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June 2017

I wasn't feeling very well yesterday. From the time I woke and got up in the morning, I was tired with little energy, my nose was blocked, the left ear felt clogged up, my throat scratchy sore and eyes sticky running.  Was I getting the flu?  The answer is no, as today I'm much better and looking back over the previous couple of days, I know it was food causing the symptoms. I do introduce small amounts of different fresh fruit and vegetables to my diet from time to time to try to keep eating as wide a range of food as possible.  Sometimes, I don't have a problem, but this time I've struck another no-no - the beautiful little plate of garden fresh persimmon squares, along with four slices of orange, belonging on the high salicylate list, which I'd eaten for breakfast. 

I'm so pleased today I know what is responsible for this ill health.  I  look back now to two completely separate instances several years ago, well  before knowing I was salicylate sensitive, when health professionals delivered  'light bulb moments'.


One happened in Provence, during our travels around France by car.   I had been full of cold, for several days.  It was so bad, I could hardly breathe and when we struck windy, dusty Provence, it was almost unbearable.  I felt like I was suffocating and that's no exaggeration.  We called in to one of the many local drugstores for help and a charming assistant said quite quickly - "You know, this is probably not a cold at all".  

The other occasion was close to home in Auckland, visiting an organic food/natural medicine store. I was chatting symptoms with the dispensing person in charge.  Her comment was, "you may well have to be very careful with what you use on your body...for example not be able to ever use perfume".  

How right they both were.



April 2017

A few beautiful fine Autumn days, made it just perfect for sitting outside on the terrace recently catching up with friends.  Thinking of making a few tasty treats to have with drinks,  I remembered the moorish flavour of little cheese biscuits I used to make.  That was in the days of not knowing about salicylate intolerance and using cayenne pepper and lemon juice to flavour them.  I made a few very successful adjustments and as I remember they were addictive. 

Mini cheese biscuits

115gms/4ozs softened butter

1 cup grated tasty cheese

1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

teaspoon soy sauce

1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 190C/375F or 180C fan bake. 

Cream butter and both cheeses together until well mixed.  I did this in a food processor.  Add flour and soy sauce and process again until the mixture clumps into a ball.  Take out and roll into a long tube about 4cm/just over an inch wide.  Cover in glad-wrap and put in fridge for half an hour or more.  Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.  Uncover cheese roll and slice into about 40 rounds.  The cuts will be every 5mm/1/4 inch. 

Place slices on trays and cook about 15 minutes, till slightly golden.  Cool on wire racks. 



March 2017 

A late but very Happy New Year. It's been a busy few months for the family. Looking back, I'm reminded of the challenge it is to keep well through the many celebrations the festival seasons brings. 


The up side is, when I'm doing the cooking, it's a time to create great tastes with the ingredients that work for us.


One of the best results came when we planned a lakeside picnic with chicken sandwiches (recipe below October/later).  We had no mayonnaise to use and sadly were not near to shops to buy safe ingredients. I had an idea.  I combined 1/2 cup of my salad dressing (recipe in "Clever Cooking for Salicylate Intolerance") with 2 heaped tablespoons of thick plain Greek yoghurt.  It tasted fabulous, we thought with a bit more kick than standard mayonnaise.  

Sometimes, I yearn for delicious subtle Asian flavours.  This was particularly the case when surrounded by the cooking aromas my eldest daughter was creating as she prepared the family's evening dinner.

I'm happy to say, I re-created a very yummy salicylate safe version at home a day or two later. It tasted really good. The main ingredient is chicken mince combined with ingredients that gave just the right taste and texture.


Asian chicken with noodles and vegetables

1/2 kilo chicken mince

1 rounded teaspoon cornflour

1 clove garlic

1 dessertspoon each of soy sauce, golden syrup, pure maple syrup

1/4 cup water

1 - 2 tablespoons rice bran oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley or coriander (omit if you don't want to use - listed as moderate or as high)*

1/2 box flat noodles broken up and cooked (100 - 125 gms, I used a gluten free, Quinoa and rice variety)

10 green beans, chopped into small pieces and just cooked

2 spring onions, white part finely chopped

pinch rock salt

1/3 cup cashews lightly roasted

Heat bran oil, add chopped garlic and spring onions together with parsley or coriander, if using)

Cook together till lightly golden.  Add chicken mince, breaking it up and stirring for few minutes till well cooked.  Sprinkle over rock salt.  Stir in cooked noodles and beans.  Mix together water and cornflour in medium size jug, add soy sauce, golden syrup and pure maple syrup.  Add to chicken mince mixture, combining well and bringing back to the boil.  Just before serving, add cashews. 

* I don't have a problem with these, especially with such small quantities.



December 2016

It's 22 December and count down time to the big day, especially for all the little people in our lives.

This isn't an easy time for us with all the usual sweet food goodies associated with Christmas being laden with salicylates.  However, although we mightn't be able to eat Christmas cake, Christmas mince tarts or Christmas pudding, I have been baking the most delicious sweet treat to give as a gift or to enjoy at any time of the festive season. 


Salted Caramel Cookies

2 cups flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

250gms/8ozs butter, softened and cut in smallish cubes

1/2 cup soft brown sugar

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon cold water

icing sugar for sprinkling on rolling out surface and rolling pin

1 tablespoon lightly crushed seasalt


Heat oven to 180C/350F

Sift flours and baking powder together.

Cream butter and sugars together in food processor till well mixed.  Add egg and water. Gradually on slow speed add flour mixture till a soft dough forms.  Take out and divide into 2 equal dough balls.  Wrap each in glad-wrap and refrigerate at least half an hour or until ready to use.

