Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dinner Saturday 30 June - Prawn & Potato Salad

Prawn & Potato Salad
200g boiled new potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
130g cooked prawns
50ml Kraft Light Garlic & Herb Dressing
handful fresh dill
4 spring onions, sliced
2 ribs of celery, sliced
70g cucumber, quartered lengthwise & sliced
½ red pepper, sliced
100g Romaine lettuce, shredded

Well, I still have some of this Kraft dressing I got on a BOGOF, so need to get using it up. I jazzed it up with a bit of fresh dill and used it to dress the veggies & prawns.


Calories (kcal) 327.8
Carbohydrate (g) 44.7
Protein (g) 25.6
Fat (g) 5.3
Fibre (g) 8.0

Lunch Saturday 30 June - Spicy Chick Pea & Avocado Salad

Spicy Chick Pea & Avocado Salad
juice ½ lime
2 teaspoons olive oil
10g Manuka honey
2 clove garlic
2 chillis, sliced
100g cooked chick peas
2 ribs celery, sliced (about 70g)
150g cherry tomatoes
3 spring onions
100g avocado
100g Romaine lettuce
handful coriander

Make a dressing of the lime, oil, honey, garlic & chillis. Add the chick peas, celery, tomatoes, spring onions and avocado and combine.

Toss together the Romaine coriander and use it to line a plate. Pile the salad on top and serve.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 494.0
Carbohydrate (g) 36.8
Protein (g) 13.5
Fat (g) 33.3
Fibre (g) 11.9

Breakfast Saturday 30 June - Blinis with Raspberries & Quark

I had a pack of cocktail blinis in the fridge, so I warmed some of them up and had them topped with quark (sweetened & flavoured with Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract) and fresh raspberries.


Nielsen Massey

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dinner Friday 29 June - Soy & Ginger Scallops with Salad of Fennel, Asparagus & Petit Pois

Soy & Ginger Scallops with Salad of Fennel, Asparagus & Petit Pois
2 teaspoons olive oil
juice 1 lemon
2 teaspoons mustard
1 head of fennel (about 170g)
100g cooked asparagus
80g cooked petit pois
100g cucumber
small handful fresh basil
4 spring onions, sliced
100g romaine lettuce leaves

200g scallops
a thumb ginger, grated
10g butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Make a dressing of the oil, lemon & mustard. Add the sliced fennel, asparagus, petit pois, cucumber, basil & spring onions and combine well.

Melt the butter in a non stick pan and then add the scallops. Sear on one side, then turn and add the ginger and soy to the pan. Cook on the other side until seared. The butter, soy & ginger should reduce to a syrup, coating the scallops.

Pile the salad on a serving plate and serve the scallops on a bed of shredded Romaine.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 502.9
Carbohydrate (g) 18.3
Protein (g) 42.7
Fat (g) 28.8
Fibre (g) 11.5

Lunch Friday 29 June - Bean Salad

Bean Salad
20g Manuka honey
1 teaspoons oil
juice 1 lemon
100g cooked black beans
100g cooked fine beans
½ red pepper (abt 65g)
100g cherry tomatoes
1 rib celery, slice (abt 25g)
3 quails eggs, hard boiled

50g pea shoots

Make a dressing of the honey, oil & lemon. Add the black beans, fine beans, red pepper, cherry tomatoes and celery. Combine well.

Line a plate with the pea shoots and pile the bean salad on top.

Serve garnished with the quails eggs.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 387.3
Carbohydrate (g) 46.9
Protein (g) 17.1
Fat (g) 15.0
Fibre (g) 12.0

Breakfast Friday 29 June - Cherries and toast

Had a couple of slices of toasted Dan's Dilly Bread and an entire pound of cherries!

These beautiful illustrations are from the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dinner Thursday 28 June - Marinated Prawn Skewers WIth Corn on the Cob

Marinated Prawn Skewers WIth Corn on the Cob

Make a marinade of:
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 cloves garlic
2 chillis
2 thumb ginger, grated
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon macadamia oil

Add 170g raw prawns and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Thread prawns on skewers with bits of red pepper and place under a hot grill until cooked through - only a couple of minutes either side is required.

