Simple IC Friendly Baked Oregano Chicken

By Miranda

This recipe is slightly adapted from one of my favorite meals that my mom used to make, and is now a favorite in my own home.

Simple IC Friendly Baked Oregano Chicken


2 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Organic olive oil
Organic oregano
All natural minced garlic
Sea salt
Garlic pepper

Set the oven to preheat at 350°. Wash the chicken and place it on a prep plate. Brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with oregano, minced garlic, sea salt, and garlic pepper to taste.

Bake for 40-45 minutes on a non-stick pan, then broil for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

This chicken goes with a variety of delicious sides.

Pictured above, the chicken is accompanied by Columbia River Organics Gardener's Blend veggies and Alexia's Olive Oil, Rosemary & Garlic Oven Fries.

Pictured below you will find the same baked chicken with organic french green beans and a side of whole grain brown rice.

Sometimes simple is what's best!


Pizza For One, Pizza For All: Jaclyn's Flatbread Pizza and Other Weight-Friendly Pizza Options

Well, since Miranda wrote about IC friendly pizza and Irene wrote about gluten-free pizza, I decided I had to jump on the pizza bandwagon and write about weight-friendly vegetarian pizza. This was a good bandwagon to jump on.

Like everyone else in the world, I love a good pizza. Every once in awhile I'll indulge in real, delicious, perfect pizza, but obviously that's not an everyday kind of thing for me--but I want to eat pizza every day! It's a true conundrum. That being the case, I have to find ways to get my pizza fix without totally undoing my long spinning sessions at the gym.

(side story: there was a point in time when Miranda and I literally ate pizza every single day, before she was diagnosed with IC. This was years ago. It was perhaps not our proudest hour)

The easiest way for me to get pizza'd and keep it relatively healthy is to turn to good ol' Amy. Amy's Kitchen makes really tasty organic pizzas in single serving sizes that are great for me when I'm in a pizza pinch. I really like to have one alongside a simple green salad with olive oil and vinegar for dinner after a cardio gym session. They're satisfying and truly delicious; I've never had any other frozen pizza that actually tastes good. I do bake my Amy's pizzas in the oven, rather than heat them up in the microwave, because microwaving pizza is for suckers.

The pies are all under 500 calories, are totally organic, and while they're a little high in fat, it's nothing that makes me run for the hills. The few extra fat grams are totally worth smashing a pizza craving. The Margherita is my favorite.

When I'm not in the mood for frozen pizza and I have a lot of time on my hands, I love to make a honey whole wheat dough and pizza sauce from scratch. Guess how often I have that much time on my hands?

The thing about making dough from scratch is you have to let it rise and knead it out and yadda yadda yadda. Come on. I need pizza now!

The good news is, I came up with a fabulous quick and easy pizza recipe that I turn to when I'm not feeling the Amy's and don't have time for all the kneading and rising.

Check it out:
Flatbread pizza!

This recipe serves one and I enjoy this for under 400 calories! Actually, as long as I keep an eye on the cheese, I can usually make it for just under 300 calories. Unreal!

You'll need:
1 Flatout flatbread. I use the multigrain with flax kind.

1-2 tbsp pizza sauce. I usually have some homemade marinara on hand that I use, but I won't judge if you use jarred sauce. I do it in a pinch.

2 oz. freshly grated part skim mozzarella. I do insist on the freshly grated stuff. There's nothing like a soft mound of freshly grated mozzarella cheese. It totally beats the pre-shredded stuff in the bag that's coated in cornstarch. That stuff will ruin your life.

Garlic salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tsp olive oil

Your favorite pizza toppings. I used mushrooms, onions, sundried tomatoes, and fresh basil!

Cooking spray

Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle a little garlic salt on top. Place the Flatout flatbread on the cookie sheet and spread the olive oil around the edges of the flatbread. Spread the pizza sauce on the flatbread; be careful not to use too much. One tbsp should do it, but you can use a little more if you really like sauce, just remember that the flatbread is relatively thin. Spread the freshly shredded mozzarella on the pie and finish it off with your favorite toppings* and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, top with fresh parmesan cheese and fresh herbs, then cut into quarters and eat it up!

