Berry Lollies

I have six lolly holders and this is what I fill them with:

1: mashed raspberries mixed with water
2: mashed blackberries mixed with water
3: mashed blueberries mixed with water

The next three require you to whip up some haricot bean water or cannellini bean water for 5 mins of so, so that it becomes foamy.

4: mashed raspberries mixed with whipped up bean water
5: mashed blackberries mixed with whipped up bean water
6: mashed blueberries mixed with whipped up bean water

The top three are best for a really hot day because they are much cooler, being icy. The bottom three almost have a slush-puppy/sorbet feel about them, which makes them physically easier to bite into and somehow less sensitive on the teeth!

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Chicken Casserole

I struggled for ages to work out what to do for a gravy. Borlotti bean water is a simple but reasonable suggestion for a solution.

Chicken breast
1/4 onion
6 mushrooms
Liquid from a can of borlotti beans (drain them in a sieve for a few minutes)
Sage
Thyme
Salt
Pepper

Dice chicken and fry in a frying pan with rapeseed or sunflower oil.
Drain off fat and add diced mushrooms and sliced onion. Add sage and thyme whilst cooking.
Transfer to a warming saucepan and add the borlotti water.
Add salt and pepper to season and more sage and thyme if you like.
Warm through.
Transfer to mini casserole dish or foil tin.
Cover with foil and continue to heat in the oven for anything from 10 mins to 30 mins.
I usually serve in the crock dish to keep it warm for longer, tipping the remaining gravy over the veg towards the end of the meal!

 

Buckwheat Scones

These are nothing like scones (not in size or appearance anyway) and they’re not really cakes or biscuits either. But they’re nice with a bit of honey or nut butter on top and, when on the go, they are pretty good tummy fillers despite their small size. The best thing to do with them is whip a bit of coconut milk up to create a clotted cream effect to put on the top. Then add some raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or grapes for a dainty afternoon tea look.

200g buckwheat flour
25g coconut flour
50g PURE sunflower spread
25g Fruisana sugar
1 large egg, beaten
6 tbsp water (or so)

Rub butter into flour.
Stir in sugar.
Grease baking tray (after this point, hands will be ridiculously sticky and yucky).
Add eggs and water into bowl and get stuck in with your hands to bring it together into a dough ball, adding more water as necessary.
Break off small pieces the size of a large walnut and roll into a ball.
Place on baking tray and flatten.
Bake at Gas 7 for 10-15 minutes.

This recipe makes 20 – 30. I tend to make two batches one after the other because I don’t like getting my hands mucky, so would rather make them once a month rather than twice a month. They freeze fine and last quite happily 3 or 4 days once out of the freezer.

Tapioca Rolls

1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 eggs
2 tsp mixed herbs

Heat olive oil and water until they start boiling.
Gather flours and salt in a bowl and then add hot liquids, stirring to make a ball of dough.
Add herbs and stir/roll around until evenly distributed.
Add egg and stir until thoroughly mixed in a causing quite a stiff mixture. (It gets so stiff that the stirring motion moves the bowl around but I’ve found putting a damp dishcloth between the bowl and the counter reduces this movement.)
Put a sheet of grease-proof paper on a baking tray and share out the bread mixture in dollops to create 8 bread rolls. They won’t change shape/size much from how you put them onto the tray.
Bake at Gas 4 for 35-40 minutes. 37 minutes does it every time for me!
Cool thoroughly on a wrap.

These bread rolls can be rather plain and stodgy to eat on their own and go dry within a day or two. (They freeze pretty well though.) They work well to create a generously filled sandwich or broken up in eggy-bread. But by far the best thing to do with them is to cut them in half and toast them under the grill. Then spread with PURE sunflower spread, almond butter or honey and they are honestly nicer than crumpets. My family always love the smell of them toasting…

I have tried doubling up on this mixture to make 16 rolls at once but the stirring stage became impossible, so I tend to make two batches now, one after the other.

NB. Recipe adapted from strandsofmylife.com So much gratitude for this baker – I would be so stuck without this recipe.

Fish Pie with Parsnip Mash

Cut 3 parsnips into chunks (approx 1cm or so). Toss in sunflower oil or rapeseed oil and roast in the oven, tossing occasionally.

Cook a portion of haddock in the oven for approx 20 mins.

Finely chop one long runner bean and then boil on the hob.

Once haddock is cooked, flake it into pieces in a bowl. Add the runner bean pieces, a dash of salt and pepper and a little oregano. Add a couple of splashes of hemp milk and mix together. Place mixture in the bottom of a crock dish for one, or a foil tin for one.

Mash parsnips roughly, adding a splash or two of hemp milk and a dash of salt along with a bit of thyme. Once well-mixed, spoon and press it down over the top of the fish mixture.

Return to the oven for 10 minutes or so to reheat thoroughly.

Serve with other vegetables.

Buckwheat & Coconut Sponge Cakes/Pancakes

1/4 cup rapeseed oil
4/3 tbsp frusiana sugar
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla flavouring
1 and 1/4 cups buckwheat flour sifted
2 tsp baking powder
The juice of one can of cannellini beans
3 or 4 tsp frusiana sugar

Prepare aquafaba by whisking the juice of the cannelinni beans for 5 – 10 mins until soft and fluffy, adding the 3 or 4 tsp frusiana sugar towards the end.

Place rapeseed oil, frusiana sugar, coconut milk and vanilla flavouring in a bowl. Stir. Add the buckwheat flour and baking powder and fold in. Add 1 and 1/4 cups of the whipped up aquafaba. Gently fold in, trying not to lose the air bubbles.

