Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Experiments with Xylitol: Banana Cakes

After picking up some granulated xylitol at Holland & Barrett the other day, I thought I'd experiment with a bit of baking. And, as I had several very ripe bananas hanging about the house, I decided to try making banana cake. And, even if I do say so I myself, it was a bit of a triumph!!!

Banana Cakes

Makes 24 small fairy cakes

3 large overripe bananas
2 large beaten eggs
6 oz granulated xylitol (brand name 'Perfect Sweet')
8 oz plain flour (I didn't use wholemeal this time)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
walnut pieces
plenty of paper cake cases

Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add the beaten eggs and sugar. Sift the flour and bicarb into the bowl and beat all the ingredients together well (you could use an electric mixer, but I managed perfectly well by hand). Spoon into paper cases. Top with a piece of walnut. Place on a baking tray and bake in the centre of a preheated oven at 180 C for 12-15 mins, until the cakes are golden brown. Cool and then enjoy!

* * *

What I really like about these cakes is that they're really not too sweet, and the flavour of the banana really comes through. Yum!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Once you pop...

Oh, blessed day! Marks & Spencer has begun manufacturing its own version of Pringles (aka 'Stackers'). And, guess what? The Lightly Sea Salted variety are anti-Candida diet okay!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Some new (to me) products

A new health food shop has opened just down the road from me, and I was delighted to find that they stock LOADS of Candida diet suitable products, including a few I haven't come across before:

Brilliantly they had at least three varieties of yeast-free (naturally leavened), wholewheat bread produced by The Village Bakery. I've been trying out the Organic Campagne. Dense in texture, but makes very good toast. And very reminiscent of my own attempts at sourdough a few weeks ago.

They also stock Savoury Seed biscuits (crackers, really), again made by The Village Bakery. Spicy and slightly crumbly, they make a nice change from plain oatcakes.

Finally, I found Biona Lucky Stars in their chiller cabinet. Made from tofu and vegetables, they're a great fridge/freezer standby. Probably aimed at children, but that doesn't bother me!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A delicious apricot fool

This evening, craving something sweet, I decided to make Miriam Polunin's Apricot Almond Fool, minus the almonds, but plus chopped brazil nuts. It was delicious!! So good, in fact, that rather than just direct you to the page in the book (p. 130, btw), I'm going to reproduce it here. A great recipe for the candida diet repertoire.

Apricot Almond Fool

Serves 4 (I made half the quantity and got two decent servings from it)

250g dried apricots (go for the dark, unsulphured type - much better flavour, almost caramelly)

500ml live, low-fat natural yoghurt (I actually used a half yoghurt, half creme fraiche mixture, cos that's what I had in the fridge!)

1 tbsp honey (optional, I felt the mixture was sweet enough without it, to be honest)

40g unblanched almonds, roughly chopped (I used brazil nuts instead)

fresh mint or edible flowers (for poncey decoration, if that floats your boat!)

1. Place the apricots in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for five mins. Drain and add fresh cold water to cover the apricots.

2. Return to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins, or until the apricots are soft.

3. Cool slightly. Liquidize with just enough cooking water to make a thick puree. Cool until lukewarm.

4. Stir in the yoghurt and honey, if using. Chill until ready to serve.

5. Just before serving, heat the almonds in an ungreased frying pan over a low heat for two-three mins, until just starting to turn golden. Sprinkle over the fool, decorate with the fresh mint or edible flowers, if using, and serve.

Friday, October 12, 2007

New supplement regime

Well, I say 'new', but I have been on it for a couple of weeks now. I'm back on the anti-fungals in a big way...

Bioacidophilus - 2 per day (breakfast and evening meal)
PT208 - 2 per day (breakfast and evening meal)
Echinacea - 1 per day (breakfast)
Mycopryl 400 - 2 per day (breakfast and evening meal)
Mag 2:1 Cal - 3 per day (breakfast, lunch and evening meal)
Multivit - 1 per day (breakfast)
Milk Thistle - 1 per day (evening meal)
Iron - 1 per day (evening meal)

Strange to be taking so many tablets again. Are they doing the trick? Well, they're doing something. Have been experiencing a flare-up - started in my mouth (though that could have been the two enormous pieces of chocolate birthday cake I ate at my friend's recent 30th birthday party!) and has since spread throughout (yuck), but that's no surprise. The Mycopryl always makes things worse to begin with. However, starting to feel like I'm getting back onto an even keel again - digestion has improved, mouth feels less sore and furry and the rest is improving daily. A little disappointing that things should have flared up again, but it's the first since July, and really wasn't that bad when I consider the pain I used to experience.

All in all, still feeling fairly positive about my recovery.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Adventures in Sourdough

I recently read somewhere (a link I sadly lost) that the Candida Society now recommends that sufferers just avoid sugar where possible, as the prohibitions of the hardcore anti-Candida diet make it too difficult to stick too - there could be some wisdom there! Anyway, while I was at home over the summer, I ate a great deal of sourdough bread (leavened with 'natural' yeasts) with no significant 'side-effects', so I decided - as a little diversionary project - to 'grow my own'. :)

The website I used was this one. It gives easy to follow instructions on how to create a sourdough starter and how to bake with it. Unlike a lot of other websites and recipes I found, this recipe does not use added yeast or sugar as a booster. All you need is rye flour (chosen because it ferments more quickly than other flours), wholemeal strong bread flour, water, salt and a lot of patience.

Day one

I probably chose the wrong time of year to start my...er...starter, so it took a little longer than it might usually to get nice and bubbly. I only have a tiny (shared) kitchen, so I chose to keep the starter in my bedroom where I could control the ambient temperature more easily. But, the fact it is a rather chilly room, probably retarded the starter, so the whole process described on the website took around twelve days, before the starter was ready to bake with.

Hubble, bubble...

But, as you can see, it was well worth the wait! My first loaf of (yeasted) bread - I'm so proud. :)

The proof is, of course, in the eating. The verdict? Not too bad for a first go. The bread is nice and crusty, although the texture is quite dense. I suspect this is down to one of the inherent disadvantages of wholemeal bread flour, and the fact the starter was commenced with rye flour. Over time, hopefully, my starter (which is dormant in the fridge at the moment) will improve to produce a more flavoursome loaf that is lighter in texture. Oh, and I could have done with adding a little more salt to the dough methinks.

With a bit of olive oil spread and St Dalfour apricot jam (sweetened with fruit juice) as a treat!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Juice, juice, luverly juice!

Actually, not 'juice', but cordial, or - if you prefer - squash. I discovered Suma Organic Apple, Raspberry and Cranberry Juice pure fruit concentrate in my local independent health food store this afternoon. It's refreshing, contains just concentrated fruit juice and a very little goes a long way (dilute with water). Which is good, cos it's really quite expensive (the RRP is a whopping £3.59!).
N.B. Photograph taken from the Suma website.

More Ginger and Lemon Tea news!

Whittards make a delicious refreshing and just-spicy-enough Ginger and Lemon Tea - crucially without added citric acid. It's even better than the Marks & Sparks version.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Two more fruit bars and a rant

Was delighted to find a couple of new (well, new to me) brands of fruit-based bars at my local independent health food store. Larabar Cherry Pie (very tasty) made entirely of cherries, dates and almonds and Go Natural Fruit Medley, which comprises dried peach, apricot, apple, pear, mango and pineapple with some rice flour and non-scary preservatives.

American and Australian manufacturers lead in this area. Off the top of my head I can only recall one manufacturer, Village Bakery, that produces candida-friendly (although, it should be pointed out that these - and those referred to above - aren't specifically marketed as suitable for the diet) in the UK. And the resultant food miles really bothers me. Come on all you snack and cake bar producers - get your acts together!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An easy-peasy Japanese-style meal

The Green Tea Prawns with Cucumber Salsa recipe available from Times Online (last recipe on the page, scroll to the bottom) is really delicious. The prawns with green tea have a wonderful, delicate flavour which makes a change from soy/miso based sauces. And the radish and cucumber salad that accompanies the prawns is also very good. I didn't use Sushi vinegar as advised - for a start, I couldn't find it to buy it, but also because it contains sugar. I substituted brown rice vinegar instead. What are you looking at me like that for? It's brown rice - it's gotta be healthy ;). Okay, so the salad isn't 100% candida-diet friendly, but would make - along with a serving of brown rice - a great, but simple, meal to feed non-'thrushy' friends, without breaking your own diet too drastically. Gets an A+ from me!

Super noodles!

In my local health store the other day, I was delighted to come across a packet of Sanchi Organic Ramen (wholewheat) with Seawood minus all the usual crap you find in other brands of instant noodles. And jolly nice they were too. I chopped up a couple of spring onions to add to the broth, just to give a 'home made' veneer to my lunch (makes me feel less guilty for using convenience foods!). Not something to eat everyday, but makes a good store-cupboard emergency standby - and helps to indulge my need to eat like a 'proper' student from time to time. ;)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Courgette and Chickpea Pancake

Courtesy of Maki at Just Hungry, I've just made her Courgette and Chickpea Pancake for dinner. The recipe worked out pretty well. I grated the courgettes, cos I don't have a food processor and added a bit of water to the chickpea (gram) flour and courgette mix to make a batter. Halfway through eating (with tzatziki and a green salad), I decided that what it really needed was a squeeze of lemon. With lemon it was good, but still missing something. I reckon it was onion. So next time (and there will be a next time!) I'll grate a shallot or half an onion into the mixture too.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I love freebies!

