We’re well and truly into Summer now, and Debbie – our ‘Chef to the Ostomates’, is back to talk to us about her favourite fresh, seasonal vegetables, and also to share with us a rather delicious ‘Courgette and mozzarella bake'.

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.

Summertime – Courgettes and tomatoes:

Summer is the time to eat lots of fresh, seasonal vegetables. For me, the stars of the season are courgettes and tomatoes, particularly if you are lucky enough to be able to grow them yourself. In my early days as an Ostomate, I peeled the courgettes, but after a few weeks ate the skin too. As long as it’s well cooked and chewed well it shouldn’t give you any problems. After a few months I had them sliced raw and very thinly sliced in a salad (alternate layers of courgette, rocket and mint, topped with crumbled feta cheese and the dressing of your choice – it goes great with barbecued food). I’ve also spiralised and lightly cooked them – eat them plain or with pesto sauce. 

This recipe uses tinned, chopped tomatoes. If you prefer, or if you have a glut of homegrown ones, you could use raw ones, skinned and cooked a little longer, and run the sauce through a sieve to deseed them. If you are a new Ostomate, at first skin and deseed raw tomatoes if you eat them in salads. Seven months on, I still tend to deseed them though the skins aren’t a problem. I love to eat fresh tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, with a dressing of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

Courgette and mozzarella bake:

Serves two.


2 tbsp. olive oil.

1 small red onion, finely chopped.

1 garlic clove, crushed.

400g chopped tomatoes.

4 small courgettes (about 350g), cut lengthways into 1.5cm thick strips.

15g parmesan cheese.

40g panko breadcrumbs.

75g mozzarella, torn.

25g basil.


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (gas mark 5). Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook until reduced by a third – about 10 minutes, then season.
  2. Meanwhile, toss the courgette strips with the remaining tbsp. oil and season. Heat a griddle pan to smoking hot and sear the strips for 2 -3 minutes each side, until golden and soft. Mix the parmesan with the panko breadcrumbs.
  3. In an oven proof dish (about 1 litre in volume), layer half the courgettes, tomato sauce, panko mix, mozzarella and most of the basil. Repeat with another layer, finishing with the mozzarella. Bake for 15 minutes until bubbling. Scatter over any remaining basil and serve with crusty bread or pasta.

Missed our recent Diet and cancer on the Community post? Find it here.