Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dinner Sunday 30 July - Courgette & Feta Fritters

Courgette & Feta Fritters
2-3 spring onions, sliced finely
1 tablespoon dill
1 teaspoon paprika
small handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 large free range organic eggs
3 oz plain flour
100g feta cheese
400g courgettes, grated
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Sprinkle the grated courgettes with salt and mix well. leave to stand about 30 minutes, then squeeze all the excess water from the courgettes with your hand. LOTS of water comes out.

Mix the flour into the squeezed out courgettes. Add the dill, parsley, paprika and black pepper and mix again. Crack in the egg and mix well. Finally, add the crumbled feta cheese and mix again. If the mixture seems too dry, add a tablespoon of water.

Spray a non-stick skillet with olive oil and add the fritter mix to the hot pan in tablespoonfuls. Fry on either side until golden brown. Serve with slices of lemon or lime.

Makes ten fritters.

Nutritional Data per fritter
Calories (kcal) 71.0
Carbohydrate (g) 7.4
Protein (g) 4.0
Fat (g) 2.8

Also on the plate here (aside from some romaine and flat leaf parsley) are some cute little "green tiger" tomatoes I picked up in M&S. They are a very dark red inside and green & red striped on the outside. The skins are a bit tougher than normal cherry tomatoes, but they are VERY tasty. I shall be buying these again!

I will try to save some of the seed for future cultivation as well. I am pretty pleased with the tomatoes I have in my window boxes right now, although I have not been able to harvest any yet.

Lunch Sunday 30 July - Kale Soup

I love kale, but always seem to eat it the same way. I have a recipe called "savoury kale" which is kale sauteed with garlic, onions and crushed chilli. Normally, I serve it with balsamic vinegar added just before serving.

This dish started out as savoury kale, but then morphed into this soup/stew as I wanted to try something different.

Kale Soup
300g kale, washed & chopped
2 onions, chopped
one carrot, sliced thinly
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
20g texturized vegetable protein/dried soy mince
50g short grain brown rice
3 teaspoons Marigold bouillon
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Spray a pot with a little olive oil and saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add the kale, carrot, soy mince, rice, bouillon and enough water to cover everything. Cover and simmer until rice is cooked, about 45 minutes.

This makes two large bowls.

Nutrition data for entire recipe
Calories (kcal) 448.3
Protein (g) 25.7
Carbohydrate (g) 74.5
Fat (g) 7.3
Fibre (g) 13.9

Breakfast Sunday 30 July - Blueberries

Started the day with two pieces of wholemeal toast, a huge punnet of Polish blueberries and coffee.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Dinner Saturday 29 July - Broccoli Bean Salad

Broccoli Bean Salad
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon hemp oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 red chilli pepper, sliced finely
1/2 onion, sliced finely (about 50g)
250g broccoli, cut into bite sized florets and steamed until just tender
1/2 yellow or orange pepper, cut into fine slices
1 small can kidney beans (130g drained weight)
1 head romaine lettuce, about 200g
1 fat vine tomato, chopped (about 150g)
Make a dressing from the mustard, sugar, garlic, hemp oil & sherry vinegar. Add a bit of the liquor from the beans to add to the volume.
Add the sliced onions & peppers to the dressing and mix well. Leave to marinate about 30 minutes or more.
Then add the beans and broccoli and mix gently but thoroughly. Line a serving dish with romaine lettuce and mound the broccoli & bean salad on top. Garnish with chopped tomato.

Makes 2 servings

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 187.4
Carbohydrate (g) 24.2
Protein (g) 12.3
Fat (g) 4.5
Fibre (g) 10.2

Lunch Saturday 29 July - Linguine with Lobster Sauce

I made a stock out of the lobster shells from yesterday, so was thinking of something to do with the stock. Also had a tin of John West prepared, dressed lobster in the cupboard which I bought a while back, as I had never tried it. So, this is what came out.

Linguine w Lobster Sauce
Lobster stock, reduced down to a few tablespoonsful
1 tomato, deseeded and diced
1 tin John West dressed lobster
60g linguine
100g sugar snap peas
small handful of parsley
1 teaspoon butter

Cook the linguine in boiling slated water for 10 minutes or according to package instructions. Halve the sugar snaps lengthwise and add to the pasta for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time.

While to pasta is cooking, make the sauce by adding to the reduced lobster stock the chopped tomatoes. Cook over low heat while the pasta finishes, just to soften up the tomato. Lastly, add the tin of dressed lobster and the butter and stir through. Toss with the cooked linguine and sugar snaps and scatter with chopped parsley.

Calories (kcal) 379.8
Protein (g) 22.4
Carbohydrate (g) 47.1
Fat (g) 11.6
Fibre (g) 3.0

To make the lobster stock, place the shells from a lobster in a stock pot along with half a lemon, a rib of celery, a chopped carrot, a bit of onion, a few pepper corns and some parsley. Cover with water and simmer over low heat for an hour or more. Strain out the shells and vegetables and there is your stock. I had about 1/2 pint, which I reduced down to a syrup for the sauce above.

Breakfast Saturday 29 July - Raspberries

Started my day with a bowl of Special K and a punnet of yummy Kent raspberries from M&S

Working on reducing the food hoard! I have 4 different kinds of cereal on the go at the moment, not counting porridge.

Dinner Friday 28 July - Lobster!

Bought a dressed lobster in M&S and had it with some asparagus and tomatoes.

Why the hell not?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Lunch Friday 28 July - Sentimental Indomie

I have spent a fair amount of time in Indonesia. I travelled have from Sumatra to Flores and visited Bali on eleven separate ocassions. I guess you could say I like the place.

When I saw Indomie on sale in my favourite Chinese market in China Town, I had to buy some as I practically lived on the stuff while in Indonesia. So, today's lunch was a sentimental packet of Indoemie, jazzed up with a bit of brocolli, some spring onion and prawns.

Indofood, who produce Indomie, have apparently made a new Guinness World Record in the category of “The Largest Packet of Instant Noodles” . They also broke the record for “The Largest Serving of Noodles”.

According to their website:
"“Indomie”, the best selling instant noodles brand of PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk created a new world record today for “The Largest Packet of Instant Noodles”.

The giant packet of “Indomie” instant noodles was produced on 3 February 2005 at Indofood’s Surabaya factory, under the supervision of officials from the National Agency for Drug and Food Control who ensures that the noodles was produced hygienically. Also present were surveyors from the Metrology division of the East Java Industry and Trade Office to record the weight and dimensions of the giant instant noodles.