Sprinkle icing sugar on rolling out surface and also rub on rolling pin.  Roll each dough ball out to about a thickness of 1/2cm or about 1/4 inch, working as quickly as you can, especially in hot weather, so dough remains reasonably firm and therefore is easier to handle.  Cut out about 25 rounds with cookie cutter from each flattened dough ball. Transfer carefully to tray lined with baking paper.  I did this in 4 batches. Sprinkle a pinch of crushed seasalt on top of each cookie and lightly press into cookie surface.  Bake each batch for just under 10 minutes until cookies have started to brown a little around the edges.  Remove from oven, let cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to finish cooling. 

A lovely gift to take when visiting friends or as a thank you.

Makes about 50 medium sized round cookies




November (mid) 2016

What a joy for us that good chocolate opens up delicious dessert options.  With this in mind recently I made the most scruptious little individual chocolate puddings. The first two times I cooked the puddings while we were eating our main course so they were warm when served.  In advance I had prepared the sauce as well as the butter/sugar mixture with eggs and milk added and the separate bowl of flour, baking powder and cocoa, mixing them together just before baking to make the batter, then pouring over the sauce. 

The next time I cooked them an hour before our guests arrived and they were still delicious. 


Hot Chocolate puddings

Six buttered 1 cup/250ml ramekin/souffle dishes

100gms/3 1/2ozs butter

100gms/3 1/2 ozs caster sugar

4 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

125gms/4 ozs flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 rounded tablespoons best quality dark cocoa powder


Sauce -

1 cup/250mls of just warm water, 100gms/3 1/2 ozs soft brown sugar, 2 rounded tablesoons best quality dark cocoa powder

Heat oven to 180C/350F. 

Butter little dishes.  Whisk softened butter and sugar until soft and creamy, by hand or in a little food processor.  Add eggs one at a time and then milk and blend all together.  In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and cocoa.  Stir into wet mixture till no lumps.  Pour equal amounts into each buttered ramekin/souffle dish.

Make sauce by mixing the three ingredients together till smooth.  Pour sauce in equal amounts carefully over cake mixture.

Bake about 30 minutes till cake part of pudding is cooked. A beautiful rich sauce will be underneath. 

Serve with a little sprinkle of icing sugar on top, plus small dishes of vanilla icecream on the side. 


October (later) 2016

The blog photo we've just put up shows me making a family and friends' favourite.  These delicious little Chicken Sandwiches are perfect for any gathering, from morning or afternoon teas to evening cocktails. You can even make them a day ahead and keep them wrapped in cling film in an air tight container in the fridge.

Chicken Sandwiches

1 large skinless poached chicken breast, cooled

2 tablespoons *sal safe mayonnaise (I've included our recipe below)

ground rock salt to taste

2 tablespoons very finely diced celery

2 tablespoons roughly chopped lightly roasted cashews

4 large leaves of iceberg lettuce, finely shredded

softened butter

8 slices sal safe white or wholemeal bread, sandwich slice thickness


Chop chicken finely and mix with mayonnaise, lettuce, celery, salt and cashews.  Butter bread on one side and cover 4 slices evenly with chicken mixture. Top with remaining bread slices.  Trim crusts and make four small sandwiches by cutting each sandwich in half and then each half in two.  These can be cut as triangles or squares. 

Makes 16 moist little sandwiches. 

Mayonnaise (from Clever Cooking for Salicylate Intolerance)

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon rock salt

1/2 teaspoon citric acid

1 cup canola oil

Put egg, rock salt and citric acid in food processor or blender.  Process or blend till creamy.  With machine still running drizzle oil into egg mixture very gradually till all used up.  Makes enough to fill a medium jam jar.  Keep in fridge. 



October (mid) 2016

I'm loving our fresh look website.  It's a great incentive to create some new, easy to prepare scrumptious things to eat. So, this weekend with two chicken breasts as the base, a few salicylate safe ingredients, a pan, hot element and 20 minutes of time, a delicious chicken toss was the result.  


Chicken Toss

2 skinless chicken breasts, finely cut in strips

1 stick very finely diced celery

1/2 white part of leek, very finely sliced

2 rashers bacon, finely chopped

1 clove garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1 to 2 tablespoons rice bran oil for cooking

1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese

splash pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon finely ground rock salt


Sauce mix together

1 teaspoon cornflour with 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons cream, 1 tablespoon whisky 

Heat oil in pan, lightly cook leek, bacon, chives and garlic together, stirring a little till slightly golden.  The smell is fabulous.  Next add chicken, and cook, stirring  from time to time to combine with mixture.  Stir in parmesan cheese, maple syrup, salt and celery.  Cook a futher minute or two.  Stir through combined sauce ingredients.  The liquid will thicken in a minute or two and the dish is ready to serve with a side of rice, mashed potato or quinoa, plus a crisp green salad or steamed Chinese cabbage or Brussels Sprouts. 

Serves 4


September (middle) 2016
We've been enjoying home baked custard.  Our favourite is delicious tasting Creme Caramel.  Easy and great for guests or as a treat at any time, I make 6 individual little pots, small souffle/ramekin size, at a time.  I don't unmould the custards, so there's the added delight of melted caramel when you dip your spoon in the custard.
Creme Caramel
For caramel - 1/2 cup fine caster sugar plus water
For custard -   2 1/2 cups full cream milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence or 1 vanilla pod
1/2 cup fine caster sugar
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