Lunapads are lovely. Because I mentioned them on The Cardboard Diet they sent me some freebies all the way from Canada! A pad, two types of liner and an organic cotton hanky. And the pad fabric is so beautiful - really 'me'.

I've got to get me some more!! I can feel a collection coming on... ;)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Update and latest supplement regime

Okay, so two months ago I was on top of the world (yeasty-beastie wise). I was experiencing my first few candida-free weeks for flipping ages! Sadly, that didn't last. But, while the thrush is most definitely back, it's manageable. Plenty of water seems to prevent the soreness I've always experienced and the (occasional) itching is bearable. So, I feel like I'm still moving forward in my candida recovery, though it's back to baby steps, rather than great leaps forward. However, I'm still off the anti-fungals, which makes me quite hopeful for the future. Having said that, my nutritional therapist has reintroduced a little Oxypro back into my regime just recently, but that is - apparently - to combat the nasty patch of dermatitis that has appeared on my back (I guess - for all I know - that could be fungal too - eugh):

Oxypro 6 - 8 drops (breakfast)
1 x Nutricell Caratenoid Complex (breakfast and evening meal)
1 x Mega GLA (breakfast and evening meal)
1 x Biomagnesium (breakfast)
1 x Lactobacillus (breakfast and evening meal)
1 x Iron (evening meal)

Juice drinks

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get a little sick of drinking endless water (sparkling, with ice and a slice on 'special' occasions). I yearn for Coca-Cola. One sip, and I know I would relapse into addiction. What can I say? Once a Coke fiend, always a Coke fiend. So, the other day, I was delighted to spot a juice drink in my local newsagents that contains no sugar, no sweeteners and no other addictive nasties: Feel Good Drinks Co. Apple and Blueberry. Crucially it is diluted with water, which makes it okay for those following the Candida diet (maintenance diet). It was a tad expensive (99p), but saved me - on a particularly difficult day when my willpower was weak - from slipping back into Coca-Cola hell.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lunapads: The review

Okay, so as promised, here's a quick run down of what I think about lunapads, having tried them out for a couple of days.

At first, I was a little apprehensive. But, having given the pads a wash as recommended by the manufacturers, I decide to bite the bullet and give 'em a go on a day I was expecting to be at home. I bought a couple of maxipads with liners, and with the liner, I found the whole pad a little bulky, but soft and comfortable. Without, it felt just like wearing a normal sanitary towel, but - unlike a normal sanitary towel - I soon forgot it was there. The pads are very absorbent (just like normal pads, to be honest) and dry. Plus, they don't seem to be quite so smelly. And they are relatively easy to deal with. I live in shared accommodation, so sticking them in a bucket to soak - as advised - wasn't an option. Instead I rinsed them out straight away and stuck them into the washing machine with my normal load (I made sure I had sufficient laundry to go before using them!).

I used them almost exclusively (apart from at night) for two days, and by the end of it I have to admit I'd already become quite fond of my lunapads. Though, at this stage, I can't really say whether they have reduced the irritation I normally experience during my period. I think I'll have to go the whole hog and abandon disposable towels completely before I can judge that, but on the basis of these last two days, I think I might well do that!

To summarise, lunapads get a big thumbs up from Djinn!


My nutritional therapist has advised me to eat plenty of sauerkraut, because it is - apparently - chockful of beneficial bacteria. So, yesterday, I dutifully took myself off to Tescos and bought a big jar of fermented cabbage. This evening I had it with sausages and mashed potato. I thought that combination was suitably...err...germanic. But how I'm going to eat the rest of it, heaven only knows. Anybody got any ideas? Crucially the sauerkraut must remain raw, as heat will kill off the helpful bugs.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Recipe: Marvellous Miso Soup

Just recently I've been loving miso soup for lunch. Here's my version:

Marvellous Miso Soup

(Makes at least two portions - depending on the amount of vegetables and noodles used)

miso paste
spring onion
mushrooms (optional)
brown rice noodles
sesame oil
boiling water
freshly ground pepper

Grate a garlic bulb with a knob of ginger. Sweat in a saucepan with the sesame oil. Meanwhile, slice a couple of spring onions into rings (include plenty of the green part). Shred two-three cabbage leaves (savoy looks best). Add the spring onion and cabbage (+ a couple or three of mushrooms if using) to the pan and fry gently for a couple of minutes.

Add around a pint of boiling water. Throw in a handful of noodles (I have been using King Soba brown rice and wakame noodles - delicious). Simmer for a two to three minutes, until the noodles are tender.

Remove the pan from the heat and add a good squeeze/spoonful of miso paste (about 1 tbs). Stir to dissolve. Return to heat (reduced) for a couple of minutes. DO NOT BOIL - this will kill off the beneficial enzymes in the miso.

Taste and adjust miso/seasoning if necessary. Ladle into bowls, distributing the noodles and vegetables evenly. You may find it easier to eat the noodles with chopsticks!

Monday, August 13, 2007

New Candida Blog

Just spotted: Katie Beats Candida


I've decided to take the plunge and try out Lunapads - washable sanitary towels. For a couple of years I've been using Natracare products which don't irritate my candida condition as much as commercial pads (a couple of hours of wearing one of those things and I'm left with a full blown flare-up), but - especially in the summer - they can still be a little uncomfortable.

Lunapads are constructed from cotton and cotton fleece, and can be washed with the rest of the laundry on a normal cycle (after a quick soak). I've done a bit of Internet research and apparently they last at least three years (and often longer) and don't even stain too badly. The initial outlay is a bit steep but, as they are reusable, they should pay for themselves after a few months. They will also solve the occasional problem I have getting hold of Natracare pads, which can be a bit of a hassle to say the least.

The Lunapads website (the company is Canadian) recommends three Internet-based retailers in the UK. I've plumped for the Natural Woman website. I've decided, initially, to order just a couple of the maxi pads with liners, so that I can try them out before making a major investment! The pads cost £17.14, p&p £1.70 and V.A.T. £1.16. A grand total of £20. I really hope I'm not making an expensive mistake! I will report back when I've had an opportunity to try 'em out. ;)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Recipe: Paneer Bhurji

My ultimate aim is to make my own paneer, but - in the meantime - I buy mine from Tescos! Here's another tasty and quick paneer recipe to try. Not as good as the fabulous Paneer Palak, but not bad. I have to admit that I deviated somewhat from the original recipe. I didn't use any grated paneer as a garnish, and I fried off the cubes of paneer in some sunflower oil first. I prefer it a little crispy.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New recipes: Beetroot Soup with Feta

I've had a bit of success with some candida diet-friendly recipes recently. First up is a truly heavenly Beetroot Soup with Feta, the recipe for which I cadged off the Abel Cole website and which gave me an opportunity to test out my new goblet blender (I've always used a rather messy and inadequate hand blender in the past). There's a link to the recipe here, but as the format has gone a little awry and it's not the easiest task to decipher it, I'll reproduce it below:

Beetroot Soup with Feta

(Makes around two hearty servings)

250g beetroot, grated coarsely (or ready-cooked beetroot cut into slices)
250g tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic, chopped roughly
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
250ml stock (yeast-free stock cube will suffice)
salt and freshly ground pepper
60g feta cheese

Place the halved tomatoes in an ovenproof dish. Throw over the garlic and drizzle over half the oil. Roast them for 25-30 mins at 190 degrees until soft and pulpy. Rub through a sieve to remove the skin and pips.

Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onion until soft. Add the beetroot and stock and bring to the boil. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer gently for 7-10 mins until the beetroot is tender.

Stir in the tomato puree, transfer to a blender and process until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Reheat the soup until thoroughly hot, but not boiling.

Divide between warm bowls and crumble over a little feta into each bowl.

Absolutely delicious. :)

Chocolate Cookies - oh yes!

I have just eaten what could be my most exciting candida diet-friendly discovery to date: Nana's No Gluten Chocolate Cookie. 100g of fairly passable, ultra-chocolaty greatness! It contains no refined sugars (sweetened with fruit juice, but not too much), no dairy, no hydrogenated oils, no cholesterol, no eggs and no added salt. Just one item on the list of ingredients caused me concern, i.e. dextrin. But a quick google revealed that this isn't dextrose, but an alternative (American?) term for modified starch. So, that allayed my worries.

To be fair, when compared with a 'normal' chocolate cookie this would seem pretty lame. The texture is a little strange; not so much cloying as dense and yet fine at the same time (difficult to get one's chops around), but hey, beggars can't be choosers!

Anyway, I bought it from Holland & Barrett (never seen it before). They also had a Chocolate Chip version in stock.

***UPDATE 16/08/07***

Tried the Chocolate Chip version today. Much superior to the plain chocolate version (see above). It's made with oats instead of rice flour, which improves the texture. I shall be buying these again!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Non-farty sugar-free chocolate!

As I've previously described, diabetic plain choc with maltitol isn't bad in terms of taste and texture, but can have rather unfortunate effects should one over-indulge! So, I was delighted to see dairy-free, sugar-free plain chocolate in my (new) local health food shop (I've recently moved). Made by Plamil, it's sweetened with Xylitol instead and while too much will have a laxative effect, you would need to eat several bars a day. Which, given that the chocolate is quite cocoa rich (60%) and bitter, would take quite an effort. I've been slowly eating a 100g bar over the last couple of days and so far, I'm pleased to report, I have avoided an outbreak of acne, which is the other side-effect of maltitol I've experienced.

