Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cold Cures

I have a cold. The second in a month. Conventional, over-the-counter cold cures tend to be packed with sugar and sweeteners. I've been attempting to self-medicate with chillies, garlic and onion and lemon and honey. And, of course, plenty of rest. I've also been trying hot baths and inhaling steam to alleviate the sinus pressure. Apparently raising your temperature helps your body to fight back against the cold virus too. However, I have to attend a day long seminar tomorrow (organised by me, so it's going to be a busy and stressful day), followed by a Christmas 'do.' I am close to caving in and making myself a Lemsip. Before I do, does anyone have any tried and tested candida-friendly cold cures?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Yummy fancy chocolate!

Joi over at Just Saying No!!! has blogged about Vosges Sugar Free Red Fire Bars. They also make a milk chocolate Barcelona bar sweetened with maltitol. I want to try them!!! Does anywhere in Britain stock Vosges products?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Delicious Parsnip and Ginger Soup

Freshly harvested parsnips, by Marj Joly

Feeling chilly in this wintry weather? Then try the Parsnip and Ginger Soup recipe over on the River Nene website. Instead of butter, I substituted half olive oil spread and olive oil, yeast-free stock powder and a splash of soy sauce, instead of Worcester sauce.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

10 Things Fungi Have Done for Us

Fungi (and yeast and thrush) gets a bad wrap on this blog. Thought it was time to redress the balance. ;)

BBC NEWS Magazine 10 things fungi have done for us

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recipe: Super quick and easy flat bread

Perfect for breakfast emergencies!
Serves many, best freshly cooked and serve warm.

Super quick and easy flat bread
3 cups of rye flour
1 - 1 1/2 cups of warm water
vegetable oil

Put flour and a good pinch of salt in mixing bowl. Make a well. Add a small amount of water and mix together. Continue to add the water to the flour until a soft dough forms.

Pull off a small piece of dough, roll into a round. Place on a floured board and press flat until around 1 cm thick.

Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a small frying or griddle pan. Add flat bread to pan and cook either side for a minute or so, until golden brown.

A perfect accompaniment to savoury dishes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recipe: Beef Goulash

Hungarian paprika by vi4kin
A delicious and comforting - and, most likely, completely inauthentic - casserole for a chilly autumn day:

Beef Goulash

Serves 2

400g quality stewing steak trimmed and cut into pieces
4 medium tomatoes
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1tbs plain flour
1 tbs tomato puree
1 tbs paprika
1 yellow, red or green pepper
salt and pepper
vegetable oil
atural yogurt (optional)

Heat oil in a large frying pan, or casserole dish. Add pieces of beef, a few at a time, and seal. Remove from pan/casserole. Add onions and garlic. Sweat until translucent. Return beef to pan/dish and fry together for another couple of minutes. Place in a casserole dish if not already.

Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes (place in a bowl and pour on boiling water, leave for a few minutes before removing, skins should slide off easily). Carefully chop the skinned tomatoes, being careful not to lose too much juice. Add to the casserole dish, along with the tomato puree. Stir the beef, onions and tomatoes together. Add seasoning and flour. Stir well. Put lid on casserole and place in the middle of an oven at a medium heat for 1hr-1hr, 30 mins.

Towards the end of the cooking time, prepare and slice the pepper into medium strips. Add to the casserole. Stir everything together. Add a little water if it looks a little dry. Return to the oven for another 30mins-1 hr, until the meat is tender.

Serve from the casserole dish, with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable, or brown basmati rice. As an extra-special finishing touch, add a swirl of natural yogurt and a sprinkling of paprika.

Recipe: Carrot and Potato Rosti

Rude veg by Silversprite

A delicious, quick and easy recipe:
Carrot & Potato Rosti
Makes one large rosti, which will serve two as a side dish, or one as a main course.

3 medium carrots, washed and peeled
3 medium potatoes, washed and peeled
butter or olive oil spread
salt and pepper
grated goats cheese (optional)

Grate the carrots and potatoes. Place in a bowl. Season to taste and mix well with hands.

Heat a knob of butter/olive oil spread in a small non-stick frying pan. Squeeze excess water out of potato/carrot mixture with hands, or in a clean tea-towel.
When the butter/spread is nice and bubbly, add the carrot/potato mixture, pressing it into the pan. Cook on a moderate heat, turning every five mins or so (it helps to turn the rosti out onto a dinner plate, before sliding it back into the pan), until golden-brown and crispy on both sides (around twenty mins).
For an extra treat, add grated cheese to the top of the rosti and allow to melt in the pan.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Recipe: Sesame Beef with Carrot Kinpara

Carrot Love by Chris Campbell

I've just eaten a delicious dinner based upon two recipes recently uploaded by Maki to her excellent Just Bento blog:

Easy Sugarfree Carrot Kinpara (try not to inhale the chilli fumes, like I did!)