*If you're using fresh herbs like basil on your pizza, sprinkle them on top after the pizza is done. If you put them in the oven they'll burn up!

The whole process from beginning to finish (not including the eating) takes about 20 minutes. This is a great way to eat pizza and keep it healthy. The Flatout flatbreads are about 100-110 calories apiece. Add the sauce, the cheese, and some veggies on top and you have a complete meal!

Like Miranda and Irene, I also really enjoy eating at Mellow Mushroom and Pizza Fusion. Both restaurants have options for people who are looking to keep it healthy. Mellow Mushroom is great because they use part-skim mozzarella; my big thing there is that I have to keep my portions in check. I love their Magical Mystery Tour pizza, add onions, no jalapenos. It has a pesto crust and is loaded with mushrooms. When I go there I get a single serving pie, eat two slices, and save the other two for the next day. Leftover Mellow Mushroom is the best! The slices on the small pies are a good size. I'm still waiting for MM to come out with nutritional information, but several reputable calorie counter sites report that a slice of cheese pizza from MM is around 250 calories, which is pretty awesome. I tend to think they're probably closer to 300 calories apiece. Mellow Mushroom, please come out with nutritional info!

Pizza Fusion has lots of great vegetarian options and they have nutritional information posted on their website (go Pizza Fusion!) Their pies are thin, they offer multigrain crust, and they're mostly organic. It's a win-win-win. I love the Farmer's Market and the Bruschetta single serving pies the best; it's always hard to choose.

So there you have it. There are plenty of weight-friendly pizza options out there for you; after all, a life without pizza is not much of a life at all, is it?


A Big Old Pot of IC Friendly Soup

By Miranda

My husband is sick right now, so naturally he was craving soup for dinner tonight. I have yet to find even an organic canned or packaged soup that doesn't irritate my bladder, and while I could have just made him a can of his own, I decided to take on the challenge of making a big old pot of IC friendly soup that we could both enjoy and would last the next couple of days until he is well. I've actually never made homemade soup before, but it came out really good and it's been two hours and I don't have a flare, so I think I'm in clear!

IC Friendly Chicken Soup with Barley

2 boxes Pacific Natural Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
3 celery stalks
1 large potato
1 bag frozen Columbia River Organics Harvest Trio (carrots, peas, and corn)
2 cups Mother's 100% Whole Grain Barley (cooked)
*You can use noodles or rice instead, but I've been on a barley kick lately
6 cloves garlic
Sea Salt
Garlic Salt

It was actually a pretty simple process. I started out cooking the barley with a pinch of salt for about 14 minutes. While it was cooking I chopped the celery and potato.

I took out a big old pot and sauteed the garlic cloves with some olive oil for a minute. Then I added the celery and carrots and sauteed for another minute. I poured in the chicken broth, sprinkled the parsley, salt, and pepper in, and left it simmering on medium heat for about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, I added the harvest mix (which I had already heated) and let it simmer for 4 more minutes. In the meantime, I heated up 2 whole wheat rolls for dipping. Then added the barley, let it sit for another 3 minutes, and it was ready to serve, after a quick taste-test and approval from Joey.

Mission accomplished.


Sweet Potato!

By Irene

A few days ago I found a delightful surprise in my mailbox-- the most recent edition of my favorite magazine-- Real Simple. I love this magazine because it's not just about food, health, fashion or how to hide craft supplies in a small office space. It's about all of these different things, each of which I am interested in.

This was the first Fall edition, and as always, the cover was beautiful. I felt very ahead of the curve because the East Free Trio has been posting a lot about alternative pizza lately, and Real Simple had a great pizza review. They even had a category for best GF (haven't tried this
pre-made choice yet) and a few that both Miranda and Jaclyn could eat.

As I browsed through the magazine, I saw that they had a nice little feature on sweet potatoes, which I LOVE and I was instantly inspired to make a fun meal using these in-season gems. I decided to use the cover of RS as inspiration for my little meal and chose a "colors of fall" theme. Side note: I also made the choice to make "cheap" my secondary theme.

So, I bought some sweet potatoes for under a dollar a pound and headed home. Sweet potatoes, I learned, are high in lots of healthy nutrients, like Vitamins A and C, Manganese, Copper, Fiber, B6, Iron and Potassium and are fairly low in calories. And, they are also different than yams.

