Hell Hath No Fury Like an MCAS POTSie

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been a salty mess the past week or so and by salty, I don’t mean in the way most of us POTSies hope for. Those who have MCAS know all too well that anxiety and depression are par for the course when you’re in a flare, and if you have POTS to boot, hide the fucking knives. We can be pure evil bitches to ourselves and others.

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Yep. I had to take a big time out from the interwebs before I started taking hostages. As it is, I had a lot of apologizing to do to my husband. Luckily, he’s a very forgiving guy with enough autonomic demons to be supremely empathetic.

Every time this happens, I decide it’s time to escape. Of course, the things I want to escape don’t actually have an exit. So my brain starts searching for any little imperfection that I can change. I feel small, alone and hateful. I feel completely disconnected from my husband and everything that comes out of his mouth, no matter how innocent or innocuous, becomes a judgment about me, my illness or our marriage. This time the poor guy wasn’t listening or responding fast enough for my liking when I was complaining about how hot and itchy my respirator is, so I decided he was like everyone else, he didn’t give a damn about how I felt or what I was going through and I screamed as much at him all the way home from the grocery. This is all absolutely ludicrous and I fully recognize that now, but in the moment and for two full days after, it’s truly what I felt and believed to be true despite a decade of solid evidence to the contrary.

The thing is I went through this for decades without knowing why I had such a Jekyll and Hyde personality or went through periods where I felt completely unable to control my emotions and yet was perfectly level headed and pleasant the rest of the time. I wrecked entire relationships because of my anxiety fueled rages and depression. I remember my mother throwing her hands up and demanding to know where her sweet daughter went when I was a teen. In my mind, I was just fed up with taking all the abuse and wasn’t going to stand for it anymore, but I knew deep down that much of the time I couldn’t really control my behavior anymore than I could control the weather. Part of me enjoyed this new found voice and the response I got to it. Part of me was terrified by it.

In my twenties, I began to question if it was premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) as these mood swings mostly revolved around my periods. It wasn’t until the last several weeks that I learned that a lot of women with MCAS have a terrible reaction to menstruation. Hormonal fluctuations can be a real bitch in the first place. Add degranulated mast cells and they’re positively explosive. There’s always been a direct correlation between my declining health the severity of my periods and I’m not at all surprised to find that MCAS is probably the reason behind that.  Of course it wasn’t my period alone that was the problem. While I didn’t have my ovaries removed when I had my hysterectomy, I’ve seen vast improvements, but obviously I still struggle.

Now my anxiety and depression rise and fall with flare ups, such as I’m going through this spring. It’s really been the first time that I could definitively say, “this is an MCAS flare” because I finally have everything else under control. I wasn’t aware that I had a big problem with pollen, but looking back, I have had an allergic reaction to several flowers, so it makes sense. And look what surrounds my apartment, so close you can nearly touch it:

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Honeysuckle, so so much honeysuckle

I also have big issues with mold and since it’s been a really wet spring here in the Ohio River Valley, I’m sure it’s everywhere. Everything is causing me to flare, from foods I used to be able to eat without an issue to my regular hair products I’ve been using for over a year.

Of all the symptoms from all the conditions I have, the ones I hate the most are my anxiety and depression because they make me someone else. I detest being mostly housebound, but I can handle it and find ways to make my life interesting and worthwhile. I can handle the pain of migraines, frequent subluxations, IC and GI issues, I have for decades. I can even take the nausea, though I will grumble about it an awful lot. But not being myself, being incapable of rational thought and understanding, having a hair trigger and losing that deep well of empathy that’s so integral to who I am, that I still don’t know quite how to deal with, even though it may be one of my oldest symptoms.

I am glad that I’m finally understanding that it’s not my fault and while I still apologize (because that’s simply what any polite person should do), I know I can give myself a break when I do lose it and be super proud every time I manage to win a battle with the anxious mega bitch even if I can’t win the war.

