Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dinner Tuesday 31 October - Domino's "Pizza"

Well, I was helping L move into her new home, so dinner was take-away....

"Thank you for calling Domino's..."

Haven't had pizza in yonks and gotta say, it was disappointing. Very little cheese - one slice was literally nude! I jazzed it up with some Adobo seasoning and hot peppers. I love adobo and forgotten about it - must get some when next in US. According to Goya website, adobo is a "perfect blend of garlic, oregano and other Latino spices is the perfect seasoning for all your meat, poultry and fish dishes. A simple shake is all it takes."

Damn straight.

Makes Domino's Pizza edible.

I did enjoy the salad that came with J's Indian take-away quite a bit. It was just a mix of finely slivered lettuce, onions, peppers and coriander with a couple of lumps of cucumeber and tomato, but very nice and, of course, untouched by the Northern lass (none of that vegetable muck!)

Lunch Tuesday 31 October - A Composed Salad

A Composed Salad
1 pack (115g) Arbroath Hot Smoked Salmon Flakes with Pepper
1 tomato
200g asparagus
1 free range, organic egg, hard boiled
80g steamed edamame beans
1 teaspoon 7 Spice pepper
juice 1/2 lemon

Dress the edamame with lemon juice and 7 Spice Pepper. Arrange and EAT.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 458.0
Protein (g) 53.3
Carbohydrate (g) 18.5
Fat (g) 19.5
Fibre (g) 10.4

Too Much Fibre!

Been looking back through the last few days and realise I am getting more that 35 grams per day on several days of late. Need to watch that!

Monday 23 October - 27.4g
Tuesday 24 October - 26.7g
Wednesday 25 October - 25.6g
Thursday 26 October - 38.3g
Friday 27 October - 43.4g
Saturday 28 October - 44.4g
Sunday 29 October - 34.8g
Monday 30 October -54.0 g

It is so confusing to know what is the "correct" amount & type of fibre to eat. Most of mine has been vegetable fibre as opposed to cereal, so that is "a good thing". Excessive amounts of cereal fibre can cause certain minerals to bind to them and prevent the body from absorbing the minerals. This is mostly a problem with raw wheat bran, as I understand it.

I have noticed that I have been feeling a bit dehydrated over the past few days, despite drinking my usual 3 litres a day. Now I know why!

British Nutrition Foundation recommends minimum 18g of fibre a day, with 30g as optimal. They don't seem to list an upper limit as I recall. Interesting to see that every time the benefits of a low fat/ high fibre diet are questioned, they seem to induce the wrath of the medical establishment.

Interesting article here:

Dietary fibre and the risk of colorectal cancer

from "Gut" magazine (what a great name!)

Here is another link for a pamphlet that I point people to when they want good, basic fibre information

Guide to the Healthy, Happy Bowel

Finally, here is The British Nutrition Foundations Fibre advice:

BNF Fibre Guide

Breakfast Tuesday 31 October - Rye Toast & Avocado

Happy Halloween!

Breakfast was 80g rye toast with one small (80g) avocado mashed up with some lemon and pepper. And of course, coffee.

Kaspar decided it was a perfect day to have a cystitis attack. The vet reckons it is stress from all the bloody fireworks.

Here is my handsome kitty

Dinner Monday 30 October - Creamed Quorn and vegetables

Why do they only sell sweetcorn in packs of three of more in Sainsbury's? I love corn, but it needs to get eaten up promptly or the sugar turns to starch and it ends up "disappointing" and made into Corn Chowder (see Lunch Saturday 28 October)...

Anyway, here is dinner. Sorry the picture is a bit fogged with steam.

1 serving creamed Quorn & Mushrooms
3 ears sweetcorn
160g Brussels sprouts
70g broccoli
160g petit pois

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 704.9
Protein (g) 43.1
Carbohydrate (g) 115.2
Fat (g) 13.1
Fibre (g) 30.5

Lunch Monday 30 October - Udon with Halibut & Edamame

Udon with Halibut & Edamame
1 clove garlic
1 red & 1 green chilli
1/2 red pepper, cut into strips
200g bean sprouts, blanched
80g edamame
4 spring onions, sliced (about 40g)
1/2 bundle udon noodles (about 42g dry weight
)1 halibut fillet (about 150g)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shao Shing
3 tablespoons oyster sauce

Cut the halibut into chunks and mix with the soy and Shao Shing. Place in a small heat proof bowl and steam for 5 minutes.

Cook the noodles according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, spray a wok with flavourless oil and fry the garlic, chillis edamame and red pepper until the pepper is starting to soften.

