Saturday, September 30, 2006

Lunch Saturday 30 September - Wild Pacific Salmon and Salad plus Dill Bread

Last night, I had some yoghurt that needed using up and was trying to think of what to do with it. Figured I would use it in a loaf of bread (as I was about out of feather rolls anyway).

Flipped through the recipe box and found recipe for Dan's Dilly Bread, given to me by my cousin Betsy's husband, Dan Matt. Dan was a chef when I knew him, many years ago. Just Googled his name and found this:

Daniel J. Matt

The original recipe calls for 1 cup of ricotta cheese, but I figured yoghurt would do. I also used 2 shallots in place of the 1 tablespoon of minced onion called for in the original. And I used more flour as I had more liquid. Other than that, it is pretty much Dan's recipe.

Dan's Dilly Bread
2 fluid ounces water water
1 tablespoon dried yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
240g natural, unsweetened yoghurt
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 duck egg
2 tablespoons dill seed
1 shallots, diced fine (40g)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
450g strong white bread flour

Mix the yeast with the warm water and one tablespoon sugar. Leave to one side until foaming, about 10 minutes.

Mix together the yoghurt, egg, other tablespoon sugar, salt, dill seeds, & diced shallots.

Add the yeast mixture and stir well. Add the baking soda.

Gradually add the flour and stir until the dough is too stiff to stir any more. Turn out onto a floured board and knead, incorporating the rest of the flour.

Place is a greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave in fridge overnight.

Next morning, knock back the dough and knead again. Form into a loaf and place into a 2 pound loaf tin. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk. Bake in a moderate oven, Gas Mark 5, for40 minutes or until it sound hollow when tapped.

This makes one loaf of approximately 840g.

Nutrition Data per gram
Calories (kcal) 2.4
Carbohydrate (g) 0.4
Protein (g) 0.1
Fat (g) 0.0

Never understood why this recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of soda (amidst all the flour and yeast), but I add it anyway. The original recipe does not call for rising overnight in fridge - I got tired last night and did not want to wait up for it to rise and bake.

Breakfast Saturday 30 September - Last of the feather rolls & mango smoothie

Had the last 2 feather rolls with some coffee, then made a smoothie of a (very) ripe mango and a clementine.

Feeling awful to day - Pris woke me up at 7:00 today, screaming for her breakfast from the bedroom window sill.

As soon as I opened my eyes, I realised I was sick. I was 100% fine when I went to bed - now I cannot breathe, feel like my sinuses are full of concrete, have a sore throat and zero energy.

Poor me.... I blame the sugar from yesterday. Went to Covent Garden yesterday with a mate and "accidentally" went into CyberCandy's new shop on Garrick Street

I went a little crazy....
  • candy necklaces
  • Twizzlers (liquorice & strawberry)
  • Charleston Chew (chocolate & vanilla)
  • Good 'n' Plenty
  • Boston Baked Beans
  • Milk Duds
  • Tootsie Roll
  • Sweet Tarts
  • Chocolate Turtles
  • Red Hots
  • Boyer Mallow Cup
  • Boyer Peanut Butter Cup (FAR superior to Reese's)

I don't know what came over me - I don't really have a sweet tooth, but it was just so FUN to see all my childhood favourites. I felt 10 years old again, in Sam's Corner Shop on the DC line...

Then we went to the NZ shop (Kiwi Fruits) and friend insisted I have something called a "Pinky" bar. Oh dear.

Should not have eaten the candy necklace, Twizzlers and Pinky bar.

OK, realistically, my cold is more likely from the crowds in Covent Garden than from sugar, but I feel awful anyway.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Dinner Friday 29 September - Tivall "Chicken" slices, rice, onion gravy & veggies

Had some Tivall "Roast Chicken" style TVP slices which were purchased in the Great Waitrose Frenzy.

So, dinner was
  • the Tivall slices,
  • leftover onion gravy, (leftover from Dinner Wednesday 27 September)
  • wild rice,
  • broccoli and
  • some mushrooms cooked in white wine (leftover from the Lasagna had for Dinner Sunday 24 September )
Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 622.7
Protein (g) 35.4
Carbohydrate (g) 69.2
Fat (g) 23.0
Fibre (g) 8.2

Clearing away all the leftovers before the crab feast....

Lunch Friday 29 September - Fusilli Lunghi & Ratatouille

Had to make some space in the freezer for the shellfish bonanza, so removed my ice cubes trays (I was enjoying having ice again!) and the last portion of rataouille (see Lunch Saturday 23 September for recipe).

Had the ratatouille as a sauce for some fusilli lunghi, with a shaving of grated half fat cheddar from Waitrose (which actually tastes pretty nice). Most reduced fat cheeses seem to be as tasty as rubber, but Waitrose's is actually pretty good.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 510.4
Protein (g) 24.0
Carbohydrate (g) 71.8
Fat (g) 14.2
Fibre (g) 8.8

Breakfast Friday 29 September - Strawberries & Feather Rolls

Started the day off with a punnet of strawberries, 2 feather rolls and coffee.

Went back to Chapel Market fishmonger and got another box of langoustine (for a friend) and a box of blue crabs (for me).

Plan to do the crabs in an old fashioned crab boil (to see what they are like) and then, if they are up to it, Singaporean style chilli crabs.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dinner Thursday 28 September - Salad of Jerusalem Artichokes, Peas & Prawns

Salad of Jerusalem Artichokes, Peas & Prawns
250g Jerusalem artichokes, well scrubbed and cut into slices
100g petit pois
100g cooked prawns
50g pointed green cabbage, finely shredded
40g spring onions, finely sliced
Steam artichoke slices until tender. Add peas and steam another 2 minutes.

Make a dressing of
1 tablespoon hemp oil
juice 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Pour over the other ingredients and combine well.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 478.0
Carbohydrate (g) 57.7
Protein (g) 28.3
Fat (g) 15.5
Fibre (g) 10.3

Shellfish bonanza!

Well, I was in Chapel Market just now and the fishmonger who is there late in the week (usually Thursday - Sunday) had boxes for frozen langoustine for a FIVER.