Make caramel by putting 1/2 cup caster sugar in a small saucepan with enough water to cover sugar.  Heat, stirring to melt sugar till mixture turns a lovely golden colour.  Remove immediately from heat so caramel doesn't burn.  Pour equal amounts into the bottom of 6 little souffle/ramekin dishes and swirl to cover bases evenly.
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. 
Heat milk and vanilla in saucepan till just about to boil.  In medium size bowl, whisk together sugar, whole eggs and egg whites.  A little at a time, whisk milk (remove vanilla bean if used) into sugar/egg mixture. Pour combined mixture over set caramel, into the 6 small souffle/ramekin dishes. Put dishes in large oven dish and pour hot water to reach half way up their sides.  Carefully place in oven and cook about 35 minutes till firm when touched. 
Makes 6

September (early) 2016
I try very hard to make a weekly batch of Anzacs.  They are the homemade biscuit, that without fail, all our family and visitors enjoy.  (Scoll down to September 2012 and you'll find the easy salicylate free recipe). 
It's lovely to try new things too and some time ago I saw a yummy looking recipe for Brown Sugar Shortbread, using walnuts. Replacing these with cashews and making the method really easy, the result was fabulous.  A creamy, crisp Brown Sugar Cashew Shortbread that also keeps incredibly well.

Brown Sugar Cashew Shortbread
150gms butter, melted
1/2 cup fine brown sugar
1/2 cup finely ground cashews (can be raw or lightly roasted but not salted)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
20 whole cashews  (can be raw or lightly roasted but not salted)

Preheat oven to 150C/300F or fanbake 140C/280F (I used two trays so cooked with fanbake).
Melt butter, add sugar and beat together 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in ground cashews and then add sifted flours.  Mix well to combine to a firmish dough.  Sprinkle a little extra brown rice flour on board and form biscuit dough into a ball, then roll into a solid sqareish shaped log about 4cm/1 1/2 inches.  You can make a little fatter if you like.  Cut into 1cm/1/2 inch slices.  Re-form a little if you need too.  Press a whole cashew fairly firmly into the top of each uncooked biscuit.  Bake on baking tray/trays lined with baking paper for about 40 minutes. 
Makes about 18 - 20.  

August 2016
Away for a few days on holiday with the family we were having a delicious homemade terrine for dinner using finely minced turkey breast, served with onion jam and a plum and Medeira chutney.  I knew all the ingredients in the terrine were totally safe but the enticing relish options were hopeless.  I had the perfect solution.  In twenty minutes I had made a simple yummy piquant pear sauce which everyone wanted to eat too.
In a small saucepan I combined a peeled, finely diced pear;  a couple of tablespoons of malt vinegar; a pinch of rock salt; a tablespoon of pure maple syrup and 1/2 cup or so of water.  I let this simmer away, mashing the pear as it cooked.  That's it!


July 2016
When most balms, inhalations and repair lotions boast a whole list of salicylate high natural ingredients, from tea tree and eucalyptus to menthol, lemon, echinacea, ginger, lavender, turmeric and many other herbs, it can be quite a challenge for the salicylate intolerant suffering winter ills.
I'm currently saying goodbye to over 10 days of dealing with a cold virus.  I found a few safe solutions that may help you too. 

  • To soothe the skin underneath and around a sore, irritated nose, raw from frequent blowing or cracked lips, Lucus Papaw Ointment and smearing the area with Vasaline give some protection.

  • Use hypo-allergenic tissues.

  • Saline nasal sprays can be helpful to relieve a runny nose and congestion.

  • Steam inhalation for nasal congestion

      - Put a cup or so of very hot water in a bowl and with a towel over your head, breathe in and out as deeply as  

        you can for a few minutes.

      - Run a hot shower, close bathroom doors and let steam build up.  Breathe in steam filled air for a few minutes.

  • Elevate your head while sleeping.  I use 3 pillows.

  • Sip a hot drink.  Either a pure vanilla drink as described below or just a cup of hot water is helpful to replace lost liquid and help clear congestion.


I have always enjoyed a cup of tea first thing in the morning but of course, tea is a very high salicylate drink.  I've replaced this with a hot drink made with pure vanilla, either by steeping a vanilla bean in very hot water or by adding a teaspoon of pure vanilla paste to hot water.  When I'm feeling well, a cup of decaf tea, which is placed somewhere between moderate and high on the salicylate list, tastes like magic.  I think it's all about having a hot drink and my other option is to sometimes have a decaf coffee, which joyfully is salicylate low.   


June (late) 2016
At long last some very good news for us.  The perfect breakfast for the health conscious is also perfect for the salicylate intolerant.  A report yesterday in the Daily Mail Australia, gives poached eggs on wholemeal toast a health rating of 10/10. 
"This provides a balance of protein and wholegrains to curb appetite, an slow-release fuel; eating eggs for breakfast has been shown to cut calorie intake over the next 24 hours by 400.  A good source of iron and B vitamins". 

I am also very pleased to be able to share details of a salicylate free, well priced, refreshing, good tasting toothpaste. It's called Alfree Plain Toothpaste. I bought it when visiting Melbourne recently, from the Chemist Warehouse, a discount chemist with stores all over Australia. I see they also sell online. I use it twice a day and have found the 100g tube lasts over a month.


June (early) 2016
It's mid-year already and cold and damp in Auckland as we move into winter proper.  At the moment, I'm making lots of chicken stock for warming soups and casseroles.  I like to have several containers full in various sizes waiting in the freezer. 
Perfect for cooler days, I've also been whipping up rich green chive pesto and stirring it through all sorts of pastas, sometimes with a touch of cream or extra rice bran oil for a lovely consistency. The pesto is also great for a pizza base or as a treat on top of hot toast or as a dip for crackers and chips.
Scroll down to April 2015 for Potato and leek soup, December 2014 for Chicken stock and May 2014 for Chive pesto recipes. 


