Recipes for ulcerative colitis

Colitis Cookbook: Recipes for Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn’s Disease Patients

Cookbook co-authors Denise and Ross Weale both graduated from Johnson and Wales Culinary School, located in Providence, Rhode Island. A short time later, in 1990, symptoms led Ross’ gastroenterologist to diagnose him with ulcerative colitis.

During a severe flare-up in 1995, and with the need to maintain a low residue diet, Denise and Ross collaboratively wrote “The Culinary Couple’s Creative Colitis Cookbook”— a cookbook that contains 100 easily-prepared low fiber, non-dairy breakfast, bread, soup, side dish, main course, and dessert recipes (see complete table of contents with free recipes). The recipes reflect a delicious collection of diet-modified American comfort foods, and ethnic favorites like Arroz con Pollo, and Salmon Croquettes.

Together, we thought our colitis diet cookbook would be a great way to share the culinary creations that helped Ross while trying to deal with the ups and downs of ulcerative colitis. The cookbook itself is spiral bound, and pocket-sized (4¼” by 5½”) making it a great supermarket, and counter-top companion. In addition to the use of a low residue diet during flare-ups, Ross utilizes a prescription drug maintenance program during remission — as indicated by his physician.

Thanks for visiting our Web site. We wish you the best of health. — Denise & Ross

PS. We are happy to share a few really nice messages from our readers!:

“Thank you! Thank you! For the great cookbook. My husband, Brian, was just diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and we cooked our first meal, the Chicken Fingers – YUM! You made our day! Thanks again!” — Mary and Brian


“I want to thank you for making my daughter’s 20th birthday a feast to remember. She was so happy and everyone loved the food. I love to cook and have experimented with other things using your techniques. I made the brownies in the shape of a heart and put an icing on it which consisted of confectionery sugar, cocoa and rice milk. She is doing much better with her colitis and now with these recipes I will be able to fatten her up a little. Once again thank you…” — Susan S.


“I just want to follow up and let you know that my mother received her cookbook. She really likes it and is looking forward to using it. I want to thank you for your help and dedication to your product. It is gratifying to do business with a man with integrity.” — Rick R. MDC

Recipe Ideas for Ulcerative Colitis

April 28, 20063 found this helpful Best Answer

Suppers: Break out your crock-pot; the slow cooking tends to break down the fiber and connective tissues in foods to make them softer and a little more digestible; and they taste good, too! Look for recipes with green beans, rice, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and flavorful ingredients. Beef and chicken usually digest well. Avoid corn, nuts, seeds, celery (except the leaves), cabbage,and other foods with more “residue”. (I think that is the old-fashioned term for insoluble fiber, or as Grandma used to say: roughage.) You may also want to avoid broccoli, brussels sprouts, and foods like that which may be gas-producing. Avoid beans, except the green ones.


Pastas are always a good bet, with less chunky sauces. Cheese raviolis, macaroni and cheese (the men seem to love the old-fashioned baked kind–which is easy to make!)

Iceberg lettuce is actually not bad! But avoid some of the other usual salad ingredients. Tomato is OK if you peel and seed it. Same with cucumber.

Breakfasts: Cream of wheat and cream of rice; rice crispies; white toast with seedless jam or jelly; puffed rice; eggs; yogurt (avoid raspberry, strawberry, blackberry–potential for seeds); cheese; smooth peanut butter may be fine–it usually is, but NOT chunky.

Desserts: Sugar wafer cookies, vanilla wafers, puddings and custards, jello, angel cakes, etc. You may want to avoid a lot of cinnamon. Rice Crispies treats go over well!

One caution about the milk products–some people develop a sensitivity or lactose intolerance, so you may want to eliminate them for a couple of weeks, then add back and see if he reacts adversely.


Peeled apples, bananas, peeled peaches, most canned fruits (but I would avoid pineapple), applesauce; jellied cranberry sauce (not whole berry–seeds!)

Lunches: Avoid heavily seasoned lunchmeats and other proccessed meats; try to avoid the preservatives, too–the Kosher lunchmeats are usually more “pure” that way. Tuna is usually OK, too. Cream cheese and jelly. Leftovers! Canned pastas and soups (again, watch the labels for corn and other trouble foods).

Truly, think more of how our grandparents ate in the forties and fifties. Simple fare; a lot of what we now see as comfort foods.

If you don’t have a crock-pot, get one today! Buy the lean cuts of meat and cook them all day for moist, fall-apart meats. Fall off the bone chicken.