Sesame Flavoured Beef (I omitted the mirin and substituted the brown sugar for xylitol)

I served the beef and carrots with boiled broccoli and King Soba (would provide a link, but their website appears to have mysteriously disappeared) brown rice noodles.

Highly recommended!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Diabetic Hampers

Look what I've found! Of course, there's no guarantee that all the contents would be anti-Candida friendly, but it's a start.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sugar free sweets

I spent last weekend at home in sunny Suffolk. My favourite chocolate shop in Woodbridge - Les Chocolats Belges (OMG! They do mail order!!!) - stocks a really good range of diabetic confectionery, most of which is sweetened with maltitol. Since I was last at home in July they've started to sell even more Candida diet-friendly treats. This weekend I picked up Cavalier White Chocolate (contains milk powder), as well as my usual Extra Dark 72% favourite, and a packet of wine gums, sweetened with maltitol, and manufactured by a Dutch company, de Bron, who make a broad range of sweets. Really 'authentic' taste and texture. I noted that the shop also had chocolate spread and individual Belgian chocolates. Now all I need is for someone to make fudge with maltitol/xylitol - what absolute bliss would that be?!

Great recipe resources (and update)

If you're looking for some delicious and easily adaptable recipes, look no further than River Nene and Abel & Cole. Both companies deliver organic veg boxes in the UK (I get mine from River Nene), and both host a multitude of brilliant vegetable-based (but not necessarily vegetarian) recipes on their websites. I've been inspired by and made some really lovely dishes based on their recipes. A couple of my recent favourites are:

Swiss Chard and Walnut Lasagne and Green Soup (I've had a lot of chard to use up!)

With reference to my own Candida battles, as I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I have been experiencing a (fairly mild) flare-up. Keeping to the straight and narrow AND eating plenty of yoghurt seems to be helping. I'm back on the supplements too. Oh lordy!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sourdough at Somerfield!

Yes, it is true! Somerfield have started to sell their own 'best ever' sourdough boule. I'll be trying it out later. Yum. :)

Back to Basics

FLARE-UP ALERT! I've been just too naughty and lax about my diet recently. So, it's back to basics for me. I guess that means I'll be posting here more frequently. And eating lots of yogurt. Yuck!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sourdough Bagels

Since starting the Candida diet I've really missed bagels with smoked turkey, gherkins and mustard. Mmmmmmm...mustard *drool*. So imagine how delighted I was to discover they can be made and are, in fact, more authentic, with sourdough starter.

I used the recipe I found at Sourdough Home. This is, IMHO, the best site for naturally leavened bread recipes and tips; lots of sensible, down-to-earth advice. I followed the recipe to the letter* (although I did omit the overnight proving). How did they look?

Brilliant! And how did they taste? YUM! The method is fairly time-consuming, but well worth the effort.

*I could only get malt extract - used approx. half the quantity (weight) of malt powder recommended in the recipe. Which reminds me: a quick trawl of the Internet could not confirm whether, or not, malt extract is permitted on the candida diet, so this recipe might be something to save for special occasions, or choose to avoid if you're just starting out on the diet.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

An announcement!

Djinn is eating wedding cake. Djinn doesn't care. ;)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New potatoes in a Japanese stylee

Photo by poluz

Just a quick post (mired in a case study at the moment - ugh) to let you all know how yum this recipe -courtesy of Maki - is.

N.B. Instead of butter I used Olivio, or Bertolli Spread, or whatever it's called now.

Tip: Kikkoman's soy sauce doesn't contain any added sugar. I buy it in big litre bottles from the Chinese supermarket and decant it into one of their pretty glass containers as and when needed. Works out much cheaper.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Recipe: Lemon Polenta Cake

Anna has asked me to post the recipe for Lemon Polenta Cake. I don't normally reproduce recipes published elsewhere, but as this is an adaptation, I'll make an exception (suggested substitutes in brackets).

Lemon Polenta Cake

Serves 8

175 g butter (olivio)
175 g caster sugar (xylitol)
2 large eggs, beaten
150 g ground almonds
85 g polenta
1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
zest of 2 large lemons
2 tbsp lemon juice

For the lemon syrup:
85 g caster sugar (xylitol)
zest and juice of 1 large lemon

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c. Line the base of a 17 cm spring-release cake tin with non-stick parchment paper and lightly grease the sides.

