10 delicious dishes for a happy belly

Do you get an upset stomach after some meals? Here are 10 delicious dishes with known belly-friendly ingredients to keep you satisfied and stomach pain-free

1 / 10

Fettuccine “Alfredo”

In this mock Alfredo dish, pureed tofu stands in for the heavy cream usually found in the classic Italian pasta dish, while green beans masquerade as green peas (you can dice them, if you like, to be the same size as peas). Serve with a tossed salad to complete this crowd-pleasing meal.

BELLY BUDDIES: Tofu, green beans.

7 ounces firm tofu
½ cup lactose-free 1% milk
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup diced dry-pack sun-dried tomatoes
1¼ teaspoons salt
8 ounces brown rice fettuccine
½ pound green beans
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a blender, purée the tofu and milk (it will have the consistency of thick heavy cream). Transfer to a saucepan and add the pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and cook according to package directions. Add the beans for the last 3 minutes of cook time. Reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, drain and return to the pot.

Add the tofu sauce, cheese, and ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water, tossing to coat evenly. Add more pasta water, if necessary, to loosen up the sauce.

Per serving: 336 calories • 15g protein • 6g fat (2.5g saturated) • 3.5g fibre • 52g carbohydrate • 386mg sodium • 29mg magnesium

2 / 10

Grilled Chicken, Honeydew and Avocado Salad

Many supermarket produce departments sell cut-up honeydew, a source of anti-inflammatory magnesium. However, if you need to buy an entire melon to make this, cut up the extra and freeze it. You can then add the frozen chunks to a breakfast smoothie. Or you can puree the frozen melon with a squirt of lime juice in a food processor and serve it as a “sorbet.”

BELLY BUDDIES: Olive oil, chicken breast, lemon, sesame oil, lettuce, honeydew melon, avocado.

1 teaspoon curry powder (look for brands with no onions or garlic)
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (look for brands with no onions or garlic)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
4 cups thinly sliced honeydew melon, cut to match the avocado slices (about 1 pound)
½ avocado, thinly sliced lengthwise and halved crosswise

Preheat the grill or a grill pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the curry powder and salt. Rub the chicken with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Rub the curry mixture into both sides of the chicken.

Grill the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through but still juicy and a little pink in the center (the chicken will continue to cook as it rests). When cool enough to handle, thinly slice against the grain.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, sesame oil, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Place the lettuce in a large bowl and toss with all but 2 tablespoons of the dressing.

To serve, make a bed of lettuce on each of 4 salad plates. Divide the chicken, melon, and avocado among the plates. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salads.

Per serving: 286 calories • 32g protein • 14g fat (2g saturated) • 3g fibre • 10g carbohydrate • 532mg sodium • 59mg magnesium

3 / 10

Chicken Enchiladas

You can cook and shred the chicken up to a day ahead and refrigerate it until you’re ready to proceed with this recipe. If you like, add some cilantro leaves and finely diced red bell pepper to the tortillas before rolling them up.

BELLY BUDDIES: Chicken breast.

1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth (look for brands with no onions or garlic)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons ancho chile powder
¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
¼ cup no-salt-added tomato paste (look for brands with no onions or garlic)
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
½ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
¾ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (3 ounces)


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small saucepan, combine the broth, coriander, cumin, oregano, and salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the chicken, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through and very faintly pink in the center.

Reserving the broth, transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred.

Whisk the tomato paste and chile powder into the reserved broth. Dip each tortilla into the broth mixture. Divide the shredded chicken and corn among the 4 tortillas, roll them up, and place them, seam side down, in an 8 x 8-inch baking dish.

Pour the remaining broth mixture over the enchiladas and scatter the cheese over the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are piping hot. Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving:
274 calories • 28g protein • 8g fat (3.5g saturated) • 4g fibre • 23g carbohydrate • 468mg sodium • 57mg magnesium

4 / 10

Chicken-Stuffed Peppers with Feta

All you need to go with these flavour-packed stuffed peppers is a big tossed salad. The ground chicken used here is a lean yet tasty protein source. Substitute it in any of your favourite recipes that feature ground beef to save on both fat and calories.

BELLY BUDDIES: Bell peppers, olive oil, chicken breast, almonds

4 large yellow bell peppers
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
½ pound ground chicken breast
? cup very finely chopped almonds
1 large egg
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon no-salt-added tomato paste (look for brands with no onions or garlic)
¼ cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil (for easy cleanup).

Lay the peppers on their sides. Slice off the top one-third of the peppers, just above the stem, to make little “boats” for stuffing. Finely dice enough of the sliced-off pieces to get 1 cup. (Save any remaining pieces of pepper for a snack.)

