Cooking for the Sensitive Gut

Mini pavlovas and a crispy topping for fish

Spring is in the air and that means new herbs, flowers and vegetables are coming into season. If you have a sensitive gut you will know by now that nutritious, fresh food is going to be kinder to your body than highly processed food. That’s why we are great fans of just cooking the simplest dishes and making them look good by using the colour of herbs and fruit to pimp them up a bit.

The topping for the fish is crisp and flavoursome. Use breadcrumbs of your choice. Most people can tolerate a few breadcrumbs used in this topping but if you prefer to use gluten free breadcrumbs you can. Fish is a good choice for the sensitive gut because it is low in fat and easy to digest. A side dish of potatoes and spinach would go well.

For an Easter treat home made meringues are fun to make and seem to        be universally popular. Raspberries and passion fruits are both low in FODMPs and can be used to add a little colour and flavour to these lovely mini pavlovas. A little whipped cream can be eaten by most people who are intolerant of lactose.

Baked white fish with crunchy herb topping

The combination of a few bread crumbs mixed herbs and Parmesan cheese can transform a humble piece of fresh, white fish into a first class tasty dish.

Always use really fresh fish if you can get it.  And for breadcrumbs, you can use gluten free, or sourdough breadcrumbs if you prefer, but you should be comfortable with small quantities of one day old white bread (1 slice per person).

Serves 4

Takes 10 minutes to prepare

10 minutes to cook

  • 100 g/4 oz fresh white bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp chopped herbs such as parsley, basil, chives
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 x 120 g/ 4 oz white fish fillets e.g. cod, haddock, hake
  • 2 tbsp white wine


Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. 

Mix together the  breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, chopped herbs, seasoning and 2 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl.

Remove any pin bones from the fish and rinse under cold water. Pat the fish fillets dry with kitchen paper.

Brush the sides of an oven proof dish with the remaining olive oil. Lay the fish portions on the base of the dish and sprinkle with white wine. Cover the fish with the breadcrumb, pine nut and herb mixture and place in an oven for about 10 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and crunchy.

Mini Pavlova with berries

Serves 4

  • 150 g/5 oz egg whites (about 4 large egg whites)
  • 300 g/10 oz caster sugar
  • 4 passion fruit, halved and insides scooped out
  • 100 g/3 ½ oz raspberries  or blueberries
  • 200 ml/ 7 fl oz double cream, whipped to a soft peak
  • edible flowers to decorate such as primrose or violet


Preheat oven to 110°C/225°F/gas ¼. Check the weight of the eggs whites and then weigh exactly double their weight of caster sugar. Place the egg whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the hot water. Using an electric mixer whisk the egg whites until the sugar has dissolved. You can test this by dipping two clean fingers into the mixture and rubbing them together. If you can still feel sugar crystals continue to mix a little longer. Whisk the meringue a little more until it is stiff and glossy. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat taking care to protect your hands with some oven gloves.

Line two baking trays with baking parchment.  Add tablespoons of meringue onto the baking parchment leaving plenty of space between each one.  Flatten each blob of meringue into an approximate circle measuring about 10 cm/ 4 in across. Put both trays into the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the outside of the meringue is set like a shell on the outside and the meringue remains a little soft inside.  Allow the meringue to cool.

Spread a little whipped cream over the base of one meringues and top with the raspberries and the fruit pulp and seeds from the passion fruit. Carefully place the other meringue on top of the fruit. Decorate with clean untreated edible flowers.

Our book Cooking for the Sensitive Gut (Pavilion Books) is available form Amazon and all good book shops.

Cover for the book from Pavilion

If you would like more information and help about managing your sensitive gut follow this link to the IBS Network 

IBSLogowithstrap March 2011

This entry was written by Joan Ransley and published on March 25, 2016 at 2:20 pm. It’s filed under Dinner, Easter, Lunch, Pudding and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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