September 13, 2008

After cooking low starch for my husband for the last year, I have come to realize how few low-starch recipes are out in cyberspace.  Since I have been searching for recipes I thought there were probably others out there looking for low-starch recipes as well. Therefore, I thought I would share the recipes I have created, modified & out right duplicated with you.  

Why low-starch?  My husband has had Ankylosing Spondylitis since he was 23.  After many years of research, trial and error of various nutritional supplements, drugs & exercises he has discovered that a low-starch diet has made the biggest impact on his level of pain.  Last year he read The IBS Low-Starch Diet book by Carol Sinclair.  He has been trying to limit his starches ever since.  It has made a huge impact on his daily life.  

That being said, he does consume dairy and I don’t think he could live without carrots. So, keep in mind these are low-starch recipes not starch-free.  I do not claim to be an expert on the low-starch diet.  I am just a wife that seeks to find new ways to keep him low-starch and our two boys moderately content with low-starch meals.  While the boys and I do not live a starch-free life, I do try to keep our meals primarily low-starch.  My oldest son (17) will eat just about anything but my youngest (11) is extremely picky.  So, he is a little more challenging than the other men in my life. I’ll try to let you know how all three enjoy each recipe as well.  And if I can photography them before my family digs in I’ll add those as well.

One more thing.  I tend to make up recipes without measuring items.  I will try to be as accurate as possible when publishing but keep that in mind especially when adding seasonings. I hope you find some recipes here that you and your family enjoy.  And if you have some you would like to share, that would be great as well.


13 Responses to “Introduction”

  1. Linda Lee Says:

    Heh. Thank-you for the recipes. Just diagnosed with AS after 52 years of a horribly ill life, 14 days of which I spent in a coma. I have lost 3 inches in height in the past year and a half while well on my may to a hunchback like my mother,grandmother and great-grandmother had, and no one could figure out why. It seems very few physicians have heard of AS in my area. All the medications they tried to give me gave me high fevers because I am allergic to aspirin. All my physicians told me that diet had nothing to do with it and if it hadn’t been for my daughter finding the Sinclair diet online I would still be vomiting 5-8 times a day. I just started the starch-free diet and WOW! what a difference. No vomiting, no pain. I can actually get out of bed in less than the usual half hour. But, finding recipes is a nightmare. It is so outside my cultural realm of cooking that initially I was lost, and the recipes in the Sinclair diet book were a little odd and I learned quickly that low-carb does not mean no- starch. But there are a few angels out there and you appear to be one of them . It is nice to find someone who gives recipes freely without charging for them. My daughter and I are working on a site where I plan to offer every recipe I can muster and alter in my repertoire free of charge. So, thank-you , thank-you, thank-you and I will let you and your family know if the site goes up so hopefully I can help your husband and others like us. Linda Lee

    • sherribarron Says:

      Hi Linda.
      You are so welcome for anything you might find here. I am the first to admit that I do not update the blog as much as I like but I hope that it might help someone. I started for the same reason you noted, there just isn’t much out there that is actually “lowstarch.” I’m so sorry that it took you so long to be diagnosed. It really is a horrible disease and so few doctors seem educated on it. However, I am thrilled that you have found relief in eating lowstarch. Good luck and I would love to know when you start your own personal site. Smiles. Sherri

  2. Maria Chavez Says:

    My husband, 38, was diagnosed with AS earlier this year. He had been suffering with the horrible pain for over ten years before his diagnosis. I have just started to modify his diet as a result of the same book your husband read. We are hispanic and EVERYTHING in our diet contains starch, so it has been a bit challenging. I am so happy to have found your site. As “head chefs”, it really comes down to our creativity in the kitchen for the health of our family. I have 3 children (two boys 10 & 7,one girl 4) and this is where the challenge is, how do I get them to eat their dinner??? I know it will be trail and error for a while, however, if it means less pain for my husband I am all for it! Thank you so much for your recipies and for sharing your story!Maria

    • sherribarron Says:

      I’m so sorry for your husband’s diagnosis. As much as I desire to help those with AS, I always hate for one other person to have to suffer with this horrible disease. I am so sympathize with trying to find meals that are “picky-eater” friendly. My oldest son, 18, has never been picky, but my youngest, 12, has always been very picky. So for him, I’m not sure if it would make a difference whether we ate low-starch or not. 🙂 Fortunately, he loves fruit, but vegetables are another matter all together. Personally for us, we have always made our youngest eat his vegetables whether he likes it or not. We do not make him eat huge quantities, but he still needs to eat enough to get the nutrients his body needs. He does like carrots so when he was very young, if we were having a vegetable that I knew he hated (ie. asparagus) then we allowed him to have some carrots instead. I try to keep those cut up and ready to go in the fridge at all times. I know for a fact that he has learned to tolerate and even begin to like some vegetables that he could barely get down before. *Disclaimer to all those that now think I’m a terrible person: Please, do not send me hate mail for forcing my child to eat vegetables. We the parents often have to make our children do things that are good for them even when they don’t like it. It’s just like brushing your teeth. Are we willing to have their teeth rot out of their heads just because they do not want to brush them. I think not, so I make my children eat their vegetables so they have strong healthy bodies. Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

      Let’s move on. I have found certain ways to accommodate Aaron’s “pickiness” without a total compromise. For example, he doesn’t like salad dressing but he will tolerate plain salad (minus tomatoes), so when I make salad he doesn’t have to have salad dressing. Is it really all that good for us anyway? I also try to make vegetables that everyone enjoys as much as possible. Aaron likes carrots (he would prefer they are not cooked, but he will eat them cooked.), he will eat broccoli and he has taken to eating roasted butternut squash if I cook it with some olive oil and salt to get it golden and crispy on the outside. It is sort of like french fries only better. Another example, I do keep a loaf of bread on hand in the fridge if the boys would like a sandwich (It will go bad if I leave it out of the fridge because they really do not eat it quick enough.) I also keep some popcorn, pretzels and tortillas for them. But that just about covers it. They do not sit down and have these in place of the meal that has been prepared for them. They are for lunch or snacks. If we are having taco salad, they are allowed to make tacos out of the tortillas though. My husband is ok with this. I know not every husband would be. He enjoys the lack of pain more than a slice of bread. I hope this helps.

