Green goodness in a glass

A client introduced me to this goodness one day.

For eight weeks I made and ate/drank this drink. It set me up for months of wellness and regularity. Time to get back to it.

The Ingredients
Fleshy parts of two kale leaves (I grew them for a while. They grow like weeds, but the cabbage butterflies also love them and it appears to make them regular too!)
Large Cos leaf
Handful of small spinach leaves
Half a banana
Half a Kiwi fruit
Half a lemon squeezed
1 tsp of spirulina
1 tsp of bee pollen
1 tsp of Macca Powder
1 dried fig (optional, but I liked it)
Cup of water or preferably Coconut water
If you use water, add a tsp of dessicated coconut

Pop all the ingredients into a blitzer of some sort. We used to just have a blender, now we have a Ninja thing which is like a Nutribullet.  Whizz until all the chunky bits are drinkable.

Race Day Salad

As pretty as a hat and infinitely more edible.

1/4 purple cabbage thinly sliced and lightly blanched
1 yellow pepper (or red) thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends chopped off, cook in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes
Very large handful green beans, cook in salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes
– drain and throw into icy water to keep them green and crisp
10 sun-dried tomatoes diced
Large chunk of Danish fetta crumbled
10 thin slices of hot Prosciutto crispy fried
I thin green chilli thinly sliced (optional)

Put a ring of the cabbage in a flattish salad bowl
Place the diced beans and chopped asparagus in the centre
Layer the yellow capsicum and the sun-dried tomatoes and chilli
Crumble the fetta and sprinkle over the crispy Proscuitto

1 tbs white wine vinegar
Juice half a lemon
Splash of balsamic
3 tbs good Olive Oil
Salt and cracked black pepper
Half a tspn of brown sugar
1 tsp french seeded mustard
Mix well and pour over just before eating.

Is pumpkin carbohydrate? Oops!

Then this is not a combined recipe, but it is pain-free to cook and super delicious and I didn’t bloat!

Like all scrummy food it really is in the marinade and sauces that get you a mouth-tingling flavour.

1 red chilli sliced finely
Large nugget of ginger, chopped into slivers
Tsp of sesame oil
Half a finger length of lemon grass, thinly diced
Tbs of light soy sauce
Juice of half a lemon
Tsp of lemon zest
Salt and pepper
Half tsp of sugar

2 chicken thighs, fat removed, spread out flat
Slosh around in the marinade
Cut an eighth of a pumpkin into 5mm thick slices
Shred an eighth of a cabbage (or enough for two)

Brown the chicken on both sides.
Add the pumpkin and all the left over marinade so it’s coated too.
Use Jamie’s trick of wetting a piece of baking paper that has been ‘cartouched’ – ie cut into a circle, and place over chicken – keeps it moist.
Let it cook until pumpkin is tender.
Check the chicken is cooked and remove, slice into 1cm slices
Just before that, boil a full kettle, pour over the cabbage in a sieve.
Leave the cabbage in the sieve until the chicken and pumpkin is served
Drain the cabbage and place on plate with knob of butter
Add a little water to the pan, sizzle and pour juice over chicken.

A delicious bloat-free brekkie

Brekkie this morning, quick, divine and no bloating.
Its been a while between posts. Not for lack of interest but because life intervenes as it does. A recent love affair with Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals – although his combining would have Sherry Brescia (food combining queen) palpitating, has fired up my interest in sharing great recipes with you all again.

Jamie is all about taste overload in minutes rather than hours. So I’ve been thinking how do you get taste overload and still combine. Tricky. What if you just use a little carbo when the dish is protein or a little protein when the dish is carbo? After all Sherry uses anchovies in her Putanesca. So I’ve been experimenting to see if I suffered from bloating or not.

Only thought to put up the recipe when I was half way through the meal!

Anyway here is the recipe.


