Roasted Courgette and Sweet Pepper Soup | Low Fat Courgette and Pepper Soup | Reflux Recipe

Roasted Courgette and Sweet Pepper Soup | Low-Fat Courgette and Pepper Soup | Reflux Recipe

I had the idea for this roasted courgette and sweet pepper soup when I made the roasted sweet pepper sauce.   This soup variation is delicious, rich, filling and low-fat, as well as reflux*-friendly.

Although it takes a little bit of time to make (not too much time), it is actually a very easy recipe.

If you are a reflux sufferer who does not tolerate garlic, simply leave it out of the recipe.  The soup will still taste delicious as the other ingredients pack a powerful flavour punch!   For those around your dinner table who do not suffer from reflux, this soup is delicious with the addition of a sprinkling of ground chilli flakes (these can be added to individual portions so everyone can have the soup as spicy – or not – as they wish).

Roasted Courgette and Sweet Pepper Soup | Low Fat Courgette and Pepper Soup | Reflux Recipe

Ingredients (for 8 generous portions as a main meal)

  • 10 peppers (mixture of red, orange and yellow – red and orange are tastier, in my opinion, than yellow, so I use more of those)
  • 8 large courgettes
  • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • a generous sprinkling of dried oregano
  • sea salt
  • 1l chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian / vegan alternative) – I use Knorr Chicken Stock Pots (2, dissolved in 1l boiling water)

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 220°C (fan).

Cut the courgettes into quarters lengthways, then cut each length into roughly 1.5cm pieces.  Place into a large roasting tin (you may need to spread these over two roasting tins, as there will be quite a lot to start with), drizzle 2tbsp olive oil over the top, add a light sprinkling of sea salt and a generous sprinkling of oregano (how much oregano you use depends on how much you like the taste).

De-seed and cut the peppers into large chunks.  Remove all the garlic cloves from their bulbs, removing any excess/loose ‘skin’, without peeling the garlic cloves.  Lightly squash the cloves, using the side of a large knife and pressure from the palm of your hand – enough to burst the skins a little and flatten the cloves a bit, but not enough to peel the cloves or break them up.  Place the peppers into a large roasting tin (or two, depending on the size of your tins!), drizzle 2tbsp olive oil over the top, add a light sprinkling of sea salt and a generous sprinkling of oregano (how much oregano you use depends on how much you like the taste).

Place your tins in the oven (you may need to do this in stages if you can’t fit them all in at once).  Roast for approximately 40 minutes, mixing halfway through cooking.  You are aiming for the vegetables to be very well cooked and soft, with blackened bits, and for the garlic cloves to have gone very soft.

Put the roasted courgettes (and any remaining roasting juices) into a blender, add just a little bit of chicken stock (enough to aid the blending process) and blend to desired consistency (I like to leave a little bit of courgette texture so I don’t blend it to a completely smooth consistency, but almost).  Transfer the resulting purée into a large pan / stockpot.

Tip: If you are doing this while it is still hot, ensure the jug on your blender is heat proof, that the jug is not over-full (do in batches if needed) and that the removable centre section of the lid is removed.  Before you start blending, place the lid (with the hole in the top) firmly on the jug, then loosely hold a tea towel folded into a square over the hole.  Doing this will ensure that steam can escape and that your hot sauce doesn’t burst out of the blender.

Repeat the process with the peppers and garlic, including skins.  Do not pour the blended peppers directly into the blended courgettes, but pour them into a fine sieve resting above the courgette ‘soup’.  Do this in small batches and, using a spoon, stir the sauce so that it can go through the sieve, leaving behind only the tiny pieces of garlic and pepper skins. Keep doing this until you have sieved the entire contents of the blender and you cannot push any more pulp through the sieve. Use the rest of the chicken or vegetable stock stock to ‘wash out’ the blender jug and get every drop of this delicious roasted sweet pepper purée into your bowl.

Stir the courgette and pepper purées well to ensure they are completely mixed together.  Taste and, if required, adjust seasoning by adding salt.  The roasted courgette and sweet pepper soup will be quite thick, so you can add additional stock to make it runnier, if you prefer.

You can make this in advance and then re-heat it in a pan.  Serve hot with delicious fresh bread of your choice!

Any leftovers (if there are any!) can be refrigerated or frozen to be eaten another day in its soup form or used as a sauce for pasta, fish, and meat.

Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Low Fat, Gloriously Reflux-Friendly, Gloriously Good!

*Please note I am not a doctor, speech therapist or in any way medically qualified.  The recipes are a combination of my interpretation of the rules outlined in the ‘Dropping Acid – The Reflux Diet’ book and ingredients that work for my reflux.  If you believe you suffer from reflux, please seek advice from a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis and work out the best course of treatment/management for you.  I hope that my recipes can help you as part of this management.  The recipes are, by their nature, very low in fat, so are also suitable for anyone wishing to follow a low-fat diet. 

