One of the perks of getting to attend the Biocodex Foundation Kickoff event was experiencing the amazing food in Paris. On our second night, we were treated to a beautiful meal at Les Deux Magots, an iconic Parisian treat with an up close and personal view of the oldest cathedral in Paris. (When I told my friend who lives in Paris that we were going there for dinner, his response was, “Fancy pants.” I’ll take it!)My last course of the evening — lamb saddle on a bed of house made ratatouille — is what inspired today’s recipe. I’ll go ahead and say up front that virtually nothing in this multi-course meal was “SIBO-friendly” — especially the dessert platter — but this dish was pretty close. I worked around the onions, but I know I ate a lot of garlic. That being said, I put my entire protocol on hiatus for the week that I was in France. I won’t say I went completely nuts — I did what I could to choose wisely — but there was no way that I was going to be there and not enjoy fresh baked goods or the amazing cultural delicacies this beautiful country has to offer. To be honest, I didn’t experience any digestive consequences until the very last full day. And I view that as a testament to how diligent I’d been before going. BUT, I digress…
Here’s the main course, paired with a perfect Rhone from Chateau La Borie:
Why is this a SIBO-Friendly Recipe?
This is a SIBO-friendly recipe because it features vegetables that are allowable in “unlimited” quantities: eggplant, peppers, yellow squash, tomatoes, capers, and olives. I also left out the major offenders: garlic and onions, which are traditionally included. I chose to use yellow squash instead of zucchini, because while zucchini is allowable in certain quantities, I wanted this to be a recipe that those dealing with SIBO could enjoy without measuring anything. And also because I just picked those glorious yellow delights from my backyard garden and wanted to use them! That being said, if you prefer zucchini, feel free to switch it out, bearing in mind that a serving is 3/4 cups. Check out my SIBO Diet Short List for a list of other veggies you can eat “unlimited” on the SIBO Diet, along with some helpful cooking guidelines and a list of resources from experts in the field.
The trick with converting a garlic or onion-heavy dish to a SIBO-friendly version is to make smart substitutions. To do this, I employed lots of green onions (allowable without the white part) and then topped the dish off with garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil, which is SIBO-legal. And I added them both at the end of the cooking process to ensure that the they retained as much of their flavor as possible.
If you don’t have dairy allergies, hard cheeses that have been aged for at least one month are acceptable on the SIBO Diet. I was thrilled to find an adorable cheese shop in Bordeaux that vacuum-sealed customer purchases so that they would remain fresh and in-tact on a transatlantic flight. They were also kind enough to let me hang out and take some pictures of the goods. It was very very difficult to narrow down my purchases, but I did end up with a truffle-infused Pecorino that I grated on top of my SIBO-friendly Ratatouille to add double the umami. It was truly a divine addition.
Cooking on High Heat
I cooked my SIBO-friendly Ratatouille mostly on high heat, because I started the process a little later than I’d intended, and I wanted to get dinner on the table at a decent hour. It turned out great and ended up becoming a 30-minute meal, which works out for all of us, but it’s important that you use the right cooking oil if you plan to follow my lead. I used avocado oil, which is able to withstand high temperatures much better than EVOO.
These days, if I want an olive oil flavor, I usually cook with something else (like water, avocado oil, or ghee) and then add in some EVOO as a topper once I turn off the fire. This way, I get the flavor and nutrients without risking burning the oil and turning it from healthful to carcinogenic. Consider practicing that in your next few meals and see how it goes. It might take a little bit of an adjustment, but it will be worth the health benefits. And if you have a really good olive oil, you’ll likely notice that you taste more of the olive oil flavor while using less of it in your food.
More Food Pics!
I thought about using this post to share more exciting food pics from my trip to France, but then I realized that since most of them aren’t SIBO-friendly, that would kind of be cruel. SO, if you’d like to check out some of the glorious treats that I enjoyed (or at least enjoyed photographing), head over to my Instagram and flip your way through. There are some real works of art from Bordeaux in particular that you should check out.
- 3 tbs avocado oil [Buy avocado oil]
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 large yellow squash or zucchini (the one I used was so big I had to core it -- if yours are smaller, consider adding 2 or 3)
- 1 bell pepper (I used orange)
- 1/2 cup bone broth (Mine was homemade and pre-salted. You can adjust your salt based on how salty your own broth is)
- 2 cups POMI strained or chopped tomatoes [Buy POMI]
- 2 tbs capers
- 8-10 black olives
- 1 full bunch scallions (green part only)
- 1 cup loose fresh chopped herbs (I used fresh oregano, sage, and parsley from the CWB garden)
- 1-2 tsp Real Salt or pink salt
- 2 tbs garlic-infused EVOO [Buy garlic-infused EVOO]
- Cube all the veggies
- Chop scallions and fresh herbs (and set aside)
- Heat a very large frypan before adding avocado oil on medium heat
- Add cubed eggplant, squash, and pepper
- Stir to ensure that all veggies are exposed to the heated oil and turn up the heat to high
- Stir in bone broth and cover for 5 minutes
- Uncover and stir in tomatoes
- Cook on high, stirring regularly for another 15 minutes (reducing things down)
- Coarsely chop the olives while everything is cooking
- Add in capers and olives
- Once all veggies are softened, turn off the heat and add in the freshly chopped scallions and herbs)
- Finish with 2 tbs garlic-infused EVOO (or drizzle on individual servings)
- This dish is amazing served warm as a side dish or as a base for 1/2 a cup of white rice or quinoa and a delicious cut of meat. You can also eat it cold as a Sicilian-style caponata with SIBO-approved rice crackers once you reach that phase of your protocol.
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