Migraine Diet

Migraine Diet 2016-11-16T14:57:03+00:00

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I GET TO THE GROCERY STORE?

Introduction

It is difficult to follow a diet based on a list of foods to avoid and the last thing you need is a difficult stressful task added to your life. Here is a “Yes” list of foods you can eat. It was created by a patient who is also a nutritionist to save others the stress of following the “No” list. The “Yes” list will make it easier to shop and plan your diet.

Patients with daily migraine symptoms have so much abnormal brain activity that avoidance of a few key trigger foods like coffee, red wine, and chocolate is not enough to bring relief. They may continue to suffer despite medications to elevate the migraine triggering threshold. Most of these patients can find relief if they protect their sensitive brains from all potential migraine triggers. This relief does not come instantly. It may take months for daily symptoms to decrease and to allow some good days. With time the good days will increase in number. Be patient.

The migraine diet is not a calorie restricted diet. You can eat as much as you want of the above meals. It is probably better not to be hungry since hunger will lead you to make bad food choices. Eat something sweet for dessert so your sugar craving is satisfied. While the migraine diet is adaptable to a weight loss program, it is best not to diet in the first month as you learn how to eat migraine-free.

Will I need to eat “migraine free” forever? No. Once your sensitive brain has calmed down you can decide with your physician to start adding foods back to your diet in an organized way that allows you to find out which foods are “key” triggers for you and which are “potential” triggers. Key triggers will elicit migraine symptoms within 2 days of being introduced and should be avoided.

Contents

  • Migraine Safe Foods by Category
  • Acceptable Products for the Migraine Diet
  • Tips for Eating Out
  • Your First Trip to the Grocery Store
  • Menu Plan
  • Meal Ideas
  • Recipies
  • Your Suggestions

Migraine Safe Foods by Category

BREAD

Acceptable purchases—Any white, wheat, rye or pumpernickel store-bought bread.

Plain or sesame seed bagels, English muffins, quick breads like pumpernickel or zucchini breads.

All yeast bread must be 24 hours old.

What to avoid—Fresh baked bread, either homemade or from the grocer’s bakery, fresh donuts, fresh breakfast Danish, nut breads, cheese bread, chocolate bread, raisin bread, bagels with dried fruit like blueberry or cranberry bagels. Remember that pizza is fresh bread.

CEREAL

Acceptable purchases—Many cereals are fine. For example: Cheerios, Life, Honey Bunches of Oats, Cracklin’ Bran, Frosted Flakes, Frosted Shredded Wheat.

What to avoid—Cereal with nuts, raisins, chocolate, dried fruit, aspartame, peanut butter or coconut.

CRACKERS

Acceptable purchases—Any unflavored cracker such as Saltines, Ritz, Wheat thins, Carr’s Table Crackers and Club crackers.

What to avoid—Cheddar cheese crackers, Chick-in-a-bisket, any flavored cracker.

PRETZELS/CHIPS

Acceptable purchases—All plain pretzels and plain potato chips, Tostitos 100% corn chips, Frito’s corn chips, Herr’s salt and vinegar chips.

What to avoid—Soft pretzels, honey and mustard pretzels, onion and garlic pretzels or other seasoned pretzels. Avoid Pringles, Doritos Nacho chips, jalapeno chips and most other seasoned chips.

PIES/CAKES/COOKIES/CANDY

Acceptable purchases—Blueberry and apple store bought pies if made without lemon juice, vanilla or cinnamon swirl cake, shortbread cookies and vanilla/strawberry wafers, oatmeal cookies without the raisins, rice pudding (no raisins), white chocolate.

What to avoid—Chocolate, chocolate candy, nuts, buttermilk, sour cream, dried fruit (some apricot pies start with dried apricots), peanut butter, lemon extract or lemon juice, almond extract and coconut. Avoid diet and sugar-free products that contain aspartame.

SALAD DRESSING

Acceptable purchases—Any oil and distilled white vinegar. (Homemade ranch is good but you won’t find that in the grocery store).

What to avoid—most bottled dressings have one or many of the following; monosodium glutamate, onion or onion powder, grated cheese like Romano or parmesan, natural flavoring, red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (or anything other than white).

DIPS/SAUCES

Acceptable purchases—buy ingredients to make your own at home.

What to avoid—dips and sauces usually contain MSG (natural flavoring) or onions. Avoid salsa, chips dips, tomato sauce like Ragu, alfredo or pesto sauce, gravy, mustard dips, barbeque sauce and guacamole (because of the avocados).

