Salmon curry with mustard seeds

Salmon curry with mustard seeds

This salmon cooked in sauce is DELICIOUS.  If you want make the cook-in sauce in advance to save faff if you’re having people around.  The original recipe by Madhur Jaffrey involves marinating the salmon but I skip that and it still turns out fab.  I love this served with a generous amount of broccoli/tenderstem.  If you dont want to lose weight add some more carbs by measuring ¼ cup brown basmati rice per person and cooking that with a generous pinch of turmeric (added health benefits plus lovely colour!). 

Tip: Buy your individual spices in Asian shops.  If you have a coffee grinder try grinding some of your own spices – you’ll really notice the flavour explosion.  Always keep ground spices airtight in a dark place to preserve aroma.

For 2
300g skinless salmon fillets/2 x 150g skinless darnes

For the sauce:
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
1 level tsp mustard powder
1 dsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
1/2  tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp tsp curry powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
150g tomatoes, coarsely grated or chopped small, with their juice
1 tbs extra virgin olive or coconut oil
½ tsp whole fennel seeds
10 fresh curry leaves or 6 bay leaves or fresh coriander
To serve:
2 cups broccoli florets/tenderstem broccoli per person
Low carb:  cauliflower rice
Medium carb: brown basmati rice (measure 1/4 cup per person before cooking)

 If you’re using brown rice with this, first of all:
Put on the kettle, rinse rice in a sieve under cold running water (to remove toxic arsenic which accumulates on the surface of the grains).  Cook rice in twice its volume of boiling water e.g. For 2 people ½ cup rice 1 cup boiling water.  Add generous pinch turmeric, cover with a lid, simmer till done. 

1. Cut salmon into matchbox-sized pieces or (if you don’t mind waiting longer for it to cook) leave 2 darnes whole.
2. Now make the sauce. Put the ground mustard, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, curry powder, cayenne, tomatoes, curry leaves or bay leaves, generous pinch salt and 100ml water in a bowl and mix well.
3. Heat oil in a wide, shallow pan (a deep frying pan is ideal) over a medium-high heat.
4. Add mustard seeds.  As soon as they begin to pop add fennel seeds.
5. Pour in the spice-tomato mixture and 80-100ml more water, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes.  At this point sauce can be cooled and refrigerated until you are ready to cook the fish.  It will keep a couple of days. 
6. To cook the fish, reheat sauce in wide shallow pan and lay the fish in it spooning some of the sauce over the fish to coat it all over.
7. Cover pan with a lid or plate and cook for 5-10 minutes until the salmon is cooked through.  Around 5 mins for matchbox sized pieces, around 10 for whole darnes.

Why this is good for you:
Cooking with herbs and spices liberates a powerhouse of antioxidant anti-inflammatory processes in your body.  Herbs are antioxidant.  They also make your body produce more of its own antioxidants.  They also (provided they’re properly kept airtight in a dark place) make your gut a VERY unfriendly place for bad bugs.  This allows friendly bacteria more space to grow, promoting more vigorous physical and mental function.  Whats not to like.  And of course we all know by now that omega 3 fats from oily fish are anti-inflammatory, promote good mental and heart health and even make the cancer cells we all produce more easily destroyed by your immune system. 

One-ingredient buckwheat sourdough bread (GF)

One-ingredient buckwheat sourdough bread (GF)

I’ve never made sourdough bread before.  I’ve always thought minding a sourdough “starter” or “mother” seems like a big faff and I’m a more lackadaisical cook.  I never found a good recipe – until now.  Ever since I had to go gluten-free the one bread I really missed was good brown sourdough (usually rye).  Huge gratitude to Sarah Cobacho for posting this online.  Thank you SO much, Sarah!

This recipe uses the natural microscopic airborne yeasts and bacteria in the air all around you to start colonising and putting carbon dioxide into the mix.  This is what rises the bread. Yes, true sourdough never, ever contains yeast or bread soda.   The inside of this bread will not be dried out like normal bread but will retain moisture, just like a regular rye sourdough.  Only this is gluten-free!

500 g hulled buckwheat kernels (Please note: It is important to use HULLED and whole BUCKWHEAT. You will not get good results with flour, unhulled (black), or roasted buckwheat.)
200 ml water
¼ tsp Himalayan or Atlantic sea salt
2 tsp poppy or sesame seeds (optional)
2 lb loaf tin and silicon/greaseproof paper to line
A little olive oil to grease the tin (optional)

1.Rinse the 500g of hulled buckwheat kernels under cold water until the water runs clear. This ensures that any dust or impurities are removed.

2.Transfer the rinsed buckwheat to a large bowl. Cover the kernels with cold water, ensuring they are fully submerged. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let it sit overnight. This soaking process initiates the fermentation which is key to this gluten-free buckwheat bread.

