Recipe: Charred courgette & salmon with herb sauce

As the spring approaches we’re looking to ditch the stews and pies in favour of lighter, healthier dishes. Lets be honest the thought of bearing our carb loaded winter bodies right now is quite a scary prospect and so we’ve enlisted the help (basically begged!) of FYOUFODMAP’s Nikki Griffith who’s shared some of her bloat beating recipes.

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Charred Courgette & Salmon with her sauce.

Courgettes can be a bit bland, so the cooking of them is mega important here. Don’t get impatient, you need to wait for the char. It’ll add depth and smokiness and will give you the perfect backdrop for the more punchy salmon.

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Guidance from Monash University says that up to 100g of courgette is low in FODMAPs. Anything higher and you’ll come up against high amounts of fructans. That means you can pretty much eat one courgette per person (by the time you’ve lost the end bits and a few scraps). The restrictions on size definitely put this into the ‘light’ dinner category so if you’re hungry, maybe add a potato salad on the side.

  • 400g courgettes

  • 4 large, skinless and boneless salmon fillets

  • 1 red chilli, sliced

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For the dressing:

  • 20g basil (including stalks)

  • 8g parsley leaves

  • 10g spring onion greens

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • 75ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 15ml garlic-infused olive oil

  • Half a teaspoon of salt

Serves 4 for a light lunch or dinner

  1. Slice your courgettes lengthways (I use a mandolin for this on the second-to-thinnest setting). Heat some oil in a large griddle pan and cook your courgettes in a single layer until you see visible dark char lines, then flip them and repeat on the other side. You’ll need to do this in several batches but I promise, the time investment is worth it. If you put them all in at once then you run the risk of a mushy mess and none of the char flavour. Once all your courgettes are done, pop them in your oven to keep warm on the lowest heat setting.

  2. In a frying pan, heat some oil and then add your salmon fillets (the oil should hiss as you add them if hot enough). Cook them for 3 to 4 minutes on each side depending on how you like them to be done. I like mine still a bit blush in the middle so I do 3 minutes each side.

  3. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor*.

  4. Once your salmon is ready, remove it from the pan and flake it into large chunks. Then carefully combine everything in a large bowl, making sure not to break the salmon up too much, and serve with some sliced red chilli on top.

*If you don’t have a food processor, try finely (and I mean finely) chopping your herbs, mixing all the sauce ingredients together and pressing with a pestle. It won’t be quite the same but it’ll still be fresh and zingy. 

As mentioned, if you’re following a low FODMAP diet then you’ll need to stick to these amounts. If you’re not, you can add extra courgette for a more substantial serving.

WHAT IS THE LOW FODMAP DIET?

It’s a diet that’s been specially developed by the clever researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, to help relieve people suffering with IBS, which affects 1 in 7 people, from the associated symptoms.

The word FODMAP is an acronym, standing for:

  • Fermentable (basically that refers to foods that are broken down by gut bacteria and then produce gases in your belly)

  • Oligosaccharides (in particular: wheat, onions and garlic)

  • Disaccharides (that’s lactose to you and I)

  • Monosaccharides (a.k.a. fructose – found in honey, high-fructose corn syrups and fruits like apples)

  • And

  • Polyols (Sorbitol & Mannitol – these are found in some fruits and vegetables)

You can find a full list of foods you can and can’t eat on the Monash FODMAP app.

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The idea of the low FODMAP diet is to cut from your diet foods high in FODMAPs, for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. For some people with a gut-imbalance such as SIBO, they may be able to go back to eating as normal. Others will gradually re-introduce foods back into their diet, helping them to identify which are causing nasty symptoms.

For more about Nikki or to read more of her recipes please visit www.fyoufodmap.com or follow her on instagram at @fyoufodmap

The Vegan Protein Boost Your Breakfast Porridge is Missing!

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and choosing the right one can not only boost your metabolism and brain power but also give you that extra energy boost you need to see you through to lunchtime and prevent you from reaching for those naughty 11am treats. With the majority of nutritionists agreeing that protein is the way forward for staving off hunger pangs, Sheela Prakash at thekitckn.com has the perfect recipe for adding an extra serving of this superfood group to your usual morning porridge and whats more its gluten free!.

 

"If you're looking for a way to make that morning bowl of oatmeal have even more staying power, you may have already tried to fancy it up. Maybe you've cooked it in milk or topped it with a fried egg, but there's still another way to boost the protein content of your breakfast cereal and it starts by swapping out those oats all together.

Why You Should Be Eating Quinoa Flakes for Breakfast

Quinoa flakes are a solid swap-in for oats or other more common hot breakfast cereals. Made from quinoa seeds that have simply been rolled out flat, they are a great plant-based source of protein and they're naturally gluten-free. While oats contain protein too — and in fact, they contain a similar amount — the protein in quinoa flakes is extra valuable because it's a complete protein. That means it contains all the essential amino acids the body can't make on its own and needs for energy and more. The protein in oats is incomplete, so it contains only some of these essential amino acids.