So, to summarise, it's not as chocolaty or 'sweet' as the previous 'Belgian' versions of dark chocolate I've tried before (with maltitol), but it does satisfy that ever-present craving for chocolate!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Recipe: Brain Balls

Not the most inspiring name, but I found the recipe for these little fish cakes in a 'brain food for kids' supplement in the Observer magazine in January. Only just got around to trying them out.

The recipe calls for tinned salmon. The salmon I purchased was very bony and scaly. Unpleasant to look at, and rifle through to catch all the little sherds of bone. Consequently about half the tin went straight into the bin, and not into my fish cakes. And the mixture before cooking was, therefore, a little sloppy. However, once cooked, they held together well and were tasty with Whole Earth ketchup, though next time I make them I will add a touch of seasoning to liven them up. Oh, and I'll probably poach and flake a piece of salmon fillet rather than use tinned fish.

Anyway, the recipe can be found here (scroll down).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Organic Artichoke Tapas Spread

Just recently, one of my most favourite lunches has been a sort of meze plate: oatcakes, goats cheese, perhaps some parma ham and olives, and apple slices. Continuing the theme I recently came across Sierra Rica organic Artichoke Tapas Spread at Tescos. The ingredients are very simple;

Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

There were a couple of other varieties on the shelf, but they contained raisins and red wine vinegar (if my memory serves me well).

I haven't tried it yet, but thought it would make a nice change from hummous, or spreadable goats cheese.


Very subtle, yet tasty. But gets a little monotonous after four days!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

OMG!!!! Ice Cream!!!!

Quick. Open your copy of Cooking Without by Barbara Cousins (see previous post), and turn to page 245. Seriously, it is AMAZING!!! I realise I haven't actually consumed any ice cream for two and a half years, but this candida-friendly version (maintainers only) seems fairly evocative of the real thing, at least in taste. The ice-crystally texture is more akin to sorbet, but who cares? It's ice cream people!!! (Can you tell I'm just a little bit more than ecstatic about this find?!).

The recipe calls for frozen fruit, and Tesco very handily produces ready chopped frozen fruit (I used banana and strawberry) for smoothies. Which makes this recipe an absolute breeze. Oh, and I used full fat goats milk instead of the recommended soya, rice or almond milk, and it worked out fine. A sturdy blender or food mixer is essential too.

Right, I'm off to have my third helping this evening! *stuffed to the brim with luverly stuff*

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Update and Book review: Cooking Without by Barbara Cousins

First things first. As I'm sure my regular readers must have noticed, I have been absent for several weeks. To cut a long story short, I haven't been very well recently (completely non Candida related!) and had to come home for some much needed R&R. Blogging hasn't been my top priority. And apart from anything else, I have - as a result of leaving Leicester - lost my super-fast broadband connection, to be replaced by an antiquated dial-up modem thingy. It's frustratingly slow. However, that doesn't mean that 'developments' on the Candida front haven't occurred.

I am now on new medication. In fact, the medication I was so concerned about taking before. For the first couple of weeks I really did struggle with the side-effects, which included nausea, complete loss of appetite, aches & pains and feelings of unreality, but since then I've felt increasingly great. And now I'm a super happy bunny - or at least I would be if it would stop raining for five seconds. But, here, we're not interested in that. We're bothered with Candida...

Surprisingly my thrush symptoms have all but disappeared. To reiterate, the symptoms I've had for the past THIRTEEN YEARS have disappeared. The constant itching and soreness - GONE (providing I make sure I drink plenty of fluid)! Ever since I started on the SSRI! Was my Candida problem simply an allergic reaction to stress hormones? I'm starting to think 'yes'. Since I started popping the happy pills I have been able to relax as I haven't been able to relax since, well, I don't know when. The low-level, generalised anxiety has gone. I've turned from a 'glass half empty' to a 'glass half full' kind of girl. IT'S A BLOODY MIRACLE!!! ;)

Oh, and did I mention that I haven't been taking my (extortionately priced) supplements (apart from the multivit and iron)? NO ANTI-FUNGALS at all! It's only been a month, so I'm not going to count my chickens quite yet. But, really, I have made SO much progress over the past month I'm delighted regardless. There's light at the end of that there tunnel. :)

Okay, now onto the main business of this post. The review (or more precisely a brief report) of Barbara Cousin's Cooking Without: Recipes free from added gluten, sugar, dairy products, yeast, salt, saturated fat. Eagle-eyed and sharp of mind regular readers might remember that I reviewed Barbara's similarly titled recipe book on vegetarian cooking 'without' last summer. I was pretty impressed with that (though I had a bit of trouble with some of the recipes), but this meat-friendly collection of recipes is even better. Especially the baking section. So far I've tried the Chewy Fruit Bars (p. 225) - which benefited from 10 mins in the oven - and the Apple, Date and Nut Muffins (p. 216) - which I had with apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries instead of the dates and raisins. Both delicious (relatively speaking!). Keen to make a start on working through the savoury recipes when I get back to student life.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

New supplement regime

A couple of weeks ago I gave my nutritional therapist a list of all the supplement left-overs I've accumulated over the last couple of years. She emailed back to say that she'd taken note. Which is a good thing. Not so good is that she hasn't seemed to grasp the concept of only prescribing me the bare minimum to fight my candida problems. Nevertheless her bill, this month, was half of what it was the previous month, which is another good thing. Here's my new regime:

One a day multivitamins and minerals - One tablet with breakfast and evening meals (I actually only take one of these - it's called 'one-a-day' for a reason IMHO).

Mycopyrl 400 - One capsule with breakfast and evening meals.

Nutricell caretenoid - One capsule with breakfast and evening meals (Again, just take one in the morning following the recommended dosage on the pot).

Bioacidophillus - One capsule with breakfast and evening meals.

Mega GLA - One capsule with breakfast and evening meals.

Floraguard - One capsule with Lunch (this is a new one - apparently a broad spectrum candida supplement to support the Mycopyrl 400, and replaces the Oxy-pro I had been using for the last couple of months. Feel that this rotation of anti-fungals is an all round positive move).

St John's Wort - One capsule with breakfast and evening meals (to help anxiety and stress levels).

BioMagnesium - One capsule with breakfast and evening meals.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fridge Fruit

Leading on from my previous post, at Somerfield today I discovered 'Fridge Fruit', manufactured by SPC, a 1 kg pot of pear, peach and pineapple in apple juice, and crucially, no citric acid (though it does contain ascorbic acid - no one has ever said to me, 'Djinn, you can't have ascorbic acid', so I don't worry about it!). Once opened it needs to be kept in the fridge and eaten within seven days. Good with yoghurt. Not personally keen on pear (don't like the gritty texture), but I lurve peach and pineapple. :)

A tasty lunch idea

Last weekend I had lunch at a cafe in town. Perusing the menu to see what I could eat within the bounds of the anti-candida diet, I hit upon a jacket potato topped with cottage cheese and pineapple. I don't know if that's a peculiarly British combination; it sounds strange, but it works well. So, I recreated it this lunchtime. I added a sprinkle of paprika and freshly ground black pepper to make it a little more exciting.


A week of eating badly

The last week has seen me eat Chinese once, Indian twice, refined pasta, egg mayonnaise and brie and grape sandwiches. I've drunk black tea with milk and neat orange juice. To summarise, I've had a bad week. But I have an excuse. Not only was it my birthday last Sunday (hence the Chinese - a birthday ritual), it was my Department's research week and my food choices were, thus, limited. To compensate I'm going to eat nothing but pure, unadulterated food for the next few days (she says, sweeping the diabetic chocolate and shortbread fingers she bought from Boots this morning, well under the carpet).

It'll be interesting to see what happens with regard to flare-ups...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Recipe: Chilli and soy-glazed chicken with garlicky-herb couscous

Devised this for tonight's dinner. Very tasty. Very quick. Very garlicky! Should be kicking the arse of that candida as I type. ;)

Chilli and soy-glazed chicken

(serves 1)

1 free-range, organic chicken breast
soy sauce
lemon juice
chilli flakes
freshly ground black pepper
sesame oil

Trim and cut the chicken into goujon-sized strips. Make a marinade of soy sauce, lemon juice (just a splash of both), a sprinkle of red chilli flakes and black pepper to taste. Add the chicken and coat well in the marinade. Leave to infuse for a few minutes. In the meantime prepare the couscous (see below).

Heat the oil in a small pan. Shallow fry the chicken until the marinade has formed a glaze over the chicken (and the chicken is cooked).

Serve with couscous (see below) and a green salad.

* * * * *

Garlicky-herb couscous

(serves one)

1 portion of couscous (cooked according to the instructions on the packed)
1 clove of garlic, grated
handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely.
olive oil

Stir a dash of oil, the garlic and parsley into the couscous. Leave to stand (covered) for a few minutes to ensure that the garlic and parsley is warmed through.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Recipe: Yoghurt 'soured cream'

Well, less a recipe and more a handy hint really. A couple of weeks ago I really started to crave MEAT! So, I bought some superior beef mince and made a vat of chilli, which I've been slowly eating my way through since (I should add that I froze several portions!). I had it with tacos last night (Old El Paso ones are anti-candida diet friendly). I thought up a quick - and delicious - substitute for soured cream to accompany the dish (which is pretty obvious when you think of it):

Yoghurt 'soured cream'

2-3 tbs goats yoghurt
juice of half a lemon
freshly ground pepper

Spoon the yoghurt into a bowl. Add the lemon juice and mix until the yoghurt is runny. Add pepper to taste. Drizzle over meat filling.