Add the bean sprouts and the juice from the steam fish and stir fry for another minute. Add the noodles and oyster sauce and mix well.

Finally, toss in the halibut chunks and spring onions and mix gently so as not to break up the fish.
Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 537.7
Carbohydrate (g) 67.0
Protein (g) 48.4
Fat (g) 8.6
Fibre (g) 9.6

Breakfast Monday 30 October - Rye toast & strawbs

Breakfast was some seeded rey toast, a punnet of strawberries and coffee.

Dinner Sunday 29 October - Halibut in Herb Sauce & Vegetables

150g halibut fillet
1 serving Creamy Sauce seasoned with chervil & tarragon (see Lunch Monday 16 October )
250g boiled potatoes
160g runner beans
50g broccoli
100g carrots

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 545.7
Carbohydrate (g) 80.9
Protein (g) 36.3
Fat (g) 10.7
Fibre (g) 10.2

Lunch Sunday 29 October - Avocado & Prawn Salad

Avocado & Prawn Salad
1 avocado (about 150g)
2 fat vine tomatoes (about 250)
90g cooked king prawns
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mango hot sauce
juice 1 lime (about 40ml)
40g each wild rocket & lamb's lettuce
1 large free range organic egg, hard boiled

Mix together mayonnaise, half of the lime juice, prawns and and hot sauce.

Cut the avocado & tomato into bit sized chunks and toss with the rest of the lime juice.

Mix the leaves together and use them to line a serving dish. Pile the tomato and avocado mix on the leaves, them top with the dressed prawns.

Garnish with the hard cooked egg.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 572.8
Carbohydrate (g) 21.9
Protein (g) 29.4
Fat (g) 41.1
Fibre (g) 9.5

Breakfast Sunday 29 October - Seed Rye Toast & coffee

And here is a picture of my round "bean tin loaf".

Dinner Saturday 28 October - Quorn Pie

Well, here is another incarnation of the creamed Quprn & mushrooms I made the other night - as a sort of shepards pie, but without the shepards.

Quorn Pie
1 serving Creamed Quorn & Mushrooms
1 leek (about 80g)
1 carrot (about 70g)
145g celeriac250g potatoes1
tablespoon single cream

Boil the celeriac and potatoes together until tender. Mash with the cream.

Meanwhile, steam the leeks & carrots and combined with the creamed Quorn.

Place the Quorn mixture in a casserole dish and top with the celeriac mash. Bake in a hot oven until browned and bubbling.

Serve with steamed cauliflower & broad beans.

Nutrition Data for Full Meal
Calories (kcal) 555.2
Carbohydrate (g) 89.5
Protein (g) 32.8
Fat (g) 9.9
Fibre (g) 22.5

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lunch Saturday 28 October - Corn Chowder

I bought some corn on the cob in Sainsbury's which was rather disappointing. The natural sugars had turned to starch and the corn was sort of bland and tasteless as a result. But then, as previously noted, I am really picky about corn having grown up with literally "just picked" stuff courtesy of the Longstreth's farm next door.

Anyway, decided to make

Corn Chowder
corn kernels cut from 2 ears of fresh corn (about 300g)
1 leek, finely sliced (about 250g)
1 onion, chopped (about 180g)
1/2 red pepper, chopped small (about 60g)
2 pints vegetable stock
300ml milk
2 medium potatoes (about 300g)

Place onions, leeks, peppers and corn in an large pot and cover with the stock. Cover and simmer over low heat until every thing is tender, about 45 minutes.

Add one potatoes, skinned and cut in half. Continue to cook until potato is soft, about another 15 minutes.

Fish the halved potato out of the soup and puree in a blender with a ladle full of the soup stock. Return to the pan along with the milk, the other potato which you have cut into small dice.

Continue to cook until potatoes are done, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt & black pepper

Makes 2 large servings.

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 403.6
Carbohydrate (g) 75.6
Protein (g) 17.1
Fat (g) 6.4
Fibre (g) 10.1

Breakfast Saturday 28 October - Seeded Rye & coffee

After all of yesterday's warblings about Levy's real Jewish Rye, it occurs to me I did not include a picture of my OWN rye bread.

So here is a picture of the bean tin loaf and (what is left) of it's little brother.

Dinner Friday 27 October - Spinach and Mi-Cuit Tomato Omelette with Celeriac Chips

Spinach and Mi-Cuit Tomato Omelette with Celeriac Chips
2 large, organic, free rang eggs
200g spinanch, cooked and chopped
50g mi-cuit oven roasted, semi-dried tomatoes
15g grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper & nutmeg to taste

Chop the tomatoes finely and mix with the well beaten eggs. Season the spinach with nutmeg and pepper.