Accompanied by
2 ears of corn, grilled and

Mixed Salad
110g cucumber
100g cherry tomatoes
2 spring onions
juice 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon honey
50g pea shoots
handful coriander leaves

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 419.3
Carbohydrate (g) 46.3
Protein (g) 37.1
Fat (g) 10.4
Fibre (g) 7.8

Lunch Thursday 28 June - Japanese Inspired Instant Noodles with Veggies

Japanese Inspired Instant Noodles with Veggies
1 pint dashi
1 thumb ginger, shredded
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin
1 pack Unif instant noodles
100g sugar snaps. sliced finely
60g baby corn, sliced finely
30g broccoli, sliced finely
1/4 red pepper, sliced finely
small handful coriander
2 spring onions, shredded

Break up the noodles into a serving bowl. Add the finely sliced vegetables. Bring the dashi, mirin, soy & ginger to a boil and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Pour the hot stock over the noodles and vegetables, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir and stir that noodles our reconstituted. Garnish with the spring onions and coriander.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 540.6
Carbohydrate (g) 70.2
Protein (g) 20.2
Fat (g) 18.8
Fibre (g) 5.8

Breakfast - Thursday 28 June - Peaches & kiwi

Peach Blossom

Started off with 2 peaches and a kiwi.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dinner Wednesday 27 June - Stir Steamed Veggies & Prawns

Stir Steamed Veggies & Prawns

Today's selection:
80g broccoli
70g baby corn
1 carrot
100g sugar snaps
100g prawns
1 serving stir steam sauce
3 spring onions

Stir Steamed Vegetables & Prawns Recipe

Lunch Wednesday 27 June - Greek Salad

Greek Salad
100g Romaine
1 clove garlic
2 anchovies
juice 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
small handful fresh mint
small handful parsley
30g Kalamata olives, sliced
100g cucumber, quartered lengthwise the slice finely
100g radishes, halved and sliced finely
1/2 red pepper, sliced finely
100g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
4 spring onions, sliced
100g feta cheese, cubed

Crush garlic and finely chop anchovies. Place in a bowl and add the lemon juice, oil, oregano, mint, parsley and olives. Mix well, then add the cucumbers, radishes, red pepper, cherry tomatoes and spring onions. Mix again, then gently fold in the feta cubes. Line a plate with the lettuce and pile the salad on top.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 442.4
Carbohydrate (g) 17.1
Protein (g) 23.8
Fat (g) 31.3
Fibre (g) 6.1

Breakfast Wednesday 27 June - Grilled tomatoes and toast

again. Enjoyed it so much yesterday, I had then same this AM.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dinner Tuesday 26 June - Schioppi Pasta with Mushrooms

Schioppi Pasta with Mushrooms
250g mushrooms, quartered
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot
10g butter
1/2 pint vegetable stock
30ml single cream
290g grated parmesan cheese
small handful fresh parsley
100g schioppi pasta

Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the garlic, shallot and mushrooms and saute over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and cook over low heat until the mushrooms are well cooked and the stock is reduced to a few tablespoons. Stir in the cream and heat through.

Combine with the cooked pasta, stir on the parsley and garnish with the grated parmesan.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 464.1
Carbohydrate (g) 65.4
Protein (g) 22.6
Fat (g) 12.6
Fibre (g) 6.5

Lunch Tuesday 26 June - Black Bean Salad

Black Bean Salad
20g Manuka honey
juice 1/2 lemon
10 ml olive oil
100g cooked black beans
1/2 sweet, red pepper, sliced
115g fine beans
4 spring onions, sliced
100g Santini cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small avocado, (80g)
50g pea shoots
1 free range egg, hard boiled

Make a dressing of the honey, lemon & oil. Add the pepper, black beans, fine beans, cherry tomatoes, spring onions. Combine well. Line a plate with the pea shoots and pile the salad on top. Garnish with the egg & avocado and serve.

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 473.4
Protein (g) 15.7
Carbohydrate (g) 27.5
Fat (g) 33.5
Fibre (g) 8.7

Breakfast Tuesday 26 June - Grilled Tomatoes & Toast

Yum - three grilled tomatoes, topped with a dab of butter each! And a couple of slices of Dan's Dilly bread.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dinner Monday 25 June - Calamari with roasted new potatoes, creamed spinach and cherry tomatoes

Calamari with roasted new potatoes, creamed spinach and cherry tomatoes

1/2 pack frozen battered calamari rings
180g Jersey Royals
spray olive oil
200g spinach
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons single cream
pinch nutmeg
good grinding of black pepper
100g Santini cherry tomatoes

Still working on the freezer hoard (getting there!) so decided to finish off the Young's Calamari I bought at Waitrose a while back.

