Buttered Fish Broth - Low-FODMAP recipe

Thankfully butter is low-FODMAP and I feel no fear about throwing it into my food at the slightest opportunity. If you are a ghee advocate then do please substitute for the butter. The benefit of this dish is that it does not require a fish stock. As the hot water reduces it almost emulsifies with the butter to turn it a delicate, primrose yellow. The flavour will intensify as it reduces. As an addendum, I have made this with a frozen fish portions putting the frozen fish straight into the water. I can’t say it has altered the flavour at all, but it has made my life easier when I’ve forgotten to defrost any fish! I’ve given you the recipe for 2 portions, as I’ve realised not all of you are feeding a family of four, but you can easily multiply the recipe. I serve this on its own for a light meal or in a bowl over rice for a main meal, (see picture for both options). If you can find some good low-FODMAP crusty bread, it works as a delicious mop for the yellowy broth. 

In light of the news of vegetable shortages, I've had to rethink this month's recipes! If you cannot find baby spinach, look for some homegrown perpetual spinach. It will need a good wash, tough stems removing and a slightly longer cooking time but will still be terrifically good for you.

Right-hand bowl is without rice, left-hand bowl is with rice

Right-hand bowl is without rice, left-hand bowl is with rice

2 portions of firm white fish such as haddock or cod each weighing between 120g-150g

700ml water

Bay leaf

2 large sprigs of thyme

8 peppercorns

40g butter

120g peeled diced carrot

70g baby leaf spinach

Small handful of basil, shredded

Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning


If you are serving with rice, start cooking this while you prepare the broth. Warm two soup bowls.

Place the fish in a medium sized pan with the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and water. Bring to the boil, cover and turn down to a simmer for 6-7 minutes, until the fish flakes easily. It is difficult to be exact, as the cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillet.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish from the pan and place in a soup bowl. Skim out and discard the peppercorns and bay leaf from the water. Add the butter and carrots to the pan and bring to the boil, uncovered. Reduce the water by half, stirring occasionally to blend the butter. Meanwhile, flake the fish by hand, removing any skin or bones

When the broth has reduced, stir in the spinach and basil. Cover and allow to wilt for a minute. Remove from the heat. Take out the woody thyme sprigs but leave any thyme leaves. Add the flaked fish back into the pan then taste and adjust the seasoning. If you are using rice, place a portion in each bowl before sharing the broth between the bowls.

Low-FODMAP servings

Fish is high in protein and does not contain carbohydrates.

Butter is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates.

Carrot – Eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 61g.

Spinach – 38g

Basmati rice – 190g (I used 150g of cooked basmati rice as a serving)

Basil – 16g


Christmas Prawn Cocktail Two Ways - Low-FODMAP, gluten-free, quick and easy!

The Little Miss is unreserved in her love for prawns. On his stall our fishmonger actually has a picture of her aged 3 eating prawns. When asked what they’d like for Christmas dinner this year she didn’t miss a beat – “Prawns, lots of prawns”

Which one's prettier? You decide!

Which one's prettier? You decide!

I like a prawn cocktail for a Christmas dinner starter, yes it may sound twee and dated but so are most of our Christmas traditions. Each year we add a new animal to our nativity scene, this year it’s an armadillo: he’ll sit nicely next to the panda and tiger. There is nothing minimal in our decorations, we like it to be gaudy and exuberant. However, I do like to keep my food prep minimal. I used to shut myself away in the kitchen for what felt like most of Christmas day before I came to my senses and realised I’d actually rather spend the time with the family. These prawn cocktails are definitely minimal in their prep and easy enough for a child to take charge making.

I’ve given you two varieties: in our family the jury is split straight down the middle on which is their favourite variety. I can’t eat mayonnaise so will swap my marie-rose share with the Little Miss for her herbed one. I’ve suggested that a portion is one of each variety but you could just double the quantity if you prefer one to the other. Watch the how to video here

Serves 6

Prep – 15 minutes

12 washed little gem lettuce leaves.


Marie-rose version

160g cooked king prawns, dried with kitchen towel

60g mayonnaise

1 tsp. tomato puree

½ tsp. sweet smoked paprika

Large pinch of salt flakes

Very small bunch of chives

Mix the mayonnaise, tomato puree, paprika and salt together in a small bowl. Add the prawns and turn everything over until it is well coated. Arrange 6 of the lettuce leaves on a platter. Spoon the prawn mixture evenly between the lettuce cups. Snip the chives over the top of the prawns.


Lemon and herb version

160g cooked king prawns, dried with kitchen towel

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Finely grated zest of ¼ of an unwaxed lemon

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 heaped tbsp. finely chopped parsley

Pinch of salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix everything but the prawns together in a small bowl until well combined. Add the prawns and turn everything over until it is well coated. Arrange 6 of the lettuce leaves on a platter. Spoon the prawn mixture evenly between the lettuce cups.




