What's for dinner?

I very strictly adhered to Dr. Buchholtz’s migraine diet for approx 8 mos. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any improvements. More recently, I have not been abiding by the diet except for the main triggers (chocolate, etc). Since I’ve been getting worse and worse, I’m beginning to think that I could possibly be making a bad situation even worse by not abiding by the diet.

Here is my dilemma: I can easily avoid all dietary triggers for breakfast and lunch; however, I have tremendous difficulty during dinner. Prior to becoming ill, I was a pretty big cook (liked cooking all sorts of cuisines). I am definitely a person who lives to eat. right now, I am too ill to cook most nights. So, this makes it VERY difficult to abide by any diet. I’ve had to resort to ordering in food many nights because it’s either that or starve (and I certainly don’t want to do that as I need to eat and I’m pregnant). If my husband gets home at a reasonable hour, he is happy to cook, but it’s rare that he is home for dinner. I just don’t know what to do, as I would like to revisit the diet more strictly. do other’s have easy recipes. I am just not a person who can eat grilled chicken with no flavoring and some veggies every night. I need some variety. This diet is just so tough when you are not well enough to cook and think about the ideal meals.

I realize that when even on the diet I still ate some things that I should not have. For example, I frequently fry up chicken cutlets after breading them with seasoned breadcrumbs (which have percorino cheese). I also use chicken broth for so many of my recipes (I make sure it is MSG free), but I notice that it contains onions. When I cook I always use, shallots. anyway, it’s just so hard, What do others make for dinner? My husband sometimes even makes meatloaf and also burgers. and he puts BBQ sauce in burgers and ketchup and veggies int he meatloaf, and bbq sauce and ketchup have vinegar in them. any migraine friendly recipes would be greatly appreciated. thanks so much, everyone

Under the migraine diet section I posted a recipe for a modified pesto. It is delicious. I also make my own chicken stock I substitute leeks for onions and I cook a whole chicken in the pot. I freeze the stock so I have it for awhile. I usually do two chickens in two pots so I don’t have to do it as often. Do you eat fish? I am finding that I eat fish more frequently and I load everything with seasoning from my spice rack to give it some flavor. One of my favorites is acorn squash. I cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, put it in a baking dish with about an inch of water. Make sure you put the cut sides down and bake it at 350 for about an hour. I eat it right out of the shell with a little bit of butter and brown sugar. I also like spaghetti squash with a little olive oil, veggies, salt and pepper. Just recently I started putting tomato sauce on it because I have figured out tomatoes do not make my symptoms better or worse.
Hope I provided some inspiration!

Thanks Sarah. I have cooked acorn squash like that - very good. I can also cook my own stock - the problem is that I am way too sick to really do any cooking right now :frowning: I will definitely look up your pesto recipe. I make my own too, but i put pine nuts and cheese which we’re not allowed. btw - how are you doing? remind me - what dose of Nort. are you on now?

sarah - just saw your pesto recipe. wondering what you season the chicken with

This post is right up my alley! I love to cook, and I was almost devastated when I saw the migraine food list.

I’ve been following the diet for a couple months now, and I’ve been pretty good at it. We get a share from an organic farmer, so we eat tons of fresh veggies. For you, I definitely suggest getting a large crock pot and cooking from there as much as you can, since I know you dont have the energy to stand over a hot stove. You can throw everything in in the morning, and have it ready by dinnertime. Check out crockpot365.blogspot.com/ for a bunch of recipes (of course, you probably have to adapt many of them, but it’s a good starting point). You can even make your own chicken or veggie broth in a crock pot, without using onions, and freeze it for later use.

Some things I have been making are mushroom potato and thyme frittatas, risotto (mushroom and leek usually), spinach and eggplant pasta, 40 cloves of garlic chicken (can be made in crockpot), cinnamon chicken, cappellini pomodoro, ground turkey stuffed zucchini, beans rice and veggies bowl, roasted veggie couscous, tacos (I make my own seasoning, don’t eat cheese with the tacos), and maple and dijon mustard glazed chicken (I used Annie’s organic dijon…made with white vinegar). For breadcrumbs, I usually either make my own (just put bread in a spice grinder), or use panko bread crumbs, which dont have any migraine triggers (found in the asian food aisle). Side dishes are pretty easy…I like sauteing veggies, or making sweet potato fries.

I’m trying to look at the diet as a fun challenge to come up with new meals. Let me know if you want any recipes for the meals above.


Thanks so much for that info. I will definitely look into getting a crock pot - great idea! I am home all day, so can definitely do that. are you avoiding marinara sauce? not sure about the tomatoes - I make so much italian food with my own marinara (substitute shallots for onions), but maybe tomatoes are a trigger - so hard to know when you’re sick everyday.

I would love some of those recipes when you have the chance. honestly, every dish you wrote sounds appealing. I know that is probably a lot of work to send me all those recipes, but whenever you have the chance, I would greatly appreciate it.

