Thursday, September 28, 2006


For the last six months or so, I've been trying really hard to be a good vegetarian, but all those good intentions came to a sudden halt this week when I really couldn't control my meat cravings any longer and ate some sausages. I'm most disappointed with myself...I really don't like the idea that I can't control my basic carnivorous instincts. But, I guess, a strategic 'dose' of steak from time to time would help to boost my iron levels. Anyway, here's one of my favourite sausage recipes.

The sausage and courgette thing

Serves one to two

3-4 pork sausages (make sure they don't contain any nasties like yeast or breadcrumbs - rusk is okay, providing you can tolerate wheatflour)
1 large courgette
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (watch out for citric acid!)
tomato puree
salt and pepper
vegetable oil

Grill the sausages until brown. In the meantime, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Slice the garlic and onion and fry until soft. Finely slice the courgette (on the slant). Add to garlic and onions and fry until brown on both sides. Add a good squirt of tomato puree to the pan along with the tin of tomatoes. Add a sprinkle of oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the liquid is reduced. Slice the sausages into three pieces and stir into the courgettes and tomatoes. Heat through and serve with brown rice, or soda bread and a salad.

N.B. You can add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the tomatoes before you add the sausages to spice up the sauce if you choose.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Recipe: Lemon Pulao Rice

I had a few friends round for dinner last night and made a really very good lemon-flavoured pulao rice, to accompany my speciality halloumi kebabs and a green salad.

N.B. The recipe was adapted from the Veetee website.

Lemon Pulao Rice

Serves four very hungry students!

2 mugs of brown basmati rice (I get mine from 'Sainsburys')
4 mugs of boiling water
Vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida powder
1/2 ground turmeric
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 lemon
fresh coriander leaves
salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add cumin and mustard seeds. Cook in the oil for a few moments until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add asafoetida powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and basmati rice. Stir for a few moments, coating the rice in the oil and spices. Add water. Bring to the boil, stir once, put on the lid and simmer until the water has been absorbed.

Chop up some coriander and stir into the rice, cut a few slices of lemon and add the juice to the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves and lemon slices and serve immediately.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mother Hemp Red Pesto

Another of my finds at Tescos was 'Motherhemp' Red Pesto. It's fairly strong and flavoursome, so you only need a little bit to liven up pasta. For dinner this evening, I had it with oven-roasted vegetables (red pepper, courgettes, onion and aubergine) on Orgran Tricolour corn pasta, topped with crumbled feta for protein.

Here's a pic (from the Motherhemp website).
There was also green pesto version, but I believe that included Parmesan in the ingredient. Shame :(
Bty, the oils in hemp seed are supposed to be good for inflammatory skin conditions. And I'm sure we're all familiar with the sort of nasty inflammatory skin conditions Candida overgrowth can cause!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Frozen smoothie mix

I'm very penitent. Following my refined sugar slip-up the day before yesterday I've just been eating pure, unadulterated, healthy food. Though having said that, it was the first sugar I'd knowingly imbibed since 20th May. That's not bad going!

In my continued quest for something anti-Candida friendly and sweet I've discovered frozen smoothie mix from Tescos (see pic - from the Tescos website). I'm trying the Strawberry and Banana flavour at the moment, but they also do a tropical fruit and red berries version. The smoothie mix consists of just fruit, basically; chopped and frozen and packaged in individual bags. The directions suggest you defrost it slightly in the microwave and then whizz it up with fruit juice. I've been trying it with goats milk and plain yoghurt instead, and very good is it too!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I've done it again!

Ummm...I ate a small(ish) piece of chocolate birthday cake last night. :(

(God, it was good!)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hokkaido-style corn, chicken and cabbage soup with miso

Have just made the most FANTASTIC soup for lunch, which is perfectly anti-Candida diet* compatible - courtesy of Maki at 'I was just really very hungry'. I substituted the chicken for firm tofu.

Highly recommended!

