Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Why does life have to be so complicated?!
Monday, August 28, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I know you're not supposed to have caffeine on the anti-Candida diet, but I really would not be able to survive without green tea (and crisps - but that's another story!) - I'm an addict. My particular favourite is 'Double Dragon' from Fujian province in China, available from 'Holland & Barrett'. It's not as bitter, nor as strong as some green teabags can be. It still contains some caffeine, but at much lower levels than 'normal' tea or coffee (which I detest). White tea - if you can find it - has even less caffeine and more antioxidants.
What particularly caught my eye here, was the recipe for 'Felixstowe Tart' in the regional foods section. Hmmmmm - I could add something really bitchy here (my ex ran off with a tart from Felixstowe), but I won't. ;)
This is a really easy and quick way of cooking chicken or fish. The oatmeal is a great substitute for breadcrumbs and makes a lovely crunchy casing.
1 chicken breast or fillet of salmon (without skin) per person
Seasoning (salt & pepper, or Schwartz Season-all, for example)
Place a little oatmeal on a plate or in a bowl. Add a little seasoning (just enough to liven the oatmeal up!) and mix well. Take strips of chicken or fairly chunky slices of salmon (cut 'with the grain'). Roll in the oatmeal mixture until well coated and shallow fry in sunflower oil, turning occasionally to ensure the goujon is evenly cooked and browned.
Serve with salad and new potatoes (or chips!).
Ginger and cashew stirfry
You could add chicken or tofu to the stirfry, if you fancy something a bit more substantial. Just chuck the ingredients in, according to how much of each you fancy (I'm really not a very accurate, 'measured' cook!). The green vegetables and cashew nuts are packed full of iron, and the brown rice and noodles contain B6 (which activates iron) - just what the doctor ordered if like me, you're slightly anaemic.
clove of garlic
piece of ginger
cashew nuts (unroasted/unsalted)
dark soy sauce (if you're allowed it) or miso paste
Grate the garlic and ginger and gently fry in the sesame oil. Quickly add the onion, cut in half and sliced and the broccoli (cut into florets) - try peeling the stalk, slicing it finely and adding that to the pan too! Stirfry for a few mins, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the bok choy leaves and the chinese leaves (sliced) (as much as you want - or fits in the pan - but remember, they'll cook down to nothing in no time at all!). Stir fry until the leaves start to wilt and add the cashew nuts. Fry until the nuts are starting to brown and add a splash of soy sauce or a good heaped teaspoon of miso paste (with a splash of hot water). Combine well and serve immediately with brown rice or brown rice noodles.
If you are adding chicken or tofu, slice or cube and cook until brown on all sides in a separate pan. Add to the vegetables just before the soy or miso.
Variation: Butterfly some king prawns (i.e. de-vein) and marinade in the grated garlic and ginger, with a splash of soy sauce or squeeze of fresh lemon juice, for at least an hour before cooking (remember to refridgerate!). Add to the vegetables (instead of the cashews) just before you add the soy sauce or miso paste.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Whoops! I got it wrong. It's actually manufactured by 'Delamere' and you can get it at 'Holland and Barrett' too. Fab website bty, it's got audio of goats 'baa-ing' (do goats baa?)!
First up is a recipe I have adapted from one I found in a Cranks cookbook (I think!):
Enough for two (will keep in the fridge overnight)
1 tin of cannellini, butter or haricot beans
large clove of garlic
half a large onion, peeled and sliced
1 large green pepper, de-seeded and sliced
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (without citric acid)
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 teaspoons of paprika
a dash of cayenne pepper or half a de-seeded and finely sliced green chilli pepper (optional)
salt and pepper
natural/bio yoghurt to garnish
Fry the garlic and onions (and chilli) in the olive oil, add the green pepper and fry until onions are soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, the drained and rinsed beans and the paprika (and cayenne). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about fifteen minutes, without a lid on the pan, to reduce the liquid a little.
Serve with a swirl of yoghurt and accompany with a green salad or brown rice.
Indian style food is pretty easy to adapt to the anti-Candida diet. I make up a basic Korma-style sauce, using Coconut Milk or Cream, to which I add pieces of chicken, prawns or tofu. A quick and easy recipe follows:
Chicken (or prawn or tofu) Korma
chicken breast (cooked prawns or half a packet of tofu)
half an onion
half a green pepper
clove of garlic
piece of ginger
tablespoon of mild curry powder
2 teaspoons of garam masala
tin of coconut milk or half a block of coconut cream
Grate the garlic and ginger and fry in sunflower oil (do not allow to burn!). Add the onion (diced or sliced) and gently fry until softened. Cut the chicken into pieces (cube the tofu, if using instead) and add to the pan. Fry until browned. Dice the green pepper (fairly large pieces), add to the pan and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the curry powder to the pan. Give the ingredients a good mix and then add the coconut milk (if using creamed coconut dissolve in a little hot water first). Allow mixture to simmer until the chicken (or tofu) has cooked and the liquid has reduced a little. If using prawns, add them to the sauce and gently warm through. Add the garam masala and serve with brown rice, poppadums or wholewheat chappattis.
