Tomato and butter bean bruschetta

Tomato and butter bean bruschetta, serves 4 as a starter – 200 calories per portion



This is one of my favourite starters,  It is really simple to make and any left overs can be used to make a great salad when mixed with some left over pasta, couscous or quinoa.  It is a great way to use a glut of tomatoes, but the beans you add can vary according to whats in your cupboard, so feel free to add cannellini beans, chickpeas, borlotti beans etc.  And of course you can also vary the bread you use, as long as it is a rustic style like a sourdough, unsliced wholemeal or multigrain etc

1 tin of butter beans

20 chopped fresh cherry tomatoes

2 tbls chopped sundried tomatoes

1 tbls oil from the sundried tomatoes

tsp balsamic vinegar

salt & pepper

2 tbls green olives, pitted and chopped

1 plump garlic clove, crushed

½ tbls olive oil

Ground black pepper

8 fresh basil – torn

4 slices of sourdough


  • IMG_1702Drain and rinse the butter beans and place in a bowl add the chopped fresh and sundried tomatoes.  Pour in the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary
  • Make the tapenade by blending the olives and garlic clove with a stick blender, add pepper to taste
  • In the meantime heat a hot griddle pan and rub the sliced sourdough bread with the oil and place on to the hot griddle pan.  Grill on both sides until crispy and marked with the hot pan lines.


Now assemble the dish by placing a slice of the toasted bread on to a plate, spread some of the tapenade over and top with the butter bean and tomato mixture.  Finally , sprinkle over a few torn basil leaves.  Repeat with the other 3 slices and serve

If you have a variation on this receipt then please share

Meals the kids will love!

Healthy school meals and how to carry that on at home 

school lunchIn June I wrote about healthy school meals after appearing on BBC Radio Nottingham, and now the Government’s free school meals policy was rolled out last week in an attempt to improve academic attainment and save families money.  The policy is part of the Children and Families Act 2014, which places a legal duty on all state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools to offer a free school lunch to all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 (all 4 to 7 year olds) from September 2014. In reality schools will be paid funding at a flat rate of £2.30 for each meal taken by newly eligible pupils.

As part of the policy the Children’s Food Trust (CFT) and the Lead Association for catering in Education (LACA) have been commissioned to provide a support for schools, local authorities and caterers


What is a healthy or unhealthy school meal?

All food in schools must meet nutritional standards so that children have healthy, balanced diets.


  • high-quality meat, poultry or oily fish
  • at least 2 portions of fruit and vegetables with every meal
  • bread, other cereals and potatoes


  • fizzy drinks, crisps, chocolate or sweets in school meals and vending machines
  • more than 2 portions of deep-fried food a week


To help support the schools do you need to rethink the meals you cook at home?


  • My veggie pasta bake is baked with colourful veggies, wholemeal pasta and halloumi cheese.
  • Spaghetti with lentil pasta sauce, is a great way to get the children to try low fat protein packed lentils
  • A great recipe for using the Sunday vegetable leftovers is my bubble and squeak, served with a soft and delicious poached egg
  • Or leek and potato soup, again another great way to use leftovers
  • tuna pasta bake  is a great way to enjoy some oily fish
  • For a tea time meal why not serve baked beans on wholemeal toast, with a small sprinkling of grated cheese
  • IMG_0452Or try my really quick mushy pea soup  – if you have a hungry meat eater in the family add some grilled rashers of bacon
  • A smoothie is a really good way to get children to try different fruits, give this recipe a go!


My blog is jammed packed with helpful advice and loads of recipes – have a browse and see what you can find.

I also offer cooking lessons if you and your family would like to make more healthy nutritious and reasonably priced meals

Pickled veg

In a Pickle! – easy peasy pickled veg

IMG_1594Easy peasy pickles are made for eating now rather than preserving. They also have a fresh and simple flavour.  The recipe is very adaptable and came about because I had a glut of cucumbers and wanted to do something more than have dainty sandwiches!   Enjoy these pickles with some creamy tangy cheese.  They also work well with avocado on sour dough, or stuffed inside a wholemeal pitta with lots of spicy hummus

So make them today and try them today!