* just make sure that, if you're using tinned sweetcorn, it isn't sweetened.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A great find

During my very successful trip to Tescos last Friday I came across 'Clearspring' Organic Apple and Apricot Fruit Puree Dessert (see pic). They also do Apple & Blueberry and Apple & Strawberry varieties: two 100g tin foil trays of pureed fruit per pack, great mixed into yoghurt with a sprinkling of cinnamon. And they contain nothing but fruit...even better!


Have recently been experimenting with paneer (Indian cottage cheese, which comes in a block, similar in look to tofu, and in texture to halloumi cheese). A couple of days a go, I used it as the main ingredient in a coconut curry with aubergine and onion, and tonight, I finished off the remainder by making Paneer Shashlik (or 'kebab'). I cobbled together a recipe from various online sites, tailoring it to the ingredients I already had (not intending on going shopping for a few more days). It was pretty good, even if I do say so myself:

Paneer Shashlik

Makes two kebabs

1/2 a block of paneer
Red onion
Red Pepper
1/2 red chilli
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
splosh of lemon juice
clove of garlic
piece of ginger
kebab sticks/skewers

Finely dice the chilli and mix with the cumin, grated garlic and ginger and a good splosh of lemon juice. Cut the paneer into large cubes. Place in a dish and coat well with the chilli, ginger, garlic and lemon and marinade in the fridge for at least a couple of hours (the longer the better).

Cut the onion into quarters and the red pepper into about eight regular pieces, retrieve the paneer from the fridge and skewer onto the kebab sticks, alternating each piece of paneer with onion and pepper.

Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven at a fairly high temperature until the paneer is sizzling and starting to go brown on the edges.

Serve with a green salad and wholemeal chapattis.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Flare-up :(

I've suffering a major flare-up of my symptoms at the moment, which is very disappointing because I'd been making some good progress recently. On looking back over my posts I've realised it's nearly a fortnight since I had that pizza and tapas slip-up. I remember my nutritional therapist saying something about it taking around fifteen days for any reactions to become apparent. Interesting. I'm not always 100% convinced that this diet really helps, but for want of any other suggestions (I've given up on the conventional medicine profession COMPLETELY) and while I'm still pretty certain that stress and 'mental buoyancy' have the biggest impact, I'm sticking with it. But, perhaps this shows that there really is a definite connection between what I eat and how bad my symptoms are. Would be fantastic in I could get to the point where I could identify exactly what, or what combinations of food, give me problems.

Anyway, in other news, a friend took me to Tescos last night (in his car!) and I stocked up on about a month's worth of food in one go (rather than my usual couple of shopping trips a week). I had a great time in the 'free-from' aisle and found lots of interesting, anti-Candida diet friendly products which I'll blog about as as when, over the next couple of weeks. Incidentally, I'm really busy with loads of writing and reports and organising events and stuff like that at the moment, so 'The Cardboard Diet' might be a little quiet, perhaps until the end of October. In the meantime, please bear with me. And if you have any comments, or suggestions, or experiences you would like to share, don't hold back! ;)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sweet things

Finally I got around to trying out one of Pamela Singh's recipes. In desperate need of something chilled and sweet, I had a go at her kulfi recipe. Oh dear - wasn't very successful. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the recipe. Personally, I just don't like the favour of cardamon. Bit soapy, like Parma Violets - yuck! The actual coconut, (goats) milk, yoghurt mixture tasted a lot like uncooked victoria sponge mix - which wasn't altogether unpleasant. Shame, cos I wasted half a fresh mango on it.

However, I did find some all fruit snacks (fruit, concentrated fruit juice and natural flavourings) at Holland & Barrett yesterday. Here's a pic from Goodness Direct, so you can know what to look out for. I tried the apple and apricot and the apple and blueberry versions. Not bad - very sticky and quite sweet, but packed full of natural fruit flavour. I don't suppose it would be a good idea to eat them on a regular basis, but for an occasional treat I'm sure they aren't too bad and probably infinitely better than the odd bar of diabetic chocolate I've been known to scoff at weak moments!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

How to use up leftover salmon

I had a nearly successful attempt at using up a piece of cooked salmon this evening. I used Barbara Cousin's white sauce from her Potato and Leek Pie recipe (brown rice flour, goats milk, mustard powder, bay leaf, nutmeg, lemon zest), into which I added the flaked salmon, broccoli florets, wholewheat spaghetti and grated some hard goats cheese over the top. Not bad, but got a bit sick of the spaghetti after a few mouthfuls (not feeling on top form at the moment).