Low-fat Chicken Liver Pâté | Reflux suitable chicken liver Pâté | chicken liver Pâté

Chicken Liver Pâté | Low Fat Recipe | Suitable for Reflux

I love chicken liver pâté!  I used to make it with tons of butter (including a thick butter ‘crust’) and port…

…but although times change and I now need to eat low fat meals to manage my reflux, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy great food!  In fact, this low-fat chicken liver pâté is so scrumptious, rich and creamy that you’d never guess it was a low-fat, reflux-friendly* recipe! And it’s very quick and easy to make, too 🙂

Low-fat Chicken Liver Pâté | Reflux suitable chicken liver Pâté | chicken liver Pâté

Ingredients

  • 400g chicken livers
  • half a large onion (or one small onion), roughly chopped – I am fine with cooked onions and many people with reflux are, but if you are not, simply leave the onion out. 
  • 10g butter
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (adjust quantity, to taste – depending on how much you like thyme!)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • 2 heaped tbsp fat free crème fraîche (I find Yeo Valley 0% crème fraîche very creamy, and actually nicer than the Sainsbury’s ‘Be Good to Yourself’ one, which has 2.4% fat – try different ones to decide which one you like best)

Method

Fry the onions in the butter, initially on a high heat to brown them a little for flavour (don’t burn them though!), then turn down the heat and cook them for a few minutes until they’ve softened.

While the onions are browning/softening, remove all visible fat from the chicken livers and cut them up roughly into smaller pieces for ease of cooking.  Then turn the heat to high again and add the livers to the onions, sprinkling salt and thyme over everything and stirring.

Cook on a high heat for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat down and cover with a lid, simmering for another 2-3 minutes.  If there is a lot of liquid, remove the lid and simmer for long enough for most (but not all) of the juices to evaporate.  In total, you’ll be cooking the livers for only 5-7 minutes – check that they are no longer pink but don’t cook them so long they become dry and cardboard-like in texture.

Leave to cool until they’re at room temperature, then place everything in a food processor, add the crème fraîche and blitz to a paste.  I like it quite lumpy, but process for longer if you want a smoother pâté.

Tip: When adding the crème fraîche, start off with one tablespoon, check for consistency, then add more as needed.  Bear in mind that it will go slightly more ‘solid’ once you refrigerate it.

Refrigerate for a few hours, then serve with brown toast or wholegrain crackerbread.

Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Low Fat, Gloriously Reflux-Friendly, Gloriously Good!

*Please note I am not a doctor, speech therapist or in any way medically qualified.  The recipes are a combination of my interpretation of the rules outlined in the ‘Dropping Acid – The Reflux Diet’ book and ingredients that work for my reflux.  If you believe you suffer from reflux, please seek advice from a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis and work out the best course of treatment/management for you.  I hope that my recipes can help you as part of this management.  The recipes are, by their nature, very low in fat, so are also suitable for anyone wishing to follow a low-fat diet. 

Chicken Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni

Chicken, Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni | Reflux Recipe | Low-Fat Recipe

Cannelloni are a delicious way to enjoy pasta, with the filling taking centre stage!

This is my low-fat, reflux-friendly* Chicken, Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni recipe with a Roasted Sweet Pepper sauce (as a replacement for tomatoes), which I hope you will love as much as I do! And although it’s reflux-friendly and low in fat, it’s packed with flavour and a treat for the whole family to enjoy.

I do use garlic in this (and many of my recipes!) as I love the stuff and luckily it doesn’t set off my reflux, but if it is one of the ingredients that sets yours off, you can replace it with a herb of your choice or, even better, simply use some nutmeg in the ricotta mixture, to complement the nutmeg in the white sauce.

Chicken Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni

Ingredients

For the cannelloni filling:
  • 6 chicken thigh fillets
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 500g young/baby spinach
  • 250g ricotta (I use Sainsbury’s, which has 10.1% fat – the highest fat content I’ll allow myself in any reflux-friendly meal)
  • 5g butter
  • a sprinkling of sea salt
For the white sauce (Not strictly-speaking a béchamel sauce as I use only a hint of butter and, to keep it light, cornflour instead of flour.  I also don’t make this with a traditional roux as a starting point):
  • 1l semi-skimmed milk
  • 6tbsp cornflour
  • 10g butter
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • freshly-grated nutmeg (to taste)
For the crunchy breadcrumb topping:
  • 1-2 slices toasted brown bread
  • a small handful of porridge oats
  • a generous sprinkling of sea salt, rosemary & dried garlic
  • Optional: 30g finely-grated parmesan

To make the breadcrumb topping, simply blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until you achieve a fine consistency.  A high power processor such as a Nutribullet will achieve a finer consistency, but any food processor with chopping blades will work very well.  You can prepare these in advance – even the previous day, or use leftover ones from other recipes using breadcrumbs.  If you are planning on adding parmesan, add this just before you use the breadcrumbs.

