About me

After being diagnosed with a long list of food intolerances seven years ago, I was forced into getting more creative in the kitchen.

For me, the best recipes are those which are easy to prepare and deliver heaps of flavour, perfect for sharing with friends and family without having to single anyone out because of a specialised diet.

My love for cooking and adapting recipes for my own dietary requirements has given me the incentive to share tips with others who also live with restricted diets.

I hope you find a bit of cooking inspiration from my blog. Please feel free to comment and post any questions...

Monday, 30 April 2012

The self-inflicted rabbit diet

It’s a known fact that when you live with intolerances, your body naturally craves those forbidden foods more so than someone who enjoys a diet free from restrictions.

Despite knowing how unpleasant the effects of eating the foods you are intolerant to can be, there are times when only the real thing will do.

As pleasing as it is to see the “free from” sections in supermarkets expanding, the alternatives are several times the price and a lot less appetizing. Most wheat free breads can cost £3 for a small loaf and have all the taste and texture of a crumbly, old cracker. Don’t even attempt to toast this “wannabe” bread, unless you enjoy fishing out disintegrated cardboard from the toaster, whilst performing the tea towel dance beneath the smoke alarm.

It may have been several weeks since the feasts of Easter Sunday, but the pressures of university deadlines and oncoming exams mean that for many students, the temptation of sweet treats and chocolate fixes still hangs in the air.

Not to play the sympathy card, but for a girl who is denied chocolate for medical reasons, Easter can be a very traumatic time of year, and the chocolate alternatives are often more depressing than those for bread.
Picture the decadent Dairy Milk advert of the 90’s – A plush, purple velvet chair, where a woman sits, enraptured by her bar of dairy milk to the point of euphoria.

For the chocolate intolerant, breaking open a bar of this forbidden food is a VERY different experience! One which often ends with a bottle of pepto bismol and the refusal of all visitors. Safe to say, I’ve learnt my lesson, for now at least.

I now enter the month of May full of cold, thanks to the persistent rain storms, and with the intention to treat my body like a temple for the next few weeks…bar alcohol. Celebrations will be needed after the final exam and my bottle of birthday champagne is calling.

After a bit of research into the raw food “rabbit” diet, I have learnt a few things:

1.      Anyone following this diet full time must be very skinny, squeaky clean on the inside and most likely, the proud owners of some of the biggest compost heaps in Britain.

2.      I may be turning into an eco-warrior, as I will be adding a food dehydrator and a younger, single version of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to my Christmas wish list.

3.      Celeriac is an incredibly ugly, yet versatile and tasty vegetable. Take pity on them and make a salad.

It could be the overload of flu medicine, but I have made it my mission to work through my new raw food recipe book. So far, my favourite recipe, which I could and have eaten two large bowls of a day, is ‘Asian Coleslaw’. My mum used to joke that I have the same diet as the guinea pig; I wish I could deny this.

But honestly, if like me, you are regretting having over indulged at Easter or just in general would like to give your body a bit of a detox, the raw food diet is worth looking in to.

The Asian coleslaw is a great salad accompaniment for Thai style dishes, smoked fish and goes really well with my recent make shift sushi. The ginger and garlic are brilliant for settling stomachs and the tangy mixture of flavours make white cabbage a lot more appealing than you’d think.

Asian Coleslaw
Thinly slice or grate 1 small white cabbage, 4 medium carrots and a bunch of fresh, spring onions. Toss all the vegetable together in a large bowl.

To make the salad dressing, whisk together: 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp clear honey, 1 finely chopped garlic clove, 1tbsp finely chopped ginger, 2tbsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar, 2tbsp sesame oil and 2tbsp olive oil.

Pour over the vegetables and mix well, before leaving to marinade in the fridge for twenty minutes, before serving with a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped coriander.

I find that it’s so much easier and more affordable to buy jars of readily, fine chopped ginger and garlic, as these last for weeks and you don’t have the smell of garlic lingering for days afterwards.

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