"...and remember the mantra - chew well!" Dining with an Ostomate: Salads

 "Dining with an Ostomate" written over a picture of a lemons, one of which has been cut in half

It’s time for another instalment of ‘Dining with an Ostomate’. In today’s post, Debbie talks to us about summer salads, and shares her deliciously fresh and nutritious ‘Pesto lemon chicken salad’.

All of Debbie’s recipes are of course designed with Ostomates in mind, and in case you’d missed any of her recipes to date, you can find them all in our Ileostomy, colostomy and stoma support group here.


Summer salads

As an Ostomate, I was nervous about trying salad vegetables at first. As my surgery was in January, I didn’t really give it much thought until March, when I was beginning to yearn for salads instead of soup for lunch. Having eaten spinach in soup, and then cooked as a side vegetable, the first salad leaves I tried were baby spinach. As this was a success, I then moved onto to iceberg and cos lettuce, then the spicier rocket and watercress. I removed the more fibrous stalks and chewed well, and although in the beginning, my stoma output was a bit thinner, I have been enjoying small amounts of salad greens regularly since then.

"Be guided by what you liked to eat before you became an ostomate, and remember the mantra chew well!"


When you first try cucumber, peel it and deseed it, then try it with the skin and seeds if everything goes well. Likewise with tomatoes – though I still remove the seeds from them. I have since reintroduced raw peppers and radishes without any problems. Avocados are quite fibrous, so I first tried a little mashed up, then sliced. Be guided by what you liked to eat before you became an Ostomate, and remember the mantra – chew well!         

Pesto lemon chicken salad


A picture of the pesto lemon chicken saladFor the dressing:

4 tbsp. green basil pesto

6 tbsp. light mayonnaise

Juice of half a large lemon

For the salad:

3 cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts,

halved horizontally and sliced thinly.

2 large ripe avocados, peeled and sliced.

Juice of half a large lemon.

Half a cucumber.

18 baby plum tomatoes, halved length-ways.

To serve:

25g toasted pine nuts*.

Micro salad.

Basil leaves.


  1. To make the dressing, put the pesto, mayonnaise and lemon juice into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Add the chicken and stir again. If possible, leave to marinate for several hours or overnight.
  2. Place the avocado slices in a separate bowl, pour over the lemon juice and toss so that the avocado is completely coated.
  3. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, use a teaspoon to remove and discard the seeds and then peel using a potato peeler. Cut into crescent-shaped slices and arrange these in layers with the avocado slices, tomato halves and pesto chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Scatter over the toasted pine nuts, micro salad and basil leaves.

*Omit the pine nuts if you have an ileostomy, or chop finely.

  • <p>This sounds lovely - but what is a Micro Salad?</p>
  • <p></p> <div class="secondPar"> <p>Micro greens (salads) are just tiny seedlings of plants that are usually harvested when they are fully grown. The plants are harvested just a week or so after germination when their first pair of leaves are produced</p> </div> <div class="thirdPar"> <p>Plants with intense flavour and/or colour such as coriander, basil, fennel, radish and the oriental leaves make up the ingredients of a micro salad.</p> <p>At the micro stage the plants contain the essence of the fully grown ones, only more concentrated, and produces a burst of flavour, stronger and often cleaner than it would be if the plant was left to grow to longer and larger.</p> <p></p> <p>Bodach&nbsp;</p> <div class="unruly_in_article_placement"> <div class="unruly_ia_furniture"> <div class="unruly_ia_disclosure"> <div class="unruly_ia_disclosure_text"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div>