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Friday, 4 March 2016

Forget the Pestle & Mortar

Many years ago my lovely friend Kiren gave me the best advice ever.  "Buy a coffee grinder and grind your own spices" 

Why buy spices that were ground, travelled thousands of miles just to be stored on a shelf waiting patiently for you to buy them.  Once you have opened them, how often will you manage to use then before you realise they have passed their use by date.

Why not buy the spices whole and grind just what you need. They will last longer and you will know the difference, fragrance & taste will be amazing.

Spices for sweet & savoury include cinnamon,  cardamom,  mustards seeds, cumin, coriander, star anise  and dont underestimate the almighty peppercorn.  These are just a few, the list is endless.

All you have to do is put the spices (mix them up if you like) into the grinder and press the button.  I see chefs roasting or frying off their spices first, I personally don't have time for all the faffing, if you have the time and patience though give it a go maybe.

Since I got my grinder a lot of spice grinders have come on to the market. Iv never had an issue with mine so I will be sticking with this one until the end.

Stock up your spice cupboard and treat the family to a grinder.  Your options for quick, healthy & really tasty meals will increase instantly.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Super Breakfast Bars

Don't have time for Breakfast but want a healthy nutritious shot?  These Breakfast bars are great, have them anytime of the day when you fancy a snack.

Oats are the ultimate superfood, follow the link at the bottom of the recipe for all the benefits to eating them.   

I find it hard to eat breakfast, I don't like porridge the smell of it makes me sick so these are perfect for me. 

For 3 months I have been eating these breakfast bars and I can tell you I can 100% recommend them for their benefits as well as their yummyness. 

Not to go into too much detail I have always had problems with my digestive system, I thought it was just the norm for me.  Since regular eating these bars my digestive system has improved to what I would now call normal.  My energy levels are up and for once in my life my nails are growing and are strong. 

Give them a go, pick and choose what nuts and fruit you want in your bars. 

397g        Condensed milk
250g         Rolled oats
75. g        Shredded coconut
100g         Dried cranberries (optional) 
125g         Mixed seeds  
125g        Pine nuts or almonds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 130°C/gas mark ½/250ºF.  

Now don't stress about the size of your tin, I use a 9" x 9" because I can cut into 16 same sized pieces.  As long as you line with baking paper (parchment) any size/shape around 6, 7, 8, & 9 will do. 

Warm the condensed milk in a large pan on a low heat. 

Meanwhile, weigh out all the dry ingredients all together.  Start with the Oats, then just keep resetting the scales and adding the other ingredients or if your maths is good keep adding up the additional grams. 

Once all weighed out, tip into the warm condensed milk and keep folding until it's all mixed well.  Keep on a low heat whilst doing this it makes it easy, you still need a bit of muscle power.

Once mixed well tip into your lined baking tin.  Press the mixture down firmly then run a tablespoon under a hot tap and smooth it down. 

Bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven. 

After 15 minutes lift out the baking paper and cut into 16 pieces.  Then place back firmly into the tin and place in the fridge to firm up.

After a couple of hours transfer your breakfast into a air tight tin (keep the baking paper with them) These will now keep for 1-2 weeks
DO NOT KEEP IN A PLASTIC CONTAINER they won't last as long and will go slightly soggy.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Simple homemade tomato sauce

Continuing on my health kick this simple tomato sauce is not only low fat but good for you, simple, delicious and versatile.

This sauce can be used as a pasta sauce or a meat or fish sauce. 

You can make home made tomato sauces from tinned tomatoes and passata but this recipe uses fresh tomatoes, any variety you can get. 

Here's how to make the basic sauce:-

Crush or finely chop 4-5 cloves of garlic

Thinly chop one large red onion 
Chop approx 10 med sized tomatoes 
(double if baby or small plum) 

Throw it all into a large pan

Fry off on medium heat (no oil required) 

Keep stirring so the tomatoes do not burn. 
Add plenty of salt and pepper

Add 1 1/4 pint of boiling water 
(it will reduce) 

Add stock cube (chicken, fish or veg)

2 teaspoons of tomato purée 

Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer without a lid!  Simmer for an hour (less if you are in a rush) keep topping up with water if it becomes to dry (remember its a sauce)  

If the sauce is too thin add more purée and increase the heat for a short while whilst stirring.