I looked for color in my pantry and found a bag of rice-mix I bought at a local
Chamberlin's by the pound that had lots of colored lentils and black-eyed peas in it and settled on a festive frozen veggie mix in the freezer.

The meal went a little bit like this:

First, I washed and peeled the sweet potatoes. Not sure why I had to wash before peeling, but it just seemed right.

Next, I cut them up into little chunks and put them in a bowl. I thought I was using a big enough bowl, but apparently I wasn't. Since my move I haven't been able to locate my favorite giant salad bowl that I use for mixing large amounts of stuff, so I shoved them all into this normal-sized mixing bowl. Then I coated them with olive oil, a tiny bit of salt, pepper and probably too much brown sugar (if you believe there is such a thing), and stirred untl they were well-coated and I had made a big enough mess.

The sight of the oily, peppery brown sugar at the bottom of the bowl was a sign this would be a wonderful evening. All this time the oven had been pre-heating to 400 and now it was time to pop the puppies in for about 50 minutes.

Next, I got down to business with the rice-mix. I bought it without instructions for cooking or seasoning, so I made it in the standard fashion with one cup of rice and 1.5 cups water. I boiled it and then simmered it for about 25 mins until the water was absorbed and the rice was fluffy. I added olive oil for flavor.

Once the SP had about 25 mins remaining, I took them out to stir the now gooey, aromatic sauce around. I replaced the two minutes on the timer that it took me to stir. They smelled so wonderful I was tempted to eat them half-raw. But I kept on cooking.

Finally, when the SP had about 10 minutes remaining and the rice was off the heat with the lid still on, I opened up those always useful frozen veggies. I heated some olive oil on medium heat and stir-fried them with dried red bell pepper and paprika and black pepper.

Once the veggies were done the meal was ready! It smelled, looked and tasted wonderful (although the rice turned brown when I cooked it) and I felt like my Real Simple inspiration was shining through. The SP were sweet and yummy, the veggies full of flavor and the rice was hearty and satisfying! Here is the result:

Take a cue from me and enjoy the colors of food no matter what your inspiration. My next post will be coming soon...plan on a run down of low-sodium and GF key-ingredients.


The IC Friendly Pizza Sauce Conundrum

By Miranda

Recently, Irene wrote about the pursuit of a good gluten free pizza crust (read all about it here). As I was reading her post, I was thinking about how similar the Gluten-Free-Pizza-Crust-Puzzle is to what I consider the IC-Friendly-Pizza-Sauce-Conundrum.

For starters, I'll talk about what is, in my opinion, the best IC take-out or restaurant pizza. Ironically enough, I concur with Irene. The winner is:

Mellow Mushroom!

For a long time after I went on the IC diet, going out for pizza seemed like a thing of the distant, delicious past. That was until I discovered that Mellow Mushroom has an IC friendly pizza option!

For one thing, they make their pizza using spring water, which is an IC staple because it has a higher pH than tap or purified water. I'll talk more about the importance of spring water in another post at another time. But trust me, pizza crust made with spring water is a very good thing.

As for pizza options, Mellow Mushroom's "Build Your Own" pizza section is excellent.

First you get to choose your base. I go with olive oil & garlic, but pesto is also an option. I haven't tried their pesto because I am afraid it could have lemon juice or citric acid in it, and furthermore, I love the olive oil & garlic base enough that it's what I crave when I go there.

Next comes the fruits & veggies option. I like mine simple, so I just get black olives. Sometimes I'll get fresh basil, too. They have a whole selection of other options, plenty of which are IC friendly.

As for cheese. I go with regular mozzarella or fresh mozzarella. If you have IC and haven't tried mozzarella to see if you can tolerate it, you might want to try. I avoided it for a long time out of fear, but eventually discovered that it doesn't make me flare at all. Talk about a relief!

They also have some safe protein options, including chicken and turkey, but I have never liked meat on my pizza, so I usually leave it at that.

