Episode 4: Interview on Pregnancy w/ HCU

Hello, friends!

Time for another podcast episode! This episode includes an interview with Danae Bartke, who is the Executive Director of HCU Network America, has HCU, and is a brand new mom! Danae discusses her experience with everything from changes in protein intake to her cravings for arugula! We also wanted to mention that September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month, and we are going to have some more information on newborn screening on a later podcast.

Our “Tell Me Something Good” segment includes the news of our HC&U T-SHIRTS that we want to give to YOU! Make sure you get involved with us on social media (and on here!) so that you have a chance of winning some swag! Also, we will do a t-shirt giveaway once our instagram, @lowprobites , gets 115 followers. Make sure you like/follow us for different ways to get some gear!

Our recipe of the day was our Stuffed Bell Peppers. Ben gave these peppers a 4 out of 5 mangosteens on our random fruit of the day rating scale. The recipe I used is below! We made enough to have for lunch for a few days, but you can vary the amounts of ingredients to make less!

stuffed bell peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers

-5 Multicolored bell peppers, cut in half and seeded.

-2 Cartons of mushroom caps or small mushrooms

-1 onion

-1/2 Japanese Eggplant (you could use regular eggplant here, I just had a new kind I wanted to try!)


-Low protein cheese as desired.

-Spices that you prefer. We used salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley.

Bake the empty halved/seeded peppers on 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. While that is baking, dice your veggies and sauté them in a pan with some ghee and your preferred spices. Once your veggies have cooked down and your peppers are ready, stuff your peppers and top with your favorite low protein cheese (we used Follow your Heart brand). Bake until cheese is melted and browning slightly.

We had baked cauliflower and roasted the other half of the eggplant for our sides. We made this to simulate a “Philly cheese steak” type meal. They were delish! It also helps to cut and seed your peppers the day before if you know you are going to be cut short for time.

Let us know if you try them!

Thanks for listening/reading/keeping up with us. We appreciate all of your support!


TTFN! (Ta-ta for now!).

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Episode 3: HCU Conference and Travel Tips!


In the words of Drew Carey from “Whose Line is it Anyway”…


This episode is all about our adventure to Westford, MA for the first HCU Conference by HCU Network America! We had SUCH a great time at the conference, and heard from many incredible speakers including Dr. Kimberly Chapman, Dr. Benjamin D. Goodlett, Dr. Harvey Levy, Margie McGlynn, and more. Every speaker has put their heart into working with inborn errors of metabolism and advocating for rare diseases. Thank you to you all!!

More on the conference…

Lindsey’s perspective: I learned so much about HCU that I didn’t know before! I work in the medical field, and it was so great to hear very “medical” perspectives of the disorder. It made me understand my husband’s treatment more clearly and understand where the research for a cure is going towards.

Ben’s perspective: There was a TON of low protein foods. IT. WAS. GREAT.

HAHAHA!! In all seriousness though, we loved the conference. We cannot wait for the next one!! We definitely recommend that you try to go. Having the experience of meeting others with the same diagnosis as you/your family member was an experience that was overwhelming in the best of ways.

In this episode, we discuss different aspects of traveling with HCU as well, including tips and tricks we have learned along the way about getting your medicine through TSA, packing so you don’t run out of medications (or have it lost in luggage!), and planning for the trip once you get to your destination.

And now for….


This week’s recipe is Jackfruit “Pulled Pork”, rated on a scale of 4.75/5 horned melons (our random fruit of the day).

If you can find a can of jackfruit, this is one of the easiest. meals. EVER.

Lindsey used:
2-3 cans Trader Joe’s canned jackfruit (Make enough to last a while and eat on it for lunch at work or school!)
Lowest protein BBQ sauce I could find
1 Onion
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable broth
Spices: Salt, pepper, liquid smoke, garlic*.

*Disclaimer. We legit put garlic on everything. everything is better with garlic. JSYK.

Drain and rinse the Jackfruit (it’s in a brine). We cut off the core of the fruit, however we have had it with the core too and it usually will soften! Either way will work!
While you are doing that, have some onions getting soft in a skillet w/ some oil, ghee, or butter.
Add the JF to the onions once they are soft. Add in your vegetable broth, as needed. You don’t want to add too much or there will be too much liquid in the pan.
Add BBQ sauce, salt and pepper, garlic, and a touch of liquid smoke. Let it simmer until soft and it soaks up the sauce.
Use a spatula or two forks to break up the JF so that it is more of a pulled pork texture.
VWAHLAH! The best non-meat-pork-sandwich-EVER.

