As regular readers will know, I follow the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) lifestyle approach to help me feel in control of my MS. The fundamentals of OMS are explained here and, believe me, in regards to diet, it was a huge lifestyle shift for me. Gone are the dairy milk chocolate bars dunked in tea and the boxes of melted Camembert I devoured at Christmas time with hunks of bread. Now, my diet is mainly dairy-free and plant-based but with some fish and seafood. It’s amazing how quickly your body adapts, especially when you make the effort to look into alternatives that can also be considered treats – I now love 100% cocoa chocolate, whereas in the past it was just a bit too bitter. I have adapted old recipes, like chocolate cupcakes, to dairy and egg free ones that taste just as good (ask my kids!) as the ones laden with butter. I guess the thing that also keeps me going is how much better I feel with a healthy diet. Do I ever cheat? Sure. But I am happy to say that at least 95% of my diet adheres to OMS, if not more.
The quest for new and delicious recipes has led me to spending a lot on cookbooks. I am one of those people who just loves food – eating it, looking at it – just check out my Pinterest Page – and reading about it.
I thought that it might be nice to share a few of my favourite recipes from my vast collection, sometimes it helps to know if others have made something and liked it before you decide to give it a try.
I have sung the praises for Deliciously Ella before in my post for her Hazelnut and Raisin Energy Balls. I make these regularly and the whole family love them as a sweet treat. Ella also has a YouTube channel where she shares some of her recipes. I haven’t found this first one in any of her books, but I followed the recipe online. It is super quick and simple and even my kids like it (which is a big thing for them, considering they aren’t keen on pulses). We usually serve it with brown rice or potato wedges and salad:
Cannellini Bean Stew
Ella uses quite a lot of olive oil in the sauce and other ‘high fat’, albeit healthy, ingredients. As such, I use less olive oil and more water, then dress my pad thai separately to my husband’s so I don’t overdo it on the fat levels. I find it makes plenty of dressing that we will have with another meal (for instance, I will use it to drizzle over cooked sweet potato or to dip homemade chips into).
My newest cookbook is Fearne Cotton’s ‘Cook Happy, Cook Healthy’. She uses meat, coconut and cheese in some of the recipes, so they are not all OMS-friendly, but I have been able to adapt some of the recipes and the results have been lovely.
Mackerel with Roasted Tomatoes, Olives and Parsley – serves 4
This mackerel ended up being a surprising hit with my kids – they weren’t as keen on the sauce but I thought that it was fresh and zingy and went really well with the fish. I chose to grill the mackerel rather than fry (so as to not add oil) and serve it with extra veg and new potatoes:
- 250g cherry tomatoes
- 6 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1tblsp red wine vinegar
- 40g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 20 black and green olives, roughly chopped (I just used black)
- 4 x 180g mackerel fillets
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6
- Place tomatoes in a baking try with 2 tsp of oil, the red wine vinegar. Roast for 15 minutes
- While tomatoes are cooking, combine the chopped parsley with the rest of the olive oil, the lemon zest and garlic. Add the olives and a bit of salt. Add the tomatoes once they have finished cooking.
- Grill the mackerel fillets for approximately 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Plate up with the tomato and olive dressing.
Angela Liddon is otherwise known as ‘Oh She Glows’. I regularly make her chia jam and banana soft serve:
Chia Seed Jam- makes 250ml
I find that I hardly have to cook this at all once the chia seeds are in, as it starts to thicken naturally as it cools. As such, I would recommend taking it off the heat when it is still quite ‘loose’ as it will continue to thicken.
- 600g fresh berries (I have also used frozen berries, defrosted) e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blackberries
- 3-4 tblsp liquid sweetener e.g. maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- 2 tblsp chia seeds
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Combine the berries and 3 tblsp of the sweetener in a pan and cook on a medium heat stirring frequently until it comes to a simmer. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes, breaking the berries up with the back of a spoon
- Stir in the chia seeds and continue to cook the jam until it is at your desired consistency, up to 15 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t stick
- Once the jam is thick, take off the heat and add in the vanilla and more sweetener if needed. Will keep in an airtight container in fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Banana soft serve – serves 2-4
My kids love banana ‘nice-cream’, as I call it. Even my son, who isn’t a banana fan! It is amazing how much it is like ice cream and you can hardly taste the banana, especially if you do not use really ripe, spotty ones. I love that you can add different flavours it it to change the taste – we often add cocoa powder, vanilla or cinnamon (great served with with warmed apple and pecans with a bit of maple syrup!). I find that adding a bit of non-dairy milk helps it along the way and it helps to frequently stop the food processor to wipe down the sides.
- 4 ripe bananas, peeled, chopped into chunks and frozen
- 2 tblsp nut butter or other flavouring as mentioned above – I would add a tblsp or so of cocoa, a tsp of vanilla, a tsp of cinnamon etc
- Process the above ingredients in a strong food processor for several minutes, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides. Use a splash of non-dairy milk if needed to help it on its way
- When it is smooth and creamy, it’s done – serve immediately
I hope that you enjoyed these recipes as much as I enjoy eating them 🙂 These are just a few recipes that I love, I would really recommend having a look online for other recipes from these authors if you want to try some for yourself.
Have you got any favourite recipes? Let me know! Have a lovely weekend 🙂