 

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Oven Roasted Potatoes

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With my husband and I both having to eat a low FODMAP diet and having many of the same issues, we eat a lot of white potatoes and rice dishes. The biggest challenge was finding ways of flavoring them without using garlic and onion that we still found tasty and satisfying. You can only eat so many baked potatoes, but if you’re a spoonie zebra like myself, you probably don’t have a lot of extra time and energy to spend on side dishes.

Oven roasted potatoes are a good way to make something different that doesn’t take a whole lot of time. You simply need to wash your potatoes, cut them up, toss them with some herbs and throw them on a cookie sheet. The question is, how to make them delicious and fit the meal you’re making. So here’s three different options I’ve concocted thus far. Just be sure when choosing your cheese that it’s low FODMAP.

Traditional Oven Roasted Potatoes

  • 3-4 Red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • A few dashes Dill and parsley
  • A few dashes Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1-1 ½ inch pieces. Toss with olive oil and spices and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper in a single layer. Cook 20-25 minutes, stirring once. Serve hot.

Roasted Cajun Style Potatoes w/ Cheddar

  • 3-4 Red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • A few dashes each: paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano, basil, salt and pepper
  • 1-2 ounces cheddar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1-1 ½ inch pieces. Toss with olive oil and spices and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper in a single layer. Cook 20-25 minutes, stirring once. 5 minutes prior to coming out of the oven, add cheddar. Serve Hot.

Italian Style Oven Roasted Potatoes

  • 3-4 Red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • A few dashes Basil and Oregano
  • A few dashes Salt and pepper
  • 1 ounce Shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1-1 ½ inch pieces. Toss with olive oil and spices and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper in a single layer. Cook 20-25 minutes, stirring once. 5 minutes prior to coming out of the oven, add parmesan.

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20-25 mins

Serves: 2-3

Pot Roast Hash

Pot Roast Hash makes a great low FODMAP brunch or dinner and it’s an easy way to use up leftover pot roast. It’s a nice change from the usual pork breakfast and only takes a few minutes longer than scrambled eggs. You can also saute some vegetables to throw in with it, such as peppers, spinach, canned button mushrooms (this is the only kind that’s FODMAP approved) or even some asparagus if you want to get more greens into it, or you could top it with some of my low FODMAP Salsa. Often, I round this dish out with a dish of fresh fruit.

Pot Roast Hash

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 ounces leftover pot roast, cut into 1-2” chunks
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 servings low FODMAP tater tots
  • 2 ounces shredded low FODMAP cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon diced scallions (dark green part only)

Cook tater tots in oven according to package directions. Heat skillet over medium heat and coat with butter. Crack eggs into a medium bowl with a few dashes of salt and pepper and whisk until frothy. Pour beaten eggs in skillet and allow to cook until edges are firm, 3-4 minutes, before scraping up cooked portion with a spoon. Continue to cook and gently turn eggs until no longer runny.

Add chunks of pot roast and tater tots, along with more salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until heated through. Top with shredded cheese and cover 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese.

Dish onto plates, top with scallions and serve hot.

Prep time: 15 mins

Serves: 2

Stromboli

Stromboli isn’t something you see very often these days, but it’s always been a favorite of mine. It’s kind of like a calzone sans ricotta that’s shaped more like an Italian sub than the calzone’s traditional half moon shape. Stromboli can be cut into slices or eaten whole like a sandwich. Usually it is packed with Italian meats, like Italian sausage, pepperoni, cappacola ham and salami, along with provolone or mozzarella. Like the calzone, the sauce is served on the side.

To make it FODMAP friendly, I’ve had to modify it quite a bit, but I’m afraid if you’re sensitive to wheat you may still have to miss out. I use my low FODMAP spaghetti sauce to dip it in along with my low FODMAP Italian sausage, which is free of garlic and onions, along with some traditional deli ham, which usually is free of these ingredients, as well. For the cheese, I opt for provolone, which is a good gooey cheese that’s low in FODMAPs. To be sure the cheese you choose in low in FODMAPs, you want it to have 1g or less of carbohydrates per serving. Since salami usually contains garlic, I’ve eliminated it altogether.