I agree about seeing a dietician–but be sure it is a registered dietician; “nutritionists” are unregulated in many areas, meaning anyone can hang out that shingle. One nutritionist may be the best thing going; but another may be a well-spoken quack.


Read; but many of the “diets” for IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) are not proven. Be cautious, and go with what works for your husband.

There are also support groups, great places for recipe sharing and other tips. Even if he doesn’t want to go, you should. Learn what you can do to help, so you don’t feel like you’re going to hurt him!

Once he gets his meds straightened out, he will hopefully start feeling better and you will both be able to live and learn and move forward. It does get easier!

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6 Delicious Make-Ahead Lunch Recipes for Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis

Smaller Meals

When battling Crohn’s or UC, one strategy for avoiding flare-ups is to eat several smaller meals throughout the day. Eating smaller portions more frequently helps your body digest more easily and helps prevent overeating. Try packing some of our favorite “snack meals” that you have every two or three hours that do not require reheating and can easily be consumed on the go.

Meat & veggie roll-ups

Slice some Low FODMAP veggies, such as cucumbers, celery, carrots, or bell peppers, into matchsticks or small pieces. Roll the veggies into slices of deli sliced ham or turkey breast. You can also do zucchini roll-ups by using a wide vegetable spiralizer or peeler to slice the zucchini into strips. Place your meat on top, roll and eat!

Strawberry, cucumber & feta salad

Slice fresh strawberries and cucumbers. At lunchtime, toss with olive oil and apple cider vinegar vinaigrette. Top with feta and enjoy!

Overnight Oats

One of our favorites to make ahead for the whole week! Simply combine oats and your dairy-free milk of choice at a 1:1 ratio. Add in some heart healthy berries, chia seeds and/or nuts like almonds, macadamia nuts or pumpkin seeds. If you need a little sweetness, consider using raw honey. Oats and raw honey are both considered to be prebiotic foods which promote healthy gut bacteria — important for healthy digestion.

Warm Lunches

Snack lunches are great, but sometimes you crave something warm for lunch. Here are our favorite make-ahead lunch recipes that only require a little time to reheat in the microwave if you’re on the go.

Green beans, potatoes and chicken sausage

There are a few ways to prepare this — heat all ingredients in a stovetop skillet, or bake everything on a sheet pan at 400° for 45 minutes (until potatoes are tender.) Whichever method you prefer, chop the green beans, potatoes and sausage into bite-size pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. After cooking, portion into individual containers, preferably glass, and reheat before eating for a couple of minutes in the microwave.

Lunch Frittata

Making a frittata is both easy and customizable. It reheats well, and can be balanced with a simple green salad.

  • 6-8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free milk
  • 2 cups meat and/or vegetables
  • 1 cup cheese (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400º. Cook your meat and veggies of choice in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat on the stovetop, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and milk together with a pinch of salt. Sprinkle the cheese (if using) over the meat and veggies, then pour the egg mixture over the top. Continue cooking on the stovetop until the eggs are set around the edges, usually three to five minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven, baking eight to ten minutes until the eggs are set. Portion into individual containers, preferably glass. Reheat in the microwave and enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup

There’s nothing easier to make ahead than soup! Most store-bought soups contain high levels of sodium and other unwanted ingredients. Making homemade soup ensures you’re getting a nutritional, Crohn’s/UC-friendly lunch. Chicken noodle soup is another staple, easy-to-throw-together recipe that can keep you satisfied all week long.

Start with six cups of liquid, either low-FODMAP chicken broth, water, or a combination of the two. Add two to three cups of cooked chicken, a stalk of chopped celery, and a couple of peeled and sliced carrots. Add a squeeze of lemon (about a tablespoon) to add brightness, then season with salt, pepper and thyme. Bring liquid to a boil and add gluten-free pasta or zucchini noodles. Cook until carrots are tender and pasta is cooked through — usually 10-12 minutes for gluten-free pasta and 3-5 minutes for zucchini noodles. Store in single-serving containers, like mason jars, and enjoy throughout the week. Freeze any leftovers for busy weeks in the future!

Ulcerative Colitis: Diet Plan and Guidelines

Written by Adrienne Santos-Longhurst Reviewed by Natalie Butler, RD, LD Published: 25 Jan 2017 Published: 25 Jan 2017 Reviewed: 5 Jul 2016 Reviewed: 5 Jul 2016

Although there’s no one particular diet for people with ulcerative colitis, there are some general guidelines and recipes that may help keep your symptoms at bay.