3.The next day, drain (do not rinse) and transfer to a blender with 200ml water and salt. Blend, starting at low speed and slowly increasing.

4.Pour the blended buckwheat mixture back into the bowl. Cover it again and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours. This resting period allows the fermentation to continue, developing the unique flavor of the loaf.

5.When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 180C. While the oven is heating, prepare a loaf pan by lining it with baking paper.  I like to brush paper and tin with a little olive oil for easier removal but its not essential.  Perhaps I am micro-managing the bread!!

6.Pour the fermented buckwheat dough into the prepared loaf pan. If you’d like, sprinkle the top with 2 tsp of poppy and sesame seeds for an added crunch and visual appeal.

7.Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 90 minutes. The bread should be golden brown and firm to the touch.

8.Allow the bread to cool down before slicing. This makes it easier to cut and improves the texture. Now, enjoy your homemade, healthy buckwheat bread!   Keeps 4-5 days in  in an airtight container or else slice and freeze for up to a month.  Prize off a slice or two to pop in the toaster when you feel like it.

Why this is good for you:
Buckwheat is a massive source of a polyphenol called rutin.  Rutin turbo-charges the strength of connective tissue, cartilage, bones, blood vessels and skin.  I would always include either a rutin supplement or foods rich in rutin in any tissue/bone/skin rebuilding programme. Also helps prevent skin sagging (wrinkles!).  Buckwheat also contains potassium, magnesium and calcium for healthy bones. 

Sourdough fermentation makes ALL grains hugely more digestible.  All grains, even gluten-free ones, contain lectins.  Lectins are plant proteins designed to protect the plants babies (seeds) from being digested by predators.  So these lectins disable your digestive proteases (enzymes).  This causes irritation in the gut.  By fermenting the buckwheat you get rid of almost all lectins. 


Can I use buckwheat flour instead of hulled buckwheat kernels? For this specific recipe, it’s recommended to use hulled buckwheat kernels rather than buckwheat flour. The process of soaking and fermenting the kernels contributes to the unique texture and flavour of the bread. Using buckwheat flour would not yield the same results.  Personally I’ve never seen un-hulled buckwheat groats (which are black and inedible) for sale.  Hulled are a green/light brown colour and pretty much every health store sells them.

Christmas Pudding Truffles (no-cook!)

Christmas Pudding Truffles (no-cook!)

Yummy raw gluten-free all natural Christmas pudding truffles

Want to have a few Christmas-with-a-twist treats?  These have those seasonal flavours.  Try them – they’re lovely as well as being super-easy to make.  Thankyou to Parry Marsh, whose recipe this is.  This makes around 22 pieces. 

1 ½ cups (or 190 g) of mixed nuts – chestnuts, pecans & Brazil nuts go well in this
1 tbsp goji berries (*optional)
Grated rind of half a lemon and half an orange
1 scant tsp of mixed spice*
1 tbs raw agave syrup (runny honey will do too)
⅔ cup (or 95 g) mixed vine fruit or raisins
46 fresh (or Medjool) pitted dates


  1. In a food processor, process the nuts, goji berries, grated rind, and spice, until the nuts are all broken down into small pieces.
  2. Add the agave syrup and vine fruit/raisins, and process again until the fruit is mostly broken down.
  3. Do a taste test, and add more agave if necessary, but remember that the dates will be adding sweetness too and Christmas pudding isn’t meant to be too sweet.
  4. Then, with the food processor running, drop in the dates one at a time, and let each one get processed into the mix. Keep adding them until the mix starts to stick together.
  5. Once it’s nice and sticky, remove from the food processor, then break off portions of the dough and roll them in your hands to form balls – they should be about the size of a chocolate truffle or a small walnut shell.
  6. Eat at once, or chill for a while to firm up. You can even pop them in the freezer and eat them straight from there.
  7. If you want to make these a little chewier, try forming the balls around a couple of raisins, or even pieces of candied peel or crystallized ginger.

*Goji berries are optional but give it a slightly richer flavor and a few chewy bits since they never blend in totally.

**If you don’t have any mixed spice, you can easily make your own: use equal amounts of ground cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg, and ginger.


Why this is better for you:
These yummy treats are packed with protein and healthy fats which stop the natural sugars in the vine fruits and agave from messing with your metabolism.  If you’ve been working with me you know all about balancing your blood sugar and how it turbo-charges immunity, digestive and even mental health and energy production.  If you’re curious as to how too balance your blood sugar check out the courses under “work with me tab” on the home page.  Or send an enquiry about one-to-one coaching towards a healthier, happier you.  Spices are incredibly anti-inflammatory.  Dried grapes (sultanas, raisins, currants etc) feed certain species of healthy bacteria in your gut.   Enough healthy bacteria are needed for every function in your body, from gut and digestive health to a balanced immune system and stable mood.