Ingredients (for 2)
4 ripe tomatoes
4 very thinly sliced pieces of sourdough bread (like Melba toast)
2 large silver beet leaves chopped
Half a lemon
4 slices prosciutto
Parmesan cheese grated
4 marinated white anchovies
Handful parsley chopped

Marinade for the tomatoes
Half a red chilli diced
Half a tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp lemon zest
Half a tsp raw sugar
Salt and pepper
I tbs virgin olive oil

Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowel.
Take the top and bottom off the tomatoes, cut in half, baste both sides generously in the marinade.
Cook in a fry pan, turning regularly.
Pop the chopped prosciutto into the same pan to crisp up.

In the meantime:
Drizzle oil over the thinly sliced bread, pop into a fry pan and brown on one side, turn over.
Spread the chopped anchovies and dust generously with the parmesan.
One the other side has a chance to brown, pop under the grill for a few minutes until the parmesan is melted.

Just before you serve, remove the tomatoes, which by now are soft and browning, and pop the silver beet and parsley into the pan with the prosciutto, squeeze the juice of half a lemon and cook until the silver beet is wilted.

Put the melba toast on a plate, top with the tomatoes and the silver beet mixture to the side. Delicious.

This worked for me. I didn’t puff up like a toad fish the minute I’d finished eating this, but nothing is certain for those who suffer from IBS or lazy bowel. So if you are really sensitive especially to gluten, then use gluten free toast, and only a little. Experiment, if it makes you bloat, don’t use bread.

A lazy bowel and a miracle constipation remedy

If you are like me, and you have suffered from a lazy bowel (aka constipation) all your life, then you are familiar with the dozens of different constipation remedies you try to keep all that miserable straining and bloating at bay. You too know what it feels like to be so congested, that if someone put a match near you, you would light up the night sky.

Recently I had a colonoscopy. Before hand, I thought I had something seriously wrong. My left side, under my breast and deep down toward my stomach felt like some nasty person was not very delicately pushing a red hot knife in and then wiggling it around, just for fun.

It persisted for four weeks. Admittedly, I was terribly stressed at the time. But the ongoing pain really caused further stress. And to boot, my usual remedies to manage my chronic constipation just stopped working. Period.

It is not an attractive look, a 58 year old who looks like she is about to give birth. Nothing fitted me, the pain wore me down and I felt utterly miserable.

I was lucky. When the doctor appeared at my bedside through the haze of the anaesthetic, rather than announcing that things looked dire, he told me I was perfectly well.

He suggested I see him in a month and gave me a white envelope to give to my GP. Of course I opened it. Who wouldn’t? It said I had a largely redundant bowel that showed damage from overuse of laxatives. Whaaat? A largely redundant bowel. What does that mean? Well I knew, didn’t I. It meant it just didn’t work anymore. Should not have been at all surprised. But I was, and quite distressed as well.

The laxatives were CasCara. I had been using these so called natural, herbal tablets for 8 years. Not every day, just when things got truly out of hand. As well as trying to manage what I ate.

This was rather daunting news. I could no longer use CasCara, so what now. There really is a limit to the fruit, vegetable and fibre you can intake.

A friend rang. She said try two teaspoons of Oat bran with yogurt every morning. I can never resist tweaking any recipe I am given. I decided to add to this 1 teaspoon of LSA (that is crushed linseed seeds, sesame seeds and almonds), available in most supermarkets and two teaspoons of Benefiber. I like Benefiber, odourless, tasteless and with no pysllium in it, which bloats me.

It worked. Joy all round. As my my husband said, it is no good unless you eat it every day of your life with out fail.

Well it is relatively painless, so I think it warrants a Pain Free Eating label. Give it a try.

2 tsps oat bran
1heaped tsp LSA
2 tsp Benefiber (or other similar commercial fibre)
Large dollop of yogurt (preferably fat free) of your taste
Prunes to top.

Mix all the dry ingredients before adding the yogurt. Stir thoroughly. Eat quickly before it sort of jellies.

Drink lots of water throughout the day.

Craig’s Apollo Bay holiday-home, super salad dressing

We needed a fresh green salad to make up for a weekend of indulgence. The Queen’s birthday long winter weekend in Apollo Bay. Fabulous, long hours lying around in front of the fire, listening to the waves crash on the rocks, reading and talking to old friends.

