Category: Food

Healthy homemade fish and chips

wp-1488389608438.jpgFriday night fish and chips is a tradition for many – I have a colleague who looks forward to his weekly cod and chips without fail – but this English delicacy is hardly the healthiest of dishes.

The National Federation of Fish Friers (which champions the fish & chip industry) says a 170g portion of fish with 280g of chips and 115g of mushy peas clocks in a 1,086 calories with almost 53g of fat. And that sounds like a small portion of fish & chips to me…

For a healthier alternative, I’ve started making my own fish & chips. The battered fish is replaced with a herb-crusted one, roasted curry-flavoured parsnips instead of chips and curry sauce and there’s minted gherkin-pea crushed to top it all off.

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Veggie sausage, squash and kale casserole

The winter is drawing to a close (I hope) but there’s still to run through a few of those hearty dishes that only work when it’s freezing outside and there’s nothing better than being indoors with a steaming plate of stew.

The key to this dish is finding the right vegetarian sausages – a quest which I’m still very much on. Vegetarian sausages are about as hit and miss as their meat equivalents, so don’t stop try if you aren’t happy with the first ones you find in the shops. In a future post, I might taste test a selection of the more readily available choices out there.

Another element of this casserole, albeit optional, is Henderson’s Relish. It’s an amazing condiment that enhances savoury flavours and brings another level of depth to dishes like this; try it if you can. Continue reading

Luxury poached duck eggs with crumpets

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This makes a luxurious breakfast, brunch or supper (to be honest, I’d also make it for lunch or tea – doubling the portions if it’s the main meal – so it’s a bit of an all-rounder then). But, as you’ll see in the nutrition section, that luxury means this is definitely one for the ‘treat’ part of your recipe book.

Rich poached duck eggs, sitting on spinach, mushrooms and crumpets. Hollandaise sauce poured over with some asparagus ‘soldiers’ waiting on the side for dipping purposes. What’s not to like?

It’s a relatively simple dish to pull together (be warned: there’s a lot of multi-tasking to do) but the use of duck eggs and asparagus gives it a touch of sophistication that the beloved boiled egg and toast soldiers just doesn’t have.

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Why I love… black beans

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You know how you sometimes meet someone and don’t hit it off straight away? You don’t think twice about them afterwards and just get on with your life, maybe even ignore them. Then you bump into them again – and everything’s different and somehow you fall in love. That’s me and black beans.

Several years ago I made a black bean and pepper stew that took all night and many pans. A lot of effort and I was so disappointed with what I ended up eating. From then on, I passed over other recipes using black beans and happily lived my life without them.

Then a few years ago I couldn’t find any kidney or pinto beans when buying ingredients for a burrito so I reluctantly bought black beans. I cooked them up with some spice, slapped them in a tortilla with the usual fillings and have been obsessed ever since. Continue reading

West African peanut stew

wp-1487516358009.jpgThe idea of combining ingredients like peanuts and tomatoes might seem a little strange at first, but this West African dish taste so good.

The stew is packed with veggies – this version has peppers, carrots and celery in it – but it would work with many other additions. Collard greens or a sweet potato are two that jump out as being good options for this stew.

I love making a big batch of this for lunch at work.  It gives you about one-third of your daily protein and dietary fibre as well as a whopping 184% of your vitamin C, although the peanuts mean that it has quite a lot of fat in it. Continue reading

Spicy black bean burgers


For me, the burger is one of the most perfect foods imaginable – a flavoursome patty in a bun, topped off with cheese, red onion, tomato, pickle, sauce and about million other possible ingredients.   

The hardest thing about cutting meat out of my diet is the danger of never eating a burger again.  Luckily, and who’d have thought it, perfectly tasty burgers can be made without going near meat using beans, lentils and vegetables.

The following burger makes use of one of my favourite ingredients – black beans. They taste great, can be worked into a burger shape with ease and are packed full of nutrients. – especially protein, which is handy for the vegetarian athlete, and fibre.

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