Make an omelette in a non stick pan with the egg and tomato mix. When nearly cooked, fill with the spinach and most of the cheese.

Fold the omelette and garnish the the remaining sprinkle of cheese.

Serve with

Celeriac Chips
200g celeriac, peeled and cut into chips
spray oilve oil
seasoned salt or Old Bay

Spray the celeriac chips with olive oil, arrange in a single layer on a baking try and roast in a hot oven (gas mark 7 or 8) until cooked and browned. Shake the pan ocassionally to turn the chips. I roasted mine for about 20 minutes, but how long wil depend on hwo fat your chips

Sprinkle with seasoned salt or Old Bay seasoning and serve.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 363.7
Carbohydrate (g) 33.2
Protein (g) 25.7
Fat (g) 13.4
Fibre (g) 14.1

Lunch Friday 27 October - Creamed Mushrooms and Quorn

I got a big box of mushrooms for a quid, so here is what I made with them.

Creamed Mushrooms and Quorn
750g mushrooms, slliced
1 onion , chopped (about 180g)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pints vegetable stock
20g sauce flour
4 tablespoons (60ml) single cream
handful parsley, chopped
4 Quorn Fillets, sliced
salt & pepper to taste

Place the mushrooms, onions and garlic in a large pot and cover with the stock. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour, until everything is well cooked and stock is reduced so it just covers the mushrooms.

Mix the sauce flour with a little old water to make a smooth paste. Add to the mushrooms along with the cream and parsley. Simmer over low heat until thickened.

Add the sliced Quorn and cook for another 10 minutes or so.

I had this with some mashed potatoes, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

The rest would be a nice basis for a sort of pot pie dish or with pasta. Not sure yet what I will do with the other three servings.

Recipe makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 137.0
Carbohydrate (g) 12.1
Protein (g) 11.8
Fat (g) 4.6
Fibre (g) 5.3

Nutrition Data for full meal including 200g potatoes, 100g cauliflower and 160g Brussels sprouts

Calories (kcal) 382.0
Carbohydrate (g) 55.2
Protein (g) 24.0
Fat (g) 7.9
Fibre (g) 15.3

Breakfast Friday 27 October - Homemade Seeded Rye Bread

I love rye bread and my favourite is without doubt, Levy's Jewish Rye, which you only seem to be able to get in and around New York City.

I have been trying to come up with a good "Levy's like" rye bread recipe for ages. Levy's is a soft, light rye loaf. I think the do seeded and without, but rye bread MUST have caraways, as far as I am concerned.

I decided to make some bread so I could take a loaf along to L's when I visited on Friday.

When I was walking through Chapel Market recently, I noticed that the baked potato stand there had the large catering size Heinz Baked Bean tins - I think they are 2kg tins. It reminded me of when I used to bake bread in old juice tins, back before Tetra-Paks were invented and
juices came in enormous tins.

I always liked the look of the round loaves and had had my eye open for a suitable sized tin, but the only thing that even came close were large sized dog food tins, and it seemed wasteful to just chuck out the dog food for the tin.

Anyway, I asked the woman if she would keep and empty tin for me and she said sure. Went back on Wednesday, but they were not there as it was a rainy day. So went back again Thursday and she had kept 2 large tins for me, so I decided to try the rye bread in tins.

Seeded Rye
350ml warm water
2 tablespoons (20g) dried yeast
80 g honey (about 4 tablespoons)
10g salt
1 egg
4 tablespoons dried milk powder
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
500g very strong bread flour ( I used Allinson's Very Strong White Bread Flour)
225g rye flour (I used Doves Farms Organic Rye Flour)

Mix the honey and warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave to "bloom", about 10-15 minutes.

Add 1/2 the white flour and mix well. Add the milk powder, salt, caraway seeds, egg and the rye flour and mix well. You should have a soft dough. This is what my Nan called a "sponge" and her standard bread recipe always called for the first rising to be a sponge rising, so I did that here.

Leave the sponge to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Stir down and gradually work in the remaining flour, kneading well, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

I wanted one large loaf in a round tin for me and a smaller one for L. I divided the dough about 3/4 in one piece and 1/4 in the other. The smaller section I punched down, kneaded and formed into a loaf which went into a small tin. The larger section also got punched down, kneaded and formed into a loaf which went into a baked bean tin.

Both loaves were then left to rise overnight in the fridge.

Next morning, pop the loaves into the oven and set at Gas Mark 4 or 5. No preheating is necessary. Bake until browned and hollow sounding when tapped - about 45 minutes in the case of the large loaf.

