In her monthly column, Crohn’s Disease sufferer Debbie Hamilton has been finding out more about different diets with her Crohn’s no longer in remission.
As I sit here writing this the ground is saturated after all the heavy rainfall over the past few days and the sky is once again threatening to release yet more rain – you have to love the Scottish weather in summer!
I’m usually getting ready to fly away on our annual holiday around this time of year, but once again we are grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hopefully next year we can get away in the sunshine and then I get the joys of dealing with my travel insurance cover.
Because of my Crohn’s there will no doubt be higher costs to ensure any medical problems are fully covered – another disadvantage of having an auto-immune condition I suppose.
Unfortunately, I have been told by my consultant that my Crohn’s is no longer in remission and there is once again active inflammation in my small bowel. Although this news was of no surprise it was still a bit of an emotional blow that took a few days to come to terms with.
I have been prescribed an eight-week course of steroids that I hope will put me back into remission again.
Unfortunately, like my other medications it comes with a few nasty side effects – weight gain, stomach cramps, sickness and acne to name but a few.
But hopefully, I can sidestep them and if not it’s a case of riding it out and keeping your eye on the bigger picture. Which is to avoid my Crohn’s taking over and making me very ill as I was previously.
I have been researching different foods and diets which can help and it’s a bit of a minefield – low residue diet, Mediterranean diet, gluten-free and clean eating to name a few. So, I am just going to stick to what I have learned suits me and work my recipes around that.
Keeping things tasty
As always, I include a lot of seafood in my diet, looking at different ways to keep it tasty and interesting.
I made a Keralan hake curry with turmeric rice, which was not only delicious but it was so pretty and colourful on the plate it was a feast for the eyes, too.
Trying to break away from my favourite smokie pot I used some smoked haddock and created a smoked haddock cheesy pot, adding some spring onions, strong cheddar and extra thick cream to make a hearty and comforting dish that I think most would enjoy.
Chicken fried steak with American-style gravy was a big hit with the family – although I’m not a massive lover of steak anymore as I find it hard to digest. But as a one off it was thoroughly enjoyable. I will make this again but will probably substitute the steak for chicken.
I have attempted to stick to what I have named my “Recovery Diet” where I try to eat more foods that are easy on the digestive system – chicken, fish, pasta, rice and potatoes.
Again, monitoring my gluten and sugar intake. I am not intolerant to them but too much causes me some issues.
I am having red meat only once a week and eating only cooked vegetables and fruit. I try to not cut back on flavour ever by using garlic and turmeric etc, to enhance my dishes.
The fact that some of these flavours and spices is good for people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease is an absolute bonus and allows me to indulge in some of my favourite flavourings.
Creamy garlic chicken with buttery mashed potatoes is so heavenly that I need to switch off the TV light a candle and just enjoy the moment as I tuck into this dish.
Please find the recipe below and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Creamy garlic chicken served with buttery mashed potatoes
- Plain flour for dusting and 2 tsp for the sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste/season
- 2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthways
- 2 knobs of butter
- 1 clove of garlic, skinned and sliced finely
- 150ml double cream
- 150ml chicken stock
For the buttery mashed potatoes:
- 6 large potatoes (ones for mashing)
- Half a block of butter
- 100ml double cream
- 100ml whole milk
- Peel and chop your potatoes and add them to cold salted water in a pot. Let them come to the boil and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, add flour, salt and pepper (to taste) into a bowl and stir. Then dust your chicken all over with the seasoned flour and brown both sides in a heavy bottomed pan with a knob of melted butter (cook for roughly 5 minutes per side). Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Add the chopped garlic to the pan and a knob more butter and brown the garlic. Then add two teaspoons of flour to the pan to soak up all the juices and gradually add your chicken stock, stirring to combine.
- Next place your chicken back in the pan and add the double cream and stir. Cook for another 5 minutes or so on a medium heat until the sauce is bubbling, and the chicken is cooked through. Once cooked cover and leave to rest while you mash the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes and then return to the pot and add in the butter, the double cream and the milk, and begin to mash – keeping them on a low heat.
- Once the potatoes are mashed stir them well and taste. Add in a little more butter and cream if you feel they need it.
- Serve with either buttered greens or carrots and enjoy.