Cream butter (olivio) and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs. Fold in almonds, polenta, baking powder, lemon zest and juice, and mix thoroughly.

Spoon mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45-50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

To make syrup, place sugar, lemon zest and juice, and 2 tbsps water in a small pan and heat until sugar (xylitol) dissolves. Simmer for 5 mins, then remove from the heat.

Remove cake from tin and transfer to serving plate. Using a cocktail stick, prick the cake in several places. Drizzle over with syrup.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer Refreshment

'Cool Drink On a Hot Summer's Day' by garyfgarcia

Just a quick heads-up about my new favourite summer time tipple. Tropicana Spirit is nothing but sparkling mineral water and fruit juice and is absolutely delicious. My favourite variety is Lemon & Grapefruit; refreshingly tart. In fact I like it SO much I'm a Tropicana Spirit fan on Facebook. :)

Oh, and that old non-alcoholic stalwart, Appletizer, is Candida diet friendly too - woo!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Recipe: Roasted Vine Tomato and Basil Soup

It's sweltering hot here at the moment (about time too!) and I really didn't feel like cooking (or writing) this evening. I fancied something light and fresh, and came up with this recipe, which made use of the lovely tomatoes and onions I received in my weekly veg box.

Photo by Zed.Cat

Roasted Vine Tomato and Basil Soup
Serves 1

4 medium vine tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 large clove garlic
half a handful of fresh basil leaves
1/4 pint stock (yeast-free)
olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Wash and quarter the tomatoes. Place in a dish, skin side up. Peel and quarter the onion, add to dish with clove of garlic (leave whole). Drizzle over a good slug of olive oil and season with pepper. Place in the oven for around thirty minutes until the tomato skins are wrinkly. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

When cool enough to handle, slip the skins from the tomatoes. Place tomato, onion and garlic, along with the juice collected in the bottom of the dish, into a blender. Whizz the mixture with half the stock until smooth. Add the basil and whizz until chopped.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and stir in the remainder of the stock. Reheat gently over a low heat. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve with sourdough toast. Very tasty. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blueberry Muffins - yum!

I'm making candida diet friendly muffins for a party tomorrow. I found this great recipe for the blueberry variety on the BBC Food website. Just substitute sugar for xylitol. The muffins don't rise very high (perhaps I should have left the batter over night as the recipe recommends), but taste LUSCIOUS! And I love the way the blueberries pop as the muffins cook and leech purple juice everywhere. Not something for everyday consumption, but perfect as an occasional treat.

Oh, and I can definitely recommend the silicon muffin tray I rescued from TK Maxx on Monday.

In other news, this blog has been, and is likely to remain, fairly quiet for a bit, cos my thesis has to take top priority at the moment...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Veg box!

I've taken the plunge. After months of weighing up the pros and cons (mostly pros - smaller carbon footprint, seasonal veg, supporting local farmers), earlier this week I ordered an organic mini veg box from River Nene. And it arrived this morning...

I was so excited!! In my box this week I got new potatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, onions, carrots and wet garlic, all covered with dirt and clearly fresh out of the ground - hurrah!


Wet garlic?
What's that?
It's fresh garlic, as opposed to the dry stuff we're more used too.

I had a lovely day turning the contents of my box into delicious meals. First of all the carrots went into a yummy Carrot & Coriander Soup for lunch and, this evening, a tried out one of the recipes supplied with the box, Wet and Wild Garlic Risotto (I omitted the white wine and wild garlic, and replaced the parmesan with grated ewe's milk manchego). It was seriously garlicky, but absolutely delicious. The wet garlic is lighter in flavour and sweeter than dry garlic - more like a cross between a leek and spring onion. And with all that garlic and onion this recipe must be a super-Candida fighter. Woo!

Can't wait to see what I get in my box next week!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Recipe: Pea and Bacon Chowder

I've just made this delicious Lesley Water's recipe for Pea and Bacon Chowder, aka Witches' Brew. Quick and easy to make with just a few ingredients and very comforting. I will definitely make this one again!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Recipe: Sweet Chilli Lime Tofu with Steamed Spinach and Quinoa

This is a great vegan recipe originally posted by LindyLoo, and adapted par moi!

Sweet Chilli Lime Tofu with Steamed Spinach and Quinoa

Serves 2-4

1 block tofu sliced length-wise and cut into triangles

For the sauce:
3 tsp granulated xylitol
3 tsp soy sauce
1 3/4 tsp fresh lime juice
1/2 zest of the lime
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
4 mint leaves, chiffonaded

For the quinoa:
3/4 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
1/2 zest
2 bruised cardamon pods
1 small piece of cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups of water

For the spinach (the original recipe calls for collards , but I have no idea what those are!)
1 bag spinach leaves
2-3 tsps water
1 pinch salt
1 tsp lime juice

Combine all the ingredients for the quinoa in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cover with a tight lid. Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat and steam for a further 10 minutes before serving.

