Posts in recipes
WHAT MAKES A GREAT SNACK?
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Ideally, the purpose of a snack is to keep us nourished and ‘on our toes’ until our next meal - SO - it should be occasional, small, tasty, nutritious, filling, fresh, transportable and quick - and preferably, it should NOT be a response to a sugar craving, an answer to boredom or a totally mindless moment! That’s when most of us come undone and somehow or another, the pounds start accumulating around our waistline!

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To get the maximum nourishment from the said snack, perhaps you might like to download my suggestions, stick those you fancy on your mobile phone which may become your ‘go to’ and hopefully never find yourself in that place where a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar are the only options!

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YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT!
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Now… the way I see it is … if grilled flat, fresh mushrooms, just-ripe avocados, smoked salmon from fish so fresh even through the smoking you can detect it and a runny, free-range organic egg are your thing - you have just happened upon the very best combination - ever!

I played around with this recipe for some considerable time and my premis was to have ‘no bread of any sort ’ to pile the other delightful ingredients upon (I suppose I must have been appealing the the ‘paleo lot’ or the ‘intermittent fasting lot’ or the ‘gluten intolerant lot’ - or dear alone knows who else!) But I certainly was not appealing to those that somehow or other believe that those foods that are rich in Omega fats (particularly Omega 3 fats) are ‘fattening’ and should be limited! Honestly, you can almost feel your nails growing, your bone mass intensifying, your heart strengthening, your hair taking on a beautiful shine and your power and energy spilling over as you savour every bite!

It has to be said - I am rather pleased with this wonderfully-filling and really health-giving dish and I would love you to try it and let me know if you have any further variations on my theme. Sometime I substitute smoked ham for the smoked salmon AND balance two poached eggs on top! - risk-taker or what??

SPICING THINGS UP A BIT!
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You know those cookbooks that ask anybody and everybody in the surrounding area to donate their favourite and ‘best kept secret’ recipes to be included to make some dosh for a chosen charity? Well, I am a sucker for them all - you just know that Mrs S from Bonnyrigg or Mrs T from Borehamwood are simply not going to pitch in something they are not quite sure of, and, you often get loads of those ones entitled: ‘My Gran’s Best Ever Fruit Scones’ or ‘My Nan’s Fabulous Venison Stew’.

Oh yes, I am right there with my wallet and supporting the said charity! And one in particular I have to mention is a Canadian project called Fare for Friends which was in aid of a refuge for abused women in Ontario which one of my very dear friends, Chrissie, gave me over 30 years ago when she was living in Canada. There are at least 20 or more recipes in this little book that I cook on a regular basis (I think ‘Eleanor’s Egg Caviar’ and ‘Bacon Stuffed Avocados’ may well have appeared in one or more of my books!)

And here is one - Curried Broccoli Soup - the lady who donated the recipe (no name, sadly) thought it was a perfect start to a dinner party but I just make it whenever I have a rather large bunch of broccoli lurking in the fridge or broccoli screams at me from the veg section!

I have explained about the saturated fat content in the pdf of the recipe but please don’t judge me too harshly when I go for the full fat version - it is only occasionally and it is so good!

SPINACH, BEETS, SWISS CHARD AND QUINOA
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Spinach is a vegetable that belongs to the Amaranthaceae family of plants and is closely related to beets, swiss chard and quinoa and if any of you have purchased any of my books, you will note that my recipes include rather many of the Amaranthaceae family!

They all boast a high amount of vitamin A, vitamin K and folate, along with a number of other important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories and they can help improve a number of health conditions and have been shown to boost immunity, defend against heart disease, keep your skin healthy and preserve cognitive function. Nice one!

This recipe, my Quinoa Vegetable Bake has been a real hit with my readers and my friends and includes both spinach and quinoa. Most also tell me that it is a serious crowd-pleaser and has become a real regular in their diet as it is so very easy to cobble together and is fabulously tasty - you may want to join the list of growing fans!

CHICKEN SOUP FOR COLDS AND FLU?
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No, not this time - I want to talk about Miso Soup, often forgotten when we need a bit of a pick-me-up when the weather is cold, damp and unforgiving and particularly when it comes to attracting the odd virus that is doing the rounds!

This recipe is from the Planet Organic Cookbook which was published way back in 2000 (think it may, sadly be no longer available but seek it out and you may be lucky) and created by Renee Elliot and Eric Treuille (he of Books for Cooks in Notting Hill fame). What a shop, what an experience and I am proud to say that he once stocked my Soup Cookbook - and - displayed it in the window!

The secret for selecting miso for soups is that red miso is thicker and saltier and is traditionally used in winter soups and white miso is more delicate and sweeter and is preferred for lighter, summer soups. I think you will find that red miso is the one for the job here, but it’s up to you.