Crunchy chilli beef salad

Low fodmap chilli beef salad

This is perfect when you want a healthy dinner that doesn’t compromise on exciting flavours or textures. It’s mainly raw so tastes wonderfully fresh.

I’ve included sugarsnap peas here as I tolerate fructose, but you can easily swap in any green veggies to suit you!

you will need:

1 x large high quality minute steak
1 x nest of fine vermicelli rice noodles
LOADS of greens (anything works – I’ve used sugarsnap peas but if you can’t tolerate fructose, 1/2 cup of savoy cabbage, broccoli or green beans would work – just make sure you steam the cabbage a little before adding in!)
2 x good handfuls of pea shoots or spinach leaves
1 x fresh chilli
2 x spring onions (green parts only)
garlic oil
juice of half a lime
dash of soy sauce
dash of fish sauce
sesame seeds (optional)

method:

Begin by heating your garlic oil in a pan. Flash fry the minute steak (it will need hardly any time at all!) and move to a chopping board.

Chop your chilli and spring onions finely. Dice any green veggies you’re including – simply steaming the savoy cabbage for 1 minute if using. Broccoli and green beans add nice crunch when raw, but if it’s easier on your stomach, steam a little first before adding to the dish.

Slice your steak into fine strips. Add to a large bowl with your veggies, two handfuls of pea shoots or similar, tossing in the spring onions and chilli too. Squeeze the lime juice, soy and fish sauce over the salad to your taste and mix well.

In salted, boiling water, add your rice noodles and cook for one minute. Drain these, trying to get as much water out of them as possible before stirring through the salad.

Sprinkle with some sesame seeds and this is ready to enjoy. Delicious with a beer … if you’re lucky enough to tolerate one!

Slow roasted pork belly with chicory and toasted hazelnuts

slow roasted pork belly with chicory and toasted hazelnuts

My boyfriend recently made this tasty dish for us on a Sunday evening. It ticks a few boxes for me because it’s simple, delicious and low FODMAP… but feels quite special and comforting too.

The meat is the star of this recipe, so it’s worth seeking out a quality piece. Pork belly is a really cheap cut so if you can, try to buy a free range variety from a meat counter or butcher. We bought this organic, free range piece over the meat counter in the supermarket and it cost us less than £4 … pretty reasonable for a special Sunday lunch for two.

you will need:

400g of pork belly
red wine / sherry vinegar
bitter leaves (we used chicory but radicchio will also work)
large handful of  hazelnuts

method:

Score the skin of your pork with a sharp knife and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. Pop into the oven in a roasting tin and allow to roast for around 1.5 hours.  When cooked, remove the skin and slice into strips. Slice the pork into strips about 2cm thick and add to a serving dish.

Added texture is especially important in this dish as the meat is so lovely and tender. The crunch you get from crackling, toasted hazelnuts and bitter leaves makes the whole thing really enjoyable to eat. Turn the oven right down and put the skin onto a baking tray lined with foil, sprinkling some more salt over. This will make your crackling.  On the same tray, add your hazelnuts. Pop the tray back in the oven for a few minutes to allow the skin to crisp up and the nuts to toast.

Add some of the pork fat from the roasting tin to a pan. Separate your bitter leaves, but leave them whole. Add to the pan briefly with a good splash of red wine or sherry vinegar. You don’t want these to cook right down but just soften slightly. Add the leaves to your dish with the pork.

Take your crackling and nuts out of the oven and add to the dish, peeling the outer shells of the hazelnuts away as you do so.

Serve this straight to the table, bringing the vinegar with you. It really needs the acidity to cut through, so add to your taste and enjoy!

slow roasted pork belly with chicory and toasted hazelnuts

Roasted aubergine, pine nuts, cinnamon lamb

Roasted aubergine with cinnamon lamb

If you’re still managing to be good this far into January, hats off to you.  I barely made it through the first week, and I’ve been unable to resist especially delicious treats in my kitchen lately such as THE most delicious butter we picked up at a local market this morning. It will be slathered on everything.

If you are trying to keep things lighter though, this is a nice low carb, low FODMAP dish for January. It’s not too hard to put together, either – you make the stuffing whilst the aubergine is roasting in the oven. This isn’t your average stuffed vegetable though – cinnamon and cumin bring a lovely warmth. Definitely don’t skip the pine nuts! Perfect with some leaves or some chickpeas cooked with paprika and preserved lemon to make this more of a meal.

you will need:

2 x good sized aubergines
1 x small packet of lamb mince (or Quorn mince is also delicious here)
1 tsp tomato puree
1 medium onion, finely chopped (leave out if you don’t tolerate / are in elimination phase)
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp sugar
half a lemon
handful  of parsley, finely chopped
handful of pine nuts

method:

Cut each aubergine in half and brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pop skin down in a roasting tin / dish and into a hot oven @ 200 (fan). This needs to be fairly deep, and something you’re happy to take the juices from later. Roast these for about 20 mins, making sure the flesh is cooked when you take them out.

While they’re roasting, heat some olive oil in a large pan and add your spices and onion (leave out if you cannot tolerate or are in your elimination phase). Cook on a medium heat for about 5 mins until the spices are really fragrant – but be careful not to burn them! Then add your pine nuts, and allow these to brown slightly. Add in the mince, tomato puree, chopped parsley, a teaspoon of sugar and season well. Keep stirring until the mince is cooked (this will be considerably less time if you’re using Quorn). You can also add some red wine to this sauce if you like and feel free to add some water if it needs.

In a separate bowl, add the juice of half a lemon, tamarind and some salt. Scrape out the flesh from the aubergines, being careful not to rip the skin, and add to the bowl. Mix well!

Now pop this back into the skins and top with your spiced mince filling. Pop back into the oven for 10 mins to crisp up nicely, and you’re done! Enjoy with a glass of that red.

Courgette fries with dill hummus

courgette fries with dill hummus

It might be January, but even the most virtuous amongst us have need for an indulgent snack now and then. These courgette fries are healthier than they look, with a light batter crisped in the oven rather than fried.

I love hummus, and luckily tolerate GOS pretty well so don’t need to cut it out of my diet. The freshness of the dill in this hummus works really well with the sweet courgette. If you are still in the elimination phase of the diet, or know you don’t tolerate GOS, try the low FODMAP dill mayonnaise below.

you will need:

For the courgette fries:
A good handful of breadcrumbs (fairly chunky breadcrumbs work well for this batter)
1 x free range egg, beaten
1 tbsp plain flour
2 x courgettes, cut into finger sized batons
Zest of 1 lemon

For the dill hummus:
1/2 a can of chickpeas (100g)
1 tbsp tahini
1 x garlic clove
2 x tbsp good quality olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
A handful of fresh dill, chopped

Low FODMAP alternative to hummus:
Of course, to make this a strictly low FODMAP snack, skip the hummus and dip the courgette fries in a tasty dill mayonnaise instead.

For a quick dip, mix 2 tbsp of good quality mayo with a small bunch of dill and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

 method:

Turn on your oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Place some foil on a baking tray. Lay the breadcrumbs and a tbsp of flour out on two separate plates, with the beaten egg in a bowl. Grate the zest of one lemon into the breadcrumbs and season with some salt and pepper.

One by one, dip your courgette batons in flour so that they are evenly coated, then dip into the egg before rolling in the breadcrumbs. Place the batons on the oven tray and pop into the oven to bake until golden (around 15 minutes).

While they’re in the oven crisping up, make your dill hummus (or mayo, as above). To make the hummus, throw all the hummus ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth.

Enjoy while still hot!