FOR PANCAKES:
Melt some PURE sunfower spread in a frying pan. Pour in the batter and cook for a couple of minutes before flipping.

FOR SPONGE CAKES:
Pour batter into fairy cake cases (makes about 16). The sponges won’t rise so fill them nearly to the top. The cakes are quite greasy and you wouldn’t want to eat too many in one go. So for me smaller sizes are great and just right for those ‘I want something to nibble moments’.

 

N.B. recipe adapted from everydayvegancooking.com to include the foods that I am allowed on my current diet.

 

Step 3: The Elimination Diet – The first 14 days

After seeing the food intolerance specialist, a friend put me onto a doctor who advocates an elimination diet as a diagnostic tool to see which foods cause your symptoms. I can let you know how to contact him if you want to see him yourself. The idea behind elimination diets is to cut back to the real basics of diet, with a totally natural approach to food to allow your stomach to ‘clean out’ everything else and almost reset itself. Your stomach then becomes hyper sensitive to help you discover your intolerances (as you reintroduce foods in the next phase).

During the elimination diet, you need to avoid smoking, over the counter medicines, tap water and any other things that you usually put into your body but that might have subtle things in them that can affect your symptoms. It is really severe but, if you’re going to do it, you need to do it properly. You also need to be aware that in the first 4 or 5 days, you may get withdrawal symptoms from sugars, carbohydrates, caffeine etc. The initial exclusion must last for 14 days.

Let’s start with the depressing bit. The things you must avoid in these 14 days:
All processed foods – things with additives etc. Even processed meat is not allowed and nor are sauces, gravies out of a packet/pot etc.
Diary – milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, goat’s milk etc.
Grains and cereals like oats, corn, rice, wheat.
Yeast
Soya and vegetable oil
Chicken, beef, pork
Nightshade vegetables, beetroot, sweetcorn
Citrus fruits
Caffeine
Spices

So what can you eat?!?!
Lamb or turkey
Duck eggs (Tescos sell them)
Fresh or frozen plain fish (I’d never eaten anything but cod and how my eyes were opened! Hake is wonderful!)
Fresh fruit – but try not to have too much because the sugar can feed the bad stuff in your stomach if you’ve got that as a problem (which you’re unlikely to know so best to play it safe). I stuck to blueberry, blackberry, passionfruit, papaya and sharon fruit because they have low sugar content.
Fresh vegetables – sweet potatoes and parsnips are filling
Beans and lentils – also very filling and go with everything
Pure sunflower spread or olive oil spread (check the label)
Salt and herbs
Seeds and nuts if you don’t suspect them already
Sunflower, rapeseed and olive oils for cooking
Mineral water. Tap water boiled for teas.
Herb or fruit teas
Homemade fruit and vegetable smoothies and juices
Quinoa – grains or flour
Amaranth – grains ideal for cooking up for breakfast with fruit
Buckwheat, gram and coconut flours – recipes to follow
Coconut milk or hemp milk

THE IMPORTANT BIT – If any of these foods that are permitted already feature regularly in your normal diet, that is more than twice a week, you must avoid them altogether for theĀ initial 14 days. So for example, I ate peas with most evening meals and had to give these up for the 14 days. I replaced them with sugar snaps, kale, asparagus, runner beans and other vegetables that I had never eaten before.

THE OTHER IMPORTANT BIT – The whole thing I’ve learnt about diet and autoimmunity is that it is over-familiarity with a food that leads to intolerance. During the 14 days, you must follow the rule that ‘If I had quinoa on Monday, I can’t have it again until Wednesday’. However, make the most of it on Monday and Wednesday and have it for lunch and dinner!

So what are the options for your meals?

Breakfast: fruit, buckwheat pancakes, quinoa, amaranth, cooked up buckwheat groats. I even made turkey burgers out of turkey mince to have with mushrooms, ducks’ eggs and haricot beans – my version of a full English!

Lunch: Homemade soup with buckwheat pancakes to dip; sweet potato with tinned tuna (in spring water) and side salad; gram flour wraps with mashed avocado, turkey and spinach; roasted stuff butternut squash; vegetables with quinoa.

Dinner: Generally I ate meat and vegetables or fish and vegetables. Roasted butternut squash and courgettes go well together. Tinned beans are filling and quick. You can make a nice shepherd’s pie with lamb mince, fennel, mushrooms and lentils, topped with mashed sweet potato and sprinkled with almonds.

Snacks: This is harder. A handful of nuts if you’re allowed them. Carrot and cucumber sticks in a mashed avocado dip. Use up some left over mix for a gram flour wrap or buckwheat pancake. Left over roasted veg. To be honest, I got addicted to butter beans!

During the 14 days of elimination, keep a detailed diary of your food and symptoms. This will be good to look back on and reflect on, and it gets you in the habit of doing it and of being more aware of your body and what you’re eating, which you’ll need properly in the reintroduction phase. Also be aware that your symptoms may get worse at first because your body is going through a big change and you are having withdrawal problems. Remember too to monitor your weight. I lost a lot during this whole process and ended up going to the doctor about it after 3 months and it was really good to have accurate facts about the rate of losing it. (It wasn’t a major issue but I’ll do a post on it at some point.)

The hope is that after the 14 days, your body has had a really good clean out of all the problem foods and toxins and your symptoms will be noticeably improved. My doctor said they should be gone entirely but they weren’t, so bad was the condition of my body. It took months for me to realise the diet approach really was working. However, it had improved enough to go on to the reintroduction phase, which is where we’ll go in Step 5.