Aromatic Spiced Prawns - low-FODMAP, gluten-free and quick!

Aromatic Spiced Prawns - low-FODMAP, gluten-free and quick!

Aromatic Spiced Prawns and noodles, low-FODMAP

Two things I have found whilst on my Low-FODMAP, gluten-free adventures – a ridiculously restrictive diet means a lot of time spent cooking everything from scratch: between childcare and work, we don’t seem to have a lot of time. It’s an impossible equation.

I do find it frustrating when ‘quick and easy’ recipes include stir-fries and then list an overwhelming number of vegetables that need chopping: chopping carrots into matchstick-sized pieces can take an eternity. Bagged, ready-chopped stir-fry mixes often contain a few brown ends on the vegetables or have a curiously dried-out-yet-soggy texture. The exception to the ready-prepped veg rule seems to be ready-spiralised courgette, also know as ‘zoodles’ (zucchini noodles) or ‘courgetti’. I don’t have the space to store a spiraliser but if you do, then please use your own! In my book, Our House For Tea, I would put this under the ‘Making An Effort’ chapter – not because of the time spent in preparation but because you need to remember to buy the courgette noodles!

I’m always grateful to find a shortcut – the shortcut for this recipe comes via Aromatic Spiced Oil, next time maybe you could try garlic oil? If you can't buy a ready made oil, I'll give you the recipe for that too at the end. If you would like a more carb-heavy meal, serve over some rice-noodles that cook in minutes.


Serves 2 as a light meal

Prep – 10 minutes

2 tbsp. Aromatic Spiced Oil

300g courgette noodles

150g cooked large peeled prawns

Pinch of salt

Bring a pan of water to the boil with the salt. Drop the courgette ‘noodles’ into the boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain through a sieve and leave in the sieve to drain further while you heat the prawns

Shake the oil bottle well before measuring out the oil and any spices that come out, into a wide frying pan. Heat over a high heat then tip in the prawns. Cook for one minute on each side. Whilst the prawns are heating through, arrange the courgette noodles into piles on two warmed plates. Tip the hot prawns onto the courgette piles and drizzle over the pan juices over the top.


Aromatic Spiced Oil

1.5 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. coriander seeds

1 tsp. dried herbs de Provence (savory, marjoram, thyme, oregano, rosemary mix)

Pinch of dried chilli flakes.

Lightly crush the coriander seeds with your thumbs, they do not need to be obliterated! Mix everything together and use in your recipe.




Low-FODMAP Smoked Haddock Chowder Recipe (a gluten-free, low-lactose celebration of yellow).

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     Low-FODMAP Smoked Haddock Chowder

Low-FODMAP Smoked Haddock Chowder

When I was at primary school (pre- Low-FODMAP!) I remember having to paint a picture of our favourite on a sugar paper plate. Being a greedy little blighter, my plate had beef pie, spaghetti bolognaise, peas and a pile of yellow fish with yellow sauce. My mum would poach the fish in milk and make a sauce with egg yolks as a sort of savoury custard. So much yellowy-love. In the eighties it was very difficult to get anything other than the dyed smoked-haddock or cod but it’s now easier to find the un-dyed variety. Yes, natural colour is better for us, but can I say I sort of miss the unnatural explosion of colour?

After many years of failure to grow oregano in a pot, I shoved a twig in the ground and now it’s rampaging across the flowerbed. Most of our meals now contain least a tablespoon of fresh oregano in an effort to control the growth, but you can use fresh thyme if that’s what you have.

Serves 4

450g boneless smoked haddock

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. black peppercorns

500ml boiling water

1 tbsp. garlic oil

40g butter or dairy-free spread

1 large green pepper, in 1cm dice

1 corncob.

900g floury potatoes, peeled and in 1.5cm dice

500ml almond milk

1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or thyme

Small handful of curly parsley leaves, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper.

In a wide, deep, lidded pan, cover the fish, bay leaves and peppercorns with boiling water. Simmer covered for 5 minutes then remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Using a sharp, heavy knife, cut the kernels from the corncob. Remove the fish from the pan using a slotted spoon. Allow to cool on a plate. Strain the remaining liquid into a measuring jug. Top up the liquid with water to make 500ml. Clean the pan.

Warm the oils and butter in the pan, and then add the pepper and sweetcorn kernels. Cover and allow to soften over a medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the potato and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Pour the fishy water over the vegetables and stir in the thyme. Cover and allow to cook for around 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, remove any skin or stray bones from the fish and flake with your fingers. When the potatoes are cooked remove from the heat and use a measuring jug to remove 500ml of the vegetables and liquid. Add the almond milk and using a potato masher, mash everything in the pan until there are no lumps of potato left.

Stir the reserved 500ml of 'lumps and liquid' back into the pan with the fish. Bring up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning (you may not need any if your fish was salty) and serve in warm bowls with the parsley and black pepper scattered over the top.