Too good to pass up! So, even though

1) The freezer is pretty full
2) I am enjoying having ice making capacity and
2) I still have some langoustine I bought in China Town in the freezer

I could not resist and bought another box.

Got them home and wrenched off the heads/thoraxes so I could just put the tails in the freezer to save space. Currently making a big batch of langoustine bouillon and will probably make a proper, blow out bisque with them.

Trying to decide whether or not to so back to fishmonger. He had 2 boxes of langoustine (I am tempted to get the other) and he also had blue crabs. I love blue crabs, like we used to get in Maryland and New Jersey. Not a lot of meat of them, but very tasty. These were from Sri Lanka, but they looked similar.

I have some Zatarain's Crab Boil in the kitchen which I brought back from New York and it is singing to me "buy the crabs and use me".

Decisions, decisions!

Zatarain's Crab Boil

Lunch Thursday 28 September - Soft Herb Soup and Salad of Avocados& Tomatoes

Soft Herb Soup
200g new potatoes, halved or quartered
1 medium onion, chopped (about 180g)
1/2 leek (green part), washed carefully & shredded
3 cloves garlic, sliced
750 ml vegetable stock (homemade of cub/powder etc)
generous handful fresh parsley (about 10g)
generous handful fresh snipped chives (about 10g)
generous handful fresh dill (about 10g)
1 teaspoon dried chervil (would love to get fresh, but hard to come by)

Put the potatoes, onions, garlic and leeks in a pot with the stock and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Add the herbs and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Place the soup in a liquidiser and process until smooth. Serve hot or chilled, garnished with a few chives

Makes two servings.

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 120.5
Carbohydrate (g) 25.0
Protein (g) 4.7
Fat (g) 0.8
Fibre (g) 4.5

I have Chinese flowering chives in at the moment, so used them, but any chives would be fine.

I had the soup with an avocado & tomato salad, dressed with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar.

Got a chance to try out my new gadget from Lakeland Limited, as avocado sheller - it works! It is sort of like a blunt, curved knife that you use to separate the flesh from the shell in one piece.

Breakfast Thursday 28 September - Feather Rolls & Raspberries

Last night I made some Feather Rolls (an old recipe), but I modified the recipe slightly to try to

1) save a few calories and
2) use up some weird and wonderful flours I have around.

Original Recipe:

Nan's Feather Rolls
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 cup / 8 fl oz warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg
2 cups white flour (about 250g)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add yeast and sugar to warm water. Leave to stand until yeast is foaming (10 mins or so).

Add the butter, egg, salt and flour to the mix. Beat vigorously with a rotary or electric mixer for 5 minutes. You can beat by hand, but you need really good upper arm strength and about 10 mins of it.

Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 45 mins. Beat down and divide among 8 - 12 muffin cups (American muffin cups, not those Yorkshire pudding things). Each cup should be about 1/2 full. How many depends on how big your muffin cups are!

Leave to rise again until the mixture has filled the cups. Bake in a hot oven 400 degrees/ Gas Mark 6 for about 15-20 minutes.

Serving Suggestion: Try not to eat them all at once!

My Revised Version
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 cup / 8 fl oz warm water
1 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 duck egg
100g Grade 00 white flour
100g brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add yeast and sugar to warm water. Leave to stand until yeast is foaming (10 mins or so).

Add the oil, egg, salt and flour to the mix. Beat vigorously with a rotary or electric mixer for 5 minutes. You can beat by hand, but you need really good upper arm strength and about 10 mins of it.

Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 45 mins. Beat down and divide among 12 muffin cups. Each cup should be about 1/2 full.

Leave to rise again until the mixture has filled the cups. Bake in a hot oven 400 degrees/ Gas Mark 6 for about 15-20 minutes.

Makes 12 rolls.

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 97.0
Carbohydrate (g) 14.2
Protein (g) 2.5
Fat (g) 3.4
Fibre (g) 0.7

They came out OK, but the texture is different than usual (less flour and different kinds of flour).

Dinner Wednesday 27 September - Quorn "Ribsters", Onion Gravy & Veggies

Quorn "Ribsters" with New Potatoes, Broccoli and Dwarf Beans

This is more clearing out the freezer! I have a load of Quorn products in there at the moment, from the many Sainsbury's "Buy One, get One Free" offers or the "2 for £2.50" offers which I never seem to be able to resist....

This are supposed to be like pork ribs, but you could not prove it my me, as I have never eaten ribs and have not eaten pork in over 35 years.

On the plus side, I have now cleared out enough stuff that I can get three - that's right THREE ice cube trays in the freezer. As a Yank, I like ice in my drinks (as essential for a vodka & tonic as lime wedges). Now I can fit them in again, so this makes me happy.

Onion Gravy
one large onion, halved and sliced finely (about 200g)
10g butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry English mustard
1 tablespoon cornflour or sauce flour
500ml vegetable stock (homemade or cube, powder whatever)

Saute the onions slowly in the butter until they are browned and soft - at least 30 minutes. Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder and salt/pepper to taste. Simmer together for 30 minutes. Mix the flour with a little water to make a paste and add to the gravy. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes and serve.

Makes 2 servings

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 105.3
Carbohydrate (g) 12.2
Protein (g) 2.4
Fat (g) 5.3
Fibre (g) 1.4

Nutrition Data for whole meal:

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 366.4
Carbohydrate (g) 45.1
Protein (g) 24.7
Fat (g) 10.7
Fibre (g) 11.4

I used an (new) item from the condiment hoard for the first time in this gravy. "Uncle Roy's Gravy Salt", puchased during the recent Waitrose frenzy. It is just salt & caramel, so I don't know why I bothered. Nice label (I am such a sucker).

Uncle Roy's Gravy Salt

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lunch Wednesday 27 September - Leftover Quorn & Mango

Resurrected the leftover Quorn and Mango a l'Orange (see Dinner Monday 25 September) as a salad by mixing it with some shredded romaine.

Just as nice cold as warm.

Breakfast Wednesday 27 September - Just toast again

Finished off the last of the second loaf of homemade seeded oatmeal bread, toasted, with Marmite.