Add a handful of fresh basil at the end
Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of chili flakes  

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Fried Eggs (No oil)

My hubby keeps nagging me to stay off the fried eggs!! He is really into his fitness and tries to watch what he eats. I can not remember the last time I saw him eat a fried egg!!

I'm am currently of a weight loss programme (aka diet) so obviously fried foods are off my menu. I am, however allowed as much low fat protein as I want.

Dry Fried Eggs 
As long as you have a good quality non stick frying pan, you are able to dry fry an egg to perfection. 

ALWAYS heat the pan before cracking the eggs in to it.   If you place egg into a cold pan the odds are against you to get the egg out in one piece. 

Fry on med heat. 

If like me you like a runny yoke but not snotty (my sister's term for runny white) place the frying pan under a hot grill until the white sets. 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Mallorca Food

I am on holiday over in Mallorca (Marjorca) at the moment.  I think we British have forgotten how delicious simple foods can be. 

Over here even the more traditional tavernas and restaurants serve simple, grilled meats, fish and lots of vegetables.

My favourite dish so far is this large piece of griddled cod with prawns. Served with a lonely jacket and and good portion of mixed veg.  To be honest it would have been even better without this creamy bechamal sauce. 

Monday, 17 June 2013

Low Fat Smoked Haddock Chowder

This recipe is great for dieters who wish to feel full but not indulge in too
many calories. It is also GLUTEN FREE.

Serves 4 large portions or 5-6 as a starter.

You will need the following ingredients:-

500g smoked haddock (fresh or frozen)
1 pint skimmed (lowest fat) milk
500ml of made up stock
(gluten free chicken or veg)
tin of sweetcorn 285g drained weight)
100g prawns/shrimp (cooked, peeled)
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons cornflour + a little water
dried or fresh parsley
salt (optional)
white pepper (optional)

Take a large shallow pan (or what ever you have) and gently heat the milk until it simmers.

Place your fish in the milk and gently simmer for (7 mins fresh, 15mins frozen) Remove milk and fish and place into a large bowl for a moment.

Make up the stock using boiling water and have ready. (In a jug)

Dice onions and dry fry in the already used pan. If they begin to burn or the pan does add a dash of the stock. Fry for 5 mins or until translucent.

Dice the potatoes (1/2 inch approx) and add to the onions, dry fry for a minute then add all the stock. Cook potatoes in the stock until firm and almost cooked. If the stock dries up add a touch of water.

Now add the fish and milk to the potatoes. Break the fish up but don't mash it. Add the tin of sweetcorn, cooked prawns and a tablespoon of parsley.

Take 2 teaspoons of corn flour and mix with 4 teaspoons of water. Tip into the Chowder and mix. This helps to thicken up the chowder.

Add salt and white pepper to taste, I like the heat off the white pepper.

Simmer for 15 minutes and serve with a sprinkle of more parsley.

Serve hot and enjoy the dish!!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Rice pot Kedgeree.

Take your Jamie at Home "Really Good Rice Pot" and add the following:-

1. Crushed garlic clove
1. Large teaspoon of curry paste
1. Chicken stock cube
2. Chopped spring onions

Fill the rice pot up with uncooked basmati rice (up to the first market line at the bottom)

Mix the paste and other ingredients with the rice (mix well)

Pour boiling water (from the kettle) up to the top marker line

Place three pieces of frozen or fresh smoked haddock on to the top of the pot (skin side up). You may have to cut the haddock so that it fits.

Place the two lids on the pot as instructed.

Microwave on full for 7 mins (6 mins if a 850/900 watt)

Boil two free range eggs.

Once microwave has finished leave for 10 minutes minimum (or up to an hour) DO NOT take the lids off!!

Once ready, peel off fish skin, empty in to a large dish. Flake the fish, add more chopped spring onions and sliced boil egg and mix gently!!

If you have any fresh chopped parsley add this at the end too!!

Serve & Enjoy

To purchase the Rice Pot email me on