Taking care of your gut

Living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be debilitating and miserable, so Alana Scott has come up with a range of simple-to-prepare and good-to-eat recipes that will help sufferers.

The Gut Friendly Cookbook, by Alana Scott, published by Random House, RRP $45.
The Gut Friendly Cookbook, by Alana Scott, published by Random House, RRP $45.

As it is IBS Awareness Month, her book, The Gut Friendly Cookbook, provides some great information, and it's all approved by a gut-health dietitian and Allergy New Zealand.

Scott is a blogger who, when diagnosed with coeliac disease and IBS and placed on a low Fodmap diet, decided to use her foodie background to begin cooking "low-fo" style, simplifying and making its food interesting.

In her book, she explains what a low Fodmap diet is - it restricts certain foods containing a group of fermentable sugars that can trigger gastrointestinal symptoms in some people - to help identify what foods people can and cannot eat.

She provides tips for getting symptoms under control, alternatives to high Fodmap foods and what to avoid when shopping.

There is also tips on quantities - some foods can be eaten but in smaller amounts.

Her recipes are gluten-free and the cookbook covers breakfast, lunch, dinner, sweet treats, menu ideas and a handy Fodmap fixings section for everyday condiments, which can be hard to buy without offending ingredients, such as hummus with garlic-infused oil.

Tasty egg wraps
Tasty egg wraps

Tasty egg wraps

These make a lovely low Fodmap alternative to wheat-based wraps. They are yummy warm or cold and you can fill them with a variety of fillings. Here are two of my favourites to get you started.

Serves 1

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Basic egg wrap

1½ Tbsp low Fodmap milk

½ Tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

few grinds of salt and pepper

drizzle of neutral oil (e.g. rice bran, canola, sunflower)

Sauteed vege filling

½ cup (40g) thinly sliced eggplant

½ red capsicum, cut into strips

1 medium (60g) carrot, peeled and julienned

½ cup (65g) chopped courgette

drizzle of neutral oil (e.g. rice bran,

canola, sunflower)

few grinds of salt and pepper, to taste

sprinkle of paprika

zesty lemon aioli, to serve

Ham and mustard filling

1 tsp Dijon mustard

40g sliced ham

handful of baby spinach, roughlychopped


1 Place a medium-sized frying pan over medium-low heat. Mix together the milk and flour in a medium-sized bowl. Once smooth, whisk in the eggs until the mixture is evenly yellow. Season with salt and pepper.

2 Grease the pan with the oil. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and tip the pan in a circular motion until it is evenly spread over the base. Cook for about 1 minute, until the edges start to lift. Using a spatula, gently flip the wrap and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until golden.

3 To make the sauteed vege filling, saute the veges in a little oil over medium-high heat until the eggplant is golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of paprika. Spread the filling over the egg wrap and add a drizzle of aioli. Roll up to serve.

4 To make the ham and mustard filling, spread the mustard on the egg wrap and top with ham and spinach. Roll up to serve.

Chicken and roast vege pasta in red wine. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Chicken and roast vege pasta in red wine. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Chicken and roast vege pasta in red wine sauce 

This saucy number is sure to be a crowd pleaser and is a lovely way to use my homemade red wine and tomato pasta sauce.

Serves 4

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

2 large (240g) carrots, peeled and cut

into small pieces

3 cups (240g) cubed eggplant

drizzle of olive oil

few grinds of salt and pepper

450g chicken breast, cut into cubes

½ recipe red wine and tomato pasta

sauce (see below)

3 cups (90g) roughly chopped spinach

280g gluten-free spaghetti

2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Red wine and tomato pasta sauce

2 Tbsp garlic-infused oil

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup (80g) finely chopped leek (green

leaves only)

800g can plain crushed/chopped tomatoes

¼ cup (60ml) red wine

4 Tbsp tomato paste

1 cup (250ml) low Fodmap chicken or vegetable stock (GF if needed)

1½ tsp white sugar

2 tsp dried oregano

1½ tsp dried thyme

¾ tsp dried rosemary

few grinds of salt and pepper, to taste

splash of Worcestershire sauce (GF if needed), (optional)

handful of fresh herbs (optional)


1 Heat oven to 190degC bake function. Place the carrot and eggplant in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, turning once, until golden and soft.

2 While the veges roast, fry the chicken with a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Turn the heat down to low and add the pasta sauce and spinach. Allow to heat through.

3 Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions. Drain, and then toss through the sauce along with the roast veges. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Red wine tomato pasta sauce
Red wine tomato pasta sauce

Red wine and tomato pasta sauce

1 Heat the garlic-infused oil and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry the leek until fragrant.

2 Stir in the tomatoes, red wine, tomato paste, stock, sugar and dried herbs. Season generously with salt and pepper.

3 Turn down the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more seasonings or salt and pepper as needed. If you want to add more depth of flavour to your sauce, try adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Or boost the flavour even further by adding a handful of fresh herbs before serving.

Tip: This pasta sauce will keep for five days in the fridge, for three months in the freezer, or you can bottle it and store it safely for at least six months in the pantry (unopened).

Banana butterscotch pudding

Feel like something sweet? Then this banana butterscotch pudding is the perfect comfort dessert. It combines the flavour of banana bread with the gooey goodness of butterscotch sauce.

Banana butterscotch pudding
Banana butterscotch pudding

Serves 6

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

1⅓ cups (190g) gluten-free all-purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder (GF if needed)

1 cup (200g) mashed firm banana (no brown spots)

1 large egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla essence

½ cup (125ml) low Fodmap milk

100g dairy-free spread or butter, melted

Butterscotch sauce

½ cup (100g) lightly packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp cornflour (GF if needed)

2 cups (500ml) boiling water

3 Tbsp golden syrup

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup


1 Heat oven to 180degC bake function. Place the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Grease a 2L capacity ovenproof baking dish.

2 Mix the flour and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the banana, egg, vanilla essence, milk and dairy-free spread or butter, and mix until well combined. Spoon into the prepared dish.

3 Combine the brown sugar and cornflour in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the pudding mixture.

4 In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the boiling water, golden syrup and maple syrup. Gently pour over the pudding (pour on to the back of a dessertspoon to disperse the liquid).

5 Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the pudding comes out clean and the top is golden brown. It's OK if the pudding is wobbly.

Tip: To make this recipe egg-free, you can replace the egg with a commercial egg replacer. I used the equivalent of two eggs' worth of the replacer.


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