Dinner Tuesday 26 September - Pak Choi & Wild Rice

Pak Choi & Wild Rice
1 tablespoon dried shrimp
2-3 cloves garlic
10 fluid ounces vegetable stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons Shao Shing rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water, stems removed, sliced finely
1 tablespoon cornflour
350g pak choi, washed and halved or quartered according to size
small handful Chinese Flowering Chives (about 10g)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

60g (dry weight) wild rice, cooked

Pound together dried shrimp & garlic in a mortar and pestle. Add to the vegetable stock along with the mushrooms, soy sauce, sugar & Shao Shing. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the pak choi and cover. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

Remove the pak choi and arrange in a serving plate. Add the cornflour mixture to the sauce and boil for a few minutes to thicken. Add the chives & sesame oil and pour the sauce over the pak choi. Serve with wild rice.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 415.5
Carbohydrate (g) 76.5
Protein (g) 17.5
Fat (g) 4.9
Fibre (g) 5.1

This does not look very appetizing, but it tasted great!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lunch Tuesday 26 September - Leftover Lasagna

Ate the other portion of lasagna (see Dinner Sunday 24 September ) with a rocket & tomato salad.

Breakfast Tuesday 26 September - Toast & coffee

I had a couple of slices of the home made seeded oatmeal bread - one with Marmite, one with Patum Peperium - The Gentleman's Relish. And of course, coffee.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dinner Monday 25 September - Quorn & Mango a l'Orange

Well, I had a coupon..... a while back, I said that whenever you see me using weird and wonderful sauce packets, it is invariably because I had coupon for a free one or the like.

Anyway, this sachet of Crosse & Blackwell a l'Orange sauce had been knocking about for ages, so decided to use it up. Here's what came out:

Quorn & Mango a l'Orange
1 teaspoon oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2-3 bird's eye chillis, sliced
1 large onion, sliced (about 200g)
one small red pepper, cut into strips (about 100g)
one small yellow pepper, cut into strips (about 100g)
one sachet a L'orange sauce mix
2 plain Quorn fillets, cut into strips
40g spring onions, sliced
one mango, peeled & cut into small cubes (about 350g)

Put the oil in a wok and saute the garlic, onions and chillis until the onions are soft. Add the peppers and saute another few minutes. Add the Quorn fillet strips and the sauce mix with the amount of water suggested on the pouch (300 ml, in my case).

Simmer 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the spring onions and chopped mango and stir through.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 285.8
Carbohydrate (g) 50.8
Protein (g) 10.0
Fat (g) 5.1
Fibre (g) 9.7

Lunch Monday 25 September - An Enchanted Broccoli Forest!

Enchanted Broccoli Forest
75g brown rice, cooked
200g broccoli, cut into "trees"
one large onion
1/2 c vegetable stock (homemade or not)
50g half fat cheddar cheese
2 portions low fat white Sauce (see Dinner 24 September)

Spray a non stick skillet with a little oil and fry the onions until softened. Add the stock and simmer over low heat until onions are thoroughly cooked and stock is all but evaporated.

Add the white sauce & the cooked rice. Also add any extraneous stems bits from the broccoli, cut fine.

Pile into a casserole dish, smooth the top and sprinkle the cheese over the surface.

Steam the broccoli until it is just barely tender. Stand the broccoli stems upright in the rice mixtures, creating a forest of broccoli trees.

Cover the casserole and bake in a moderate oven, Gas Mark 4 for 20-30 minutes or until bubbling. Serve hot.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 539.6
Carbohydrate (g) 74.0
Protein (g) 35.0
Fat (g) 12.2
Fibre (g) 8.9

This is a variation of one of the classic vegetarian meals of the 1970's Mollie Katzen's "Enchanted Broccoli Forest", from her book by the same name. The original has the rice in a egg custard. I did it this way as I wanted to use up the white sauce!

Here is her website:
Mollie Katzen

I took a picture of the whole "forest" but it is obscured by steam...

Breakfast Monday 25 September - Tortilla & grapes

Polished off the last portion of tortilla with a bunch red grapes & coffee.

Dinner Sunday 24 September - Lasagna

2 serving ratatouille (see Lunch Saturday 23 September )
2 serving white sauce (see below)
15g grated Parmesan cheese
125g grated low fat mozzarella
250g mushrooms, sliced fine
100g broccoli, chopped
5 square sheets of lasagna (120g)

Pop one serving of ratatouille in the blender with a bit of water and blend briefly into a chunky sauce.

Select a baking dish as close to the size of you lasagna sheets as possible.

Place a bit of sauce in the bottom of the dish and add one sheet of lasagna pasta. Top with 1/2 of the un-blended ratatouille, then the second sheet of lasagna pasta and some some sauce. Next add a layer of mushrooms, some more sauce and your third sheet of lasagna. Then another layer of ratatouille and some more sauce. Top that with your fourth sheet of pasta and then the chopped broccoli, the last on the sauce and the fifth sheet of lasagna.

Finally, top the whole thing with the white sauce & grated cheeses.

Cover and bake at Gas Mark 4 for about 45 minutes. Remove the cover and bake until the top is nicely browned, about another 30 minutes.

Make 2 generous portions.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 603.6
Protein (g) 35.5
Carbohydrate (g) 74.1
Fat (g) 18.7
Fibre (g) 11.0

Low fat White Sauce
one pint semi skimmed milk
30g sauce flour or cornflour
1 teaspoon Marigold Vegetable Bouillon
salt & white pepper to taste
a pinch of nutmeg
2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Mix together a little of the cold milk and the flour in a sauce pan. Gradually add the rest in the milk, beating all the time so no lumps form. Add the bouillon and cook over low heat until the sauce thickens. Add salt & pepper to taste and a sprinkling of fresh nutmeg. Finally add the chopped parsley.

I used the whey in which the cheese was packed as part of my pint of "milk".

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 61.7
Carbohydrate (g) 11.0
Protein (g) 3.6
Fat (g) 0.5
Fibre (g) 0.3

Hadn't had lasagna in ages (not having had a working oven) and I thought the blitzed up ratatouille would make a nice sauce (as indeed it did).