MEAT AND MAIN MEALS

Acceptable purchases—Fresh chicken, beef, veal, lamb, fish, turkey or pork. (Some sausage is made without MSG, natural flavor or onion). Be sure the meat is not injected with a tenderizer (like Hatfield’s Simple Tender pork products) or with broth (some turkey and chicken).

What to avoid—Beef liver and chicken liver, marinated meat, ready-made hot wings, barbeque chicken, breaded meat like fried chicken or nuggets or breaded chicken patties, seasoned rotisserie chicken, and any ready-made meal of meat, noodle or rice like burritos, lasagna, Rice-a-Roni and Hamburger Helper. Any canned tuna with broth. Anchovies. Spam. Canned soups have MSG and sometimes onions. Avoid nitrites in ham, hot doges and most lunchmeats.

DAIRY PRODUCTS

Acceptable purchases—Deli American cheese, American cheese with jalapeno peppers, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and cream cheese. White milk is ok.

What to avoid– Aged cheeses like Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby and Swiss. Avoid mozzarella cheese, Brie, sour cream buttermilk and yogurt. Beware of products made with cheese like pizza and hot pockets. Avoid chocolate milk due to the caffeine.

FRUITS/JUICES

Acceptable purchases—Fresh strawberries, apples, pears, grapes, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, kiwi, apricots, blackberries, cherries, cantaloupes, mangoes, honeydew melon and watermelon.

What to avoid—Bananas, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, tangerines, pineapples, Clementines, raspberries, plums, papayas, passion fruit, figs, dates, raisins and avocados. Also avoid dried fruits preserved with sulfites.

VEGETABLES

Acceptable purchases—Preservative-free bagged lettuce like Fresh Express, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, garlic, leeks, spring onions, shallots, potatoes (fresh), some frozen mashed potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, carrots, corn, chick peas, mushrooms, canned or frozen peas, yams, string beans, artichokes, red beets, some beans, okra, plain rice, turnips and squash.

What to avoid—Onions, sauerkraut, pea pods, broad Italian beans, lima beans, fava beans, navy beans and lentils. Also avoid boxed potato flakes, like instant mashed potatoes.

DRINKS

Acceptable purchases-Naturally decaffeinated coffee or tea, caffeine-free herb tea like chamomile, pear juice, apple juice, grape juice, cranberry juice, apricot nectar, caffeine-free Coke/Pepsi, Diet Rite Cola, Waist Watcher Cola/Diet Rootbeer/Diet Black Cherry, Mug Rootbeer, Hires Rootbeer and A&W Rootbeer. Diet soda using sucralose (Splenda) is not a problem. Vodka is the best tolerated alcoholic beverage. White milk is ok.

What to avoid—Coffee, tea, coffee substitutes, hot chocolate, colas, orange soda, lemon lime soda, mountain Dew, any diet soda containing aspartame or saccharin, Barq’s Rootbeer, (they add caffeine to it), chocolate milk, wine, champagne, beer, heavy alcoholic drinks.

NUTS/SEEDS/POPCORN

Acceptable purchases—Unflavored popcorn that you pop at home, pumpkins seeds, sunflower seeds without natural flavor, sesame seeds and poppy seeds.

What to avoid—Cheddar cheese popcorn, some microwave popcorn, all nuts and nut butters, including peanuts. Coconut is out as well as almond extract.

SOY PRODUCTS

Acceptable purchases—Any soy is questionable, so you might want to avoid it altogether until you have achieved headache control. Then try the following products one at a time: soy milk, soy flour, plain tofu and soy oil.

What to avoid—Soy sauce, miso, tempeh, soy burgers, products containing soy protein isolate or concentrate and soy beans.

