Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CHG Asks the Internet: Fat-free Recipes for Gallbladder Surgery?

Hi everybody! Today marks the first installment of an experimental, semi-frequent advice column, CHG Asks the Internet. Alexis writes in:

Q: I just found out I have to have my gallbladder out in three weeks and my surgeon said I cannot eat any fat until then... I usually cook low-fat, but no-fat is a little daunting. Do you have a list of recipes with no fat at all in them? I plain to look through all of your recipes, but if you have a list, it would sure be easier!

A: Alexis, Mango Salsa, Chunky Applesauce, Cranberry Relish, and several of our drink recipes all have less than 0.4 grams of fat per serving, which is a good start. Beyond that, I might check FatFree Vegan Kitchen. It's absolutely friggin' loaded with fat-free dishes, and Leigh (of Veggie Might fame) is a big fan. I’m positive you’ll find something stellar in their Recipe Index.

Readers, what do you think? What are your favorite fat-free dishes? Do you know any good recipe sources for Alexis? This one's a toughy, and the comment section is wide open.

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comments, or send your query to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Meghan said...

Alexis, I feel your pain. I had my gallbladder out several years ago and it was unpleasant. I basically subsisted on oatmeal and apple sauce until my surgery because pretty much all else gave me attacks. I hope all goes well for you!

Vegan mommy said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your surgery. Ugh. I found this recipe in an old PETA cookbook. It is ff and delicious.

BBQ Chickpeas
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 jar pasta sauce
1/3c molasses
1/4c onion, diced

Spray a 11X13" cooking dish w/ spray to avoid sticking. Combine all the ingredients. Pour into casserole dish. Bake covered at 350F for 60 minutes. Serve over brown rice. It sounds strange, but it is really tasty.



For me it was easy. I ate pureed fruits and vegetables - RAW (blended). I steamed vegetables and drank plenty of tea and fruit-juices.

I took Cascara Sagrada once a day to remain regular; no bloating and no constipation.

The good thing was, by the time my three weeks was up, my gall bladder was working perfectly, so it was never taken out (that was 7 years ago).

I continued to keep on a raw diet; I then ate cottage cheese (no fat) and drank soy milk to avoid fat; still get protein.

I never EVER eat bacon or cured meats; nothing that's highly spiced, and never EVER eat any nuts because that fouls me up as well.

I never eat ice cream which also provoked my attacks also.

Maybe you'll get lucky as I did; three weeks of 'no attacks', and you might be able to disregard the surgery after all.

I have two aunts who had their gall bladder out; they say food just 'runs right through them', and they now have to watch their diet as well, so I'd rather keep mine and control it as I've done.


Claire Dawson said...

My husband had his out last year. We went with a lot of simple pasta and red sauce recipes, steaming the veggies instead of sauteeing them, and using the lowest fat, well-trimmed chicken breasts we could. Oatmeal's good for breakfast, with maple syrup and skim milk and fruit. Also try steamed rice or other grains with dried fruit and spices, or steamed veggies and meat. You can get fat free tortillas and black beans, too, for something Southwest-style. Applesauce is great, too, but try combining it with fat free cottage cheese or yogurt. Baked squash can make a meat substitute, especially with beans as a protein.

Anna said...

I have successfully adapted my diet to avoid the surgery. The key was the same- low fat food until the stones passed or went "silent."
I ate a lot of chicken and rice, plain. Blech, but it worked.
Also beware of things that take more effort digesting like lettuce. I didn't expect it to be a problem, but it was!
I didn't eat many beans at the time, but I bet they would be a good choice.
Basically, I advise just cooking simply, without a lot of extra fat.

Juliana said...

I think I'd go with simple veggie-grain stews (mmm barley stew). Most of those, if you use fat free stocks, only have fat added in the very beginning when you saute the onions/garlic. When I'm feeling particularly health-crazed I will sort of steam the onions instead, using just enough stock to keep them from burning and covering the pot til they're translucent, then adding the usual ingredients. You could do the same thing with recipes for pureed squash/pumpkin soup, too. That might be a nice change from oatmeal.

HeatherP said...

I really liked a pack of tuna mixed with the Simply Steam Garden Vegetable Medley it was low fat and tasted wonderful together. I still eat it now. I also got a big bag of potatoes and ate those with meals. Another favorite was non fat frozen yogurt. Of course I ate other things, but these are the ones that stick out.

ErinM said...

I don't know if canned tuna is an option, but one of my favorite quick meals is to take a 3 oz can of tuna, put on A LOT of pepper, a few shots of siracha/chili garlic sauce or hot sauce if that's your thing, then make a bag of boil in a bag rice (or use regular rice, but I always found that the boil in a bag made just the right amount), add to tuna, mix and eat. Keeps you full for a very long time!

mgaltier said...