This is the best rye I have made so far. It could use a little more rye flour, so next time I will use 300g rye and less white.


Levy's had a brilliant ad campaign back in the 1970's. The slogan was "You don't have to be Jewish, to love Levy's ."

They even got Buster Keaton to do one:

Dinner Thursday 26 October - Leftover Aubergine Bake

Just had some leftover Aubergine Bake from Lunch Tuesday 24 October with a side of steamed sprouts.

Lunch Thursday 26 October - Asparagus Soup

I mentioned on Friday that I make asparagus stock.

"It always annoys me to thrown away the tougher ends of asparagus, so I generally make stock with them to use in risottos, soups or pasta dishes. All I do is cover the asparagus ends with plenty of water and cook over low heat, covered, for about 30 minutes. then I whizz is all up in the blender and pass it through a sieve. Any tough stuff gets left behind in the sieve, but you get a nice, pulpy, asparagus flavoured stock."

So, here is another use for it. I made stock from the tough bits or 2 bunches of asparagus.

Asparagus Soup
1 pint asparagus stock
100g asparagus. cut into small pieces
150g potato, diced
1 tablespoons extra thick single cream

Cook the potato in the asparagus stock until soft. Puree the mixture. This will give you a nice thick, creamy base without too many calories.
Add the chopped asparagus to the soup and simmer over low heat until the bits are cooked, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the cream, season to taste with salt & black pepper and serve.

Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 198.3
Carbohydrate (g) 30.0
Protein (g) 7.0
Fat (g) 6.2
Fibre (g) 3.5

I had this with a mixed salad and some Pågen Krisprolls. Must have a go at making my own crisprolls sometime.

Pågen Products

Breakfast Thursday 26 October - M&S Muesli (again)

Just 50g M&S Museli, 100ml milk & coffee today.

Dinner Wednesday 25 October - Veggie Sausages and 'kraut

Well, I warned you at Dinner on Sunday 22 October that your could expect some more sauerkraut meals as I had opened the massive jar, so here is another one.

This time the "sausages" are some Sainsbury's meat free hot dogs I had in the freezer. Much better than that Taifun ones, but still puzzling 20g of fat per 100g.


200g new potatoes
2 meat free "hot dogs"
225g sauerkraut
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
100g fine beans

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 365.7
Carbohydrate (g) 44.8
Protein (g) 18.5
Fat (g) 13.0
Fibre (g) 8.5

Lunch Wednesday 25 October - Ye Olde Stir Steam

I had another of my trusty stand-by stir steamer bowls.

Today's selection:

60g baby corn
1 carrot
60g mange tout
75g broccoli
10g dried shiitake mushrooms
90g prawns
40g spring onions
1 serving Chinese style sauce

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 275.2
Carbohydrate (g) 32.8
Protein (g) 27.8
Fat (g) 4.7
Fibre (g) 6.0

Original Stir Steam recipe is entry one in this blog and can be found here:

Stir Steaming Recipe

Breakfast Wednesday 25 October - More Muesli but with Applesauce!

Bought some apples in the market, but they are not as crisp as I like, so I decided to make some applesauce.

Forget to take a picture, but you know what applesauce looks like anyway. Had the applesauce (about 200g) with a serving of the M&S muesli and some coffee.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dinner Tuesday 24 October - "Caviar" and Blini

As I had half a pack of bini leftover from Sunday, I though - "Caviar!"

What else?

This is a "cheap-o" variation on a traditional caviar & accompaniments.

I love caviar, but it is hard to get and so incredibly expensive these days, that I have only had it once this year, on my birthday at Gotham Bar and Grill in NYC.

Real caviar, in my opinion, needs nothing to dress it up except maybe a few Melba toast points or blini. Lumpfish roe is another thing altogether and need a bit of "help". Hence the full Monty of traditional accompaniments.

8 blini
100g lumpfish caviar
4 quails eggs, hard boiled
1 tablespoon reduced fat creme fraiche
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 shallot, finely minced
150g asparagus spears, steamed
celery salt for the eggs.

I just warned the blini, topped them with a smidgen of creme fraiche then the lumpfish roe and a scattering of shallots.

Quails eggs are overcooked here, hence the grey ring around the yolk.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 432.7
Carbohydrate (g) 30.4
Protein (g) 28.1
Fat (g) 22.4
Fibre (g) 4.1

Lunch Tuesday 24 October - Aubergine Bake

Aubergine Bake
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes in juice
1 bunch (15g) fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 aubergine (about 400g)
60g each red, green and yellow pepper
100g half fat cheddar cheese, grated.

