Low fodmap minestrone soup


I’ve always loved a good chunky vegetable broth. It’s so comforting and packed full of goodness . My Baba (Ukrainian grandmother) makes the BEST vegetable and noodle soup! It’s like medicine for the soul.

Minestrone soup makes me feel the same way. So much love, attention and honest, simple ingredients go into making it. There are so many different ways of making it and hundreds of different family recipes but this recipe is my way. 

Ingredients

  • 500g Passata
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp Garlic infused oil
  • Half a swede
  • 3 carrots
  • 150g gluten free pasta
  • 2 courgettes
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1/2 tbsp dried basil 
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 100ml white wine
  • Low fodmap stock – enough to cover
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tsp cornflour 
  • 3 leaves of spring greens
  • Fresh basil (optional)

Method

  1. Dice all of the veg and throw them into a deep casserole dish or saucepan.
  2. Tip in all of the other ingredients except for the pasta and the cornflour. Pour over enough stock to cover everything.
  3. Simmer until the veg is soft then tip in the pasta.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked, mix the cornflour with a splash of water then slowly pour into the soup whilst stirring continuously.
  5. Check the seasoning and mix in some salt and pepper if you fancy it! 

Enjoy! It’s great to take as a packed lunch to reheat at work and will last up to 5 days in the fridge! 

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Gorgeous Greek bean salad

Gorgeous Greek bean salad

This is my take on a Greek salad. Light and fresh and full of healthy fats. It’s tasty and really cheap to make and works great as a side dish for bbqs or picnics. It also keeps well in the fridge so is perfect for meal prepping your week’s lunches! The fats and protein will keep you full for ages and it usually keeps me satisfied during a long afternoon at work and a train ride home.

Ingredients

  • 400g tin mixed beans or chickpeas
  • 400g reduced sugar baked beans, with the juice
  • 1 cucumber, cut into small chunks with the seeds removed
  • 1 cup of Black/kalamata olives
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 50g Feta cheese, crumbled, optional
  • Black pepper, to taste

Method

Mix all of the ingredients together, including the juice from the baked beans as this will help make the dressing.

Serve chilled, it goes great with houmous and couscous for a quick and easy lunch!

Bright yellow Korean pickles!

Bright yellow Korean pickles!

lOne of my favourite Korean side dishes is pickles! Bright yellow, sweet, sharp and refreshing! They’re super delicous and easy to make from home without any nasty artificial extras. They go so well on the side of some crispy Korean fried chicken or a bowl of comforting udon.

They’re also ridiculously inexpensive and easy to make, and have loads of nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. And of course, all types of radish are famously full of fiber.

I love them, and I think you just might too!

Ingredients

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  • 1 1/2 cups (350ml) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (350ml) rice (or white)vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 20 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 pound (450g) daikon (sometimes called mooli) radish, peeled and sliced

Method

In a medium saucepan, stir together water, vinegar, sugar, salt, turmeric, peppercorns, and bay leaves.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to ensure that sugar fully dissolves.

Remove from heat and add daikon.

Transfer pickles and brine to an airtight glass container and store in the refrigerator.

Pickles will last about 1 month.

Organic food: pricey but worth it?

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One of the questions I hear a lot is about organic food and whether it’s worth it? It’s a really interesting question and one that I have often wondered myself. Growing up, my parents were really into growing their own veg and buying organic but when I went to university I really noticed the price tag. I began to think that organic was a waste of money, there just to rinse the pockets of those silly enough to buy it.

When the price of food is on the rise it’s so easy to just go for the cheapest option but over the years I’ve come to realise that there are some things that really are worth spending that little bit more on. In an ideal world we would all eat organic, homegrown, free range food with no air miles and bought from the farm shop next door. But that’s just not possible and everybody’s food budgets are different. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the foods that are worth buying organic:

1. Milk – organic whole and semi-skimmed milk has more beneficial omega-3 fatty acid, Vitamin E and beta-carotene than non-organic milk, and studies have found that organic milk has 68 per cent higher levels of the essential fatty acid than non-organic. 

2. Bread – This everyday favourite has a really surprising number of pesticides, which have been used on the wheat grains, so choosing organic flour or bread helps to reduce your exposure to pesticides. 

