clinical alimentary

Know your guts, love yourself.

Cinnamon and lemon thyme roast chicken

It is the first cold snap of the season today and what better to warm the cockles than a roast chicken? This is a very simple roast, sprinkled with cinnamon and thyme.


1/2 roast chicken

2 teaspoons cinnamon

5-6 springs of thyme

salt and pepper to taste.


Do not wash the chicken before you use it.

Place the chicken in a roasting tin on a rack to drain the fat as it roasts and add the thyme and cinnamon plus seasoning.

Roast for 3/4 hour.

I added some carrots to the roasting tin to add colour to the dish.


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Lemon mustard roasted winter vegetables and chicken

Roasted vegetables are one of my favourite winter recipes and I have cooked them before for this blog. It is Halloween tonight and what better to come home from trick or treating to a warm filling meal? I have never cooked radish before but I will do again!


Chicken drumsticks 4-6

200g Turnip

(you don’t need to have baby turnips – these just look good in the picture – larger turnips are fine to use)

200g Carrots

(multi-coloured carrots look great but ordinary carrots are just as good)

50g Radish

1 large tablespoon of grained mustard

1 tablespoon of olive oil

juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salt and pepper to flavour – if you wish.


Don’t wash the chicken drumsticks just add to a roasting tin.

Slice carrots into 2 or 3 using a diagonal cutting angle

Half baby turnips or chop the turnip

Slice the radish

Mix the mustard, oil and lemon juice and rub on the vegetables and chicken drumsticks

Roast in an oven gas mark 7 for 20-30 minutes – check drumsticks are cooked by ensuring juices are running clear.

Sprinkle with rocket before serving

Serve with wholegrain rice – don’t forget to include some carbohydrate! :-)

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Coriander carrots

My love of the carrot is growing – it really is a very versatile vegetable and the colour it provides to dishes adds a bit of warmth during the winter. Carrots partner very well with coriander and I have decided to use my gnocchi recipe to see if it works with carrot in place of parsnips – it appears that it does, but one word of warning – ensure you cook the carrots well and puree them before you add the flour to ensure you can roll them and they have the correct texture.


400g Carrots

70g of gluten free flour

2g of coriander stalks chopped finely

Coriander seeds to garnish

salt + pepper


Cook the carrots till very soft and puree

add the flour, coriander stalks, salt + pepper and mix well

Roll into a 1cm width sausage on a floured board and cut even 1 cm strips.

Roll into a ball and flatten with a fork.

Boil till they float in water.


I thought I would add a picture of this little chap with his orange (red) breast – he was very friendly!


Stuffed Aubergine

Aubergines are my favourite vegetable and suitable for a Low Fodmap diet. Aubergines have been stated to be the vegetable to use if you wish to replace meat in a dish as they have a good texture and is satisfying to eat, but they will not replace some of the nutrition when replacing like for like. A vegetarian diet is great to have and can be very healthy if some regard is taken to ensure that it is nutritionally complete and not too high in energy. But some people really struggle to follow a vegetarian Low Fodmap diet because the diet on the exclusion phase excludes sources of protein from legumes and pulses.  This recipe contains nuts and just a small amount of low fat hard cheese – sources of protein – you can change the cheese for a vegan alternative cheese but use it sparingly as it tends to be quite high in fat and is a possible source of Fodmap, so check the label. Quorn and quinoa are good sources of protein but again check the label for Fodmaps if you choose Quorn products. To ensure you have adequate iron in your diet include some dark green leafy vegetables (chard and spinach are reasonably good sources,) along side a small amount of citrus fruit (or small amount of juice – 100 ml maximum) to improve the absorption. You could also include some fortified breakfast cereal to add to your iron intake. Egg yolk is a source of iron too, if you do eat them. Very small amounts of canned lentils and chickpeas can be included and these do contain iron, but again the iron is more difficult for the body to absorb, so need a source of vitamin C consumed at the same time – rinse well before use. See a dietitian if you need more individual advice – in fact I would encourage any vegan considering the Low Fodmap diet to ask their GP for a referral.

