It’s that time of year where we’re all feeling bloated after a long Christmas, so we asked the expert Kathie Swift to come up with some yummy and easy recipes to keep the bloat at bay.

In my not-so-long-ago days as a working mother of two, and now a working grandmother of three, if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that momma’s got to eat, and she must eat well to give her body the nutrients and energy needed to rule the world, or at least her corner of it.

When we eat wisely, nourishing our bodies with whole, minimally-processed foods, we have more energy, fewer mood swings, less bloating and boosted immunity. That’s because all those wholesome foods give the good bacteria in our bellies something to chew on, extracting the nutrients and sending them on throughout the body, which in turn helps keep everything on an even keel.

If you’re finding yourself dozing at the desk by 10 am, or feeling lethargic by school pick-up time, it’s time to recalibrate your diet. In other words, start eating with a purpose! Eat to really nourish yourself. Consider what you’re putting in your mouth, and how your body responds. You’ll likely find that good food, quite simply, makes you feel good.

During the week when we’re all so short on time, simple, nutritious meals that don’t require the skills of a Master Chef contestant are definitely the way to go – and if the prep time is less than 10 minutes, so much the better. With this in mind, here is a day’s worth of simply delicious, healthy options that will help keep bloating low, energy high and your mood right where it should be!


Carrot Ginger Power Cakes

They’re loaded with antioxidants and light on sugar, but taste like an indulgent treat. Save baking time by doubling the recipe and freezing extra muffins for future use. Freeze muffins in individual containers for the ultimate, portion-controlled, grab-and-go breakfast. Drop a couple in your bag and after about 15 minutes of defrosting, the muffins are ready to eat.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22-25 minutes
Makes: 12 muffins
Serves: 6 (2 muffins per serving)

Ingredients: 

  • 55g coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 180g carrot purée or organic carrot baby food
  • 60ml walnut oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 80g 100 per cent pure maple syrup

Method: 

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Place 12 6-cm unbleached paper muffin cases in a muffin tin.

Step 2. In a small mixing bowl, sift the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder and ginger together.

Step 3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the carrot purée, walnut oil, eggs, vanilla and maple syrup until well blended.

Step 4. Add the sifted flour mixture to the carrot purée mixture and blend together until smooth.

Step 5. Divide the batter among the lined muffin holes.

Step 6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Leave to cool before serving.


Unclassic Chicken Waldorf Salad

To save time, instead of cooking a chicken from scratch, you can buy a fresh roasted chicken at a local market and cut up for this recipe – or remember to freeze home-made chicken leftovers to use for this recipe.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: None
Serves: 2

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 spring onion, chopped, white and green parts
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • 175g skinless baked chicken, sliced or cut in 2.5-cm pieces
  • 190g cos lettuce, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Yogurt Chive Dressing (page 284)

Method: 

Step 1. Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss until well coated.


Yogurt Chive Dressing

Simple and delicious and always good to have on hand to dress up any meal without all those weird additives and mysterious ingredients normally found in commercial salad dressings.

Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time: None
Makes: 500ml

Ingredients:

  • 500ml plain, unsweetened organic yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method: 

Step 1. Place the yogurt in a medium bowl and blend in the olive oil, chives, dill, salt and pepper. You can store this in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Simple Grilled Fish with Zesty Sesame Broccoli

To me, fish is the ultimate convenience food. It needs so little preparation and cooks so quickly, it’s always been a go-to dinnertime staple in my house.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

  • 450g wild-caught white fish, skin off
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Herbal seasoning of choice

Method: 

Step 1. Brush the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with herbal seasoning.

Step 2. Cook on a barbecue or hot grill pan for 4-5 minutes each side, based on a 2-cm thick fish, or until the fish flakes.

Zesty Sesame Broccoli

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

  • 1 head of broccoli, washed and cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Method:

Step 1. Place a steamer basket in a sauté pan with water. Add the broccoli, cover and steam for 6-8 minutes or until al dente.

Step 2. Remove the broccoli, drain and place in a medium-sized bowl.

Step 3. Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds and lemon zest. Toss and serve.


Extracted from The Swift Diet: 4 Weeks to Mend the Belly, Lose the Weight and Get Rid of the Bloat, Ebury Press 2015

By Kathie Madonna Swift, MS RDN LDN FAND EBQ
Integrative Dietitian/Nutritionist and Author, The Swift Diet: 4 Weeks to Mend the Belly, Lose the Weight and Get Rid of the Bloat, Ebury Press 2015

Photo Credit: Trisha McCormack

KATHIE SWIFT with tomatos

image copy