Sunday, July 30, 2006

Barbecues and the anti-candida diet

I should really start at the basics, but as the weather has been so fantastic recently ('though it looks like the heat wave has now broken) and as my housemates and I had a (slightly breezy and damp) barbecue last night, I thought I'd share a few recipes/ideas for anti-candida diet friendly barbecue food.

Red pepper and halloumi kebabs

I can't really take credit for these. A vegetarian friend of mine had a vision of some kind of cheesy/pepper/red onion combo, and this is what I came up with.

Makes approx. four kebabs

1 large red pepper
2 red onions
packet of halloumi cheese (made with ewes' milk and available from Sainsburys and Marks & Spencers, and probably elsewhere too)
chilli or basil infused olive oil
kebab sticks/skewers.

Cut all the pepper, onions and cheese into pieces and arrange on the sticks/skewers, alternating between pepper, onion and cheese (aim for about three cubes of cheese per kebab). Drizzle with the olive oil and grill until the cheese is starting to brown (halloumi is 'grill-able', it won't melt and make a cheesy mess all over your barbecue).

Pseudo-Greek salad

Again, kind of inspired by a creation of my vegetarian friend. Can be adapted according to taste/availability of ingredients/time and effort you're prepared to put in!

Makes a large bowl of salad, enough to feed at least six.

Go to the supermarket and buy:

bag of mixed salad leaves
bag of watercress
2 gem lettuces or a large cos lettuce
half a cucumber
baby spring onions (or normal ones, trimmed and sliced length-ways)
small jar of green olives (look for ones that aren't preserved in vinegar/citric acid - the Co-op own brand ones are okay)
packet of feta cheese (Marks & Spencers sell an 'all sheep' feta)

For the dressing:

garlic-infused olive oil
cider vinegar (or freshly squeezed lemon juice, if you're avoiding vinegar)
mixed herbs (fresh or dried)
salt and pepper

Take half a bag of mixed salad leaves and mix in a bowl with a good handful of watercress. Roughly chop the gem/cos lettuce(s) and add to the bowl, along with the cucumber (halved and sliced), the spring onions, the olives (drained) and the feta cheese (chopped into cubes).

Mix about three glugs of olive oil in a mug or jar with a capful of cider vinegar (or a good squeeze of lemon). Whisk until combined and add herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, pour dressing on salad and toss.

Non-mayonnaise potato salad

V simple and probably nicer than potato salad made with mayonnaise.

As many new potatoes as you think you'll need
handful of baby spring onions
bio/natural yoghurt
salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until al dente. Drain, halve (large ones) and allow to cool. Chop spring onions and add to potatoes. Stir in a couple of spoonfuls of yoghurt (enough to generously coat the potatoes without 'drowning' them). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Red pepper salsa

More like a chunky salad than one of those jars of dips you get to eat with tortilla chips. This recipe owes a lot of Delia.

To make enough for six (couple of good spoonfuls each):

one large red pepper
three-four large tomatoes
red onion
fresh mint
small red chilli
lemon juice
olive oil
salt and pepper

Blanch the tomatoes to remove the skins. When cool, remove the seeds and chop into small chunks. Mix in a bowl with the red pepper and onion (cut into equal sized chunks). Slice (as much as you can bear of) the chilli, chop a sprig of mint leaves and stir both into the tomato/pepper/onion mix. Add a splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Options for meat-eaters

  • Use of sprinkle of Schwartz' 'Season-All' and a splash of olive oil to enliven grilled chicken.
  • Cook salmon pieces (seasoned with freshly ground pepper) en papilotte - shielded from the BBQ flames in an aluminum foil parcel.
  • Make a marinade for king prawns by mincing or grating a clove of garlic and a piece of ginger and mixing with a splash of chilli-infused olive oil.

'Vegetarian' burgers and sausages: A word of caution

Many pre-prepared/processed vegetarian burgers and sausages, be they made from soya or Quorn, are unlikely to be suitable for people following the anti-candida diet. Apart from added sugar (could be masquerading as 'dextrose') and yeast extract, they're crammed full of additives and preservatives. Quorn is also a fungus-based product, and so should be avoided if you've been advised to steer well clear of mushrooms.

The next instalment will be about breakfasts. 'Til then...

No comments: