About 86% of the U.S. adult population cook at least three meals per week. The tendency is more adults learn to cook as they get older, more budget minded, and health conscious. Learning to cook in general will help you spend less money on non-nutritious fast food. More so, learning gout-friendly recipes will help lower your purine intake and uric acid levels.
Since most of us are staying home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I thought it would be helpful to share six simple recipes I learned. By the way, I’m far from being a good cook. If you can make eggs and bacon, you can make these meals.
These recipes do not take much prep time nor require exotic ingredients. Since red meats like beef and pork generally contain more purines than white meats from poultry, the dishes include chicken or ground turkey.
No one is making anyone go vegetarian here. However, each recipe can easily be converted to a gout-friendly and vegetarian version.
Learn to cook healthy, get less gout. Plus, if you can save money as well, isn’t that a great 2-for-1 deal?
[For a list of specific foods and sneaky gout triggers, click: The Absolute Worst Foods For Chronic Gout Sufferers]
Here are six easy to follow gout-friendly recipes YouTube that you can easily master.
1. Ground Turkey Recipes
One of the best moves to lower your risk of gout is to eat less red meat and replace it with white meat. In this recipe, ground turkey is a smart choice. Plus, I don’t know anyone that got gout from eating too much turkey on Thanksgiving. If they did, the gravies were made with high-purine ingredients.
Here is a video that prepares four quick meals with ground turkey. These are straight forward stir-fry recipes for beginners.
Don’t mind the small 4 oz portions. I make more than that to get full. We are not watching calories as much as purines here. Though it is not as big a threat at red meat, omit the beans if you know your uric acid level is on the high side.
Ground turkey dishes are my go to meals because it is easy to cook and add different vegetables. Ground turkey can also replace ground beef in meat sauces, meatballs, chili, tacos, and several Asian stir-fried dishes.
Another plus about stir-frying ground turkey is you can add any seasoning, fresh or store bought, to change up the flavor. In general, turkey provides similar nutritional value as ground beef, but does not contain as much purines.
2. Grilled or Baked Chicken Breast
Have you ever been in a fast food or fast casual restaurant, looked at your grilled chicken order and said, I can make this? Learning to grill, pan-fry or bake chicken breasts is easier than you think. Plus, it tastes so much fresher when you cook you own.
Eating chicken and turkey is less of a gout risk than beef and pork. Here is a another gout-friendly recipe with just six ingredients; chicken, lemon, garlic, salt, olive oil and basil.
To simplify things even more, you can bake this instead of frying. Also, there is large variety of dry rubs or marinades you can buy to find a favorite.
Make sure the ingredients in the rub powders and marinades are not gout starters like monosodium glutamate (MSG), yeast extract and shellfish ingredients.
3. Vegetable Frittata
I really did not know what a fritatta exactly was until a few years ago. It is basically like a big ol’ western omelette you bake. Since eggs are low in purines, make sure the extra fillings you add are too.
Check out how easy it is to make this gout-friendly recipe; scramble eggs, add stuff, set it and forget it.
If you ever made an omelette, you know you can almost put anything in it. Although it is healthier to keep it vegetarian, you can mix in some ground turkey. Topping it off with different cheese helps change it up also.
Yes, ten to twelve eggs is a lot. Great if you have a family to feed. However, studies have indicated eggs raise LDL or bad cholesterol in 30% of people that were categorized as hyper-responders. Also, medical experts suggest three eggs per day is a safe amount to eat in regards to heart disease. Still, no one is recommending to eat eggs every day or eat the whole tray. The point here is for you to create your own frittata, so you can have occasional gout-friendly dinner or snack.
[For a deeper dive on the foods linked to high blood pressure and gout, read: This Is How Hypertension Sets You Up For Gout]
4. Chicken or Eggplant Parmigiana
Making chicken parmigiana is similar to recipe #2 above, if you are baking the chicken breasts. Same benefits; chicken or eggplant less of a gout threat than red meat. This will take a little more prep time to set up the three breading stations. Yet, it is still a straight-forward and worth-while dish with no cutting of vegetables.