Parboil the potatoes and halve. Spray with oil and arrange on a baking tray with the calamari rings. Bake in a hot oven (gas 7) until the quid is cooked and the potatoes are browned, about 16-18 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the creamed spinach. Spray a skillet with a little oil. Add the garlic and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted and the moisture is evaporated out. Chop the spinach then add the cream, pepper and nutmeg and heat through.

Serve with the cherry tomatoes.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 517.1
Carbohydrate (g) 58.3
Protein (g) 21.4
Fat (g) 23.3
Fibre (g) 9.3

Lunch Monday 25 June - Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
100g dried black beans
2 carrots
1 red pepper (about 140g)
1 green pepper (about 140g)
1 pint vegetable stock
2 tomatoes, chopped
3-4 green chillis
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 bay leaves
small handful fresh coriander

Soak the black beans overnight and then cook until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Halve the peppers. Finely chop one half the the peppers and reserve. Place the other half the peppers, the onion, garlic, beans, carrots and half of each of the peppers in a large pot. Cover with the vegetable stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Puree the soup. Add the cumin, coriander, bay leaf and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the reserved finely chopped peppers, the chopped tomato and the chillis. Simmer for a further 10 minutes. Serve garnished with the fresh coriander.

Makes one large serving or two medium servings.

Nutrition Data per serving (one LARGE serving)
Calories (kcal) 541.3
Carbohydrate (g) 98.3
Protein (g) 28.9
Fat (g) 5.4
Fibre (g) 24.9

Breakfast Monday 25 June - Toast & coffee

Just had a couple of slices of Dan's Dilly Bread and coffee

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dinner Sunday 24 June - Instant Noodles with Fish Cake & Vegetables

Instant Noodles with Fish Cake & Vegetables
1 pack Unif instant noodles
1 Chinese fish cake, sliced
100g sugar snap peas, sliced
1 sweet pointed red pepper, sliced
3 spring onions, sliced

This was just a dead simple, quick & easy supper - plus I got to use up some of the instant noodles I have a stockpile of.

Slice the fish cake, sugar snaps and red pepper. Place in a bowl and add the instant noodles and seasoning sachet. Pour over 400ml boiling water, cover and leave to stand for 3 minutes. Stir well, check that the noodles are reconstituted and garnish with the spring onions.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 537.7
Carbohydrate (g) 67.7
Protein (g) 21.0
Fat (g) 18.5
Fibre (g) 5.6

Lunch Sunday 24 June - Tuna Burgers with Assorted Pickles

Tuna Burgers with Assorted Pickles

Just had the other two tuna burgers from yesterday with homemade chow chow, spiced catsup, homesmade dill pickles, M&S pickled baby beetroot and 100g of Santini cherry tomatoes.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 466.3
Carbohydrate (g) 52.1
Protein (g) 34.0
Fat (g) 14.1
Fibre (g) 10.4

Chow Chow Pickles
100g celery, sliced
300g cauliflower, cut into small florets
300g courgettes. quartered and sliced
100g red pepper, cut finely
200g green beans, cut into 1" segments
400g tomato, cut into chunks
200g small pickling onions, quartered

1 tablespoon allspice
15g cloves
15g black pepper, coarsely crushed
1 tablespoon turmeric
15g powdered mustard
15g mustard seeds
750ml white wine vinegar
1 few chillis, sliced
1/2 cup coarse salt

Combine all the vegetables in a large, non-reactive basin with the salt. Cover with water and allow to stand overnight. Drain.

Place the vinegar and all spices together in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then add the vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pack into sterilised jars and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Allow to age at least 30 days before using.

Makes about 1.7kg.

Spiced Catsup
4 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
8 fluid ounces red wine vinegar
6 ounces soft brown sugar
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon salt

Spice Bag
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon celery seed
Wrap all ingredients in a muslin square and tie the ends.

Combine all the vegetables together in a large pot. Add the spice bag, vinegar, sugar, garlic, paprika, cayenne & salt. cover and simmer over low heat until all the vegetables are very soft, about 1 hour.