Cut out the seeds and as much of the ribs as you can to make room for the stuffing. Place the pepper boats cut side down in the pan and bake for 10 minutes to soften. Remove from the oven and flip the peppers cut side up. Leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced pepper and salt and cook for 2 minutes to soften. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and the chicken to the pan and cook, breaking the chicken into crumbles with a spoon, for 1 minute, or until still a little pink. Off the heat, stir in the almonds and let cool slightly.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the tamari. Beat in the tomato paste. Stir into the chicken mixture.

Divide the stuffing evenly among the peppers. Cover the pan with foil and return to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the stuffing is cooked through.

Uncover and sprinkle the peppers with the feta. Re-cover and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 239 calories • 20g protein • 12g fat (2.5g saturated) • 3g fibre • 15g carbohydrate • 469mg sodium • 65mg magnesium

5 / 10

BBQ Pork Salad

Contrary to popular belief, the green cabbage used in this recipe is not a major gas producer. In fact, it’s lower in FODMAPs compared to Napa or savoy cabbage, making it gentler on your tummy. You can make the barbecue sauce well ahead of time and refrigerate. Just make sure to bring it back to room temperature before using it. A splatter screen is a useful tool to have when cooking a thick sauce like this one – you’ll be able to keep it from spitting all over while allowing steam to escape so you can reduce the sauce faster.

BELLY BUDDIES: Tomatoes, lean pork, olive oil, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, green cabbage.

1 can (15 ounces) no-salt-added crushed tomatoes (look for brands with no onions or garlic)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons distilled apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons mild chili powder (look for brands with no onions or garlic)
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 large red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
3 cups shredded cabbage (¼ medium or ½ small head)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil (for easier cleanup).

In a small saucepan, combine the tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the chili powder, and ½ teaspoon of the cumin. Puree with an immersion blender (or blend everything in a mini food processor before putting in the saucepan). Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, then reduce heat to low, partially cover, and cook for 10 minutes to concentrate the flavours.

Measure out ? cup of the mixture to use as a baste for the pork. Let the rest of the mixture cool slightly, then whisk in the oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. This is the salad dressing.

Rub both sides of the pork with the remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin and roast for 10 minutes. Brush the pork with half of the basting mixture, then roast for another 10 minutes. Brush with the remaining basting mixture and roast for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until it registers 145°F on an instant-read thermometer when inserted into the thickest part of the meat. Let stand for at least 10 minutes, then thinly slice crosswise.

Meanwhile, in a steamer, cook the sweet potatoes for 5 minutes, or until firm-tender. Transfer to a large salad bowl. Add the bell pepper, corn, cabbage, and salad dressing, tossing to combine. (Add any juices from the cutting board, too.)

Serve the sliced pork on a bed of the vegetables. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serving: 344 calories • 29g protein • 7g fat (1.5g saturated) • 7.5g fibre • 41g carbohydrate • 410mg sodium • 100mg magnesium

6 / 10

Spinach, Pork and Blueberry Salad

Blueberries promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria that keep our tummies trim and happy. Mashing them here thickens the salad dressing while adding a subtle sweetness. When shopping for Belgian endives, look for those that are white, with little or no yellowing at the tips.

BELLY BUDDIES: Ginger, lean pork, olive oil, blueberries, spinach, Belgian endive


¾ teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¾ pound pork tenderloin
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups blueberries
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
5 ounces baby spinach
1 Belgian endive, thickly sliced crosswise
2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, stir together the salt, ginger, allspice, and pepper. Measure out ¾ teaspoon of the mixture for the pork.

Place the pork in a small roasting pan and rub with the reserved spice mixture and 1 teaspoon of the oil.

Roast the pork for 25 minutes, or until it registers 145°F on an instant-read thermometer when inserted into the thickest part of the meat. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into ¼-inch-thick slices.

Add ½ cup of the blueberries to the large bowl with the spice mixture and mash with a potato masher or a fork. Stir in the vinegar and the remaining 4 teaspoons oil.

Add the spinach, endive, and remaining 1 cup blueberries to the dressing and toss to coat. Add the pork and any juices that have accumulated, and toss again.

Divide among 4 plates and scatter each serving with ½ ounce of goat cheese

Per serving:
232 calories • 22g protein • 11g fat (3.5g saturated) • 4g fibre • 13g carbohydrate • 515mg sodium • 32mg magnesium

7 / 10

Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry With Sesame Quinoa

The best way to cut flank steak for a stir-fry is to first put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm it up and make it easier to slice. Cut the steak lengthwise (with the grain) into 2- to 3-inch-wide strips. Next, cut each strip across the grain into very thin slices. Ginger not only imparts flavour to this Asian-inspired dish, but also acts as a digestive aid, helping the stomach empty.

BELLY BUDDIES: Quinoa, ginger, lean beef, sesame seeds, olive oil, bell pepper, green cabbage.