Given what I know about gluten free crusts, it probably won’t work using a gluten-free mix, as you really need a glutinous dough for this recipe, though if you do know of a gluten-free crust mix that’s stretchy and can be manipulated, go for it.  For my Stromboli crust, I really like to use Martha White’s Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust Mix. It’s just the right amount, browns very nicely and doesn’t have any soy protein or other FODMAP ingredients in it that should be a problem other than wheat, so it’s up to your specific profile as to whether or not you should have it.

If you want to eat it like a handheld sandwich like I have pictured below, a handy little trick I’ve learned is to wrap it in a paper towel. It’s cooler to the touch and you don’t get all greasy that way. You’re also less likely to be wearing some of the ingredients at the end of the meal!

The pictures I’m providing aren’t the greatest. Of course I’ve made this dozens of times, but the one time I try to take pictures, I overstretched my dough! However, given the complexity of directions, I really wanted to provide as many “play by play” shots as I could, so here are my nightmare pictures of my paper thin dough that gave me all kinds of issues that comes with a lesson; don’t overstretch your dough!

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Stromboli

You can either cook your sausage in patties or loose. I like to cook them into patties so sausage doesn’t fall out of the Stromboli.

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pizza crust mix according to package directions and set aside to rise while collecting remaining ingredients. Place butter in a small dish and cover it with plastic. Microwave butter for 30 seconds and set aside.

Flour pastry board or counter where you will be working with your dough. Work dough into a rectangle no longer or wider than a cookie sheet.

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Arrange your ham on top of the dough and then place your provolone slices on top of the ham. Arrange your sausage patties or crumbles on top of the cheese. Carefully lift the sides of the dough over the meat until they touch, kneading  and pinching the edges together to form a seal. Gather the ends together, sealing them as well. Flip the Stromboli over onto the cookie sheet.

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Using a pastry brush or spoon, coat the Stromboli with butter and sprinkle with basil and oregano. Using a knife, place 1-2” diagonal cuts in the dough on top of the Stromboli every 2-3” to prevent bubbles.

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Place on the bottom rack of the oven. Cook 15-20 minutes, or until dough is golden brown. Serve hot with sauce on the side.

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 15-20 mins

Serves: 2-3

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City Chicken

City Chicken is a dish that fascinated me growing up, mostly because I didn’t understand why it wasn’t actually chicken. According to Wikipedia, it hails as far back as the early 1900’s, but was most popular during the depression era of the 1930’s. This is because it was usually made from pork and/or veal which was skewered on a short stick and made to resemble a chicken leg. Back in the day, chicken was a lot more expensive than pork, so in order to capture a “fried chicken” taste, this is what the working class did when they couldn’t afford real chicken.

City Chicken is also a regional dish, known primarily to the larger cities of the Great Lakes and Appalachian Regions, such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati. I can’t speak to whether those other cities held onto the tradition of City Chicken, but today, skewers of pork tenderloin are still sold here in Cincinnati and labeled as City Chicken and I grew up with many a City Chicken Sunday dinner in my mother’s home. I loved the tender, juicy breaded meat kabobs and I remember asking my mother why it was so much juicier than chicken breasts. She laughed and told me that was because it was actually pork, but she had no explanation why it was called City Chicken.

I’d come to miss this dish quite a lot during the years I lived in other cities and had I realized it was simply pork tenderloin on a skewer, I probably would have made my own. I introduced my husband to it and he loves it so much, it’s become a twice monthly meal for us. It’s simple to make (even if your butcher doesn’t keep already prepared skewers) and tastes like little else. If you don’t want to cut your own tenderloin, just talk to the butcher at your local grocery, more than likely, they won’t have any problem doing it for you and may even skewer it for you. Kroger certainly will and has for me anytime their out. In fact, I found a 3 lb tenderloin discounted to $3.79 and one of their butchers cut and skewered the entire thing for me at no extra charge.