Remove the cover and continue to simmer over low heat until very thick.

Remove the spice bad and wring out thoroughly. Pack the catsup into sterilised jars and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.

Makes about 1.5 pints.

Breakfast Sunday 24 June - Passion fruit & Kiwi

Today I demolished three kiwis and a peach, along with a slice of Dan's Dilly Bread & a jolt o' Joe.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dinner Saturday 23 June - Tuna Burgers with Tomato & Avocado Relish & Pea Shoots

Tuna Burgers
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 chillis, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped small
1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped small
2 ribs celery, chopped small (45g)
1/2 green pepper, chopped small (95g)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 can yellowfin tuna, drained and flaked (150g)
1 free range egg
35g dry bread crumbs

Saute the garlic, chillis, onion, peppers, thyme & celery in the oil until soft, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then mix in the tuna, egg, bread crumbs. Mix well.

Shape into four burgers. Chill for 30 minutes, then cook over low heat for about 10 minutes on either side until browned.

Makes 4 burgers
Nutrition Data per burger
Calories (kcal) 145.2
Carbohydrate (g) 9.7
Protein (g) 13.9
Fat (g) 5.8
Fibre (g) 1.4

Tomato & Avocado Relish
150g fresh tomato, chopped small
70g avocado, chopped small
20g red pepper, chopped small
20g green pepper, chopped small
4 spring onions, sliced fine
juice 1 lime
1 teaspoon sugar
small handful coriander leaves

Toss all ingredients except the coriander together and leave to stand for 30 minutes for the flavours to develop. Add the coriander leaves and serve.

Makes 1 serving
Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 198.2
Carbohydrate (g) 13.5
Protein (g) 3.9
Fat (g) 14.4
Fibre (g) 5.1

Lunch Saturday 23 June - Udon with Fish Cake & Asparagus

Udon with Fish Cake & Asparagus

1 pack instant udon noodles
1 Chinese fish cake, sliced (100g)
100g asparagus tips
1 sweet pointed red pepper, sliced (80g)
4 spring onions, sliced

Bought these udon from the new Asian market in Chapel Market. Theses are Korean and the label is entirely in Korean - hope they do not have meat in! I should have checked before I bought.

Bring 300ml of water to the boil. Add the udon, seasoning sachet, sliced asparagus tips, slice red pepper and sliced fish cake. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until everything is cooked.

Pour into a boil and serve garnished with the spring onions.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 396.7
Carbohydrate (g) 108.9
Protein (g) 16.8
Fat (g) 2.1
Fibre (g) 9.8

Breakfast Saturday 23 June - Passion Fruit & Kiwi

Started this Saturday off with 2 passion fruits, 4 kiwis and some coffee.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dinner Friday 22 June - Black Rice & Broccoli

Black Rice & Broccoli

50g black Japonica blend rice
200g broccoli rabe, steamed
50g mature half fat cheese, grated

I just fancied something simple, so I had some of the black Japonica rice blend I brought back from California with 200g steamed broccoli rabe and and some grated cheese sprinkled on top.

Simple but satisfying. The Japonica blend is really flavourful and tasty!

Nutrition Summary
Calories (kcal) 385.2
Protein (g) 28.6
Carbohydrate (g) 43.2
Fat (g) 10.9
Fibre (g) 6.3

Lunch Friday 22 June - Composed Salad with Smoked Tuna

Composed Salad with Smoked Tuna
50g wild rocket
1/2 jar marinated artichoke hearts (100g)
120g asparagus, steamed
100g fine beans, steamed
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 small avocado (80g)
juice 1/2 lime
1 pack StarKist Hickory Smoked Tuna (142g)

Line a plate with the wild rocket. Dress the avocado with lemon juice and some black pepper. Arrange the ingredients on the rocket leaves and serve.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 560.3
Carbohydrate (g) 12.8
Protein (g) 46.5
Fat (g) 34.3
Fibre (g) 13.4

Breakfast Friday 22 June - Mango & Satsumas

Breakfasted on a mango, three satsumas and some coffee.