Prepare the sauce by whisking together all the ingredients until the xylitol has dissolved.

Heat a pan and dry-fry the tofu triangles until golden on both sides.

Chop the spinach leaves (if necessary) and add to a deep frying pan/wok with the water, lime juice and salt. Cover and cook over a high heat for a couple of minutes until the spinach has wilted.

Re-heat the tofu and add the sauce to the pan. Stir to coat. Turn off the heat when the sauce starts to bubble and glaze the tofu.

Serve the spinach on top of a bed of quinoa. Add the tofu on top of that and drizzle over any left over sauce. Garnish with lime slices and the mint leaves.

Recipe: Massaman Curry

At last! The first of those recipes I promised...

Adapted from Healthy Dairy-Free Eating, by Mini C and Tanya Carr (p. 99).

Massaman Curry

Serves 4

1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp Thai red curry paste (I used Geo Organics Red Curry Paste - which apart from a spot of white wine vinegar and orange juice is Candida diet-friendly)
310g firm tofu, cut into chunks
200ml coconut milk
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion, coarsely sliced
1 tbsp cashew nuts (I added extra!)
4 cardamon seeds
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
1 1/2 tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsps granulated xylitol
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 handful coriander leaves to garnish

Heat oil in a pan over a low heat. Add the curry paste and stir-fry or about 15 seconds - don't burn! Add the tofu chunks and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes, add the potatoes, onion, cashews, cardamon and cinnamon.

Season with lemon juice, xylitol and soy sauce. Leave curry to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve with boiled brown rice. Delicious!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I want Marmite!

Apologies for the lack of promised recipes; have been mega-busy recently (conferences, writing, etc) and now I've got a filthy cold and hacking cough - oh joy! Just taking a few mins out to see if I can garner any thoughts from you, dear readers, about Candida and Marmite.

When I was little, the fail-save cure for all that ails you in the Djinn household was Marmite on toast, with a nice cup of tea. And, of course, that's just what I'm craving now. As I've previously described, I'm relaxing the diet, so might a spot of Marmite on sourdough toast be okay? After all, it is extracted from an entirely different yeast from Candida albicans, and is packed with B vitamins, which - given the hideous PMT I've been suffering from recently - I clearly need. And sugar is really my problem, right?

Dammit! I'm going to do it. I'm going out and buying a (small) pot of Marmite - hurrah!

Check out the Marmite website, and in particular, the 'hate it' sandwich suggestions. Genius!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some great health & beauty products

Before I post the recipes I mentioned in my last post, I'd like to mention a few health & beauty products I've recently come across which I've found really good and helpful for keeping my external symptoms at bay.

At the moment I'm very into natural toiletries; I was really interested to read on Katie's blog, a few weeks ago, that parabens are thought to overload the immune system, thus triggering allergic responses as well as affecting hormone levels. I've long been concerned about the possible negative effects of chemicals in toiletries, household cleaners, make-up etc, absorbed by the body, and that little nugget of information really made me wonder about my own problems with allergies and intolerances. So, I decided to seek out some paraben-free products.

Facial skincare
Since I've been using Faith in Nature's cleanser, toner and moisturising night cream, the overall tone of my skin is much improved. I still get the occasional spot, but many fewer blemishes, dry and sore patches. I even managed to venture out of the front door without foundation for a few days last week: that's not something I've achieved on a regular basis since I was about twelve! The products are very gentle, but effective and delicately fragranced with lavender, which helps to calm the skin. The handcream is good too; very easily absorbed. I buy mine from my local independent health food shop, but you can order products from the Faith in Nature shop. They're reasonably priced too!

Shower gel
My skin is very dry and can get quite scaly. I spend a fortune on moisturising shower gels and body lotions, mostly with little noticeable improvement. The only halfway effective solution I've previously come up with, is to douse myself in baby oil while still wet from the shower, but my avoidance of parabens counts that option out. Instead I've started using a shower cream made from goats milk and natural oils, which I picked up a couple of weeks ago at the Suffolk Show(of all places!). It's made by Roseacre, based in Ireland, but I'm sure there must be similar products made by other companies available. My assessment? It's great! The shower cream is quite gloopy and doesn't lather as much as you might expect, but it cleanses without drying or irritation. I hardly need to apply any additional moisturisers anymore. And it really doesn't smell of 'goat' at all! ;)

Last, but not least, is Kingfisher toothpaste. Since I've been using it I haven't suffered a single mouth ulcer or sore patch (usually a fairly constant complaint, even when I was following the anti-Candida diet religiously). Not only that, my teeth have never been whiter! Its even getting to work on the tartar and tea stains on my lower front teeth, and usually only my dentist can deal with those! My only complaint is that my mouth doesn't feel as fresh as it might using conventional toothpaste, but overall, the pros vastly outweigh any cons.