On 10 February 2005, the giant “Indomie” was inspected by Mr. Christian Marais, Researcher & Adjudicator of Guinness World Records. After reviewing the evidence, Mr. Christian Marais commented that this was indeed a fantastic achievement. The giant “Indomie” officially measures 3.4m x 2.355m x 0.47m, with a net weight of 664.938 kg, which is about 8,000 times the weight of a regular pack of instant noodles. It was made using the same ingredients as a regular pack of instant noodle and was certified fit for human consumption. Having met all the criteria set by Guinness World Records, Mr. Marais declares the giant “Indomie” as “The Largest Packet of Instant Noodles”, a new world record under the Manufacturing category."

BIG Noodles

664.938 kg - that's a LOT of noodles

According to Wikipedia, Indonesian people consume the largest number of instant noodles per year with an average of 50 packs per person, followed by Japan with 42 and the People's Republic of China with 21.

I had a correspondence for a while with a very interesting man named Peter Loud, who has produced some very nice maps of Indonesia, as well as other places. Have a look at his website:

Pete Loud

Breakfast Friday 28 July - Blueberries & raspberries

I really did not bother to take a picture this AM - I reckon anyone reading this has seen enough pics of blueberries and raspberries by now.....

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Dinner Thursday 27 July - Prawns with Asparagus & Linguine

Prawns with Asparagus & Linguine
100g raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
200g asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
4-5 spring onions, sliced
10g butter
1 teaspoon Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder
50g (dry weight) linguine
juice of 1/4 lemon
small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the linguine and cook about 10 minutes (or according to package directions).

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a skillet and add the asparagus & garlic. Saute over low heat until it turns bright green and is half cooked (about 5 minutes). Then add the prawns and saute another few minutes until they are pink & cooked.

By now, the pasta should be done, so add about 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to the skillet containing the asparagus & prawns along with the bouillon powder and the spring onions.

Add the pasta and toss everything together. Finish the dish off with a squeeze of fresh lemon, a bit of flat leaf parsley and loads of black pepper (or to taste).

Calories (kcal) 403.7
Protein (g) 30.6
Carbohydrate (g) 44.2
Fat (g) 11.9
Fibre (g) 4.7

Lunch Thursday 27 July - Stewed Courgettes

Stewed Courgettes
1 large onion, peeled and chopped (about 150g)
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
350g courgettes, halved lengthwise and sliced about 1/2" thick
1 teaspoon Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder
handful fresh basil, torn into bits
handful fresh flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
3large tomatoes, chopped (about 350g)
1 large tablespoon double concentrated tomato puree (about 20g)
2 teaspoon anchovy paste (or a few anchovies, chopped)
10g parmigiano reggiano shavings

Spray a non-stick pan with a bit of olive oil and saute the onions & garlic until translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to mix.

Add sufficient water to about 1/2 cover the vegetables, cover and cook over low heat until everything is cooked to your liking (about 20 minutes for me).

Top with the shaved Parmesan.

Calories (kcal) 289.7
Protein (g) 19.3
Carbohydrate (g) 34.1
Fat (g) 8.7
Fibre (g) 10.2

Breakfast Thursday 27 July - Blueberries

Did not bother to take pic, but had some blueberries & toast for brekkie.

Oops! I did take a picture after all:

Blueberries are so cheap & wonderful at the moment - these came from Poland.

Also made seed mix this AM. Very yummy & moreish and homemade is a fraction the price of all the Food Doctor etc seed mixes. One of my favourite snacks there days

Seed Mix
100g raw, hulled sunflower seed
100g raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
20g linseed
20 hemp seeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Put all the seed in a large bowl and mix well. Add the soy sauce and mix again. Cover and leave to stand overnight, so that the seeds can absorb the soy sauce.

Next morining, dry roast the seeds in a heavy, non-stick skillet until they are dried and crunchy - about 15-20 minutes. Keep and eye on them and stir frequently. Pack into airtight jars and try to avoid eating too much!

Sometimes I vary the recipe by adding garlic granules and/or chilli powder with the soy auce. Also delicious, so experiment.

One tablespoon weighs about 10g. Nutritional info per 10g:

Nutrition Data per 10g serving
Calories (kcal) 57
Carbohydrate (g) 2,0
Protein (g) 2.0
Fat (g) 4.0
Fibre (g) 1.0

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dinner Wednesday 26 July - Prawn Salad in Caribbean Pepper Sauce

Prawn Salad in Caribbean Pepper Sauce
200g Caribbean Hot Pepper Sauce (see below)
1 clove garlic, crushed
juice 1/2 lime

1 carrot, cut into julienne (about 70g)
2 ribs celery, cut into julienne (about 80g)
4 spring onions, shredded (about 50g)
100g sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise and blanched in boiling hot water for 60 seconds, then refreshed in cold water
1 red Ramiro pepper, cut into fine strips (about 90g)
100g cooked king prawns, deveined

about 200g mixed leaves - I have a mixture of romaine hearts, flat leaf parsley and radish leaves here.

Mix hot pepper sauce with crushed garlic and lime juice to make a dressing. Mix the vegetables together with the prawns and add the dressing. Toss together gently until well mixed.

Line a serving plate with you selection of leaves and pile the salad on top!

All my recipes seem to end this way - must find a new way of saying same old thing....

Calories (kcal) 403.2
Protein (g) 27.0
Carbohydrate (g) 65.1
Fat (g) 5.9
Fibre (g) 14.1

Caribbean Pepper Sauce

I found this recipe online when I was looking for ways to cook up a HUGE bag of peppers I bought up the Market for £1. There is a little man in the market who sells bowls of various fruit and veg - all £1 a bowl. It is generally OK stuff, but needs to get used up within a day of two - hence the "pile it high and sell it cheap".

One day he had MASSES of hot, red chillies. I buy from him pretty often and he usually gives me "special deal", as he puts it. When I got my sack of chillies home and weighed it, I had 2 kilos of the HOTTEST little red chillies ever. I made harissa, sambal oelek, Mauritian chilli paste condiment and this recipe, which I found someplace online.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 onions, diced (about 180g)
2 ripe mangoes, skinned, seeded, and cut into chunks (about400g)
6 carrots, diced (about 420g)
2 chayote (cho-cho), diced (abut 400g)
12 pimento (allspice) berries
10 whole black peppercorns
4 thyme sprigs
1 ounce ginger root, finely diced
1/2 cup sugar
80g hot red chillies
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Heat the oil in a nonreactive pot. Saute the onions until they are translucent but not browned. Add the mangoes, carrots, chayote, pimento berries, peppercorns, thyme, and ginger. Saute the mixture 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the sugar and peppers. Cook until the carrots are soft, about 20 more minutes.