I have made a vegetarian option before, using cubes of potato, florets of cauliflower and green beans.
For an extra special version, substitute the curry powder for 2 teaspoons of freshly ground cumin seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Marinade the chicken in the cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper for at least an hour before cooking. Cook as per instructions above, but add a good dollop of yoghurt to the pan before the coconut milk/cream.
Check back soon for some more recipe ideas!
Saturday, August 19, 2006
When I'm not worrying about what I'm eating, I'm a research student and, at the moment, I'm heavily engaged in a bit of writing that I must get done for my supervisor by the middle of next week. So today's posts are likely to be the last for some time.
So, here's me, signing off for a little while. Bye bye...
I tried out a couple of the recipes with varying degrees of success last night: Thai Tofu with Coriander, Chilli and Ginger (p. 154) was quick and easy to make and delicious (even though I wasn't able to get hold of several of the ingredients for flavouring, kaffir lime leaves anyone?!). I made (or attempted to make) Apricot and Walnut Clusters (p. 205) with one eye on the 'Big Brother' final. Not so successful - but for the most part due to me not following the recipe properly, rather than a problem with the recipe per se. I thought I'd be clever and stew the apple in the microwave instead of on the hob, but it didn't produce the necessary sticky mush required to stick all the dry ingredients together. Consequently, they were not so much clusters, than one big cake. I crumbled it up and used it as a crunchy yoghurt topping (and froze the rest). Not bad!
She's also got some useful information in there about Chinese medicine (apparently people with Candida problems are too 'damp'). Worth investigating further methinks.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
I recently had a very successful shopping trip at 'Budgens'. I found a range of products suitable for people following the anti-candida diet (see photograph), some of which - like the chappattis - I've previously, but most I haven't come across before. Perhaps things are looking up!
1. 'Sacla' Char-grilled Aubergine Pesto - ingredients:
- sunflower seed oil
- cashew nuts
- sea salt
- fresh garlic
- crushed pine kernels
- lactic acid (preservative)
- hot chilli pepper
2. Tzatziki (Budgens)
- garlic granules
3. 'Glutano' Tri-Colour Pasta
- maize starch and flour
- spinach powder
- tomato powder
- beetroot powder
(v. tasty with the aubergine pesto!)
N.B. 'Orgran' produce a similar corn-based pasta, available from Holland & Barrett.
4. Patak's Plain Chappattis (six)
- wholemeal flour
- vegetable oil
- fruit juice (guess this is okay in small quantities!)
- raising agents #
- calcium propionate (preservative)
* Mono and Diglycerides of fatty acids, mono and Diacetyl Tartaric Acid esters of Mono and Diglycerides of fatty acids (no idea what this is - if anyone out there knows, and it's nasty, please let me know!).
# Disodium Diphosphate Sodium Hydrogen carbonate (ditto!).
- and finally
5. 'Delamere' goats yoghurt
Same company produces a fresh goats milk available from the Co-op.
Other 'new' products:
('New', because I haven't seen them before!)
- hard goat's cheese
- UHT (longlife) goats milk
Both manufactured by 'St Helen's Farm' and available from Tescos.
Just a quick addendum to the entry about breakfast ideas...
'Kallo' make a puffed (brown) rice cereal, which is available from Tescos (look for it in the 'free from' aisle). It's unsweetened - in fact, it contains nothing but rice - so try it with goats milk, chopped dried apricots or apple and yoghurt. Makes a nice change from muesli.
Have included a photograph of the packaging to give an idea of what to look out for!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The first sections of the book deal with her personal story and give background information on candida albicans and symptoms. The bit I'm most interested in here is from Chapter 6, where she details 'foods to avoid' and 'foods to enjoy' (pp. 42-45). My only criticism is that it is a very basic list. Often, presented with something a bit more exotic than your average British fayre, I've been unable to find the advice I need. And to be honest, if you were going to live on just the foods Erica White recommends, your diet (and life) would get very monotonous indeed.
Which takes me onto my next criticism: the recipes. While it is really helpful to have suitable recipes to hand, the perceived need to adapt them to suit every possible dietary requirement, including gluten and wheat-free, means that the recipes I've tried (which, admittedly is few) have been bland and uninspiring. Which is a great shame.