Ingredients: serves approx. 10, 11 calories per serving

IMG_1592200ml cider or white wine vinegar,
50ml water (plus extra if needed), ½  tsp rock/sea salt,
½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp fennel seeds, ½ tsp dried chilli flakes, 
large pinch of black pepper, 200g sliced Cucumber (or use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons), 
1 small onion (50g) or 2 sliced spring onions, sliced, 60g chopped red or yellow pepper, 1 garlic glove thinly sliced

1. mix the cider vinegar with half the water, salt and pickling spice in a large glass jar with lid.

2. Place vegetables in the pickling mixture.

IMG_15933. Make sure they are covered, add cold water if necessary.

4. Secure with a lid and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
 The salt not only draws out moisture but encourages the growth of useful bacteria.

These easy peasy pickles will keep for about 10 – 20 days in the fridge.

Additions and alternatives 

You can use a mix of other vegetables depending on what you have plenty of or what’s in season – 60g of each

  •  Courgettes – 12 calories
  •  Radish – 10 calories
  •  Asparagus – 12 calories
  • Tender stem broccoli – 20 calories
  •  Kale – 30 calories
  •  Carrot – 25 calories
  •  Fennel  - 19 calories
  • White cabbage – 16 calories
  •  Leek – 14 calores
  • The zest of half a lemon

If you decide to make this easy accompaniment, please share your photos and individual recipe

Barefoot Walk

NOTTINGHAM BAREFOOT WALK FESTIVAL,  Sunday 7th September 10am – 6pm

IMG_1074On sunday I will be at this great charity event, aiming to raise money using a sponsored barefoot walk around Wollaton Park.  More details can be found here.  I will be there selling my dog biscuits and icing personalised bone shaped dog biscuits.

Why not come along with your dog  and have a lovely Sunday Saunter.  Then reward yourself with some delicious food from one of the many stalls and reward your much loved pet with some of my biscuits – free samples will be on offer!



Nottingham Barefoot Festival (map)




Just some of the photos of my delicious biscuits making!

Mexican scrambled eggs

Mexican scrambled eggs – serves 2, 326 calories per serving 

This makes a great brunch or lunch option.  The eggs are packed with protein and will keep you fuller for longer.  The avocado is full of essential fatty acids and fibre, which also gives you a feeling of fullness and helps with your digestive health.  The vitamins and minerals are also great for your skin

IMG_15633 eggs

Splash of milk/soy milk

Ground black pepper

1 tsp olive oil

1 red pepper sliced

Few dried chilli flakes or ½ fresh chilli finely sliced

1 ripe avocado

Few dried chilli flakes

Pinch sea salt

Splash of lemon juice

2 slices of wholemeal toast


Slice the avocado in half, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh.  In a small bowl mix the avocado with the chilli, salt and lemon juice.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Set aside

IMG_1564Meanwhile, crack the eggs in to another small bowl add a splash of milk and whisk lightly.  Season with black pepper.

In a small frying pan gently heat the oil and fry the sliced peppers, when soft (after 5-8 minutes) add the egg mixture and move the contents around the a spatula or wooden spoon, until it is well mixed and starting to set.  Depending on how you like your eggs this can take between 1 and 2 minutes.




When cooked to your liking place your toast on a plate top with the egg and pepper mix and serve with a spoonful of the avocado

Nutrition in my kitchen

Nutrition in my kitchen

Work_Life_BalanceAre you too busy to make healthy meals from scratch; does the phrase ‘work life balance’ just not apply to you?

According to a recent ‘Tonight’ programme one in five families eat convenience foods at least three times a week and a government survey showed only one in six mothers cook from scratch every day.  So it’s not surprising that only 9% of UK children manage to eat their 5-a-day.

If that sounds like you and your family and you want to change then I am here to help you.

Nottm post feature photoCome along to my Sherwood kitchen and learn how to make the most of low cost seasonal ingredients and how to turn them in to delicious, nutritious home cooked meals that your family will love

By following my cheats and tips about incorporating more fruit and veg into everyday meals your family will increase their vitamin, fibre and overall nutrient intake.  Making them healthier, more energised and hopefully less prone to colds and other minor illnesses.

food and lifeFrom next month, cooking is returning to classrooms across the country for all children up to the age of 14.  That’s another reason for you to get your cooking confidence so you can help your children to be ‘top class’ at cooking

As a chef I can easily adapt meals to suit specific eating issues like vegetarian, vegan, lactose, gluten and dairy IMG_0847free diets.  In my 5* rated kitchen we can update your old family favourites or create new and exciting dishes that will be loved by the whole family.  You can have a one to one lesson or come with a family member or friend and share the cost

Contact me for more details about coming to my kitchen and cooking up a storm

07946 301338

The Sarangchae – Veg out

Veg Out!

veg out KoreanWelcome to my second review for the Nottingham Post of vegetarian food in Nottingham.  As a nutrition coach and a veggie I love how food can make us feel nourished and contented, so I‘m visiting local eating establishments to review their veggie options in terms of choice, taste and nutritional balance.  This time its Sarangchae, a Korean restaurant on Huntingdon Street in Nottingham.