ACCEPTABLE PRODUCTS FOR THE MIGRAINE DIET—-A PARTIAL LIST

  1. Cereals-Cheerios, Life, Uncle Sam, Great Nuts, Cornflakes. Try Grape Nuts hot: 1/4 cup grape nuts, 3/4 cups milk, plus frozen blueberries. Microwave 2 minutes on high. Add sugar to taste.
  2. Smucker’s Blackberry Jam—this is important for those of us who previously used raspberry jam. Strawberry and grape is also allowed but blackberry is less ordinary!
  3. Miss orange juice? Try a product by V8 Splash called Mango Peach.
  4. If you eat lunch at work, you can bring chicken salad made from canned chicken breast. ‘Sweet Sue’ and some others make canned chicken without MSG.
  5. Watch out for Hatfield pork products called Simply Tender. These products are tenderized with a lemon juice marinade.
  6. Dipping mustard for pretzels—Bookbinders hot and sweet works. They use white vinegar and no monosodium glutamate.
  7. Sunflower seeds—A company called “Here’s Howe” makes sunflower seeds without MSG. Watch out for Planters brand (they use MSG).
  8. Soda—Caffeine-free and no aspartame: Diet Rite cola, Waist Watcher’s cola, diet rootbeer and black cherry, Mug/Hires/A&W Rootbeer, caffeine-free Coke/Pepsi.
  9. Miss croutons? Try La Choy Chow Mein Noodles on your salad. Homemade croutons are great too but La Choy Noodles are convenient!
  10. For another convenience item try Kellogg’s Cornflake crumbs to replace MSG laden breadcrumbs. Homemade breadcrumbs are ok too.
  11. If you cannot give up coffee and tea altogether be sure you are using naturally decaffeinated products such as Lipton’s naturally decaffeinated green tea or Taster’s Choice naturally decaffeinated instant coffee. If the product just says decaffeinated, most likely a chemical has been used in the decaffeinated process that has been known to cause headaches. Limit even naturally decaffeinated products to one cup a day. I generally drink the Lipton tea and reuse the teabag for a second cup.
  12. If a recipe calls for buttermilk, substitute 1 cup milk plus 1 Tbsp vinegar. Also, vinegar added to cream cheese can be used in place of sour cream.
  13. Lettuce can be a problem if it is displayed in a case that sprinkles with what appears to be water on the lettuce. That water sometimes contains a sulfite preservative and should be avoided. This sulfite preservative is also used on salad bar lettuce. I use Fresh Express bagged lettuce. It is preservative-free and convenient.
  14. Bumble Bee tuna just came out with a new tuna that has no soy or vegetable broth or hydrolyzed protein. It is a ‘prime fillet white albacore in water’. Look for the black and gold can.
  15. Dried fruit—Many dried fruits use a sulfite to keep the fruit from turning brown. There are brands: i.e., Mariani, that use sulfur dioxide to retain color. This should be ok.
  16. Canned tomato products—Contadina makes three products without natural flavor (MSG) added: Diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes in puree and tomato paste. These work well in cattiatore and homemade spaghetti sauce. I have not found any canned or jarred tomato sauce without nature flavor.
  17. Caramels are a fast and easy treat.
  18. Ice Cream and toppings—Breyer’s extra creamy vanilla and Breyer’s strawberry ice cream are good choices for the connoisseur, though other brands are ok. Smucker’s dulce de leche (caramel) topping is ok. Also, you can buy frozen strawberries in heavy syrup, defrost and use on vanilla ice cream. It’s not chocolate but it’s better than plain vanilla!
  19. Bagels—Bagel shops and grocery stores make their bagels daily and that fresh yeast is just a real headache. Try Thomas’s New York Style Bagels, either plain or with sesame seeds. They taste fresh, they are a good size, and they freeze well.
  20. American cheese—I’ve tried Clearfield and Land-O-Lakes. Both are ok.
  21. Lunchmeat—Carolina makes ‘just perfect turkey breast’ with turkey and salt as the only ingredients. It is the only lunchmeat I found without nitrites or MSG. It can be frozen in sandwich serving size if you pack a lunch frequently.
  22. Refried beans for tacos—El Rio makes refried beans that have no onions or MSG added.
  23. Cookies—Homemade are great if you have the time. Try Keebler’s Sandies Swirl Cinnamon Shortbread cookies for that homemade taste without the fuss. Some vanilla crème wafers are ok too. Beware of cookies that are made with buttermilk.
  24. Chips—Regular potato chips are ok, as are Tostitos 100% white corn chips, but stay away from flavored chips and Pringles. Pringles starts their product with dehydrated potato flakes preserved with bisulfite to maintain color. This is not listed on the product because they buy the flakes and do not add the bisulfite themselves. They are only required to list that they do use potato flakes. This is a clue for all boxed mashed potato products.
  25. Peanut butter—This is out but try homemade sunflower butter as a substitute. Start with 12 ounces of hulled raw sunflower seeds. Roast at 300 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Be careful. Over roasting can make the butter taste burnt and dry. Grind the seeds to a fine powder using a food processor or blender. Add about 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix in 1/2 cup vegetable oil until smooth (more if needed). Store in refrigerator. Note: I carried some of this butter with me on a trip out west where refrigeration was not available. Even after 10 days, the butter tasted fine. So you can at least be comfortable packing a sunflower butter sandwich for lunch. Try marshmallow crème on the sandwich for a Fluffer Sunner!
  26. Chicken broth—many recipes call for 1/2 cup chicken broth. There are no convenient canned products to help you. Canned broth contains MSG and often onions. I make my own chicken broth twice a year using leeks and then freeze the strained broth in one cup serving sizes. While I don’t like the fuss of homemade broth, it is convenient to have on hand and allows me to use many recipes I’d otherwise have to give up. This same principle applies to homemade spaghetti sauce using the aforementioned Contadina products, leeks and Tbsp of brown sugar to counter bitterness.
  27. Mayonnaise—A small amount on a sandwich is ok but if you want to make a creamy dressing for salad, it is better to use homemade mayo. Then, to 1/2 cup of homemade mayo, add a dash of garlic powder, Italian seasoning, 1 tsp white vinegar, a 1/8 tsp of finely chopped shallot, salt, and pepper and milk to desired thickness. This is the closest I could get to a ranch dressing
  28. Ocean Spray makes a Lite Cranberry Juice that uses Splenda. It is only 40 calories per cup and tastes great!
  29. There is one canned soup we can have: Campbell’s Tomato Soup.

