Yesterday’s meal prep đŸ™ŒđŸŒ

Stir-fry beetroot noodles with a mix of veggies in sweet chilli base

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Dark Chocolate + Coconut Milk Popsicles

85 % Dark Chocolate + Coconut Popsicles. Pure bliss! 💕

I could’ve done with more dark chocolate but you know, I didn’t want to push it. I made sure to stay within the allowed quantities of each ingredient and frankly, these just turned out magical. As usual, my friend couldn’t believe these were SIBO friendly and this time, neither could I.

Here’s what went in them:

6 pieces of dark chocolate + 8 tablespoons of coconut milk + 1 cup of coconut water + 2 tsp pure vanilla essence + 1 tbsp raw clover honey + 3.5 tsp raw Cocoa powder + 2 tsp pure coconut oil. This recipe made 4 popsicles.

Method:

The easiest way of making them would be to blend all the ingredients excluding dark chocolate, pour into your moulds and pop them into the freezer for about 8 -12 hours. Before serving, melt dark chocolate + coconut oil and drizzle over the popsicles. You could also just dip the popsicles into the melted chocolate if you wish.

I made these in three parts because I wanted to add extra dark chocolate pieces inside each popsicle and also have bits of plain coconut cream in every popsicle. So we had the main body, chocolate flavoured coconut cream + parts of honeyed coconut cream + pure dark chocolate pieces and drizzle.

Asian Curry Zoodles

Not going to lie, these were simply amazing. I made enough for two full meals and oh my, it was one of the most satisfying SIBO-meals I’ve come up with! It’s a very simple recipe but it took me much longer than expected as my back still has been bothering me so much.

I woke up with an image of a gorgeous bowl of noodles (zoodles, actually)  in my brain and I decide that it had to become a reality. The best part is, it turned out exactly how I had imagined and tasted even better, which naturally made me feel really good – like I had accomplished something. Believe me, SIBO diet is HARD and so to come up with a super delicious recipe using really limited ingredients feels GREAT.

Your gut is happy. You are happy. And your creative energy is so well utilised!

Let’s see what we’ve  got in here.

One  whole zucchini turned into zoodles. You could use a spiralizer if you’ve got one – I used a peeler that does somewhat a similar job and works fine for now. It leaves you with the core, that fleshy portion of a zucchini and instead of discarding it, I turn it into little “meaty” nugget looking things which taste so good when stir-fried with a basic seasoning – I used salt, crushed red and black pepper and coriander seeds with a little bit of smoked paprika. Then I’ve got stir-fried spinach, once again, with really simple flavours – salt, pepper and lime juice. I made simple pan-fried eggs which I later sliced into thin pieces for serving. And finally, the main star of this recipe, a cream coconut curry sauce. I call it curry ‘sauce’ because I made it slightly thicker but it works fine if you add more water and make it soupy too!

SIBO-friendly Asian Curry Sauce: All it really consists of is toasted sesame oil (I love the nutty flavour it adds to your food), tiny bit of ginger paste, soy sauce, turmeric powder, red chilli powder (adjusted to my diet but add as you please!), lots of chives, fresh coriander, dried lemongrass and galangal powder, curry powder (optional) , dried kaffir lime powder, and finally, coconut cream or milk. To add sweetness and get the right consistency, I used coconut water instead of drinking water. I sautĂ©ed all  ingredients (except coconut cream) in sesame oil and blended it into a thick paste. Put the paste back into the same pan, add coconut cream/milk and water and let it simmer. Keep stirring until it forms into a semi-thick and creamy curry sauce.

To serve: Grab a pretty bowl, put a handful of Zoodles right in the centre, add your sliced eggs and other vegetables, garnish with chopped coriander and a sliced lime. Add extra crushed black pepper or tobasco if needed.