The low-residue diet

For many people with ulcerative colitis, finding the right diet plan is a process of elimination. You eliminate certain foods that seem to aggravate your symptoms and see how you feel. Since there are some foods that are known to be common triggers, a diet plan that eliminates these foods is best. One such diet is a low-fiber diet, also known as the low-residue diet. This diet is also especially helpful if you are experiencing a flare-up of symptoms.

The diet is based around low-fiber foods that are easy to digest and likely to slow your bowel movements and limit diarrhea. The diet allows you to eat a lot of the foods that you’d normally eat, while keeping your fiber consumption down to around 10 to 15 grams per day.

Your body will still get the necessary amount of proteins and minerals, along with the fluids and salt that you need. Since chronic diarrhea and rectal bleeding can lead to certain nutrient and mineral deficiencies, your doctor may want you to add a multivitamin or another supplement to your diet, depending on your needs.

What you can eat

The following are foods that are recommended on the low-residue diet. Remember that some of these foods can still trigger flare-ups, so you may need to make some adjustments or speak to your doctor and dietitian about alternatives.

  • dairy: up to 2 cups of milk, cottage cheese, pudding, or yogurt per day
  • grains: refined white breads, pasta, crackers, and dry cereals that have less than 1/2 a gram of fiber per serving
  • meats and other proteins: soft and tender cooked meats, such as poultry, eggs, pork, and fish; smooth peanut and nut butter
  • fruits: fruit juices with no pulp; canned fruits and applesauce, not including pineapple; raw, ripe bananas, melon, cantaloupe, watermelon, plums, peaches, and apricots
  • vegetables: raw lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, and onion; cooked spinach, pumpkin, seedless yellow squash, carrots, eggplant, potatoes, and green and wax beans
  • fats and sauces: butter, margarine, mayonnaise, oils, smooth sauces, and dressings (not tomato); whipped cream; smooth condiments

Avoid the following foods while on a low-residue diet:

  • deli meats
  • dry fruits, berries, figs, prunes, and prune juice
  • raw vegetables not mentioned in the list above
  • spicy sauces, dressings, pickles, and relishes with chunks
  • nuts, seeds, and popcorn
  • foods and beverages that contain caffeine, cocoa, and alcohol

For those who enjoy dessert, plain cakes are fine, as are cookies, pies, and Jell-O.

The American Dietetic Association recommends the following eating practices:

  • Eat small meals every 3 or 4 hours.
  • Drink at least 8 cups of water per day to avoid dehydration.
  • Eat foods containing added probiotics and prebiotics to encourage better gut health.
  • Limit oils to 8 teaspoons a day.


Creating delicious meals can seem challenging when you have to alter your diet and avoid certain foods. Fortunately, the low-residue diet still allows you to eat a lot of the foods that you’re probably accustomed to. Remember, having ulcerative colitis doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your taste buds to boring or bland food. When symptoms resolve, many people are able to consume previously avoided foods with higher fiber again.

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  • Ulcerative Colitis and the Paleo Diet Learn about the diet

I feel like it is long overdue for me to share my health story on here! I have spent a long time trying to not talk about this disease, to downplay symptoms, and to pretend like it doesn’t exist. But it is a part of me and always will be, so I am trying my best to be more open, more vulnerable, and more real. So let me tell you about my journey with ulcerative colitis.

I was first diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis, which is a pretty mild form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), in 2013. To be honest, once I started taking medication, I would completely forget I had it most days. I carried out life just as usual, eating whatever I wanted and going out all the time. Then things started to get a little more serious and I wasn’t feeling so great. I got re-tested in 2017 and found out that things had progressed a lot, and I was then diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC). UC and Crohn’s disease are the two diseases that make up IBD. Both UC and Crohn’s disease are autoimmune diseases; UC affects just the colon (large intestine), while Crohn’s can affect any part of the GI tract.

At that time, the gastroenterologist I was seeing told me that diet and nutrition had nothing to do with ulcerative colitis (the other two gastros I have seen have also told me the same thing). This didn’t really sit well with me. I thought, how could a disease, which originates in the gut, not be affected by what I am putting into my body? So, I played around with a few different diets, kind of nonchalantly. For a time, I was gluten-free. Then, I tried dairy-free. I tried eliminating alcohol. But nothing on its own was helping – except the medications. So, maybe the doctors were right? Maybe diet doesn’t have anything to do with it? But I knew deep-down that wasn’t true.