Gorgeous mild-spiced lentil soup

Gorgeous mild-spiced lentil soup

Now Autumn’s here and with it some crazy storms I’ve rediscovered this high protein immune-supporting soup that’s a bowl full of sunshine.  To make it into a complete meal add a cupful of cooked greens per person at the end (a bag of baby spinach would do). If you want to gain weight, add some extra carbs such as wholemeal gluten-free bread or leftover cooked rice (reheat well in the soup). If you eat gluten) some 100% rye or wholemeal sourdough. This soup freezes well too.

For 4
Note: You can save yourself effort chop all veg and spices only roughly if you’re going to blend the soup later on.
1 very large onion or 2 medium chopped onions
2 large sticks celery, sliced
2 large carrots (about 300g), sliced
2 heaped tbs (tablespoons) finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 rounded tbs ghee or virgin coconut oil (if you have an inflamed gut, ghee is best).
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Heaped teaspoon turmeric powder
Heaped teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 level tsp ground cardamom powder if you have it
500ml carton of passata (sieved tomatoes) or a 400g can chopped tomatoes
750ml filtered water or leftover vegetable cooking water (e.g. from steaming veg)
250g (mug and a quarter) dried red lentils
1 heaped tsp health store additive-free vegetable stock powder (for the SC Diet use Dr Coys Organic Vegetable Bouillon) 
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with lid on a medium heat for a minute. Add ghee/oil, onion, celery, carrots, ginger and a small splash of water, cover with a lid and sweat for 10 minutes.
2. Add garlic, turmeric and cardamom if you have it, stir for a minute before adding passata/tinned tomatoes and water.
3.Give everything a stir then add the lentils so they sit on top (otherwise during cooking they stick to the bottom). If the lentils are not entirely submerged in liquid, add a bit more water or stock.
4. Boil for 15-20 mins for 20 mins/until lentils and veg are soft.  Only stir the lentils gently at the very top if they are stuck together, otherwise leave them alone.
5. Mix the veg stock powder into a little water and add to the soup AFTER the  the lentils are soft (otherwise salt makes the lentils touch).
4. If you want a smooth soup now give it a whizz with a stick blender.

5 reasons this is good for you:
Lentils and onions contain prebiotic fibre. This feeds friendly bacteria you need for healthy digestive system and immunity.
Turmeric, ginger, garlic, coconut oil, cardamom and coriander reduce numbers of disease-causing bacteria/viruses in your gut.
Processed cooked tomatoes are the richest source of antioxidant lycopene to help ALL of you
Ghee contains butyric acid, a metabolite produced by friendly bowel bacteria to keep your gut and immune system tip-top.
Lentils are a rich and easy-to-digest source of protein which is essential for antibody production to protect against infection.

Gretl’s gingerbread cookies biscuits (SC Diet)

Gretl’s gingerbread cookies biscuits (SC Diet)

Naturally gluten-free and grain-free, I really like these.  This recipe is from Raman Prasad’s Specific Carbohydrate Diet Cookbook.  The SC diet can be magical for getting people with inflammatory bowel conditions into remission while they start to work on the underlying causes.  But the recipes in it are pretty tasty for anyone and much less damaging for the gut.

Makes 40-50 cookies.

112g (8 tbs) melted butter
1 large egg
1 tsp water
80g (1/4 cup) honey
1 level tsp ground allspice
2 rounded tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
1 heaped tbs peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
1 rounded tsp bread soda (also called baking soda/bicarbonate)
330g (3 cups) almond flour/ground almonds

1. Preheat oven to 180C (165C fan).  Grease 2 baking sheets.
2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until the dough is dry enough and not stick to work with.  Add more almond flour/ground almonds I needed.
3. On the baking sheet, form 4-5 cm circular mounds with the dough and press down to flatten into a cookie shape.
4. Bake 10-15 mins until the edged turn golden.

Why this is better for you:
These biscuits are naturally grain-free, which is great news for anyone struggling with Crohn’s, colitis or who may be on the SC diet during a IBS/SIBO recovery protocol.  These are also high in protein (almonds) and much lower in sugars (honey) so they don’t cause blood sugar peaks and troughs.  A word of warning though, these are treats, not everyday foods.  This is because nuts, when roasted, no longer contain healthy oils.  So eating too many of these is not good for your metabolism. 

Omega 6: these fats will kill or heal you

These fats will heal or kill you. Get a quick insight into how toxic fats sneak into your food, and how you can replace them with life-giving fats.  This is a game changer for your health.

3 minute watch!

