Clare Sullivan of www.browsersgrazers.com
Clare Sullivan developed her website www.browsersgrazers.com to demystify diet cooking. To provide recipes that are visually appetising, tasty and suit many dietary restrictions she has drawn extensively on her background in cooking, her training as a dietitian and her more recent involvement in the visual arts.
For more cooking ideas, check the website, www.browsersgrazers.com.
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Dates stuffed with coconut are a sweet treat that can be resisted by few and that is suitable for most people with dietary restrictions. It is a delicious and easy to prepare combination. And it stores well so can be made in advance for lunch boxes, a quick snack or an elegant sweet bite for unexpected guests or a party.
In the photo, the dates are served with chocolate-coated walnuts. This too makes a good combo. The walnuts need no recipe – 60g melted chocolate will coat the top half of 30 walnuts. I use the chocolate I make myself, which includes coconut oil ensuring that the flavours of these snacks complement one another. This ‘homemade’ chocolate is suitable for Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Vegan diets.
Diets for which Dates with Coconut are suitable: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Nut Free, Paleo, Raw, Vegan and Vegetarian. (Chocolate-coated walnuts are suitable for the Fodmap diet)
*Select fresh dates or dates that are moist. (Note: dates that are not fresh may have sulphites, a preservative, added.)
Shiro Wat is a spicy Ethiopian chickpea dish served as one of a number of dishes with injera (Ethiopian pancake made from teff flour). It also makes a very tasty dip, an alternative to ‘normal’ humus. This is a simply prepared combination of onion, Berber (Ethiopian spice mix) and shiro (also known as chickpea flour or besan). I first ate shiro when visiting Ethiopia earlier this year and I liked it so much that it is now a staple in my house. It accompanies salads, is served as part of Ethiopian meals I regularly prepare and it makes a delicious dip at parties.
Tinned chickpeas are usually acceptable for low-Fodmap diets because the heat and pressure of cooking makes the peas more digestible. It may therefore be that small quantities of shiro wat are also fine for some individuals on a Fodmap diet because the chickpea flour, which gives a very smooth texture to the finished dish, has been processed, though I cannot vouchsafe for the appropriateness of the process of all brands of this flour.
Diets for which shiro wat (humus) is suitable: Diabetic, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Vegan and Vegetarian.
A bright green dip that is very suggestive of spring. This is a healthy, low fat alternative to the avocado guacamole we all know and love; and it is as simple to prepare. The dish is sweet from the natural juices of the peas, the flavour of which is enhanced by the addition of herbs and gentle spices.
The peas are cooked for only a couple of minutes to soften them; or they can be processed raw with the other ingredients. If fresh peas are not available, frozen peas are a good alternative. (They are snap-frozen, resulting in a product that retains its sweetness and nutrition.)
Diets for which Pea Guacamole is suitable: Diabetic, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Paleo, Raw, Vegan and Vegetarian.
24 rice crackers, pastry cases or celery sticks**
*Do not cook for R diet.
Spinach slice makes a healthy and satisfying canapé or a light meal; or add it to your picnic basket.
This dish requires little preparation time and can be cooked well in advance. The taste is subtle and, I find, a pleasant change to the spicy food I usually eat. However, you may want to add more flavour by incorporating more herbs, adding spices or serving it with a sauce or salsa.
The balance of rice to egg is a personal choice. The photograph shows the proportions suggested below. However, you may wish to make the dish lighter and softer like a frittata by adding more egg or reducing the quantity of rice.
Diets for which Spinach Slice is suitable: Diabetic, Dairy Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free and Vegetarian.
With remaining spinach slice, fry it in a nonstick frying pan with ½ tbsp oil and serve as a warm canapé or starter, with sauce or salsa.
*If using a different rice, choose one with a similar soft cooked texture.
Stuffed mushrooms are presented in a variety of ways that make them suitable for numerous diets, enabling you to serve them as a canapé. These small bites are a nutritious and tasty choice for any party. From the ingredients listed make your preferred selection.
If you are using a pesto that contains garlic, I recommend you do not add more garlic (unless you are wanting ‘garlic mushrooms’) because the flavour can be overwhelming in this dish. Make your own pesto and vary the combination of nuts and herbs, eg replace the pine nuts with almond, walnuts or sunflower seeds for a Nut Free diet; likewise, the basil can be substituted with parsley, coriander or dill.
Including bread in the stuffing is not essential although it does have several advantages. It absorbs the juices from the mushroom as well as any excess oil; and it provides a solid texture to the filling. For a Gluten Free diet, select appropriate bread or replace it with another cereal, such as brown rice which will give a chewy texture.
For Dairy Free and Vegan diets omit the parmesan cheese (try my pesto recipe instead); or replace it with a vegan cheese.
Combinations of ingredients I have enjoyed have been:
Diets for which Stuffed Mushrooms are suitable: Diabetic, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Paleo, Vegan and Vegetarian.
Serve - hot.