TIPS FOR EATING OUT

If you eat at fast food places, I know McDonald’s does not season their burgers with MSG. I’m not sure about their grilled chicken. Mac sauce is out, but quarter pounders and double burgers are ok if you request ‘no onions’. McD’s fries are not seasoned so they are fine and vanilla or strawberry milkshakes are ok too. Same with Wendy’s. Wendy’s chili and taco meat has onions and probably MSG. The lettuce on the salad bar may have sulfites and of course the salad dressing has MSG. Watch the cheese in fast food because it is not best quality American—you can always ask for one slice of cheese instead of two on your burger. If you drink soda you will have to bring your own. Burger King scares me—their website shows that their grilled chicken is seasoned with MSG and so are their French fries. Their burgers are smoked, which isn’t that great either. Stay clear of fast food soup.

I avoid pizza places and all Italian food places because the sauces contain onion and the bread or pizza crust is fresh baked. Salads are a problem because of the dressing, but can be eaten if they have plain oil and salt and pepper. They don’t usually have white vinegar I’ve discovered.

Sub shops are a problem because of the fresh bread and lunch meat. Subway has grilled chicken on their menu but they season it with MSG. I thought the veggie wrap might work but they use the new low carbohydrate wraps which contain soy protein. When my kids want subs, I eat leftovers. (Be wary about all the new “Adkins diet products).

Stay away from bagel shops for lunch because they bake those yeasty bagels 10 minutes before they serve them. You can buy fresh bagels to bring home and eat 24 hours later.

Chinese food is all a problem.

At Ruby Tuesdays/Friendly’s or other sit down places, the safest thing is a burger without seasoning or onions and unseasoned fries. You need to be very clear about how you want your burger cooked. If I eat at a fancy place, I order steak that has not been tenderized or seasoned and a baked potato with butter and vegetables. Vanilla ice cream is usually available for dessert. Carry a tea bag to restaurants just in case their tea is not ‘naturally decaffeinated’. Some restaurants will offer a plain chicken breast grilled in butter—that works fine.

Eating out is difficult and therefore has become less of something to look forward to. I can eat so many more things if I can control the preparation that I now prefer to eat at home. As a bonus, I get less calories and eat healthier, save money and get less headaches. Intellectually, it is a no brainer!

YOUR FIRST TRIP TO THE GROCERY STORE

(THIS LIST WORKS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE MENU PLAN)

BEST BET: CELESTIAL SEASONINGS CHAMOMILE HERB TEA, MORE RISKY: NATURALLY DECAF GREEN TEA (LIPTON) OR NATURALLY DECAF INSTANT COFFEE (TASTERS CHOICE). MOST RISKY: A NATURALLY DECAF DRIP COFFEE

BOTTLED WATER OR SODA: MUG ROOTBEER, DIET RITE COLA, CAFFEINE-FREE COKE/PEPSI

QUALITY SLICED AMERICAN CHEESE: LAND-O-LAKES OR CLEARFIELD

FROZEN HAMBURGERS (ROLLS TOO!), COTTAGE CHEESE, BUMBLE BEE PRIME FILLET CANNED TUNA (NO BROTH ADDED)

CEREAL: LIFE, GOLDEN GRAHAMS, CHEERIOS, FROSTED FLAKES, SHREDDED WHEAT, UNCLE SAM

NEW YORK STYLE BAGELS: BUY CREAM CHEESE TOO!

KELLOGG’S CORN FLAKE CRUMBS TO BREAD PORK CHOPS/CHICKEN FINGERS ECT.