Since the flakes are so small, they also cook incredibly fast. In fact, stovetop instructions for preparing the flakes as a breakfast cereal requires just 90 seconds of cooking time! Their texture is similar to instant oats because of their size. Try a half-and-half mix with your favorite oatmeal or go for a full whole bowl. Either way, you'll get a hearty, cozy bowl of breakfast porridge that will keep you satisfied.

From there you can top them just like your favorite oatmeal. So if the aforementioned fried egg sounds tantalizing, by all means, add it in! But since you're already getting a generous dose of complete protein, you can keep this vegan with the addition of almond milk, dried fruit, and a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar."

To read more articles like this please visit www.thekitchn.com

The 25 Best Detox Foods

Its the time of year where we've over indulged at Christmas and New Year and are feeling sluggish, toxic and just plain unhealthy. During the holiday period we tend to consume twice as much food as we normally would and give binge drinking a hall pass resulting in a battered liver and overstretched digestive system but fear not as help is at hand as Kelly Choi, editor of the 7 Day Flat Belly Tea Cleanse and Eat This Not That.com recommends her top 25 foods that will naturally revive your body and mind and get you feeling energised for the year ahead.

"If you read about ancient torture methods, you’ll find some pretty gnarly stuff like something called “infusion,” in which a victim is bound and then force fed a list of repulsive substances like salt water, honey, vinegar and hot peppers. But wait! Isn’t that the Master Cleanse?"

Truth is, you don’t need to kill yourself with a “detox” regime this New Year’s for rapid weight loss, or to cleanse your body of the damage you over the holidays. Good news is your liver and kidneys do a mighty fine job at the cleanse thing without juices, fasts, or strange concoctions. And there are a handful of foods—delicious ones—with impressive detoxifying and slimming properties, including tea, which I made the cornerstone of The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse, on which test panelists lost 10 pounds. So hold the vinegar and cayenne and give yourself and cleanse away the pounds, torture free, with my new plan—and the delicious foods below!

The Fat Zapper-Grapefruit

Instead of overhauling your entire diet in an attempt to slim down for New Year’s, simply eat half a grapefruit before each meal. This tactic can help whittle your middle—by up to an inch—in just six-weeks according to a study published in the journal Metabolism. The scientists attribute the powerful effects to the grapefruit’s fat-zapping phytochemicals. But that’s not all! Another study conducted by Japanese researchers found that the scent of grapefruit can “turn on” calorie-burning brown fat cells, enhancing the breakdown of fat while reducing appetite. Sounds like a great reason to add it to your spring cleaning diet to us. The fruit can interact negatively with certain medications, though, so check in with your M.D before indulging in the citrus appetizer.

Read More at EatThis.com

10 Best Low Carb On The Go Snacks

We've all heard that a high protein, low carb diet is the best for slimming down for the summer, but with so many carbalicious snacks, sandwiches and even salads (I'm thinking the mayonnaise laden pasta versions) filling the shelves at your nearest boots, tesco express and sainsburys local etc it can make eating healthily on the run particularly difficult. However the lovely lot at LIVESTRONG have compiled a list of the 10 best low carb on the go snacks to keep you satisfied without caving in to the crisps.

Sweet and savory while still keeping the carb count down? Yes, it’s possible. Cottage cheese is a nutritious, low-carb staple. Three quarters of a cup with four thinly sliced strawberries supply 15 percent of your daily calcium needs and almost half of your vitamin C requirements. You can vary the flavors by swapping out the strawberries for blueberries or raspberries, and also try seasoning with cinnamon or adding vanilla extract for extra sweetness. CARBS: 10 grams.

 

Prefer to make your munchies from scratch? Good idea: You’ll know exactly what you’re eating -- no added sugars, preservatives or other crazy ingredients you can’t pronounce. Sharon Richter, a New York-based registered dietitian from HealthiNation, recommends turkey roll-ups as a simple snack you can prepare ahead of time and then stash in your bag for later. To make them her way, take a slice of turkey and wrap it around a pickle slice along with a very thin slice of avocado and tomato. The lean protein and monounsaturated fat combo will keep you feeling full longer -- and less tempted by the office vending machine. CARBS: 9 grams (for three roll-ups).

 

Lifeway’s BioKefir isn’t quite a smoothie, but that’s the best way to describe this dairy drink that looks, tastes and smells like one. Made of kefir, which is similar to yogurt but a richer source of live and active probiotics (the healthy bacteria that can boost the immune system and aid digestion), these 3.5-ounce shots have as much protein as a whole medium egg. Two flavors worth having on hand at home or work are BioKefir Blackberry, which contains 30 percent of your daily calcium needs, and BioKefir Pomegranate Blueberry, which meets 100 percent of your vitamin C needs. (lifewaykefir.com) CARBS: 10 grams.

