Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lunch Sunday 27 August - Harissa Hummus and crudite

Harissa Hummus and crudite
1 serving Harissa Hummus (see Lunch Thursday 24 August for recipe)
4 celery
2 carrots
150g cherry tomatoes

Calories (kcal) 282.6
Protein (g) 13.7
Carbohydrate (g) 32.2
Fat (g) 13.6
Fibre (g) 11.2

Breakfast - Sunday 27 August - Strawberries

Had a nice punnet of strawberries. Also duly consumed one serving of Grape Nuts with some of the Horlick's in lieu of milk. It is actually pretty nice!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Meet the food hoard

Here is what I mean by hoarding food.

This is the main food store cupboard:

In here are canned goods, and staples like rice, pasta, legumes etc. This cupboard is about 2 1/2 feet wide and about 2 feet deep. It is a nightmare, because it is hard to find anything because everything ends up being piled on top of other stuff.

This is the spice rack:

This is the fridge as of tonight.

Bear in mind I am going away in two days time! Actually, it is not as bad as it looks in terms of fresh food, because the fridge is also home to a large proportion of the condiment hoard. The entire bottom shelf of the fridge is condiments. The back half of the centre and top shelves is also filled with condiments of all sorts. Off the top of my head, I have

  1. homemade horseradish & chilli mustard ( 2 jars)
  2. some store-bought chilli mustard
  3. Dijon mustard
  4. French's American Yellow mustard
  5. my homemade spiced catsup
  6. Heinz catsup
  7. Hellman's Hot 'n' Spicy Catsup
  8. Hellman's Curry Sauce
  9. Geo Atkins & Co Anchovy Sauce
  10. Geo Atkins & Co Mushroom Catsup
  11. Geo Atkins & Co Harvey's Sauce
  12. Truffle oil
  13. Truffle & Mushroom sauce for pasta
  14. Pesto
  15. green pepper corns (THREE! jars)
  16. cranberry sauce
  17. ghee
  18. jalapeno peppers
  19. homemade red Thai curry paste
  20. homemade green Thai curry paste
  21. homemade Thai nam prik pow
  22. homemade Mauritian chilli sauce
  23. homemade mango hot sauce
  24. homemade Indonesian sambal oelek
  25. homemade Indonesian sweet chilli sambal
  26. ABC Brand Sambal Manis (Indonesian sweet chilli sambal)
  27. Sainsbury's Hot Chilli Sauce

you get the drift....

Dinner Saturday 26 August- Indonesian Style Salad

Indonesian Style Salad
200g beansprouts, blanched
120g broccoli, cut into tiny florets and blanched
65g baby corn, sliced and blanched
100g fresh lotus roots, peeled & cut thinly
1 small orange pepper (about 25g)
3 spring onions (about 45g)
1 red chilli (or to taste)

Toss all ingredients to combine.

1/2 teaspoon trasi
1 teaspoon sugar
juice of one lime
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons kecap manis
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp

Dissolve the trasi and sugar in the lime juice. Add the other ingredients and mix well.
Pour of salad and mix gently but thoroughly.

Line a serving plate with romaine leaves, torn into bite sized pieces and mound the salad on top.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 283.1
Protein (g) 16.0
Carbohydrate (g) 49.2
Fat (g) 3.5
Fibre (g) 12.1

A word about some of the ingredients:

1) kecap manis is a thick, sweetened soy sauce, widely used in Indonesia. The most common brand is ABC.

2) trasi (also called belachan) is fermented shrimp paste, widely used throughout Indonesian, Thai, Singaporean cuisine, and across Southeast Asia

3 ) lotus roots can be bought dried or fresh from Asian markets. The fresh are infinitely superior. They look like large, ecru coloured sausages, as they are segmented.

They need to be peeled, dropped in acidulated water and then sliced as thinly as possible. I normally blanch them briefly in boiling hot water, less to cook them and more as a precaution against flukes which they can harbour. They are crunchy and delicious and look beautiful in salads, soups, curries etc.

I tend to buy a few roots, prepare and freeze them in 50 or 100g tranches. They freeze very well and fresh or fresh frozen is far preferable to the dried ones.

Lunch Saturday 26 August - CHIPS!

I decided to have some chips for lunch as a bit of a treat and becasue I am missing having a bit of hot food.

Did not bother with a picture, but had them with some of the condiment hoard, a big dollop of Hellman's Curry Sauce.

Breakfast Saturday 26 August - Getting near the end of the Grape Nuts...

Had some Grape Nuts for brekkie but had them with some light Horlicks I found stashed inside my old cooker.

What can I say? - it made a change from plain milk and was actually pretty nice.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Dinner Friday 25 August - Thai Style Salad

Thai Style Salad
200g bean sprouts, blanched
1 carrot, julienned (about 40g)
2 ribs celery, julienned (about 120g)
1/2 daikon, julienned (about 60g)
small orange pepper, julienned (about 40g)
1 hot green chilli, julienned
100g sugar snaps, halved lengthwise & blanched
4 spring onion, sliced (about 60g)
1/2 pack (75g) Cauldron Marinated Tofu pieces (or similar)
small handful mint leaves
small handful basil leaves

Toss all ingredients together.

Make a dressing of:
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon sugar
2-3 crushed garlic
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons Thai oyster sauce
piece of lemon grass, very finely slivered (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1-2 kaffir lime leaves, very finely slivered (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Pour over salad and mix thorougly but gently.

Line a serving plate with shredded romaine and pile salad on top.

Calories (kcal) 406.5
Protein (g) 29.6
Carbohydrate (g) 40.6
Fat (g) 14.9
Fibre (g) 10.2

Lunch Friday 25 August - Brie & Cranberry sandwich

Brie & Cranberry sandwich
2 slices wholegrain bread, lightly toasted
40g ripe Normandy Brie
1 heaped tablespoon cranberry sauce
2 romaine lettuce leaves

Spread one slice of bread with the brie and top with the cranberry sauce. Add shredded lettuce and top with the other slice of bread. Halve and serve.

Calories (kcal) 342.9
Protein (g) 18.5
Carbohydrate (g) 28.1
Fat (g) 17.4
Fibre (g) 5.1

Hilarious snap-shot - sandwich out of focus, but grimy grill pan from old cooker is razor sharp. This is what happens when your digital camera is 7 years old...

Breakfast Friday 25 August- Working on a chain gang.... cereal

OK, I am really getting tired of cereal...

so why do I have so much in the flat?!?!