Puree the mixture in a blender then force it through a sieve. Discard any material than will not pass through the sieve.

Store it in a tightly closed bottle in the refrigerator.

This made approx 1.5 kilos of sauce - enough to fill two empty vodka 70cl bottles!

Approximate nutritional info per 15g serving (about 1 tablespoon)

Calories (kcal) 14.7
Protein (g) 0.1
Carbohydrate (g) 3.3
Fat (g) 0.2
Fibre(g) 0.3
Mysterious pepper sauce....

Lunch Wednesday 26 July - Thai Style Mango & Tomato Salad

Thai Style Mango & Tomato Salad

2 mango, peeled and cut into chunks (about 400g)
3 large tomatoes, cut into chunks (about 350g)
110g cooked prawns, deveined
4-5 spring onions (about 50g)
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3-4 chillis, finely sliced (to taste)
juice of one lime
handful of Thai parsley, sliced (or use coriander)
100g mixed salad leaves

Mix together the mango chunks, tomato chunks, sliced spring onions and prawns.

Make a dressing of the garlic, lime juice, sugar, chillis, fish sauce & Thai parsley.

Pour over the mango/tomato mixture and allow to stand for about 30 minutes so the flavours can develop.

Line a serving plate with 100g of sharp mixed leaves - things like rocket, mustard, mizuna etc. Pile the salad on top.

Calories (kcal) 419.6
Carbohydrate (g) 74.2
Protein (g) 25.6
Fat (g) 3.4
Fibre (g) 16.6

Breakfast Wednesday 26 July - Melon & Raspberries

I got this cute little melons 2 for £1 in the Market the other day. This one was dead ripe and needed eating up! Plus, I need to make room for the massive watermelon I bought yesterday.

I LOVE summer and all the incredible fruit. Definitely need to move some place where lucious fresh fruits are local 24/7/365.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dinner Tuesday 25 July - Poached Pears with Roquefort

Poached Pears with Roquefort
3 small pears, about 100g each
50g Roquefort cheese
1 teaspoon hemp oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
120g mixed salad leaves, including some flat leaf parsley

Heat a pan of water large enough to accommodate the pears in one layer. Add the juice of a lemon to the water.

Halve the pears and scoop out the core with melon baller. Use the tip of a sharp knife to remove any fibrous material from the stalk from the centre of the pear. Place in the simmering water and cook until just tender - about 5-10 minutes at most for small pears.

Remove from water and drain.

When cooled, stuff each pear cavity with a bit of Roquefort cheese.

Arrange leaves on a serving plate and dress with the balsamic vinegar, hemp oil and
salt & pepper. Place the stuffed pears on top and serve.

Calories (kcal) 363.6
Carbohydrate (g) 29.8
Protein (g) 12.3
Fat (g) 22.0
Fibre (g) 6.7

Lunch Tuesday 25 July - Teriyaki Tuna with Pak Choi & Soba

Teriyaki Tuna with Pak Choi & Soba
3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweetened rice wine)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed

Mix together and tuna steak. Leave to marinate at least one hour or as long as overnight.

120g pak choi, about 2 small heads, washed and split lengthwise into quarters
1/2 sesame oil
1 teaspoon furikake (Japanese rice seasoning)
50g soba noodles
30g spring onions, finely sliced

Add soba to rapidly boiling water and cook for 4 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and mix with spring onions.

Heat the grill. Place the marinated tuna steak under the grill and cook for about 2 minutes each side or until as done as you like.

While to tuna is cooking, heat a non-stick skillet and spray with a flavourless oil. Add the pak choi and stir fry until just wilted but still crisp in the stalk, about 2 minutes.

Remove the pak choi from the pan and arrange on a plate with the soba and tuna steak. Add the reserved marinade to the skillet and cook rapidly to reduce - watch it carefully as it will burn easily due to the sugar in the mirin. When it is starting to look syrupy and forms large bubbles on the surface, it is done. Pour around the tuna, noodles and vegetables.

Sprinkle dish with sesame oil and furikake.

Calories (kcal) 462.8
Protein (g) 43.4
Carbohydrate (g) 44.8
Fat (g) 9.1
Fibre (g) 1.5

Breakfast Tuesday 25 July

Breakfast shall remain unphotographed today, but was a bowl of plain muesli with some raspberries.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dinner Monday 24 July - Greek Salad

Greek Salad
1/2 green pepper, cut into chunks (about 75g)
120g cucumber, halved & cut into slices
2 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks (about 140g)
50g red radishes, sliced2 spring onions, sliced (about 30g
)1 small sweet onion, halved and sliced (about 70g)
85g feta cheese, cut into chunks
12 black olives, sliced (about 40g)
small handful fresh flat leaf parsley
small handful fresh mint

Gently mix all ingredients.

Make a dressing of:
1 clove garlic, crushed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 2-3 fillets, finely chopped)
salt & pepper to taste.

Pour dressing over salad and mix gently. Arrange on a serving plate:

about 100g mixed leaves

and pile to Greek salad on top.

Calories (kcal) 419.2
Protein (g) 20.3
Carbohydrate (g) 17.7
Fat (g) 30.0
Fibre (g) 6.4

Lunch Monday 24 July - Pepper Crusted Tuna Steak & Sauteed New Potatoes

Pepper Crusted Tuna Steak & Sauteed New Potatoes
1 tuna steak (about 100g)
1 teaspoon each mixed peppercorns, kalonji and black or white sesame seeds

Crush mixed pepper corns in a mortar & pestle. Add the kalonji and sesame seeds. Mix well. Dip the tuna steak into the pepper/seed mix and press the mixture well into either side of the steak to form a crust.

Heat a non-stick skillet and spray with a little olive oil. Cook to tuna steak about 2 minutes each side, or until cooked to your liking.

Served with steamed green beans and

Saute New Potatoes
100g new potatoes (Anya used here)
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
a teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
coarsely ground sea salt to taste

Boil potatoes until tender. Cool enough to handle, then split in half or cut into slices, depending on size & shape of potato. Spray a non-stick skillet with a little olive oil and heat. Add the potatoes and cook until browned on one side. Flip over, add the garlic and rosemary and cook
until browned on other side. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve.

