Monday, 3 October 2016

Monday Meal Plan

Ahh I feel like such a bad blogger! Honestly I still cook but trying to cook + blog my FODMAP diet and all the fun that entailed + life in general it all got a bit too much! Plus I have lots of exciting stuff going on and its been crazy busy and its left little time for my little blog! I don't want to tempt fate.... but crossed toes and fingers we are on the move....! 

Last week it was my boyfriends and a good friends birthday, which means cake and lots of it so I relaxed a little on the FODMAP rules and also skipped a week of 'reintroduction' I've kinda figured out wheat is a little naughty but in moderation...its okay... plus I missed croissants too much! Dairy is also...a little dodgy I think but again... all in when PMT comes along it blows it out the park so to speak so it was a needed 'week off'!

This week is fairly simple, a mix of favourites and mostly FODMAP friendly. I am a little addicted to Halloumi and have now converted a few more last weekend at a BBQ we hosted for my B's birthday - I made my loved Bacon and Halloumi salad but without the potatoes, as I'd already made potato salad and figured we had enough carbs!! For this weeks lunches, I prepped ahead last night and made a tray of roasted veggies, with smoky chunks of chorizo and a scattering of halloumi crumbed up - my golly it made for a good lunch box today! If only they would invent smell-o-vision!

Bacon & spinach omelette, new potato salad 
(need to use up some leftover bacon)

Spag bol
(gluten free spaghetti)
Squash and halloumi fritters, sauteed courgettes
(trying to figure out a plan for half a chunk of halloumi!)
Grilled gammon steaks, fried egg, roasted new potatoes, sauteed cavolo nero 
(a favourite of ours!)

Smoked salmon & veggie filled rice paper wraps, edamame to start
(really liking some rice paper wraps I bought a few weeks back, sort of DIY supper!)

Monday, 19 September 2016

Monday Meal Plan

Sorry I've been slacking - I had a good excuse though - I was very busy drinking Sangria watching the sunset over the mountains in Spain! Despite knowing most beverages fairly well, for some reason I had never overly tried Sangria before and towards the end of the holiday and not being put off it despite one of the guidebook descriptions I was pleasantly surprised - it was a little like pimms but sort of red winey too.. either way very refreshing after another busy day spent reading and lazing by the pool! The picture doesn't quite do it justice- was more fish bowl sized!!

Now I am back home (sob, sob!) Meal planning is back in swing, though I'm still on the FODMAP reintroduction phase which makes it essential in the form of planning but also hard as most things I want to eat are off limits and its hard to stay inspired at times!

This week is super busy - have a full week back at work along with planned cinema trips, friends over, other friend staying with us and a dreaded 2nd root canal treatment on Friday!! 

Curried Corned beef hash, made with extra veg (basically using up some leftovers!) alongside some roasted marrow and carrots 

Chorizo & Cheddar omelette, new potatoes, buttered Kale

Smoky tomato Slow cooked pork stew, rice 

Sardine and pepper stir fry and rice noodles 
(I have never had sardines and I am really unsure about them but need to boost up my calcium levels!)

Dentist in the afternoon... dinner will be most likely either involving porridge or gravy!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Meal Planning Monday w/c 22/08/16

Today is a special day. Its bread day! Now that might not seem very exciting, however when you have not eaten real bread in hmmm maybe 10 weeks actually eating a 'real' sliced is quite exciting!! Not some pappy, dense stuff that makes you really question how much you wanted to eat. Don't even start me on the 'freefrom' crumpets I had yesterday morning - they were a real big disappointment and I struggled to finish them! The reason why its bready day is that last week I met with my lovely Dietitian, who commented how well I had stuck to the FODMAP so strictly (not often as a patient I have been told I am good, I am usually the awkward one who can't tolerate half the meds they want to give me and never conform to how plans should work!) and so after going through the re-introduction and inside nervously thinking how on earth will I manage this I had a long hard chat with myself - I survived nearly 8 weeks of elimination and got this far, we can do this!

To manage the re-intro is a bit of a challenge in itself however meal planning is essential to keep my head straight as you have to have a small portion of one the ingredients on the naughty list, double the next day, and double again the third day! Whilst still eliminating everything else and regardless of the results and if I tolerate it, you have to then not have said ingredient until all completed. Hmm! In my head I think I will try every Monday to re-introduce something though to the Wednesday...