First, prepare the aubergine by peeling it and cutting it into steaks. Salt the aubergine on either side and leave to sweat and drain for an hour or more. Squeeze out any excess moisture.

Spray a non-stick skillet with a little olive oi and fry the aubergine steaks for 7-10 minutes on either side, until browned and cooked. Set aside.

Cut the peppers into strips and fry in the same skillet until wilted.

Meanwhile, make a sauce. Add the oil to a pot along with the onions and garlic and cook over low heat, covered, until the onions are soft.

Add the tinned tomatoes, a can of water, the puree, marjoram and half the basil. Season with salt & pepper and simmer over low heat until reduced by one half, about an hour. Stir in the rest of the basil.

Assemble the dish as follows: line the base of a small casserole dish with a little sauce. Add half the aubergine, in a single layer. Top with more sauce and 1/3 of the cheese. Add another layer of aubergine, more sauce and the peppers. Finally, add the last of the sauce and top with the melted cheese.

Cover and bake in a moderate oven, Gas 4 for 1 hour. Remove the cover and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the top is browned and bubbling.

Serves 2
Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 322.0
Carbohydrate (g) 30.4
Protein (g) 23.6
Fat (g) 12.2
Fibre (g) 10.3

Had this with a salad of romaine leaves, spring onions and some cherry tomatoes from the window boxes (still fruiting in October!)

Breakfast Tuesday 24 October- Muesli & Satsumas

Back on the cereal front, so making a renewed assault on the M&S muesli. Another 50g down, along with 3 satsuma and some coffee.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dinner Monday 23 October - Last of the Tofu Wieners!

last tofu wiener (yay!)
150g new potatoes, boiled
100g fine beans
160g cabbage greens
other portion of onion gravy (see Dinner Sunday 23 October)

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 484.4
Protein (g) 22.2
Carbohydrate (g) 48.7
Fat (g) 23.0
Fibre (g) 11.3

Lunch Monday 23 October - Haddock in Green Peppercorn Sauce

Haddock in Green Peppercorn Sauce
190g haddock fillet
1/2 pint veggie stock
1 tablespoon cornflour (10g)
1 tablespoon extra thick single cream
1 teaspoon green pepper corns, crushed

Poach the haddock in the stock until just cooked. Remove with fish slice, place on warmed plate and cover.

Mix together the cornflour and a little cold water. Add to the hot vegetable broth and simmer over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently.

Add the cream & green peppercorns and stir to blend well. Pour over the fish & serve with

  • 1 medium potato (165g), mashed with 1 tablespoon cream
  • 2 small carrots, steamed
  • 160g runner beans, steamed

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 436.9
Carbohydrate (g) 51.2
Protein (g) 41.6
Fat (g) 8.4
Fibre (g) 7.5

Breakfast Monday 23 October- Toast & Blueberries

Last of "The Regulator" (high fibre bread) and a punnet of blueberries.

Love the raspberries and blueberries, but they are becoming depressingly expensive now that season is over.

Dinner Sunday 22 October - Yet another go at tofu dogs - success!

1 tofu wiener
250g sauerkraut
1/2 teaspoon caraway
160g runner beans
200g new potatoes, boiled
1 portion onion gravy

Finally found a way to make the dreaded tofu dogs palatable - cook them in a flavourful gravy.

This onion gravy is a recipe I think I poached from Delia Smith. The recipe is here

Dinner Wednesday 27 September

And since sauerkraut & sausages are pretty traditional in Germany (where Taifun wieners are made) I popped open a jar that I had in the fridge (so expect to see a few more sauerkraut dinners as they only seem to sell sauerkraut by the hundredweight) .

But I still would not buy Taifun Tofu Wieners again!

P.S. - Finally remembered to turn date stamp back on in camera after turning it off to take eBay pictures on Thursday.

Lunch Sunday 22 October - Chayote, Avocado & Prawn Salad

Chayote, Avocado & Prawn Salad
1 chayote, peeled, pitted and sliced thinly
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced thinly
juice of
1 lime
90g cooked, deveined prawns
2 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon reduced fat creme fraiche
1 tablespoon fruity hot sauce
35g lambs lettuce or other soft salad leaves

Gently toss together the chayote and avocado slices and squeeze over the juice of 1/2 the lime to prevent darkening/discolouration.