Additional Ingredients:
  • Approx. 500ml roasted sweet pepper sauce
  • Approx. 20 cannelloni tubes (there are 25 in a 250g pack from Sainsbury’s and we used 20 – you will need as many as it takes to create one even layer in your roasting dish)
  • 1 cal spray cooking oil

Chicken Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni 2

Method

If you haven’t already done so, prepare roasted sweet pepper sauce, but to save time, make this in advance and use it on the day.

Next, finely chop the garlic, trim all visible fat off the chicken and dice it into small pieces of approximately 0.5cm.  Brown the chicken and garlic (If you use herbs instead of garlic, add them at this point.  If you use nutmeg, add it at the end, after you have added the ricotta – see instructions further down) with 5g of butter in a non-stick pan over a high heat, adding a sprinkling of sea salt.  Cook it for 2-3 minutes, still over a high heat, so the chicken is just cooked and has released some lovely juices (these will later help flavour the ricotta).  Leave to one side to cool.

Bring a large pan/stockpot of water to the boil and, once it’s boiling, add the spinach (don’t worry if it doesn’t fit – push it down and you can add more as it quickly wilts as soon as it hits the boiling water).  Wilt all the spinach (it will take 30 seconds to one minute max), stirring to make sure it’s wilted evenly, then drain and remove all the excess water by repeatedly pressing it with the back of a spoon in a sieve.  Aim to get it as dry as possible, then transfer it to a chopping board and roughly chop it up.  Add the chopped spinach to the cooling chicken and stir.  Leave to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (fan-assisted).

Now make the white sauce: 

Heat 800ml of the milk with 10g of butter, add a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly-grated nutmeg (I go quite heavy on the nutmeg as this helps make the white sauce taste rich and indulgent, but if you’re not sure, go easy and then add some after the white sauce is cooked, to taste).

Once the milk has reached simmering point and the butter has melted, mix the remaining milk with the cornflour and pour it into the hot milk, stirring continuously with a whisk (do not whisk it though, you don’t want frothy white sauce!).  Keep stirring until the sauce has reached a thick, velvety consistency.  Taste and add salt & nutmeg if required.

Now stir the ricotta into the slightly cooled chicken and spinach.  Check the taste and add salt if needed.  If you didn’t use garlic, add nutmeg at this point.

If you haven’t made the breadcrumbs in advance, now is the time to make them.

It’s now time to assemble the cannelloni dish: 

Place enough roasted sweet pepper sauce into the bottom of your roasting dish to cover it to approximately 0.5cm depth (As you can see from the photos, the resulting dish will be succulent but not oozing with sauce. If you want more sauce, add more to the bottom of your dish at this assembly stage.).

Fill the cannelloni tubes with the chicken, spinach and ricotta mixture, using the stem of a teaspoon to push the mixture in all the way.  You need to pack each tube full of ingredients from end to end.

Tip: If you have any chicken, spinach & ricotta filling left over, refrigerate it and use it the next day as a sauce for spaghetti or other pasta.  Simply remove from the fridge to bring to room temperature and dilute a little with some of the pasta water once the pasta is cooking (this is done with a number of pasta sauces in Italy), then stir through the pasta.  You can also add a bit more ricotta to make it go further as a pasta sauce – there is so much flavour in the mixture that it can stand a bit of dilution.

Lay all the tubes over the roasted sweet pepper sauce in one even layer, then cover the whole dish with the white sauce.  Sprinkle 2-3 handfuls of breadcrumbs over the top of the white sauce and spray with 1 cal spray cooking oil.

Place the dish into the pre-heated oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes, checking at the end with a skewer to make sure you meet no resistance from the pasta.

Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Chicken, Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni with a Roasted Sweet Pepper Sauce | Gloriously Reflux-Friendly, Gloriously Low-Fat, Gloriously Good!

*Please note I am not a doctor, speech therapist or in any way medically qualified.  The recipes are a combination of my interpretation of the rules outlined in the ‘Dropping Acid – The Reflux Diet’ book and ingredients that work for my reflux.  If you believe you suffer from reflux, please seek advice from a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis and work out the best course of treatment/management for you.  I hope that my recipes can help you as part of this management.  The recipes are, by their nature, very low in fat, so are also suitable for anyone wishing to follow a low-fat diet.