Clinical Alimentary

Know your guts, love yourself.

Lamb wrapped in kale

Kale is tough, stringy and overtly pretentious, but it looks really great in photographs – perhaps the reason most ‘wellness’ bloggers overstate it’s usefulness. The real deal with kale is however it is low fodmap and really great for making parcels to cook other food. Using kale to produce a parcel to roast meat is that it cooks for longer in the oven helping the leaf texture to soften. It also holds in the juices of the meat. I love the colour of this kale – purple and green is my favourite and when served with chard the result is a veritable rainbow! So there we have it – all kale is really useful for is wrapping! Unfortunately this method of cooking will not preserve its water soluble vitamins, I for one would prefer to get my vitamin C from citrus fruit, rather than chomping on a kale leaf.



2 small lamb steaks – I used slow cook lamb

A few sprigs of rosemary and mint

1 teaspoon of Moroccan spice (Fodify Foods Moroccan mix is low fodmap and was purchased by me.)

Seasoning (small amount of salt + pepper)

Small drizzle of oil

Sprinkle of pine-nuts

Kale leaves

Skewers to secure the leaves around the meat.

Carrots for roasting and chard to serve alongside.


Add the oil and spice to a pan and heat.

Seal the meat using the oil and spice mix, season.

Wrap each lamb steak in kale leaves, additional herbs and secure with the skewers. Ensure you add all the oil/spices left in the pan for additional flavour.

Roast in an oven gas mark 3 for at least 2 hours (depending on the size of your meat.)

Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes then serve on the kale sprinkled with a small amount of pine-nuts.

Carrots spray with oil and roast till soft, I like these really cooked well so they develop sugary flavours and are crisp at the end. The dark ones are purple carrots! You can serve chard cold but it does taste great quickly sauteed, again with a little spray oil.


Maple Syrup

The Chemistry of maple syrup

A great infographic from compound chemistry about maple syrup

Maple syrup is a sweet tree sap that is high in sucrose and low in other sugars, so it is suitable for the low fodmap diet. Maple syrup may be derived from a natural source but it is still a sugar and therefore should be consumed as a treat – more important perhaps when considering the cost! The syrup has lots of health claims attached to it and has been proposed by some to be a ‘superfood’ and to be superior to table sugar in nutrients. The additional minerals and vitamins that are found in maple syrup, when compared with table sugar, are also found widely in other foods consumed in the diet at much higher levels. So a healthy balanced diet does not depend upon maple syrup to provide vitamins and minerals. Maple syrup also will usually be used in small amounts therefore will not likely contribute massively to nutrient status. There is no such thing as a ‘superfood’- I have stated this before, some of you will be fed up with me harping on about it🙂. But I feel an overwhelming dietetic urge to repeat – superfood status is marketing concept to allow a high price to be attached to more unusual food items. Although maple syrup is derived in a way that might attract a higher price than other sugars, I don’t have too much of an issue with this – but please don’t call it super.

Other reported beneficial ingredients in maple syrup are Phenolic compounds, they are suggested to have an antioxidant effect – more evidence is needed to test out this hypothesis. Also, the recent proposed use of Maple syrup in prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, has only been shown in the test tube and animal models and not a randomised control trial (RCT) in humans – the gold standard method. Completing studies in the test tube is very different to the human body, which is much more complex. Therefore much more research in humans should be completed to study the benefits (or not) of the phenolic compounds found in maple syrup.

So my suggestion is – eat maple syrup if you want a low fodmap sweet flavouring and enjoy it for what it is – a flavoured liquid sugar, use it occasionally as a treat. The benefits are of course it’s low fodmap status and it does have a really nice flavour. Should you buy the pure version? Yes, using the pure version is advisable, cheaper varieties can contain fructose based sugars, so you should certainly check the label for ingredients prior to purchase.

Maple syrup is from Canada and is widely used in the United States but it is not so frequently used in the UK. Although with the development of the fodmap diet it is becoming more widely known. It can be used in recipes and goes particularly well with pecans, one of my favourite nuts! It is also commonly drizzled on pancakes and waffles.

What about other tree saps? Well birch syrup is produced from another sap that it harvested  – it contains fructose as one of its main sugars (42-54%) therefore this is not suitable for individuals with fructose malabsorption or on the exclusion part of the low fodmap diet.

pancakes with syrup

Celeriac Soup – low fodmap

I have half a celeriac left so as promised I have made a soup. This was very easy to do and is based on home made chicken stock and has a topping based on bacon, pecan and sunflower seeds. If you want a vegetarian version just omit the bacon and chicken stock and use vegetable stock instead. I really like soup, it is filling and yet low calorie and this soup has a very refreshing flavour due to the added tarragon.