Interesting day as I went to The Heart Hospital to be fitted for an ambulatory blood pressure monitor - part of my ongoing "discussion" with my GP about whether or not I am hypertensive and if so, whether or not it warrants treatment.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dinner Thursday 21 June - Gnocchi with Truffle Sauce

Gnocchi with Truffle Sauce
100g gnocchi
1 jar l'Aquila Salsa Truffina
20g grated Parmesan

More working on the food hoard. This jar of truffle sauce is one of the enormous condiment & sauce collection I seem to have acquired, so I decided it was time to use it up!

No recipe, just some gnocchi with a bottled sauce and some fresh grated cheese.

The sauce was pretty good - I love truffles, although they are only 7 percent of the sauce. Doesn't look like much - sort of brown & knobbly, but tasty nonetheless.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 484.1
Carbohydrate (g) 67.3
Protein (g) 17.3
Fat (g) 16.2
Fibre (g) 3.6

Lunch Thursday 21 June - Prawn & Avocado Salad

Prawn & Avocado Salad
1 tablespoon chipotle catsup
juice 1 lemon
50g light mayonnaise
1 small avocado (about 70g)
100g cooked, peeled prawns
50g pea shoots
100g Santini cherry tomatoes
Make a dressing of the catsup, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add the avocado & prawns and combine. Line a plate with the pea shoots, pile the avocado &B prawn mixture on top and garnish with the cherry tomatoes.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 278.0
Carbohydrate (g) 13.2
Protein (g) 18.3
Fat (g) 17.0
Fibre (g) 7.4

Breakfast Thursday 21 June - A Summer Solstice Funeral

Breakfast was a smoothie made up from some bananas & mangoes that needed eating up, along with an orange for some juiciness.

Afterwards, had a slice of the light Polish rye Lisa gets from somewhere in the wilds of Kent and then moved on to one of the reasons for my visit - teddy bear funeral.

I had several bears and lambs from when I was a kid. They had come with me from the States, but as part of my effort to de-clutter myself, I wanted to get rid of them. All they did was live in a bag in the back of the closet, so keeping them seemed pointless. They were not in good enough condition to be of interest to "collectors" (too well loved in their day) and not safe by today's standards for kids (wire armatures etc). Yet I could not face just chucking them in the rubbish and having them end up in a landfill somewhere with discarded nappies and i-Pods.

They deserved something a bit better than that.

They deserved a funeral.

So, as I lack a garden, they were buried at Lisa's. Wrapped in some tissue paper, each with a little sprig of some nearby flower, ashes to ashes, old teddy bear friends

I am an old softy at heart.

I guess I was waiting for the Nursery Magic Fairy, but she never came.

"I am the nursery magic Fairy," she said. "I take care of all the playthings that the children have loved. When they are old and worn out and the children don't need them any more, then I come and take them away with me and turn them into Real."

And if you don't know how toys become real, then you need to read The Velveteen Rabbit

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dinner Wednesday 20 June - Prawn Parcels and a gorgeous salad

A stock photo, but not far from the truth...

In the evening we had some little prawn and mango banana leaf parcels that Lisa had picked up in Asda. They were fine, but the real star of the evening was a pear, Gorgonzola and caramelised walnut salad that Lisa made. It was adapted from Antony's Worral-Thompson's recipe on the BBC food website and was delicious - tangy & bitter leaves contrasted with the creamy, salty cheese and crunchy sweet walnuts - I could have eaten the whole thing!

Here is the original recipe:

Salad of bitter leaves with candied walnuts, gorgonzola and pear
115g/4oz granulated sugar
120ml/4fl oz orange juice
115g/4oz walnut halves
2.5g/½ tsp salt
2.5g/½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp walnut oil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 radicchio, split into separate leaves
55g/2oz wild rocket
2 heads chicory, split into separate leaves
2 conference pears
175g/6oz gorgonzola

1. Place the sugar and the orange juice in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and keep boiling until the syrup has reached a golden brown colour. Take off the heat and stir in the walnuts, salt and cayenne. Place the walnuts onto a non-stick baking sheet using two warm wet spoons to prevent sticking. Allow to cool completely.
2. In a small bowl whisk together the walnut oil, olive oil, mustard and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
3. In a large bowl toss together the rocket, radicchio and chicory with most of the dressing, reserving 2 tbsp.
4. Cut the pears into quarters, core, cut into thin slices and toss with the remaining dressing.
5. Arrange the salad leaves on a large serving dish, scatter over the pears and walnuts and crumble over the gorgonzola. Serve immediately.

