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!