A great bonus of all of these products is that they are produced in the British isles, from locally and/or ethically sourced ingredients and using largely recyclable packaging. Great if you're keeping an eye on your carbon footprint.


So, I've been a bit quiet recently. That's mostly because I've been working very hard on my thesis. It's also because I've be contemplating my future on the anti-Candida diet. My candida symptoms are mangeable and my overall health is MUCH improved. But, after three years of following it fairly religiously, I've got rather sick of all the restrictions (if I'm working hard in the Library I don't want to have to spend two hours faffing about trying to find something I can eat). Not to mention the cost of nutritional support and supplements. So, I've decided to:

i) (slightly) relax the diet I follow during the week - this means that I will now have vinegar, raisins, oranges/orange juice from time to time, the odd sandwich (yeasted bread), but I will largely stick to a maintenance diet.

ii) I will eat what I want during on the weekends - although, it has to be said, I longer have much of a sweet tooth.

iii) I will bring to an end my nutritional support and supplements - and to these ends I 'sacked' my nutritional therapist last week.

And I'm really quite happy about it! I will, however, continue to post here (recipes, anti-Candida okay products) from time to time. Next up, some new recipes to try out!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Now this is a surprise...

Sainsbury's Tikka Chicken Breast Chunks are anti-Candida diet okay. The only thing wrong with them, as far as I can see, if that they're not made from happy chickens, which is rather sad. :(

Friday, April 18, 2008

Jamie Oliver's Fiery Tomato & Chilli Pasta Sauce

I am pleased to say that Jamie Oliver's Fiery Tomato & Chilli Pasta Sauce (available in Tescos) is entirely Candida diet a-okay, and jolly tasty too. Kudos to Jamie!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Recipe: Luscious Leek & Potato Soup

My own recipe, this simple soup has no added fat (someone is trying to lose a few pounds so she can fit back into her skinny jeans!) and is suitable for vegans, as it has no added dairy.

Luscious Leek & Potato Soup

Makes 3-4 servings

5-6 medium potatoes
1 large leek
1 shallot or small onion
1 tbsp Marigold Vegan and Yeast-free stock powder
freshly ground black pepper
freshly ground nutmeg

Peel and chop the potatoes into two or three pieces. Place in a large saucepan and just cover them with cold water. Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer until the potatoes are starting to soften, and then add the leek, well rinsed and chopped and the stock powder. Stir, re-cover and simmer until potatoes are cooked. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Remove the vegetables and about two ladles of the cooking liquid to a liquidiser. Blend until smooth and return to the saucepan and remaining cooking liquid. Stir well and heat gently. Add pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Serve with sourdough drop scones (recipe to follow soon!).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tesco Healthy Living Tomato and Basil Soup

I had high hopes for this one...ready-made tomato soup with no added sugar and available in small, one person/portion-sized cartons (300 g). Here's a pic, so you know what to look out for.

It contains:

tomatoes (59%)
tomato puree (30%)
vegetable oil
basil (0.6%)
garlic puree
oregano - N.B. a powerful anti-fungal!
black pepper

Nothing that should antagonise (encourage?) any lingering yeasty-beasties. But, for me, the flavour was too sharp and slightly bitter (really needs sugar sadly), and I didn't get on well with the large chunks of tomato (I prefer a smooth texture). Still, others might disagree - it's worth giving it a go.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hula Hoops (edible ones!)

It's a happy day indeed when a girl discovers that she can eat Hula Hoops (albeit only the 'Original' variety). KP have removed all artificial colourings, flavourings and MSG from the recipe,* which makes them a-okay for the anti-Candida diet. Woohoo!

* though I'm trying not to think about the fact that one of the ingredients - potassium chloride - is the constituent of lethal injections (for execution purposes). :S

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Recipe: Channa Masala

Found a great recipe for Channa Masala (a kind of Indian chickpea 'stew') on the Wandsworth NHS website. Have inadvertently lost the URL, so I've reproduced it below (with a few minor adjustments). Not only is it Candida diet friendly, it is suitable for vegetarians/vegans and has no added fat. It's spicy, but fragrant (thanks to the coriander) and very, very tasty.