February 2016
Unbelievably, Christmas and New Year 2105 are already over a month behind us.  It's always a busy time of year  enjoying family with lots of happy times spent preparing yummy food to share. 
Souffle filled baked potatoes is one recipe that was a great success.  Perfect for lunch with a crisp green salad and  freshly baked baguette,  they were also delicious served alongside meat, chicken or fish for a longer sit down  evening dinner. 
Use the potato skins as shells (potato skins are moderate)  to hold the souffles or as a low salicylate option, pile high into ramekin dishes. This is a marvelous way to use up extra egg whites left over after making creme caramel or meringues.  You could also add some finely chopped chives to the potato mixture. 

Souffle filled baked potatoes
6 medium size white potatoes (old season)
2 to 3 tablespoons butter or rice bran spread
2 tablespoons liquid cream
1/2 cup tasty grated cheese
rock salt to taste
2 to 3 egg whites, beaten till stiff

Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F

Prick washed potatoes all over and bake whole till soft.   About an hour at 180C/350F in oven or around 10 minutes or so in microwave, amount of cooking time depending on wattage.  Remove and cool a little.  Cut a 1cm/less than 1/2 inch slice off the flat top of each potato.  Carefully scoop out flesh from under top and inside of potato.  Put in medium size bowl.
Mash potato with butter or rice bran spread till smooth.  Add cream, grated cheese and rock salt to taste.  Stir till all mixed together.  Fold in beaten egg whites, starting with just a couple of tablespoons and then adding rest in two lots.  Spoon creamy mixture into potato shells or 6 greased ramekin dishes.
Bake in heated oven about 30 minutes till golden. 


May 2015
I was looking through my salicylate notes and found this excellent little write-up.  It's a great reminder.

Anyone who has a salicylate sensitivity/intolerance should remember a few general rules: -

  • Be cautious anytime you eat or use a product you haven't used before.  Try only one new thing at a time

  • Always read labels/ingredients

  • Always ask cosmetics specialists, chemists/pharmacists and health care professionals if salicylates are in the products they are recommending or prescribing 




April 2015

A fabulous New Zealand summer has come to any end and cooler Autumn temperatures are bringing a change to our cooking choices.  For us this time of year is full of birthdays and with the coming and going of family and friends, I've found two fabulous tasty salicylate safe options to make and share with our visitors.  One is a delicious creamy soup, perfect for a light lunch with crusty bread and perhaps some tasty cheese on the side, and the other a totally moreish light muffin, just sweet enough for the perfect energy lift mid-morning or afternoon.
The soup is one of the best potato and leek combinations I've had and the muffins filled with pear and the flavour of pure maple and golden syrups, melt in your mouth.  

Potato and Leek Soup
1 large leek
3 large old season potatoes
1 cup frozen peas
2 cloves garlic
3 to 4 cups chicken stock (recipe below in December 2014 blog entry)
2 tablespoon rice bran or canola oil
1 teaspoon rock salt
1 cup cream
finely choppped chives to sprinkle on top

Chop white part of leek and garlic, and peel and dice potatoes.  Heat oil in large pot and panfry prepared vegetables and garlic a few minutues, tossing all the time, till slightly golden. Cover with chicken stock and simmer for about 30 minutes till soft.  Add frozen peas and salt (if necessary, taste to see).  Cook further 6 to 8 minutes.  Add cream, stir all together, heat gently then remove from heat and blend till smooth with electric whisk or in a blender. Serve in soup bowls with a sprinkle of chives on the top. 
(You could leave peas out and reduce chicken stock to 2 - 3 cups to make this low salicylate.)

Serves 4 to 6

Maple Muffins with Pear
Pre-heat oven to 180C fan bake or 400F/200C
1 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup golden syrup
1 egg
400gm/14 oz tin pear pieces

Sift, flour, baking powder and salt together in large bowl.  Lightly whisk egg, milk, oil, maple and golden syrups together in separate bowl.  Chop pear pieces into small cubes.  Add wet ingredients and chopped pears to dry ingredients and stir carefully until just mixed. Spoon mixture into muffin paper cups, placed in standard muffin tray till each 3/4 full.  Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and skewer inserted in middle of a muffin comes out dry.  Makes 8 delicious moist muffins.  Serve hot with a little butter. 


December 2014
The Christmas month is here and with the thought of lots of cooking at this special time of year, I've just made a big batch of salicylate safe chicken stock, perfect to be used as a base for soups and casseroles, in risottos, and yummy sauces for so many dishes.  Here is the simple recipe and it's perfect to freeze in small or large containers or even as ice-cubes when you just want a little.

Chicken Stock
12 cups water
4 Brussels sprouts
2 sticks celery
1/2 leek
1/2 carrot (moderate/optional)
1/2 parsnip (moderate/optional)
1 or 2 Bok or Pak choy (moderate/optional)
1 old season potato, peeled
2 cloves garlic
Bones of one chicken and 1/2 cup of chiken meat (these can be cooked or uncooked)
1 teaspoon rock salt

Roughly chop Brussels sprouts, celery, leek, potato, Bok or Pak choy, carrot, parsnip and garlic.  Place in large pot with water, chicken and rock salt.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer about 1 1/2 hours.  Let cool a little then strain.  Use right away or put in containers and freeze. 

Having this on hand at all times, makes life so much easier and adds delicious flavour in a flash.


September 2014
I've just had another nasty reminder, not to ever be complacent where salicylates are concerned.  Good health came to a grinding halt last week when I woke up on Thursday morning feeling nauseous and incredibly tired, with a nasty headache and swollen eyes with heavy fluid bags beneath them. It didn't take me long to recognise why.

I'd made a big mistake.

I was trying to be 'normal', save money and take the option always being suggested by my hairdresser to keep colour going longer by using special shampoo and conditioner.  Over the years, I've read the ingredient list on many products that fall into this range.  I finally found a special 'blonde highlights' Schwartzkoff conditioner I could use now and then, without noticeable health effects.