Half a celeriac

1 courgette

2 carrots

A small cup of home made chicken stock

2 teaspoons of chopped fresh tarragon (use one if dried)

1 pint of water

Seasoning to taste

For the topping

1 rasher of bacon

1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon of chopped pecan nuts.

1 teaspoon of vegetable oil


Chop vegetables and add stock, water and tarragon and bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes till the vegetables are soft.


Chop the bacon after remove fat and rind. Fry the bacon in a teaspoon of oil, add the pecans and sunflower seeds and toast.

Sprinkle on the top of the soup and serve

Serves 2-3


Tuna, courgette and celeriac slaw, Low Fodmap

This recipe can be used as a sandwich filler, topping for jacket potatoes or a salad dressing. Lunch time ideas are very important when following a diet for food intolerances. Being prepared will prevent you needing to buy food that might cause symptoms – or going without, neither of which is a good idea for people with IBS. Celeriac is a much underrated vegetable and I suspect it is the knobbly base that puts some people off using it. It is a root, which has a flavour of celery without the high fodmap content, so if you love celery and are missing it, you might want to try this recipe. Celeriac is easy to prepare really and the knobbly bit can be cut off without wasting much of the vegetable. Another possibility for this recipe is to use is white cabbage, if you can’t get celeriac – although it is generally available at most large supermarkets. Both courgette and celeriac can be eaten raw and the radish just adds a touch of colour to the coleslaw. Celeriac can also be made into a delicious soup, I might try this next!


200g of celeriac

2 courgettes

4-5 radishes

3 dessert spoons of light mayonnaise

1 tin of tuna in spring water or brine (don’t add seasoning if the tuna is in brine, it has more than enough salt!)

2 teaspoons of lemon juice



Grate the celeriac, courgette and radish (you may need to squeeze the courgette to remove excess fluid.)

The lemon juice prevents the celeriac from discolouring.

Add all the ingredients together and mix well – couldn’t be easier!

Serves 4-6 depending on it’s use.


Moroccan spiced corn couscous – low fodmap

Gluten free couscous made from corn! It is available in the Free From Sections of most large supermarkets and can be purchased online. This dish complements the Moroccan Salmon dish perfectly. The spices have been developed by two dietitians who run Fodify Foods – see the Moroccan Salmon recipe for the review.


225g of gluten free couscous

1 teaspoon of Moroccan Spice mix (Fodify Foods)

2 tablespoons of pine nuts

2 tablespoons of mixed seeds

A handful of slices almonds to serve

Sprig of coriander

2 grated carrots

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of garlic infused oil


Fry the spice mix in oil to release the flavour and add the pine nuts, grated carrot and seeds to toast.

Add boiling water to the couscous (as packet suggests)

Wait to the couscous to cook and fork through till it has a light fluffy texture and add other ingredients along with the chopped coriander. Serve – it really couldn’t be simpler!

Serves 4 – 5



Moroccan Salmon – Low Fodmap

At the last Allergy & Free From show I purchased a range of three spice mixes from Fodify Foods, a company started by two dietitians – this is the first of the recipes I have tried for the Moroccan spice blend. The spice mixes are low fodmap and the Moroccan spice tastes flavourful and authentic. The white dried lime imparts a strong flavour, but a not unpleasant citrus base to the dish, making this recipe really tasty and good enough for a weekend evening meal treat. I was unsure what to expect, but this spice mix is really rather good – you lucky fodmappers!


2 flat teaspoons of Moroccan spice mix (Fodify)

400g of sliced carrots

200g of celeriac

Spray oil

1 white dried lime

cumin seeds

1 tablespoon of oil

Salt & pepper to taste

3 tablespoons of tinned tomato

2 tablespoons of natural lactose free yoghurt

Two large salmon fillets

Dried edible rose petals to serve

Serves 3-4.


Peel and slice the carrot and celeriac.

Spray with oil, sprinkle with cumin seeds and roast for 15 minutes in a hot oven.

Add the oil to the pan and fry the Moroccan spices to release the aroma.

Add the tomato and yoghurt to the pan.

Cut the salmon into pieces and add it to the pan with tomato, yoghurt and spices.