Bread crumbs and sauce can be whatever flavor you want to use. If you have been getting frequent gout flares or just getting over one, avoid the breadcrumbs that contain yeast extract. Note that yeast extract is a derivative of MSG, a gout starter.
You can replace the chicken with eggplants, or even vegetarian meatballs from the store. Make enough and you’ll have plenty of leftovers and guarantees you have another gout-friendly meal.
5. Vegetable Lasagna
The steps to make lasagna is somewhat simple. You just have to learn to do it right. To make it a vegetarian or gout-friendly recipe, replace the ground beef or sausage with vegetables like chopped spinach, peppers, mushrooms, and carrots. If you are not yet there with using only vegetables, throw in some ground turkey. It adds some heartiness.
This video shows how to prepare a vegetable lasagna, but to save TV time, they show five different cooking stages. I prefer cooking shows that are real time, but the purpose is for the viewer to get the general idea.
Yes, this will take a little bit more prep time at first. Like anything, you will get quicker as you get more familiar. Look at it this way, you will have plenty of leftovers if you aren’t making it for a group. That’s at least two healthier and cheaper meals in the week versus fast food.
6. Baked Salmon – Dry Rub
Don’t be scared to eat some fish if you have gout. Salmon has a moderate amount of purines compared to other fish. Some of the worst fish to eat due to high purine content are anchovies, sardines, herring, trout, mackerel and haddock.
Here is a quick salmon entree to prepare. Dry rub with herbs and powders make prepping food convenient. Plus, there’s no mixing or chopping. Well, you do have to slice up a lemon. That shouldn’t be be too difficult, you most likely cut up few limes for your coronas.
Again, you can switch up the flavor using different types of rubs and dipping sauces There are plenty of seasoning blends and dry rubs available at any grocery store. Again, just make sure all the ingredients in the rubs and sauces are gout friendly.
If you really want to step it up, increase your vegetable intake with some healthy sides.
Some people despise vegetables. I get that. There are a few I don’t care for either. Nonetheless, we all know vegetables are pillars to a healthy diet, whether you have gout or not. Vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants in vegetables sustain and boost body functions.
Vegetables may not be directly associated in breaking down uric acid, but they do improve conditions in the body to help eliminate waste products.
Learn to make your own salad. Some house salads are so over priced, you might as well make your own. If you need a place to start, what are the toppings you choose when you’re at Subway’s? Then add flavored croutons, sesame seeds/sticks, or nuts for crunch and heartiness. Remember to check for sneaky gout ingredients like high fructose and anchovies in salad dressings. Having just two salads a week, makes a big difference for the dietary fiber or roughage.
Salads get boring, for sure. Another way I prefer eating raw vegetables is with different dips. There are thousands of flavored dips to choose from like spinach, jalapeno-cheddar, ranch, and French onion. So instead of the dipping the Ruffles and Cape Cod chips (my faves), try to replace them with some celery, carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers and broccoli. (Easier said than done. I know! So start once a month.) Of course you can simply buy a vegetable tray for yourself if you know its is fresh.
By no means do I consider myself a good cook or a vegetarian. These are gout-friendly recipes because they incorporate low-purine foods. Plus, they are user friendly for the beginner. The pain from gout should at least make you try one.
I really started making healthier choices when I finally accepted my sh-tty diet was the main reason for my gout. A time when 300 mg of allopurinol seemed to do nothing. Still, it took me a while to get used to certain foods. You’ll find seasonings and sauces help tremendously for flavor.
Changing habits, especially eating habits, takes time. Changing priorities, learning to cook, picking ingredients and finding time can be daunting, but you have to start somewhere right? You do have a lot more down time, waiting out this coronavirus pandemic. Why not try something new and cook? Eventually, you’ll be eating more healthy meals (you like) than crappy ones.
Learning to cook gout-friendly recipes will help you save money, know exactly what you’re eating, and even improve your mood. You’ll definitely be in better spirits when you experience less crippling gout attacks along the way. A sign that you are becoming GOUTPROOF!