After referring to several recipes online, I also realized that my family recipe is a bit different than most. A lot of recipes call for browning it and then cooking it in the oven, but we’ve always cooked ours through in the skillet, which gives it an extra crispiness outside while still remaining tender and juicy inside.

City Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb Pork Tenderloin cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
  • 6 4-5” wooden skewers
  • ¼ cup all purpose or gluten-free flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Skewer pork tenderloin cubes through the center with skewers. Pack skewers tightly, leaving no space in between, from end to end. Preheat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Place flour, salt and pepper in a zip lock bag and place skewers inside. Shake to coat well with flour. Remove with tongs and place in skillet. Cook 5 minutes a side, rotating with tongs. Serve hot.

Serves: 2-3

Prep time: 5-10 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Smoked Ham and Brie Omelet for Two

I’ve often used this recipe to use up any leftover brie, but I sometimes even buy brie when I see it on sale just so I can make Ham and brie omelets or  sandwiches because I just love the combination so much. No, it’s not the easiest cheese to work with since it’s so soft, but if you can cut it into workable slices and it really requires little melting time.

As far as Omelets go, this is pretty much standard operating procedure for me. My husband and I have just about always made four egg omelets to split. Since they take just as long to cook with 2 eggs as 4, it just makes sense to me so I don’t have to do the same thing twice. Whatever conserves spoons and gets us out of the kitchen sooner, right?

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Smoked Ham and Brie Omelet for Two

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 ounces brie, cut into slices
  • 3-4 ounces smoked ham deli meat
  • 1 small diced roma tomato
  • 1 Diced scallion, dark green parts only

Melt butter over a medium sized skillet on medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy and pour in skillet, ensuring eggs cover entire bottom. Cover and allow to cook until surface is no longer runny, 5-7 minutes.

Cover one side with cheese and ham. Using a spatula, carefully fold the empty side over the cheese and ham. Cover for one minute. Remove from heat. Using the edge of the spatula, cut the omelet in half and move to plates. Top with tomatoes and scallions. Serve hot.

Greek Chicken Pasta

This distinctly Mediterranean dish captivates the taste buds with the pungent flavors of kalamatas and feta, complimented by oregano, tomatoes and scallions. Just be sure to choose a feta that only has 1g or less in carbohydrates per serving to meet any low FODMAP requirements, and if you’re sensitive to gluten or wheat carbohydrates, choose a gluten-free penne.

When cooking with olives, it’s important to note that you don’t actually want to cook the olives, you just want to heat them through. Cooking olives brings out the bitterness in them, so I have you add them at the same time you add the feta. The feta will melt a little; it becomes a bit creamy as it mixes with the olive oil and the smaller chunks will automatically melt as you stir it in, while some of the larger pieces will remain, giving it a nice look. Beware of over-stirring though, as it will become a bit paste-y. You really only want to stir a few times, enough to mix it in.

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Greek Chicken Pasta

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 12 ounces frozen precooked chicken breast strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 2 dozen kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 scallions, diced (dark green parts, only)

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee chicken and peppers until chicken is heated through and peppers are slightly softened and browned. Add pasta, oregano, tomatoes and remaining oil. Stir and heat through, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add feta and olives, stirring to distribute evenly. Serve warm, topped with scallions.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Furbaby Love <3

Today is my little furbaby’s first birthday! Happy Birthday, Loki!! He’s been with us since he was four months old and what a wonderful, wacky, love-filled eight months it’s been. I can hardly describe the countless hours of joy and comfort this little guy has brought me since the moment he walked through my door, but I’ll do my best. In honor of his big day, I put together this collage video, so you can see how much he’s grown.

1186709_226156057540213_668762533_n (2015_08_31 16_32_32 UTC)It’s hard to believe it’s been eight months already. Sometimes it feels like he’s always been here, but it’s really not at all difficult to remember how lonely and sad I was without him. I know I am so very fortunate to have a spouse who has stuck by me through a decade of being mostly housebound, but there’s also a long list of things I’ve lost; family, friends, career, home, the chance at having my own children. I even had to give up my beloved dog when I wasn’t capable of taking her on walks anymore and we didn’t have a yard. I never thought I’d get over the grief and guilt I felt over rehoming Verona, my border collie, but I had to work through that before I could let myself move on and love another animal. It took 2 years before I could even think about her without crying.