Mix together the hot sauce, creme fraiche & mayonnaise with the juice of the other half lime.
Line a plate with the lamb's lettuce and mound the avocado & chayote on top. Garnish with the prawns and dollops of the dressing.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 534.7
Protein (g) 20.1
Carbohydrate (g) 20.5
Fat (g) 42.3
Fibre (g) 11.2

I used a Mango hot Sauce I made made in July when I bought the huge sack of chilli peppers....

Lowlife buys a big sack of chillis

Mango Hot Sauce
130g red chilli peppers
1 small mango, (about 135g)
1 red onion(about 100g)
4 cloves garlic
30g tomato puree
1 lemon
2 satsumas
50g Sugar
6 fluid ounces Water
40g honey
3 tablespoons cider vinegar

Remove stems from chillis. If you are sensible, remove the seeds. If you are a hot head, leave them in. Peel a small mango and remove stone. Peel and chop one red onion. Peel the garlic. Remove peel from one whole lemon and 2 satsumas.

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a non-stick pan and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, until thickened.

Add 3 T vinegar and allow to cool. Pour into jars and store in fridge.

N.B. 40g honey = 2 tablespoons

Makes about 500g of sauce. 1 Tablespoon of sauce weighs about 20g, so about 25 servings per recipe.

This is UNBELIEVABLY hot....

Ah, but "what's a chayote?" I hear you enquire. Well, Wikipedia to the rescue:

"The chayote (Sechium edule) is an edible plant, which belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae along with melons, cucumbers and squash.
The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit. The vine is grown on the ground or more commonly on trellises."

It goes by many names -

  • choko
  • chocho
  • chuchu
  • christophene
  • mango squash
  • pataste etc.
It is rich in vitamin C and amino acids (apparently) and is quite tasty - crisp and tart, sort of like apple.

Chayote for sale on Reunion Island

Breakfast Sunday 22 October - Blinis & raspberries!

Felt like a "fancy" breakfast as it was Sunday, so opened some ready made blini I had and toasted them in a dry non stick pan to warm them up. Then I topped them with a little creme fraiche sweetened with a bit of fruit sugar (fructose) and garnished the whole thing with a punnet & raspberries.

Felt very decadent eating this!

Dinner Saturday 21 October - Haddock in Tarragon Sauce

Haddock in Tarragon Sauce
1 haddock fillet (about 180g)
1/2 pint vegetable stock or fish stock (either fresh or from a cube/powder etc)
1 tablespoon cornflour (10g)
60ml reduced fat single cream
1/2 bunch tarragon, finely chopped (about 7g)

Poach the haddock in the stock until just cooked. Remove with fish slice, place on warmed plate and cover.

Mix together the cornflour and a little cold water. Add to the hot vegetable broth and simmer over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently.

Add the cream & fresh tarragon and stir to blend well. Pour over the fish & serve with 150g boiled new potatoes, 200g steamed asparagus and 100g steamed fine beans.

Nutrition Data for full meal
Calories (kcal) 546.1
Carbohydrate (g) 63.4
Protein (g) 42.0
Fat (g) 15.1
Fibre (g) 8.5

Lunch Saturday 21 October - Stir Steamed Vegetables & Prawns

I have lost track of how many times this has appeared in my blog now, but full details of the stir steaming recipe can be found on the first food entry, Lunch Friday 14 July .
Today's selection:

60g baby corn
1 carrot
60g mange tout
75g broccoli
10g dried shiitake mushrooms
90g cooked prawns
1 portion Chinese Style Sauce for veggies
4 spring onions, sliced

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 275.2
Carbohydrate (g) 32.8
Protein (g) 27.8
Fat (g) 4.7
Fibre (g) 6.0

Breakfast Saturday 21 October - Beans on toast!

Woke up HUNGRY, so had Heinz Beans on some toasted wheat bread and a chopped tomato.

Dinner Friday 20 October - Another go at Tofu Weiners

leftover Celeriac Colcannon (see Dinner Wednesday 18 October)
Tofu wiener
100g fine beans
1 steamed carrot

OK, well, the tofu wiener was rubbish, but I have to try again. Pack says can be boiled or fried. Well, I had tried frying, so tried boiling in case maybe I had dried it out.

Nope. Still tasteless and awful (but at least boiling it got some of the fat out!)

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 537.4
Carbohydrate (g) 73.6
Protein (g) 22.0
Fat (g) 20.0
Fibre (g) 12.6

Lunch Friday 20 October - Asparagus & Prawn Risotto

Asparagus & Prawn Risotto
1/2 pint asparagus stock
1 few spears of asparagus (about 50g)
50g dry weight arborio rice
90g prawns, cooked & deveined
1 tablespoon reduced fat creme fraiche
15g grated Parmesan cheese

Spray a non-stick pan with a little olive oil and add the rice. Toss over low heat for a minute or two, them add a ladleful of hot asparagus stock and stir. Stir gently until the stock is absorbed, then add another ladle of stock and stir gently until stock in absorbed. Each ladle will take about 5 minutes to be absorbed by the rice.