Anyway, today was 45g Grape Nuts and coffee.

And waiting for guy to come take away old cooker.

P.S. - Cooker man came at about 13:30, so I now have only one cooker in the flat (finally!) He was very, very nice and helpful, unlike his colleagues from Wednesday who refused to take the old cooker away.

The new one is gorgeous, but is not yet connected to the gas. The fitter I had arranged for yesterday would not come because he did not want to deal with helping me swap the cookers around so the old cooker was in the hall and new was in kitchen.

Now it is the Bank Holiday weekend and I am away next week anyway, so it'll just have to wait until I get back from The Lakes.

Can't wait to get using it - it will be so nice to have a working oven for the first time in months! I want to bake some bread. And I want to play with the wok burner and the griddle - but it'll have to wait.

Dinner Thursday 24 August - A humble sandwich

Very sad to have beautiful new cooker in flat, but cannot use it as gas fitter would not come and connect it.

After yesterday's debacle when scurrilous delivery men faked health & safety concerns (well, I don't know that for sure, but seems likely), I was left with one range cooker sitting in middle of kitchen and another in hallway.

Gas fitter does not want to move cookers or even help me move cookers around. Spent ages on phone with New World trying to sort it out before finally giving up in them altogether and phoning Tim the Plumber (recommended by my veterinarian). I had called him initially, but he was busy until September, so I tried elsewhere. As it is Bank Holiday weekend and I am off to the Lakes next week - September it is, then.

Still a shame - it looks so nice and I can't use it! On the postitive, kitchen looks nice with fresh lick of paint and a thorough cleaning.

So, cookerless and never having bought a dread microwave, I am consuming cold fare for the foreseeable. Tonight's repast:

2 bread (I used Burgen Soya & Linseed)
1 T mayo
1 t mustard
1 tomato
1 bag rocket
65g veggie polony sausage, sliced thin

Make a sandwich, already!

Calories (kcal) 434.8
Protein (g) 28.9
Carbohydrate (g) 38.0
Fat (g) 19.0
Fibre (g) 7.5

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lunch Thursday 24 August - Harissa Hummus & Salad

Harissa Hummus & Salad

You may recall that, a while back, I got a huge bag of chillis from Chapel Market (see entry for Dinner 26 July). I made many condiments from these chillis. One of those condiments was harissa, bringing the number of containers of harissa I own up to three; one bottle of Les Comptoirs de Carthage Harissa, one tube of Ferrero Harissa (bought in Harvey Nichols when I had a cold and was yearning for something I could taste) and now my homemade jar.

Anyway, I decided to add some to my usual hummus recipe and it is very nice indeed.

1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
100g red chilli peppers
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon paprika

Toast the seeds together briefly in a dry frying pan until they are fragrant. be careful not to burn them.

Either crush the seeds in a mortar & pestle with the olive oil, or use a spice grinder/food processor. Add the paprika and mix well.

A little goes a long way.

Harissa Hummus
1 teaspoon harissa
juice of one lemon
2 cloves garlic
50g tahini
1 tin (drained) chick peas (about 240g)

Process everything together in a food processor until smooth. Add a bit of the canned bean liquor if the mixture is too stiff. Season to taste with salt & pepper, if needed.

Serve with celery sticks, carrot batons etc.

Breakfast Thursday 24 August - Back the cereal hoard

So, breakfast consisted of coffee, Grape Nuts & some tinned apricots (so, working on general food hoard as well - 2 points!).

Dinner Wednesday 23 August - Sort of a Chef's Salad

This is a sort of a variation on an American style composed salad known as a "Chef's Salad".

The American Heritage dictionary says:

"Chef's Salad - A tossed green salad that usually includes raw vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and julienne strips of cheese and meat. "

Delia Smith in How to Cook Book Two, says:

"American Chef's Salad - A chef's salad is so named because it is supposed to be an innovative way of using whatever you happen to have handy to create a main-course salad. Ham, salami, chicken, turkey or any cold meat could be used for this one; similarly any kind of cheese or salad vegetable. "

That really nails it on the head - "using whatever you happen to have handy to create a main-course salad".

This is what I was doing, sans cooker. Also working on a few food hoard items (pepperoncini from the condiment hoard, bottled, roasted peppers and canned palm hearts from the general food hoard).

Forgot how much I like palm hearts - they are delicious.

1/2 head romaine, torn into bite sized pieces
1 tomato, cut in 1/8ths
1 roasted red pepper, sliced
220g canned palm hearts, cut into bit sized chunks
100g vegetarian Polony sausage, cubed
30g pepperoncini
1 serving egg mayonnaise made of :

  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 10g chives
  • few drops hot sauce
  • salt & pepper

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 617.5
Protein (g) 44.5
Carbohydrate (g) 38.3
Fat (g) 33.5
Fibre (g) 9.3

Lunch Wednesday 23 August - Thai Style Mango & Tomato Salad

This is the third time I have made this recipe since I started this blog - I guess that makes it a favourite. See entry Lunch Wednesday 26 July for recipe.

Bad day - new cooker delivered around 10:00. It is gorgeous - a New World Ellingwood 80G gas range cooker in black & silver.

BUT, the couriers refused to take away old cooker as agreed. They told me that New World fitter (due Thursday) could move old cooker out of the way and put new cooker in kitchen. They also told me New World fitter would set up the cooker as well (install burners etc). They repeatedly insisted I sign for delivery; reluctantly, I signed delivery as "UNCHECKED".

Both couriers then told me that they could smell gas "or it might be your spices". Left new cooker in hallway and left.

What spices smell like gas?

Concerned that they had smelled gas, I called National Gas Emergency number and told them what had happened. They suggested that I should switch off gas meter and wait for their engineer to arrive.

British Gas engineer arrived and checked meter - all OK, no gas leak. He had a laugh and suggested that couriers has told me they smelled gas so that they had a health & safety reason for refusing to take old cooker.

I felt like total plonker as I had been genuinely worried about gas leak danger, even though I could not smell gas myself.

Called New World and asked about getting old cooker removed; they advised that it would be collected Friday 25 August. The fitter us still due tomorrow, so not sure how all this is going to work.

Spent rest of day painting kitchen ahead of installation of cooker tomorrow. Flat is like a maze, with one range cooker in the middle of the kitchen, another in the hallway, all the kitchen contents piled up in the lounge etc.