Lots of eating and drinking, wintery-type food (read high levels of carbohydrate), mixed in with delicious cheeses and, because it is a long weekend, maybe more indulgence than is good for our alimentary canals.

Craig whipped up this quick salad dressing from the ingredients, typical to those you might find in the average holiday home anywhere in the world. Well, perhaps not quite, this is a sophisticated bunch of people, who have been eating together

Craig’s Apollo Bay Super Salad Dressing
1/3 Vinegar (balsamic vinegar and white wine vinegar mixed, equal parts)
1/3 Soy sauce
1/3 Oil (olive oil and a sesame oil mixed to taste)
23 tbspns Sweet chilli (or to taste)
Dash of mint sauce
Dried chilli flakes to taste (diced fresh chilli can be substituted)

Mix it well and spoon liberally over any salad mix. Goes particularly well with rocket and parsley.

Lentil as anything… lazy bowel soup!

Pulses are good. If you are trying to get a lazy bowel to work and it just happens to be a cold winter’s night, you cannot go past a good lentil and bean soup to do the trick. Win both ways!

lentil and bean soup

Lentil and bean soup for a cold winter's night and a lazy bowel. And Kruger likes it too.

This one is quick to make and really inexpensive. It’s very filling and there should be enough for tomorrow’s lunch as well. If you have a winter garden full of fresh coriander and Italian parsley, so much the better. And a tub of creamy Greek yoghurt and ground black pepper to finish it off, turns it into a gourmet dish! Not to harp on too, about the natural benefits to the bowel.

I cook everything with chilli, can’t resist the zing. But it is entirely optional. The original recipe calls for leeks and celery. We didn’t have any last night and it was delicious none the less, so include them if you have them, but don’t worry otherwise. Also we only had a tired bunch of coriander, so we chopped up the roots, and actually I think that really added something very special to this soup. So I recommend it.

Brown onion – finely chopped
1 leek – finely sliced
1 small red chilli – finely chopped (optional)
1 cup red lentils – rinsed and drained
Old bunch of coriander – chop the roots up finely and add the leaves if you have them. Can never have enough coriander!
Italian parsley – a very large handful finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
250g tin of cannellini beans
2 large tbs tomato paste
2 litres of vegetable stock

1. Add leek, onion, chilli, celery and cook in a good slosh of olive oil until soft
2. Add the tomato paste and stir, cooking for a minute or two
3. Add the red lentils and stock and bring to the boil
4. Reduce to simmer and cook for 1 hour, skimming the fluffy orange foam off from time to time
5. Add the tin of tomatoes, cannellini beans, chopped coriander, paprika and salt and cook for another half an hour until thickened. Stir occasionally, or the lentils will stick.
6. Stir in half the parsley about ten minutes before serving
7. Serve with a generous dollop of yoghurt and top with parsley
8. Add crusty bread if you wish.


Left-overs pasta

Packets of left over food from our Monday night fridge,

Everything from the fridge for left over pasta

Pasta never makes me feel full or bloated, if it is predominantly vegetable. We do cheat a bit and add a bit of bacon and, of course, the parmesan to finish.

But this still makes for a light, but filling and delicious meal, and you won’t feel like someone has inserted a bicycle pump down your throat for the previous half an hour. If you are in a bloating phase, then leave out the bacon and go easy on the cheese.

1/2 onion – chopped
3 garlic cloves – crushed
1/2 red chilli – chopped
1/2 green chilli – chopped
A good slurp of olive oil
Black pepper
2 rashers of bacon -sliced
1/2 leftover red pepper – chopped finely
1 oldish zucchini, cut out soft bits- chop into chunks
1 generous pinch of Oregano
Old tomatoes as many as you have (including cherry tomatoes) – chop
Leftover green beans -cut into four centimetre lengths
1 vegetable stock cube
1/2 water
Leftover olives – chopped (and the oil they are in)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 packet linguini
1 handful of spaghetti (or whatever pasta you have)

Brown the bacon, onion, garlic and chilli in the olive oil with black pepper – maybe 5 minutes
Put on pot of boiling water with oil and salt.
Add red pepper, zucchini, oregano & tomatoes to the garlic, onions, bacon and chilli – stir for another 5 minutes.
Add green beans. Add olives and stock cube and water. Add tomato paste.
Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Just before serving add rocket or spinach.