*If you can't tolerate Parmesan, make sure to let your server know because they sprinkle it on the crust of all their pizzas!*

I always order the personal sized 10" pizza, and I usually have leftovers for the next day. It works out great because my husband can order his own "regular" pizza and we can enjoy the meal together. Or sometimes we'll share an IC friendly pizza and he'll just get a side of tomato sauce for dipping. Either way, we both win!

Mellow Mushroom is one of the only restaurants where the whole Eat Free Trio can go together and all order the same meal, tailored to our specific dietary needs. I would rate them a 10 out of 10 and give their pizza the Eat Free Seal of Approval!

Check out the full menu, here.


I'd also like to mention my 2nd Runner Up in the take-out/restaurant category:

Pizza Fusion!

Pizza Fusion serves up fresh, organic, earth friendly pizza. They also have organic beer and wine, if you are able to tolerate either. They have a great selection and atmosphere, and their prices are reasonable. I order the exact same pizza there that I do at Mellow Mushroom, and I enjoy it every time!

Check out their menu here.


As for at home pizza, after trying my Mellow Mushroom creation, I realized I could probably re-create it easily at home. I have done so many times since.

Miranda's IC Friendly Pizza


Boboli Whole Wheat pizza crust
Organic shredded mozzarella
Organic olive oil
Olivio butter
Organic garlic salt
Organic garlic powder
McCormick All Natural Garlic & Basil seasoning
Organic black olives
Organic spinach leaves

Pre-heat oven to 350°

*I have found that Boboli whole wheat pizza crust works great for me.

The first thing I do to prepare my pizza is lightly cover the crust with butter and then sprinkle it with garlic salt. Then I spread olive oil over the entire center of the pizza and sprinkle garlic powder and and garlic & basil seasoning over it. I add a layer of spinach over the olive oil and then cover it with mozzarella. Finally, I add the black olives on top.

I bake for 8 minutes and then enjoy!

So as it turns out, pizza doesn't have to be a thing of the distant, delicious past. It's actually quite attainable. Just think about all the things you like about pizza besides the sauce, and hopefully you can make your own, safe, delicious pizza at home.


Summer Lovin': Grilled Avocado

By Jaclyn

Avocados are one of those awesome-for-you foods that got a bad rap for awhile in the weight-loss/management community because they're high in fat. The thing is, they're high in good fats that your body needs in order to, y'know, function correctly. It's important to keep in mind that eating foods with healthy natural fats helps keep you sated for longer and helps healthy brain function. Aside from all that good fat, avocados contain 20 essential nutrients.

I'll tell you something else about avocados. They're freaking delicious.

This grilled avocado recipe was suggested to me by my professional chef/writer friend Holly, and it is simple, summery, and it makes a great light lunch alongside a bean salad.

Grilled Avocado:
Serves 2

1 California avocado, cut in half
1 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Lemon juice

For garnish:
Reduced Fat Sour Cream

Brush olive oil and lemon juice on avocado halves and place halves facedown on a grill pan set to medium-high heat. You might want to use a bit of cooking spray on the pan to keep the avocado halves from sticking. Using a spatula, check the halves for grill marks after about two minutes and from there, cook to suit your grill mark preference. I like my marks to be on the darker side, so I kept my avocado half on there for close to five minutes.

Once the grill marks are to your liking, remove from heat and hit the halves with salt and pepper immediately. Garnish with a dollop of reduced fat sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt) and a dollop of fresh salsa.

I had one half of a grilled avocado with a side of red beans mixed with tomato, onion, pineapple, and reduced fat feta cheese.

All was well with the world.


Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of a Good Pizza Pie!

By Irene

It was just about a year ago that I decided to go gluten free. I had been suffering for months with random ailments that together didn't make any sense and was at my wits end. As I was sitting in my living room exhausted after twelve hours of sleep and sore with aches and pains, I flipped the station to my stand-by, the Food Network. Some sort of cooking competition in which the contestants were asked to prepare a meal for a gluten-free client was on and as the client began to describe the woes of gluten intolerance, my ears perked. This was me! Exactly in that moment! As she spoke of the sore joints and grogginess I was sore and groggy!