Kitties are half loving the intrigue of it all and half terrified by all the changes.

Breakfast Wednesday 23 August - Toast & Blueberries

Still feeling cereal-shy, so had 2 toast with Tartex & Marmite and a large punnet of blueberries.

Here is a picture of a cheeky Miss Pris relaxing on the kitchen counter yesterday morning. She has her bum raised in anticipation of me patting it for her.

First time I have caught her doing this!

Waiting for the new range cooker to be delivered, excited at the prospect of my new toy with a working oven (!), a wok burner & a built-in griddle pan!

Dinner Tuesday 22 August - Stir Steam Vegetables & Prawns

Using up the other portion of my Chinese style sauce before I go cooker-less tomorrow.

I have talked about stir steaming on a few occasions in this blog; see for example the entry for Lunch Monday 21 August.

Today's selection comprised:

1 carrot
100g brocolli
50g each mange tout & baby corn
2 spring onions
100g prawns
1 portion Chinese style sauce

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 287.1
Protein (g) 30.8
Carbohydrate (g) 32.2
Fat (g) 5.0
Fibre (g) 6.2

Lunch Tuesday 22 August - Penne with Marinara Sauce

Penne with Marinara Sauce
Today's lunch was a salad of
1 head of romaine,
2 tomatoes,
Kraft Light Honey Mustard Dressing

90g penne
one serving Marinara Sauce
20g Parmesan, grated

Nutrition Information for entire meal
Calories (kcal) 574.1
Protein (g) 22.9
Carbohydrate (g) 88.8
Fat (g) 14.3
Fibre (g) 6.6

Breakfast Tuesday 22 August - Toast & Satsumas

OK, I am now officially sick of cereal, so I had 2 toast with Marmite & Tartex and 4 satsumas.

Here is a piccie of the fruit in question:

And just to make my hell complete, while I was packing up the contents of the kitchen this morning in preparation for painting and tomorrow's delivery of my new cooker , I discovered - ANOTHER BOX OF CEREAL! I found and entire box of 18 Shredded Wheat biscuits inside the old cooker. So, add that to the list...

  • Grape Nuts
  • All Bran Flakes
  • Alpen Unsweetened Muesli
  • M&S Luxury Fruit & Fibre Muesli
  • Porridge Oats
  • Mornflake Oat Bran
  • Shredded Wheat

Monday, August 21, 2006

Dinner Monday 21 August - Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup

Well, having spent the day sorting through the fridge and the cupboards, it seemed like a good idea to keep working on the food hoard.

I had a salad mid-afternoon, so was not especially hungry tonight. I used to keep Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup around for my version of the old American "Classic", 5-Can Casserole.

There are as many variations of the 5-Can Casserole as there are makers of it, but the version I grew up with comprises

1. can of Cream of Mushroom soup
2. can of macaroni & cheese
3. can of tuna
4. can of corn or mixed veggies
5. can of chow mein noodles

Basically, you mix it all together (along with loads of cheese) and top with the chow mein noodles. Lots of versions have canned chicken (which I have never, in my knowledge, eaten).

Pretty awful.

I used to use the canned soup, tuna, cooked macaroni, sauteed onion, peppers and celery and top with melted cheese. Quick, easy and yummy, but very calorific.

So, I guess I will be having soup out of a tin for a bit... I have several more cans (tomato, cream of asparagus, cream of mushroom etc) to go.

Lunch Monday 21 August - Prawn, Noodle & Veggie Stir Steam

Prawn, Noodle & Veggie Stir Steam
1 recipe Chinese style sauce (see recipe on entry for Fri 14 July)
110g cooked king prawns
60g mange tout
60g baby corn
1 carrot (about 70g)
2 spring onions (about 30g)
1 nest of Chinese egg noodles, about 2 oz/56g, soaked in boiling hot water until soft

Bring the sauce ingredients to a simmer. Place the carrot and baby corn in a bamboo steamer over the sauce and steam from about 5 minutes, of until just barely tender. Add the mange tout, steam for a further two minutes and remove from the pot.

Add the noodles to the sauce and cook for about 2 minutes, or according to package instructions.

Add 1 tablespoon corn flour mixed with a little cold water to thicken. Add the prawns to warm through while the sauce thickens. Add 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and stir through.

Place the steamed veggies in a serving bowl, pour the noodles/prawns and sauce over and toss gently but thoroughly.

Scatter the shredded spring onions across the top and serve.

Calories (kcal) 444.6
Protein (g) 35.9
Carbohydrate (g) 64.6
Fat (g) 5.6
Fibre (g) 6.2

Breakfast Monday 21 August - NEXT! (and apricots)

OK, well, yesterday marked the demise of the Special K, so next item on the cereal hoard list is Grape Nuts. So, breakfast consisted of 45g of Grape Nuts and a tin of apricots on fruit juice which I found in the cupboard food hoard.

I was reading in the papers yesterday about a compact of people in San Francisco that vowed to not buy anything in the year 2006 (aside from essentials like food and medication). Given my current predicament of having WAY too much of everything in my life and my flat, I think I will vow the same in 2007.

You can read about the San Francisco Compacters at

San Francisco Compact

Dinner Sunday 20 August - Rocket & Parmesan Omelette

Rocket & Parmesan Omelette with Sauteed New Potatoes, Petit Pois and Grilled Tomato

2 cloves garlic, sliced
85g wild rocket
2 organic, free-range eggs
25g Parmesan cheese, grated

Spray an 8" non-stick skillet with a little olive oil. Add the garlic and saute until just beginning to take on a little colour. Add the rocket and cook until wilted - this will only take a minute or less.

Remove from the pan and reserve.

Beat together the two eggs with a tablepsoonful of water and make an omelette in the same pan.

When the omelette is barely set, add the cooked rocket to the pan and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.

Pop under a hot grill under cheese is melted.

Fold and serve with 150g new potatoes, parboiled and sauteed until brown and crisp, grilled tomato (150g) and boiled petit pois (100g).

I always forget how nice something as simple as an omelette can be. Most people probably would not think of cooking rocket, but I think it is an unusual, peppery complement to the eggs.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lunch Sunday 20 August - Celery & Bulgar Casserole

Had the other portion of the Celery & Bulgar Wheat Casserole from Thursday (see 17 August for details) along with some sliced tomatoes.

I am having problems uploading pictures to the blog for 17 August, so please bear with me.