Nutrition info for crusted tuna steak, sauteed new potatoes and 200g fine beans
Calories (kcal) 321.6
Protein (g) 38.9
Carbohydrate (g) 28.1
Fat (g) 6.8
Fibre (g) 6.2

Breakfast Monday 24 July - Pears and Blueberries

Bought these pretty little pears in the market. They are ditsy, barely 100g each and very pretty - pale, golden yellow flecked with cinnamon red blush on their bottoms. And they smelled lovely and perfumed.

Sadly, they had a disappointing texture; too grainy for my liking. Think I might try poaching the rest and see it they texture improves with light cooking.

Anyway, they were OK and the blueberries were lovely (although all the way from Florida!)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dinner Sunday 23 July - Thai Style Broccoli Salad

Thai Style Broccoli Salad
250g broccoli
200g bean sprouts
1 spring onion
1/2 red pepper
1 pak choi
50g wild rocket

Cut broccoli into bite sized florets. Steam for about 2 minutes, until bright green but still crunchy. Refresh in cold water. Slice the pak choi and mix with the bean sprouts. Blanch both in boiling hot water for 60 seconds and then refresh in cold water. Cut the red pepper into fine strips and shred the spring onion. Mix all ingrediants well. Pour over the dressing, mix again. Line a serving plate with rocket and pile the salad on top.

juice 1 lime
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
crushed chillis (to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix all ingredients and leave until sugar is dissolved.

Calories (kcal) 205.9
Carbohydrate (g) 28.8
Protein (g) 16.6
Fat (g) 2.9
Fibre (g) 7.9

Lunch Sunday 23 July - Baked Macaroni

Baked Macaroni
60g dry Italian macaroni
1 serving basic tomato sauce (see below)
50g mozzarella cheese, torn up or grated

Boil macaroni in salted water until tender (about 11 minutes). Mix with the tomato sauce and place in a small casserole dish. Top with the mozzarella and bake or grill until cheese is melted, brown and bubbly.

Calories (kcal) 411.9
Protein (g) 18.8
Carbohydrate (g) 52.3
Fat (g) 14.3
Fibre (g) 3.0

Basic Tomato Sauce
2 onions (about 200g)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 400g can peeled plum tomatoes in tomato juice
1 ounce double concentrated tomato puree
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon oregano
4 tablespoon fresh basil

Saute chopped onions and garlic in olive oil until softened and translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients along with 1/2 can of water and simmer over low heat for about 30-40 minutes until thickened.

Recipe makes 4 servings

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 74.2
Carbohydrate (g) 7.9
Protein (g) 2.4
Fat (g) 3.8
Fibre (g) 1.5

Just felt like something gooey and comforting for lunch today - and nothing says gooey comfort like melted cheese! Plus I had to use up the rest of the mozzarella! Had a nice green salad with this, too.

Breakfast Sunday 23 July - Figs

Beautiful, fresh, ripe figs. Gorgeous to look at, gorgeous to eat.

The proper way to eat a fig, in society,
Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,
And open it, so that it is a glittering, rosy, moist, honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.

Then you throw away the skin
Which is just like a four-sepalled calyx,
After you have taken off the blossom with your lips.

But the vulgar way
Is just to put your mouth to the crack, and take out the flesh in one bite.

- D.H. Lawrence

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Reflections of what I have been eating

Looking back over the past week, is is pretty clear that mostly what I eat is ENORMOUS piles of vegetables. Nothing much wrong with that, I guess.

I go through phases - I will have a big bunch of coriander and so will go through a series of recipes using that up. Or prawns are "Buy One Get One Free" at Sainsbury's, so I go wild with prawns are a bit.

One thing that has occurred time lately it that I am a HOARDER. I come by this pretty naturally as my father rivaled the Collyer Brothers. But it is something I have always thought I had sidestepped in my own life. Recent reflections have made this clear to me that this is not true.

Never heard of the Collyer Brothers?
Collyer Brothers

I have been having a massive clear out of everything I own, trying to sell as much as possible on eBay (which I love and loathe in equal measures) and giving it away to Oxfam.

I want to strip everything down and get back to essentials. I keep hearing Tyler Durden in my head:

"The things you own end up owning you."

And I seem to be a food hoarder as well. I love trying new things out. I love having lots of different herb, spices and ingredients in the flat at any given time so I can cook what I feel like.

Indonesian? No problem, I have trasi and ketjap manis and buah keras in the house ...

Thai? Sure, I have lemon grass and nam pla and galangal....

Chinese? Yup, I have five spice and shao shing and soy (three types!)

That I don't really have a problem with. I have a good turnover of these ingredients and it IS nice to have that sort of variety at your fingertips.

But I also have a dozens of tins of pulses (chick peas, cannellini beans, flageolet, haricot etc), kilos of rice (arborio, sushi, short grain brown, Thai fragrant, etc.), jar after jar of dried fruits (raisins, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, figs, bananas etc). It is a HUGE quantity of food for one person.

So, I am not going to buy and more store cupboard type items unless I run out. And then I am only going to buy a select few things. I do not need 6 different types of daal. I don't NEED a second box of cornflour "just in case".

Get a grip...

I am also working my way through a massive collection of teas, which is quite a pleasant experience. I love chrysanthemum tea, having first had it in Singapore. These days, I buy bags of Singaporean dried chrysanthemums in China Town and use them. They are so pretty when they are steeping:

Who wouldn't want to drink that?

Lunch Saturday 22 July - Fish Cakes and Fine Bean Salad

Fish Cakes and Fine Bean Salad

The fish cakes are leftover from yesterday's lunch, so the recipe is there.

Fine Bean Salad
200g fine beans
1 spring onion
50g wahed wild rocket
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon hemp oil
2 cloves garlic
juice 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Wash & trim beans and slice french style. Cook in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes, until just wilted but stil with some crunch. Refresh in cold water. Wash, trim and shred the spring onion and combine with the beans.

Make a dressing of the lemon juice, honey, mustrad, oil, crished garlic and seasonings. Pour over the beans and spring onions and allow to stand for about 30 minutes for the flavours to meld.

Arrange the rocket on a plate and mound the bean salad on top.

Fish cakes are served with some homemade catsup (spicy!)