After doing some internet research (as always) I called up my boyfriend and declared that I was going gluten-free. His reply basically summed up what was to become my struggle: "Okay," he said, "but we have so much fun cooking together. And what about pizza?" I craved bread for the first week (and everyone of my facebook friends knew it), and then I got over it. Sadly, the lament for pizza didn't go away. I think that most everyone who lives GF would agree that the standard for GF pizza remains pretty low.

I've been to pizzerias with GF owners that exude passion but serve up crust that's somehow both soggy and hard as a rock. I've tried mealy frozen crusts that cost me well over $15 for a meal for two after basic ingredients and I've experimented with most everything far and in-between. What I wanted was a soft, fluffy, hearty crust that would support both sauce and cheese and fill me up without breaking the bank. Recently the pizza gods have smiled down on me and I feel that I've made a few breakthroughs. This post is designed to provide you with my newest findings and open up a discussion on what REALLY works and what simply doesn't. Feel free to email us at eatfreetrio@gmail.com with your opinions!

Best Make at Home Crust:

Chebe Bread Pizza Crust found here
and in bulk on Amazon here

This amazing little product is very affordable and can easily be made vegan (just use egg replacer and almond milk!) or dairy free (almond milk works well). It has delicious Italian seasonings in it and sustains a whole load of toppings. To stay vegan or dairy free, try almond cheese shredded or thin sliced. it got the seal of approval from my boyfriend, who loves delivery pizza and he declared it the best GF so far.

Pictured below is the Chebe crust with Ragu pizza sauce, mozzarella, half roasted red peppers and half black olives all sprinkled with minced garlic and olive oil.

Best Take-out or Restaurant Pizza:

Mellow Mushroom!

Mellow Mushroom just started serving GF pizza and so far theirs flies high above the competition. Eating in a pizzeria used to be torture for me- watching diners indulge in cheesy gooey pizza while I ate a salad or crunchy GF alternative wasn't exactly my idea of fun. Thanks to MM I can go enjoy the experience and not feel left out at all. The only downfall is that as of now there is only one size provided (I'm guessing that they order pre-made crusts) and it's just big enough to share a meal with my boyfriend. If one of us has a really hungry day, we have to splurge on an appetizer to feel full.

Pizza is delicious and can be healthy, and I believe that the opportunity to enjoy a good pie is a natural born right. So go ahead, eat some pizza, and let me know what you think :)

Low Acid Honey Garlic Chicken

By Miranda

This is my husband, Joey:

Joey is a pretty typical American guy when it comes to food. He likes his meat & potatoes, he prefers chicken over chocolate, he would put hot sauce on everything if I didn't remind him it was a bad idea, and I am pretty certain he'd eat at Wendy's at least 5 times a week if he was still a bachelor. Despite all that, one of his very favorite meals is my IC Friendly Honey Garlic Chicken.

Joey and I had only been dating a few months when I got my first severe IC flare. Although it took awhile for me to be properly diagnosed, I was aware that I needed to be careful about what I was eating and I could tell that acidic food made everything feel much worse. I started changing my diet a little on my own right away, expecting that it was temporary and that I'd go back to my normal regiment once someone finally figured out what was wrong with me. Then, about 5 months later, I found a urogynecologist who put me on the IC diet within 5 minutes of meeting me. The permanence of the change obviously devastated me, and I know that it affected Joey immediately as well. Suddenly, we couldn't eat at many of the restaurants we had previously enjoyed, and he felt guilty eating anything that I could no longer have. "Get ready for a lifestyle change," is what the doctor said to me. She wasn't kidding.

I would estimate that it took at least a year for us to get used to the diet change. Now he has learned that it is okay for him to still enjoy foods that I can't have because it doesn't mean he is rubbing it in my face, and I have learned how to prepare meals that we can both enjoy. I know that if I asked him to, he would never eat another piece of chocolate and he would only eat tomato-based products when I wasn't around. But for me it was never about taking anything away from him; it was about learning to cope so we could both be happy. Sometimes this means preparing our dishes slightly differently, other times it just means adapting old recipes that we both liked so that they are safe for me. We used to get bummed out about food together all the time; now we get excited about eating and trying new recipes on a regular basis.

This dish, in particular, is a big hit on both ends.

Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

First I get 1 cup of organic long grain brown rice cooking. The kind I use takes about an hour so I start with that.