As wonderful as my husband is, as much joy as he brings me and as much as he works to love and care for me, he’s just not enough. No one can be your end all and be all.  I have to have more love and companionship in my life than what he can give me, but that doesn’t necessarily have to come from another human. What Loki has brought me is very meaningful and significant to my life. He’s my only companion every day from 12:30 pm to 10:30 pm, sometimes longer, as my husband goes to work and lives his life beyond our home.

That’s where Loki comes in, though he certainly doesn’t take time off when my husband comes home, either. Loki is my comfort when I hurt, often opting to spend nearly the entire day in my lap or by my side on my really bad days, gently purring and chatting to me. On those days, he knows better than to meow at me incessantly as he does on other days.

Loki treats me with a care and respect he doesn’t seem to have for anyone else. He harasses the hell out of my husband when he puts his shoes on, for example, chasing his shoe strings and sinking his claws in so it’s impossible to tie them. Not me. He never interferes with me trying to accomplish something, at least not on my bad days. And when I’m asleep, he never bothers me. I don’t know if he senses just how hard it is for me to sleep or what, but he won’t even come near the bed when I’m asleep, though if we close the door he throws a real fit.

On my good days, he’s always up for a game of blanket mouse or pointer chasing. No matter what I’m doing or how I’m feeling, he’s usually by my side. When we first got him, he wouldn’t allow anyone to pick him up, but now he lets me, if a little grudgingly, for some cat cuddles. He’s in love with my robe and the way it feels and always nurses on it just like a baby kitten when I wear it as he’s done since the day he came into our lives.

Of course life with Loki isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. We thought we were naming him after the trickster god of Norse mythology and a Marvel character, but his name really turned out to be short for loquacious, as he’s the most talkative cat I’ve ever met in my life. His chatter can be a bit much to take at times, especially when I’m riding high on histamines, with headaches, anxiety and noise sensitivity. But I’ve come to realize most of his meowing is about his own anxiety and I try to be patient and reassuring, which usually quiets him down a lot quicker than anything else. Of course he also chats quite a lot when he plays, if he’s hungry, feeling challenged and for a few reasons I have yet to puzzle out. Just check out this video of him playing.

When I got him, I knew I needed a companion, someone to love and care for and who r20171009_165021.jpgeturned that love. I’ve almost always had animals and they are like my children to me, but after having to give up Verona and having had several cats that I just couldn’t seem to build a strong relationship with, I had all but given up. I still don’t feel confident that I could give a dog everything she or he needs, so after three years of loneliness, I decided to give a kitten a try and I sure am glad I did. I think back to how sad and pitiful my life was without Loki and I can hardly believe I let myself suffer like that.

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Now that he’s here, my life feels so much more complete. He brings me joy with all his kitty antics and his sweet loving ways. He brings me comfort with his gentle, watchful care. He provides me companionship and lets me know I am never alone. He provides me with a sense of accomplishment, as I am proud of the strong cat he’s become from the emaciated, bedraggled, flea-bitten kitten he was. He truly is my pride and joy and the best little companion animal any Zebra could ask for.

Masked and Marvelous

It’s official. The next time I leave my house, I will be wearing a particulate respirator. I’m not sure if I look like I’m about to pull off a heist, a surgery, or pull out some heavy equipment and get to work, but I’m sure I’ll be drawing plenty of stares.

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Luke, I am your father.

I guess the upsides are that it really does seal quite well and doesn’t fog my glasses. And hey, I won’t have to bother with makeup as there’s not enough of my face left showing for it to matter. The true upside is that I won’t be getting exposed to all those great outdoor triggers like pollen and ragweed and if I really have the courage to look this gorgeous in stores, theaters, medical facilities and museums, I won’t be reacting to everyone’s perfume, laundry detergent, stale cigarette smoke, products used to clean the place and so forth. I’m going to have to be willing, because after 3 weeks of this crazy merry-go-round, I’m ready to stop the madness.

