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Aug 29, 2012 07:59 AM

Care to share an MSG free recipe?

I have recently found out that i cannot eat anything with MSG, tyramine or aspartame due to Chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania (a type of cluster headeache.) I have almost always cooked everything out of boxes and cans and rarely if ever made fresh food so I am somewhat at a loss, especially when I found out there are 40 different ways to label MSG approved by the FDA. :(

Would anyone be willing to share MSG free recipes they might have? I'm new to Chow so not quite sure if I need to include my email address here or if ya'll can put the recipes in replies. Hope ya'll are havinga great day! Christina

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  1. First thing you need to do is get yourself a good, basic recipe book. How to Boil Water is a good one...Cooking for Dummies...even Rachel Ray tends to use fresh foods, rather than boxed and canned.

    It is no more difficult -- possibly cheaper -- and far more healthy to cook with fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats than it is out of cans and bottles.

    Happy to say I have never bought a jar of MSG -- so have never in my 30+ years of cooking ever added it to anything, ever.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842

      Thanks for the cookbook suggestions! I will definitely look into these!

    2. Oh, honey--you have my utter sympathy.

      Yep, you will just have to learn to cook, no more boxes for you, and no more Cheetos, Doritos, etc. Shop the outsdie edges of the grocery store--avoid those aisles with the mac and cheese, Hamburger Helper.

      Most recipes made with real food (fruits, veggies, meat, grains, pasta) do not have MSG. Start with something simple, like grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli, and work your way up to more complex foods. Making grilled chicken breast and broccoli won't take ANY more time than the 'convenience' foods you have been eating.

      So, any recipe will do--what do you like to eat?

      1 Reply
      1. re: sparrowgrass

        Thanks for the info sparrowgrass! I got brave yesterday and went to Sprouts (a 20 min drive) to get a whole bunch of organic veggies and then spent an hour reading labels on all kinds of things to make sure there were no natural flavors, etc. I loved the bulk section and got kidney, black, pinto and white beans plus brown,white and jasmine rice. My family tends to like Italian and Mexican so I am going to try to findgood cookbooks for these. :)

      2. Chowhound offers a special board for issues such as this. If you post your issue at:
        You may receive a wider range of input to your question.

        1 Reply
        1. re: todao

          Thank you very much, I have posted the topic over there. I appreciate your help.

        2. You will probably need to be careful in avoiding aged and fermented foods and alcohol - like soy sauce and fish sauce, cured meats, aged cheeses - all of which are high in tyramines. Unfortunately, these things also bring a lot of flavor to home cooking. You'll definitely want to read up on foods you need to skip and then, as others have suggested, start with the basics. Luckily, all herbs and spices should be okay for you, and you'll be able to have plenty of fresh, flavorful food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            Thanks for the advice, my neurologist suggested the same things, especially hard sausages and red wine. If only there were such a thing as fresh parmesan cheese. lol.

          2. Hi, sorry you having issues. It sounds like it might be glutamate in general that you are trying to avoid? Not just MSG. So many cheeses, mushrooms, tomatoes and many meats and beans should be avoided. You can get charts of glutamate content of food/100g but it is probably best to speak to a professional to ascertain what levels you should be avoiding.