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Best ever potato salad (Greek style)

Best ever potato salad (Greek style)

This is my all-time favourite potato salad.  A far cry from the claggy, low-grade ones made with health-sabotaging refined oil. Amazingly, cold potatoes have very different health-giving properties from warm or hot.  For the reason why, scroll to the bottom.  Some people like to use waxy potatoes.  Personally I prefer floury ones which partly break up.  Serving size isn’t enormous as you’ll want to save space for masses of low carb veg and some quality protein to keep you fuller longer.

For 4
4 medium size potatoes (about 500g in all), scrubbed (no need to peel) and quartered
1/4 white/red onion, sliced thinly
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Large handful (3 tbs) chopped fresh parsley or dill
Freshly ground black pepper
Generous pinch salt
Liberal amounts of extra virgin olive oil

1. Boil the potatoes till cooked. Drain.
2. In a bowl combine hot potatoes, onion, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, salt, a few good grinds of black pepper.
3. If you like your onions not to have any “heat” add the lemon juice now.
4. Just before serving add the herbs and if you like, most extra virgin olive oil to taste.

Why this is good for you:
Cooked and cooled potatoes are a rich source of resistant starch.  This magical starch feeds beneficial bacteria in your bowel that aid all aspects of your health.  Resistant disappears if you reheat the potatoes and reappears when they are cold. Cooked, cooled rice is another good source of resistant starch.  Herbs are a great source of antioxidants to calm inflammation and reduce the growth of unhelpful gut bacteria.  Even a dessertspoon of cooked cooled rice or potatoes feeds friendly bacteria.   Large amounts of high carb foods like grains, rice and potatoes are counter-productive as their high sugar levels promote overgrowths of unhelpful bugs.  If you limit starchy carbs to no more than 1/4 your lunch and dinner plate you’ll be doing great!!

If you want to fix your digestion, avoid this!

If you want to fix your digestion, avoid this!

Zinc is a critical nutrient for digestion and healing your gut.   Zinc is responsible for over 300 processes in your body and affects everything – taste, smell, mood, healing, repair, digestion, immunity.  Your body needs zinc in order to make digestive juices in your stomach to break down protein and help prevent ALL digestive disorders.  Your gut needs zinc to do its normal minute-by-minute repairs your whole life long.  Zinc is crucial.

When you eat grains, especially wheat (bread, pasta, cereals) at meals, substances called phytates lock onto zinc.  The phytates and zinc form a large molecule that your body can’t absorb or use.  Soaking your porridge overnight or switching to sourdough bread are great ways to REDUCE the phytate content of grains.  Minimising eating wheat pasta at dinner and instead of increasing the vegetables is another great tweak.

Zinc deficiency is linked to gastritis, acid reflux, psoriasis, Crohn’s, colitis, and many more health issues.

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Are any of these YOU?

Are any of these YOU?

You may be deficient in vitamin A.

Vitamin D and vitamin A are essential partners in your immune and digestive health.  Vitamin A affects the immune system.  Over 70% of your immune cells live in your bowel.  Here, antibodies spend their time doing surveillance work.  Checking everything that floats by and identifying it as friend or foe.  Autoimmune conditions (e.g. IBD, hypothyroidism) are where your immune system attacks your own body.

The availability of vitamin A in your food is a key factor in a tolerant immune system.  This is an immune system that leaves harmless substances alone and yet has the capacity to see off threats (infections).  Immune tolerance is the essence of good health.  Vitamin A is the key to your ability to consume a wide range of food and yet not react adversely.

When I say vitamin A I mean retinol (stored form), retinal and retinoic acid (active forms).  BETA CAROTENE IS NOT VITAMIN A.  Beta carotene is a precursor to vitamin A found in red/orange fruit and veg.  41% of the UK female population have a genetic variation meaning they can’t convert beta carotene to vitamin A.  Anybody who is overweight, taking steroids, on a high grain or low-fat diet, or is hypothyroid will additionally be unable to convert beta carotene to vitamin A.

Vitamin A is critical for the repair and function of your bowel lining, preventing it from becoming leaky.  When cells are deprived of vitamin A, energy production declines and you will suffer fatigue.

When you are low in vitamin A, your body makes more inflammatory compounds and your immune system starts to go haywire. You need vitamin A to manufacture an important antibody called secretory IgA to protect you against infections.   Particularly infections in your airways and your gut.

What about toxicity?
If you are low in vitamin D (below 100nmol/L) vitamin A supplementation can be counter-productive as they work together.  Some people may get enough from their diet if they regularly eat organ meats such as the liver.  The Council for Responsible Nutrition in their 2004 report noted a long history of safe use of vitamin A supplementation at a dose of 10,000iu.  I would only use this high-level dosing for very particular reasons and for a specific period of time.

Pregnant women are well-advised to avoid supplementing retinol but to eat organ meats at least once a week.   This is a whole other area for exploration.


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