Bacon, spinach & tomato pasta

  
I had some left over tomato sauce so today I used some up with my lunch! The tomato sauce is simply an onion chopped and fried in a little oil until soft, add a crushed clove of garlic or some garlic granules, some Italian herbs and a can of tomatoes, season and simmer for half an hour ish.

While pasta is cooking (I use gluten fre) I griddled some streaky bacon on the hob, removed from pan and used the juices from bacon to wilt a large handful of spinach leaves. Remove those from pan and then reheat the sauce in same pan (don’t waste the bacon flavour!) chop the bacon, then toss everything together! Next time I’ll add half a cup of sweet corn to the pasta while its cooking as think that would make this dish a bit extra yummy! 

Would also work with chicken I imagine!

Quicker homemade baked beans!

the last lot of baked beans I made used the slow cooker and dried beans so a lot of soaking and then a day of cooking involved! I wanted to make some a bit quicker yesterday so I bought a can of haricot beans and some passata. To cook I chopped an onion and gently fried in a splash of oil for about 15 minutes or until onions are soft. Then I added the passata, drained beans and seasoned with garlic granules (good shake), salt & pepper (to taste). Left it to simmer while sausages were cooking (half hour ish) and that’s it! They were lovely! 

  

I quit sugar (almost entirely!)

So I decided to quite sugar! Here’s why..

Although avoiding the foods that came up on my York Test intolerance test, I was still experiencing flare ups every few days, although they weren’t as bad, it was a bit disheartening after following the advice of the nutritionist. I was still convinced that it was food related though. The first few weeks of the diet I’d seen a big improvement, then things seemed to plateau and I wasn’t getting the really clear spells in between the flares, that I had been. The only thing I could think of was that I’d switched to maple syrup as my sugar substitute and was baking more sweet treats than I had been. Also I’d been drinking a lot more coffee than I used to (which I was sweetening).

During my last flare up I decided to go super strict and cut out the sugar substitutes, lower the caffeine, only have one or two pieces of fruit, and up the water. The result was this:

  
The first photo was the 4th of June during the last flare up, the last photo a couple of days ago, the other two were in-between but I didn’t make a note of the dates!

These are photos of my face when I first started the diet and the first clear skin period since starting, the flares up until the 4th June weren’t as severe as this so cutting the other food was helping, but since quitting sugar, my skin has been like the last photo with no flare ups, I’ve even been able to switch to a thinner moisturiser!

  
I’m now feeling better than ever, cutting sugar hasn’t only helped my skin but made me feel a lot happier and healthier generally! Surprisingly I haven’t felt like I miss any of the banned foods, apart from the odd time when I can smell chocolate or buttered toast!

I’m still getting a chocolate fix from a hot cocoa – I use oat milk and cacao powder and find now that its sweet enough just as it is! Another good sweet treat is a banana milkshake – frozen banana blended with oat milk (I tried it with a couple of dates and found it too sweet!)

This is me today! (Ps how flippin’ cool is my vest from Truffle Shuffle?!?! Thank you to my gorge chap for getting it for me!)

  

If you suffer from a skin complaint and have tried the usual triggers – wheat, gluten, dairy etc I’d definitely give the no sugar thing a go!

Easy Peasy Fish and Chips

 
In our house we have Fish n Chip Friday which usually consisted of shop bought breaded fish, freezer chips, peas and ketchup. Since the new diet it’s meant I can’t have breaded fish, or the ketchup, and most freezer chips contain gluten so a change was needed! 

We switched to haddock fillets, pan fried in a griddle. Homemade chips (peeled or unpeeled Maris piper or kind Edward potatoes, chopped into chunky chips, chucked into boiling water, brought up to boil and simmered for 7 minutes, drain in colander for a few minutes, in the meantime heat a wok with some olive oil in, when hot, toss the chips in the hot oil and spread into a preheated roasting tin, bake for 25-30 minutes in a med-hot oven) and onion and tomato sauce (for two of us: while chips are cooking: I used two onions sliced, gently friend in some olive oil in a small frying pan until soft, add a can of chopped tomatoes, season and simmer until thickened. Whilst that’s simmering cook your fish and boil your peas! Yum!

A new way of eating..

Hello! Been a while I’m sorry, been a bit out of the blogging loop! But I’ve got something new to blog about now which kind of works with the ‘keep it simple’ tag only applied to food!

So lets go back.. for a couple of years or so now I’ve been suffering more than usual with my eczema. Mainly on my face which seems to have taken on a cycle of flaring up every few days. The same patches go very red and puffy and sometimes sore, then as quick as it came up it went down again. I’d have a day or so of clear skin before I could feel it starting again. It had started to get me quite down to the point where I’d start avoiding socialising when it was at its worst day in the cycle.

Doctors won’t test for ranges of food intolerances, rather they’ll test for one thing or another if they suspect a certain trigger. I’d looked into York testing in the past but not gone ahead with anything but then my husband found out a lady he worked with had gone through the testing (different symptoms) and had found intolerances, cut them out, and felt back to normal. So I decided to go ahead and get tested. Turns out I’m intolerant to a whole heap of things! Main ones being dairy, wheat, gluten, egg, beef and then coconut, sugar, carrot amongst a few other things are on the borderline list. After the testing you have a phone appointment with a nutritionist to go through what you can do next. In my case the plan is to cut out all triggers for three months whilst taking probiotics to get my gut back into shape, then after three months I can try and introduce one food per week and look for reactions. I’m half way into the third week of the new diet and have had one flare up!

Its been a challenge cutting out all the triggers, I have a very very sweet tooth and love my cakes/biscuits.sweets/chocolate BUT I haven’t found it as hard as I thought I would. The first week was a little tough, I had a couple of headaches and felt tired but now I feel much much healthier and have a lot more energy! My husband has been doing some of the diet with me, cutting out sugar and wheat, and he too has felt the benefits as well as losing some weight!

Breakfasts I’ve been having smoothies, lunch has mostly been soups and dinners we’ve been basing meals on rice and potato as opposed to pasta with lots more vegetables.

I’ll start posting recipes I’ve found and adapted in separate posts, it’s been a bit tricky as a lot of the substitutes for butter and dairy are coconut based which I can’t have! But for the most part I’m not missing sugary things, apart from when I’ve been breaking chocolate easter eggs for the children, the smell!

Off to make some lunch, might try hummus today!

Raspberry, almond & coconut muffins (baby led weaning)

After making the blueberry muffins yesterday I thought I could adapt them and make some for Violet. I omitted the honey and salt, and changed the blueberries for raspberries. Also I only had half the quantity of almonds so used semolina and a splash of milk instead. Violet happily chomped away on them! 🙂

Raspberry, almon & coconut muffins for baby led weaning :: keep it simple

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 egg
1/2 cup raspberries
1/8 tsp bicarbonate soda

Preheat oven to gas 7/220°C and line a muffin tin with 12 cases.

Mix the almonds and bicarb in a large bowl. In another bowl mix the coconut oil, coconut milk and egg together, then tip into the almond and bicarb. Mix then fold in raspberries. Divide into 12 cases to make small cakes.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.