Low fodmap butternut squash and sweet potato soup


Since starting my low fodmap diet I’ve felt amazing. In only two weeks I’ve gone from looking 9 months pregnant to maybe around 4 months (I’m not actually pregnant in case you hadn’t already guessed). For the first time in years I’m not going out covered in a massive cardigan and scarf to hide my tummy. My body is looking so much more in proportion and the blinding pain is disappearing rapidly.

I feel the best I’ve felt in a very VERY long time.

I’ve also learnt to trust carbs again. They’ve always been a bit of a fear food for me as everyone tells you not to eat them. But since going low fodmap, potatoes have become a big part of my life again. They don’t hurt me, they don’t make me ill and they take away all those horrible cravings I would have on low carb diets. The way I see it everything in moderation. And before you ask, upping my carbs hasn’t made me put on weight, the opposite in fact!

I’m a big fan of low fodmap. Yes, it is very restrictive but after years of trying different diets out in a vain attempt to fix myself, the fodmap diet hasn’t been too intimidating.

Once you figure out what you can have and stop focussing on what you can’t it becomes much easier to manage.

The main downside however, to the fodmap diet is that it’s impossible to buy readymade food. The onion and garlic restriction is a huge bummer. Grabbing a pot of soup from the supermarket for a quick lunch is now a thing of the past. So I decided to come up with a recipe of my own and, as my husband always says as he steals a few chips from my plate, sharing is caring! So here you go:

Ingredients

1 Butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped

The green tops of 6 spring onions (only the green bit is low fodmap)

A big bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1 chilli, de-seeded and chopped

1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

250g passata

1-2 tbsp garlic infused oil (the only garlic thing allowed on fodmap)

2 tbsp lime juice, more if you like it sharp!

1 tin of coconut milk

Fodmap friendly stock or if you can’t get any/make any just use water and make sure to season with salt and pepper

Method

Gently fry the veg in the garlic infused oil until slightly softened. Pour over in the coconut milk and passata and then top up with enough stock/water to cover the veg. Chuck in the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer gently until the veg has softened.

Blend and it’s ready to serve. This can be kept in the fridge for a few days and is great for lunches or a quick dinner.

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Ginger & Lime Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash

Here’s a tasty new recipe that’s a perfect reminder of the summer. This meal is super healthy as it’s low fat and low GI but definitely doesn’t compromise on flavour. It’s satisfying and comforting but with an added zing which keeps it fresh and light on your tummy. If you have time you can marinate the chicken overnight for an even fuller flavour or add a few garlic cloves to the mash. Perfect for a light and simple, mid-week dinner! Enjoy!

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Ingredients

the zest and juice of one lime
1 tbsp of clear honey
1 tsp of ground ginger of grated fresh ginger
2 skinless chicken breasts
450g of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks

Serves two

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200c. Combine half of the lime zest and all the juice with the honey and ground ginger. Slash the tops of each chicken breast 3-4 times with a sharp knife to allow the marinade to flavour the chicken the whole way through. Coat each piece of chicken  with the marinade making sure that it goes into the slashed sections. Place the chicken along with the marinade into a baking dish and then into an oven for around 45 minutes. Try to spoon the marinade over the chicken every now and again to keep the chicken moist and full of flavour.

Meanwhile, boil the sweet potatoes in salted water for 10-15 minutes until tender. Then drain and mash well, adding the rest of the lime zest, and some salt and pepper. Once the chicken is golden coloured take it out of the oven and it’s time to eat! Remember to pour a little of the marinade over the mash to add a zesty finish to the meal.

I like to serve this with either some homemade coleslaw or some steamed mange tout!

Glazed, Sugar free Sticky Ribs!

One of my favourite side dishes to order from the Chinese takeaway is sticky, capital spare ribs. They’re oh so delicious but oh so bad for you! A standard recipe for them would ask for roughly a bucket of sugar and just the thought of eating them would make you put on around a stone! However, we all need a treat every now and again, and I’ve found a way to cut the sugar without losing out on flavour. This is my tried and tested recipe (my husband made me make them two nights in a row he loved them so much!). They take a bit of time to make but once you’ve tried them you’ll never have to reach for that takeaway menu again!

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Ingredients

900g pork spare ribs
2 tbsp malt vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
90ml rice or wine vinegar
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp of ground ginger
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
grated zest of one lime
4 tbsp Xylitol
1/2 tsp of Chinese five spice powder

Method

Wash and dry the ribs and place them in a large pan. Cover them with cold water along with the malt vinegar. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for around 20 minutes.
Whilst the ribs are simmering, put the rest of the ingredients into a small pan and bring to the boil. Simmer the mixture until it has reduced and thickened slightly.
Drain the water from the ribs and place them in a roasting dish. Pour over the thickened sauce and coat the ribs evenly.
Cover the roasting dish with foil and roast at 220 degrees celsius for about 30 minutes.
Once that time is up, take away the foil and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.

I like to serve these with sweet potato fries, homemade coleslaw and a big fresh salad. But most importantly, remember the napkins!!

Soy, ginger and red chilli salmon, with buttered new potatoes and leafy salad

One of the things I love the most about winter is the food. Rich, comforting stews brimming with tender chunks of meat, steaming cups of cocoa and spicy, festive gingerbread. Yet, occasionally it’s a good idea to go for something a little fresher and a tad lighter to stop us turning into dumplings! Last night was one of those times, so we decided to go for some pan fried salmon with some fresh, crunchy veg to remind us of warmer times.

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Ingredients

Serves two

2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 x 150g salmon fillets
5 tbsp runny honey
7g root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Enough new potatoes for two (I tend to do 3 small potatoes each but I’m sure Steve could eat more!)
Leafy salad with any extras you choose (I like to go for olives)
Dressing for the salad: 3 tbsp Olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp of wholegrain mustard, 1 tsp honey

A few shavings of butter

Method

Place the potatoes in a pan of lightly salted boiling water, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

For the salmon, melt a bit of butter in a griddle pan, then add the salmon, skin side down first. Once crispy, turn it over to cook the other side. This should take around 15 minutes in total.

Whilst the potatoes and salmon are cooking, mix together the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, honey and chilli and heat gently in a saucepan so that the flavours can combine. I tend to serve this sauce on the side but you could decide to brush the salmon with it.

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and toss them in a little butter. Pile the potatoes onto plates and serve immediately alongside the fish.  Serve with a big bowl of dressed salad. Fresh, simple and healthy! Perfect for those nostalgic for the summer months!