Add the roasted carrot and celeriac to the pan, mix well.

Add the white dried lime and seasoning.

Transfer to a oven dish and cook for 30 minutes at gas mark 6.

Remove the lime.

Sprinkle with edible rose petals and serve with corn based couscous.

The Fodify spice mix was purchased for the recipe.


Pecan and raspberry Rocky Road – Low Fodmap

Rocky road is so easy to make and a great looking snack, but not for regular consumption as it is very calorific! This version is not too sweet as dark chocolate is used and the recipe is low fodmap.  I like to view this as ’emergency rations’ – what do I mean? Well, when out hiking, and particularly if the hiking is up mountains, you need to take something with you to eat if you get stuck in bad weather. This was training we received when preparing for Duke of Edinburgh’s expeditions. The food needed to be calorific and I can think of no better snack than rocky road – although we often used dark chocolate coated Kendal Mint Cake when I was younger. Now, whilst hiking I have never actually had the need to call for mountain rescue services or had to make a shelter to protect me from very severe weather. These days preparation is usually about checking the weather forecast prior to venturing out and modern forecasts are considerably more reliable than in the past – but the advice is still pertinent according to the link above. A small slice of this chocolate heaven is a very nice treat when you finish your hike though! A low fodmap diet can help with diarrhoea and IBS enabling people to be more adventurous and active so if you want to try see a registered dietitian to help you through it!


200g of dark chocolate (I used 70%)

a handful of raisins

70g of pecan nuts

2 tablespoons of light margarine

1 packet of raspberry marshmallow* (check for fructose based sugars)

5 gluten free digestive biscuits


Chop the pecan nuts at right angles to their length (this makes them look pretty when the rocky road is sliced.) Cut the marshmallow pieces into four or eight depending on your preference, and break up the digestive biscuits into small pieces. Melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over hot water (take care not to allow any water into the bowl as this will set the chocolate solid.) When melted add the margarine and other ingredients and mix well. Stir to cool the mix a little then pour into a cling film or grease lined tray and refrigerate. Cut into 15 small slices.

If you want a sweeter version add 3 tablespoons of golden syrup.

Some people with IBS have an exaggerated gastro-colic reflex, too much chocolate can result in immediate diarrhoea, so remember portion size is important – don’t eat too much at once.

* I used Art of Mallow marshmallows purchased specifically for the recipe.














Coronation chicken – low fodmap

Coronation chicken is a favourite traditional dish in the UK and was first devised for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 by the Cordon Bleu chef Rosemary Hume and Constance Spry. Rosemary was described by Constance as the ‘brains’ of their collaboration with respect to cookery knowledge, but Rosemary is always mentioned after Constance who would appear to be a very accomplished self publicist. I could not even find an image of Rosemary for this post, and so, I have dedicated this post to Rosemary as the ‘brains’ behind the coronation chicken dish and given her prime place of honour! This dish normally contains significant amounts of mayonnaise and is high in fat – the version below has a lighter dressing that might be a little easier on troublesome digestive systems. Mango chutney, another key ingredient has been replaced in the dish with pulped papaya instead, it may not be as sweet as a traditional coronation chicken dish but I tend to prefer it that way and it is low fodmap so a better choice for being gently digested too. If you want it a little sweeter you could add some sultanas but remember no more than 13g per portion. Coronation chicken is a great celebration dish to serve on buffets and it can also be used as a sandwich filler, a great option to make and take to work for lunch.


400g of cooked chicken

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

A sprinkling of asafoetida

Half an inch of ginger

3 heaped tablespoons of natural Skyr (prepare with lactase drops if you are lactose intolerant or use lactose free natural yoghurt.)

1 tablespoon of light mayonnaise

Half a papaya

Half a small handful of coriander

1 tablespoon of garlic infused oil

10g of flaked almonds

salt + pepper


Tear the chicken into small manageable pieces

Pour oil into a small pan and heat. Add the turmeric, chopped ginger, cumin, cumin seeds, asafoetida and fry for 5 minutes to release the spice flavours. Cut the papaya in half, chop a quarter and add to the spices. Cool and crush in a mortar or blend till smooth.

Add the mayonnaise and yoghurt to the spices, mix well. Chop the other quarter of papaya and add to the chicken with the almonds, chopped coriander and dressing. Season to taste then serve.

Serves 4-6, depending on the use of the dish.






Interested in home cooking? Do you want to take part in a new TV cooking competition?

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