I usually make things on the fly, but this recipe is similar to what I did and will give you some measurements for your ingredients! Check it out here!

That’s a wrap! Maybe a JF pulled pork wrap?? …Ideas….


Ben and Lindsey

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Episode 2: Low Protein Food Providers and MNEA

Hello once again!

We hope you enjoyed the first episode of the podcast a couple of weeks ago. It’s time for episode 2, which is all about different low protein food providers and some of their products that we have personally tried, as well as the Medical Nutrition Equity Act. We are proud to say we had our first interview in this episode. The interview was with Sarah Chamberlin, who is the executive director of National PKU News and the co-founder of howmuchphe.org which is focused on PKU patients but also provides the unrounded protein content of a variety of foods, so this site is also beneficial for HCU patients!

Sarah gives a wealth of information on current happenings with MNEA, what it would mean for those diagnosed with inborn errors of metabolism, and different ways we can all get involved to try to get this bill passed! We are very thankful for Sarah coming on the podcast and helping us better understand MNEA. Thank you Sarah!!

For our low protein recipe, we chose to talk about a recipe Lindsey threw together one night that ended up being a #winnerwinner for a #lowproteindinner 🙂 We named it the Italian Bake. The recipe is (approximately) as follows:

Italian Bake

1 roll of Polenta, cut into slices

2-3 portabello mushroom caps, sliced

1 onion, diced, we used red onion

6 eggplant cutlets (we used Dominex frozen cutlets)

1 jar marinara sauce (we look for the best low protein option in the store!)

Italian seasoning

Garlic powder

Follow Your Heart shreds, as desired.

First, we sliced and baked the polenta along with the eggplant cutlets. Baking these individually before putting it into the bake helps keep the ingredients crisp and avoids soggy veggies. While this is baking, sauté the onions (we used ghee instead of oil or butter) for about 5 mins, then add the mushrooms to the pan for another few minutes, until soft (but again, not soggy). Layer all the ingredients into a pyrex pan, including spices, and top with desired amount of marinara sauce (I think we used about 2 cups). Top with shreds and bake until heated through and shreds begin to melt.

Ben seemed to really enjoy this bake, while Lindsey ate a baked spaghetti with meat sauce. We try to keep things similar when we make different meals. This was a fairly quick dinner, and we served it with some homemade garlic bread. We think it would be really good with zucchini added to it, too! The whole bake would be approximately 23g (approximately 4g per 1/6 serving).

Let us know if you try the Italian Bake! A lot of our meals come from trial and error, trying to find the tastiest ways to make low protein foods. What are some of your favorite meals you made up on the fly?

Thanks again for supporting our podcast. Find us below!


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Pilot episode of the Podcast!

Hey everyone!


Welcome to the HC&U blog! We are Ben and Lindsey, the hosts of HC&U podcast. This is a place for us to be able to share different links, ideas, and recipes that we talk about on our podcast. We are so excited to be starting this, and to have extra resources and networking in the community of metabolic disorders. We hope you like our content!

We definitely want community involvement for the podcast. We are planing a “Tell me Something Good” segment, where we can share different positive happenings related to HCU. This could be a good report from the doctor for lower levels, an amazing new low-protein recipe, or finding a new metabolic formula that you like. Please feel free to send us your “something good” and we can share it on the podcast! {contact info below}

On the first episode of the podcast, Lindsey discusses one of our favorite low-protein meals, Carrot Not Dogs! The recipe we use can be found here.

However, the relish recipe for the not-dogs is not low protein friendly, so we thought we would tell you our version of relish that we use for Ben’s not-dogs.

For the low protein relish/salad to go on top of the not-dogs, we use everything the recipe contains, except for the chickpeas. Instead, we add extra pickles and lettuce, and chopped bell peppers (any color, but orange is our favorite for this recipe)! It’s that easy!

We hope you enjoy the Carrot Not Dogs. Let us know by commenting what you think!

Take a listen to the podcast below!


And don’t forget to follow us on social media!

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Email us at hcupodcast@gmail.com!

HCU Network America

Thank you all so much for supporting us in this journey. Be patient with us while we figure out this podcasting/networking/blogging thing! We hope it will be as much fun for you as it is for us 🙂

Ben and Lindsey