Nutritional analysis for fish cakes, salad & catsup:
Calories (kcal) 378.7
Protein (g) 26.2
Carbohydrate (g) 45.8
Fat (g) 9.9
Fibre (g) 8.3

Breakfast Saturday 22 July - Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad
one small galia melon (about 300g flesh)
2 nectarines(about 250g)
125g blueberries

Deseed the melon and scoop the flesh from the rind using a melon baller. Wash, de-stone and chop the nectarines into rough chunks. Wash and pick over the blueberries.

Combine all fruits and serve.

Calories (kcal) 233.3
Protein (g) 6.3
Carbohydrate (g) 53.7
Fat (g) 0.6
Fibre (g) 8.3

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dinner Friday 21 July Thai Style Bean Salad

Thai Bean Salad
200g bean sprouts, blanched for 60 seconds and refreshed in cold water
200g fine beans, cut French style and boiled for 3 minutes, then refreshed in cold water
1/2 red or purple pepper, deseeded & cut into fine strips
3 spring onions (about 75g) shredded
30g fine Thai rice noodles (sen mee, also called rice vermicelli), soaked in boiling hot water until soft

Toss all vegetable ingredients together.

Make a dressing of:

juice of one lime
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon Thai oyster sauce
2-3 crushed garlic
crushed red chilli flakes to taste
1 teaspoon sugar

Add the soaked noodles and leave to stand for about 30 minutes. Pour over mixed veggies and toss well to coat all ingredients with sauce and distribute the noodles through the dish. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

Calories (kcal) 337.9
Protein (g) 16.2
Carbohydrate (g) 64.0
Fat (g) 3.3

Lunch Friday 21 July - Fish Cakes and Brocolli Tricolore

Fish Cakes
1 white fish fillets (about 120g), steamed or poached
200g waxy potatoes, boiled and mashed or riced
handful parsley, chopped (about 10g)
1 large shallot, grated (about 50g)
1 large free range, organic egg
1 tsp fresh thyme
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingrediants and form into 4 cakes.

Fry over low heat in a non-stick skillet sprayed with a bit of olive oil until browned, about 10 minutes each side.

Makes 2 servings of 2 fish cakes per serving.

Calories (kcal) 186.9
Protein (g) 18.5
Carbohydrate (g) 20.7
Fat (g) 3.9
Fibre (g) 1.9

Brocolli Tricolore
200g brocolli, broken into bite sized florets
1/2 Ramiro sweet red pepper, cut into slivers
1 sweet onion, halved & cut into thin slices
1 teaspoon mustard
juice 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons hemp oil
salt & pepper to taste
Make a dressing by mixing together the mustard, lemon juice and oil. Season with salt & pepper. Add the sliced onions and leave stand for 30 minutes until onions are wilted.

Blanch the brocolli florets in boiling hot water for 5 minutes and refresh in cold water. Add the brocolli & red peppers to the onion mixture. Mix well, check seasoning and serve.

Calories (kcal) 198.9
Protein (g) 9.0
Carbohydrate (g) 15.4
Fat (g) 10.8
Fibre (g) 7.0

Breakfast Friday 21 July - Nectarines & cherries

I am loving the summer fruits in the market. Definitely need to live somewhere temperate where fruit is ALWAYS in season.

Today's market purchases - blackheart cherries £1.50 a pound. nectarines 7 for £1, figs 3 for 50p.....

Scoffed the cherries straight away, but restrained my self long enough to take a portrait of the nectarines.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dinner Thursday 20 July - Composed Salad with Salsa Verde

Composed Salad
1 head (about 150g) romaine lettuce heart
1/2 Ramiro red pepper, cut into rings
1/2 cucumber (about 200g) cut into ribbons
1/2 jar (about 140g drained weight) grilled artichoke hearts
90g cooked king prawns
1 vine tomato, cut into wedges (about 150g)
one serving Salsa Verde
Arrange shredded romaine on a serving plate. Arrange other ingredients over the lettuce and serve with Salsa Verde.

Salsa Verde
large handful coriander (about 20g)
large handful parsley (about 20g)
3 anchovy fillets
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lemon
3 Spring Onions chopped (about 75g)
1 tablespoon capers (about 20g)
1 tablespoon green peppercorns (about 15g)
Chuck it all in a food processor and process until smooth. Makes about 3 servings.
Great with fish.

Calories (kcal) 400.6
Protein (g) 25.2
Carbohydrate (g) 20.9
Fat (g) 22.24
Fibre (g) 10.7

Lunch Thursday 20 July - Cheese Quesadillas

Cheese Quesadillas
2 flour tortillas
100g mozzarella cheese (or your preference. I normally use a sharp cheddar, but happened to have mozzarella today)
3 spring onions, sliced fine (about 75g)
minced chilli to taste

Grate cheese and toss with spring onions and chillis.

Spray a non-stick frying pan with a little oilive oil and add a tortilla. Sprinkle with half the cheese mixture and fold. Cook over low heat until golden brown and crisp. Turn and brown the other side.

Repeat with remaining tortilla & cheese mixture to make 2 quesadillas.

Serve with a salad of 50g rocket leaves and one vine tomatoe, chopped (about 150g)
Nutrition Info (without salad)

Calories (kcal) 435.3
Protein (g) 24.1
Carbohydrate (g) 32.8
Fat (g) 23.1
Fibre (g) 2.3

Breakfast Thursday 20 July - Pixley Raspberries

Picked up some nice Herefordshire raspberries up the market. Love the fact that these are in PAPER BOXES! So recyclable.

C'mon berry suppliers! If Pixley can pack in little card boxes, so can you. Ditch the plastic boxes, please.

These say on the side

And on the end
"Pixley Berries from the land of fruit, hops, cider and poets"

And very nice they were, too.

From their website:
"bio-diversity includes barn owls, dormice, otters, green woodpeckers, buzzards, bats and tadpoles. And we have a great collection of beetles from our hopyards, collected by Dr Colin Campbell of East Malling Research.
Berry growers greatest friends….. bumblebees, ladybirds, lacewings, beetles, typhs, soldier beetles, spiders and many others. "

How nice!

Pixley Berries

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Wednesday 19 July - Hottest July day since 1911

Today is predicted to be the hottest July day since 1911. Temperatures in London are forecast to reach 36° Celcius/96.8 ° Fahrenheit.

It's hot!