? cup quinoa
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons gluten-free reduced-sodium tamari
1 tablespoon dry sherry, white wine, or water
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ pound flank steak, cut into thin slices for stir-fry
1? cups water
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, preferably black
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, slivered
3 cups shredded green cabbage or coleslaw mix


In a medium bowl of water, soak the quinoa while you prepare the ingredients for the stir-fry.

In another medium bowl, combine the ginger, tamari, sherry, and cayenne. Add the beef to the bowl, tossing to coat.

Drain the quinoa and transfer to a saucepan. Add the 1? cups water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the sesame seeds and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned on the outside, but still pink. With a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate.

Add the bell pepper and stir-fry until it starts to soften, about 1 minute. Add the cabbage and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cabbage and bell pepper are crisp-tender.

Return the beef to the skillet and cook just long enough to heat through. Serve over the quinoa.

Per serving: 302 calories • 25g protein • 11g fat (2.5g saturated) • 3g fibre • 26g carbohydrate • 561mg sodium • 32mg magnesium

8 / 10

Chicken Mac and Cheese

Cooking the pasta in broth gives extra flavour to this dish. By keeping the carb quantity small, we’ve reduced the density of this meal without losing any of its cheesy richness. If you can find brown rice or quinoa-corn pasta, that will lower the carb density even more. Adding nourishing veggies and chicken boosts protein and fibre to keep you full longer.

BELLY BUDDIES: Swiss chard, chicken breast, spinach, tomatoes, egg.

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (look for brands with no onions or garlic)
1 cup water
4 ounces gluten-free macaroni
4 ounces Swiss chard, leaves and stalks thinly sliced (1 cup)
½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ½-inch chunks
2 cups shredded baby spinach (2 ounces)
2 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
¼ cup snipped fresh dill
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally, until a little shy of al dente. During the final 2 minutes of cooking, add the Swiss chard and chicken. Reserving the broth, drain the pasta mixture and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the spinach, tomatoes, dill, cheese, and pepper to the pasta. Stir in the egg and ½ cup of the reserved broth.

Spoon the mixture into a 9 x 9-inch baking dish and sprinkle the Parmesan on top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until piping hot and the top is golden brown.

Per serving: 310 calories • 26g protein • 9.5g fat (5g saturated) • 2g fibre • 27g carbohydrate • 473mg sodium • 45mg magnesium


9 / 10

Fish Taco Salad

While many fish tacos have cabbage and radishes, we’ve swapped in radicchio for both its crunch and its peppery taste. Yellow and red grape tomatoes make for a more colourful salad, but any type of tomato will benefit your tummy here.

BELLY BUDDIES: Olive oil, grouper, maple syrup, tomatoes, avocado.

2 (6-inch) corn tortillas
6 teaspoons fresh lime juice
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ pounds skinless grouper fillet
½ teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon chili powder (look for brands with no onions or garlic)
1 cup yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup red grape tomatoes, halved
1½ cups shredded radicchio
½ cup sliced scallion greens or snipped chives
½ cup packed cilantro leaves
1 cup diced avocado


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and brush with 2 teaspoons of the lime juice and 1 teaspoon of the oil. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crisp. When cool enough to handle, break into pieces.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-low heat. Sprinkle the grouper with the salt and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until opaque throughout (timing will vary depending on the thickness of the fish). When cool enough to handle, break into bite-size pieces.

In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, chili powder, and the remaining 4 teaspoons lime juice and 2 teaspoons oil. Add the grape tomatoes, radicchio, scallion greens, cilantro, and avocado and toss to combine.

Divide among 4 plates and top with the fish and tortilla chips.

Per serving:
331 calories • 36g protein • 13g fat (2g saturated) • 4.5g fibre • 17g carbohydrate • 345mg sodium • 79mg magnesium

10 / 10

Creamy Fish Stew

This stew is a delicious way to incorporate more heart-healthy fish into your diet. While some stews are thickened with the addition of eggs and oil, mayonnaise does the same trick here.

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound small red or white potatoes, well scrubbed, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 cup diced fennel (4 ounces)
1 cup peeled and diced celery root (6 ounces)
½ cup thinly sliced carrot
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups water
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 pound skinless cod or grouper fillets, cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise (look for brands with no onions or garlic)

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes, fennel, celery root, and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the potatoes start to brown. Add the salt and 1 cup of the water, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the orange zest and the remaining 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, place the fish on top, cover, and cook for 7 minutes, or until the fish is opaque throughout. Whisk in the mayonnaise.

Serve in shallow soup bowls.

Per serving: 226 calories • 22g protein • 7.5g fat (1g saturated) • 3g fibre • 17g carbohydrate • 495mg sodium • 64mg magnesium

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