Tip: To easily peel tomatoes, simply grate them! The pulp and seeds are retained while the skin is left behind. I can't take the credit; I saw Tommi Miers on A Cook's Tour of Spain (Channel 4) do it the other evening!

Channa Masala

Serves 8-10

1/2 - 1tsp turmeric
1/2 - 1 tsp chilli powder
2 cm fresh ginger, crushed/grated
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed/grated
pinch of salt
4 cans tinned chickpeas, drained
5-6 green chillis, chopped
6 fresh tomatoes, peeled
1/2 - 1tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 bunch fresh coriander leaves
juice of 2 lemons

1. Put turmeric, chilli powder, ginger, garlic and salt in pan with 8 fl oz/240 ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.

2. Add the chickpeas, green chillis, half the tomato, the garam masala and cumin seeds to the water. Stir and cook for a few minutes.

3. Add 4-6 fl oz/100 - 170 ml water, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

4. In a separate container, mix the rest of the tomato, coriander leaves and lemon juice. Use this mixture as a garnish for the chickpea dish and serve either hot, with brown rice, or cold with a green salad.

Latest supplement regime

In response to Spence's recent comment, here's my current supplement regime (N.B. Not all of these have been prescribed for Candida-related conditions):

1 x Adult Multivit - breakfast & lunch
1 x P5P - breakfast & dinner (to help combat anxiety and raise mood)
1 x Mycopryl 400 - breakast & dinner
1 x MegaGLA - breakfast & dinner ('good' oils)
1 x Nutricell Caratenoid - breakfast, lunch & dinner (antioxidants)
1 x Bioacidophilus - breakfast & dinner
1 x Histazyme - breakfast & dinner (supports immune system faced with an onslaught of allergic responses!)

As always, I should assert that it is essential to get the support and advice of a nutritional therapist/naturopath before embarking on a similar supplment programme.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I think I'm in love

...with Joseph's Sugar-free Pecan and Walnut Brownie bites! I think, when I'm old and grey, I'll define my life by the time before and after I discovered them in my local independent health food shop.* They are GREAT, and VERY more-ish; I managed to polish off a 312g packet in 24 hours ALL BY MYSELF!!!

The brownies are sweetened with maltitol, but a special formulation which (according to the company website) doesn't upset one's tummy. Plus, they appear to be fairly low in fat and calories. Even better!

* I haven't seen them stocked anywhere else in the UK sadly.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Recipe: Dhal

Dhal is an economical and nutritious lentil-based 'stew'. I've adapted this recipe from the DK book Yoga: Mind and Body.


Serves 4

Dried green lentils
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 or 2 green birdseye chillis, chopped
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
4 cloves
sunflower oil

Boil the lentils in water for 25-30 mins, until tender. Meanwhile, fry the garlic, onions, ginger and chilli in a pan with a small amount of sunflower oil, until the onion is soft. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, cloves and salt (to taste) to the pan. Cook for a few minutes (the mustard seeds will start to pop). Add the tomatoes to the pan and stir well.

Meanwhile, drain the lentils. Add to the tomato, onion and spice mixture and mix well. Cook for a few minutes to combine the flavours. Add a spot of water to the pan if the mixture is too dry.

Serve with brown basmati rice.#

#N.B. The combination of rice and lentils makes for a nutritionally complete meal.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A tasty (and seasonal) way of getting your greens: Braised Winter Greens with Chestnuts

This is a recipe I have adapted from Fuschia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook* (p. 228). The original calls for pak choy, but it works equally well with winter greens (I used a mixed bag of green cabbage, spinach, curly kale and swiss chard from ASDA).

Braised Winter Greens with Chestnuts

Mixed winter greens, chopped (not too finely)
Cooked chestnuts
Vegetable stock (I used Marigold Vegan (and yeast-free) stock powder)
Freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil

Take a handful (or more) of chestnuts (quantity depends on how much you like them - their flavour can be quite strong). If large, chop into smaller chunks. Lightly fry in a small amount of vegetable oil. Add the winter greens (quantity depends on number of mouths to feed - remember the greens will cook down to nearly nothing, so you'll need more than you originally think!), and stir well, coating in the oil. When the leaves have wilted, add a small amount of stock. Stir well, turn the heat low and place a lid on the pan for a few minutes until any stems are tender. Serve as a side dish, perhaps with a piece of oven-baked salmon and a jacket potato.

* Incidentally, this is a GREAT cookbook. I put on a banquet for friends during Chinese New Year using recipes from its pages, and they all worked out brilliantly and tasted fantastic (and many can be easily adapted for the anti-Candida diet too).