For the 2 of us, I use:

1/2 cup rice
1 cup spring water
1-1/2 tsp. Olivio butter
1 tsp. organic garlic salt

I cook it all together, covered, for 50 minutes and then let it sit in the covered pot for another 10 minutes.


Next, I set the oven to 350° and get out my ingredients for the chicken:

8 organic boneless, skinless chicken tenderloin strips
3 tbsp. organic orange blossom honey
2 tsp. organic garlic powder
1 tsp. garlic pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. turmeric
Organic sesame seeds

First I cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. I put all the ingredients in a Ziploc bag and shake them up.

I cover a pan with aluminum foil and spread the chicken out. Then I sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken. Finally, I drizzle it with a little more honey, just because I love honey oh so much.

I cook the chicken for about 40 minutes, monitoring it between 30-40 to make sure it doesn't overcook.


For the vegetables, I use:

1 bag Steamfresh frozen broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, & water chestnuts (no seasoning)

In my opinion, this is the best possible veggie option for this meal. I prefer to heat the veggies in a separate dish or on the stove and not in the plastic bag.


Bringing it all together:

I take a large skillet and heat a small amount of organic sesame oil to medium high (but I have to be careful because it gets hot fast and has potential to burn and ruin the night, trust me).

I add the other items to the oil, one at a time, starting with the vegetables, then the chicken, and finally the rice. I'll usually add a little more honey to the mix at this time, but that might be overkill for some!

I saute it all for a short time and then it's ready to be served and enjoyed by IC patients and regulars guys alike!


Falafel Me Delicious

By Jaclyn

I first had falafel when I was 18 or so, in a tiny hole-in-the-wall Lebanese dive in Gainesville, Florida that served it up hot to order alongside the best french fries I've ever had. The combination of spicy hot falafel, creamy tahini dressing, and bright, crunchy veggies sang on my tongue. I was visiting the city in bad company, but the falafel--the falafel made it all worth it.

Of course, traditional deep-fried falafel doesn't meet my bottom line. It enlarges my bottom line. Or something.

Er, moving on.

This lower fat falafel recipe uses whole wheat flour instead of white to bind the dough and is browned quickly on the stovetop, then transferred to a hot oven to bake off, and is wrapped up in a whole wheat pita.

I made it with a throw-together Israeli salad and some tahini dressing. It would also be great with a tzatziki, which I would have made if I hadn't accidentally killed all the fresh dill in my garden.


I adapted this recipe from Eunice, who made it after I suggested, via Twitter, trying it out in her new food processor. Then I saw her pictures and decided that I needed to make my own. Go, social networking!

For the falafel, you'll need:
1 cup of canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (I didn't have this and neither did Publix. FML)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin (which makes life worth living)
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons of canola oil
mini whole wheat pita bread

For the Israeli salad:

1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

For the tahini dressing:

1 tbsp tahini puree. It's expensive, but very worth it. I use it when I make homemade hummus all the time.
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt or reduced fat sour cream. I used sour cream because that's what I have.
1-2 tbsp warm water, depending on how thin you want your dressing
Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place chickpeas and onions in food processor. Add parsley, cilantro, salt, crushed red pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed. If you're like me, be lazy and use your mini prep processor instead of the big pain in the ass one, then give yourself more work to do because it won't all fit in the mini. Hate yourself.
  • Sprinkle in the baking powder and flour and pulse. Place the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours. Or, like, 45 minutes, if you're impatient and hungry. It'll be fine.
  • Form the chickpea mixture into patties about 2-3″ in diameter. The thinner your patties, the more crunch you'll get. Trust me. Especially if you were impatient and didn't let your mixture chill for a long time.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a frying pan and lightly brown the falafel on both sides, then put them on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes.
While all that is happening, toss the ingredients for the Israeli salad together in a bowl, and whisk the ingredients for the tahini dressing with a fork.

When your falafels are done, put 3-4 patties in a warm whole wheat pita, spoon some Israeli salad in the pita, and top the whole thing off with a drizzle of the tahini dressing.

Oh, did you happen to notice my little side of fries? Yes, those are baked too. I just sliced a very small Russet potato into wedges, tossed it in a bit of olive oil, with salt, pepper, and parsley, and baked them off while my falafel baked. I dipped them in the leftover tahini dressing.