PORK CHOPS AND EITHER A WHOLE CHICKEN OR CHICKEN LEGS/THIGHS

EGGS, MILK, BREAD, CRACKERS, APPLE OR PEAR JUICE

VEGETABLES—FROZEN BROCCOLI AND/OR BRUSSEL SPROUTS. ALSO FRESH BABY CARROTS, FRESH TOMATO, CELERY, BAKING POTATOES

UNSEASONED FROZEN FRENCH FRIES: CANNED CORN OR CANNED PEAS

REGULAR PLAIN CHIPS AND REGULAR UNFLAVORED PRETZELS, SUNFLOWER SEEDS (NO NATURAL FLAVOR), POPCORN (NOT MICROWAVE)

STRAWBERRY OR VANILLA ICE CREAM. CARAMEL TOPPING

OLIVE OIL, DISTILLED VINEGAR AND BAGGED PRESERVATIVE FREE LETTUCE

FRUIT: APPLES, PEARS, STRAWBERRIES OR BLUEBERRIES, GRAPES AND CANNED PEACHES/PEARS

BLUEBERRY PIE, KEEBLER CINNAMON SHORTBREAD COOKIES

EASY MENU PLAN FOR THE FIRST THREE DAYS

DAY 1

Breakfast:

  • Hot chamomile teas with sugar (if desired)
  • Life cereal with milk –as many as you like
  • A sliced apple

Lunch:

  • Grilled American cheese or regular cheese sandwich with lettuce and tomato
  • Potato chips
  • Caffeine free Pepsi or milk
  • Keebler Cinnamon Shortbread cookies

Dinner:

  • Roast chicken
  • Baked potato with butter and salt
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Blueberry pie, made without lemon juice
  • Water

Snack: Homemade popcorn

DAY 2

Breakfast:

  • Hot chamomile tea
  • 2 scrambled eggs with American cheese
  • Toast with butter
  • Pear or apple juice

Lunch:

  • Tuna salad on crackers
  • Mug Rootbeer or milk
  • Canned or fresh pear

Dinner:

  • Breaded pork chops—dip in egg, then Kellogg’s Cornflake Crumbs, then fry in oil
  • Canned sweet corn
  • Salad with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper
  • Water
  • Vanilla ice cream topped with caramel sauce

Snack: Sunflower seeds without MSG or natural flavoring

DAY 3

Breakfast:

  • Hot chamomile tea
  • Sesame bagel with cream cheese (and blackberry jam if desired)
  • Milk
  • Blueberries or strawberries

Lunch:

  • Cottage cheese with canned peaches in heavy syrup
  • Petite ready to eat carrots
  • Pretzels
  • Water, acceptable soda/juice/or milk

Dinner:

  • Cheeseburger on roll, with tomato and ketchup if desired
  • Frozen unseasoned French fries with salt
  • Side salad, if desired
  • Leftover blueberry pie from Day 1
  • Water

Snack: Crackers with jelly or a small bowl of cereal

Meal Ideas

SOME BREAKFAST IDEAS

  • Eggs and toast
  • Pancakes with acceptable sausage
  • French toast with maple syrup
  • Minute oat meal with brown sugar
  • English muffin with butter and acceptable jelly
  • Bagel (no raisins or dried fruit) and cream cheese
  • Certain muffins (no raisins)
  • Day old Danish/donuts

SOME LUNCH IDEAS

  • Grilled American cheese sandwich
  • Tuna salad made with acceptable tuna
  • Turkey sandwich
  • Homemade chicken salad on day old roll
  • Homemade soup
  • Green salad with acceptable vegetables and homemade dressing
  • Homemade egg salad
  • Fluffer-sunner sandwich made with sunflower butter and marshmallow
  • American cheese with jalapeno peppers on club crackers
  • Leftovers from dinner!

SOME DINNER IDEAS

  • Chicken parmesan
  • Tacos
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Pasty—beef, potato and leek
  • Chili—beef or hot sausage
  • Chicken Cattiatore
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Beef stew
  • Salmon with cranberry sauce
  • Vegetable soup
  • Crab corn soup
  • Sweet potato soup
  • Roast beef with vegetables
  • Chicken wings
  • Gnocchi with red sauce
  • Breaded pork chops
  • Chicken tenders
  • Steak
  • Cheeseburger/French fries
  • Angel hair pasta with broccoli and shrimp
  • Fish and vegetable medley
  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce
  • Roast chicken
  • Chicken vinegar
  • Hot sausage sandwich with green pepper and leeks
  • Scallops and asparagus
  • Beef stroganoff
  • Deep dish pizza
  • Pasta with bell pepper and hot sauce
  • Crab cakes
  • Try breakfast for dinner:
  • Pancakes with maple syrup and sausage
  • Cheese blintzes with blackberry jelly
  • French toast with vanilla and cinnamon
  • Cheese and mushroom omelet with toast
  • SIDE DISHES
  • Baked beans
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Kugel
  • Backed potato
  • Mashed potato
  • French fries
  • Parsley potatoes
  • Applesauce
  • Sweet potato bake
  • Baked corn
  • Green bean salad
  • Rice
  • Buttered noodles
  • Cornbread
  • Potato pancakes (use shallots)
  • Corn on the cob
  • Creamed corn
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Salad with homemade dressing