 

A childhood favorite is new again. For a quick, high-protein energy boost, try the totally portable ants on a log. Peanut butter is a great source of healthy fats and satiating protein. The key is to use natural peanut butter made with just peanuts (and salt, if desired) -- avoid butters with any added oils or sugar. Celery gives you a satisfying crunch, and the raisins add a touch of sweetness. CARBS: 10 grams (for two logs).

 

Forget the portion police! With Sabra’s Classic Hummus Singles, it’s OK to clean out the container in one sitting (something that’s been known to happen when somebody cracks open the family-size version too). This two-ounce pack is just the right amount to satisfy a savory craving and keep you full until your next meal, especially when you use it as a dip for peppers or celery. (sabra.com) CARBS: 9 grams.

To read the complete article please visit LIVESTRONG.

The Truth about Salt

In a world where there are so many myths, rumours and ideologies about food its hard to know what is fact and what is fiction. For example salt, in its tiny grain like format who would've thought something so simple could have such a huge impact on your health. Well considering the  majority of people add salt to their foods on a daily basis and buy shop bought foods & take aways with added salt to them throughout their entire lives, you can see that over time thats a huge amount of salt passing through our wonderful bodies isnt it? But just like chocolate, red wine and fats, food is a lot tastier and dare I say it fun with that extra pinch of salt and so I say it's worth doing your research and adding good salt to your cooking whilst trying trying your best to avoid the bad.

Celtic Sea Salt

Celtic Sea Salt

So what is Good Salt & Bad Salt? 

I would highly recommended the Celtic sea salt as a good salt. A good salt is damp & a dirty white grey colour. It is dried in a traditional way using the sun so all the marine microorganisms, enzymes, up to 70 minerals & trace elements remain in the salt and are not destroyed through drying. These minerals and trace elements are beneficial to our bodies as they help our immune system, the thyroid & adrenal function. Good salt also boosts the creation of digestive enzymes & juices that allow us to extract the vitamins & nutrients from the the foods we eat. 

Bad salt is processed, this is most shop bought table salts and added to processed foods. The salt is kiln dried. This salt lacks or has no trace minerals. The magnisium is lost due to over heating. The salt is heated above 1200 Fahrenheit and this denatures the salt. Its coloured with bleach to give it a white appearance. Now the salt is toxic and actually a poison to the body. Some bad salts even have ingredients added such as iodine, sodium, bi carbonate, fluoride and anti caking agents. All these can harm the thyroid & also lead to metabolism issues. These salts cause the blood pressure to rise because the blood is trying to remove & push out the toxins away from the heart. It also causes water retention. Remember these salts are added to takeaways, shop bought foods, tinned foods and more. This is why it's always good to make your own food, that way you are in complete control of all the ingredients going into you and your families bodies and can make responsible, informed choices about when you want to add that little extra sprinkle of salt, because lets face it we all want to enjoy delicious, tasty food but not at the risk of causing long term health issues. Edited by Natalie Anderson.

For more information visit www.happifood.co.uk

 

Its a Brixton Thing by Feeding Nikki

Brixton has very quickly become one of the most fun, eclectic and welcoming areas of London. Not only does it have everything you need (great restaurants and bars, trendy home stores and reliable beauty spots), but it’s also super easy to get to from central London with a tube stop on the Victoria line, an over-ground train and buses-a-plenty. All this makes it one of my favourite destinations in London and I try get there as often as I can when I’m visiting. Here are a couple of my favourite spots. 

       Dessert at the Shrub and Shutter

Brixton is making its mark as a top food destination. MasterChef’s Tim Anderson recently opened up Nanban - a Japanese restaurant with a Brixton twist - and where you can get a curried goat ramen! 

“There’s so much choice in Brixton so picking favourites is reeeeaaally difficult. There’s a real gem of a place called Naughty Piglets which serves seasonal food from local markets and ‘natural’ wine. Beware though – you’ll need a reservation. Definitely head to Pop Brixton – a bunch of stacked-up shipping crates with bars, restaurants and shops inside. There you can graze on modernised Ghanaian classics at Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and Indian small plates at KriketMamma Dough does a great pizza and definitely stop by Sponge & Cream for the best red velvet cake EVER! They even do a gluten free version. But my absolute favourite is Mama Lan, serving a short but sweet menu of the most yummy Chinese dumplings.

“If you’re looking for refreshments, The Craft Beer Co. does what it says on the tin and you’ll get impeccable cocktails at the Shrub and Shutter. If wine’s more your thing, head over to the Wine Parlour for a glass of the good stuff and a plate of nibbles.” If you want a souvenir to take home with you, then exchange your money for some of Brixton’s local currency – the Brixton pound. It’s legal tender in Brixton, and might even get you some discounts. And not forgetting Brixton’s legendary music scene! Check out what’s on at the famous Brixton Academy, or if you’re short on time then pop to see the amazing street mural of Brixton-born David Bowie.