I’ve booked a table for Saturday evening but when we arrive there are only two other occupied tables. It is low key with minimal decoration and no unnecessary clutter.





Thankfully the menu comes with pictures of the dishes, which is really helpful because many of the names are completely new to me like Bipimbap and sundubu chiggae.

I eventually choose vegetable pancake for starter and vegetarian bipimbap with tofu for my main; the word literally means “mixed rice”.


IMG_1475The vegetable pancake is the size of a pizza and really delicious, rather like an oriental tasting rosti.  The bibimbap is a one-pot dish with lots of tasty additions like carrots, spring onions and mushrooms and topped with a fried egg, it is probably one of the most well-known and beloved Korean dishes.  All washed down with a lovely Korean beer.


So how did Sarangchae do?

There was plenty of veggie choice for both starter and mains, which is great and not always the case when I eat out.  I loved trying the new dishes because they had interesting IMG_1473flavour combinations; one of my non veggie dinner guests had a vegetable nori type roll, which was also delicious and looked so pretty. The portion sizes are very generous so I’d recommend you order a couple of each and share – a very Korean thing to do.

From a healthy eating perspective the dishes I chose were full of fresh vegetables especially my main dish which was packed with flavour and had a fresh taste of herbs and gentle seasoning

IMG_1476I loved the originality of the meal; I am new to Korean food so I don’t know how authentic it was but I will go back to try more dishes.  I absolutely love tofu; it’s a great low fat, high protein food that can also lower cholesterol and I was really pleased to see it in so many dishes.

My meal with beer came to just under £20, which I thought represented good value, the staff were all really helpful and attentive.  The whole experience was excellent and definitely worth a visit whether you are a veggie or meat eater.

The Sarangchae is one of Nottingham’s best kept secrets and I would really like to see a website so I could share this fabulous place with others.  It deserves to be a success and I hope when I go again there will be more than two other occupied tables!


The Kiosk – ‘Veg out’ restaurant review

Veg Out!

IMG_1455Welcome to my first review of veggie food in Nottingham.  As a nutrition coach I love food and how it nourishes us and as a vegetarian I love tasty food. So I‘m combining the two visiting eating establishments to review their veggie options in terms of choice, nutritional balance and overall taste

The kioskI’ve decided to start with the Kiosk, on Winchester Street in Sherwood.  This converted shipping container is a quirky but relaxed place that serves Moroccan inspired food with a heavy bias towards vegetarians, although meat eaters are also catered for.  The owner Beth Marriott Howell is an imaginative cook and knowing the menu inside out all my questions are swiftly answered and alterations are easily accommodated

IMG_1387I arrive on a busy Friday lunchtime and begin with a soya cappuccino – as soon as I know soya milk is available I can’t resist a frothy coffee! It’s delicious.  After pondering over the menu I eventually plump for a Quasadilla -a soft tortilla filled with butterbeans, fennel, onion and feta, accompanied by three beautiful salads – carrot and cumin, rice and lentil and a green salad.  The pretty nasturtium flower really sets off the dish and the whole thing tastes as good as it looks. I then share a slice of gluten free lemon drizzle cake.  It’s sharp and sweet at the same time, perfectly balanced and washed down with a pot of earl grey tea.


So how did the Kiosk do?

In terms of choice very well; it is rare for me to deliberate over a menu because the options are usually quite poor.  But at the Kiosk I was spoilt for choice; I could happily have eaten the Spanish omelette full of fresh herbs or the Middle Eastern fried egg with chilli jam.  From a healthy eating perspective, every dish came with large helpings of locally sourced fresh salads with interesting flavour combinations such as cumin seeds and cinnamon. My quesadilla was packed with low fat, high fibre protein from the butterbeans and the herbs added vibrant colour, intense flavour and extra vitamins

IMG_1389And finally taste; again I couldn’t fault the meal.  Beth did a superb job of cramming the dishes with flavour and making them really savoury without relying on lots of high fat cheese, an easy option adopted by less informed chefs

The whole meal for two came to just under £20, which I thought was great value for money.  Overall the meal was excellent and the Kiosk is definitely worth a visit whether you are a veggie or meat eater.