This is a nutritious, filling lunch or dinner, reminiscent of the deep-fried stuff, but it's much lower in fat than your normal falafel and fries, and it really satisfies the craving. Eat it up!


Culture Shock: The No-Acid Pasta Solution

By Miranda

I am Italian-American. I grew up eating pasta with tomato sauce at le
ast twice a week. One Sunday a month, my mother would make a huge pot of sauce. I will never forget how the aroma of the sauce cooking would make it's way through the house and wake me up or the midday meatballs my sister and I would steal from the pot and eat together on the couch. We'd have pasta with garlic bread for dinner that night, leftovers the next, and freeze the rest to use throughout the month.

This was such a fond part of my childhood and adolescence that I find myself automatically craving spaghetti with sauce on Sunday's, even thou
gh it's been almost three years since I have even tasted tomato sauce. Next to chocolate, tomatoes were the most difficult to give up when I first went on the IC diet. Unfortunately, they were also the most necessary to give up because of their acidity. One day, I am going to grow my own low acid tomatoes and maybe make some sauce, but until that day comes, I have had to go without.

When I was first faced with the IC diet, I actually didn't want to eat pasta at all because I found it too depressing and pasta without sauce seemed sacrilegious! Now I am finally able to enjoy Sunday evening pasta dinners with my husband because I have found that eating pasta without tomato sauce is better than no pasta at all. I can't say that I've found the perfect solution for this craving (I am not sure one exists) but over time, I have learned to appreciate pasta prepared a few different ways, and luckily for me, I can still eat garlic bread!

The following recipe is only semi-homemade, as many of my recipes are. Three years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of heating anything that would go on pasta from a jar, but when I am too exhausted or all flared up, I am now willing to make things easier on myself. For me, that is one of the lessons I have learned from living with chronic pain; I am constantly figuring out how to cope and adapt to situations
as they present themselves and cooking has been on the top of that list.


2 cups prepared organic whole wheat pasta

1/2 cup Gia Russa Alfredo sauce

1 tbsp homemade pesto (made by Jaclyn)
*Beware store bought pesto--it often contains citric acid!

I just boil the pasta for about 10 minutes and drain it. Then heat the Alfredo and pesto together until warm and toss it with the pasta. It's an incredibly easy, and extremely tasty Sunday
evening Italian treat!

**If I am feeling up to it, I will add a
little Parmesan on top, but Parmesan is not always IC friendly, so be careful. Alfredo is also not safe for everyone, but I have found that this particular brand works for me.


My IC Pantry

Photo by Joey Scotti

By Miranda

As not onl
y an IC patient, but an OCD patient as well, I find comfort in order and certainty. So one of the first things I did when I started to develop my IC diet was to create my own essential IC pantry. These are the spices, extracts, and extras that I use on a daily basis in my cooking. They are the items that I consider so important, that you should never be able to walk into my kitchen and not be able to find them. They have all proven to be safe for my sensitivities (of course, what is safe for one IC patient is not always safe for the next).

I encourage all chronic pain patients to develop their own "essential pantries" filled with the goodies they have found to be safe and that they love to use in their cooking.

My Essential IC Pantry:

Sea salt
Organic sesame seeds
McCormick Perfect Pinch garlic pepper (No MSG)
Simply Organic garlic salt
Simply Organic garlic powder
Simply Organic cumin
All Natural olive oil
Organic sesame oil
Organic canola oil
Olivio butter
Natural sliced almonds
Ian's All Natural panko bread crumbs
Al natural baking soda
Florida Crystals organic brown sugar
Pure cane sugar
Vanilla sugar
Flavorganics vanilla syrup
Simply Organic vanilla extract
Organic almond butter
Local orange blossom honey

It's always hard when you first go on the IC diet and have to throw away pretty much everything in your pantry. That's why I decided to make a fun sort of game out of developing a whole new, healthy, all-natural pantry that is customized just for me! Finding the right items takes time and patience, but in the end, it's a great feeling to look in your closet and see a bunch of products that you can eat, feel good about, and watch the selection grow over time.