AWT Recipe

Lunch Wednesday 20 June - Cocktails and smorgasbord in Kent

Well, Lisa had invested in some cachaça and some gin (as I am partial to a martini), so I started the afternoon off with a dirty martini. But martinis are hard to drink all afternoon, so I kept Lisa company in the bottle of cachaça and started making Caipirinha/Mojito hybrids instead - lots of ice, lots of mint, a little sugar and some cachaça.

For lunch, we had a huge spread of Lisa's homemade hoummus, smoked salmon pate, a salad of peppers, fennel, radishes & cherry tomatoes with a pomegranate molasses & honey dressing plus Ryvita, pretzel sticks and a cheese plate featuring some delicious manchego and a suitably gooey brie.

We enjoyed the sunshine in the garden and consumed our indulgent lunch.

Also paid a visit to the Turkish grocer I had mentioned before and picked up another of the wonderful leggy and leafy celery he stocks.

Breakfast Wednesday 20 June - Rhubarb & Pear Smoothie

Bacchus by Caravaggio

Popped the other portion of stewed rhubarb in the blender with a pear and some yoghurt and whizzed it all up.


Heading off to Lisa's for a Summer Bacchanalia. The first summer we were in London, we spent the whole of the summer solstice sitting up, drinking, eating and setting the world to rights. Not sure we will manage to see the sunrise in twenty years on, but we will see how we get on anyway.

Of course, the solstice is not really until tomorrow (21 June 2007 at 18:06, to be precise), but being older and fartier, we are busy then (well, I have an appointment at The Heart Hospital on Friday AM and don't want to have been sitting up all night boozing when I have an ambulatory BP monitor fitted!)

Here is to longer days and shorter nights!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dinner Tuesday 19 June - Crab, Asparagus & Baby Corn Egg Drop Soup

Crab, Asparagus & Baby Corn Egg Drop Soup
1 pint vegetable stock
3 tablespoons Shao Shing rice wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 thumb ginger, grated
1 can crab white meat (120g)
150g baby corn, cut into bite sized pieces
120g asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
1 free range egg
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 spring onions, slivered

Add the Shao Shing, soy sauce and ginger to the vegetable stock and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and baby corn and simmer for a few minutes, until just barely tender (3-4 minutes).

Add the crab meat. Beat together the egg and sesame oil. Drizzle the egg into the soup, turn off the heat and cover. Allow to stand for about 3 minutes, for the eggs to set. Stir in the spring onions and serve.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 367.7
Carbohydrate (g) 17.0
Protein (g) 43.3
Fat (g) 14.2
Fibre (g) 5.4

Lunch Tuesday 19 June - Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes & Rocket

Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes & Rocket
100g gnocchi di patate
1/4 pint vegetable stock
1 garlic clove, crushed
10g sauce flour
30ml single cream
25g Parmesan, grated
100g Santini cherry tomatoes, halved
50g wild rocket

Make a simple veloute by combining the garlic, sauce flour and vegetable stock. Cook over low heat until thickened. Add the cream and season with salt & pepper. Add half the cheese and reserve the other half for garnish.

Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi. To serve, add the gnocchi, rocket and cherry tomato halves to the veloute, combine briefly and turn out into a serving dish. Garnish with the reserved cheese and serve.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 545.9
Carbohydrate (g) 84.8
Protein (g) 21.9
Fat (g) 13.5
Fibre (g) 1.7

Breakfast Tuesday 19 June - Stewed Rhubarb & Yoghurt

Started off with coffee, stewed rhubarb and 150g natural yoghurt.

Stewed Rhubarb
380g rhubarb, cut into 1" segments
3 satsumas, peeled and all pith removed.

Combine & cook over low heat until rhubarb is just tender - about 5 minutes. Sweeten to taste if desired.

Rhubarb has a tendency to go to mush in seconds flat, so watch carefully unless you like mush.

This made two portions.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dinner Monday 18 June - Spinach Omelette with Asparagus & shallots

Spinach Omelette with Asparagus & Shallots
2 eggs
30g grated Parmesan cheese
120g spinach
2 garlic

3 shallots (about 100g
120g asparagus

This is just a two egg omelette, filled with Parmesan & some fresh spinach wilted with a couple of cloves of garlic.