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These were the masks I bought. I had to order them, but they weren’t too expensive. A pack of 10 cost me about $15. I can’t seem to remember where I found the information on which particulate respirators to choose, but they noted that they should say “NIOSH N95” on them.

While I’ve been struggling with this for years, this flare has been particularly hard. I’m not quite sure why, but like I’ve said before, I guess it’s a good thing as it’s really forcing me to own this whole mast cell thing and take more responsible action over it. In addition to beginning to rely on a particulate respirator when I’m out, I’m also changing my diet and some of my medications.

My first change was to begin taking zantac and a proton pump inhibitor again. I haven’t taken either in several months and while I didn’t think I’d been having any symptoms, I realized once I started back on them, that I actually was. I started getting really bad heartburn just in the last week, but well before that, I was getting a hungry feeling not that long after eating that I knew wasn’t really hunger and I kept ignoring it when it should have prompted me to go back on my meds. Zantac is especially important for people with MCAS, because it’s an H2 antihistamine.

While I’ve been taking benedryl since my flare began, I wasn’t doing it regularly and I kept dropping it after the first couple of days, thinking I was probably in the clear. Now I’m taking it every 6 hours without fail and recovering much more quickly from this last exposure.

I also decided to try a mast cell stabilizer called ketotifen. While a lot of people take cromolyn, I opted to try ketotifen because it’s supposed to be more effective for the entire body, while cromolyn works more for the digestive system and most of my problems seem to be stemming from respiratory issues this time around. They’re actually eye drops and are said to work great for eye symptoms, too. Since I wake up with gross gooey eyes and have dry, gritty eyes most of the day, I’m looking forward to seeing how they help.

The dietary changes I’ve made follow the low histamine diet. I have no plans of making them permanent, but while I’m carrying such a high histamine load, I figured I would be best off removing any and all possible triggers. As I whined in my last post, I really don’t want to limit my diet anymore than absolutely necessary, as it’s already quite limited in the first place because of IBS/GP (I’m probably somewhere in the early stages of GP, but it’s not diagnosed).

On top of all of this, I already take zyrtec, flonase, and singulair daily and of course there are my POTS medications, my anxiety med and my nausea med and my eye drops, all of which are associated with MCAS in some way or another. If you’re looking for ways to help improve your MCAS, check out this list.

It’s possible that I won’t even need to wear masks once I’ve been on the ketotifen for a while, but it’s probably going to be a while before I’m willing to risk going out without one. If spring is partly to blame for my flare, which would make sense, maybe I’ll be free and clear of all this in a few weeks anyway. I know it all started with a concentrated bleach exposure, but given that MCAS is all about reacting to histamine, I’m inclined to think it was several factors that had been building up. The bleach was probably just what broke that poor camel’s back.

So far, these changes are going well. I’ve dropped about 6 of the 8 lbs I gained in inflammation, my stomach is considerably less distended and my respiratory symptoms have subsided greatly. Even my headache is gone today. With some luck, my masks and new meds, hopefully I’ll be able to keep it under control long term.

Bowtie Pasta with Chicken Sausage

This pasta dish is loaded with great flavor, fiber and protein. You can choose just about any kind of chicken sausage you like, or use Italian or Kielbasa sausage instead if you’re having a hard time finding one that’s low FODMAP. I’ve used a variety of sausages and they all turn out good, but I particularly enjoy it with a spinach and cheese chicken sausage.

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Bowtie Pasta with Chicken Sausage

  • 3 cups dried Farfelle pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 package low FODMAP chicken sausage, cut into half-inch slices
  • ½ cup white cooking wine
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon Sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta to desired doneness, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned. Pour in wine and stir, loosening up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in beans, Sage, salt and pepper. Cover, and cook until beans are heated through. Toss with cooked pasta and top with Parmesan. Serve hot.

Prep time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4