I saved a bowl for my friend and she came by the very night to have it. She absolutely devoured it and asked me twice if it  was SIBO-friendly friendly and I couldn’t help but smile. Well, it took me a while to believe it for myself but it most certainly is SIBO-friendly, grain-free, dairy-free and somewhat gluten-free if you exclude soy sauce and use salt instead. You could totally turn it vegan and vegetarian by substituting egg for sautĂ©ed tofu or any other vegetable that works for you. Topping options for those without restrictions or personal preferences are absolutely limitless so just play around! My friend even said she’d happily go on a SIBO diet if this was the kind of food that she could always have. Umm, no, I don’t think anyone must go on a SIBO diet unless medically necessary. But I get it, it really did turn out delicious! 

P.S. SIBO is such a complex bacterial infection and can translate differently in everyone’s body. Diets are carefully customised for each person and though there is are basic and  rather strict guidelines to follow, what your diet comprises of is very specific to your body and symptoms. Please always ensure that you stick to your personal protocol as agreed between you and your medical professional.

Six ingredients chicken broth


Maybe this is a more Indianized version of chicken broth or soup. Each time I caught a flu or fell terribly sick, I’d have this made for me. It’s super easy, doesn’t require much effort and is extremely delicious and nourishing. If you’ve got a sensitive gut like me, this is well worth a try!

You can trust me on this one!

Ingredients:

  1. Chicken with bone (any part)
  2. Black Peppercorns (as per your preferance)
  3. Ginger (small pieces)
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Lemon
  6. Cilantro

Method:

All you have to do is dump in all the ingredients (except cilantro and lemon) into a pot, add water (enough to cover the chicken or a little more than that) and let it boil for a good 30 minutes. Lower the heat, add more water if needed and let the chicken slow cook for another 30 minutes. The chicken cooks so well it practically starts falling off the bone :)

If you’d like to have a thicker broth, you could add and reduce the water a few times. Three times works perfectly.

Bowl it up. Squeeze in some lemon and garnish it with cilantro. That’s it!

Optional – 1 teaspoon of coconut cream/milk.

Enjoy!

Homemade Coconut Creamer 

I’ve been off caffiene and dairy for the last 5 weeks and just recently got a green flag to have a cup of coffee or tea per day, preferably black. I know me and I can’t do black tea or coffee, and, I’m currently off nuts (milk and butter) and soy too —  it doesn’t leave us with too many options now.

The thing is, I never needed caffeine or relied on it. I genuinly enjoyed having a cup or a half once a day, while writing or when I went out with friends.

For a while I was worried I’d lose the freedom to have a cup of something. As I said, I simply can’t get myself to truly enjoy black coffee.

Good thing is, that’s not the case anymore. I I’ll be carrying my creamer around from now on. It is just heavenly!

Ingredients: 200 ml Organic Coconut Milk (or any coconut milk with no or low preservatives. The one I used contains 99.9% coconut cream) + a few drops of organic stevia (you could use coconut sugar if you have no sugar restrictions) + 1-2 tsp coconut oil + 1 tsp vanilla essence or a pod + 3-4 tablespoons of water or coconut water (can water down the coffee, so decide based on your preference). Coconut water has its natural sweetness and goes well with this creamer.

Method: Blend all ingredients and store in an air-tight bottle. You can keep this for about a week but I suggest using it within 3-4 days and making a fresh batch. I also use the same in golden milk latte (turmeric milk) or chai. I’m supposed to only have a teaspoon in my cup but that too boring for me so I add about 2 teaspoons :)

P.S. Coconut milk might not work for everyone with SIBO. It can be considered high FODMAP in certain amounts so I suggest checking with your Doctor before you decide to try this creamer. You might be allowed some other nuts in your a diet that’s more specific to you.

Thai Style Pan Roasted Chicken Breast 

Marinade:
Ginger paste, Turmeric powder, Red Chilli powder (less, for SIBO), Lime juice, Dried Lemongrass powder + Dried Galangal + Dried Kaffir Lime leaves + Thai Sweet Basil leaves (or use a Thai mix without garlic or onion), Cumin powder, Curry powder (without onion and garlic powder) finely chopped Coriander leaves, finely chopped chives, 1 tbsp coconut milk, Black pepper powder, Sesame oil and Salt.

Method: Mix all the above ingredients, mix in with chicken and refrigerate overnight. Pan-fry in more sesame oil (love the nutty flavour it gives. I can’t have nuts at the moment so this really helps!). Cover if needed. I prefer cutting a deep slit into the chicken breast so that it cooks evenly. Plate up and pour a bit more of coconut milk if needed.