3. Tomatoes – Tomatoes have very delicate skins that pesticides can easily get through. These chemicals cannot be washed off and removing the skin will not help as the chemicals have seeped through.This includes all fruit and veg with thin skins so things like berries, cucumbers, spinach, celery, carrots etc. are worth getting organic too.

4. Eggs – Eggs are an easy place to start going organic. Organic means free-range too, so those chickens enjoy a much happier life outside, producing rich, delicious eggs. 

5. Leafy Greens – These tend to have a large surface area for their size so can absorb lots of chemicals. 

6. Chicken – Organic standards insist that animals are given plenty of space and fresh air so they can grow more naturally, with a truly free-range life. They also forbid they use of antibiotics.

7. Soft fruit – Fruit with soft skins such as peaches and nectarines, tend to absorb more chemicals. Generally the skins of these fruit are often eaten, despite the surface having been treated with pesticides. 

10. Oranges – Organic oranges are one of the best organic foods to buy, with a study by PAN UK finding that 97 per cent of oranges tested had pesticide residues in them.

Now this can all sound a bit intimidating but there are foods around that are much safer to eat when it comes to pesticides. This list includes avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, frozen peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, aubergine, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. They tend to absorb much less pesticide so you can be more relaxed when it comes to buying the non-organic versions of these ingredients.

It can be a bit overwhelming if you decide to change your weekly food shop to all organic products. But I hope these two lists make it a bit easier to decided what is worth buying organic and what to not be so worried about. You can be kind to your body and your wallet!

I must just mention that although eating organic is great, it’s much more important to eat lots of fresh veggies and we can only do the best with what we’ve got. So eat organic where you can but in the end just aim to eat as wide a variety of fresh ingredients as you can to give your body the goodness it really needs!

P.s To keep up to date with what foods you should be eating organic look up ‘Dirty Dozen’ organic, they update their list yearly.

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Kachumber Indian Spiced Salad

I’ve always loved this simple salad when it’s been served to me with poppadoms in an Indian restaurant, so when I was planning to throw my own curry night I decided to try and make my own. It’s a beautifully fresh and crunchy salad that goes perfectly with almost any Indian dish. Recently, I’ve become rather interested in the art of curry making and how to combine the different spices to create the waves of flavours that come with any well made curry. My dad has always made fantastic indian dishes and steers clear of the shop bought curry pastes so I thought it was time that I did too! This salad is a great starting point to introducing yourself to Indian recipes and is also a great way of getting a good kick of nutritional veggies!

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Ingredients

1 medium sized white onion, diced
Half a large cucumber, diced
2 medium sized tomatoes, diced with the seeds removed
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 tsp salt

Method

After chopping all of the vegetables up, throw them into a bowl together and mix well. Then add in the cumin, coriander, lemon juice and salt and mix well until the vegetables are nicely coated. Taste to check the seasoning and if you like add some more lemon juice or salt!

Serve with poppadoms and mango chutney or as a side to your favourite curry!

Fresh, Crunchy Red Cabbage Coleslaw

One of my dad’s most requested recipes is his delicious coleslaw. He taught me how to make it and I’ve added a few extras into the mix. It’s a great side dish all year round and is incredibly versatile. It goes well with hot, buttered Jacket potatoes and is perfect for a summer barbecue. Personally I like mine on the side of a yummy lasagne, it may not be traditional but it’s super tasty! Homemade is so much better than anything you’ll find in the shops and it’s so easy and quick to make so give it a try!

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Ingredients

Half a red cabbage, sliced thinly
2 carrots, grated
Half a red onion, sliced into small pieces (optional but I like it!)
1 tsp of sugar or xylitol
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 large tablespoons of mayonnaise

Method

Place the sliced cabbage into a bowl and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. This will draw out the water and make the cabbage slightly softer. Leave the cabbage to stand for a minute or two, then throw in the onion and the carrot and give it a good mix. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Leave the mix to stand for maybe half an hour for the flavours to combine and the vegetables to soften. Then it’s ready to go!

You could also add some grated apple or my grandma swears by adding fresh cucumber.

I like to serve this alongside a big salad, homemade baked beans and some tasty barbecued meat.