This really should have been three or four portion, but I was HUNGRY!

Lunch Sunday 24 September - Tortilla and salad

Well, that's it.

One serving of tortilla and a salad of romaine lettuce, tomato and beet root.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Breakfast Sunday 24 September - Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimps and Grapes

Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimps and Grapes

As it's Sunday (and I had them in the fridge) I started off today with 2 thin slices of toasted homemade seeded oatmeal bread, a tub of Morecambe Bay potted shrimp and a bunch of grapes.

The potted shrimp were bought in Waitrose during the most recent food buying frenzy. They were £2.39 for a two ounce tub. OK, but (no surprise) I prefer my own potted shrimp. Must stop in on Steve Hatt sometime soon and pick up some brown shrimp to pot my own.

Here's Waitrose's article about their potted shrimp:

Waitrose Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimp

If you are not familiar, potted shrimp are just shrimp cooked with butter and spices, them packed in little tubs/pots and sealed with a layer of butter. I generally add some mace to my potted shrimps; these did not appear to have any seasoning. Don't get me wrong - they were nice. Just not as good as mine.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dinner Saturday 23 September - A Salad

Just a salad. Had a lump of dolcelatte and some Ryvita mid afternoon, so not so hungry

50g rocket
100g carrot, grated
1 rib celery, sliced fine (about 50g)
1 sachet Ken's Lite Italian Dressing
200g cherry tomatoes
200g beet root

Just mixed together the grated carrot and celery with a sachet of Ken's Lite Italian Dressing I found in the fridge. I think I picked it up in the hospital cafeteria when I was visiting my Mum in January. 'bout time it got used up. Add a few caraway seeds, as I like them with carrot especially.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 229.7
Protein (g) 7.8
Carbohydrate (g) 38.0
Fat (g) 6.6
Fibre (g) 9.2

Lunch Saturday 23 September - Ratatouille Pasta

Since I did not eat the ratatouille with pasta last night, I had it for lunch today.

250g onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
300g aubergine
425g courgettes
1 small red pepper (about 125g)
1 small pepper (about 125g)
2 X 400g tinned chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
1 large glass white wine (250ml)
1 tablespoon sugar (if needed)
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 bay leaf

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add the aubergine, courgettes and pepper and saute until softened. Add the herbs, the tinned tomatoes and the white wine. Simmer over low heat until thickened and well reduced, about 1 hour.

Taste and add the sugar if the tomatoes are lacking sweetness on their own. Season to taste withs salt & pepper. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

Makes 4 serving of about 400g each.

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 170.8
Carbohydrate (g) 18.8
Protein (g) 6.0
Fat (g) 8.1
Fibre (g) 6.0

Lunch was one serving of ratatouille with a serving of fusilli lunghi (75g) and the other half of the tin of artichokes thrown in (120g), plus a bit of Parmesan (10g)

Nutrition Data for complete meal
Calories (kcal) 502.6
Protein (g) 20.1
Carbohydrate (g) 79.0
Fat (g) 11.9
Fibre (g) 8.8

Breakfast Saturday 23 September - Tortilla

Started off the day with some of the leftover tortilla from Lunch Thursday 21 September.

Well, it is mostly eggs and potatoes...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dinner Friday 22 September - Crisps, peanuts, V&Ts

Well, dinner was supposed to be ratatouille with pasta after the pub. But, I ended up sharing a few bags of crisps and a couple bags of peanuts and so was not hungry when I got in.

This is sort of ironic, on the day that the British Heart Foundation launch their "Food for Thought" campaign


The image of the girl drinking cooking oil has some people in a lather, but they make a point. There is the equivalent of 2 1/2 teaspoons of oil in the average packet of crisps. Eat one or two a day, as many British kids do and it soon adds up. One packet a day equals FIVE LITRES A YEAR.


'Pack-a-day crisp habit' warning

Had thought the ratatouille & pasta would be great after a night drinking and it probably would have been, had I been hungry!

Lunch Friday 22 September - Tofu, Enoki and Broccoli Udon

Tofu, Enoki and Broccoli Udon
Make a broth from
1 Maggi cube
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Shao Shing rice wine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 "thumb" ginger, grated
2 bird's eye chillis, sliced
400 ml water

Simmer together for 20 minutes.

80g deep fried tofu cubes, quartered
125g broccoli
40g udon noodles
80g enoki mushrooms
1 tablespoon cornflour
4 spring onions, slivered

Add the tofu to the broth to warm through. Meanwhile, cook udon according to pack instructions. Steam the broccoli over the udon while it cooks.

Mix the cornflour with a little cold water and use it to thick the sauce. Toss the cooked broccoli, the udon and the enoki mushrooms in the hot sauce. The enoki need only the briefest of cooking, so a sluice in the hot sauce will be enough. Toss in the spring onions, mix and serve.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 406.0
Protein (g) 30.2
Carbohydrate (g) 46.4
Fat (g) 11.0
Fibre (g) 6.8

Breakfast Friday 22 September - Dried Apricots

Had two pieces of homemade seeded oatmeal bread, Marmite, 50g of dried apricots and coffee this AM.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dinner Thursday 21 September - Langoustine Linguine

I was in China Town yesterday and I saw some langoustines which were a pretty good deal - £8.49 per kilo.

I love langoustines, although the arguably are not great value for money. Most of them seems to get thrown away; hence extracting every bit of flavour from the shells.

This sauce starts out like you are making a bisque. In fact, it probably is just a highly reduced bisque.

In the past, I would have used LOADS of butter and double cream. This is an effort to be a bit healthier and more calorie conscious. I don't know; langoustine are a bit of a "treat" so maybe I should have gone the whole hog! The sauce was pretty rich as it was.