Suddenly this was gone from the market place, replaced by a whole new look Schwartzkoff hair product range.  The ingredients of the new conditoner (now a spray and leave) were just a little different from the previous one, which with care I knew I had been able to use.  I got so carried away, I also thought I would try the new shampoo.  I used them both last Wednesday and my hair looked and felt great.

But, as I said this was a big mistake.  Overnight the salicylate content roared through my system and was enough to make me feel very unwell for 2 to 3 days, with gradual improvement coming as the days went by.

As you can guess, it's back to my shampoo and conditioner salicylate free choices which I order online from Cleure and Andrea Rose in the USA.  This is not a cheap option given the high cost of postage to New Zealand, but thank goodness there is a safe option available. 


June 2014

It's been nearly a decade since Sally had to modify her cooking to suit salicylate intolerance. As the daily challenge became easier and the range of successful recipes grew, Clever Cooking for Salicylate Intolerance with Salicylate Sally was put together and published. The response has been amazing and heart-warming, with copies going all over the world, from New Zealand where Sally lives, to Australia, The USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, South Africa, Canada, Norway and France. It has been a joy to receive so many positive comments and share experiences.


With many copies sold, we have just reprinted incorporating small variations to salicylate lists following on-going laboratory testing and clinical knowledge.


Here is a brief taste of the updated recipes:-


Banana Chutney 

1/2 kg/1lb bananas (4-5 depending on size) (moderate), peeled and sliced thinly

2 tablespoons malt vinegar

1/2 teaspoon rock salt

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon citric acid


Put all ingredients in large saucepan.  Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook about 15 minutes stirring till thick and banana slices are broken up.  The chutney will be a rich caramel colour.  Pour into warmed sterised jars and cover with cellophane jam covers.

Makes 2 jars.  Keep in fridge.


May 2014
The weather is cool here in the Southern Hemisphere.  We had a frost yesterday morning in Auckland on a day reported as being the coldest May morning for nearly 40 years.  We've already had a taste of winter chill having just spent two weeks in the South Island of New Zealand.
We travelled over 4,000 kilometres, staying in cottages, motels and apartments. After a day driving long distances, or busy spent exploring, the nights were times to cook simply and cleverly.

Two salicylate happy choices were hot golden slices of French Toast with bacon and a little salad, and some delicious vegetable patties created from bits and pieces we had left over.

French Toast
4 slices bread (we used a sourdough loaf)
2 eggs
pinch salt
2 tablespoons milk
1-2 tablespoons butter
4 slices bacon, grilled (we used free range bacon without honey in the preparation)

Whisk eggs, salt and milk in bowl till well combined.  Soak each bread slice in egg mixture, turning over to use up all the liquid.  Melt butter in frying pan, add 2 slices bread at a time and cook on both sides until golden brown and the centre of the French toast is set. 
Serve wtih crispy bacon and a simple green salad of Iceberg or Cos lettuce with a little chopped celery or sugar snap peas (mange-tout).

Vegetable Patties
2 old season potatoes, peeled and cooked
1 spring onion, lightly pan fried in a little oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 slices ham, finely diced or 3 slices bacon, chopped small and cooked till crisp or both
2 eggs
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons cheese, grated
rice bran or canola oil to cook

Crush potatoes with fork in medium bowl until very roughly mashed.  Add cooked spring onion, ham or bacon or both and if you wish *any of other vegetables listed you may have on hand.  Lightly beat eggs, add to mixture and stir well.  Tip in grated cheese and flour, stir till all combined.  Form into round patties, a size to suit you.  I make about 6 - 8.  Pan fry on each side till golden, firm and cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes.  (*you could also add 1/2 cup any sal safe cooked vegetables roughly chopped - Brussels sprouts, cabbage, beans, leek pan fried in a little oil with small clove garlic).
Serve with a little salad again, any meat or chicken choice and a spoon of **chive pesto on the side.

**Chive Pesto
1 cup chopped chives
3/4 cup lightly roasted cashews
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup canola or rice bran oil
1 small clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon citric acid
1 teaspoon rock salt

Put all ingredients in small food processor bowl and process till well mixed.  Stir and re-process if necessary.  A beautiful colour, this pesto is great to have in the fridge at all times.  It can be used as a dip with crackers and pita crips, on a pizza base or as a flavouring in savoury dishes. 
Makes 1 cup and you can freeze if you like. 


February, 2014


It was after Christmas, nearing the end of 2013. It had been a busy time, buying, wrapping and exchanging presents; catching up with friends and celebrating with family.  Just before New Year I realised I had no energy, having to force myself to do anything at all.



Not only was everything a huge effort, but my head was tight with pain across the forehead.  Strong flavours and smells made me feel ill.  Not even my favourite, life-saving decaf coffee or gentle food like rice, light chicken and dry crackers appealed.  On the left side of my face (always the susceptible side) the ear was blocked and sideways movements brought on vertigo giddiness. My eyes were sticky and running, my finger joints sore and stiff.   When I caught sight of my face in the mirror, it was pale with fluid bumps under the eyes.  I realised I had been hit by a full blown salicylate attack.  A horrible spaced out condition I had almost forgotten.


The feeling had crept up on me, but how quickly I remembered being like this so many times in the past.


I thought with the passing of time, especially with the care I took with salicylate intake and use, I would never feel this way again.


I‘d been so careful.  Only after being clear of symptoms following a careful low salicylate diet, did I cautiously introduce more moderate, high and even a few very high salicylates sparingly and very gradually, into my world.  It was trial and error.  Among the highest salicylate successes for me were firm, just ripe avocados and good quality low alcohol French red wine.