After you have added 2 ladlefuls, you should be about half way through. Add the asparagus, cut into small pieces with the third ladleful.

When the last ladleful is nearly absorbed. add the prawns to warm through. Finally, stir in the creme fraiche and half the Parmesan just before serving. Garnish with the other half of the cheese and lots of fresh black pepper.

It always annoys me to thrown away the tougher ends of asparagus, so I generally make stock with them to use in risottos, soups or pasta dishes. All I do is cover the asparagus ends with plenty of water and cook over low heat, covered, for about 30 minutes. then I whizz is all up in the blender and pass it through a sieve. Any tough stuff gets left behind in the sieve, but you get a nice, pulpy, asparagus flavoured stock.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 353.4
Carbohydrate (g) 45.0
Protein (g) 24.5
Fat (g) 8.6
Fibre (g) 1.6

Breakfast Friday 20 October - Toast & Tomatoes

Had a couple of slices of my wheat germ & bran bread with coffee and two big fat vine tomatoes from the chappie up the market.

Dinner Thursday 19 October - Awful Tofu Wieners!

150g new potatoes mashed with 2 tablespoons (30ml) reduced fat creme
95g steamed broad beans
150g curly kale stir fried with onion and garlic
1 Taifun Tofu Wiener

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 489.4
Carbohydrate (g) 51.9
Protein (g) 24.5
Fat (g) 21.6
Fibre (g) 12.7

I bought these Taifun Tofu Wieners in Waitrose as part of my "try something new at least once a month" and they are awful.

I love tofu and am a big fab if the joys (and benefits) of soy, but these are tasteless and incredibly high is fat.

Wish I had read the label for closely! 20g fat per 100g - shocking.

Will not be buying these again. But, being a canny Scot, I will not chuck them out either! Must find way to make them taste better....

Lunch Thursday 19 October - Japanese Style Udon with Enoki Mushrooms & Prawns

Japanese Style Udon with Enoki Mushrooms & Prawns
1 pint dashi
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bundle dried udon noodles (about 80g)
50g mange tout, halved lengthwise
100g broccoli, cut into bit sized pieces
80g enoki mushrooms, trimmed
80g cooked prawns, deveined
4 spring onions, finely sliced (abut 40g)
1 teaspoon 7 spice pepper

Add the mirin, soy sauce & sugar to the dashi and bring to a simmer.

Cook the udon in the broth until tender (about 5 minutes) and steam the veggies above the noodles while they cook. The broccoli will need the full five minutes; the mange tout and mushrooms need only 2-3 minutes, so add them later.

When the noodles and veggies are cooked, remove the noodle from the broth with a slotted spoon and arrange in a serving dish. Add the prawns to the hot broth and warm them through. While the prawns are warming, arrange the mange tout and broccoli with the noodles. Add the
prawns and then ladle over the hot broth. Garnish with the sliced spring onions and 7 spice pepper.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 533.5
Carbohydrate (g) 88.3
Protein (g) 33.5
Fat (g) 4.0
Fibre (g) 6.0

Breakfast Thursday 19 October - Toast & cucumber salad

Started off with coffee, homemade bread, cucumber salad. OK, maybe it is a little weird to eat fresh pickles for breakfast, but they were made and took my fancy when I opened the fridge for the milk...

Cucumber Salad (Fresh Pickle)
1/2 large English cucumber, sliced thinly (about 250g)
1 small onion, sliced thinly into rings (about 50g)
1/2 bunch fresh dill (about 7 grams)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Layer the sliced cucumber & onion into a colander, sprinkling each layer with salt. Leave to stand at least one hour until wilted.

Squeeze out any excess moisture and mix the cucumber & onions with the fresh dill and vinegar.

Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Nutrition Summary for Salad
Calories (kcal) 43.2
Protein (g) 2.6
Carbohydrate (g) 7.2
Fat (g) 0.4
Fibre(g) 2.4

Dinner Wednesday 18 October - Celeriac Colcannon Cakes

Celeriac Colcannon Cakes
1/2 celeriac (about 350g peeled)
400g floury potatoes
150g chopped raw cabbage or kale (I used kale)
1/2 bunch spring onions, shredded fine
60ml reduced fat cream
salt and lashings of black pepper

Boil the potatoes and celeriac until tender. Drain and return to the pan over low heat to steam off any excess water.