Langoustine Linguine
250g whole, raw langoustine (about 7)
1 carrot
1 rib celery
1 shallot
1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon pepper corns
small bunch parsley
few sprig chervil

1 teaspoon tomato puree
1 large glass (250ml) white wine
1 small glass (50ml) brandy
salt & pepper to taste

30 ml single cream
10g butter
15g plain flour

75g linguine

Peel the langoustine tails. Place the langoustine shells (heads, legs, thorax shells) on a baking tray and place in a low oven (Gas Mark 2) for about 45 minutes until they are dried and fragrant.
Place the legs in a mortar & pestle and crush lightly. Add the toasted shells (including legs) to a large sauce pan. Add the chopped carrot, celery and shallot, 1/2 lemon, a few pepper corns, and parsley & chervil. Add enough water to just cover the ingredients, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.

Strain the stock and discard the shells and vegetables. Add the tomato paste (more for colour than any thing else), wine & brandy and return to the heat.

Cook over low heat until it is much reduced; probably and 1/8th or less of its original volume. You will need about 4 fluid ounces of concentrated stock.

Taste the stock and add salt & pepper (if necessary). I sometimes add a tiny bit of sugar - 1/2 teaspoonful.

Make a roux of the butter and flour. Allow to cook to a light fawn colour and then add the stock and stir to make a thickened sauce. Add the cream and continue to stir - the sauce should be thick and glossy.

Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to package instructions. Add the cooked linguine to the sauce and keep warm while you cook the langoustines.

Spray a non-stick fry pan with a little olive oil. Bring to high heat and add the seasoned langoustine. Cook briefly, until they just begin to curl. Remove from heat and add a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Turn the linguine out onto a serving plate. Garnish with the cooked langoustine and a few sprigs of fresh parsley.

Langoustine (French name) are variously known as Scampi (Italian name, used in the US and in the UK), Norway Lobster or Dublin Bay Prawns. The scientific name Nephrops norvegicus

Sweet and delicious, by any name.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 427.6
Carbohydrate (g) 45.8
Protein (g) 26.3
Fat (g) 15.1
Fibre (g) 2.5

Lunch Thursday 21 September - Tortilla and Broccoli Salad

Tortilla and Broccoli Salad
I seemed to have loads of eggs at the moment. I bought 2 dozen quail's eggs at Waitrose during my extravaganza. I also bought 6 duck eggs while I was there. Not sure what got me buying so many "non-standard" eggs, I guess a reaction against my local Islington Sainsbury's as they had stopped stocking both quail & duck eggs.

Anyway, I also had 6 chicken eggs in the fridge, so I decided to make a big tortilla.

1 large onion, chopped (about 200g)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
400g new potatoes, boiled and sliced
80g Spanish olives, sliced (mine were jalapeno stuffed)
25g anchovies, minced
6 large free-range, organic eggs, beaten

Fry the onions and garlic in the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan until golden. Add the cooked, sliced potatoes and rosemary and mix well, but be careful not to break up the potatoes too much. Add the olives and anchovies and mix again.

Finally, pour over the beaten eggs and cook over low heat, shaking pan from time to time, until eggs are largely set with just a few wet patches on top.

Pop under a pre-heated grill until eggs are set on top. Allow to cool and cut into wedges.

Can be eaten hot or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 283.9
Carbohydrate (g) 19.1
Protein (g) 16.1
Fat (g) 16.6
Fibre (g) 2.5

Broccoli Salad
200g broccoli, steamed until tender
2 small sweet orange peppers, deseeded and sliced (about 45g)
2 ribs celery, sliced fine (about 80g)

Toss the veggies together. Make a dressing of:

juice 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon hemp oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt & pepper to taste

Pour over veggies, mix gently and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Add

1 fat, vine ripened tomato, chopped (about 150g)

Line a plate with about 100g leaves (here is a mix of radish greens and romaine). Pile to salad on top and serve with the tortilla slices.

Salad Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 277.6
Protein (g) 11.8
Carbohydrate (g) 21.4
Fat (g) 16.4
Fibre (g) 10.0

Total Meal Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 561.5
Protein (g) 27.9
Carbohydrate (g) 40.5
Fat (g) 33.0
Fibre (g) 12.5

Breakfast Thursday 21 September - Cottage Cheese & Tomatoes

Today started off with
  • 250g low fat cottage cheese,
  • 150g cherry tomatoes,
  • coffee

Still nursing unpleasant "paper cut" I got yesterday morning from the tin foil sealing the cottage cheese.

Dinner Wednesday 20 September - Asparagus Fusilli

Asparagus Fusilli
200g asparagus
1 pat truffle butter
30g Parmigiano Reggiano
85g fusilli lunghi

Steam asparagus and cut into 1 inch segments. Cook the fusilli lunghi according to packet instructions.

Melt the truffle butter in a skillet and toss the asparagus in the truffle butter. Add the fusilli, 1/2 the cheese and a couple tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Mix well.

Top with remaining cheese and serve.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 480.5
Protein (g) 24.5
Carbohydrate (g) 56.9
Fat (g) 17.1
Fibre (g) 6.5

Truffle Butter

40 g butter, softened
10g parsley, chopped fine
35 g black truffles, chopped fine

Add the chopped truffles and parsley to the softened butter and mix well. Season with a bit of slat & pepper. Divide into five pats and place in fridge to firm up.

5 servings

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 61.9
Carbohydrate (g) 0.6
Protein (g) 0.4
Fat (g) 6.4
Fibre (g) 0.4

Lunch Wednesday 20 September - Leftovers


Last of the spicy bean burgers (see Dinner Friday 15 September), some mixed leaves and the second serving of cabbage bean soup (see Lunch Sunday 17 September.

Breakfast Wednesday 20 September - Carambola & Cottage Cheese

Started today off with 250g low fat cottage cheese, a sliced carambola and coffee.

Here is something I did not know:

"Seeds lose viability in a few days after removal from fruit. "

Better get the ones I saved planted!

Dinner Tuesday 19 September - Composed Salad

Composed Salad
1 hot smoked salmon fillet (about 65g)
100g romaine, shredded
150g cherry tomatoes, quartered
5 quail's eggs, hard boiled and halved
100g new potatoes, boiled and halved or quartered
1/2 tin artichoke hearts in brine (120g)

Arrange on serving plate.