That’s it. Cut up and store in an air-tight container in you plan to have it over a day. Easy-peasy and SIBO-friendly! One chicken breast usually lasts me for 2-4 meals as I have it with a serving of low FODMAP veggies.

Day 17: Bedbound

In the last 17 days, I’ve had to change and cancel my plans and come to terms with my present reality once again. It’s never easy having to adapt to the ever-changing nature of your chronic illness but you get better at it. It bothers your less (in general) and when it bothers your too much, you learn how to manage your thoughts and emotions around it without beating yourself up each time.

I’ve had to postpone the starting date of my part-time job, stop working on the classes I had plans of teaching, take a break from Pilates and my daily walks, ask for help with groceries and meals, all so that my body gets the rest it deserves, the space it needs to just be.

What I have been doing instead is tending to my back as much as I can and very religiously sticking to my bedtime and nap-time. I’ve been massaging my back with certain oils that help me, using lots of hot packs, doing very light stretches, a bit of infrared therapy, going for physiotherapy, meditating, making small mandalas while in bed, reading up on the treatment-diet that I am on for SIBO, writing, and for most part of it, trying to be more present

As much as I’d like to do more, I can’t do more right now and that’s something I need to be okay with. I’ll do more when I can do more and for now, whatever I’m doing is enough. I’m going to continue giving my back the time it needs to recover. Once it’s better I’ll have to slowly build myself back to where I was before this crazy flare-up (or before I went to India.)

According to my Naturopath, my back could be taking longer to recover due to the SIBO treatment-diet I’m on. It seems that the treatment can induce a very strong detox process (which is needed for the treatment) in your body, which, if too aggressive can cause more inflammation in the existing areas of inflammation. I only hope what she thinks is true because quite honestly, my back is not a happy bunny right now. At all.

I hope things start to look a little more positive soon.

P.S. If you’re wondering what’s on my SIBO friendly “buddha bowl”:

  1. Boiled Beet root with Olive oil and Lime juice
  2. Stir-fry Spinach with Salt and Pepper
  3. Pan fried egg (I usually have it without the yolk)
  4. Olives
  5. Roasted Tobasco & Ginger Chicken
  6. Indian Spiced Zucchini

Pan Roasted Tobasco Ginger Chicken 

Attempting to eat more protein (I miss my vegetables!), that too with only limited ingredients and condiments has been such a task. I’m going fine though. What sucks big time is that I’m bedridden and so blood exhausted every minute of my day that I’m finding it hard to get my experimental self to work. If I can’t even stand, forget trying to get creative with food. At the moment, my survival mode is on. I just need enough food to get through my day, to take all my pain and daily medications + extra antibiotics and survive. Generally speaking, I’m doing fine. Doing my best.

Pan-fried Fish with Ginger and Chives 

I manrinated two fillets and kept them in the fridge and had them over four main meals. It took me a while to marinate and I had to icepack my back right after but the good thing is, once it was done, I was set for the next four meals. The actual pan-frying took me less than 10 minutes. I used Sutchi fillets but you can use any white fish you like.


Marinade:

Finely chopped chives

Finely chopped ginger

Salt + pepper

Lime juice

Olive oil

Method: Marinade the fish fillets and place in an air tight container. Store it in the fridge for at least 5 hours. Cook withtout oil on a non-stick skillet or use a little bit of olive oil if needed. I cooked mine without the extra oil and it turned out just fine.

I have to be honest, it turned out better than I expected. So tender, with the aroma of fresh ginger and chives. I think adding extra lemon juice really helped.


I cooked one whole fillet at once, to have over two meals. There was no way I was going to go through the cooking process twice on the same day with a back flare up this terrible.

Rice Krispies Savoury Snack 

Took 5 orders (3 Large + 2 Small) for Rice Krispies Snack this week. All done! Feeling rather satisfied and accomplished. I’d be lying if I said I’m not tired but hey… I’m still smiling :) I managed to make two extra packs (small) in today’s batch – one for dad and one for anyone else who wants to get it!