Do remember the Low Fodmap diet is a learning diet and not a diet for life – most people find they can re-introduce some Fodmap foods back in, if only in smaller amounts. This is important to help your bacterial populations in your bowel and to increase the variety of your diet. If you are struggling to find a dietitian as your GP to refer you – the National Institute of Health & Care Excellence advise you should see a trained healthcare practitioner to follow the Low Fodmap diet for IBS – at the moment this is Registered Dietitians only, or you could see a freelance dietitian, check out


4 Aubergines

Small amount of olive oil

1 teaspoon of coriander seeds

1/2 lemon (juice only) and slices to decorate the top

1 teaspoon of peanut butter

20 g of pumpkin seeds

25g red skinned peanuts

Salt + pepper to taste

60g of gluten free couscous (based on corn)

50g of low fat hard cheese


Slice the aubergine length way season and rub the surface with a little cooking oil.

Roast in an oven for 20-30 minutes.

Remove and cool.

Remove the flesh and mash with the other ingredients except the cheese. Use around 40g of aubergine per portion.

Divide the mix between each aubergine skin.

Grate the cheese and sprinkle on the top and add a slice of lemon.

Cook till the cheese has melted and the aubergine is cooked (20-30 minutes) Serve with fresh green salad.

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Pumpkin soup – gluten free, wheat free, milk free, Low Fodmap

During the 1970’s when I was growing up – (you now have some idea of my age!) a pumpkin in the UK was a rare thing! We usually used swede to make our Halloween lanterns and cooking with pumpkins was unknown around our small Lancashire town. They are now widely available and relatively cheap but I have added some swede to remind me of times past. We also had lots of fun around the 31st October but no trick or treats for us! Just dressing up in Halloween costumes and a local party with parkin, toffee apples and parched peas (a very local delicacy with lots of malt vinegar added) sometimes we would have a double celebration with Guy Fawkes bonfire night being 5 days later than Halloween. See another recipe for this time of year here:


Half a small pumpkin

Half a small Swede

Garlic infused oil

1 teaspoon of coriander Seeds

2 cm of ginger grated

1/2 teaspoon of asafoetida

1 litre of water (you can add more if needed)

1/2 teaspoon Chilli powder*


Add the oil to a pan and add the spices to release the flavour of the spice.

Cut the swede and pumpkin into small pieces add to the pan with the water and cook in the water till soft.

Blend the mix to a smooth soup

*If you tolerate chilli add it – you can omit it if needed.

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Cheese Souffle low lactose, gluten and wheat free (low Fodmap)

This is my first attempt at a souffle – I have always been scared of making them due to listening to the difficulties people report in getting a rise and the consistency right. More of a challenge then to use free from ingredients to achieve the same effect? It is October – Halloween month so time to get scared and have a go! See what you think.

The photograph below was taken after some minutes out of the oven and the rise has reduced but the above photograph was taken within a few minutes of leaving the hot oven. I am not sure if the strange shaped rise was as a result of the small dish or the fact that this is a free from bake. The recipe below makes around 8 small souffles, really tasty to eat them fresh from the oven but it is also possible to double bake the majority to warm them through and although the texture was a little different the souffles were just as tasty.


4 eggs

250ml of lactose free milk

20g plain gluten free flour/corn flour

20g of margarine

170g of cheddar cheese (lactose free if you are very sensitive)

olive oil to coat the ramekins

pepper to taste*


Oil the 8 ramekins well and pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6 – 220 deg C

Separate the yolk from the white of the egg – ensure no egg yolk is in the white or it will not whip to the correct consistency.

Melt the margarine slowly in a pan and add the flour – this will thicken. Cook for a few seconds and slowly incorporate the milk until it makes a smooth sauce. Simmer to cook the flour. Don’t be afraid to sieve the sauce if it contains lumps. Cool slightly and add the egg yolk and pepper, melt in the cheese.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites till they form stiff peaks. Add a 1/3 of the egg white to the sauce to slacken it. The fold in the rest of the egg white into the sauce carefully so all the whites are incorporated. Once they are incorporated STOP MIXING – you need to have as much air as possible in the mix and over mixing may mean your souffles will not rise.

Add the mix to the ramekins and cook for approximately 12 minutes – remove from the oven and serve immediately.

*I omitted the salt as the souffle has plenty of cheese to give a salty flavour in my view



French toast for breakfast? – gluten free, low fodmap

This is a great Sunday morning treat and is very easy to prepare and to relax and enjoy! French toast is not sweet but when combined with fresh fruit and a drizzle of maple or golden syrup the sweetness is added – you only need a drizzle and the breakfast is complete. Posted just in time for you to enjoy tomorrow morning.


