With its prohibition of citrus and strict limits on vinegar and oil, the low-acid diet does not make it easy to eat salad. Most of the salads I make use quinoa as a base instead of lettuce. To dress a green salad lightly and still enjoy it, you need to add something that keeps the palate interested.
Two textures made this salad a success: kale chips and ginger. The baked kale adds a salty, bitter crunch, while the grated ginger makes the dressing both thick and spicy. If you don’t feel like making kale chips, I suggest using toasted almonds as an alternative (but less interesting) crunchy topper.
Kale chips are easy to make. This was my first time trying it because in the past I’ve been too lazy to go through the effort of drying the kale. These leaves weren’t totally dry, so some of the chips stayed green instead of turning brown. I was happy to discover that the green chips were just as crunchy as the browned ones.
- 4 to 5 cups packed kale leaves
- olive oil spray
- sea salt
- 2 cups baby spinach/arugula mix
- 1/2 cup chopped snow peas or snap peas
- 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
- handful of cilantro leaves
- 1/2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce (gluten-free if desired)
- 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- pinch of onion powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the kale from the stems and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry well in a salad spinner. Then dry the leaves completely on a towel.
- Arrange the kale in a single layer on 2 large baking sheets, and coat with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and cook for 10 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven when some of the pieces are very brown, even if some of the other pieces are still green.
- While the kale is baking, add greens, peas, pepper, and cilantro to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, oil, honey, ginger, and onion powder. Stir well.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss well to coat. Arrange the salad on a large plate.
- When the kale chips are done, sprinkle a few on top of the salad and serve.
- Store extra kale chips at room temperature.
Serves 1. Active time 15 minutes; total time 20 minutes.
Punjab Cafe was highly recommended by a friend who’s been eating there since childhood. It took me a while to try it because there’s a good Indian restaurant closer to the subway station (in Quincy, a few miles south of Boston). But after trying this incredible food, I doubt I’ll go back to the other place.
I ordered Dal Makhni on my first visit, and it was so great that I got it the next time too. This dish has black lentils cooked with mild spices and topped with fresh cilantro. The lentils have the perfect bite, and the sauce is herbaceous without being spicy. This combination can be difficult to find on a curry-filled menu. Also, the long-grain rice is fragrant and so delicious. During my first meal here, I found a whole cardamom pod in the rice bowl, so I knew it was legit.
I didn’t order an appetizer, but every table gets a trio of dips with crispy cumin-seed crackers. The crackers are flavorful, but I don’t recommend the dips for GERD—they are all acidic and spicy.
This meal was a restaurant win, but only because I was careful. I didn’t order appetizers or any buttery, filling naan. And although I ate my entire dish of dal, I didn’t have a ton of rice. (Overfilling the stomach is a common cause of acid reflux.) If you can resist the curries and keep yourself from digging into the dips, you can have a reflux-free Indian meal.
I love adding fresh fruit to oatmeal during cooking—it breaks up into sweet little pieces of flavor. I’m still enamored with raspberries, since recently discovering that they’re OK for heartburn, and they’re a new way to change up my oatmeal.
If you want to use frozen bananas or berries, I’d recommend adding them during the first step instead of the second. Other than that, I can’t think of anything that could go wrong in this recipe. It’s fast and easy to make even when I’m half-asleep in the morning.
- 1/3 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
- 2/3 cup almond or soy milk
- 2 tsp brown sugar or honey
- 1/8 tsp vanilla
- 1 small ripe banana, sliced
- 1/3 cup raspberries
- Mix the oats, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds.
- Add the sliced banana and raspberries and stir. Microwave for 2 more minutes. Stir and allow to cool for a minute before eating.
Serves 1. Active time 3 minutes; total time 6 minutes.
Want to make soup, but don’t have any broth? Miso paste is a convenient alternative. It’s also a lot less expensive; a cream-cheese-sized tub is only a few dollars, and it doesn’t go bad.
This soup is simple, fragrant, and filling. My bowl was full to the brim, yet all with healthy ingredients. All of the vegetables can be substituted with what you have, as well. This is the type of easy meal I want to throw together on a frigid winter day. I’d say it’s great to serve to a sick loved one, except that the noodles necessitate the use of chopsticks along with a spoon. That may be too much effort for someone who’s under the weather!
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup frozen edamame
- 3 heads baby bok choy, chopped
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 3 tbsp miso paste
- 3.5 oz soba noodles
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Put water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Add carrots, edamame, bok choy, ginger, and onion powder to the boiling water, and turn down heat to a simmer. Add miso and stir until distributed. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a separate pot, boil 4 cups of water and add the soba noodles. Boil for 5 minutes (or according to package directions). Drain and divide into 2 soup bowls.
- Pour the soup over the noodles, splitting the liquid and vegetables evenly into the 2 bowls. Drizzle each bowl with half of the sesame oil, and top with cilantro before serving.
Serves 2. Active time 25 minutes; total time 30 minutes. Adapted from http://www.theconsciousdietitian.com/all-recipes/japanese-miso-and-soba-noodle-soup/