So I’ve been trying out the Mediterranean Diet for a few weeks now and want to share with you how I found it as an IBS sufferer. But first, I want to share with you… More
This recipe is taken and adapted from the Eating Well website: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/251029/bucatini-alla-puttanesca
I have taken this Italian dish and given it a little bit of tweaking, not just to make it low FODMAP, but also to add a bit more veg into the mix.
Serves 4 – takes 30 minutes to make – low FODMAP – Gluten Free
4 Anchovy fillets, chopped – Olive oil –
1 tsp Garlic Small handful of chives, chopped – 2 tins of Cherry tomatoes with their juices – Pinch of salt – 150g Gluten free spaghetti – 200g Courgette – Handful of olives – 1 tsp Coarsely chopped fresh oregano – Feta cheese
Heat up olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Fry the anchovies and chives for a few minutes. As an option, you could add another type of fish as well, cut into small pieces. Add the tomatoes and salt, and cook for about 20 minutes.
Spiralise the courgette. Add any left over chunks or shavings to the tomato sauce.
Boil the spaghetti and courgetti together in a large pan for about 10 minutes until cooked.
Add olives and oregano to the sauce. Drain the spaghetti and courgetti and combine it with the sauce. Crumble feta on top to serve.
My family loved this dish! Great tasting, easy on the stomach, and made super healthy by replacing half the spaghetti portion with courgetti.
This recipe is adapted from the BBC Good Food website: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/simple-fish-stew
Another mediterranean style dish which has plenty of veg and is really easy to make!
Serves 6; takes 30 minutes to prepare and cook; 114 calories per portion; Gluten free; low FODMAP
Olive oil – 2 tsp Fennel seeds – 250g Carrots –
4 Celery Sticks 60g Celery stick, 60g Bok Choy – 60g Kale – 4 Garlic cloves Large handful of chives – 4 Leeks Large handful of leek leaves, shredded – 800g Canned chopped tomatoes – 4 Skinless pollock or Salmon fillets, cut into chunks – 200g prawns – 500ml fish stock
Cut up the vegetables into small chunks and pieces. Heat up a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Add the fennel seeds, carrots, celery, bok choy, kale, and chives, and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to soften.
Add the leek leaves, tomatoes, and fish stock. Season and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until veg is tender and sauce has thickened and reduced slightly.
Add the fish and prawns and boil for about 5 more minutes until cooked. Either serve as it is in soup bowls, or, alternatively, with rice.
Note: most stock cubes will have certain ingredients in them, including onion and garlic, which are not low FODMAP. I find that because it is in small quantities and they are not proper chunks of these ingredients that it doesn’t affect me, but it may affect people who are more sensitive. Instead, you could try making your own stock, or, as an easier option, just use hot water and a selection of herbs.
Keeping in tune with trying out the mediterranean diet, I decided to create a simple lunchtime salad which incorporated lots of classic foods from this cuisine. I actually rarely eat salads as I find they just don’t fill me up, but packing it full of vegetables and healthy fats medi-style seems to be keeping my energy levels up for much longer.
Serves 1 person; takes 10 minutes to make; 230 calories; can be made vegetarian or vegan; gluten free; low FODMAP
50g Carrots – 50g Aubergine – 50g Courgette – Lettuce – 3 Cherry tomatoes – Olive oil – Handful of olives – Feta – Smoked salmon – Tomato and basil pasatta – Sunflower seeds
Preheat baking tray in oven, with some olive oil spread around the tray.
Dice carrots, aubergine, courgettes and tomatoes (unless you decide to have the tomatoes raw). Spread them around the baking tray, spray some oil on them, and roast for 10 minutes.
While they cook, shred the lettuce and the smoked salmon. Put them in a mixing bowl and mix in the olives, roasted veg, sunflower seeds, and a small amount of the passata for some extra flavour . Finally, crumble feta into the salad.
- Try making it vegetarian by using tofu
- or go one step further by dumping the feta as well and making it vegan
- Try varying the fish: maybe tuna or anchovies?
- Try a mix of different vegetables
- instead of the passata, try mixing it with vinegar and olive oil, or maybe a pesto
And I’m sure you can think of many many more variations – let me know if you find any great ones!
This recipe is inspired by and adapted from the Eating Well website: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/258538/tomato-green-bean-casserole-with-spicy-herb-pesto.
Serves 4; takes 30 minutes to make and cook; about 300 calories per portion; vegetarian; gluten free; low FODMAP.