2 eggs

70 mls lactose free milk

4 drops of vanilla essence

4 drops of orange essence

spray oil

2-3 slices of gluten-free bread (depending on the size of eggs used)

Maple syrup for drizzling

Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries – a small handful.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and mix with the milk, vanilla and orange.

Slice the bread and soak in to the egg mix until it is soaked through ( a minute or two)

Spray oil into a frying pan and fry the bread for 1 minute each side or until golden.

Serve warm with fruit and a drizzle of syrup – or you can use sweetener if you don’t want to use syrup – aspartame, stevia or sucralose is suitable.




Which probiotic could I try for IBS?

Photo Credit: Christiann MacAuley

A systematic review last year by Ford and his colleagues (2014) looked at probiotics and their effectiveness for IBS, the conclusion the authors made after applying some statistical analysis was that probiotics in general were effective to treat IBS. However they also stated that recommendations for individual products were difficult to make because the studies were so different from each other and the products were also different (different strains, doses, and carrier food or tablet etc) this means that the evidence for a particular product is unclear. We have guidelines that suggest probiotics can be tried by people with IBS and they should be tried for one month at the dose the manufacturer recommends, but which one? This research by Ford and colleagues is good evidence of the fact that they are effective, but the information is not really that useful for people wishing to try a product. So what do you do when faced with the fact these products are recommended by guidelines but researchers are unable to specify a particular product? It is worth perhaps looking at which symptom of IBS bothers you the most and taking the pragmatic approach that it might be better to try products that have some level of effectiveness – even if this is limited. As such I have listed the products and the symptoms where some level of effectiveness has been found

Global symptoms Activia* (natural yoghurt), Alflorex, Align, Prosynbioflor 2, Pro-Viva, Symprove

Diarrhoea              Alflorex, Align

Constipation         Activia* (natural yoghurt)

IBS mixed              No papers (perhaps it would be best to choose the products in the global                                                     symptom list)

Abdominal Pain    Activia* (natural yoghurt), Alflorex, Align, Prosymbioflor 2 (may give side effects), Pro-viva Symprove

Discomfort (lower degree of abdominal pain) Yakult (this was only viewed as an abstract but data looked promising)

Flatulence               Alflorex, Align, Lab 4, Pro-Viva, #VSL 3, Symprove, Yakult (this was only viewed as an abstract but data looked promising)

Bloating                  Alflorex, Align, #VSL 3,

Satisfaction with bowel habit   Symprove

Quality of life           Bioflor

*for people with more severe symptoms of IBS

It might be worth considering checking the product for fodmap content if you are following the low fodmap diet or have particular food intolerances, This data has come from the published data on these products – I will try to update this list as new developments occur.

Ford A, et al (2014) Efficacy of prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics in irritable bowel syndrome and Chronic Idiopathic constipation: systematic review and meta analysis Am J Gastroenterol. 2014 Oct;109(10):1547-61

Potato and smoked mackerel soup – Low Fodmap

This is a really tasty soup that is made from basic ingredients and I hope you like it!


800g of potato

1 carrot

sprinkling of asafoetida

1 tablespoon of garlic infused oil

1 1/2 smoked mackerel

300 ml of lactose free milk

Salt and pepper

grating of nutmeg


1 litre of water (or more depending on how thick you like your soup! Just add more as needed)

wash and peel the potatoes and carrot and chop

add oil to the pan and add asafoetida and fry

add vegetables

add flaked mackerel

add milk and water, bring to the boil and simmer till vegetables are soft

add salt and pepper to taste

blend or mash soup – depending on your preference

add grated nutmeg.

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This dish serves 3-4 (depending on how much water you add!)

Monash advises on the suitability of ‘superfoods’ for the Low Fodmap diet and de-bunks the myth

If you have followed my blog for some time you are probably aware of my views on super foods – if not check out one of my previous posts on the superfood called carrots – yes really! The blog has an old reference to David Cameron’s pasty saga though, which you might not be aware of, as the post was written some time ago!

The carrot has the added advantage that it is low fodmap too, so don’t believe all the superfood hype. The best fact is though that carrots are cheap – superfoods attract a super high price, the best tip however is to have a good variety of foods in your diet. You don’t need to include these super foods to be healthy. But what if you want to include coconut water, kale and chia seeds in your Low Fodmap Diet? The Monash blog has a really good post about de-bunking the myth behind super foods and gives advice on the fodmap content of those foods. You should check out this blog.

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