Not all food items, however, have turned out so well.  Lemon in any shape or form is always hopeless, most high fruit, particularly rockmelon along with all herbs need to be treated with great caution and pepper in particular, along with tomatoes and olive oil are no, nos.   


So, having been reasonably well for such a long time, what had caused this now?

In strong health, I realised the introduced salicylates side effects had been kept at bay, but with so much going on, I could see my resistance would be down. 


It was also possible, salicylate levels were tipped over the edge when I used a new Clinique eye makeup. 



I usually keep to sal free brands, but some Clinique products are OK.   In this case, amongst the ingredients were a couple of very small amounts of salicylates.  In good health this probably would have been alright. This time, I was fairly certain it definitely was not.


I threw it away, went back to absolute basics with my food and to my immense relief, a few days later, my good health returned.

It’s a huge reminder that the intolerance has not and may not ever go away.  I know I won’t ever knowingly, make the same mistake again. 


March 2013
It's nearly Easter and over the last few days, our home has been filled with the delicious, warm, smell of yeast cooking.  I've been making Easter buns with salicylate free ingedients and thought you might like to bake a batch too.  These light yeasty buns are filled with yummy chocolate, instead of tradtional very high salicylate dried fruit. They are fun to make and a delicious treat for Easter.

Easter Buns
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup milk (heat in microwave about 30secs till lukewarm)
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
40gms/1 1/2 ozs butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
30 dark chocolate buttons (70% if you can)

Paste for crosses: - 2 tablespoons flour mixed to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.  Stir yeast and sugar into warm milk and leave in warm spot about 10 minutes until mixture is frothy

Sift flour into a large bowl and add 1/4 cup sugar.  Push flour mix to outsides of bowl and in hole left in middle, pour in melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla essence.  Add yeast mixture and stir all ingredients together with a wooden spoon to make a smooth dough. Knead dough on a clean surface sprinkled with flour for about 5 mins until smooth.  Divide dough into 10 pieces and roll into balls.  Press 3 chocolate buttons into the top of each ball and push into dough. Roll again to form a ball enclosing buttons. Place buns on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Cover with teatowel and place in a warm place* for about an hour or until doubled in size.  Cut a cross in the top of each rasied bun with a sharp knife.  Fill each cross with piped paste.  Glaze buns with lightly beaten egg white. Bake about 15 minutes till golden.  Eat warm with a little butter.
Alternatively, buns can be baked without crosses and iced with piped melted chocolate or white icing (confectioner's sugar).
*If you don't have a warm place, tray can be placed in oven on lowest setting, so just barely warm, for raising.


January 2013
Happy New Year.  And what better way to start the year than with a success story.  Tooth whitening is possible, if you have a salicylate intolerance or sensitivity.

My Take-home Teeth Whitening system success story

This worked for me, at a time when my salicyalte sensitivity is under control
by eating carefully and using only sal free health and beauty products


Recent major surgeries required the taking of various medications over a long period of time.  One of the side-effects was a noticeable increase in teeth staining.  Not pleasing at all, and with a salicylate intolerance/sensitivity, could I do anything about it?

Initial research was not at all encouraging.  Products involved in the tooth whitening process use salicylate ingredients, with flavours like mint featuring strongly.

Fortunately, I have an excellent dentist who uses unflavoured products for my dental visits and to my joy, after considerable investigation, a custom-made take-home kit system that appears to be salicylate free was found.

In preparation for the whitening process, the dentist made an impression of my upper and lower teeth using uncoloured Vynal Polysiloxaine, a very rapid setting non-flavoured impression material.  The impressions were filled with plaster to create a cast, on which the whitening trays were made with liquid plastic.  These took a couple of days.

The product I used was, 'regular Opalescence tooth whitening systems PF35%'  My tooth whitening purpose-made zipped kit bag consisted of the two custom-made teeth covering trays, 16 syringes of non-flavoured bleaching gel and an instruction booklet.  I kept the syringes in the fridge.

Each morning after cleaning my teeth, using a third of a syringe I applied a small drop of gel inside each tooth impression in both trays, placed these over my teeth and left them there for 30 minutes.  During this time, I usually had a shower, got dressed and did my make-up.  But this could be done at any time of the day to suit.   After each whitening session, I removed and rinsed the trays carefully with warm water.  I also rinsed my mouth, being careful as instructed, not to swallow any of the gel.

Each night after cleaning my teeth with flavourless floss and my own salicylate free toothpaste, I dabbed some vanilla flavoured *GC Tooth Mousse on my first finger and rubbed this over my teeth.  Containing calcium and phosphate, "in a special milk-derived protein called RECALDENTtm (CPP-ACP)", this replaces lost minerals from the tooth surface.

I repeated this procedure for 48 days, but you may achieve the level of whitening you desire sooner.  I'm absolutely thrilled to bits with the result.

*GC Tooth Mousse is "derived from milk casein and is edible, so can be swallowed, but would not be good for people with milk protein allergies or sensitivity to benzoate preservatives".  It "comes from the milk of finest Australian and New Zealand cows".



September 2012
Feeling like spending a happy morning relaxing baking last weekend, I made three fabulous treats using buttermilk.  Buttermilk works beautifully in sweet and savoury dishes and you'll find both options here. The warm delicious smell in the kitchen grew as each recipe was completed, popped in the oven, and removed beautifully risen and cooked to golden perfection. All are salicylate intolerant friendly and are perfect for a yummy breakfast, lunch or snack.  They freeze well, ready for a fabulous coffee or tea accompaniment for surprise guests.

