Tuesday, December 04, 2007
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
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
Thursday, November 22, 2007
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
Saturday, September 29, 2007
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
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
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)
Saturday, August 25, 2007
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!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Marvellous Miso Soup
(Makes at least two portions - depending on the amount of vegetables and noodles used)
brown rice noodles
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
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
Thursday, August 09, 2007
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. :)
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
It'll be interesting to see what happens with regard to flare-ups...
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Chilli and soy-glazed chicken
1 free-range, organic chicken breast
freshly ground black pepper
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.
* * * * *
1 portion of couscous (cooked according to the instructions on the packed)
1 clove of garlic, grated
handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely.
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
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
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!
BBC NEWS Business Mars starts using animal products
Choose a Sharper, Stronger Onion - RealAge Tip of the Day
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I must experiment...
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
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
Grilled Halloumi with Roasted Vegetables
3-4 slices of halloumi cheese
1 red onion, quartered
half a courgette, sliced
Half a red pepper, sliced
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.
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!
I got used to it. Has all gone now. ;)
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
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
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
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
Monday, April 16, 2007
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!
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
Saturday, April 14, 2007
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!
Friday, April 13, 2007
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:
Rhizome Galangal (ginger, I suppose)
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:
Traditional herbs and spices
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%
vegetable oil (refined sunflower) 3%
green peas 3%
Indian cottage cheese (paneer) 3%
red chilli powder
# cooked basmati rice 65%
Indian Cottage cheese (paneer) 15%
vegetable oil (refined sunflower) 3%
clove black pepper
dry mango powder
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
- 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
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! ;)
In fact I have written about this before, but here's a recap/update (rationales follow):
I have been advised to avoid
- fermented food (smoked and cured foods)~
- cow's milk, cheese#
- citric acid
- red meat^
- refined carbohydrates$
- 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
Potato and Onion Fry
1 large potato
half a large onion
1 clove of garlic
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
Planning on having the remainder as a salad for lunch tomorrow.
Monday, March 19, 2007
gluten free, sugar free, dairy free = candida-friendly chocolate cake recipe « Friends Keep Saying I Should Blog…
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
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?!!
It's all fun. :)
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
♥ 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 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
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 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
Monday, March 05, 2007
Friday, March 02, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
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
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).
BBC NEWS Health 'Perfectionism' bowel pain link
Saturday, February 24, 2007
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.
Haricot bean soup
half a tin of haricot beans (in water)
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
*** UPDATE: I've decided it smells more like gone-off prawns actually. Still pretty disgusting, anyway.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
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!!).
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
wasabi powder (ouch!)
barley malt (ooh, hang on, is that okay?)
job's tear (hatomugi)
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!
Friday, February 16, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
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
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
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
Beany Shepherds Pie
cooked lentils (consult the packet for quantities per person)
1 tin of Whole Earth baked beans
two large potatoes
yeast-free, vegetable stock cube
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.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
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
Friday, January 19, 2007
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.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
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.
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.
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!