The best way I've found to use this book, is to treat it as a kind of encyclopedia of knowledge about Candida and the anti-Candida diet, and use it as the backbone for the development of your own recipes (and most of the time you'll find that - with a little bit of experimentation - you can just adapt the things you made before you started the diet, by substituting white wine, for example, with a yeast-free stock, or white pasta for wholewheat, etc). For me, following Erica White's puritan programme and recipes to the nth degree would be akin to mortification.
However, having said all that, I would really recommend everyone following, or about to embark upon the diet, to buy the book. If nothing else, it helps to know that you're not the only one out there suffering!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
However, thought I should mention that I've recently come across a couple of ready-prepared salads manufactured by Delphi and available from Budgens - a Chickpea salad (chickpeas with olive oil, feta cheese and sundried tomatoes) and a Lentil salad. Both very tasty. I didn't get to see the packaging for the Chickpea salad, but have been assured that there wasn't anything in there that I needed to worry about (and, unfortunately their website - 'though beautiful - doesn't give ingredients listings), but there was a small (and it must have been tiny) amount of vinegar in the Lentil salad (couldn't taste it, came after chopped parsley in the list of ingredients and only before salt, so a very small quantity indeed). Worth looking for if you've got a barbecue or summer buffet coming up.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Tonight I had Marks & Spencers 'Bombay Aloo' for my dinner - potato chunks cooked with tomatoes, ginger and fresh coriander, according to the blurb on the box. And I can quite believe it, cos very tasty it was too. In fact it contained nothing but:
- vegetable oil
- tomato puree
- fresh coriander
- mustard leaves; and
- curry leaves.
So, unless M&S is being economical with the truth, there's nothing in there that we need to worry about.
I had it with an undressed salad and a couple of Patak's wholewheat chapattis (previously mentioned in my 'lunches' entry a couple of days ago).
I can also recommend M&S's Vegetable Curry and Bubble and Squeak Potato Cakes (available from the prepared vegetables section). However, apart from those few items, M&S is a bit of a disappointment. I haven't been able to find anything else suitable in my local branch in Leicester (and believe me, I've scoured those shelves!). They seem addicted to putting cream and sugar in EVERYTHING! Perhaps whoever devises their recipes has an undiagnosed candida problem? ;)
As a sufferer herself she's set up this website for fellow anti-candida dieters to get more information about the diet and to share her experiences and recipes.
I haven't had a chance to have a really good look at it yet, but there's some interesting info about rotating food to find out if you have any specific intolerances (apart from the main suspects) and what look like some fab recipes for Indian and Mediterranean inspired dishes: http://www.candidadiet.com/recipes/redefault.shtml
Definitely worth a look. Will try out some of the recipes and report back...
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
What really irritates me is that it really doesn't seem necessary. Why is it that Sainsburys, for example, uses citric acid as a preservative in its jars of green olives, but the Co-op doesn't? It appears to me that it is often used arbitrarily by food manufacturers, without real necessity (perhaps a chemist would care to comment?!). It's so damn frustrating to think you've found a 'friendly' pasta sauce or tin of tomatoes, only for it to be ruled out by the insidious presence of citric blinking acid!
It's the bane of my life!
Rant over... normal service will be resumed shortly. :)
Mozzarella is a 'young' cheese, which means it will contain fairly low levels of lactose, so it is suitable once in a while. Try to get buffalo milk mozzarella - avoid Danish 'pizza-style' mozzarella, it's revolting! - and make sure it isn't preserved in citric acid. Last time I looked, the Sainsbury's 'Be Good to Yourself' version was okay.
2 fairly thick slices of aubergine (medium-sized, sliced lengthways)
half a tin of Sainsburys bruschetta topping
packet of mozzarella
olive or sunflower oil
Lightly fry the aubergine slices in the oil until golden brown and soft (but not falling apart). Spoon some bruschetta topping on each slice. Top with generous slices of mozzarella and place under a hot grill until brown and bubbling.
I have adapted this recipe from Claudia Roden's version published in 'Mediterranean Cooking'. Tahini (sesame seed paste) is available from health food shops, such as 'Holland & Barrett'. You'll need access to a liquidiser or, better still, a food processor, to make this recipe.
Makes a generous amount. Will keep in the fridge for up to three days.
1 tin of chickpeas (make sure they don't contain citric acid)
3 tablespoons of tahini
juice of 2 lemons
1 large clove of garlic (if you don't like the harshness of raw garlic, try lightly sauteing it first)
drop of water
salt to taste
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Blend with the tahini, lemon juice, garlic (crushed) and salt, adding a drop of water if necessary, until smooth. Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and a swirl of olive oil.