Poppy Seed Butterscotch Bread
1 cup fine brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups flour
4 slightly rounded teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
400gm/14oz tin of cooked pears in syrup (1lb tin would be fine)

Preheat oven to 160C/325F.  Grease and line with baking paper, an 8 cup loaf pan. Chop pears into small pieces or blend in processor till just chopped.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla and combine well.  Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda, then stir in salt and poppy seeds.  Combine chopped pears with buttermilk.  Alternately, add flour and pear/buttermilk combination to creamed mixture, stirring after each addition.  Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake at 160C/325F for 1 1/2 hours till skewer inserted in centre, comes out clean.
Slice thickly when cool, toast and spread with a little butter.  The aroma is superb, the poppy seeds add subtle texture and the taste is like creamy butterscotch.  Thick slices can be frozen, wrapped in cling flim and placed in a suitable container.

Savoury muffins
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup milk
5 tablespoons canola oil
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 cup ham, finely chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (or Edam with less fat)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.  Spray a tray of 12 medium muffin cups with cooking oil.  Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil in separate bowl.  Stir in spring onions, ham and cheese.  Make a well in centre of dry ingedients and pour in wet ingredients.  Mix a little till just combined.  Fill muffin cups and bake about 15 mins till golden brown.  Let cool for a few minutes before removing.  To help remove, loosen edges gently.  You could also line tray with muffin paper cups.
If you have some left, put in small snap-lock bags and freeze.  Defrost and pop in hot oven for a few minutes before serving.

Custard surprise muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup rice bran or canola oil
1 dessertspoon pure vanilla essence
1/3 teaspoon citric acid
12 teaspoons custard (make your own or use suitable bought thick pouring custard)

Preheat oven to 190C/375F.  Spray a tray of 12 medium muffin cups with cooking oil.  Sift flour, baking powder and citric acid.  Mix in sugar.  Lightly beat eggs, oil and vanilla.  Add to flour mixutre and lightly stir to combine.  Divide half of mixture evenly among prepared muffin holes.  Put 2 teaspoons of custard on top of each.  Top evenly with rest of muffin mixture.  Bake 190C/375F for about 20 mins.  To help remove, loosen edges gently before lifting out. 
If you have some left, put in small snap-lock bags and freeze. Defrost at room temperature and place in hot oven for few minutes to warm. 

And..... if you don't have any buttermilk, you can use sour cream or plain thick yoghurt instead. 



June 2012


It's winter now in Auckland, making many days chilly, damp and gloomy.  We look forward to a home office break with a warming cup of freshly made espresso and a home-made treat.  And we think we've found our all-time biscuit favourite.  So easy and quick to make, not only do these well-known Australian and New Zealand biscuits taste absolutely delicious, they also keep exceptionally well.   Whatsmore, unlike conventional Anzac Biscuits, these are made without coconut, so are a salicylate free delight.


Anzac Biscuits

125gms/4ozs butter

3 tablespoons golden syrup

1 teaspoon baking soda (bicorbonate of soda)

1 tablespoon boiling water

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup flour

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350F or 180C or 160C fan bake ( a good option, because you can then bake two trays at a time).  Line two oven trays with baking paper.  Melt butter and golden syrup in a medium saucepan with the tablespoon of water over medium heat.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.  Add oats, flour and brown sugar.  Stir to combine.  Form mixture into walnut size balls and space well apart on trays.  Flatten each one with a fork and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  (15 if using fan bake).  Cool biscuits on trays.

Makes around 20 biscuits.



April 2012
Happy Easter, everyone.
I think I've found an Easter treat that will be our favourite for many years to come.
No spicy Easter buns filled with dried fruit for us, but the most delicious small chocolate and espresso puddings for Easter Sunday lunch.  These are a scrumptious safe choice for a baked Easter treat and the aroma coming out of the oven while they are cooking is absolutely fabulous.

Chocolate and espresso puddings
6 small puddings (the recipe works very well halved for just 2 or 3 servings).
60gms/2ozs melted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup milk (or 1/4 cup cream & 1/4 cup water)
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
2 rounded tablespoons cocoa 
1 cup strong decaf espresso or strong decaf instant coffee
icing sugar to dust
vanilla or hockey pokey icecream
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.  Spray 6 small pudding bowls with canola oil and put them in a deep oven dish.  Whisk melted butter, sugar, eggs and milk (or cream/water mix) together.  Add flour and cocoa and whisk again.  Share mixture amongst prepared bowls.  Put coffee in jug and pour an equal amount carefully on top of each pudding.  Fill dish they are standing in with boiling water to come 3/4 way up bowls.
Cook in preheated oven for about 30 minutes till top of pudding is firm.  The inside will be cake like in the top part and the bottom fudgy.
Leave in individual dishes and place on separate large plates.  Add scoop of icecream next to each bowl and small dish of whipped cream.  Dust pudding and rim of plate with icing sugar.  They look and taste fantastic. 




February 2012
Happy New Year to you all.  I hope your salicylate intolerance symptoms were under control over the holiday period and you were able to enjoy some good health alongside peace and happiness with those you love. We fulfilled a life long wish to attend the Australian Open this January and at the Arena Restaurant in Melbourne Park, shared a delicious combination of dishes.  I have adapted these for you and you will find the recipes below, offering superb tasting treats to have as a family or to prepare for a dinner with friends.