Would work as a salad dressing and (sloppy) dip. Very tasty.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A setback

So, the Doctor suggested I did some cardio-vascular exercise in my quest to maintain a cheery disposition. I hate most exercise, but I'm not bad at swimming, so I have started doing a few lengths down the pool a couple of times a week. And guess what? Yeah, that's right, it's caused a flare-up of my candida symptoms. I can't win! It's so blinking frustrating, especially as I'm certain the exercise really had started to boost my mood.

Though, having said that, my tongue and mouth are sore, so I suppose the flare-up could just be coincidental. Nevertheless, I'm feeling quite downbeat about the whole thing. I suppose it's back to the rigid diet for me, though that's going to be difficult with my birthday coming up.

Out, damn fungus!

Mars Bars no longer veggie-friendly

I can't profess to being vegetarian, but - frankly - Mars' decision to start using animal-derived rennet puts me right off (not that I could eat normal choc in the first place, but it's the principle of the thing!).

BBC NEWS Business Mars starts using animal products

Know Your Onions

Serendipitous, it seems, that I've just started to use shallots in place of onions.

Choose a Sharper, Stronger Onion - RealAge Tip of the Day

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dumping my nutritional therapist

A little while ago I wrote about how I was thinking I might ditch my nutritional therapist, but I chickened out (background here). I finally go up the courage to email her this morning. Actually, I haven't dumped her, but have informed her that, due to cash-flow problems, I'm going to have to reduce the number of supplements I'm taking to the barest minimum. I've also given her a list of the supplements I have enormous quantities of already (like 200+ capsules). I've calculated that, at current doses, I've got enough of some things (like multivitamins, caprylic acid and MegaGLA) to last me six months at least! I have to make some savings over the summer (when I'll have no money coming in), and my supplement regime is the most obvious candidate for the chop. I await her reply with baited breath...

Tried my recipes?

I've been receiving masses more hits to this blog recently, mainly thanks to Migelooch/Jul's 'Candida Candour'. If anyone has tried my recipes, or has any suggestions how to improve them, I'd be really pleased to hear from you. Why not leave me a comment?! Thanks. :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Cooking With Monkey

This is great. And I like this recipe for chocolate truffles. Am thinking it might be possible to do a Candida diet-friendly version with maltitol or fructose-sweetened dark chocolate and goats cream (available in UHT cartons from some health food stores). But how to replace the icing sugar? A spot of corn flour perhaps?

I must experiment...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Recipe: Finnan Haddie

I bought a couple of pieces of smoked haddock this afternoon, with the thought of making kedgeree. Until, that is, I later realised that I had eaten rice last night. So, I had a quick look on the Internet for another haddock recipe and found this. I made a few changes...I didn't have a spring onion or fresh parsley, so left those out, and used shallots instead of onion. And, of course, I substituted cows milk for goats, olive oil spread for butter and plain flour for wholemeal. But it was still very yummy served with boiled new potatoes and purple sprouting broccoli.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Blog alert: Book of Yum

Food blogger and doctoral student like me! Lots of yummy sounding gluten-free recipes here.

Book of Yum

N.B. Might have (Might have? No definitely!) inadvertently commented on someone else's blog, who shall reman nameless - *cough* .H - recently using the 'wrong' profile which links to my research blog, thus revealing my true identity! Pssst - don't tell anyone!! Not that I'm ashamed of this little blog. Just not keen on all and sundry knowing about my problems - to put it coyly - 'down below'. ;)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Recipe: Grilled halloumi with roasted vegetables

My nutritional therapist suggested this really simple, but delicious recipe. I like to cook twice as much veg as I need and then save the rest to serve with pasta or a salad the next day. N.B. You can roast all sorts of vegetables, aubergine, carrots, tomatoes, spring onions, asparagus, etc.

Grilled Halloumi with Roasted Vegetables
Serves 1

3-4 slices of halloumi cheese
1 red onion, quartered
half a courgette, sliced
Half a red pepper, sliced
olive oil

Place the vegetables on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Place in the oven at about 200 degrees for about 20 mins (turning occasionally). Meanwhile grill the slices of halloumi on a griddle pan. Alternatively, when the vegetables are tender and just starting to crisp, remove from the oven and place in a shallow baking dish. Put the slices of halloumi on top of the vegetables (evenly spaced) and place under a grill until the cheese is starting to bubble and go 'toasty'.

Serve with brown rice dressed in a simple vinaigrette of two parts olive oil to one part cider vinegar. Add seasoning to taste.

Fructose-sweetened Chocolate

I've written before about how I suspect diabetic with maltitol gives me acne, so I'm trying out fructose-sweetened dark chocolate as an alternative. The chocolate I have is manufactured by Holex and purchased from my local independent health food shop.

It's pretty good, but incredibly sweet! The packaging advises that diabetics shouldn't consume more than 25g a day, which is a good guide. That equates to two rows. But I don't think I'm going to manage more than one!

I guess it's not really the best thing to eat, but I'm so fed up and PMT-ridden I NEED CHOCOLATE!!!!


I've had another row this evening. Y'know, just to make sure! ;) I decided that it really isn't very nice at all. Not just too sweet, but quite 'harsh', and a nasty aftertaste to boot. I shan't be buying it again. Need to find a victim to palm the rest off on!

***UPDATE 2***

I got used to it. Has all gone now. ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A dilemma

I've got a really difficult decision to make. For the last fifteen years I've suffered with quite severe anxiety, sometimes leading to depression and frequently, bouts of insomnia. In the past, during a particularly bad episode, I was put on medication which was - not only ineffective - really not a good solution, as it make me feel very strange, kind of discombobulated and fat! I've tried all the usual self-help stuff, like lavender aromatherapy, St Johns Wort, Nytol, yoga, meditation, exercise, etc. I've read endless self-help books and last winter, during a period of quite severe depression, counselling. Nothing I have tried has had more than a short-term benefit.

My anxiety manifests itself in a serious of strange ways. Generally speaking it is constant and non-specific, though travel (particularly involving an over night stay), or having to get up early in the morning, can trigger quite alarming symptoms of panic. I can brood for months in advance of an event. And I recently had to pull out of quite a prestigious conference at which I had been accepted to present my research, because I couldn't deal with the journey (the actual presentation strangely caused no anxiety at all!). It had started to affect my ability to take up opportunities which will benefit my studies and my future career, and so I resolved that something must be done.

So today I went along to see my lovely and very understanding doctor. She did an assessment, which confirmed that I have severe anxiety, suggested I purchase a light box to help me through the winter months (when I often get very depressed), and made me an appointment with the practice therapist, who specialises in anxiety disorders. She also suggested I tried medication. Beta blockers are out, cos I have asthma. So she's offered me SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). They sound fab - really effective in the long run without the weirdness associated with the drugs I was taking before, neither are they are addictive. However, I was rather alarmed to find out that they can, in the short-term, make anxiety worse. Not only that, they have been linked with suicide - especially in teenagers (i.e. Seroxat). I'm no teenager, but I am on my own, and have no one to keep an eye on me 24/7 in case I do have a bad reaction. So, what do I do? I desperately want to get better, but I can't face the thought of feeling worse, even if it is only for a few weeks.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Asparagus Soup

As promised, I toddled off to Leicester market yesterday afternoon and purchased some new season asparagus so I could try out that wonderful sounding asparagus soup recipe I found via Cooking Cute. I made it this lunchtime. It is - in a word - AMAZING!! Fresh tasting with a real zing. I had to wrestle with myself not to scoff the leftovers I'd set aside for lunch tomorrow.

Overall the recipe is suitable for anti-Candida dieters with some minor amendments. I omitted the optional parmesan garnish (though I might have added a sprinkle of grated hard goats cheese, if I'd had some) and replaced the 'all-purpose flour' with wholewheat plain flour (I suspect cornflour would work equally well). And as I no longer drink soy milk, I used goats milk instead. The asparagus I used was young, so not too woody. If you were using older spears, you might choose to sieve the vegetable puree before adding the milk and yoghurt.

Quick tip (nicked off Jamie Oliver): To get rid of the hard, woody part snap - rather than cut - the ends off the asparagus spears. This will leave you with just the tender parts of the vegetable!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Latest Supplement Regime

Had my (roughly) monthly appointment with my nutritional therapist the other day. She's amended my supplement programme to reflect my flare-up, current hayfever and the emotional stress I've recently been under. In fact, everything on this list I've taken before, so I can use up lots of left-overs. She has seriously upped my anti-fungal intake, which I think I still need.

Biocare Bioacidophillus - 1 x 2 times a day
Biocare MegaGLA - 1 x 2 times a day
Biocare Mycopryl 400 - 1 x 3 times a day
Biocare Oxypro - 10 drops in water, twice a day
Biocare Nutricell Caretenoid - 1 x 3 times a day
Biocare Histazyme - 1 x 2 times a day
Biocare Iron EAP2 - 1 per day
Biocare Adult Multivitamin - 1 x 2 times a day

I'm expecting to experience of a bit of 'die-off' with this lot. :S

Tea 'could cut skin cancer risk'

Green tea with a slice of lemon it is for me then!