I knew that I needed to change something about my diet but wasn’t sure which foods I was reacting to. I wouldn’t eat a piece of bread or a slice of pizza and then immediately get a stomachache. My pain seemed random and I couldn’t figure out what it was. My stomach symptoms got increasingly worse – some days I couldn’t eat anything except for broth without intense pain. But for me, the worst part was the fatigue. I would be so insanely tired – and not just sleepy tired, but tired to the core – that doing anything after work was impossible. Even taking a shower would seem like the biggest chore in the world. My favorite place to be was curled up on the couch. Exercise was out of the question and honestly seemed laughable. My “best” time was usually 9 am to 11 am, then after that it was a slow decline until I was ready for bed by 8:30 pm. So I knew that after the holidays were over, I needed to commit to something bigger. Not feeling like yourself is a really hard thing to deal with, especially when you don’t know what to do to fix it.

A typical AIP meal

Enter the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). The AIP is a super intense elimination diet – kind of like Whole30 on steroids. You basically eliminate everything that is potentially inflammatory or a trigger for an autoimmune disease for a period of time (at least 30 days) and then gradually re-introduce foods to see what you are intolerant to. You eliminate all grains and legumes, all dairy, eggs, coffee, alcohol, nightshade vegetables (potato, tomato, eggplant, bell peppers, any kind of peppers, chiles) and nightshade spices (paprika, cumin, curry powder, cayenne, etc.), nuts, seeds, fruit- or seed-based spices (cumin, peppercorns, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, mustard seed, poppy seed, sesame seed, etc.), additives (emulsifiers, gums, added flavors), refined sugars and processed vegetable oils, and chocolate (yes, basically all foods!). At the same time, you are supposed to be adding in high quality, high nutrient density foods to help your gut heal, like wild-caught seafood, humanely raised meat, vegetables (except nightshade family), fruits, and healthy fats. So many people have had great success with the AIP with helping or putting into remission their autoimmune diseases. I couldn’t not try it.

I started AIP on January 2nd, so I have almost a month under my belt. I’m not going to lie and say it has been easy – some days have been incredibly hard. Eating at a restaurant is next-to-impossible (I can’t even have black pepper!), and not having staples like eggs, nuts, and dairy has been a huge challenge for someone who doesn’t eat meat. I have eaten more sweet potatoes than I care to admit, and somehow I have not yet grown tired of salmon and tuna.

Roasted Mediterranean-style spaghetti squash with AIP pesto

I was hoping for some kind of miraculous feeling by this point. But the truth is, my symptoms with ulcerative colitis don’t feel a whole lot different. I am still taking my medications, but I have not seen any improvement in bleeding where I shouldn’t be (TMI? Sorry.) However, I have noticed a huge improvement with my fatigue and energy levels, though, which is a great thing, and I have hardly had any “random” debilitating stomachaches, just a couple. I am supposed to be getting towards the point of reintroducing some foods, but I’m not quite there yet! I know that for people with severely messed up guts (hi, that’s me!), it can take many months for the healing to be complete.

It’s truly mind-blowing how prevalent autoimmune diseases are becoming – especially in women. I can count four other people in my groups of friends that have autoimmune diseases – most of them affecting the gut. I have become a tad obsessed with learning about autoimmunity and especially the role the gut microbiome plays in it, so you can expect more posts on these topics.

Some things that I think have helped me so far are switching my probiotic to Just Thrive, drinking bone broth most days, getting tons of sleep, and getting plenty of omega-3 fats from seafood.

These books by Sarah Ballantyne have pretty much been my AIP Bible – The Paleo Approach and Paleo Principles. The Paleo Approach is specific for AIP and autoimmunity, while Paleo Principles gets into the nitty-gritty of the science of why certain foods need to be eliminated. Highly recommend both, especially if you’re a nutrition nerd like me and like reading that kind of thing. And it’s not just about ulcerative colitis- these books are good for all the hundreds of autoimmune diseases that are out there.

Ceviche without tomatoes or salsa – a perfect AIP appetizer

I would love to hear from you if you have questions about my experience with ulcerative colitis, or if you also struggle with an autoimmune disease. I know that autoimmune diseases can be hard because they are ‘invisible diseases’ – nobody really knows what you are going through on the inside. I’m hoping my next post will have some good news about how I am feeling on AIP!

xx Cami

Please note: Some of these links are affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you purchase items through these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, all opinions of products are my own!

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