I make a really delicious butternut squash soup, but I use chicken stock (with onions). I wonder how many onions go into the stock. Besides that, I substitute shallots for onions. And, I put in half the amount of heavy cream (all that cream is not necessary. , I also don’t bother with the mango chutney
here’s recipe: wchstv.com/gmarecipes/emeril … soup.shtml

I also fry chicken cutlets for a few days - I like very thinly sliced cutlets. I will have to start using breadcrumbs without cheese or make my own. I make a pan sauce: I first saute shallots, then add chicken broth (about 1 cup), about 3 tbs of fruit perserves (blackberry, or blackcherry or whatever) and swirl in some butter at the end. It is a tasty fruity glaze to put on the chicken. will try to think of some more.



thank you so much,

Hi Lisa,
I am wondering… prior to your MAV, when you only had migraines, did you have food triggers that would set off your headaches?


red wine always caused headaches, and occasionally chocolate. but, that’s about it. I was never a caffeine drinker. I waver between thinking the diet is too extreme and thinking that I should stick to it.

Hi Lisa,
According to Dr. Newman, only foods that triggered your migraine could potentially be triggers for MAV, so there is probably no reason to be so strict except with those two foods. Dr. Newman told me that foods are generally not triggers for MAV unless they were a trigger for migraine.

It does make sense to me…

that does make sense.

I have been eating tomatoes, if only because we got about a thousand of them from our farm share this summer! I also make my own sauce, using shallots and either canned or fresh tomatoes. I like making big batches and freezing the rest in small portions, to make my life easier. My tomato consumption will probably be cut down majorly soon, since I am a pretty seasonal eater.

So funny that you mentioned that soup, because I have a butternut and apple soup in my fridge right now! I’m not a huge squash fan, except for spaghetti squash, but my husband loves it.

I used to make raspberry and balsamic chicken all the time, until now, when I can’t have raspberries or balsamic vinegar! I too make chicken with other preserves sometimes, like blackberries. I’ve never added butter to it, but I’ll have to try that

Ok, here’s some recipes. I figure I’ll post them here so everyone can see them. I add just a little freshly grated parmesan cheese to many of these, since it doesn’t seem to bother me, but I left it out of the recipes. They should all be totally migraine friendly, unless you have problems with tomatoes or mushrooms. I hope this gives you a few dinner ideas!

Potato, Mushroom and Thyme Frittata
1 T butter, 1 T olive oil, 1 large minced clove garlic, 2 large minced shallots, 2 new potatoes peeled and diced into very small cubes, 1 container chopped button mushrooms, 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme, salt and pepper, 6 eggs, 1/4 c heavy cream (or half and half, or milk)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat butter and oil in a medium oven-proof skillet. Add in garlic, shallots, potatoes, mushrooms, thyme (stems removed), salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are just cooked through. In a bowl, beat together the eggs and heavy cream. Pour into the cooked potato mixture. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until firm.

Mushroom and Leek Risotto
3-3.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, 4 t butter (divided), 1 large leek (green and white parts, sliced), salt, 1 cup arborio rice, 1 large container favorite mushrooms (sliced), 1 handful chopped parsley
Heat chicken or vegetable broth in a small saucepan until at a slow simmer. Cook leeks with 2 t butter and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until tender. Add arborio rice, and cook for a few minutes until rice just starts to brown. Add in 1 cup of your warm broth to the rice and leeks, and cook over low heat until liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, start cooking sliced mushrooms with remaining butter in a saute pan, until very soft. Continue adding 1/2 c of broth at a time to the arborio rice, stirring frequently until broth is absorbed before adding more (about 25 minutes). When rice is tender, turn off the heat and add in mushrooms, and parsley. Serve immediately.

Spinach and Eggplant Pasta
1/3 lb spiral pasta, 1 small eggplant, salt, 1 T olive oil, 1 t butter, 4 cloves minced garlic, 5 oz bag fresh spinach, fresh black pepper
Slice eggplant, and rub both sides of each slice with salt. Lay on a paper towel to sweat for 1/2 hour. Rince salt off slices, and pat dry. Cut into small cubes.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic; cook and stir until softened. Mix in the eggplant. Let the eggplant cook for about 10 minutes, until tender.
Mix in the spinach and season with pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes until wilted. Toss spinach/eggplant mixture with pasta.

40 Cloves and a Chicken
foodnetwork.com/recipes/alto … index.html
(I think the crockpot blog I posted about also has a slow cooker version)

Cinnamon Chicken (use shallots, leave out cheese)
oprah.com/recipe/food/recipe … ek-chicken

Ground Turkey Stuffed Zucchini
2 zucchini, 2 tsp. olive oil, 1 chopped shallot, 1/2 large bell pepper (chopped), 1 large minced clove garlic, 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, 1/2 lb. ground turkey, 1 tsp italian seasoning, 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut ends off zucchini. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then scoop out most of the zucchini, leaving an even 1/2 inch of flesh attached to the skin. If your zucchini are rolling around a lot, you can cut a thin slice on the bottom side of each to make them sit up.
Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan and saute chopped onions, garlic, and peppers until they are just starting to soften, and then add in scooped-out zucchini until just warm. Put mixture in bowl with the cooked brown rice. In the same saute pan, add in ground turkey and italian seasoning, and cook until browned. Mix with other ingredients in bowl, adding in fresh basil.
Stuff zucchini with mixture. Roast for 20-30 minutes.