My fave breakfast qualifies: fat-free cottage cheese and fat-free yogurt mixed with frozen fruit. You could also do smoothies with skim milk and frozen fruit. And lots of salad with balsamic. Odd as this may sound, I've recently been enjoying baby carrots dipped in mustard, which would also qualify.

Good luck!

Hannah @ CookingManager.Com said...

I just posted a recipe that can easily be adapted, as long as eggs aren't a problem: Cottage Cheese and Noodles. Use non-fat cottage cheese and bake in a non-stick pan.

If eggs are a problem these two vegan recipes could work. Soften the chopped onions in the microwave instead of in oil:

Lentils with Onions and Garlic

Chickpea Stew with Tomatoes
Wishing you a complete recovery.

Kristin said...

Spring rolls can be made fat free. Or you could make a salad of lettuce, tomato, shredded carrots, green onion, rice noodles, cucumbers, mint or cilantro and maybe some bean sprouts. Make a dressing with fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce and rice vinegar. If you can eat chicken breast or shrimp toss some in also. Try smoothies or poached eggs. Baked potatoes with fat free yogurt or fat free cottage cheese and salsa. Beans can easily be made tasty without fat. Maybe a taco made from fat free black beans with some green salsa inside a corn tortilla.

CJ said...

When making rice, cook it in stock or tomato juice along with seasonings to add flavor.

Substitute fruit butters for fats on your toast.

Use your blender to make sauces to go over pasta dishes (ex.: saute mushrooms, onion. Add some stock and fresh herbs. Puree= sauce)

You'll feel so much better after your surgery. Sending wishes of wellness and easy sailing.

CJ said...

Forgot to add-
Condiments add great flvor punch.
Worchestershire, soy sauce, flavored vinegars and balsamics, mustards, lemon, citrus, juices, etc.

Brush honey mustard on boneless, skinless chicken breasts and roll in bread crumbs. Bake until golden and chicken is cooked through. It is delicious- even if you're not having gall bladder surgery.

You can also season buttermilk (garlic, herbs) and dip boneless, skinless chicken breasts in it, then roll in crumbs of your choice and seasoning.
Good stuff.

Use buttermilk as a salad dressing base, rather than mayonnaise or oils.

Soups always hit the spot- especially during cold weather. Fortify them with a little cooked rice, grains or macaroni in the bottom of the bowl.

Anonymous said...

I had my gallbladder out several years ago. Most cereals are no fat. I lived on a variety of cereals with skim milk. Since I am a cereal lover, I was in heaven!

fresh pasta recipe said...

weeeewww...fenomenal..delicious and tasty...
i've tried this this morning and...i think this gonna be one of my favourite...

thank you verymuch for sharing

Anonymous said...

I'm just learning this all now for myself - I cant tolerate anything above 1.2 g of fat and even then I am bloated and uncomfortable so I am going to limit even more - my gall bladder has been removed but it can take 3-6 months for things to counteract it not being there. Here's what IS working for me...

I would recommend NOT using ANY oil or butter at all to even spray your dishes etc. Use a baking paper sheet for the oven and use a quality non stick pan for the stove top.

Add moisture to savoury foods with grated veggies (potato and carrot have nice moisture content as well as zucchini).

Sweets: go for low fat (usually they are zero fat anyway) sorbet's - I have a great strawberry sorbet that I ADORE! If you are really desperate for chocolate, get some chocolate melt buttons, make sure your morning has been fat free, suck on ONE melt at the end of the day but no more. If you can live with sorbet do it though its much better.

Roasting: baking sheet/paper with veg etc pour some heavily flavoured stock water in your tray over and around veg, place in over covered for around 30 mins and then uncover to crips up or dry outside - not the same but has a very similar affect and they taste roasted!

The deep fried affect: grate some raw potato very finely (we are using our hand held parmesan cheese grater with the finer holes in it), roll your fritters, patties, rice balls, veggie balls ect in egg white then in the potato grate. Dry roast in oven until crispy - it really works! Sometimes you don't even need the egg white and you can make the grates sticky by microwaving them for about 1 minute or even less.

combining liquid: egg whites which have no fat or use cornflour and water. These work well to combine in place of whole eggs.

Avoid, milks, definitely cheese!!!, I would avoid meats but do supplement your diet with suitable replacements (tofu is too high in fat so go for legumes and pulses).

Chutneys and sauces generally have no to very low fat, pasta is also great as are some tomato only pasta sauces but don't add cheese and don't add oil to your water. Keep in mind however that some mustards (can be high in fat for creamed ones) and chutneys can aggravate some gall bladders so take it easy with spice and vinegars. Stocks and salts tend to be fine with me.

best of luck,
Cynth x

Anonymous said...

I might add soy milk and low fat milks still have fats in them - avoid or limit to around 100 mls at a time for a skim milk or slow fat soy.

cynth x