  3. Linda Lee Says:

    Hello! Thought you might like this ‘lasagna’ recipe. It so good we have it twice a month. My whole family likes it so I thought I should pass it on. Things have been going pretty well and am having a ball trying to figure out new things to eat . I will pass along others if you like. It has been too busy a summer to think about a website so I just send recipes to people who want them for now. Hope things are going well for your family. I still miss sandwiches, but heh … that’s life. Linda

    “Lasagna Noodles”

    1 lb. tofu, firm – well-drained
    2 cups Mozzarella cheese
    1 cup Monterey jack cheese
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
    salt-n-pepper to taste
    onion-n-garlic to taste
    2 eggs

    1. Use the firmest tofu you can find. Drain well and press out extra moisture. I place it on doubled dish towels and cover it with another dish towel and place a aluminum foil-covered brick on it and allow it to set for about 1 hour.

    2. Combine eggs, cream, and cheeses. Dice tofu into the shape of small macaroni. Stir into the cheese mixture. Season as desired. Place on a greased cookie sheet pan with sides and spread out to the sides.

    3. Bake at 375°F for 15-25 minutes until set and firm. Remove from oven and allow to cool then cut into lasagna width ‘noodles.’ Set aside on paper towels to remove any grease that seeps off of them.

    Marinara Sauce

    2 lb. hamburger (optional)*
    1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tblsp.
    2-28oz. cans Muir Glen Fire-Roasted crushed tomatoes
    1 small onion, diced
    1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
    1 green pepper, diced
    2 tblsp. minced celery
    4 cloves minced garlic
    1 tblsp. minced fresh parsley
    1/ cup shredded fresh basil
    2 tblsp. sugar or honey

    Heat oil in a large flat skillet ( I use a 13-inch one).Place hamburger in skillet and saute until browned and well-done( I also drain the hamburger and rinse it under hot water to remove the grease released from the meat ). Add an additional 2 tblsp. of olive oil to skillet, add vegetables and continue to saute until vegetables are tender. Add all other ingredients and simmer sauce very slowly until VERY thick. Stir frequently to keep it from burning. This usually takes about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
    * This sauce can be used for spinach lasagna or any kind of vegetarian lasagna, just leave out the meat and add well-drained spinach or safe vegetable.
    Also, I double this recipe to make sure I have enough sauce for the Lasagna, any I have left over freezes very well.


    1 small container cottage cheese –
    (completely drained by placing in a colander and allowing to drain for at least 2 hours. I set it in the refrigerator and allow it to drain all night the night before)
    1 egg
    1 clove grated garlic
    2 tsp. finely minced fresh basil
    1 cup Parmesan cheese

    To assemble Lasagna:

    In a 13×9 -inch greased nonstick baking pan, put about 1 cup of sauce.
    On top of sauce make a layer of half the ‘Mock-Noodles’.
    Put another cup of sauce over noodles.
    Place dollops of cottage cheese mixture over sauce and smooth as well as you can over it.
    Place another cup of sauce and another layer of noodles.
    Top off with sauce and sprinkle top with extra Mozzarella and Parmesan.
    Bake at 350*, uncovered for 1 hour. Allow to set for at least 20 minutes before cutting.
    This isn’t as firm as regular lasagna but I think it is great and totally satisfies that need I get for pasta.

  4. Linda Lee Says:

    I forgot to say that you blend the filling ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Sorry.

  5. Jessica Says:

    Thank you so much for these recipes! My better half was just diagnosed with AS and we are making the changes necessary to help him live without the discomfort he has suffered for so long while waiting for a diagnosis. I really appreciate this collection and will share any tips or discoveries I come across as well!

    • sherribarron Says:

      You’re so welcome Jessica. As you can see, I do not post updates as much as I would like, life kind of gets in the way, but I am so glad you found the blog and I do hope you enjoy the recipes you find. Best of luck with your journey.

  6. Pam Says:

    hi there,

    can anyone give me some low starch breakfast options? (besides leftovers that is!)


    • sherribarron Says:

      If you can have dairy, we have yogurt most mornings with a variety of fruits and tree nuts. Just be sure to get a good quality yogurt and one that doesn’t have starch added to it. I personally like frozen mixed berries, thawed with banana. Chris will put just about anything in his: walnuts, coconut, berries, raisins, etc.

  7. Pam Says:

    hi sherri,

    thanks for the suggestion. i do goat yogurt, so that works. you mention tree nuts – what about seeds? i’m thinking pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds for example.

    p.s. yesterday i made “fake granola” for my breakfast yogurt today – everything but the oats! and toasted it.

  8. sherribarron Says:

    Fake Granola sounds good. That would be good with the yogurt. You could add the pumpkin and sesame seeds to that or just sprinkle them on top.

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