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Copyright ©2019-2020 by Bavani Sivananda

Are you looking for simple Colitis-friendly recipes?


If you have Ulcerative Colitis, it is not always easy to choose the right kind of food that won’t upset your digestive system or worsen your symptoms.  Since the intensity of symptoms varies from person to person depending on the location of inflammation, it is important to develop a self-awareness as to which foods trigger and which don’t trigger symptoms. 


I recently developed this nutritious recipe as part of my research assignment on Ulcerative Colitis when I was studying to become a Culinary Nutrition Expert at the Acadamy of Culinary Nutrition.  Prior to putting together this simple recipe, I had spent many hours reviewing various scientific literature available on the internet, which discusses in detail the various factors that are linked to Ulcerative Colitis.  The factors, according to those studies, include certain nutritional deficiencies commonly found in people with this condition, certain foods that can worsen symptoms, and those nutrients that have been shown to improve the condition.


This nourishing recipe therefore is:

  • Anti-inflammatory, easily digestible, and immune-boosting

  • Gluten free, dairy free, and night-shade free (they tend to exacerbate inflammation)

  • Cooked with mostly seasonally and locally available ingredients

  • Quick and easy to make 


When you have Ulcerative Colitis, it is best to avoid Dairy products, Caffeine, Carbonated beverages, Popcorn, Refined sugar, and Gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley, and some oats) while including healing nutrients such as Omega-3, Vitamin A, C, K, and food with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory properties.  The ingredients chosen for this recipe collectively contain the aforementioned nutrients that are very supportive to Ulcerative Colitis.

  • Carrot – Contains Vitamin A - Lower levels of fat-soluble vitamins (i.e. Vitamin A) are generally implicated in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (4).

  • Sweet potato – Has Vitamin A and C – Chose it for the same reason indicated in the above line.

  • Zucchini – Easily digestible as it contains mostly water.  It also has Vitamin A & C, which are great anti-oxidants and also have immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties (2)(3)(5).

  • Turmeric/Curry powder – Has immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties

  • Tempeh –  I chose this not only for its high source of protein, but it is also a fermented food and can easily be digested by people with UC (1).  Protein Alternative: Egg or chicken both are generally tolerated by people with UC

  • Ginger – Digestive aid and also an immune-booster (7)

  • Garlic – Immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties (8)

  • Cilantro – It removes heavy metals.  Excellent source of vitamin K. 

  • Avocado - excellent source of healthy fats which contains about 70% water and is easily digested.




PREP: 15-20 MINS

Serves: Approximately 2


  • Approximately ¼ cup of Coconut oil/sesame oil/avocado oil – I prefer sesame oil to grill tempeh as I don’t like the taste of coconut oil with tempeh

  • 1 medium size Carrot

  • 1 medium size sweet potato

  • 1 medium size Zucchini

  • 1 pack of Tempeh, cubed - marinate for 10-15 minutes in coconut aminos or tamari

  • *Protein alternative: egg or chicken both are generally tolerated by people with UC

  • 2 tsp of grated Ginger

  • 1 clove of Garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp Turmeric

  • 1 tsp of Curry powder

  • 1-2 sprigs of Cilantro leaves

  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

  • Water if needed


Preparation Steps:

  • Heat an iron skillet at medium heat and add 3-4 teaspoons of oil. 

  • Sauté/grill sweet potato and carrot until brown and soft not mushy (on the crispy side). 

  • Add oil as desired/needed.  Transfer them to another, preferably a bigger, skillet. 

  • Then grill/sauté Zucchini until it is done. 

  • Transfer it to the bigger skillet as well. 

  • Now, sauté onion until translucent and then add garlic and ginger and sauté a bit more. 

  • Once done, transfer them to the other skillet. 

  • Also, grill the marinated tempeh on another skillet or wait for onion/garlic/ginger to finish cooking. 

  • After transferring the grilled tempeh to the final skillet, heat it at low, and add salt and turmeric and curry powder. 

  • Mix well and add a little bit of oil or tiny bit of water as desired (too much water can make tempeh and the veggies mushy)



  • Sauerkraut or Kimchi – Organic store-bought/homemade

  • Dysbiosis of the gut is considered to be an important cause of disease progression in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  Fermented foods can help balance gut bacteria. They also have a lot of beneficial probiotics that can help with digestion.  Sauerkraut/Kimchi are some of the fermented foods that can easily be added to meals (1)(6).


Final Step:

  • Drizzle the yummy Vegan Alfredo Sauce (see below) over the Grain-Free Grilled Chicken-Veggie Stir-Fry and enjoy it with 1or 2 tbs of store-bought/homemade Organic Sauerkraut or Kimchi. 












  • ¼ cup cashew nuts, soaked for 2-6 hours - *Can omit this in case of nut allergy and substitute with coconut milk

  • ½ of avocado

  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast

  • 2 tbs of lime or lemon juice

  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped

  • 2 tbs of olive oil or flax oil

  • 2 tsp of arrow-root starch

  • Optional - 2 tbs of ground flaxseed, if flax seed oil is not available for the omega-3 benefits

  • ½ cup of water


Preparation Steps:

  • Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender or in a food processor and blend them well into a creamy texture.


***If you know people who are suffering from this condition, please feel free to share with them.  By sharing you are helping another human being suffer less.



1. "Why Tempeh Is Incredibly Healthy and Nutritious." Healthline. Healthline Media, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2018.


2. Role of Antioxidants and Natural Products in Inflammation

Arulselvan, Palanisamy, et al. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2016,


3. Vitamin C and Immune Function

Carr, Anitra C., and Silvia Maggini. Nutrients, MDPI, Nov. 2017,


4. Vitamin Deficiency

Fabisiak, N, et al. “Fat-Soluble Vitamin Deficiencies and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology., U.S. National Library of Medicine,


5. Levy, Jillian. “Zucchini Nutrition: Low-Calorie, Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouse.” Dr. Axe, 25 July 2015,


6. Heller, K J. “Probiotic Bacteria in Fermented Foods: Product Characteristics and Starter Organisms.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2001,


7. Bode, Ann M. “The Amazing and Mighty Ginger.” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd Edition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970,


8. Schäfer, Georgia, and Catherine H. Kaschula. Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, Bentham Science Publishers, Feb. 2014,