Cappellini Pomodoro
1/2 lb cappellini or angel hair pasta, 1 T olive oil, 2 large ripe tomatoes (diced)
1 chopped shallot, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 t dried italian seasoning, 1 T fresh basil, chopped, salt and pepper

Cook pasta in boiling water. In a skillet, heat oil and add in tomatoes, onion, garlic, italian seasoning, basil, salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are heated through. Pour
over cooked pasta.

Maple and Mustard Glazed Chicken
2 chicken breasts (pounded flat), salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 egg (lightly beaten), 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons real maple syrup, 3-4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon brown sugar (I make my own with sulfite-free molasses), 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Dredge the chicken in the flour.
  3. Dip the chicken into the egg.
  4. Dredge the chicken in the bread crumbs.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan
  6. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  7. Mix the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, brown sugar and thyme in a bowl.
  8. Place the chicken in a baking pan and brush the maple mustard mixture onto it heavily.
  9. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 10 minutes.

Cassada - thank you so much for all those great ideas. Will definitely let you know how it goes. My husband also LOVES butternut squash soup. Btw- how are you feeling?

I’m doing alright, thanks for asking. I went out to dinner last night and I must have eaten something I shouldn’t be eating, so today’s not one of my better days (i think the weather here is bothering me too). But I think I’ve generally been feeling a bit better these past couple months, even though I am no where near 100%.

Cassada - I made the pasta with the eggplant. I oftentimes make pastas like this, but for some reason never think to put in eggplant. The eggplant made it much more exciting. I also cut up some asparagus with the spinach. I try to make chicken when I make pasta because my husband likes meat, but he survived and enjoyed it. It’s just too much for me to make chicken too. I, unfortunately, cannot stand unsupported so I lean on a chair when I cook and drag it around the kitchen. When I went to dump the boiling water, I stupidly brought the chair with me, not realizing that it was impossible to drag the chair while leaning on it and hold the pot of water. I spilt boiling water on my finger and a bit on my stomach. I’m ok, though, thankfully. I just have to figure out a better way to lean on things while in the kitchen. I hate being so disabled. Thanks again. /I am actually going to try the zucchini tomorrow. my husband brought the ingredients on the way home.

Oh, I’m so sorry you got hurt. I know the recipes I gave you require the stove, but I would definitely get a crock pot and cook in there every day if I were you! You can cook almost anything in there…soup, stew, chili, chicken, meatballs, etc.

Cassada - getting hurt was my own stupidity. I should not have attempted to balance myself on a chair while moving it and holding boiling water - stupid. I just HATE how disabled I am. But, the meal was great! and, I am making the stuffed zucchini tonight - my husband got all the ingredients yesterday. It will be hard - but we have to eat! I’ve made stuffed peppers in the past - this will be a nice change.

Hi Lisa,
There are some great ideas here so thanks for inspiring so many wonderful tips-
My experience of the diet is that sadly if you do it, you have to be constant and strict otherwise there is not much point.
I was following it so well , but spent the summer eating cream and ice cream…nothing else from the no list but that was enough for my body to react with the dizzies. Once I cut both of those out, my body calmed down. I know, it sucks.
I had a bad reaction a few months back from calamari fried with bread crumbs, as there was probably msg, or seasoning in the bread crumbs, that was enough to tip me over. I personally feel my body reacting to the tiniest things.
I find I can eat tomatoes for a meal, but if I have them the next day too I am bad.
You have this much worse than me , it is amazing you manage to do the cooking that you do, I barely manage the chicken breast on the grill even when I feel almost well !

I hope tomorrow is a better day for you, and hi to all the dizzy cooks.


Is ice cream not allowed. didn’t realize that. Why can’t we have ice cream?

I’ve never seen ice cream on any migraine diet lists…where did you get that from?

I hadn’t seen it anywhere either which was why I was eating it everyday like a woman possessed !
Heal your headache said it was ok …
It was my only treat. I was eating a lot of cream too , not doing too well despite following the diet perfectly.
Saw my specialist and he said no cream and no ice cream… too much dairy. Tiny amounts of milk were ok but to try and keep it to a minimum.
Since read other people who have milk triggers and people who use rice milk instead. I guess we are all so different.
Once I had cut out the cream and ice cream 100 % my dizziness improved a lot over 3 weeks . Maybe just one of those things , and not linked ,but I keep away from it as I would cut out anything however painful if it seems to help.
Anyone else have the same medical advice ?
I am worried about lack of calcium …??