Too hot to cook, and I have leftovers anyway, so I will be finishing off leftover Gazpacho (perfect on such a hot day) and leftover Sweet Pepper Tortilla. Here is a picture of the sweetest little bite sized Kent strawberries which were breakfast:

Stay cool.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dinner Tuesday 18 July - Fried Tofu, Beansprouts & Mange Tout

Fried Tofu, Beansprouts & Mange Tout in a Chinese Style Sauce

This is a variation on the "stir-steam" featured on Friday lunch (tonight's sauce is actually Friday's leftover)

First, make the broth:

1 fish or veggie stock cube (or use 1 pint of homemade, light flavoured stock)
3 fat garlic cloves, smashed, minced, pressed or otherwise obliterated
about a 1 inch segment of fresh ginger root, peeled & grated
3-4 birds eye chills, or to taste 10g (about 4 pieces)
dried Chinese Shiitake mushrooms
6 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons shao shing rice wine (or dry sherry)

Soak the mushrooms in boiling water until soft. Remove the woody stems and cut into fine strips. Strain the mushroom liquor into a saucepan; be sure to leave behind any debris from the mushrooms. Add to the mushroom liquor 1 stock cube (if using fresh stock, boil it and soak the mushrooms in the hot stock, then strain to remove any mushroom debris) the chopped chills the crushed garlic the grated ginger the shao shing the soy sauce

Bring to a simmer and simmer about 30 mins. This makes enough broth/sauce for 2 servings.

200g beansprouts, blanched in boiling hot water for 60 seconds and refreshed.
100g mange tout, cut in two lengthwise and blanched in boiling hot water for 2 minutes and refreshed
4 squares (about 100g) deep fried tofu (fried tofu is readily available from Chinese grocers)
4 spring onions, shredded (about 75g)
1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

Cut the tofu into bite sized chunks and add to 1/2 quantity of the simmering broth described above.
Mix together 1 tablespoon corn flour and a little cold water to make a paste. Add to the broth and cook over low heat until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the shredded spring onions, and prepared mange tout and beansprouts. Remove from heat.

Mix gently but well so all ingredients are covered with sauce. Turn out onto a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame oil.

Calories (kcal) 356.3
Protein (g) 32.3
Carbohydrate (g) 28.5
Fat (g) 12.8
Fibre (g) 4.7

Lunch Tuesday 18 July Toasted Red Pepper Wraps with Salsa

Toasted Red Pepper Wraps with Salsa
1 large onion (about 150g), peeled and chopped coarsely
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large red pepper, cored, de-seeded and cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
small handful parsley,
1 teaspoon Marigold Low Sodium Vegan Bouillon powder
45g extra mature cheddar cheese, grated
2 flour tortilla wraps
spray olive oil

Spray a non-stick saute pan with a little olive oil. Saute the onions with the garlic until soft. Add the pepper strips, marjoram, parsley, Marigold bouillon powder and 1 tablespoon water. Cover and cook over low heat until peppers are soft and water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
Divide the pepper mixture between the wraps, sprinkle each with cheese and roll up tightly. Place seam side down in a frying pan sprayed with olive oil and cook until golden. Turn over and cook other side until golden.

Serve with Salsa.

1 large vine tomato (about 150g), very finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2-3 green chillis, finely sliced
juice 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon catsup
small handful coriander, chopped

Mash everything together very well. Allow to stand at room temperature 30 minutes before eating , to allow flavours to develop.

Catsup is an "optional extra" - if your tomato is really ripe and sweet, you won't need it.

Calories (kcal) 738.2
Protein (g) 29.8
Carbohydrate (g) 96.6
Fat (g) 26.2
Fibre (g) 12.2

Bit of a "fatty boom-boom" on the lunch stakes today (738 cals!) but what the heck.

I had a long walk this AM and it is hotter than the hinges of Hades in London today, so I reckon I am getting a free 8 hour sauna as well.

Of course, I good have been good and only had one tortilla and no cheese, but where's the fun in that?

Breakfast Tueday 18 July - Papaya!

Moving away from Kent, this morning I had a bowl of succulent papaya chunks for breakfast, all the way from Côte d'Ivoire. Drenched in fresh lime juice and tossed with a few tiny sprigs from my kitchen windowsill mint plant.


  • Côte d'Ivoire on Wikipedia

  • Monday, July 17, 2006

    Dinner Monday 17 July - Tortilla with Sweet Peppers

    Tortilla with Sweet Peppers
    1 large onion, chopped (150g)
    3 cloves garlic, sliced
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    300g potatoes, parboiled and sliced thinly
    1/2 Ramiro sweet red pepper
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme
    4 large free range, organic eggs

    Use a non-stick saute pan, about 9" in diameter.
    Saute garlic and onions over low heat in the olive oil until softened. Add the pepper, cut onto fine strips and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the thyme and seadon to taste with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs together and pour over the vegetables. Shake the pan to settle all the ingrediants into disperse the egg throughout the vegetables. Cook over low heat, shaking ocassionally, until the eggs are set and the underside is browned (about 20 minutes).

    Invert the pan onto a plate and turn out the tortilla. Cut into 4 wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.

    Served with 200g steamed asparagus, 75g steamed fine beans and 200g baby courgettes, cut into strips and sauteed with lashings of black pepper.

    Nutrition info (including vegetables)
    Calories (kcal) 470.1
    Protein (g) 30.5
    Carbohydrate (g) 46.3
    Fat (g) 19.3

    Nutrition info (tortilla alone)
    Calories (kcal) 368.1
    Carbohydrate (g) 36.8
    Protein (g) 19.9
    Fat (g) 16.9
    Fibre (g) 3.4
    Fibre (g) 10.5

    Lunch Monday 17 July - Thai Style Salad of Beansprouts, Mange Tout and Purple Peppers

    Thai Style Salad of Beansprout, Mange Tout and Purple Peppers
    200g beansprouts
    100g mange tout
    1 purple pepper
    50g spring onions (about 2)
    90 g king prawns
    Blanch beansprouts in boiling hot water for 60 seconds, then refresh in cold water. Halve mange tout lengthwise and blanch in boiling hot water for 2 minutes, then refresh in cold water. Cut purple pepper into julienne. Shred spring onions. Toss all ingredients together well.

    Toss deveined prawns in a hot saute pan sprayed with oil and cook briefly until butterflied and pink.

    juice of 1 lime
    1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
    3 tablespoons That oyster sauce
    crushed red chillis to taste
    2-3 cloves garlic
    1 teaspoon sugar
    handful chopped coriander (about 5-10g)

    Crush garlic, mix with all other ingredients. Allow to stand until sugar is dissolved.