Unfortunately after several really good weeks my IBS flared on Saturday on the tail end of a funny reaction to some pain meds, so I held out till today to re-introduction start. I so hope I can eat real bread again long term!

So this weeks plan is:

Corned beef hash, carrots, kale 
(B's favourite and was requested!)

Basa parcels, courgette and pepper rice noodles 
(easy dinner as getting my hair done!)

Chicken and aubergine pilaff, bread and butter 
(A new recipe cut out from a magazine, have made similar dishes before so hopefully good! The bread addition is part of my FODMAP challenge!)

Mini turkey meat loaves, homemade tomato sauce, buckwheat mash 
(May wrap the meatloaves in bacon...)

Gammon steaks, fried eggs, crispy potatoes 
(Friday night easy dinner!)

Monday, 15 August 2016

Meal Planning Monday W/C 15/08/16

Ooops I missed last week! I had a plan on paper, well my excel sheet but I knew the week was going to busy and subject to change so I never blogged it on purpose! The week flew by, Monday saw the arrival of my dad back from a long holiday and for once the M25 was kind to me and didn't take too long to get him back from the drop off point. However it still meant I was not going to be home anytime before 7pm so we ended up getting a Chinese takeaway! Fortunately one near to us actually are very good about food intolerances and allergies and were really helpful and I managed to navigate the menu and still enjoy my dinner! In the end I had chicken wings, chicken with cashew nuts and boiled rice. Not entirely FODMAP but about the closest I could get! 

The original plan that night was actually for slow cooked pork steaks - I thought I could get home from work, stick them on the back of the hob on low and then let them gently simmer away.. however that would of required prep the night before.. and we actually ended up spending most of the afternoon and late into the night in our local A&E as my boyfriend hurt his knee at cricket! Fortunately nothing is broken but he is rather uncomfortable whilst it heals up. Then on Friday night I managed to take a tumble at home when a stall I was using to put some boxes on top of the wardrobe gave way and I  have ended up a little bruised and scratched so we are a right pair!! 

We did eat a few new things last week - on one of the nights we had some leftover ham slices that needed using up and I made mini baked ham and egg cups - alongside roasted green beans and new potatoes. An easy dinner and was a popular dish!

Some other choices...well may have been made under the influence slightly.... I was next door at my friends... we have opened some wine my Dad bought back... then a bottle of bourbon got opened... then I admitted I'd bought some Pigeon breasts... and well after discussion whether we could get dinner quicker than the Chinese takeaway could arrive... we did indeed manage dinner in 20 minutes! I made stir fried pigeon with 5 spice, aubergine and peppers, really quite excellent basmati rice dressed with sesame oil and very randomly we also heated up some ragu I'd made in case there was not enough meat for the boys! The pigeon wasn't bad at all, quite gamey.

So this week is a little flexible - I am meeting with the dietitian tomorrow to discuss the re-introduction phase of FODMAP (I'm scared!) so I have made a loose meal plan!

Bacon wrapped cod fingers. Green beans and polenta chips 
(only just taken the cod out of the freezer oops! Saw it on tv looked good...)

Quorn 'Chicken' Spanish style with potatoes and tomatoes and chorizo 
(My dad found me gluten free chorizo yay!)

Ikea meatballs for b, me - Salmon fillet. New potatoes and
(two meals as meatballs been in the freezer forever!)

Slow cooked bbq pork steaks, buckwheat mash
(aka last weeks dinner!)

I have root canal booked. B can have ready made pork tortellini!
(goodbye money!)

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Chocolate and Almond Brownies - Gluten free and low #FODMAP

For these brownies they are definitely both gluten and wheat free, the FODMAP part is on the border - I did check them out with my dietitian as under FODMAP you are allowed 10 almonds - which after working out the total and scaling down is roughly 8-10 almonds per portion, so if you eat two, ahem, then they are taking you over that almond limit! Not that I ate two of course... that would never happen.. though I did have an amusing conversation at work today with a dental health nurse over a particular form she was showing me and after reading through it (as part of the project I am on) I did mutter the words 'is it bad I had a brownie for breakfast'! Apparently, yes. Oh well...