Mix together:
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
small handful snipped chives

Dress with:
Salt, pepper and celery salt (for quail's eggs) to taste

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 471.4
Protein (g) 29.9
Carbohydrate (g) 35.0
Fat (g) 24.4
Fibre (g) 5.0

Lunch Tuesday 19 September - Salad of Oriental Style Vegetables

Salad of Oriental Style Vegetables
90g mange tout, halved lengthwise, blanched in boiling hot water for 2 minutes and refreshed
130g baby corn, steamed and split in quarters
125 g chicory, shredded
2 small carrots, cut into julienne (about 100g)
2 small, sweet orange peppers, cut in fine strips (about 45g)
4-5 spring onions, sliced

Toss together.

Make a dressing of:
juice 1/2 lime
one "thumb" ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 bird's eye chillies, sliced fine

Pour over vegetables, mix gently and serve.

Breakfast Tuesday 19 September - Blackberries and Yoghurt

For brekkie I had:

  • Toasted homemade bread w Patum Peparium,
  • blackberries with yoghurt,
  • coffee.

Dinner Monday 18 September - Udon with Prawns, Enoki Mushrooms and Sea Vegetables

Udon with Prawns, Enoki Mushrooms and Sea Vegetables
300ml dashi
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 bundle udon noodles (about 80g)
50g enoki mushroom, trimmed and separated
4 large, raw prawns
1 gram (small handful) mixed sea vegetables (like Clearspring Atlantic Sea Salad, used here)
4 spring onions, sliced finely
1 teaspoon seven spice pepper (see Dinner Thursday 14 September for recipe)

Mix the dashi, mirin, soy sauce & sugar in a pot and simmer over low heat until sugar melts.

Refresh the sea vegetables by soaking in warm water for a few minutes.

Cook the udon according to package instructions. Arrange noodles in a serving bowl. Pile enoki mushrooms on top of noodles. Add the sea vegetables and keep warm.

Poach the prawns in the dashi mixture until just cooked. Remove them from the broth and arrange on top of noodles.

Pour the brother carefully over the noodles, mushrooms and sea vegetables. A quick "swim" in the hot broth is all the enoki mushrooms need to cook.

Garnish with the spring onions and seven spice powder and serve.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 504.6
Protein (g) 22.6
Carbohydrate (g) 93.4
Fat (g) 2.5
Fibre (g) 2.8

Lunch Monday 18 September - Fusilli Lunghi with Mushrooms

Fusilli Lunghi with Mushrooms
75 fusilli lunghi
10g butter
250g mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Marigold Vegetable Bouillon Powder
small handful freshly snipped chives (about 5g)
15g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated

Melt the butter in a saute pan. Add the garlic and sliced mushrooms. Cover and cook over very low heat until the mushrooms are tender.

meanwhile, cook the fusilli according to package instructions until just slightly underdone.
When cooked, add the fusilli, a few of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and the Marigold to the pan with the mushrooms. Cover and cook for another couple of minutes, until the pasta is fully cooked and the juices have been absorbed.

Sprinkle with 1/2 the Parmesan & the chives and toss. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 440.5
Protein (g) 19.3
Carbohydrate (g) 56.9
Fat (g) 15.2
Fibre (g) 4.5

Fusilli Lunghi seems to just be slightly longer, slightly finer fusilli.

Breakfast Monday 18 September - Homemade Seeded Oatmeal Bread and Clementines

For breakfast I had a couple slices of the homemade seeded oatmeal bread I made the other day, plus a clementine.

The clementine I got accidentally from my Ocado order on Saturday night - someone, somewhere in WC1 is probably blogging about how they did not get their Waitrose clementines in the Saturday Ocado order...

Dinner Sunday 17 September - Spicy Bean Burgers & Salad

Well, I made 9 spicy bean burgers on Friday, so I had another portion for dinner tonight. With them was a salad comprising some pea shoots and celery leaves.

The pea shoots I bought at a Sainsbury's Local on Farringdon Road on the way home from the 10 mile walk yesterday.

The celery leaves are from a beautiful head of celery I bought at Waitrose, called "Victoria Leaf Celery". I imagine it is just like any other celery, except that is is not trimmed. It was about 24 -28 inches long and had LOADS of beautiful dark green leaves, which I have been adding to salads, stir fried etc. They are delicious.

According to "The Grocer":
"Waitrose has unveiled two new exclusive salad products.
Victoria Leaf Celery is available from July until October and is grown on rich black Fen peats on Stretham and Hainey Farms in Cambridgeshire. "

I will certainly buy it again if I find it. Here is a picture of "Victoria" from the Royal Horticultural Society:

Lunch Sunday 17 September - Hearty Cabbage & Bean Soup

Hearty Cabbage & Bean Soup
This recipe was suggested by the Cavolo Nero cabbage bag and sounded nice, so I gave it a try. It's not exactly their recipe, but their recipe did inspire this one.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped (about 180g)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
200g new potatoes, quartered
1 large carrot, cubed (about 100g)
100g Cavolo Nero cabbage
100g cannellini beans, soaked overnight and cooked tender (or use a can)
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon Vecon Vegetable Stock Concentrate
salt & pepper to taste

Add the oil to a largish pot and fry the onions and garlic. Add the potatoes, carrots, beans, veggie stock & thyme. Pour over sufficient water to cover. Simmer over low heat until veggies are tender.

Add the cabbage and cook for a further 10 minutes. Check the seasoning, add salt & pepper to taste and serve.

Serves 2

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 317.9
Carbohydrate (g) 45.7
Protein (g) 16.8
Fat (g) 8.4
Fibre (g) 15.7

Breakfast Sunday 17 September - More figs

I got a pack of 10 figs for £1.99 during the recent Waitrose extravaganza. Had 4 yesterday for breakfast, so here go the other four, along with a toasted bagel and some coffee.

Here's a nice African pigeon enjoying some figs, apropos of nothing in particular.

Dinner Saturday 16 September - Broccoli, Prawns & Noodles in a Chinese Style Sauce

Broccoli, Prawns & Noodles in a Chinese Style Sauce
1 Maggi stock cube
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon yellow bean sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 "thumb" of ginger, grated
300 ml water

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer.

