccoli. Add sauces and coconut oil. Add bok choy, ginger, spices, coconut milk and almond butter. Add noodles last. If the pan seems too dry to cook the noodles, add a little bit of water. Add in lime juice. When vegetables are cooked and rice noodles are soft, turn off stove and serve. This should serve 3-4 people or be enough for several meals for one person – this is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day.
PS: Most pad thai recipes call for fish sauce. The smell of the fish sauce in my house grossed me out so I opted not to, but feel free to add 3 tsp of fish sauce, which has the health benefits of the omega 3 fatty acids found in small fish.