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Organic Nut Roast - yuck!

I thought quite seriously about whether or not to post this, but I decided to go ahead, not least because I feel it encapsulates a real problem with the kind of products offered by supermarkets for shoppers following special diets.

I had high hopes for Asda's Organic Nut Roast. The description sounded promising:

Roasted peanuts, carrots, onions, parsnips, red lentils and chick peas, topped with crunchy sunflower seeds.

Yummy in fact. (Yeah, I know, peanuts are prohibited on the anti-Candida diet, but I'm maintaining and besides, what is all that about anyway? What makes peanuts bad, when other nuts are okay?)

Sadly it was really bland. Even a liberal douse in soy sauce couldn't save it. TV programmes like Five's 'Breaking Into Tesco' imply that all new products are rigorously tested and trialed by consumer panels and food tasters, but if that was really the case, how the hell did something as tasteless as this nut roast ever make it to the shelves?! I dread to think what it tasted like in its early development. Yuck. I could do so much better.

Overall, I'm very disappointed. :(

Twinings Ginger and Lemon Infusions

Hurrah! Twinings Ginger and Lemon Infusions/tea-bags no longer contain nasty citric acid! That makes me very happy indeed.

I made this discovery during my trip to Asda yesterday evening, where I also picked up lots of other anti-Candida-diet-okay stuff. Lots of blog posts to come. :)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Recipe: Bacon and sweetcorn risotto

Slightly strange-sounding combo, but really very tasty. May not be suitable for people just starting out on the diet because smoked bacon is often prohibited, at least to begin with.

Bacon and Sweetcorn Risotto
(Serves 1)

Brown risotto (arborio) rice
2 rashers of good quality smoked back bacon (make sure that the meat hasn't been coated in sugar!)
1 shallot
A cup of sweetcorn kernels (I used frozen)
Chopped fresh parsley
1/2 litre stock (I used Marigold yeast-free stock powder)

Cut the bacon into slices and fry until crispy in a saucepan (no need to add additional oil). Finely chop the shallot and add to the bacon. Add sufficient rice (about half a mug-full) and stir. Coat well in the oil from the bacon. Add a small quantity of stock, stir and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to add stock in small quantities, until rice is al dente and creamy. Add the sweetcorn and parsley and heat through. Serve!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hot chocolate - a plea!

Dear Readers,

Has anyone come across a candida diet friendly hot chocolate/cocoa powder/recipe? It's freezing cold here at the moment, and I'm in desperate need. Green tea just doesn't cut it when you want a lovely, comforting and warming mug of cocoa!

Yours hopefully,

Djinn x


Take half a teaspoon of Cadbury's Bournville Cocoa, and mix into a mug of warm goats milk. Add a teaspoon of xylitol and mix well. Delicious!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Chocolate Pudding? I don't think so...

I've been trying out Rice & Rice dessert from my local health food store. I was hoping for something akin to chocolate mousse. I was sorely disappointed. It's rather like eating brown starch (which is all it is really), with a really strange texture somewhere between blancmange and Instant Whip (either of which would be infinitely preferable).

I shan't be repeating the experience.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New Recipe: Lemon prawn linguine

This recipe includes a dash of tabasco sauce. Now, while its main ingredient is vinegar, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest it's okay in moderation...besides, you're hardly going to add more than a couple of drops to the sauce, unless you have an iron-cast tongue!

Lemon Prawn Linguine

Serves 1 hungry person!

frozen prawns, defrosted
juice of one lemon
half a small onion, or one shallot, finely chopped
wholewheat linguine (or spaghetti)
dash of tabasco sauce
olive oil spread
fresh herbs (i.e. parsley)
freshly ground pepper
manchego or other hard sheep/goats cheese, grated

Melt a good knob of olive oil spread in a pan. Add the onion/shallot and sweat until soft. Add the prawns and stir for a minute or two. Add the lemon juice, pepper and tabasco sauce to taste and simmer over a low heat.

Meanwhile cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and return to the pan. Add the prawns/onion mixture and stir into the pasta with a handful of chopped, fresh herbs.

Sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve with a simple green salad, drizzled with flaxseed oil. Delicious, even if I do say so myself!


I've discovered a new range of soups recently by Sierra Rica and available from Tescos (and quite possibly other retailers). They don't list the ingredients of their organic vegetable stock on the jars, but I'm trusting that they're yeast-free. I tried Chestnut and Carrot with Ginger and Tomato and Basil. Both very tasty.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Lemon Polenta Cake: A triumph!

I made it - and it was good! Very good, in fact. Even though I managed to stick too much polenta and not enough lemon juice into the batter! A great gluten-free recipe.