Add to the broth:
1 nest Chinese style egg noodles
100g broccoli, cut into florets
1 small red pepper (about 80g), cut into strips

Simmer for 4 minutes or until noodles are cooked and veggies are just tender.

100g cooked prawns, deveined
1 tablespoon (15g) cornflour, mixed with a tablespoon of water to form a paste.

Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Add
4-5 spring onions, sliced

and serve.

This was more sort of "soupy" than I normally make, but I felt like noodles with a lot of thick broth. So that's what I made.

Calories (kcal) 472.0
Protein (g) 35.8
Carbohydrate (g) 72.2
Fat (g) 4.7
Fibre (g) 7.9

The Maggi Cubes I bought in a little food shop in Exmouth Market I like to frequent. They always seem to have all sorts of weird on wonderful spices. herbs and other bits.

The Maggi Cubes just reminded me of Asia, where they seem to be ubiquitous. They were also all over the place in Madagascar and Kenya. I was also attracted by the "minimalist" packaging - just cubes wrapped in foil in a tiny plastic bag. No box required.

Probably should not have bought them - just realised they are made by Nestle. Seems like their slogan ought to be "marketed where ever poverty is found".

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lunch Saturday 16 September - Composed Salad

Composed Salad
Mix together
2 stalks celery, cut into bite sized pieces
100g fine beans, steamed and cut into 1" lengths

Make a dressing of juice
1/2 lime
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon French's Classic Yellow Mustard
1 tablespoon hemp oil
salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon herbs du Provence
and combine with celery & beans. Allow to stand for about 30 minutes so flavours develop.

Line a plate with
60g bag Herb Salad

Arrange on the leaves:

4 quails eggs, hard boiled, peeled and halved
one hot smoked salmon fillet (65g)
1 tomato, sliced
the Bean & celery salad (above)

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 460.9
Protein (g) 34.2
Carbohydrate (g) 71.0
Fat (g) 4.7
Fibre (g) 7.9

I was aching all over from the 10 mile walk and remembered reading that your body needs protein after very exercise, so this seemed nicely protein rich.

Breakfast Saturday 16 September - Figs

I am doing The London Bridges walk today - ten miles in support of The Children's Society.

Started the day with one toasted bagel, 4 figs and coffee. Am taking last slab of the seeded oatmeal bread with me as a nice, low GI walk fuel.

Dinner Friday 15 September - Spicy Bean Burgers and Cavolo Nero

Spicy Bean Burgers
100g dried lentils
1 tin, drained, black eyed peas (about 230g)
a red onion, finely chopped (about 140g)
4 ribs celery, finely chopped (about 140g)
1 small carrots, finely chopped (about 100g)
1 small green pepper, finely chopped (about 100g)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 small red chillis, sliced finely
1 ounce double concentrated tomato puree
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Cook lentils until soft. Drain and mash well with the black eyed peas.

Meanwhile, saute all the onions, celery, carrots, pepper, garlic & chilli in one teaspoon oil until softened and cooked.

Add the cooked vegetables into the bean mash along with the tomato puree. Season highly and mix well.

Form into 9 patties. use the other teaspoon of oil to lightly oil a non-stick frying pan. Cook the burger about 5-7 minutes on either side, until browned. Do not overcook as this will dry them out.

Sorry bean burger photo is a little fogged from heat.

I had three burgers with:

1 tablespoon Tabasco jelly

This is something I bought in Harvey Nichols Food Hall a while back - not as hot as my homemade chilli jam.

100g Cavolo Nero cabbage

I purchased this on one of my recent Waitrose forays - also called "black" cabbage as it is very, very dark green. First time I have had it and so cooked it simply, as per instructions on pack (boiled 8-10 minutes).
Tasted OK, but nothing that special. Nice shaped and coloured leaves; I think they might be nice for stuffing.

1 nice fat vine tomato

Spicy Bean Burger Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 89.9
Carbohydrate (g) 13.8
Protein (g) 5.6
Fat (g) 1.6
Fibre (g) 2.9

Lunch Friday 15 September - Barley Stew (again)

Just had the other portion of barley stew (see Lunch Monday 11 September) and a salad of M&S Rosa Verde mixed leaves with Santini cherry tomatoes.

No pic as nothing new!

Breakfast Friday 15 September - Strawberries

Started the day with a big bowl of strawberries, a toasted bagel and coffee

Dinner Thursday 14 September - Japanese Style Cod with Turnip Chrystanthemums and Spicy Celery

Japanese Style Cod with Turnip Chrysanthemums and Spicy Celery
200g boneless cod fillets
juice 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Place the cod in an airtight container. Season with salt & pepper. Pour over the lemon juice and refrigerate over night.

Grill the cod a few minutes each side, basting with reserved lemon juice. Sprinkle with:

7 spice pepper
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
dried skin of one tangerine
1 tablespoon nori flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper

Blend everything into a fine powder in a mortar & pestle or electric blender.

I know this says "7 spice" but contains eight ingredients, but that is because I chose to use a mix of white & black sesame.

This is DELICIOUS and salt free.

Chrysanthemum Turnips
4 small turnips (about 160g)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 c dashi
1/4 c rice vinegar
1 small red chilli
Peel a round turnip and take a small slice off one end to make a flat base.

Place on a chopping board with a chopstick either side to prevent turnip being cut through.

With a very sharp, thin-bladed knife make closely-spaced, parallel cuts straight down at right angles to the chopsticks. Turn the turnip 90 degrees and repeat, so turnip has a fine cross hatching of cuts.

Soak turnip in salted ice water for at least 1 hour. The "petals" will soften and spread. Drain, squeeze out excess water gently and open the "petals" with a chopstick or your fingers.

Mix together the dashi, sugar and rice vinegar. Pour over the turnips and leave to marinate several hours or overnight.

Garnish each chrysanthemum centre with a few rings of red chilli.