BBC NEWS Health Tea 'could cut skin cancer risk'

Speaking of which, I'm really enjoying Twining's White Tea with Pomegranate at the moment. Lovely and refreshing.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Quick and easy lunch idea

Devised a really simple, yet really yummy lunch idea today - so obvious really, that I don't know why I didn't think about it before.

Spinach Scrambled Eggs

2 large eggs
handful of fresh, baby spinach
olive oil spread
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Rinse the spinach. In a small pan heat a knob of olive oil spread. Add the spinach and gently fry until it wilts (only takes a minute). Remove from the pan and keep warm. Beat the eggs in a bowl, add to the pan (on a low heat) and scramble. When almost cooked, but still moist, return the spinach to the pan. Stir into the egg. Remove the pan from the heat. Season to taste and serve, with oatcakes or potato farls.

The peppery-ness of the spinach works really well with the egg. I guess the resulting dish is really a kind of deconstructed Eggs Florentine!

Oh, how I miss Marmite! :(

Maki at 'Just Hungry' has done a taste test of the new limited edition Guinness version of Marmite.

Tasting Guinness Marmite Just Hungry

Not sure about that particular combination, but it has painfully reminded me of how much I miss the original stuff. Sometimes what I really, really need is a spot of marmite and butter on toast and a nice cup of (normal) tea with - yes! - milk. The ultimate comfort food for all that ails you.

But, I suspect that the inordinate amounts of marmite on toast I ate as a teenager and undergraduate (it was my staple diet) created my blasted yeast problems in the first place. That and an almost equal obsession with golden syrup on bread and butter. Mmmmmmmm - bad food... :)

Sunday, April 15, 2007


...for Delamere Spreadable Goats Cheese! Great on oatcakes. Bought mine at Tescos (selected stores only).

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Fed Up

I'm so fed up. After a couple of okay months, all my symptoms have flared up again. I'm contending with a dose of thrush accompanied by cystitis, which has left my nether regions feeling like somebody has taken sand-paper to them! This is all so frustrating. Every time I relax a bit and think that I can, perhaps, start to relax the diet a bit, WHAM! Back come the itching and soreness with a vengeance.

I'm putting this flare-up down to emotional stress - had a family bereavement just before Easter and it's been a traumatic couple of weeks. But, things also seem to get worse when I've been at home. Now, this makes me wonder, is this because I'm not cooking for myself (and thus, not able to monitor my intake as rigorously), or are there environmental factors? My hayfever and rhinitis get worse at home too - are the candida symptoms part of this allergic response? Or, perhaps, an effect of the antihistamines I have to take?

Questions, questions, questions...and no bloody answers, as usual. Grrrrrrr.

What can I do? Well, I can try to relax a bit and go strict on my diet (if that's not a contradiction). I've been a bit lax with my yoghurt consumption recently (yuck - I hate the stuff) and been eating a little too much in the way of fruit sugars. So, my plan for the next few days is:
  • more yoghurt
  • cut back juice consumption, to one glass (diluted) a day
  • cut back fruit consumption (and type of fruit), i.e. one apple or banana a day, plus dried fruit on breakfast porridge
  • more fluid - WAY more fluid, haven't been drinking enough water recently, diluting the acidity in my urine will make me feel a hell of a lot more comfortable!

Here's hoping.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Good stuff from Tescos

I've just got back to Leicester after a week and a half or so at home, via a trip to Tescos, where I picked up loads of good anti-Candida diet friendly stuff.

I haven't had a chance to try out any of this stuff yet...will keep you posted.

First up is something which I think is going to revolutionise my cooking (or at the very least, make it a damn sight easier): 'Thai Taste Green Curry Paste', a fairly large (400g) tub of curry paste, the ingredients of which are:

Green Chilli
Lemon Grass
Rhizome Galangal (ginger, I suppose)
Fennel Seed
Kaffir Lime Skin

- so nothing there which is prohibited on the diet. According to the instructions on the tub, all you need to do is add 50g (enough for 4 people?) to coconut milk to make up an authentic sauce. Have got some king prawns and tofu to try it out. I didn't buy it this time round, but their Red Curry Paste looked okay too.

'Orgran Gluten-free Falafel Mix' - makes up five servings. Ingredients are:

Yellow Peas
Traditional herbs and spices
Sodium bicarbonate

Just add water to the mix, form falafels and fry until crisp. I have tried this mix before, but it was a while ago, so I can't remember how successful it was. Obviously didn't leave too bad an impression though!

'Kohinoor Rice Treat' - a good store cupboard standby. Ready to eat Indian-style vegetarian meals in a microwaveable pouch. I've got the Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani* and Paneer Tikka Biryani# to try. Both contain white basmati rice, but I remember reading somewhere that basmati has a lower GI than other white rice varieties, which suggests it is converted to sugar more slowly by the body than, say, American Long Grain. Good for emergencies (I hope!)

*Cooked basmati rice 70%
french beans 6%
yoghurt 5%
onion 4%
vegetable oil (refined sunflower) 3%
green peas 3%
Indian cottage cheese (paneer) 3%
carrot 3%
coriander leaves
green chilli
mint leaves
coriander powder
red chilli powder
kewra (flavour)
black pepper
bay leaves
rose petals

# cooked basmati rice 65%
Indian Cottage cheese (paneer) 15%
yoghurt 5%
onion 5%
tomato 3%
vegetable oil (refined sunflower) 3%
ginger paste
garlic paste
lemon juice
fresh coriander
fresh mint
kewra (flavour)
clove black pepper
rose petals
bay leaves
dry mango powder
melon seeds
pomegranate seeds
dry ginger
bishop weed

This all begs the question, why - when it is clearly possible to produce ready-meals without all the added crap - most manufacturers persist in including artificial colours and flavourings, flavour enhancers and sugars?

Friday, April 06, 2007

.H's Candida Diet-friendly Choco Cake

Well, I made it (or rather my Mum did). Here are my thoughts.
  • The mixture made a light sponge, though it didn't rise very much, and where it did it was quite uneven. This probably had more to do with the gluten-free flour we used (rice + several other grains) than the recipe.
  • The cake is certainly very chocolaty - but bitter. The rice syrup takes the 'edge off', but doesn't provide a lot of sweetness. The jam (which sticks the sandwich together) helps.
  • The cake improves considerably after 24 hours - which gives the flavours time to meld together nicely, and the sweetness of the jam (fructose-sweetened, black cherry jam, bty) to infuse the cake, leading to an altogether much more pleasant eating experience.

I'll certainly make it again. I'm not gluten-free, so I might try normal wholemeal flour next time, which will probably improve the texture, and maybe I'll be a little less stingy with the jam, which you definitely need to counteract the bitterness of the cocoa powder.

All in all I'd say the recipe is definitely worth the effort. It can't replicate the l0vely chocolaty-sweetness of a 'normal' chocolate cake, but it comes pretty damn close! Thanks for sharing .H!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Newish blog: Fighting Candida: Body Ecology

Found another new Candida diet blog this evening - Fighting Candida: Body Ecology. There's a nice little - growing - community of Candida fighters out there in the blogosphere. ;) Hurrah!


Here's a list of the supplements I'm currently advised by my nutritional therapist to take. Over the last couple years they have changed fairly frequently though. The constants have been Mycopryl (caprylic acid) in varying doses, a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement and 'good' bacteria (bty, these are all manufactured by Biocare).

Quercetin Plus - 1 x 3 daily
Sea Plasma - 1 x 3 daily
Lycopene Plus - 1 x 2 daily
Bioacidophillus Forte - 1 x daily
One a Day Plus (vitamin) - 1 x daily
Essential Fatty Acids - 1 x 3 daily
Mycopryl 250 - 1 x 2 daily
Oxypro - 8 drops in water, twice daily

I'm currently getting on okay with this combination - though I frequently forget to take my lunchtime doses. Costs a blinking fortune though! And with the amount of 'left-overs' from previous regimens I have secreted in my wardrobe, I could open a pharmacists! ;)

The Anti-Candida Diet: What I DON'T eat

In response to Jul's comment on my last post (it's so nice to not just be talking to myself anymore!), here's a list of stuff I CAN'T eat (I thought that was easier than saying what I can).

In fact I have written about this before, but here's a recap/update (rationales follow):

I have been advised to avoid
  • sugars*
  • yeast
  • fermented food (smoked and cured foods)~
  • cow's milk, cheese#
  • grapes/raisins
  • citric acid
  • caffeine%
  • alcohol
  • mushrooms
  • red meat^
  • refined carbohydrates$
  • peanuts
  • oranges and orange juice

*I am now allowed many fruits, including some dried fruit like apricots and prunes (though no more than three a day). Grapes and raisins are prohibited though (high concentration of fruit sugars). As are oranges (apparently it is quite common for people with candida problems to be sensitive to orange - don't know if I really am though). Maltitol, rice syrup and fructose are acceptable, but not in large quantities. To a large extent, since I've been on the diet, I have 're-educated' my tastebuds - on the odd occasions I have had something sweetened with refined sugar I've found it sickeningly sweet and get a sugar hangover the following day (very unpleasant). All sweeteners (bar maltitol) are prohibited, i.e. sucrose, sucralose, aspartame, dextrose, maltodextrin, etc, etc (food manufacturers are very canny, they often claim something has 'no added sugar' when it's just called something else - it's imperative to check those ingredients lists closely). I am now allowed fruit juice (except orange) providing it is diluted (1 part juice, 1 part water) and unsweetened.