Breakfast - Sunday 20 August - LAST of the Special K


OK, so I am finished the Special K. Now I have
  • Grape Nuts
  • All Bran Flakes
  • Alpen Unsweetened Muesli
  • M&S Luxury Fruit & Fibre Muesli
  • Porridge Oats
  • Mornflake Oat Bran

Many, many brekkies to come....

Dinner Saturday 19 August- Veggie Sausages and "I Had a Coupon...."

Veggie Sausages and "I Had a Coupon...."
100g Fry's Polony Vegetarian Slicing Sausage
1 sachet Schwartz Rich Onion Gravy
150g new potatoes
150g asparagus, steamed
2 carrots, steamed

Again this is me working on the food hoard.

I bought the Fry's Polony Vegetarian Slicing Sausage in Holland & Barrett's freezer section a while back, just because I had never had it. It come in a sort of 500g tube and appears to have come all the way from South Africa! Not bad, actually, although pretty fatty and 261 calories per 100g as a consequence of the vegetable fats.

Read all about it:
Fry's Polony

I like the slogan - "Kiss a Vegetarian and Taste the Difference"

The Schwartz Rich Onion Gravy is another of my "I had a coupon" purchases. I am one of the last of a dying breed of coupon snippers and they have the desired effect on me - they make me buy things I ordinarily would not. This one says "Tastes Like Homemade" on the front. Well, it does not taste like the homemade onion gravy at Chez Lowlife.

Anyway, not the tastiest dinner ever, but next time I am tempted to buy some packet sauce, I will remember writing this..... I still have an l'orange sauce packet and some other instant "sauce for fish" packet which were impulse/coupon buys, so watch this space.

Lunch Saturday 19 August - Salad of New Potatoes & Beans

Salad of New Potatoes & Beans

150g new potatoes, boiled and halved or quartered
80g fine beans, cut into 1" lengths and steamed
90g broad beans, steamed
60g spring onions, sliced
large handful flat leaf parsley

Combine all ingrediants and toss well.

Make a dressing of:
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
15g chives, snipped
Pour over salad ingrediants and toss gently but thoroughly.

Calories (kcal) 268.5
Protein (g) 12.6
Carbohydrate (g) 42.8
Fat (g) 6.5
Fibre (g) 11.6

Breakfast Saturday 19 August- Nearly out of Special K now!

Breakfast was (yet again ) Special K and coffee. And 4 satsumas, which I forgot to take a picture of.

Dinner Friday 18 August - Korean Style Noodles

Korean Style Noodles

I bought a big sack of 15 different instant noodle blocks in China Town a while back. They are something like £1.00 for the whole thing, so they got added to the hoard. They are made in Korea and have interesting flavours like Kim Chee flavoured (with added pork fat!)

Unfortunately, most of them turned out to have pork fat in the seasoning sachet, so I will just be using them as noodle portions.

1 tablespoon Korean chilli paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon Korean soy bean paste (doenjang)
1 green chilli, sliced (or to taste)
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 yellow pepper, desseeded & sliced
100g tenderstem brocolli, cut into segments
1 pack instant noodles (any sort - I had to chuck out the seasoning packet as meaty), 80g
110g cooked prawns
a few spring onions, sliced (about 40g)

Mix the Korean chilli paste into 10 fluid ounces water. Bring to a simmer and add the noodle block, brocolli, pepper strips, garlic and chilli. Simmer until noodles and veggies are cooked, about 4 minutes. Add the prawns & Korean miso and heat through. Garnish with the spring onions and serve.

Calories (kcal) 604.1
Carbohydrate (g) 72.1
Protein (g) 34.9
Fat (g) 19.6
Fibre (g) 8.3

Lunch Friday 18 August - Salad of Prawns, Courgettes, New Potatoes & Fine Beans with Lemon Dressing

Salad of Prawns, Courgettes, New Potatoes & Fine Beans with Lemon Dressing

juice 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon oil
2 cloves garlic,
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
10g chives, snipped
large handful flat leaf parsely
150g courgettes, sliced
60g spring onions, sliced
150g boiled new potatoes, quartered
110g king prawns, deveined
80g cooked fine beans, cut into 1" lengths

Saute the courgette slices in the lemon oil until soft & browned.

In a large bowl, mix together the lemon juice, salt & pepper, sugar, chives, flat leaf parsely and spring onions.

When the courgettes are cooked, add them to the mix above, along with the fine beans and new potatoes. Mix well.

Add the prawns to the pan in which the courgettes were fried - there should still be enough oil clinging to the pan - and fry briefly over high heat until they butterfly. Add the rest of salad mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

Calories (kcal) 293.6
Carbohydrate (g) 34.8
Protein (g) 24.3
Fat (g) 7.5
Fibre (g) 6.8

I made this lemon oil before I read about the risk of botulism from homemade flavoured oils. But, it is really nice, so I continue to use it, but now make sure that it is cooked before consumption.

To make it, I add strips of lemon peel and some black peppercorns to extra virgin olive oil and left it to steep for months!

However, the Food Standrads Agency does not recommend making your own flavoured oils.

Is it safe to make my own flavoured oils?

Breakfast Friday 18 August- Almost out of Special K!

Yippie. Just had a bowl of Special K and coffee for brekafats. Must get some more fruit!

Dinner Thursday 17 August - Tea Smoked Halibut & Thai Style Noodle Salad

Tea Smoked Halibut
150g halibut
2 tablespoons rice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons loose tea

Line the base of a wok with some aluminium foil. DO NOT USE A NON STICK WOK - you will ruin it! Add a couple of tablespoons of rice, a tablespoon of sugar, a couple of teaspoons of tea (any sort) to the bottom of the wok. You can also add other aromatics - star anise is nice for example. All this stuff is going to burn and produce the smoke, so no worries about calories. I used Jackson's of Piccadilly "Russian Caravan" tea here, which is very aromatic & was really nice.

Place a rack in the wok over the smoking ingredients and place the fish on the rack. Cover the wok. If the lid is not a tight fit, use some wet paper towels to seal the cover, so the smoke won't escape.

Place over low heat and leave for about 20 minutes (this is sufficient for a fillet of about 1" thickness).

Allow to cool and EAT!


Thai Noodle Salad
40g Chinese egg noodles
60g mange tout, blanched in boiling hot water for 2 minutes
60g baby corn, steamed tender
100g yellow pepper, sliced
70g spring onions, sliced

Toss all ingredients together.