100g Quinoa – 100g Green beans, chopped into 2″ pieces – 100g Red peppers – 100g Aubergine – 50g
Pistachios Pine Kernels – 2 Tablespoons chopped jalapeño pepper – 1/2 Cup of herbs of your choice (I went for parsley, oregano, crushed chillies) – Salt – Juice of 1 Lime – 1 Clove of garlic Handful of chives – 1 Tablespoons of olive oil – 1 Cup of cherry tomatoes – Cheddar Feta – a handful of olives
Put the quinoa on to boil for 20 minutes, and the peppers, aubergine, and green beans on to boil for 6 minutes.
Preheat casserole dish.
In a food processor, combine the herbs, pine kernels, jalapeños, lime juice, chives, salt, and olive oil.
Put the quinoa, boiled vegetables, pesto, tomatoes, and feta into a casserole dish and mix together. Bake in the oven for 6 minutes.
To finish, crumble feta over the dish and sprinkle with some more pine nuts.
This dish was easy to make, kept me full for hours, and also tasted really nice. And most importantly… It didn’t make me feel unwell at all! The great thing about this dish is you can really play around with it, and I’m sure you’d be able to make many different variations, while still keeping it super healthy and low calorie.
Regarded by many as one of the healthiest diets in the world, the mediterranean cuisine is largely based on eating lots of fruit and veg, eating and cooking with healthy plant-based fats, eating less white carbs and replacing these with whole grains and cereals, and opting for fish instead of meat. Finished off with plenty of herbs and spices, every meal is packed full of lots of plant-based nutritional goodness.
When researching this cuisine, I found the main issue for us IBS sufferers was their love for beans and high fibre grains. Also, high levels of even plant-based fats can cause indigestion. for some people. But luckily, two of the mediterranean’s most iconic foods (and also two of the best foods in my opinion) are fine to eat: olives and feta – yum! And not to forget their love for wine which I am very happy to drink plenty of.
So wack these together, throw in a load of vegetables, some grainy goodness from brown rice or quinoa, maybe grill up some salmon or other seafood, top it off with a mix of herbs and spices, and there you go – a super healthy and IBS friendly mediterranean dish.
Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to try out some IBS-adapted mediterranean recipes, discuss and research further why people are giving this diet such flourishing health reviews, and monitor how, overall, it makes me feel.
I also hope to be able to spell (without looking it up every time) the word mediterranean by the end of it…
The word superfood is being used over and over again in heath and nutrition articles, giving us long lists of super healthy foods which we must must be eating more of. But what even are they? It doesn’t take much research to realise there is no definitive list of superfoods, and that they are quite simply just foods which are high in antioxidants and other really good vitamins and nutrients. While superfood smoothies have become massively popular, I personally find that I struggle to digest the core ingredient of most smoothies: bananas. And as avocados become the millennial must-have, this source of healthy fat just doesn’t work for me. So here is a lift of superfoods we unfortunately have to say no to. But we will not stand defeated, as there are other places to find their superfoody goodness.
Apples: apples are high in Vitamin C , but so are many other fruits remember! Try oranges, for example.
Avocado: those healthy fats can also be found in foods such as olives, vegetable oils and nuts (almonds are great and low FODMAP).
Bananas: some people can handle it, but if like me and you get bloated from even half a banana, get your fix of potassium from fish and potatoes.
Garlic: an absolute killer for IBS sufferers, found in nearly all pre-made foods and sauces. Garlic has been given the golden tick by nutritionists due to its high levels of the immunity-boosting compound allicin. To replace the great health and also taste benefits, try cooking with chives instead.
Onions: onions are high in phytonutrients, but it turns out all other plant based foods are too, simply by their phyto-(meaning relating to plants)-nature.
Oats: some IBS sufferers can handle oats, but I find that the high levels of fibre doesn’t agree with me. High in beta-glucans, you can also source this from other cereals (except fibre levels and gluten may again be an issue), or also yeast and seaweed.
Beetroot: high in iron and folate, the iron can be found alternatively in meats, seafood, and leafy vegetables. Luckily, dark leafy greens are also high in folate.
Cauliflower: although it feels as if it should be IBS friendly, seeming so closely related to broccoli, cauliflower is unfortunately a no-go. But to get your hit of glucosinolates, try other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts and bok choy.
Asparagus: as well as being high in folate, which has already been talked about, and various vitamins which are easy to find alternative foods for, asparagus is high in chromium, a chemical metal which helps regulate blood sugar. This can also be found in broccoli and eggs.
Other superfoods, already IBS friendly by nature:
Tomatoes – walnuts – brussel sprouts – berries – bok choy – fish – spinach – pumpkin – scallops – collard greens – olives – oysters – kiwi – seeds – dark chocolate (cacao) – tea – watercress – seaweed – kale – quinoa – ginger