Incidentally I made Leek and Potato Pie (p. 157) the other day. Very good. The best sort of comfort food; creamy sauce and mashed potato. Yum!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A make-over

I've changed my blog template (stating the blinking obvious). All that pink was giving me a headache. This is much more soothing...


Eugh! Once bitten, twice shy. Won't be trying that again! Shame, cos I'd managed to get it frozen from my local health food shop. Thought it would be like a firm tofu, but has a completely different texture. Basically it looks like what it is; fermented and crushed soya beans held together by a kind of fungal 'sponge' (all the anti-Candida advice I could find about tempeh was fairly ambivalent, so - as I'm maintaining - I'd thought I'd give it a go). Had it cubed in a stir-fry with miso paste. Not good, not good AT ALL! Perhaps it's one of those 'acquired tastes'?

Did have some fantastic organic Japanese green tea in a cafe at lunchtime 'though. Wish I could remember what it was called. Came in a little handsewn fabric pouch, rather than a tea bag. It was great.

Friday, September 01, 2006


This is interesting. Researchers found that people who drank fruit or vegetable juice at least three times a week were less likely to develop Alzheimers than those who only drank juice less than once a week. Which brings me on to what to drink when you're following the anti-Candida diet.

I've already mentioned my addiction to Double Dragon Green Tea from Holland & Barrett, but how about cold drinks and, crucially, what to drink down the pub? Well, I was at an advantage in some respects, because I'm largely tee-total. Most of the time I drink water, and perhaps on special occasions I have sparkling mineral water with ice and a slice ;) Yep, it's pretty boring, but at least you keep a clear head. One of the advantages of being completely sober is that you can embarrass your mates with their drunken exploits the next day.

Now I'm maintaining, I am allowed some fruit juices, providing they're diluted (half water, half juice). Fresh cloudy apple juice is nice (my preference - being a Suffolk girl - is for 'Copella'*: their Apple and Blackcurrant juice is fantastic), and I've also tried 'Pomegreat'#: pomegranate juice with raspberry. Orange juice is definitely out and it's important to check that the juice hasn't been sweetened.

As regards hot drinks, obviously 'normal' tea, coffee and hot chocolate are out of question. I've often seen reference to things like 'Barleycup' in anti-Candida diet books. The thought of that turns my stomach! Some people can tolerate Rooibusch (personally I think it looks and tastes like compost). Most fruit teas are good - but make sure they don't contact citric acid or have been sweetened. Most Twinings fruit teas are fine. I regularly drink their Cranberry, Raspberry and Elderflower and Peppermint teas. It's a great shame that my absolute favourite, Ginger and Lemon, contains citric acid, but if you're partial, it's easy to make it at home:

Ginger and Lemon Tea

You'll need:

1 lemon
piece of ginger
tea pot
tea strainer
copious amounts of boiling water

Take a knob of ginger, peel and grate it and put in a tea pot. Pour on boiling water and allow to steep for a few mins (depending on the desired strength). Before pouring (use a tea strainer), squeeze a good glug of fresh lemon juice in the mug. You can keep topping up the pot until you've had enough. Fantastic as a winter warmer, or if you have a sore throat. In theory you should be able to make peppermint tea in the same way. I've recently just taken possession of a mint plant, so might give it a go later.
In fact I did try it. Not bad - steeped a few leaves in hot water for about ten minutes. Pleasantly minty, but not as good as you get in restaurants. Perhaps I'm not using the right sort of mint? Or, should I bruise the leaves a bit first? Might take a bit of experimentation to get it right.

* available from Sainsburys and Tescos
# available from Tescos and Holland & Barrett