Served with it is some slice shallots & asparagus spears, sauteed in a little spray olive oil.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 378.9
Carbohydrate (g) 6.5
Protein (g) 34.0
Fat (g) 24.2
Fibre (g) 5.5

Lunch Monday 18 June- Composed Salad

Composed Salad

½ jar marinated artichokes (100g)
1 homemade dill pickle
4 quails eggs
1 portion Mushroom Pate
3 ribs celery
100g fine beans
100g cherry tomatoes
2 Crisprolls

Arrange it all on a plate and dig in.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 429.1
Carbohydrate (g) 32.6
Protein (g) 30.2
Fat (g) 20.7
Fibre (g) 17.5

Breakfast Monday 18 June - Just coffee

See what happens when there is no cereal?

I guess I really should not complain. Just coffee for brekkie today.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dinner Sunday 17 June - Quorn Escalope & Veggies

1 Quorn Creamy peppercorn Escalope
150g kale
100g onion
2 garlic
150g new potatoes
2 carrots
Sauteed the kale with onions and garlic and served it up with the Quorn escalope, mashed new potatoes and steamed carrots.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 463.7
Carbohydrate (g) 60.1
Protein (g) 17.7
Fat (g) 18.1
Fibre (g) 16.2

Lunch Sunday 17 June - Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup
100g onion, chopped
380g broccoli
400ml vegetable stock
10g butter
10g sauce flour
30ml single cream
50g reduced fat Cheddar Cheese (I had LesKol)

Saute the onion in in butter until soft & translucent. Add the sauce flour and cook over low heat to make a roux. Add the vegetable stock, a little at a time, until a smooth sauce is formed

Add the chopped broccoli, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until broccoli is soft.

Blitz with a hand blender or in a blender jar and then add the cream and most of the cheese, reserving a bit for garish.

Heat through without boiling and serve garnished with the reserved cheese.

Makes one large serving
Nutrition Data per serving
Calories (kcal) 462.1
Carbohydrate (g) 24.8
Protein (g) 33.1
Fat (g) 25.2
Fibre (g) 10.6

Breakfast Sunday 17 June - Hallelujah! The All Bran is gone

No more All Bran Flakes!
No more Horlicks Light!

So, I had a smoothie made from mango, apricots, satsumas and lime instead

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Dinner Saturday 16 June - Prawns & Noodles with Stir Steam Sauce

Prawns & Noodles with Stir Steam Sauce
50g Chinese noodles (ho fan type)
200g broccoli
1 sweet red pepper
110g prawns
1 spring onion
1 Chinese style stir steam sauce

This is yet another variation of the good old stir steam. I just steamed the broccoli and red peppers over the sauce, cooked the noodles in the sauce, and combined it all together!

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 448.7
Carbohydrate (g) 59.6
Protein (g) 38.0
Fat (g) 6.5
Fibre (g) 7.8

Lunch Saturday 16 June - Thai Mango & Prawn Salad

Thai Mango & Prawn Salad

Make a dressing of:
1 garlic, crushed
2 chillis, sliced fine
juice 1 lime
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce

handful coriander
2 spring onions, sliced
110g prawns
1 mango, cut into chunks (about 230g)
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks (190g)

Add to the dressing, combine gently and serve.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 380.7
Carbohydrate (g) 76.3
Protein (g) 21.3
Fat (g) 2.5
Fibre (g) 10.6

Breakfast Saturday 16 June - Cereal, again

Yes, I am still wading through the All Bran Flakes and Horlicks.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Dinner Friday 15 June - Just aimless grazing...

Did not really eat a meal in the evening - just sort of grazed. I had a herb salad and a "Primal Strips" Texas BBQ veggie jerky strip, plus a few Brazil nuts. Surprisingly not very hungry, despite dismal lunch.

The veggie jerky is some I brought back from California - really tasty stuff. Wish I had bought more. Oh well, will have to have a go an make some!

Lunch Friday 15 June - The Albion Public House

Met up with Lisa at the gym and we headed out to for lunch after working up a good sweat and having a loll about in the spa.

Decided to try The Albion on Thornhill Road - another Islington institution that I have been frequenting off and on for years. Always has has the most incredible garden (and great old fashioned Sani-flo loos!) Food used to be your standard British pub grub - fish & chips, burgers, lasagna, roasts etc. Always reliable and used to be a favourite Sunday lunch hangout.