    Pour dressing over salad ingredients. Mix well, turn out on serving plate and garnish with prawns.

    Calories (kcal) 258.5
    Protein (g) 26.7
    Carbohydrate (g) 31.8
    Fat (g) 2.9
    Fibre (g) 6.3

    Breakfast Monday 17 July - Kent Raspberries

    They call Kent "the garden of England" for a reason. After yesterday's gorgeous Kent Strawberries, I started today off with a bowl of delcious Glen Ample Raspberries from Faversham, Kent.

    Sunday, July 16, 2006

    Dinner Sunday 16 July - Grilled Papaya & Prawns with Coriander Salsa

    Grilled Papaya & Prawns with Coriander Salsa
    2 garlic
    2-3 bird's eye chillis
    coarse sea salt
    large handful coriander (about 10g)
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    1 teaspoon sugar
    juice 1/2 lime
    1/2 red Ramiro pepper, cut into fine strips
    4 spring onions (about 75g) shredded
    90g king prawns, de-veined
    1 ripe papaya (about 200g without pips & skin)
    100g romaine lettuce
    50g rocket leaves
    handful flat leaf parsley (about 10g)

    Crush together the garlic & chillis with a little coarse salt. Finely chop the coriander and place in a non-reactive bowl. Add the crushed garlic & chillis the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Mix well. Add the Ramiro pepper strips and spring onions. Mix well.

    Peel and deseed the papaya and cut into 6 slices. Heat a non-stick grill pan over high heat. When hot, add the papaya slice and grill until browned on each side.

    Remove the papaya from the grill pan and reserve. Add the de-veined prawns to the hot grill pan and cook briefly until butterflied. Add the hot prawns to the salsa and stir well. Allow to cool.

    Mix together the rocket, shredded romaine and parsley and arrange on a serving plateon a serving plate. Arrange the grilled papaya on the leaves. Mound the prawns and salsa with the grilled papya and spoon over any remaining salsa.

    Calories (kcal) 242.5
    Carbohydrate (g) 33.8
    Protein (g) 22.2
    Fat (g) 2.6
    Fibre (g) 9.0

    Lunch Sunday 16 July - Composed Salad

    Composed Salad
    50g rocket
    100g romaine lettuce, shredded
    handful each coriander & flat leaf parsley (about 10g each)
    1 fat vine tomato, diced
    200g asparagus, steamed until tender and cooled
    4 hard boiled quails eggs
    100g fine beans, steamed until tender and cooled
    90g king prawns, de-veined and tossed with lime juice & black pepper

    Mix all leaves together and arrange on a serving plate. Arrange the cooked vegetables, tomato, eggs and prawns on the leaves.


    Nutrition Summary
    Calories (kcal) 245.4
    Protein (g) 30.2
    Carbohydrate (g) 13.0
    Fat (g) 8.1
    Fibre (g) 9.2

    Breakfast Sunday 16 July - Kent Strawberries

    I love strawberries and the best ones undoubtedly come from Kent. These are some gorgeous Kent strawberries that I bought in the Market - huge box (1 pound) for £1.00. Absolutely delicious and sweet just as they are. Had these with toast and coffee.

    Strawberry nutritional info - per 450 g
    Calories (kcal) 125.3
    Carbohydrate (g) 26.9
    Protein (g) 3.6
    Fat (g) 0.5
    Fibre (g) 4.2

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    Dinner Saturday 15 July - Gazpacho

    1 red pepper (about 160g)
    1 green pepper (about 160g)
    1 yellow pepper (about 160g)
    1/2 cucumber (about 200g)
    1 sweet onion (about 100g)
    3 cloves garlic
    6 fat, ripe, juicy vine tomatoes (about 1100 grams)
    4 spring onions (about 75g)
    handful of flat leaf parsley (about 10g)
    2 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    salt & pepper to taste
    a few sprigs coriander to garnish

    Wash tomatoes and chop coarsely (reserve one for garnish).
    Wash & de-seed the peppers and chop coarsely (reserve about 1/4 of each pepper for garnish).
    Wash and coarsely chop the cucumber (reserve about a 2" piece for garnish).
    Wash, trim and coarsely chop the spring onions (reserve one for garnish).
    Place all ingrediants (except the bits reserved for garnish) in a blender and pulse blend. Do not over blend - you do not want it smooth. There should be recogniseable bits.
    Chill for at least one hour. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
    For the garnish, finely chop all of the reserved bits, mix together and sprinkle across each bowl. Add a few sprigs of coriander and some freshly made croutons (optional) and serve.

    This makes 4 large servings.

    Some people add stale bread to gazpacho - I don't any more. Basically, it is used as a thickener, but I prefer just to use LOTS of veggies.

    Calories (kcal) 113.8
    Carbohydrate (g) 18.4
    Protein (g) 4.7
    Fat (g) 2.7
    Fibre (g) 5.6

    So, that where those tomatoes and peppers from the photos earlier today went.... (along with a half the contents of a crisper drawer)

    Lunch Saturday 15 July - Scalloped Potatoes & Herb Salad

    Scalloped Potatoes
    • one large onion, chopped (about 150g)
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 300g Anya potatoes, scrubbed and cut into coins about 1/2" thick
    • 1 pint of vegetable stock (either fresh or from cube/powder/essence)
    • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 45g mature cheddar cheese, grated
    • 1 few sprigs parsley

    Mix together the chopped onion, sliced potatoes, garlic and thyme. Place in a non-stick skillet and cover with the vegetable stock. Cook over low heat covered, until the potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). Remove the cover and allow the stock to reduce down - it will become thick as the potatoes release some of their starch (about another 15 minutes). Check the seasoning and add salt if required and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

    Scatter the grated cheese across the top and pop under the grill to melt the cheese and slightly brown to top. Scatter with finely chopped parsley and serve.

    Calories (kcal) 510.8
    Protein (g) 19.5
    Carbohydrate (g) 73.1
    Fat (g) 17.5
    Fibre (g) 5.8

    Herb Salad

    • 1 small head romaine lettuce (about 150 grams)
    • handful each of parsley & coriander (about 10g each)
    • two fat vine tomatoes, chopped (about 300 grams)

    Wash, dry and tear the romaine into bite sized pieces. Mix with the coriander and parsley leaves. Chop the tomatoes and mound on the leaves. Season to taste with salt & pepper, if desired.

