Cooking for the Sensitive Gut

Modifying recipes to suit your sensitive gut

Starting a Low FODMAP diet can be challenging, particularly when you are cooking for a family who may not have the same problems with food as you.

Learning to modify your family’s favourite recipes to make them Low FODMAP is a simple way to avoid cooking multiple different meals each night.

In this recipe the green, tender part of young leek have been used instead of onions because they are low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs). Onions are one of the ingredients which contain the highest levels of FODMAPs It is a nutritious recipe which is easy to make – a great family meal. I love this one pot meal as it has the vegetables in the pot with the meat. What could be simpler?

Shredded ham hock, with kale

Kale is one green vegetable most people with a sensitive gut can eat. Its dark green frilly leaves are a rich source of beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, fibre and potassium which all help to keep us healthy.

Kale teams up well with a slow cooked ham hock which produces a flavoursome stock. If you have extra stock from cooking the ham you can use it in soups or freeze it for use later.

Ham is also delicious with a few canned lentils which can be tolerated by most people as the fermentable carbohydrates leach out of the lentils during the canning process. If you are not keen on lentils you can leave them out. This sort of meal is ideal to cook at the weekend to be eaten the following week.

 Serves 4


For the ham hock

  • 1 small ham hock weighing about 860 g
  • 1 green part of leek
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed and roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 bay leaf 

To make the shredded ham hock with lentils

  • 50 g tender green leaves from a leek, finely chopped
  • 1 carrots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g celeriac, peeled and diced
  • 100 g canned lentils
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled cut 2cm/1 in dice
  • a large handful of kale, stalks removed and shredded
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place the ham hock in a large saucepan with the roughly chopped carrot, leek leaf and celery stalk. Cover with water and add the bay leaf. Bring the ham to the boil and simmer gently for 1 ½ hours, or longer if you have the time. Remove the saucepan from the heat allowing it to cool a little before lifting the ham hock from the stock.

When the ham hock is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and remove any fat and visible skin. Strain the cooking liquid and set on one side.

Add the olive oil to a large pan and add the chopped leek leaves, sliced carrot and celeriac and cook gently for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add 600 ml of cooking liquid from the ham hock to the vegetables and add the canned lentils.

Add the shredded kale and ham to the stock and simmer for five minutes. Season the dish and serve in bowls scattered with parsley and a pot of mustard on the table.

Other tips for modifying recipes (but keeping the whole family happy) 

  • Use the Monash Low FODMAP app to identify high FODMAP ingredients in your recipes and substitute them for a similar, low FODMAP alternative.
  • Cook high FODMAP ingredients separately and stir through at the end of cooking after removing your low FODMAP serving.

For more information about IBS and how to manage your sensitive gut you might like to get a copy of our book Cooking for the Sensitive Gut available at Amazon

Cover for the book from Pavilion


or go to the IBS Network 

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 19.17.36


This entry was written by Joan Ransley and published on February 26, 2017 at 3:23 pm. It’s filed under Dinner, Lunch, soup, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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