RECIPES

CHICKEN BROTH

Canned broth contains monosodium glutamate and usually onion. Since many recipes require a cup or two of broth, it is a good idea to have homemade broth on hand. For convenience, make this broth once or twice and then freeze it in 2 cup portions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken fryer
  • 5 1⁄2 quarts of water
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • ½ Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 leek, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs plus leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. parsley
  • ½ Tbsp. thyme

Clean chicken and place in 10 quart boiling pot. Add water and bring to a boil. A foam will develop as the chicken comes to a boil. Use a spoon to remove the foam. Check for this foam a few times. Then add all the other ingredients. Boil for 2½ to 3 hours adding some water if necessary. You want to end up with about 4 quarts of broth.

To clarify the broth, place a moist cheese cloth inside a strainer. Place the strainer over a large pot or container. When the broth cools slightly, remove as much of the chicken as possible and then pour the broth through the strainer. Refrigerate the broth overnight. The next day, use a spoon to remove the congealed fat from the broth, and then divide the broth into 1 or 2 cup portions and freeze. The chicken can be cut up and used in a recipe or as chicken salad. The vegetables and chicken bones that remain in the strainer should be discarded.

SPAGHETTI SAUCE

  • One pound chuck roast
  • ½ lb. hot sausage—no nitrites or onion
  • ¼ cup chopped leeks or shallots
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 green pepper, cut into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 (28 oz) cans Contadina crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (12 oz) cans Contadina tomato paste
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms

Optional: If tomato sauce tastes bitter, add up to ¼ cup brown sugar.

Heat the oil in a 5 quart sauce pot. Brown the chuck roast and sausage. Add the leeks, garlic and green pepper. Cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add the 4 cans of crushed tomatoes and the 8 oz of water. When the tomatoes start to boil, add the paste. Cook on low about 1½ to 2 hours. Stir frequently. Ten minutes before done, add the mushrooms to the sauce and add brown sugar as needed. If sauce is thin, continue cooking until it reaches desired thickness.

VEGETABLE SOUP

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 or 2 leeks, chopped fine
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced, plus chopped leaves
  • ½ cup sliced carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 15 oz can of Contadina diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of water-add more if too thick
  • 15 oz can small white beans and/or ½ cup cooked acini de pepe
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in 3 quart soup pot. Add leeks, celery, carrots and potatoes. Cook over medium heat. Add ½ of the water to vegetables and cook 10 minutes with the lid on to steam. Once the vegetables are soft, add the salt, pepper and spinach. Add the diced tomatoes and the rest of the water. Add the beans and heat to boiling. Serve hot.

CHICKEN POT PIE

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped leeks or shallots
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1¾ cups of homemade chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups cut up cooked chicken
  • 10 oz frozen peas and carrots
  • 4 oz canned mushrooms, drained
  • Refrigerated pie crusts or homemade crusts

Melt butter in pan. Add flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until bubbly and smooth. Add broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken, vegetables and mushrooms. Reserve.

Unfold crust into an 8 inch pie plate. Pour in the chicken filling. Unfold second crust over the top of the filling. Seal the edges together and flute. Cut slits in the center so steam can escape. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. (If you want a shiny crust, remove from oven and brush milk over crust.) Continue cooking another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes before serving.

CHEESECAKE

Crust:

  • 4 Tbsp butter (softened) 1 egg ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp sugar 1 cup flour

Combine butter and sugar. Add egg, flour and baking powder. Press crust into a 9×9 glass baking dish.

Filling:

  • 2 eggs, separated 2 Tbsp flour cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar 16 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla 1¼ cup milk

Beat yolks, sugar and vanilla. Add flour, cream cheese and milk. Use the electric mixer to beat. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites. Fold into mixture. Pour into crust. Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake at 325° for about 1 hour.