    Calories (kcal) 81.8
    Protein (g) 4.4
    Carbohydrate (g) 12.4
    Fat (g) 1.8
    Fibre (g) 5.4

    Broke the bank on the one - will not be sticking to planned 1100 calories today, but it was delicious, so no regrets.

    Off for a nice long walk to work off some of that cheese!

    Breakfast Saturday 15 July - Mango & Apricot Smoothie and a mess of lychees

    Mango and Apricot Smoothie and a mess of lychees

    • one mango, peeled & pitted (about 225g)
    • 5 fresh apricots, pitted (about 150g)
    • juice of one lime (about 2 tablespoons)

      Chuck it all in the blender and give it a whiz.

      Calories (kcal) 195.9
      Protein (g) 3.6C
      Carbohydrate (g) 46.1
      Fat (g) 1.0
      Fibre (g) 8.6

      I love lychees... got a generous 2 pounds for £1.50 in the Market day before yesterday, so had 1 pound for brekkie (about 450g shelled and pitted!)

      Calories (kcal) 261.0
      Protein (g) 4.1
      Carbohydrate (g) 64.4
      Fat (g) 0.5
      Fibre (g) 3.2

    Going to get to work on those peppers and tomatoes in the photo....

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    Dinner Friday 14 July Crunchy Thai Style Salad with fragrant leaves

    Crunchy Thai Style Salad with fragrant leaves

    1 or 2 clove garlic
    1-2 birds eye chillis (or to taste)
    1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
    3 tablespoon Thai Oyster Sauce (I like Healthy Boy Brand)

    Crush the garlic and chilli together in a mortar & pestle (or use the flat of a broad bladed knife and your cutting board to mash them together into a paste). Add the sauces and mix well.

    Salad Mix
    250g fennel
    100g sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise
    1 large carrot, scrubbed & cut into julienne
    50g celery, cut into julienne
    1 Ramiro red pepper (or other sweet pepper)
    4 spring onions, about 75g, shredded
    90g king prawns

    Wash fennel, cut into julienne and blanch briefly in boiling water, then refresh in cold water. Place in a NON-REACTIVE* bowl and immediately squeeze over the juice of on lime to prevent discolouring. Toss well. Blanch the sugar snap peas and add to the bowl. Add the julienned carrots, celery, Ramiro pepper and spring onions & prawns, tossing well after each addition.
    Finally, add the dressing and give everything a good mix.

    Leaf Mix
    50g rocket leaves
    large handful each flat leaf parsley, coriander and fresh mint (about 10g each)

    Wash the herbs and remove stems. Toss all leaves together.

    Arrange the mixed herbs and rocket on a large plate. Mound the salad mix on top of the leaves and serve.

    Makes one ENORMOUS serving
    Calories (kcal) 237.7
    Protein (g) 26.5
    Carbohydrate (g) 27.5
    Fat (g) 2.8
    Fibre (g) 13.0

    *non-reactive - e.g. ceramic or glass (so that any metal does not interact with the lime juice & fennel). It will discolour if so.

    Healthy Boy Brand Thai Oyster Sauce

    Lunch Friday 14 July Stir Steamed Veggies & Prawns

    I have decided to start blogging my meals. Thought about it a while back, now decided to try. I have been on a change of eating habits for about 14 months now. Trying to eat healthy, lose some weight and just take better care of myself.

    So, here is today's LUNCH:

    Chinese style Stir-Steamed Vegetables & Prawns
    I call this method "stir-steaming" because the veggies are steamed over the broth, rather than stir fried in a wok. No oil except a bit of sesame for flavour.

    First, make the broth:

    • 1 fish or veggie stock cube (or use 1 pint of homemade, light flavoured stock)
    • 3 fat garlic cloves, smashed, minced, pressed or otherwise obliterated
    • about a 1 inch segment of fresh ginger root, peeled & grated
    • 3-4 birds eye chills, or to taste
    • 10g (about 4 pieces) dried Chinese Shiitake mushrooms
    • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 6 tablespoons shao shing rice wine (or dry sherry)

    Soak the mushrooms in boiling water until soft. Remove the woody stems and cut into fine strips. Strain the mushroom liquor into a saucepan; be sure to leave behind any debris from the mushrooms.

    Add to the mushroom liquor

    • 1 stock cube (if using fresh stock, boil it and soak the mushrooms in the hot stock, then strain to remove any mushroom debris)
    • the chopped chills
    • the crushed garlic
    • the grated ginger
    • the shao shing
    • the soy sauce

    Bring to a simmer and simmer about 30 mins. This makes enough broth/sauce for 2 servings.

    In a bamboo steamer, place

    • two fat carrots, scrubbed and sliced into coins
    • 150g baby corn, split in two lengthwise
    • 250g broccoli, cut into florets

    Place the vegetables in a steamer basket and steam over the broth for about 5 minutes, until just tender and bright coloured. Add

    • 150g sliced mange tout

    and steam for another minute or two. The vegetables should retain some crunch.

    Remove the steamer basket and place it over a serving dish to keep warm. Add to the broth

    • 2 tablespoons corn flour mixed with a little cold water to form a paste
    • 180g king prawns, deveined

    Cook over medium heat until the sauce is thickened and the prawns are warmed through and "butterflied". This should only take 2-3 minutes. Do not over cook the prawns and turn them into rubber. Add

    • 100g spring onions, sliced fine
    • a shake of sesame oil (about 1/2 teaspoon)

    Remove from heat. Place all the steamed vegetables in a serving dish. Pour over the sauce with the prawns and spring onions and mix gently but mix well so each piece is coated with sauce.

    Garnish with some

    • fresh coriander leaves

    and serve.
    Serves 2

    approximately 312 calories per serving

    Carbohydrate (g) 37.7

    Protein (g) 31.4

    Fat (g) 5.4

    Fibre (g) 8.5

    So beginneth the rant...

    Not sure what this blog will be about, probably just a place for me to rant, muse and talk about FOOD!

    Today's rant: professionals who cannot keep appointments. I had a dentist appointment at 09:00. I arrived promptly; the dentist strolled in to the surgery at 09:20. Not a word of apology when he called me in, so I laid in to him and asked why he make appointments he could not keep. He burbled something about being delayed on the Tube.

    When I suggested to him that an apology for keeping me waiting should have been the first words from his mouth, he agreed. Just because he is a "professional" does not make his time any more valuable than mine.

    Grrrrr - bad mood today! What else is new?