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Crohn’s, Cooking and Me: Get your lips around this posh steak toastie

Debbie Hamilton of Crohn's Cooking and Me

Spring is here and that makes me smile from the inside out. I love this season as everything starts to burst back into life after what feels like another endless winter.

As I write this, the sun is shining in through the window and I find myself staring wistfully at the blue skies and fighting with myself to remain focused.

My symptoms have slowly began to settle this past month and I am beginning to feel a bit more like myself.  I still have to be careful with my diet and I have completely cut out alcohol as that has been a trigger. I’m starting to feel a bit more balanced and my energy levels have increased.

Debbie Hamilton out on one of her walks.

This has allowed me to incorporate more exercise. Regular brisk walks, yoga and meditation now play a large part in my daily routine. I try my hardest to avoid stressful situations as this is a big trigger of my symptoms. Recognising the impact that your emotional wellbeing has on your physical wellbeing is key.

Cooking highlights this month

My cooking has seen me stick to what I know best – home cooking using the best quality produce.  I have also added Kefir products into my diet so that I can build on those good healthy gut bacteria.

As the weather is starting to warm up slightly I begin to crave Mediterranean foods like tomatoes, olive oil and of course, my favourite, garlic.

Debbie has been inspired by Mediterranean flavours this month.

I have been enjoying a staple pasta dishes for lunch which is my tomato pasta salad.  Combining beautiful sweet cherry tomatoes with garlic, basil and olive oil it is my very own little piece of summer.

I also recently made pan con tomate which is my interpretation of the famous tapas dish you associate with Spanish holidays.

The pan con tomate.

Using the pulp of a tomato, combine it with grated garlic and shallots and serve it on toasted sourdough bread that has been flavoured with more garlic. It is always a winner for me and is filling without leaving me feeling bloated that can sometimes happen with bread dishes.

Another tasty first from this month was my posh steak toastie, a popular and quick midweek meal choice that will be a new regular in this house.

Posh steak toastie

Serves 4

Debbie’s posh steak toastie.


  • 5 tbsp of red wine
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar
  • 4 slices of minute-steak sliced into strips
  • Knob of butter
  • 100g of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread,
  • Garlic clove


  1. Add the red wine, soy, mustard and sugar into a bowl and combine.  Then add your steak strips and let marinade for at least 30 mins.
  2. Melt a knob of butter in a pan and add the mushrooms and onion and stir to coat them in the melted butter.
  3. Cook under a medium heat, stirring regularly so that they soften and cook but do not burn.
  4. Once cooked add your steak and the marinade and let the steak brown while you stir it. Then allow the marinade to reduce to a sticky consistency.
  5. Whilst this is reducing toast your bread either on a griddle pan or under the grill.
  6. Then rub each toasted slice of bread with a garlic clove to flavour the bread then add your steak and onions on top and enjoy.

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