Make a dressing of:
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons Thai oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, slivered (or to taste)

Pour over salad ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly.

Line a plate with mixed leaves. Pile noodle salad on top and serve with tea smoked halibut fillet .

Calories (kcal) 328.2
Carbohydrate (g) 29.9
Protein (g) 42.0
Fat (g) 4.7
Fibre (g) 7.6

Lunch Thursday 17 August - Celery & Bulgar Wheat Casserole

Celery & Bulgar Wheat Casserole
1 large onion, chopped (about 150g)
4 ribs celery, sliced (about 200g)
100g bulgar wheat
350ml vegetable stock
120 half fat cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Spray a non-stick skillet with a little olive oil. Saute the onion and celery over low heat, until onion is translucent. Add the bulgar wheat and stir through the veggies. Pour over the vegetable stock, cover and simmer over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Top with the grated cheese and pop under a hot grill to melt cheese.

Serves 2

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 341.4
Carbohydrate (g) 33.8
Protein (g) 26.1
Fat (g) 11.4
Fibre (g) 11.0

Breakfast Thursday17 August - Still munching through the cereal hoard

Just had another bowl of Special K and coffee for breakfast today, then on with the painting & decorating.

Dinner Wednesday 16 August - Poached Halibut in Chive Sauce with Carrots, Broccoli and New Potatoes

Poached Halibut in Chive Sauce with Carrots, Broccoli and New Potatoes
120g halibut
8 fluid ounces vegetable of fish stock
3 tablespoons single cream
10g sauce flour
10g snipped chives
Lemon juice, to taste (about 1 tablespoon)
salt & white pepper to taste

Poach the halibut in the stock until barely done. Remove with a fish slice and keep warm while you make the sauce.

Mix the sauce flour with a little cold water to make a paste. Add to the poaching liquor and cook over low heat until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the cream and snipped chives. Add the lemon juice & check that seasoning; adjust as required.

I had the poached fish with the sauce and 150g new potatoes, boiled, 100g steamed broccoli and 2 carrots (about 140g) steamed.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lunch Wednesday 16 August - Cold Sesame Noodles

Had the other portion of cold sesame noodles (see Sun 13 August for info), before hitting the bathroom again for second coat of paint.

Flat is a mess - stuff everywhere. Need to get things sorted this week - kitchen must be sorted out before Monday, in preparation for the NEW COOKER!


Breakfast Wednesday 16 August - Blueberries

Just a quick bowl of blueberries and some more of the cereal hoard before getting back to work on the bathroom re-decoration.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dinner Tuesday 15 August - Grilled Dab with veggies

Grilled Dab Fillet with Sauteed New Potatoes, Asparagus and Courgettes
Exhausting day spent scraping and prepping bathroom. Luckily I had popped into M&S yesterday and picked up some "dusted dab" fillets. Don't think I have ever had dab before, so count this as my new food this month.

Just chucked it under the grill and had with some steamed asparagus, new potatoes which had been sauteed in a drop of olive oil and courgettes, sauteed with loads of black pepper and lemon.

The dab was OK - moist, mild flavoured white fish. I would have preferred to try it au naturel the first time, but they did not appear to have uncoated dabs available.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 474.4
Protein (g) 34.7
Carbohydrate (g) 40.8
Fat (g) 19.4
Fibre (g) 6.7

Lunch Tuesday 15 August - More Smoked Garlic Soup & Salad

Well, bathroom redecorating is proving to be MAJOR work. I was hoping I could get it done in one day, but have discovered that not one, but two walls are affected by damp, so spent entire day prepping the room, with no "fashion" colour on yet.

Very depressing.

But thank goodness for leftovers; had the rest of the smoke garlic soup and another herb salad comprising rocket, parsley, basil, chives and some green tiger toms.

Mugshot of salad:

Breakfast Monday 15 August - Pineapple Cottage Cheese and Blueberries

Yup - needed a break from cereal, so had a tub of pineapple cottage cheese (low fat) and 150g blueberries.

Then started on re-decorating bathroom.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Dinner Monday 14 August - Madagascan Prawns with Brocolli & Pepper salad

Madagascan Prawns with Broccoli & Pepper salad
1 chilli pepper (to taste)
2-3 garlic (to taste)
4 Soletto peppers, mixed colours (about 200g) , deseeded & sliced
3 tablespoons shao shing
100g broccoli rabe, steamed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chilli bean paste
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
100g mixed leaves
30g red spring onions
160 g Madagascan tiger prawns

Spray a wok with flavourless oil and heat. When hot, add peppers, garlic & chilli. Fry over high heat and add the Shao Shing. Cook until shao shing is evaporated. Add the steamed broccoli, soy sauce, chilli bean paste and oyster sauce. Leave to cool.

Line a serving dish with mixed leaves. Pile the broccoli & pepper mixture in the centre and garnish with the Madagascan prawns and red spring onions.

Calories (kcal) 298.4
Protein (g) 36.5
Carbohydrate (g) 31.9
Fat (g) 2.5
Fibre (g) 8.5

I am sure that you could use any pepper, any broccoli and any spring onions. I just happened to have miniature Soletto pepper*, broccoli rabe (tenderstem broccoli) and red spring onions.
But you knew that anyway.

The term "Madagascan" sort of annoys me. Both time I have been there, the people referred to themselves as Malagasy. Maybe prawns have a different nomenclature.

*Soletto pepper are minature pepper, bred to be sweet.

Lunch Monday 14 August - Scampi, New Potatoes and Fine Beans

Well, aside from the canned food hoard and the cereal hoard and the condiment hoard (haven't told you about that one yet), I also have a freezer so chock a block full that I no longer have room for ice trays.

This makes me unhappy, as I like ice in my drinks.

So, have also begun working on frozen food hoard. Today's victim was a half a pack of Young's Frozen Whole Tail Scottish Scampi which have probably been there since this time last year. They looked OK - not freezer burnt - but if there is no blog tomorrow, you know what happened.
Grilled them and had with 150g new potatoes, boiled then sauteed in a tiny spray of olive oil, some fine beans and a couple of tomatoes.

Calories (kcal) 390.8
Protein (g) 16.4
Carbohydrate (g) 50.8
Fat (g) 13.9
Fibre (g) 8.2

Breakfast Monday 14 August - Raspberries

Started the day off with a bowl of nice Kent raspberries, a bowl of Special K and coffee.