Baking is a passion of mine - it tends to happen quite organically without much prior planning and I love nothing better than destroying the kitchen and dusting everything with a fine scattering of icing sugar but following FODMAP has definitely tested my repertoire to the max and I've explored whole new areas of baking! After initial hit and miss I seem to be getting into a rhythm and these brownies are pretty darn good! The fact that there are just under 4 left out of 9 from the last night is a pretty good sign they are keepers! (though by the time I have now finished writing this up post a blinking windows update grr there are two!) B even gave them a 10 which is a huge improvement on the previous experiments!

These are not fudgey as some brownies but they are soft, light but not too light and chocolatey. I did umm and arr over putting rum in them but I did resist on this occasion. Maybe next time....(though I think am getting a reputation as at a friends annual birthday bbq the other night I was asked if my flapjacks had alcohol in them!!)

The one main ingredient in making these brownies a little on the squidge side - mashed banana. They need to be very ripe, on the edge of packing their bags and walking out the fruit bowl. You won't taste the banana but they keep the brownies so moist without lots of butter - I found with earlier gluten free bakes they were a little on the dry side but not with these!

Makes 9 brownies


100g butter
125g light brown muscavado sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
75g rice flour
25g ground almonds
25g cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
2 small ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs beaten
50g dark chocolate,chopped
2 tbsp flaked almonds

Preheat oven about 190o (my oven still flexible but basically a medium hot oven)
Line a square tin with baking paper

In a pan melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup until slightly foaming and syrupy, leave to one side

Sift together the rice flour, ground almonds, baking powder and cocoa. Stir in the mashed banana and lightly beat in the eggs.

Use a fork to gently stir through the melted sugary mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Pour into the prepared tin, scatter over the flaked almonds and bake for 35-40 minutes or until just cooked through.

We had ours in a bath of soya custard (surprisingly nice!)

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Recently In My low FODMAP Kitchen...

Since I started trialing the FODMAP diet back in early June to try and tackle my misbehaving digestion, which frankly now feels like a lifetime ago, a lot has changed:

1 - Our food shop has gone up in price which came as a surprise. I think I went possibly a little over the top finding alternatives to pasta and having to rethink my lunches. Quinoa flour doesn't come cheap, even more so if its still sitting in the cupboard a month later wondering what on earth to do with it! Also special breads and flours are roughly 3 times the price of regular stuff, not that I've used them a huge amount it all adds up. As part of trying to tame the IBS symptoms before starting the FODMAP I also don't eat any leftover pasta or rice dishes any more due to the resistant starches that form when cooled so a packed lunch that is also tasty and filling has proved a very big challenge!

2 - Eating out is frequently frustrating - I have utter sympathy for anyone with genuine food allergies as navigating menu's is a proper challenge! I must admit most places have pleasantly surprised me with their flexibility and even one particular chain said the manager had to take my order for special diets and another when I asked for the vinegar for my chips said no, it was  malt and unsuitable, however I was actually asking for my mum so they let me have it!

3 - I am bored of reading labels. Basically most things not made by your fair hands will be unsuitable in the shop. So its best not to look and save yourself the disappointment. Oh and don't go shopping hungry! This is not always easy and admittedly I was so hungry following a long drive the other night I bought a gluten free fruit loaf in the supermarket and ate two slices in the car fresh out the bag dry with no butter on! Fortunately this Genius loaf was actually quite tasty!

4 - I have discovered as lovely as onions and garlic are, you can still cook delicious food without them. Finally. There was some tears. At least garlic oil is surprisingly allowed... 

5 - Last but not least - and its a biggie. My tummy is happy for the first time. Its not all plain sailing and I miss real cake sooooo very much but not being constantly bloated, able to wear pretty dresses that are fairly snug is quite wonderful. I still have the odd day when perhaps I had a nice chilled fruit cider on a hot day and I accept there may be some comeback on that ... 

Here are a few of the highlights that were all low #FODMAP and also wheat and gluten free:

Thai Pork with rice noodles
Bacon and Halloumi Salad
A rich and meaty ragu with freefrom penne
Lemon green tea and sesame crumbed Tuna steak and stir fried veggies

So hopefully if you are entering FODMAP territory in order to tame your IBS or similar digestive issues - don't lose hope - food can still be your friend, its just learning who your friends are! I can't honestly tell you the relief after nigh on 16 years with IBS symptoms ranging from mild to severe - its been so bad I've even fainted a couple of times, not fun!

Oh and you can still eat cake! Just make sure its wheat and gluten free! These chocolate and ginger buns were delicious!

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