Love Your Gut

Josie Price |

It's a bit rubbish when there's lots of foods health professionals tell you to avoid eating. So when I popped along to a cookery school evening hosted by Love Your Gut I was pleasantly surprised to learn that for those of us who struggle with tummy troubles such as IBS, mealtimes never have to be dull.

I'm not going to come over all ‘sciencey' on you but in basic terms the FODMAP diet is one that avoids certain carbohydrates and sugars that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. Called “FODMAP” as it's an abbreviation of the proper names of these carbs (sciencey – not going there). Anyway, long story short, restricting these FODMAPs from the diet has been found to have a beneficial effect for sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome and other tummy disorders. ‘Love Your Gut' is a partnership with Yakult UK and charities, The IBS Network and Core. In turn, they teamed up with chef and nutritionist Dr Joan Ransley to come up with a menu to showcase eating well if you have a sensitive stomach with particular emphasis on eliminating FODMAP foods. One of the major, let's say, “workarounds” one the plan is that onions and garlic are a no-no. That's flavour for many dishes out the window, right? Wrong. Dr Ransley, who ran the cookery evening, showed us how to make pate and a Thai curry, both onion and garlic free and neither of which were lacking in the flavour department. We also made tummy-loving granola to pile on top of a strawberry compote and yoghurt dessert (didn't miss the onions and garlic here either, who'd have thought?!) and all in all, you'd have never have known your were eating within the bounds of a restricted diet, it was all just too moreish. Love Your Gut have kindly let me share Dr Ransley's butternut squash, ginger and coconut laksa recipe with you and I would recommend you giving it a go. You might be surprised. So go on, get lovin' your gut and let me know how you get on. love your gut Butternut squash, ginger and coconut laksa,with prawn, chicken or tofu Serves 2 Ingredients
  • ½ small butternut squash
  • rapeseed oil – a little
  • 200ml coconut milk – reduced fat is fine
  • 200ml water
  • pinch of vegetable stock (optional)
  • 3 tbsp ginger, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • green leaves of 3 spring onions, chopped into rings
  • 100g water chestnuts
  • 150g raw tiger prawns, or sliced chicken breast, or tofu cubes
  • ½ lime – juice and zest
  • 1 head of pak choi, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander 
Method Peel the squash and cut the flesh into small dice, roughly 2cm square. Warm a little oil in a large saucepan, add the cubes of squash and cook until lightly browned. Pour in the coconut milk, water and pinch of stock if using and bring to the boil. Reduce the broth to a simmer and add the grated ginger and spring onion leaves. Continue cooking gently until the squash is tender. Add raw tiger prawns, chicken or tofu followed by the sliced pak choi and cook briskly for 5 minutes. Finish the laksa by adding the lime zest and juice followed by the chopped coriander. Adjust seasoning and serve in bowls with steamed rice.
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