Beginning to feel like I will never get to bottom of cereal hoard. I still have 4 or 5 serving of Special K left. Then most of a box of Grape Nuts. And a whole box of All Bran flakes.

No to mention the Alpen plain muesli, the M&S Luxury Fruit & Nut Muesli or the Scot's Porridge Oats or the Mornflake Oat Bran (which I REALLY like, btw) .....

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dinner Sunday 13 August - Cold Spicy Sesame Noodles

Cold Spicy Sesame Noodles
40g crunchy peanut butter
40g tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons shao shing
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Marigold veggie stock, made up with 10 fluid ounces water
2 tablespoons hoi-sin sauce
2 tablespoons tomato puree (or catsup)
2 tablespoons hot chilli bean sauce

Mix all ingredients together in a non-stick saucepan and cook over very low heat until you have a really thick, evil looking sauce. It will be ready when it "splits", that is when the oil from the peanut butter & tahini starts to separate out from the solids. Takes about 30 minutes. I recommend the use of a heat diffuser to prevent burning.

Add to the sauce:

125g medium Chinese egg noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Toss well to mix all ingredients. Leave to cool to room temperature.

To serve:
8 oz lettuce
small handful fresh chives
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Shred the lettuce and arrange on serving plates. Divide the cold sesame noodles into two portions and arrange on top of shredded lettuce. Sprinkle with chopped chives and sesame seeds to garnish.

Makes 2 servings

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 653.7
Carbohydrate (g) 69.9
Protein (g) 22.8
Fat (g) 32.0
Fibre (g) 6.0

Lunch Sunday 13 August - Salads a-go-go

Had a salad comprising some Sainsbury's Sweet & Crunchy mix, a bunch of parsley and some Kraft Light Caesar Dressing. Meant as a prelude to whatever I decided to have for my main lunch, but I enjoyed it so much, I had another salad!

Second salad was a mix of rocket, a big handful fresh chives, loads of fresh parsley, fresh basil sprigs, some cherry tomatoes (from my window box - yay!) and some M&S Arbroath Smoked Salmon flakes with lashings of fresh lemon and pepper on the side.

Here is the second salad's mugshot:

The bottled Kraft dressing are more of the food hoard. A while back, they were on offer two bottles for £1.50.

I bought about 10 bottles.

Which is FAR too many for one person, especially one person who rarely uses ready made dressing.

So, now I am working my way through them in an effort to erode my huge stocks of food.

Breakfast - Sunday 13 August - Strawberries

And nice to find some that were not bloody Elsanta! When did every strawberry grower suddenly decide that Elsanta was the only variety to grow?

Today's were a strain called "Evie" and were from Herefordshire. Lovely, too. Scoffed along with some more of the cereal hoard and coffee

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Dinner Saturday 12 August- Cod in Parsley Sauce

Cod in Parsley Sauce with Broad Beans, Fine Beans and New Potatoes

150 cod loin with parsley sauce (see below)
150g new potatoes
100g fine beans
95g broad beans

Parsley Sauce
10 fluid ounces water
2 teaspoons Marigold Bouillon
10g sauce flour
2 teaspoons Butter Buds
5 g parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons single cream
juice & zest of 1/2 lemon, or to taste

Make up the bouillon powder with 8 fluid ounces of water. Bring to a simmer and poach the fish in the broth for 5 minutes, or until just done, according to the size & thickness of your fish. Remove fish with a fish slice, arrange on serving plate and cover to keep warm while you finish the sauce.

Raise the heat to the poaching liquor and let it reduce slightly while you make a past of the sauce flour and a little bit of cold water. Add the paste to the liquor and cook until thickened. Finally, add the chopped parsley, lemon juice & zest and the cream. Stir well and nap over the poached cod loins.

This makes about 8 fluid ounces of sauce, but I like it on the potatoes too!

Nutrition Data for full meal
Calories (kcal) 488.8
Protein (g) 43.1
Carbohydrate (g) 54.6
Fat (g) 12.5
Fibre (g) 11.3

Lunch Saturday 12 August - Smoked Garlic soup - the mother of all alliums!

Smoked Garlic Soup
1 head smoke garlic (about 80g), peeled
10g butter
180g leeks (white part only), chopped
1 onion, diced (about 100g)
28g plain flour
3 teaspoons Marigold Bouillon powder made up in 1 litre water
120ml white wine
100ml single cream
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and white pepper
10g chopped fresh chives

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, leeks and onion and saute until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add flour and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in hot stock and wine. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. Puree soup in batches in blender or processor. Return soup to saucepan and reheat if necessary.

Ladle into bowls. Swirl cream through. Add lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and white pepper. Garnish with chives.

Makes 2 servings

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 271.3
Carbohydrate (g) 26.8
Protein (g) 8.5
Fat (g) 14.8
Fibre (g) 4.3

This is a tribute to the allium family of plants as it contains most of the common or garden variety members of the genus;

Allium sativum (cultivated garlic)
Allium cepa (garden onion)
Allium porrum (garden leek)
Allium schoenoprasum (chives)

I used oak smoked garlic in this particular recipe, but I am sure it would be fine with ordinary garlic , too.

Breakfast Saturday 12 August- Rest of the disappointing watermelon...

...but livened up with a bit of sugar and some fresh mint.

Dinner Friday 11 August - Stir Fry of Shiitake, Fish Cake and Noodles

Stir Fry of Shiitake, Fish Cake and Noodles with Bean Sprouts and Sugar Snaps
200g bean sprouts
150 sugar snaps, halved lengthwise
25g dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in boiling hot water
100g Chinese fish cake, sliced
40g spring onions
56g/ one nest Chinese egg noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
2 cloves garlic
1" of ginger, peeled & grated
1 red chilli, sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon Chinese mushroom sauce
3 tablespoons Shao Shing

Spray a non-stick wok with a little flavourless oil. Add the garlic, chilli & ginger and fry briefly. Add the mushrooms and 1 tablespoons Shao Shing and cook until shao shing is nearly evaporated.

Add the sugar snaps & sliced fish cake and another tablespoon shao shing. Cook for another minute or two then finally add the bean sprouts, soy sauce, mushroom sauce and noodles.

Stir fry until bean sprouts are just wilted. Add the spring onions, give one finally stir and serve.