PASTA WITH BELL PEPPER AND HOT SAUCE

  • 12 oz dried vermicelli or angel hair pasta
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 oz butter
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp ground (cayenne) hot pepper
  • 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper sliced into thin strips

Heat water to boiling for pasta. Clean and slice peppers. To make sauce: add olive oil, butter, garlic and hot pepper to a saucepan. Continue cooking until soft but not mushy. Add pasta to boiling water. When cooked, drain pasta and pour sauce over top.

CRAB CAKES

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard or ½ Tbsp regular mustard. (use regular if your migraines are not controlled)
  • 1/8 cup parsley
  • A pinch of ground red hot pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 lb. canned crabmeat, drained—use real crabmeat and check ingredients to avoid sulfites and nitrites
  • ¼ cup Kellogg’s Cornflake Crumbs plus some to coat patties

Combine first 6 ingredients. Add crabmeat and ¼ cup of crumbs. Make 8 patties, about 3 inches each. Coat patties with extra crumbs. Broil on oiled cookie sheet about 4 minutes on a side and then fry them in oil.

FRUIT DIP

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz marshmallow crème

Combine and enjoy. Serve with acceptable fruits such as honeydew, strawberries, grapes and cantaloupe.

BEEF STROGANOFF

  • 1 1⁄2 lbs beef for stew, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1⁄2 cups homemade broth, (beef broth is best, but chicken or vegetable broth works fine. Use whatever you have as long as it is homemade.)
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup shallots, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 4 cups cooked egg noodles

Use a 10-inch skillet to brown the beef in the butter. Set aside 1/3 cup of broth for later use. Add remaining broth, ketchup, garlic and salt to skillet. Once this boils, reduce heat and cover. Simmer beef for about 1½ hours. Add water to skillet if needed to prevent scorching.

Add mushrooms and shallots to beef. Continue cooking in covered skill about 5 minutes. Add flour and reserved broth to a container that won’t leak. Shake until smooth, and then add this to the beef mixture. Boil and stir for one minute. Serve over cooked noodles.

DEEP DISH PIZZA

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 16 oz Contadina diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tsp diced oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 small green pepper cut into thin strips
  • 4 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 cup shredded American cheese with jalapenos or plain American cheese
  • Pillsbury Classic Pizza Dough (refrigerator section of grocery store)

Cook hamburger and shallots. Drain grease. Add tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder to hamburger. Lightly grease a 13x9x2 inch glass dish. Press dough into bottom of dish and halfway up the sides. Fill dough with meat and tomato mixture. Top with mushrooms, green pepper and cheese. Cook for 20 minutes in a 425° oven.

CHEESE PIZZA

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 8 oz Furmano’s tomato puree
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 6 oz American jalapeño pepper cheese, shredded
  • Optional: 4 oz canned mushrooms, drained
  • 1 red or green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tube of Pillsbury Classic Pizza Crust from the refrigerated section of the grocery store—this product contains no yeast

To prepare the sauce: Cook the garlic and the leek in the olive oil. Once soft, add the tomato puree and oregano. Stir and cook until bubbly.

Crust: Unroll the pizza dough into a lightly greased 13×9 cookie sheet or baking dish. Bake the crust at 400° for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with olive oil. Then spread the sauce over the crust and top with mushrooms and pepper if desired. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and shut the oven off. Now top the pizza with shredded cheese and put it back in the oven until the cheese is melted.

OATMEAL COOKIES

  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Combine first 4 ingredients until smooth. In separate bowl, combine flour, oats and basking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture.

Coat baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Drop spoonfuls of dough about 1-1/2 inches apart.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. Cool. Yield; 24 cookies.

CREAMY SALAD DRESSING

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons fat-free Ricotta cheese or mayo or use some of both
  • Italian seasoning—as much as you like
  • Salt and pepper to taste—you may need more than you think
  • Milk—enough to get to desired thinness. (I used 2%)

Use a blender to combine first five ingredients until uniform. Taste dressing and adjust seasoning. Then add milk—1/8 cup at a time until it looks like bought ranch dressing.

FAT FREE VERSION

Skip all of the oil. Double the vinegar and ricotta. Use more milk. Store homemade dressing in the refrigerator.

SALSA

  • 2 bunches spring onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 oz chopped green chilies
  • 2 Tbsp jalapeno pepper rings, chopped. The rings come in a jar. Can use more or less depending
  • on how hot you like it.
  • 15 oz diced Contadina tomatoes
  • salt and pepper

Clean finely chopped garlic and the white part of the spring onions. Put in a microwavable bowl. Add a tablespoon of water, cover and microwave until soft: 2-3 minutes. Add the green chilies and jalapeno peppers to the spring onions. Drain the tomatoes and add the juice to the onions and peppers. Put the diced tomatoes on a cutting board and cut the pieces smaller so chip dipping will be easier. Add them to the rest of the ingredients along with salt and pepper. Stir it all together and refrigerate for a day for best flavor.