#I was allowed to re-introduce goats/sheeps milk and cheese into my diet after a few months. I am also allowed young cheeses made with cow's milk (less lactose), like mozzarella and cottage cheese. I often eat paneer, which is a South Asian firm cottage cheese. Cow's milk bio-yoghurt is okay (I'm not sure why, but - for some reason - the levels of lactose are reduced), though I now find I prefer goat's milk yoghurt anyway. At first I was advised to have unsweetened soy milk, but I prefer not to consume that now for ethical and health reasons.

~ Foods which are fermented, or smoked/cured, are thought to attract yeasts and moulds. Peanuts and shelled nuts are prohibited for the same reason. However, I did successfully re-introduce products like soy sauce (I had always been allowed miso) and cyder vinegar after a few months. I occasionally have smoked and cured meat/tofu too. I figure the cooking process will kill off any yeasty-beasties, assuming any are present in the first place given modern food safety and hygiene standards. Mushrooms are a bit of a contentious issue. My current nutritional therapist has banned them - my previous one allowed me to re-introduce them. I love mushrooms, but I'm not prepared to take the risk at the moment.

% I am supposed to avoid caffeine as much as possible because it puts a strain on the body's immune system. I gave up 'normal' black tea, but still drink green tea (but usually no more than three-four mugs a day). I never drank coffee - so no problems there. I've always been tee-total too (except for the very odd occasion), so giving up alcohol was quite easy too! ;) Unsweetened fruit and herbal teas are acceptable.

^ Red meat is supposed to be inflammatory. I avoid it primarily because of my problems with asthma - it's not so much a candida issue, and in fact, good iron intake is thought to be useful in combating candida infection. I was largely vegetarian for about six months last year, but I lost far too much weight, which I believe was affecting the regularity of my periods. Not a good thing, so I started eating some meat again. Mostly free-range, traditionally-reared, organic chicken though.

%Refined carbohydrates, like white rice, white flour and white pasta, are turned into sugar quicker by the body than their brown versions. I don't have a big wheat/gluten problem, so I don't have to avoid these types of foods too readily (though I have given up eating my home-made soda bread, cos it made me bloat up so much).

That's all the 'banned foods' I can think of at the moment...hope it's helpful!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Recipe: Potato and Onion Fry

Well the name just about sums it up. I'd completely run out of food this evening, so had to cobble dinner together from the odd thing I had lying around. I came up with this. Add a tomato sauce and a drizzle of yoghurt (in place of soured cream) and you'd get a candida diet friendly Patatas Bravas.

Potato and Onion Fry

1 large potato
half a large onion
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
soft goats cheese
seasoning: freshly ground pepper, salt and paprika

Peel the potato, cut into quarters and boil until just tender. Meanwhile, grate the garlic and dice the onion. Fry in the olive oil until golden. Drain the potatoes and dice into pieces roughly an inch-cubed. Add to pan and fry gently until golden brown on all sides. Add a sprinkle of paprika and season to taste.

Serve with a couple of chunks of goats cheese just starting to melt on the top of the potatoes and boiled/steamed broccoli.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Recipe: Quick and spicy Chinese cabbage tsukemono

Lovely recipe for a Japanese style 'instant' pickled cabbage on Just Hungry. I made it this evening, and had it with a piece of salmon, jacket potatoes and purple-sprouting broccoli (kind of East/West fusion!). It was very good, quite piquant, but the lemon juice cuts through the spiciness - and anti-Candida diet friendly. Just substitute the orange rind for lemon.

Planning on having the remainder as a salad for lunch tomorrow.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Candida Chronicles

I'm finding loads of good stuff at the moment. This is the lblog of someone just starting out on the anti-Candida diet. Only had a quick read so far, but looks good.

Candida Chronicles

gluten free, sugar free, dairy free = candida-friendly chocolate cake recipe « Friends Keep Saying I Should Blog…

Why haven't I come across this before??!!!!!!!!!

gluten free, sugar free, dairy free = candida-friendly chocolate cake recipe « Friends Keep Saying I Should Blog…

Several of those commenting have expressed doubt over the suitability of rice syrup for those following the anti-Candida diet, but as doth points out, everyone's body is different, and I've certainly not experienced any obvious problems as a result of consuming rice syrup in the Village Bakery bars I get from Sainsburys.

I must try this recipe out as soon as possible - especially as I'm convinced diabetic chocolate with maltitol doesn't just give me wind but spots as well! :S

Intriguing Ways to Add Zest to your Menus...!

Nothing to do with the anti-Candida diet, but everything to do with food, an American friend recently sent me a recipe book dating from 1961 and published by the The Chun King Corporation (manufacturer of (loosely) 'Oriental' foodstuffs). It's a wonderful document; it has fantastic kitsch appeal and ties in with my current research with is looking at Western images of post-1949 China.

Quite honestly the recipes sound revolting: Most are standard American fare, 'orientalised' by the liberal use of soy sauce and crushed noodles (???!!!). The colour photography makes the dishes look particularly repulsive.

Fancy any of these appetizing dishes?!!

I particularly like the 'For Men Only' section, bless 'em. ;)

It's all fun. :)

Recipe: Asparagus Soup

For inspiration, have just been having another look at Cooking Cute: a bento site. The writer links to what sounds like a really good asparagus soup, made with yoghurt and lemon juice, which is perfectly anti-Candida diet friendly (subject to the omission of the parmesan, of course). As soon as asparagus comes into season (mid, late-April) I might head down to Leicester Market, buy a bunch or two and try this recipe out.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

.: evil jungle prince :.

There's some gorgeous sounding recipes here:

.: evil jungle prince :.

Mostly Far East and Middle Eastern inspired. And better still, at first glance, several look to be anti-Candida diet-friendly.

(I'm catching up on food blogs - can you tell? ;))

Saturday, March 17, 2007

♥ Cooking Cute ♥

Truly amazing.

♥ Cooking Cute ♥

I wish I had the time and the vision to do this sort of thing. I'm sure the whole bento box concept would work really well for the anti-Candida diet, particularly as I always find lunches - particularly 'pack-ups' (as they do say in my part of the world ;)) - so difficult as I tend to like to graze all day long. Something worth investigating...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Smoked Salmon

I know that smoked products are frequently prohibited for people following the anti-Candida diet, but occasionally I indulge. I figure it's better than eating a slice of chocolate cake! So, the other day, I bought some wafer-thin smoked salmon slices from Marks & Spencers. Yesterday, I had several slices with soft goats cheese on oatcakes for lunch, and this evening I finished off the rest of the pack in a pasta dish, the (slightly vague - sorry) recipe for which follows. (and jolly tasty it was too!).

Smoked salmon and broccoli pasta
(makes enough for one generous portion)

half a pack of wafer-thin smoked salmon slices
a handful of purple-sprouting broccoli
wholewheat pasta tagliatelle or spaghetti
wholewheat flour
goats milk
olive-oil spread
bay leaf
salt and pepper

Trim and cut the broccoli stems in half. Boil or steam until just tender. Meanwhile cook the pasta and make a white sauce (flour, olive-oil spread and milk) in a saucepan. Add a bay leaf and a sprinkle of paprika and cook gently until the flour has cooked, whisking all the time to create a smooth sauce. Season to taste. Meanwhile, slice the salmon into strips. When al dente, drain the pasta and return to a low heat. Add the drained broccoli, sauce (remember to remove the bay leaf) and salmon strips. Stir to combine and serve with a rocket, spinach and watercress salad, dressed with a spot of Olive oil.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I'm trying some 'no added sugar' biscuits that I bought at my local health shop the other day. Sunflower & Sesame biscuits manufactured by Prewett's. They have an...err...interesting flavour, but it's a taste I'm becoming accustomed too. They are sweetened with date paste, but are still not very sweet. I almost wonder how they might taste topped with a slice of hard goats cheese? Might try that out sometime...

EPA and brain power

BBC NEWS Health Supplement 'boosts' brain power

I note that my nutritional therapist has included EPA in my most recent stash of (ridiculously expensive) supplements. I'm a PhD student - I need all the help I can get! Anything which could improve my concentration is great. Though I wonder exactly how much benefit it will have for someone in their (early!) thirties.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Soup, luverly soup!

Just tried another of Marks & Spencer's candida diet friendly soups: Spicy Red Lentil and Tomato. Not bad - bit lumpy for my taste. My favourite remains their Butternut Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Harissa, which is smooth and thick, but not too gloopy. Oh, and they've still got their buy-one-get-another-half-price offer on.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ginger, Lemon and Ginseng tea

One of the things I've really missed since I went on the anti-Candida diet is Twinings' Lemon and Ginger tea. Not least because it's a great 'cure' for sore throats and ticklish coughs. Unfortunately, it - and every other similar tea (apart from the version I make myself) I've since come across - has added citric acid. That was until I came across Marks & Spencer's Organic Ginger, Lemon & Ginseng tea yesterday. I'm just brewing a cup now. It smells gorgeous. Hopefully the taste will match it.


I chickened out. I didn't dump my nutritional therapist when I talked to her today on the phone. I was in the office, and a bit distracted and I let her talk and talk and then suddenly the conversation had finished and she'd gone, all without me addressing any of my concerns. Oh well - there's always next month.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The pros and cons of nutritional support cont...