Add the cream and mash well.

Meanwhile, steam the cabbage or kale.

Add to the mashed potatoes along with the finely sliced spring onions and mix well.

Shape into cakes and fry in a non-stick pan with a spritz of oil until browned on either side.

Old me would have tossed in several tablespoons of butter too! Now, I don't add it and it still tastes nice.

This makes 2 LARGE portions. I made 1/2 of the mixture into 4 colcannon cakes and kept the other 1/2 for another meal.

Served with 90g steamed broad beans and 2 ears of corn on the cob.

Nutrition Data for full meal
Calories (kcal) 682.5
Protein (g) 29.5
Carbohydrate (g) 123.6
Fat (g) 11.5
Fibre (g) 20.8

Lunch Wednesday 18 October- Rice with Edamame & Vegetables

Rice with Edamame & Vegetables
1/2 pint dashi
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoons soy sauce
50g sushi rice or other short grained rice
80g edamame soy beans
80g broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 carrot, scrubbed and sliced or cut into shapes

Add the mirin and soy sauce to the dashi. Bring to a simmer and add the rice. Cover and poach over low heat until within 5 minutes of being cooked (about 15 minutes).

Add the broccoli, carrots and edamame and cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl and serve with 7 spice pepper.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 390.6
Carbohydrate (g) 62.4
Protein (g) 17.9
Fat (g) 5.9
Fibre (g) 8.7

Breakfast Wednesday 18 October - Toast & cottage cheese

Had a couple slices of my bran & germ loaf with a tub of low fat onion and chives cottage cheese and coffee.

Must get back to the cereal soon...

Dinner Tuesday 17 October - Chicory au Gratin

Chicory au Gratin
180 g chicory
1 serving Creamy Sauce (see 16 October)
15g grated Parmesan cheese

Halve the chicory lengthwise and steam for about 5 minutes or until just tender. Arrange in a baking dish and pour over the creamy sauce.
Scatter the Parmesan across the top. Bake covered at Gas 6 until hot and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake a further 10 minutes, until lightly browned.

Served with
160g runner beans, steamed
110g asparagus, steamed

Nutrition Summary for full meal
Calories (kcal) 353.9
Protein (g) 18.8
Carbohydrate (g) 37.2
Fat (g) 14.4
Fibre (g) 7.3

I love chicory, raw or cooked, and for some reason I had the Dutch name witloof stuck in my head, so decided to cook some to get it out!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lunch Tuesday 17 October - Japanese Style Halibut with Edamame & Soba

Japanese Style Halibut with Edamame & Soba
80g edamame
150 halibut
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) dashi
1 teaspoon cornflour
50g soba noodles
4 spring onions, washed, trimmed and sliced fine (about 40g)

Cut halibut into chunks and place in heat proof bowl. Add the soy and mirin and steam for about 5 minutes, until just done.

Meanwhile, cook the soba according to package instructions.

Mix the cornflour into the cold dashi and bring to boil. Simmer and add the edmame. When fish is cooked, add the juice from the fish and continue to simmer until thickened.

Stir in the spring onions, then gently fold in the cooked fish.

Arrange soba noodles on a plate and pour over the fish & sauce.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 564.5
Carbohydrate (g) 70.9
Protein (g) 48.0
Fat (g) 7.7
Fibre (g) 10.3

Breakfast Tuesday 17 October - Toast, apple & coffee

Breakfast comprised homemade Wheat bran/germ bread with Marmite, coffee and a red apple.

Gonna call this loaf "The Regulator" as it keeps things ticking along nicely...

Dinner Monday 16 October - Scallops with Sauteed New Potatoes and Asparagus

Scallops with Sauteed New Potatoes and Asparagus
150g new potatoes
200g asparagus, washed, trimmed and sliced
200g scallops
4 spring onions, washed, trimmed and sliced
1/2 teaspoon lemon flavoured olive oil
10g butter

Parboil the potatoes for about 7 minutes. Slice and add to a non stick skillet with the lemon oil. Fry on either side until golden.

Meanwhile, steam the asparagus until just barely tender.

When the potatoes are cooked, move them to the edge of the pan and add the scallops. Make sure the pan is good and hot and sear the scallops on either side - this only takes a couple of minutes.

Toss in the asparagus and shake the pan to mix all ingredients. Add the butter and spring onions and shake again. Season generous;y with freshly ground black pepper and salt if required.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 387.4
Protein (g) 40.4
Carbohydrate (g) 30.3
Fat (g) 12.4
Fibre (g) 6.5