Low Food Chemical Beef and Leek Stew

A couple of years ago, we had to follow a strict low food chemical diet – low salicylates, amines and glutamates. We are still cautious as we have food intolerances, so this recipe is a winter staple in our house.

The vegetables and seasonings are all low in natural food chemicals. To keep the meat low in amines, it is important to get the meat as fresh as possible – from the butcher, not the supermarket. It’s also important not to cook the meat for too long, so a slow cooker is not suitable for this dish. To compensate for this I’ve used a better cut of meat, to ensure it is still tender. If you need low amines, freeze any left overs immediately, as the amine levels will increase if left ever night in the fridge.

Despite the limited ingredients, this is a very flavoursome stew, and simple to make. Carrots contain a moderate amount of salicylates, so for a strict low chemical diet, leave them out.

Gluten, dairy, nut, egg and legume free. Low in amines, salicylates and glutamates

Ingredients

1kg of rump steak, cut into 2cm cubes, lightly coated in gluten free plain flour

2 sticks of celery

3 leeks

2 carrots

3 tablespoons of sunflower oil

1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar

Pinch of citric acid

Salt to taste

1 cup of water

finely chopped parsley

Method

Finely dice leeks, celery and carrot.

Saute vegetables in two tablespoons of oil, until tender. Remove from pan.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the same pan. On high heat, quickly brown the meat for a couple of minutes, until fully sealed. Turn heat to medium.

Return vegetables to pan, with a cup of water, brown sugar, and a tiny pinch of citric acid (be careful to only add a tiny amount. A little goes a long way). Cook with lid on, for about 10 minutes, until meat is cooked through. Simmer with the lid off for another 2-3 minutes to reduce.

Season with salt to taste. Garnish with small amount of finely chopped parsley if desired.

Potato and Cauliflower Soup, with Kale Salsa Verde

It is definitely soup weather in Sydney this week! This is a simple, comforting soup, perfect for rainy days. My children love the mild flavour of the soup on its own. I prefer it with the kale salsa verde to give it a bit of kick.

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Potato and cauliflower Soup

Ingredients

6 large potatoes, peeled
5 sticks of celery
2 leeks
1/2 a cauliflower
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Vegetable stock or salt and pepper
Soy Milk or cream if desired

Method

Finely chop celery and leeks. Sauté in olive oil on medium heat in a large pot, for about 5 minutes, until it’s starts to become golden.
Roughly chop potatoes and cauliflower. Add to pot. Add about 6 cups of water or stock, until vegetables are completely covered.
Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, until vegetables are very tender.
Purée with a stick blender until smooth. For extra creaminess, you can stir through 1 cup of soy milk or cream, but it’s fine to leav this out if you prefer. Drizzle with olive oil and Kale Salsa Verde to serve

Kale Salsa Verde

Ingredients
One bunch of Kale, with stems fully removed
One clove of garlic
Juice from half a lemon
Dried chilli flakes
Salt
4 tablespoons of olive oil

Method

Sauté smashed and peeled garlic clove in 2 table spoons of olive oil. Add kale, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the kale is tender. Cover for a few minutes.

In a blender, add cooked kale and garlic, dried chilli (to taste) salt and remaining olive oil. Blend until smooth.

This salsa works well with a variety of soups, and is also great with avocado and eggs for breakfast.

Banana and Coconut Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

This is one of my children’s favourite weekend breakfasts. Gluten free pancakes can be a little tricky to master, but they can be just as delicious as wheat based pancakes. The coconut milk can be substituted for soy milk if you prefer.

These pancakes are best cooked on low heat, and when you have the time to be patient. Perfect for Sunday mornings.

Gluten, dairy, nut, and soy free. Contains Egg.

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Ingredients

1 cup gluten free plain flour

2 eggs

1 cup of coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 banana

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 cup of fresh blueberries

Nuttelex or vegetable oil for frying pan

Method

Put flour into a bowl, and make a well in the centre.

In a separate bowl, beat two eggs, and stir in coconut and vanilla.

Pour egg mixture into flour, and mix well with a spoon, until most lumps are gone (a few little ones are fine).

Mash the banana with a fork, and stir into pancake batter. Mixture will be slightly thicker then traditional pancake batter.

In a small frying pan on low heat, melt approximately 1 teaspoon of nuttlex. Ensure the pan is well coated.

Spoon in enough batter to make a pancake about 15cm in diameter. The pancake is ready to turn when small bubbles rise to the surface, and it can be flipped without the top layer pouring off (see pictures).

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Once turned, cook for another minute, so that both sides are golden.

The batter makes about 6-7 pancakes.

When all the pancakes are cooked, add blueberries and maple syrup to the pan. Heat through for 1 minute. Pour over pancakes and serve. My children prefer their blueberries raw so they have them on top with plain syrup. Also very yummy!

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Anti inflammatory Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Salad

I’m a huge believer in food as medicine, and this warm salad is full of anti inflammatory goodness. Turmeric is a natural anti inflammatory, and can be a useful supplement for those with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, like colitis and Crohns Disease. It also has the benefit of being delicious!

Cauliflower, sweet potato and rocket are packed full of vitamin C, which is also great for the immune system. I’ve paired it with a tahini dressing (cheating today, and haven’t made my own, this one is from IKU whole foods). Tahini is great for an iron boost, and has a lot of flavour. For those with a sesame allergy, switch the tahini for a simple balsamic dressing – 2 parts oil to one part vinegar, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds for added iron and flavour.

This recipe makes a delicious meal on its own, but today I’m having some lean minute steak with it, as I’m currently low in iron, and do with a bigger hit.

gluten, dairy, nut, soy, and egg free. Contains sesame. Paleo friendly. Serves 4.

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Ingredients

Half a cauliflower, roughly chopped (approximately 3 cups raw)

2 cups of diced sweet potato

4 Chopped spring onions

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of ground turmeric

Three cups of fresh rocket (baby spinach would also work well)

1 tablespoon of IKU Tahini salad dressing

sea salt

Method

Place cauliflower, sweet potato and spring onions into a baking dish. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with turmeric and season with sea salt. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Take out, mix through, and return to the oven for another 20 minutes.

To serve, spread rocket out on the plate, and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Arrange baked vegetables on top. Dress with either tahini or balsamic dressing.

I served mine with pan fried minute steaks, cooked in coconut oil, and seasoned with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Decadent Chocolate “Mousse” with fresh berries

One of the things I missed most when I embarked on the Coeliac, Food Allergy and Intolerence journey, was desserts and other sweet treats. This chocolate “mousse” is a big hit with my children, and it certainly hits the spot for me as well. It is packed full of goodness and is lovely and rich, so a little goes a long way!

Gluten, dairy, nut, egg and soy free.

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Ingredients

1 very ripe avocado

1 large ripe banana

1 table spoon maple syrup (rice malt syrup or honey also work well, you can add extra if you prefer it sweeter)

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

2 teaspoons of coconut oil (this helps add richness and body. You can leave it out if you prefer)

1 1/2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder.

Pinch of sea salt

Method

Place all of the ingedients into a jug or bowl. Blend with a stick blender for a few minutes, until light and fluffy.

Serve with fresh mixed berries.