Further to yesterday's post I came across this very timely response from Bix at The Fanatic Cook about the same report. I'm feeling infinitely less concerned now, but think I still need to be careful about the level of dose of each vitamin I'm taking. So, I've resolved to suggest to my nutritional therapist on Monday that I cut down my supplement intake to the barest minimum, say a probiotic, lower dose anti-fungal and broad spectrum, A-to-Z kind of vitamin and mineral supplement.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The pros and cons of nutritional support, i.e. supplements

I'm thinking about ditching my nutritional therapist. Not only is she advising me to take very high doses of several of the things highlighted as potentially damaging by the article in this post, but she keeps changing my supplements which means I've ended up with a backlog of stuff I can no longer take, which cost me a fortune to purchase in the first place. I have a suspicion that she has started to regard me as a bit of a cash-cow. My symptoms have stabilised, so she's just chucking anything at me now to keep me as a client. I want to see whether I can maintain my current state using just the anti-Candida diet. And until I come off the anti-fungals, I won't know where I'm at in my recovery. But, on the other hand, she - and my previous therapist - were really the first people after more than a decade of problems, who took my symptoms seriously without question. And it's reassuring to have that support. I'm really in two minds what to do at the moment...


I'm so glad I'm allowed to eat diabetic plain chocolate on this diet. Cos every now and then (approximately once a month!) chocolate is a complete necessity. Better still, the newsagents near my office quite unexpectantly sells a good range of maltitol-sweetened Belgian chocolate. The manufacturer is Cachet and they make an orange flavoured and plain dark chocolate, which is fairly bitter; almost like cooking chocolate. And I love it!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Milk and genetics

BBC NEWS Health Early man 'couldn't stomach milk'

Another interesting article which suggests that the suspected link between between evolution and being able to tolerate lactose has been confirmed. Thank goodness I'm okay with goats milk - I wouldn't be able to live without cheese altogether!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Vegetable Tagine

***UPDATE: I had one of the portions of this I froze tonight, and it was really quite good. So, I think I was just not feeling particularly 100% the other day when I first made it, and thus, didn't enjoy it as much as I might. I think I will make it again. :)

I made that Vegetable and Apricot Tagine yesterday. Not bad, but it was one of those things that when you've made it, you really don't fancy eating it. If I make it again I'll cut the apricots up into small pieces to better distribute their sweetness through the mix - not sure I liked them in a savoury dish.

In the end the quantities described in the recipe made up about three large portions - two of which I've frozen, cos I'm not sure I fancy it tonight. I omitted the carrot (my pan was already full to capacity!) and managed to find Candida diet friendly passata at Sainsburys (in their Organic range).

A link between IBS and anxiety?

Interesting...never had IBS, as far as I'm aware, but certainly used to experience regular bouts of severe indigestion that would have me doubled up in pain, unable to move and throwing up! Since I've been on the anti-Candida diet these incidents occur less and less, but last time it happened I was certainly in the middle of a bout of extreme anxiety.

BBC NEWS Health 'Perfectionism' bowel pain link

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Recipe: Brown Lentil Bolognese

Here's a recipe I tried out the other day. I adapted it from a Rose Elliott book on vegetarian cookery (again, I failed to make a note of the title). It wasn't bad. A good 'base' to work from in my opinion. I think in the future I may omit the celery (which I'm not especially keen on) and add chopped tomatoes or passata.

Brown lentil bolognese

225g brown or green lentils
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
2 tbsp tomato puree
salt & pepper

Cook and drain the lentils according to the instructions on the packet. Keep the liquid. Brown the onions in the oil, add the garlic, celery, carrot. Cover and cook gently for fifteen minutes until tender. Add lentils, tomato puree, seasoning and reserved liquid to make a thick, soft consistency.

Serve with wholegrain spaghetti and shavings of hard goats cheese.

Recipe: Haricot Bean Soup

Just made this. Not bad. Kind of satisfied my strange craving for tinned tomato soup (weird - cos I never wanted it before I went on the diet). The recipe is adapted from one of those Australian Women's Weekly recipe books - Greek Cookery, I think.

Haricot bean soup

half a tin of haricot beans (in water)
olive oil
half an onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, sliced or crushed
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (no citric acid)
1 yeast-free, vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp tomato puree
500 ml hot water
handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onions. Cook until soft. Add celery and cook over a low heat for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, the stock cube and tomato puree. Add the beans and simmer with a lid on for about an hour. Stir in the parsley and season.

Suitable for freezing.

One thing this recipe has taught me is that I really need to work on my culinary skills - my 'finely chopped' is more like 'great big chunks'! My nutritional therapist has recommended that I have lots of soups and stews to cut through catarrh (nice :S), so expect some more soup recipes soon...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sea Plasma

My nutritional therapist has put me on Sea Plasma capsules. Apparently it's packed with beta carotene, vitamin B12, linolenic acid and all sorts of other good stuff. It smells like pond weed. I'm not sure how much longer I can tolerate it. Every time I open the bottle I want to throw up. :S

*** UPDATE: I've decided it smells more like gone-off prawns actually. Still pretty disgusting, anyway.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hugs improve women's heart health...

...according to researchers from the University of North Carolina. All I need to do now is find a hug partner. :(

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dried apricots and new recipe

My dried apricot of choice is produced by Crazy Jack Organics. The don't contain any preservatives, and so are very dark in colour, but caramelly and absolutely delicious. On the bag of my most recent packet is a recipe for Vegetable Tagine with Apricots. Now, I know I'm not meant to have more than two to three dried apricots a day (all that concentrated sugar, etc), but the recipe - which is presumably to serve four people (that's the standard, isn't it?) - requires 100 g of dried apricots: that's just less than half the packet. So, providing I didn't have my usual chopped apricots on my porridge that morning, I'm sure I wouldn't exceed my apricot quotient in one serving.

Anyway, the recipe is not on their website yet, so I'm going to reproduce it here:

1 medium onion - finely chopped
1 small red pepper - sliced
1 medium aubergine - roughly chopped
100g Crazy Jack Apricots
1 medium courgette - roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium carrot - thickly sliced
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 jar passata (guess I could substitute this for chopped tomatoes, if I can't find a passata without citric acid or added sugar)
1 clove garlic - crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper

1. In a large saucepan gently fry the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the garlic, pepper, aubergine and courgette and fry for 2 minutes. Add the spices and stir well for 2 mins.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well and cook until the apricots and carrots are soft.
3. Season to taste and serve with couscous.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? I'll try it out and let you all know (let you all know? Who am I kidding - no one reads this blog!!).

Snacks that'll blow your head off! Seriously!

I was in Holland & Barrett the other day, and starving hungry. I didn't want to go down the fruit snack route (I'm trying to curb my consumption - I think they may be responsible for my recent flare-up). Eventually, after scouring the shelves, I found Wakama Seasoned Snacks - a kind of Japanese-style potato crisp. And they seem to be anti-Candida diet friendly and they were on sale!


potato starch
tamari (jury's out on this one - I'm allowed soy sauce, so I'm guessing a bit of tamari isn't too bad)
rice bran oil
green pepper
wasabi powder (ouch!)
sea salt
barley malt (ooh, hang on, is that okay?)
job's tear (hatomugi)
wheat germ

They're pretty tasty and moreish too. But watch out for the wasabi, several of the crackers brought tears to my eyes!

STOP PRESS - barley malt is used as a sweetener. Oh, bugger!

This is freaky!

You are striving to make favourable impressions all of the time and you are going out of your way to make the impression that you are something special. You are constantly on the watch to see how your friends and neighbours are reacting to your various ploys. But this is so unnecessary because most of the time you are in control of the situation - and you are, in the nicest sense of the word, a 'manipulator' because you use various strategies very cleverly in order to influence and obtain the necessary recognition.Being a somewhat gentle, emotional and sensitive person, you are at this time experiencing a considerable amount of tension. What you really need is someone who can be close to you and to listen to what you have to say.Circumstances are holding you back, forcing you to back off and to forgo all the pleasures, fun and games for the time being. But this is only a temporary situation and before you even know it the situation could change.You are pretending that the situation around you doesn't matter, but the effort of trying to conceal your emotions and anxieties is resulting in untold stress. The existing situation is disagreeable. You feel unwanted and lonely and you would really like to associate with someone whose ideals are as high as your own. You want to be above the standard of mediocrity and this need to be needed and that need to need has almost become an obsession. You are trying to magnify the need into a compelling urge. You would really like to tell the world how great you are but no, you are holding back because you feel that your peers may treat you with contempt. This is a great pity because you have in fact a unique quality of character, but the continual restraint that you impose on yourself makes you suppress this need for others and you pretend you don't really care. You treat those who criticise you with contempt. However, to be honest, beneath this assumption of indifference you really long for the approval and esteem of others.You need to be respected as an exceptional individual. This is the only way that you can hope to achieve the status that you wish to achieve. You set yourself very high standards - and come what may - you abide by them.


Friday, February 16, 2007


I've bought a couple of nice fresh soups from Marks & Spencers recently. The best - a delicious and fresh-tasting smooth soup - was Butternut Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Harissa, which lent a spicy kick, just right for the cold weather we've been having recently. And if you get down there quick, they might still have their 'buy one, get one half price' offer on!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sweeties that the yeasty-beasties won't like (too much!)