I'm doing this Thing-A-Day project in February. My lemon polenta cake is my Day 1 contribution. See the link for a photo and a bit more information about the cake.

N.B. I replaced the caster sugar in the recipe with granulated xylitol.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A weird, but tasty combination: Bacon-wrapped tofu

In the last few days both Maki @ Just Hungry and Profgrrl have mentioned the peculiar-sounding Japanese delicacy, bacon-wrapped tofu. It felt like someone was trying to tell me something. So, tonight, I gave it a go. And jolly tasty it was too. I used unsmoked back bacon (perhaps streaky would be even better?), a firm tofu ,and left the soy on the side as a dipping sauce. The overall 'package' was quite salty, but that was counteracted by the accompanying brown rice and steamed purple-sprouting broccoli.

All in all, a bit of a success!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Could a better diet cut crime?

This is absolutely fascinating. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the world could become a better place just through encouraging good nutrition? And how many young lives could be turned around? Oh, I'm coming over all hippy-like. ;)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

New (to me) cookery book and great recipe

On the look out for another recipe book full of healthy, easily adaptable recipes, I bought the Readers' Digest Food For Your Body at a second hand bookshop last week. It's full of lovely, simple recipes, most of which are candida diet okay (with the odd substitute).

What most attracted me was the section on mood food and, last night, I made one of the recipes suggested to restore a sense of calm (which I'm sorely missing at the moment!), Pan-fried Salmon with Pineapple Salsa (p. 275). I won't reproduce the recipe here, but suffice to say it was easy to follow and worked out really well. I substituted the maple syrup/honey for a tsp of granulated xylitol, with no obvious disadvantage. All in all a very tasty recipe, and one I will be making again.

I'm desperate to try out the Lemon Polenta Cake recipe on page 129, but I fear I won't be able to get polenta at my local Co-op. :( Will have to wait until I've got a chance to go into town again next week.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Vegetable Bouillon

Just a quick note about Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon (Reduced Salt). It's completely Candida diet friendly, suitable for vegans, and has less salt than the Kallo Yeast-free stock cubes. And a much more pleasant taste - very herby, and curry-powder free! Look for the purple tub!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Anxiety and Candida

Of course, I'd forgotten all about the link between candida overgrowth and mental well being. So, while I said the other day that I'd managed to go 'off-diet' for a couple of weeks without any major problems, the increased levels of anxiety and general miserable-ness which coincided with me eating masses of sugar and cheese and crap are likely to be connected. Especially as I've noticed that since I went back on the diet, my mood has slowly improved. Just another reason why its imperative that I don't slip back into old ways. And drink plenty of water. And remember to take all those damn supplements! ;)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sourdough bread now available at Tescos!

My local Tescos (and, hopefully, those nationally) have started to stock their own freshly baked sourdough bread. They have three different varieties, including a baguette. Oh, happy day!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oatcakes: Orangutan friendly!

Just a quick one. If like me you're concerned about the environmental impact of palm oil, you'll be pleased to hear that Paterson's use olive oil in their oatcakes and market them as orangutan friendly. Three cheers for them!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Update and EFT

I haven't posted anything here for a long time for several reasons.

i) my candida symptoms continue to improve steadily;

ii) it's been Christmas (obviously) and my nutritional therapist gave me the festive season off (which was great AND didn't provoke too nasty a reaction); and

iii) some of the emotional difficulties I had been dealing with over the summer have resurfaced, and have preoccupied my mind.

However, I did want to sign in briefly to write about my new discovery, EFT (aka 'tapping') and ponder how it might be utilised to combat candida.

For those that aren't in the know (like me until just over twenty-four hours ago!) Emotional Freedom Technique is a kind of acupressure-cum-hypno therapy developed in the 1990s by Gary Craig. You can find out loads more about the technique (which involves tapping a series of points on the body) on his website, including a comprehensive and completely free to download 'how to' manual. The idea is that when we experience something disturbing or distressing, or become ill, etc., our energy fields are disrupted. EFT works by fixing these blockages, helping to ease painful memories, or - indeed - physical pain.

I've been trying it to help with my anxiety symptoms. It's very easy to do when you know how, and doesn't take a lot of time. And, if my experience so far is anything to go by, it really is effective. I don't know how and I don't know why, but my God it works! And that's all I care about.

So, could it be used to combat candida symptoms? Well - to paraphrase Gary Craig himself - I'm prepared to try it (EFT) on anything. And a case study I've found suggests it could be effective. Could be the difference between managing my symptoms and eradicating them for good? Will post an update if (when!) I have anything further to report...