Well, sad to report the The Albion has had a make over. It looks very nice - all the horse brasses are gone and it has gone very minimal & trendy, which I don't mind especially. The garden has also had a revamp and looks lovely - and the Sani-flos are intact.

The menu, sadly, has fared rather worse! I had Grilled Halloumi & Roasted Red Pepper on a toasted roll. The roll was one of those airy, nothing-to-it bits of bread - dry, tasteless and just a mere puff of white flour. The halloumi was grilled and warm, but the peppers were cold and clearly from a jar. Very disappointing.

Lisa had a roast belly of pork which was massive, but had about an inch of fat on top of it - not crackling, just plain old fat. It came with a few spuds and not much else. I did not try it (of course) but Lisa did not have anything very nice to say about it - except that there was a lot of it, even if you would not want to eat the thick layer of fat.

The one exception was the chips, which were lovely! Big, fat chips; light and fluffy inside, cripsy and brown outside. But hideously expensive! They were something like £3 a portion and a portion comprised about 8 chips.
Beer is still good here - had a decent pint of London Pride and a refreshing white beer, but I won't be hurrying back for the food any time soon.

The Albion, 10 Thornhill Road, N1 1HW

Breakfast Friday 15 June - "I been working on the cereal hoard....

I've been working on the cereal hoard
All the livelong day
I've been working on the cereal hoard
Just to pass the time away

Yes, more All Bran and Horlicks...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dinner Thursday 14 June - Le Mercury Restaurant

Met up with Marcel at the Piano & Pitcher for a few drinks, before we wandered off in search of dinner. Ended up eating at Le Mercury Restaurant on Upper Street.

Haven't been to Le Mercury for ages, so decided to give it a try tonight. I found it very good - reasonably priced, good food, nice atmosphere - just as I remembered it. It seems to get mixed reviews at various online review sites, but every time I have been here it has always been decent quality food and a reasonable price - not bad for oh-so-trendy Upper Street.

I started off with a pear, blue cheese and walnut salad. For main course, I had grilled trout fillet with pumpkin puree and steamed mixed vegetables. For afters, we shared a cheese plate which came with celery & apple (my preference) along with the usual biscuits.

Le Mercury
140a Upper Street
London N1 1NY

Lunch Thursday 14 June - Veggie Sausages & Onion Gravy

Veggie Sausages, New Potatoes, Dwarf Beans & Carrots with Onion Gravy

2 Cauldron Foods Cherry Tomato & Basil vegetarian sausages
200g Jersey Royal new potatoes
2 carrots (about 150g)
125g dwarf beans
1 serving onion gravy

Again, no recipe here. Just parboiled the potatoes sprayed with olive oil and roasted in a hot oven along with the veggie sausages.

Served up with onion gravy and steamed veggies.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 447.2
Carbohydrate (g) 71.0
Protein (g) 16.9
Fat (g) 11.5
Fibre (g) 12.6

Breakfast Thursday 14 June - Cereal and raspberries

More All Bran, more Horlicks and some raspberries.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dinner Wednesday 13 June Grilled Mahi Mahi with Soba Noodles

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Soba Noodles

100g mahi mahi, marinated and grilled (as per 12 June)

100g sugar snap peas, blanched
100g baby corn, steamed
40g soba noodles, cooked
4 spring onions, shredded
1 carrot sliced thinly
1 tablespoons ponzu sauce
1 teaspoon gomasio, to serve

Toss together the noodles and vegetables with the ponzu sauce. Arrange on a plate and top with the marinated and grilled mahi mahi. Sprinkle a little gomsaio on the side and serve.

Nutrition Data
Calories (kcal) 404.2
Carbohydrate (g) 54.6
Protein (g) 36.9
Fat (g) 3.8
Fibre (g) 7.6

Ponzu Sauce
120ml good quality soy sauce
45ml mirin
120ml lemon juice
120ml rice vinegar (I used a combination of plain rice vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar)

Combine all ingredients. Store in a jar in the fridge.

Makes about 400ml

Nutrition Summary Total Recipe
Calories (kcal) 319.4
Protein (g) 13.0
Carbohydrate (g)56.6
Fat (g) 0.0
Fibre(g) 0.1