When water boils add spaghetti and cook for 16-18 minutes.

Serve with lashings of parmesan of course.

Putanesca with a twist

vegetables waiting to be chopped

Some of the ingredients for Putenesca with a twist

Friday night. Its the end of a hard week and we are all tired. (Highlight: Kalai bought me a great scarf today!)

The weekend is already cram packed with activity. Roger is doing a funeral celebrancy course, we are continuing to prepare the house for sale. We need something nourishing, easy to prepare that might leave us left overs for lunch.

Putanesca of course, but with a twist. We cannot resist adding a few extra ingredients just to give life a zing when you need an lift. Putenesca is essentially well combined, barring the small quantity of anchovy and parmesan.

Yup, sorry the addition of the anchovy means that it is not strictly speaking vegetarian!

The bulk of it is carbo, with just a little protein. We go by the rule that the meal needs to be 90/10 either carbo or protein and if that is the case, you can get away with the usual bloating requiring undoing of zips and tearing off of bras!

Serves 4, 15 minutes preparation

1 leek–sliced (part of the extra zing)
4 cloves of organic garlic – crushed
1 hot red chilli – finely sliced
80gm (2oz) anchovies – mashed
3/4 cup Kalamata olives – chopped
2 tablespoons capers – crushed
3 large tomatoes – chopped or one tin crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Cherry tomatoes – roasted (extra zing)
Spaghetti for 4.
1 large handful of chopped Italian parsley
Grated parmesan cheese

1. Lightly fry leeks, garlic and chilli in olive oil until translucent
2. Add mashed anchovies
3. Add freshly chopped tomatoes or tin of crushed tomatoes, olives, capers and tomato paste
4. Bring to boil and reduce to medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes until flavours are infused
5. At the same time, boil a pot of water, add a splash of oil and a little salt.
6. When boiled add spaghetti and cook for 10 minutes until pasta is al dente (soft but not slushy!)
7. Add chopped parsley to sauce 5 minutes before serving
8. Grate lots of parmesan cheese to sprinkle over pasta and sauce when served.
9. Top with a few lovely succulent roasted cherry tomatoes.

Zucchini and leek soup

This Zucchini and Leek Soup is just what you need on a cold night during the week, when you are tired and need something easy to make, tasty and well combined.

Well, perhaps if you have lashings of parmesan and yoghurt with it, forego eating any bread. Otherwise you can bulk it up with toasted seed bread and be sparing with the toppings. Just add more parsley. Either way, this is a simple dinner (or weekend lunch) meal and it will leave you feeling full but not bloated.

The fennel seed adds a lovely dimension to the flavours, especially if the seeds are freshly crushed and a light peppery pinot noir finishes it off beautifully.

Zucchini and Leek Soup

Serves 4. 15 minutes preparation time.

I large leek – finely sliced
5 zucchini – sliced
1 onion – chopped
4 cloves of garlic– crushed or finely chopped
I small green chilli – chopped
1/2 tsp of fennel seed – crushed
1 litre of vegetable stock
Italian parsley – finely chopped
Tzatziki or Greek yoghurt
Grated Parmesan
Salt and ground black pepper

1. Put onions, leek, chilli and garlic in heavy bottomed pot with a little olive oil
2. Cook on a slow heat until lightly browned
3. Add zucchini and 1 litre of vegetable stock and a half tsp of ground black pepper and crushed fennel seed each
4. Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer until zucchini is soft (20 minutes)
5. Put in blender briefly to create a coarse texture
6. Serve hot with a dollop of yoghurt or tzadziki and generous sprinkle of parsley and parmesan