I've put that caveat in the title of this post, because I think it's important to remember that sugar is sugar, be it naturally occurring in fruit or refined. And in concentrated forms even fruit sugar should be limited. However, if you're in desperate need of something sweet and chewy, 'La Fruit', made by Lyme Regis foods and available from Waitrose and Holland and Barrett might be just the ticket.

They are available in a range of flavours; I've tried raspberry and blackberry. I think they also make them in apricot flavour. They are based - like a lot of these kind of products - on apple and pear puree and have no added sugar or sweeteners. In appearance, they're more like those blackcurrant glycerine throat sweets you get from the chemists than fruit pastilles, but they're very fruity and just the right texture.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More good stuff from Waitrose

I completely lied when I said in my last post that I'd finished blogging about Waitrose - I've still got a few more things to talk about. Gawd, my brain is like a sieve sometimes.

First up, Activa Sugar Free Coconut Cookies - those Belgians have done it again! Fab cookies with a crumbly texture. Don't hold their own against plain chocolate digestives, but it's all relative I suppose. Having said all that, these cookies fall into a bit of an anti-Candida diet grey area. As well as maltitol, they are sweetened with sucralose, or by another name, Splenda. I've done a quick google search and it looks like the jury's out on sucralose. So, to be on the safe side, I'd avoid it if I wasn't maintaining.

Orgran Gluten-Free Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce - just like I used to have on toast when I was a little girl, kind of. The Spaghetti is gluten-free, so the texture is a little strange and the tomato sauce is sweetened with pear juice. The overall flavour is fairly bland, to be honest, but it filled a hole. Not sure I'd buy another tin though. Perhaps a dollop of Whole Earth Ketchup or tomato puree would have livened it up a bit?

That's all for now...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A quick round up...

...of candida diet friendly products and ready-meals to start the month of February.

As a quick aside, it's been wonderful and Spring-like here for the last couple of days - has done my prevailing mood no end of good. Though the weather man says we're set for frosty weather next week - hope the days stay lovely and crisp and bright. I feel like I can just do and cope with so much more when the sun shines. Got to get me one of those daylight lamps for gloomy days.

To start, my last couple of Waitrose finds:
  • Aloo Gobi Saag ready-meal, chunks of potato, cauliflower florets and spinach in a tomato-y, spicy sauce. Lovely. :) It's a while since I ate this one (the packaging has been sitting on my desk waiting to be 'blogged'), and I can't remember how hot it was, but I do remember it was pretty good. Another great standby to have in the freezer.
  • Another soup by the Really Interesting Food Company - this time, Sri Lankan Lentil and Coconut Soup. Now, this one was pretty powerful spicy-heat wise, as far as I can remember. In fact the rest of the tin is still languishing in the back of the fridge. Not because it wasn't good (it was!), but because I had friends to stay and never got round to eating the rest of it - shame (note to self: clean out fridge!).

And now for some new things from Sainsburys, my usual supermarket of choice:

  • Taste the Difference Butternut Squash and Sunflower Seed Layered Dip - smooth, hummus-y chickpea dip topped with chunks of roasted squash and whole chickpeas. Makes a nice change from 'classic' hummus, and kind of looks home-made which is good. Has to be eaten within two days of opening though, and there's just too much there for little old me to eat on my own.
  • Stamp Collection (as in Terence Stamp) Organic Wheat Free New York Deli Bread - sold in packets of six slices. Like a rye bread, but a little less dense and softer. More like 'normal' bread, though quite crumbly (doesn't make good sandwiches). Needs to be kept in fridge after opening. Advertised as containing no added yeast. Great!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Recipe: Beany shepherds pie

Here's a recipe for a vegetarian shepherds pie which has the same look and consistency of a 'normal' shepherds pie made with minced lamb. It was devised by my Mum over my Christmas break and went down very well with a meat-eating friend for whom I cooked it last week. It's packed full of fibre, is very frugal and can be made predominantly from store cupboard staples, providing you have an onion and a potato or two hanging around.

Beany Shepherds Pie

Serves 2

cooked lentils (consult the packet for quantities per person)
1 tin of Whole Earth baked beans
small onion
two large potatoes
yeast-free, vegetable stock cube
tomato puree
two cloves of garlic
freshly ground pepper
small amount of goats milk
small amount of olive oil spread
vegetable oil for frying

Cook the lentils and drain well. Meanwhile slice the garlic, dice the onions and lightly fry. Add the lentils. Cook for a few mins. Add a good squirt of tomato puree (about a tablespoon's worth). Stir in. Break up the stock cube and add to the mixture with freshly ground pepper to taste. Add the baked beans, mix well and check seasoning. Turn low and simmer.

Boil and mash the potatoes with a dash of goats milk and a couple of heaped teaspoons' worth of olive oil spread. Put the lentil/bean mix in a deep, oven safe dish. Use a fork to cover evenly with the mashed potato. Cook in the oven at a fairly high temperature (200 degrees C) for about 20 mins, or until the potato has browned.

Serve with peas and extra gravy if required.

Sweet things continued

In my continuing quest for sweet, but anti-Candida diet friendly, things to eat, I've come across Fruit 4U bars, made by Lyme Regis Foods and purchased at Waitrose, as individual bars or in boxes of five. There are three flavours: Apple, which is okay; raspberry, the best in my opinion, and black cherry, which I haven't tried as it doesn't appeal. They're kind of similar to the Frutina Fruit Snacks I bought at Holland & Barrett, but more cakey and less leathery. Not bad, anyway.
The raspberry version (which is what I have to hand at the moment) is comprised of 94% fruit (apple and raspberry juice concentrate - 10%), non-hydrogenated palm oil, pectin, soya lecithan and natural flavours (whatever those may be).
Here's a photy from the Lyme Regis Food website so you'll know what to look out for.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fibre 'lowers breast cancer risk'

Just read this on BBC News Online (and actually listening to the report on BBC Breakfast News as I type). I don't eat wholemeal bread, but I do get a lot of fibre, fruit & veg and vitamin C. So, even if the anti-Candida diet isn't helping with the yeasty-beasties, it's clearly all-round a good way to eat.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


As I type I'm trying out the tin of Suma Carrot & Coriander Soup I picked up at Waitrose yesterday. It's not bad; well seasoned, fairly spicy. Not as good as my own of course, but takes considerably less time to prepare!

It was, however, the only soup in their range available at that particular supermarket, that didn't contain any prohibited ingredients (I'm assuming corn syrup is a bad thing). Still, it is encouraging to note the increasing range and availability of Candida diet friendly products in British supermarkets. Food shopping is certainly much easier now, than when I started the diet in December 2004.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Waitrose - woo hoo!

Waitrose is the place to go for candida-friendly food! Stopped at the Bury St Edmunds branch on my way back to Leicester this lunchtime. Picked up masses of good stuff which I'll blog over the coming week or so. To begin with, I had their ready-prepared Chicken Jalfrezi tonight (really good; spicy, but not too hot) with frozen, but microwavable brown rice (six sachets - generous one person portion) per bag. Waitrose is my new favourite supermarket. Shame there isn't a store round here.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Quick and tasty lunch idea

Wholewheat pasta tubes;
Olive salad mix (capers, sliced green olives and strips of roasted red pepper, in brine - comes in jars from Tescos);
Shavings of hard goat's cheese; and
Freshly ground black pepper.

Delicious! :)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Convenience food

Apologies for my long absence. It's nearly halfway through the month already and I haven't yet posted anything for January. Part of the problem is that I'm still at home in Suffolk on an extended Christmas holiday. I'm being cooked for and not getting the opportunity to experiment with anti-candida recipes as much as I would normally. The other factor in my elusiveness is my limited access to the Internet. And when I do get a chance to get online, I'm having to rely on a painfully slow dial-up connection. The other stuff I blog for my Department tends to take priority, meaning 'The Cardboard Diet' gets bumped down the 'to do' list. Oh well, I'll do my best to rectify the situation in the coming days and weeks - promise!

So, until I get a chance to get back in the kitchen, here's the low down on a few anti-candida friendly convenience foods I've recently found in the supermarkets.

Tinned Soup

Sainsburys' So Organic Spicy Lentil and Mixed Pepper Soup - yet to try this. Sounds good, but I wasn't very impressed with the other soups in their So Organic range I've previously tried. But, I'm prepared to give it a go.

Heinz Special Root Vegetable and Barley Broth - now, I was AMAZED to find this. Not necessarily because it is an okay Heinz soup, but because - with it being a Heinz soup - it should be available from most shops, helping to make life that little bit easier. I tried it at lunchtime. It's really not bad. It includes big chunks of parsnip and swede and slices of carrot which make it look fairly 'home made'. Plus, the addition of the barley is lovely. Little on the gloopy side for my taste, but beggers can't be choosers as they say.


Have been meaning to blog this for ages. Uncle Ben's produce a microwavable wholemeal rice, with nothing in it except rice, vegetable oil and salt. A great store cupboard standby. The whole pack just takes a couple of mins at full blast in the microwave to heat through. It's hard to believe it would be as good as freshly cooked rice, but seriously, it is.

Tinned tomatoes

Equally I keep forgetting to mention Sainsburys' So Organic Chopped Tomatoes, which are thankfully free of citric acid and any other additive nasties. My only criticism is that you do tend to get a lot of 'end' pieces in these tins (y'know - the bit where the stalk used to be), but if you're not fussy, that shouldn't be a problem. And if you are as fussy as me, you can always fish the offending chunks out of the tin before you use them!