STEAK MARINADE

  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp chopped shallot
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ Tbsp fresh rosemary
  • ½ Tbsp fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Combine ingredients. Coat steaks. Cover and refrigerate one hour.

CREAMY SWEET POTATO SOUP

  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 quarts homemade chicken broth
  • 10 oz frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and shredded
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 1 large can vacuum packed sweet potatoes, cut to bite size

In a large soup pot, sauté shallots and zucchini in butter until crisp and tender (low heat for about 5 minutes). Stir in broth and bring to a simmer. Add frozen broccoli and cook until soup returns to a boil. Add shredded potato and seasonings; cook another 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in the sweet potatoes and cream and heat through.

Serves 12-16.

CHICKEN PARMESAN

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, 4 oz each
  • 3/4 cup Kellogg’s Cornflake Crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Oil for frying
  • 6 oz Contadina tomato paste
  • 1½ cup water
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tsp butter
  • American cheese, 2 slices

Preheat oven to 350°.

To coat chicken: break the egg yolk and scramble the egg on a plate. Put the Cornflake Crumbs on a second plate. Dip the chicken, one piece at a time, in the egg and then in the crumbs. Heat the oil in a fry pan and brown the chicken. Set chicken aside.

Make the sauce. In a small pot, melt the butter and sauté the shallots until soft. Add the tomato paste and water to the shallots. Stir and heat.

To assemble: Use a 9×9 inch baking dish. Cover the bottom of the dish with ¼ cup sauce. Position the 4 pieces of chicken in the dish. Top each piece with ½ slice of American cheese. Pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for ½-hour or until bubbly. Serves 4.

SLOPPY JOES

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 8 hamburger rolls

Brown the hamburger and drain the grease. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer. You can add a little water or more ketchup if needed. Fill the rolls with meat and serve. Severs 8.

CHICKEN CATTITORE

  • 4 skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 chicken legs
  • Oil to fry
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, cut into medium pieces
  • 15 oz Furmano’s crushed tomatoes

Heat oil. Fry chicken pieces on medium heat. Add the shallots and green pepper to the chicken. Lower the heat. Cover the pan and cook until green pepper is soft. Pour the sauce on top and heat through. This dish is good served over rice. Serves 4-6.

SALMON WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE

  • 1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets—about 1½ lbs.

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 10×13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place salmon in the dish. Combine the other ingredients in a bowl. Spoon this mixture over the fillets. Bake 20 minutes or until salmon flakes easily. Serves 4

STRAWBERRY DRESSING

  • 6 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ pepper
  • ¾ cup olive oil

Add strawberry syrup from the juice of sweetened strawberries, to taste.

SHRIMP WITH APRICOT-CURRY GLAZE

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp apricot preservatives
  • 1½ Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2¼ tsp mustard
  • 2¼ tsp curry powder
  • 1¼ tsp minced garlic
  • 1½ lbs uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined.

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Preheat broiler. Broil Shrimp about 6 inches from heat just until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

OVEN ROASTED VEGGIES

  • 1 small eggplant, cut into ¾ inch pieces
  • 2 small red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into ¾ inch pieces*
  • 2 medium carrots thickly sliced diagonally
  • 2 leeks, cut into ¾ inch rings
  • 1 cup mushrooms, quartered
  • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • ½ tsp dried thyme, crumbled
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine first 8 ingredients in large roasting pan. Add olive oil and toss to coat well. Bake until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Add broccoli to roasting pan and bake until broccoli is crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. (or you could use asparagus spears).

Serve over couscous or brown rice. Both sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are great roasted—but if you use these, you might want to skip the couscous or brown rice.

Your Suggestions

Have you discovered migraine safe foods that are delicious and easy to prepare, or prepared foods that make eating safe and healthy? Are you a nutritionist or a chef with an urge to help others? Do you speak another language and wish to translate/adapt this page to make it accessible to more people? I welcome your help and input. Please contact me. We will post your comments, additions, and suggestions here.

Information Provided by Dr. Michael Teixido, MD

Dr. Teixido is a board certified Otolaryngologist and Otologist/Neurotologist, with a special interest in medical and surgical conditions that affect hearing and balance. He is actively pursuing his goals of advancing the study and understanding of problems involving hearing and balance as a result of hereditary hearing conditions in his own family.  View Dr. Teixido's Full Bio

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