Calories (kcal) 538.3
Protein (g) 33.6
Carbohydrate (g) 94.6
Fat (g) 3.7
Fibre (g) 7.4

The mushroom flavoured vegetarian stir fry sauce is made by Lee Kum Kee and can be found here:

Lee Kum Kee

Lunch Friday 11 August - Cottage Cheese and Cucumber Salad

Cottage Cheese and Cucumber Salad
227g chive & onion low-fat cottage cheese
2 tomatoes
cucumber & onion salad

Cucumber Salad
250g cucumber
50g onions, sliced very finely
3 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
10g fresh dill

Wash cucumber and slice diagonally into very thin slices. Peel onion and half, then slice cross wise into very thin slices and separate out into strands.

Mix onion and cucumber together. Sprinkle well with salt. Mix sugar and rice vinegar together and allow the sugar to dissolve in the vinegar. Pour over the cucumber and onions and allow to stand at room temperature until wilted; about 30 mins. Wash and pluck the dill from its stems; toss into the salad and serve.

Breakfast Friday 11 August- Whittling down the cereal horde...

... by having a bowl of cereal and coffee.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dinner Thursday 10 August - Sauteed Scallops and Vegetables

Sauteed Scallops and Vegetables
175g sea scallops
20g butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
small handful parsley, finely chopped
salt & fresh ground black pepper

185g runner beans, sliced
150g spinach
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrots, sliced

Mash the butter together with the lemon juice/zest, chopped parsley & some freshly ground black pepper.

Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the runner beans and cook for 5-6 minutes. Steam the sliced carrots over the runner beans.

Spray a non stick skillet with olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and the spinach and cook over medium heat until wilted, 3-4 minutes.

Spray a non stick skillet with olive oil and bring to high heat. Add the seasoned scallops and sear on each side until caramelised (about 3 minutes per side). Add the flavoured butter and shake the pan to coat each scallop in butter. Remove from heat (do not overcook the scallops - such a waste!)

Arrange on a serving plate, pour the butter and pan juices over the scallops & enjoy!

Calories (kcal) 380.2
Protein (g) 35.2
Carbohydrate (g) 21.3
Fat (g) 18.6
Fibre (g) 12.5

Lunch Thursday 10 August - Cheese Stuffed Veggies

Cheese stuffed veggies
100g extra light cream cheese
50g sharp cheddar, grated
3 small Soletto peppers (about 100g)
4 ribs celery (about 200g)
20g red spring onions, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, mashed
small handful parsley, finely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 can Spanish oilves, stuffed with
anchovies, for garnish

Trim to tops off the pepper and chop the pepper tops finely. Reserve the peppers for stuffing.

Finely mince one rib of celery.

Mash together the cream cheese and cheddar. Add the chopped pepper tops, chopped celery, sliced spring onions, mashed garlic, finely chopped parsely and salt & pepper to taste.

Fill the Soletto pepper with the cheese mixture and cut into halves or quarters (depending on size). Fill the three remaining celery ribs with the cheese mixture.

Arrange on a plate & serving garnished with a few olives.

Breakfast Thursday10 August - Disappointing watermelon!

Bought a watermeleon in Sainsbury's but it was not very nice. I am used to watermelon being very sweet, but this was really bland and flavourless. Also, where are the seeds?!? I love roasted melon seeds, but this watermelon is pipless.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dinner Wednesday 9 August - Asparagus, Prawn and Red Spring Onion Risotto

Asparagus, Prawn and Red Spring Onion Risotto
200g asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, sliced
110g king prawns, cooked & deveined
75g arborio rice
1 teaspoon Marigold boullion powder
1/2 glass white wine (about 60ml)
40g red spring onions, sliced
salt & black pepper to taste

Mix together the Marigold powder with 1/2 litre water and the wine. Bring to simmer
in a saucepan.

Spray another saucepan with a bit of olive oil and add the rice. Cook briefly over low heat, just until the grains pick up a smidge of the oil.

Add a ladle of the stock to the rice and stir until it is absorbed by the rice. Add the stock a ladleful at a time, until the rice is half cooked (about 10 mins).

Then add the asparagus and continue adding stock a little at a time, stirring all the while.
Continue cooking until all stock is used up and rice is cooked - about another 10 minutes.

Add the prawns and spring onions and stir through until warmed.

Calories (kcal) 420.8
Protein (g) 29.1
Carbohydrate (g) 68.9
Fat (g) 3.5
Fibre (g) 5.1

Lunch Wednesday 9 August - Thai Style Salad

Thai Style Salad
200g bean sprouts, blanched in boiling hot
water and refreshed in cold water
150g sugar snap peas, blanched in boiling
hot water and refreshed in cold water
1 purple pepper, cut into julienne (about
40g purple spring onions, sliced
150g celery, cut into julienne
110g cooked prawns, deveined

Combine all ingredients. Make a dressing from:

juice 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons Thai oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 garlic
1 chilli
1 teaspoon sugar

Pour over salad ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly. Top with

Sprig of basil, cut in chiffonade.

Calories (kcal) 260.4
Protein (g) 29.0
Carbohydrate (g) 29.8
Fat (g) 3.1
Fibre (g) 7.6

Breakfast was just a pot of pineapple cottage cheese today.....

Dinner Tuesday 8 August - Veg-0-rama II

Veg-0-rama II
200g asparagus, steamed
125g brocolli rabe, steamed
100g purple carrots, steamed
200g baby courgettes, sauted with a spritz of olive oil, some garlic, lots of black pepper and fresh lemon juice
150 new potatoes

Nutrition Summary Calories (kcal) 287.4
Protein (g) 17.6
Carbohydrate (g) 48.5
Fat (g) 3.6
Fibre (g) 11.6

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lunch Tuesday 8 August - Last of the Pistou & Almond Pesto

I am now deep in the heart of the "why did I ever start this?" phase of redecorating - the place is even more of a shamble than usual with all the displaced crap pile up in the lounge.

But the hallway (now mostly finished) does look nice.

Lunch was last of the Pistou Soup with almond pesto (see entry 3 August) and a nice big salad of romaine, baby spinach, rocket & tomatoes with a Buttermilk Herb Dressing. Had the same thing yesterday with my Aubergine Marinara, so here is yesterday's picture:

Buttermilk Herb Dressing
250ml buttermilk
100g extra light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mustard
20ml vinegar
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon chervil
1 tablespoon chives
35g onion
2 cloves garlic
small handful flat leaf parsely
salt & pepper to taste

Whizz everything together in the blender Store in an airtight container--lasts 1 week in the 'fridge.