The official Nottingham Post feature review is now available online

Fruity Flapjacks

Fruity Flapjacks

What makes these flapjacks more nutritious and healthy than the shop bought varieties is they contain less sugar, more fruit and no saturated fat.  The texture is less dense and you can really taste al the ingredients rather than an homogonised golden syrup compacted bar. I hope you enjoy them and remember it is a very adaptable recipe, so if you prefer sultanas, nuts, fresh fruits that are in season then add them!

Makes 12 pieces – 190 calories each

IMG_1548150g Banana (small- medium)

50g Soft & Juciy Apricots (if the apricots are a bit dry, soak in some cold green tea to re-hydrate for 20 – 30 minutes.  Discard the tea)

25g Light Brown Muscovado Cane Sugar

150g Porridge Oats

3tbsp Rapeseed Oil

large pinch cinnamon and nutmeg

grated rind of half an orange or one satsuma (optional)

Preheat the oven to 1800c (3500f or gas mark 4) and get a prepare a 17cm square baking tin – grease if necessary

Place the banana in a mixing bowl and mash up. Chop up the apricots into small piece and add to the banana

Add the sugar and oil and stir well. Add in the porridge oats, spices and orange rind (if using) and mix well.

Place the mixture in the tin ensuring it is evenly spread. Place in the oven for approx 15 – 20 mins until nice and golden

maqoKI0VEBEKAleLEcy1uO0yP0Evz5ph-IaMNCXCbIo,Qydqot4Vv9U9lps61PirthmZs9LSJt6tMtA-9t_O4b0,UnjPkv76rpN7m9_Yoejsrrwympd1gUiHhHkpAmdGUCc,-P_PM5wDbKTVnOkGtHXTwbJ4WA0YlRHnGUSKzik7bio,Nz8KvZX1VfSy34jx4E-mDTTq-CFXEHCQJPbczeE7nmEOnce cooked, cool in the tin slightly for approx 5-10 mins and then cut into squares and place on a cooling rack

Leave to cool and enjoy or if you can’t wait enjoy whilst warm with some greek/soy yoghurt :0)



Flapjack photograph courtesy of

Do you need sports nutritional advice?

Food for fitness 

As well as being a nutrition coach and chef, I recently qualified as an advanced sports THSA-Badge-Sports-and-Exercise-Nutrition_HDand exercise nutritional advisor through The Health Sciences Academy, and can now devise healthy eating programmes for those who want to get the most out of their exercise and sport programmes.

“If just one of up to 50 essential nutrients is missing, vitality, energy and peak athletic performance are just not possible!”

Do you know what your daily calorie needs are?  The average is 2000 for women and 2500 for men.  But which one of us is average!?  I can calculate your daily calorie needs and factor in calories used in exercise or sport, therefore giving you the best information to make an informed choice and get the most out of your training

When you have a consultation with me I will carry out a detailed ‘client diet assessment’ to determine any areas for concern or improvement. But I work on the premise that there is no single diet that suits everyone, because we all have different nutritional needs.

From that information I can start to build up your personalised nutritional strategy, which gym and foodcan help support any training programme, whether you are training for fitness or for competition.  It can promote efficient recovery between workouts, reduce the risk of illness or overtraining, or help achieve peak performance.

Your personalised nutritional strategy will include the amount of macronutrients you need to consume (proteins, carbohydrates and fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and an hydration plan.  All aimed at making you the best you can be


These are some of the questions I have been asked by new clients

“ What do I need to eat after exercise?”

“When I go out running is water the best thing to drink?”

“I want to train for a half marathon, where do I start?!”

“I can eat what I like if I exercise regularly, cant I?!”


go for itSo if you are new to exercise or taking it to the next level and need support and guidance contact me to set up a free 30 minute consultation.  We can then schedule in an hours paid for consultation and really get you focused and fit


Susan Hart
, Nutrition coach

Mobile:  07946 301338



Twitter: @SH_nutrition