Spicy Celery
4 stalks celery, cut into bit sized pieces
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 small red chilli
celery leaves

Spray a non stick wok with a little oil. Stir fry the celery until it is starting to become tender and is bright green. Add the chilli, the sugar and soy sauce and stir fry briefly. Remove from heat; toss in celery leaves and serve.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 305.7
Protein (g) 46.5
Carbohydrate (g) 25.4
Fat (g) 2.3
Fibre (g) 7.5

Lunch Thursday 14 September - Asian Style Vegetable Salad

Asian Style Vegetable Salad
75 g fine beans, steamed & halved lengthwise
50g mange tout, blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes & refreshed
small yellow pepper (about 80g), slivered
60g baby corn, steamed and quartered lengthwise
1 head chicory (about 125g), sliced finely
4 ribs celery (about 160g), cut into julienne
5g fresh mint
5g fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients. Make up a dressing of:

juice 1/2 lime
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 bird's eye chillis , chopped finely
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce

Pour over vegetables and mix gently but thoroughly. Line a serving plate with

1 bag mixed leaves (120g)

Mound the salad on the leaves and serve.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 216.7
Carbohydrate (g) 34.7
Protein (g) 14.1
Fat (g) 2.7
Fibre (g) 11.6

Breakfast Thursday 14 September - Mango smoothie

Today I smoothified a mango which was dead (well, over) ripe. Just blitzed it in the blender with some lime juice and enough water to get it moving.

Had the mango smoothie with a toasted bagel with Marmite and coffee.

Today I will be taking a day off from going to Waitrose (or any shops!)

Dinner Wednesday 13 September - Scallops with Fennel & Spicy Cous-Cous

Scallops with Fennel & Cous-Cous
1 bulb fennel
1 star anise
10g butter
10g chives

200g scallops

1 teaspoon olive oil
10g grated ginger
2 cloves crushed garlic
1-2 finely sliced chillis
50g dry cous-cous
4 spring onions, slivered
small handful mint, torn up
small handful coriander

First, poach the fennel whole in just enough water to barely cover. Add the star anise to the poaching water.

When the fennel is just cooked, remove it from the liquor and allow to cool. Meanwhile, reduce the poaching liquor down to just a few tablespoonsful. Remove & discard the star anise.

Slice the fennel crosswise into slices about 3/4" thick. Spray a non stick skillet with a little olive oil and fry the fennel slice until they are golden brown. Remove and arrange on a serving plate.

Next, make the cous cous. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan. Add the ginger, garlic & chilli and turn off the heat. Leave to infuse.

Add the cous-cous and stir well. Pour over 100ml boiling hot water (or whatever ratio cous-cous to water your manufacturer suggests). Cover and leave to stand for 10-15 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Fluff with a fork. Add the spring onions, mint & coriander and toss again.

Finally, reheat the pan in which the fennel was sauteed & add the scallops to the hot pan. Sear on other side until just done - do not over cook. Remove and place on the plate with the fennel.
Add the reduced fennel liquor to the pan and deglaze. Finally, add the butter & allow to melt. Add the chives and pour over scallops & fennel.

Serve with the cous cous.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 425.5
Protein (g) 41.8
Carbohydrate (g) 49.7
Fat (g) 6.5
Fibre (g) 8.7

Lunch Wednesday 13 September - Rubbish!

Well, not entirely rubbish, but not very good. Went into M&S and I can never resist their Cheese Taster crisps. They are the best - really cheesy (and maybe even better than my favourites, American Crunchy Cheetos).

Pris is also a huge fan of Cheese Tasters. If I want to eat them without having to suffer her crawling all over me and carrying on, then I have to tithe a few her way.

Anyway, I ended up eating a 50g bag of Cheese Tasters for lunch. I also had a salad of romaine and green tiger tomatoes, so it was not a total write off.

Went back to Waitrose today and used the second £4.00 off voucher. The food hoard is being repopulated!

Insane food buying strikes again!

I live near the Brunswick Centre in London. Way back when, I used to go to a pretty naff Safeway's there, because it was the only supermarket in the area.

Then Sainsbury's Islington opened and I never looked back.

On 20 July, a new Waitrose opened in the Brunswick Centre, where the old Safeway's was. Now, I have been a fan of Waitrose since I first went into one on the King's Road in 1985 (when I was staying the The Cale Street Hostel, which is no more).

They sent me a little leaflet and three vouchers - two for £4.00 off your order if you spend £40 or more and one for £6.00 off if you spend £60.00 or more. I have been ignoring them, but they expire 16 September and I succumbed to their lure.

A while back, I registered with their online service (well, Ocado as Waitrose proper don't deliver in my area) so I could browse at home.

Tuesday, I made my first foray Took a stupidly roundabout walk down there, trying to remember the shortest way and choosing possibly the longest way instead. Then I spent a good hour wandering the aisles, entranced by all the new products. And I spent £40 and used a voucher up.

Wednesday, I went back and spent another £40.

Thursday I resisted, but Friday I went back again and spent £60. Used up all my vouchers and totally refilled the cupboards. All my wearing down the food hoard has been undone.

And to make things worse, Ocado sent me an email offering me £10.00 and a free cookbook if I would place my first order online with them. So I did that too and spent £85.00.

Was not best impressed with their service - the driver was 1 hour and 45 minutes late (although he did call to say he was running late) and he did not arrive until 22:45 on Saturday night. I was dead tired as I had done the 10 mile London Bridges walk to raise fund for The Children's Society and I just wanted to go to sleep.

When I unpacked the order, I found the following which I did not order

  • Cathedral City Cheddar (which I would never order - cheap cheese mountain stuff)
  • a bag of clementines
  • a bag of red grapes

I had ordered and was billed for but did not receive:

  • low fat chive dip
  • low fat taramasalata
  • 2 boxes speciality cherry tomatoes (Petit Cherie)

And one of my boxes of blackberries was squished.

Anyway, I reported it all on their website as they suggested, but I digress. I cannot resist "a bargain" and so I have crammed the cupboards with food AGAIN, just when I was starting to get a tiny grip on things.

Must do better.

P.S. - the new Brunswick Centre will be FABULOUS when it is all done

The Brunswick Centre

Breakfast Wednesday 13 September - Bagel!

Bought a bag of New York Bagel Company plain bagels in Sainsbury's - on sale for 59p for 5, so how could I resist?

Toasted bagel & coffee - w NYC classic.