Makes about 500g of dressing (10 servings)

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 32.0
Carbohydrate (g) 4.6
Protein (g) 1.9
Fat (g) 0.7
Fibre (g) 0.2

Breakfast Tuesday 8 August - Blueberries and exploding Caribbean Pepper Sauce

Went to the fridge this morning to get my blueberries and milk and discovered that the remnants of the "mysterious Carribbean Pepper Sauce" (see entry 26 July ) had exploded in the fridge! Well, not really exploded, but it must have been fermenting 'cause it blew to top off the old liquor bottle it was stored in.

What a mess - had to empty and wash down whole fridge, after breakfasting on blueberries, cereal and coffee.

R.I.P. Carribbean Pepper Sauce

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dinner Monday 7 August - New Potato, Broad Bean & Green Bean Salad

New Potato, Broad Bean & Green Bean Salad
1 tablespoon hemp oil
juice and pulp of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Add:

100g cooked new potatoes, cut into quarters or halves
80g cooked green beans, cut into 1" segments
95g cooked broad beans
50g sweet red pepper, cut into strips
40g spring onions, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
small handful fresh basil, shredded
small handful fresh mint, shredded
small handful fresh flat leaf parsley

Arrange about 100g young leaf spinach on a serving plate and pile the prepared salad on top.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 421.1
Protein (g) 19.3
Carbohydrate (g) 49.0
Fat (g) 16.9
Fibre (g) 17.0

Lunch Monday 7 August - Aubergine Marinara

Aubergine Marinara
1 aubergine (about 400g)
1 serving marinara sauce (see below)
50g grated cheese
a couple of fresh basil leaves

Peel the aubergine and cut into "steaks". Sprinkle each side with salt and leave to stand an hour, so that the brown juices seep out of the aubergine. Roll each steak up and give it a firm but gentle squeeze to get all the moisture out.

Spray a non-stick skillet with a little olive oil and fry the aubergine steaks until the are nicely browned on each side.

Add the marinara sauce to the skillet, cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 mins, until the aubergines have soaked up most of the sauce.

Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and top under the grill to melt and bubble.

Top with a chiffonade of fresh basil.

Calories (kcal) 336.8
Protein (g) 18.4
Carbohydrate (g) 16.4
Fat (g) 22.5
Fibre (g) 9.2

Marinara Sauce
2 medium onions, chopped (about 180g)
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 400g can peeled plum tomatoes in juice
1 heaped tablespoon (about 25g) tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste
handful fresh basil, torn up (about 10g)

Fry the onions and garlic in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and dried herbs. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 mins. Stir occasionally and break up the tomatoes with a fork. Check the seasoning and add salt & pepper if desired. Add the fresh basil just before serving.

Makes 4 servings of about 1/2 cup each

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

Breakfast Monday 7 August - Raspberries

Usual again today - cereal (Special K) and a punnet of raspberries.

What am I going to do when all the lovely summer fruits dry up?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Dinner Sunday 6 August - Dolmades, Artichokes and Tomato Salad

Really hot in London today and I am embarked on this asinine task to redecorate flat, so dinner mostly courtesy of M&S (dolmades & marinated artichokes).

Tomato Salad
2 fat vine ripe tomatoes (about 300g)
1/4 sweet onion, slice very fine
1 teaspoon hemp oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
large handful basil (about 15g)

Make dressing of hemp oil, lemon juice, sugar and salt & pepper to taste. Add sliced onions and leave to stand at least 30 mins, until onions are wilted.

Chop tomatoes and mix into the dressing & onions along with the basil, torn into shreds.

Lunch Sunday 6 August - Prawns, Cucumbers in Yoghurt & PURPLE Carrots

Saw these purple carrots in Sainsbury's and just had to try them out.

My mission is to seek out strange new foods and try them, after all. At least once a month, I have to try something I have never had - it gets harder, let me tell you.

Anyway, these lovely blighters come from Norfolk. They are VERY sweet and have a sort of nutty taste - yummy.

So, today's lunch comprised:

Cucumbers in Yoghurt & Dill
1/2 cucumber (about 225g)
1 pot 0% fat Greek yoghurt (150g)
large handful dill (about 12g)

Wash cucumber and slice very thinly crosswise. Layer slices into a colander and sprinkle each layer with a little salt. Then add the next layer, salt etc until all slices are used up. Allow to stand for about 2 hours until cucumbers are wilted.

Mix together washed and chopped fresh dill with the yoghurt.

Gently wring out the cucumber slices with your hands and add to the yoghurt mixture. Stir well and serve.

Calories (kcal) 105.1
Carbohydrate (g) 9.8
Protein (g) 15.6
Fat (g) 0.3
Fibre (g) 1.7

I had this with some prawns which were just quickly fried with some seasoning and a bit a flat leaf parsley and, of course, the purple carrots.

Total lunch calories 195.9 kcals

Breakfast - Sunday 6 August

Had a punnet of straws and some cereal for breakfast. Still working my way through the cereal horde; I WILL get down to one or two sorts!

I am very proud of my tomato plants which I grew from seeds I kept by out of a cherry tomato I bought up the market. They are finally ripening and I plan on eating some tomorrow. Here's a pic:

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Dinner Saturday 5 August- Composed Salad

Composed Salad
1 head romaine, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
120g new potatoes, boiled and halved or quartered into bit sized pieces
1 tuna steak (180g)
100g fine beans
1/2 can Spanish olives (about 60g)
1 free range, organic egg, hard boiled
1 fat vine ripened tomato (about 150g)
a few slices raw onion
handful flat leaved parsley
1/2 lemon
extra virgin olive oil spray
salt & pepper to taste

Season the tuna steak with salt & pepper. Spray a non-stick skillet with olive oil and bring to medium heat. Fry the tuna steak 2-3 minutes each side, or until as done as you like. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Mix together the romaine and parsley. Mist with some extra virgin olive oil and toss with the slivers of raw onion. Give it a good squeeze of lemon, some salt & pepper and mix again. Line a serving plate with the mixture.

Arrange the tuna, potatoes, fine beans, tomato, egg and olives on the leaves. Give the whole thing another squeeze of fresh lemon and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Some people would called this a Nicoise, but according to The Bible (Larousse Gastronomique), a true salad nicoise contains neither potatoes nor any cooked veggies, so I don't consider this a salad nicoise....

Calories (kcal) 607.6
Protein (g) 58.5
Carbohydrate (g) 33.7
Fat (g) 26.9
Fibre (g) 9.3