Fresh pizza garlic bread
Adapted from the Pizza with homemade Base recipe in "Clever Cooking for Salicylate Intolerance"
Makes one very large free form pizza bread
Pre-heat oven to 200C/390F.
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
300 mls/10 fluid ozs luke warm water
3 tablespoons antioxidant free rice bran, canola, safflower or sunflower oil
Blend yeast and sugar in small bowl.  Add little of warm water and mix well. Then stir in rest of water and set aside a few minutes till frothy.
Put flour in large bowl and make a well in centre.  Pour in yeast liquid, plus 2 tablespoons of oil.
Mix to form a firm dough.  Cover bowl with teatowel and set aside in warm place till about double in size.  (Takes an hour or so).
Punch down and place on oiled tray. Push and mould into an elongated rounded shape. Use a fork to make indent designs. You can also mark piece sizes half way through with a knife at this stage.  Brush with 1 tablespoon oil.
Bake in pre-heated oven for about half an hour.
Take out and brush with *oil, then sprinkle with prepared garlic, parmesan cheese and rock salt.  Cook again for about 10 minutes.
*3 tablespoons finely grated fresh garlic
2 tablespoons rock salt
2 tablespoons antioxidant free rice bran, canola, safflower or sunflower oil
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
Cut into pieces and serve. Any left over (unlikely) can be frozen. 

Lettuce with quinoa and chicken breast
On a large platter, spread torn pieces of washed and drained iceberg lettuce.  Sprinkle over a cup of cooked quinoa (red looks great).  Layer over with finely slices of cooked chicken breast.  Drizzle with *salicylate free vinegar and oil dressing and sprinkle with a spring onion finely sliced.
*(there are dressings in Clever Cooking for Salicylate intolerance)

Roast mixed vegetables
Preheat over to 200C/390F or a bit less on fanbake.
Cube peeled old season potatoes together, with sweet potato (moderate), pumpkin (moderate), parsnip (moderate) and carrot (moderate). Boil a few minutes till sightly cooked.  Drain well and toss in a tablespoon or two of rice bran oil.  Place in a single layer in large baking tray. Roast, turning from time to time till cooked and golden. About 35 to 45 minutes. Drain and sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped parsley. 

The combination of tastes is delicious and will make you completely forget for a little while you are on a restricted diet.

Enjoy and let me know when you give these recipes a try.

Happy cooking.




November 2011
As we all know, it can not only be confusing and difficult living with salicylate intolerance, but very lonely.  By sharing our experiences we can help each other.

With this in mind and Christmas not far away, I have a few suggestions to help make this the special occasion it should be, with some delicious, simple and safe festive dishes.

Servings for 8

To start......
Seafood platter
On a large glass or china platter arrange as many of the following as you like -
cooked prawns shelled and deveined: slices of fresh crayfish or lobster; fresh oysters; mussels; crab meat; thin slices of tuna and salmon sashimi style.  Drizzle with dressing.*
*Dressing - splash maple syrup, 1/4 cup malt vinegar, 1/2 cup rice bran or canola oil (no antioxidants), 1 crushed clove garlic, 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Blend till well combined and creamy. (*from Clever Cooking for Salicylate Intolerance)


Little green salads
1 iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 stick celery, finely diced
150gms/5ozs gruyere or Havarti cheese, cut in small cubes
Thick slice of ham, finely cubed
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, finely mashed with a fork
Toss all ingredients together with *dressing (as above).  Divide salad between 8 pretty glass or ceramic plates or bowls.

To follow......
Turkey or chicken tenderloins
8 turkey tenderloins cut in half lengthwise or 16 chicken tenderloins
8 large slices bacon or prosciutto
Rice bran or canola oil
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. 
Wrap each tenderloin in half a slice of bacon or prosciutto.  Place in single layer in greased ovenproof dish.  Spray with oil and drizzle with maple syrup.  Cook about 20 minutes till cooked through.

Fresh green vegetables tossed in garlic butter
60 gms/2ozs butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 leek, finely sliced white part only
250gms/1/2 lb green beans
10 Brussels sprouts, cut in quarters
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
rock salt
Panfry garlic and leek in butter for few minutes till soft. Cook sprouts, peas and beans in boiling water for about 5 minutes till tender. Drain and stir through butter, garlic and leek.  Grind over a little rock salt and serve

Candied Kumera/Sweet potato (moderate)
4 medium kumera or sweet potatoes
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 200C/400F
Boil kumera in jackets till tender.  Drain and strip off skins.  Make a syrup by boiling together sugar and water, till sugar melted.  Cut each kumera into quarters and place in single layer in greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with little salt, spoon over syrup and bake about 45 minutes till golden brown, basting once or twice during cooking.

If you do not want a moderate option, old season potatoes peeled, roasted (in appropriate oil) or mashed are always a great option.


To finish .......
Chocolate Cake
90gms/3ozs butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, slightly warm
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Melt together butter, sugar, golden syrup and cocoa in saucepan on medium heat.  Take off heat and add beaten egg.  Add to  flour and baking powder.  Dissolve baking soda in tepid milk and combine with the mixture.  The mixture will be very sloppy.  Pour into sponge roll tin and bake for 25/30 minutes till wood skewer poked into centre of cake comes out clean.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.

Happy cooking and good health. 





September 2011
Blog by Linda
I've been enjoying your emails and positive feedback since the launch of Clever Cooking for salicylate intolerance.  I thought you might like to share this simple salicylate safe yummy vegetable recipe I cooked last night. We ate it with panfried chicken tenderloins, but it would be perfect with fish or red meat. 


Vegetable Medley
1 good sized leek
*1 large pak or bok choy
3 cloves garlic
2 slices bacon (I use nitrite free)
1 to 2 tablespoons rice bran or canola oil

Finely chop pak or bok choy and white part of leek. Pop in saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to boil and simmer 15 minutes.  In separate saucepan heat oil then cook chopped bacon and finely chopped garlic till golden.  This takes 5 minutes or so.  Drain vegetables and add to garlic and bacon, mixing well. Serve.

*You could use 1/4 of a green cabbage and/or a handful of celery both finely sliced, with the leek, instead of pak or bok choy (moderate) for a totally low salicylate dish

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