All green stir fry

All green stir fry – serves 2, 200 calories per serving

IMG_1826This is a really quick stirfry and a great way to introduce the family to brussel sprouts!  No honestly they are really tasty and packed with nutrients like vitamin C and compounds that are thought to fight cancer.  To maximise their benefit it is best to roast, stir fry or steam them rather than boil

If its too early in the season to try brussels then substitute kale instead, which is a great leafy veg and brilliant for eye health.  The cashew nuts not only add texture but good quality protein and the sesame seeds are a great source of calcium.  So the perfect vegan dish!

1 tsp oil – linseed or olive

100g leeks, thinly sliced

10 Brussel sprouts thinly sliced

1 little gem lettuce, sliced

160g courgettes, sliced

IMG_18221 tsp soya bean paste or miso

3-4 tbls hot water

20g cashew nuts

sprinkling of sesame seeds

dash of lemon juice

black pepper to taste


IMG_1825heat the oil in a in a frying pan until hot and add the leeks.  Fry until softened add the Brussels and courgettes and again fry until softened and coloured.

Add the lettuce and bean paste and enough hot water to make a small amount of sauce

Lastly add the nuts and a dash of lemon.  Season with black pepper.  Tip into a bowl and serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds on top

Non-fast day additions

20 g cashew nuts – 110 calories

1 packet wok noodles – 221 calories

Why not send me your version of this great recipe and I will upload it.


Calverton craft fair

Calverton’s 1st craft fair 

craft fair calvertonThis Sunday, 28th September I will be at Calverton’s first craft fair from 10am – 2pm

It takes place in the building and grounds of St John Ambulance Headquarters, Hollinwood Lane, Calverton NG14 6NR



I will be selling my healthy dog treats  – including personalised dog bone shaped biscuits,

IMG_1820As well as a few oaty fruit crumbles for the health conscious owners and some tasty peanut butter bites!

IMG_1833Come along and give your pooch some tasty samples. And whilst you’re there check out the other stalls selling handmade jewellery, cards, cakes and lots of other ideal gifts.




There is also a Tombola with some great prizes donated by Boots, Sainsburys,Tesco, Wilkinsons, Bodyshop, Springwater Golf club and gift vouchers for beauty and hair treatments to name but a few.  With all the money raised going to Badgers and Cadets Christmas party.



After all that excitement sit down and relax with a cuppa and some cake!


We even have free car parking and of course dogs are most welcome!

vegan and gluten free chocolate lime cake

Gluten and egg free chocolate lime cake

Serves 13 – 250 calories per portion

IMG_1737The original recipe came via Michael of  Synergy Therapies and I adapted it to make it vegan. The addition of chia seeds adds some protein and fibre so a small slice will make you feel quite full. It is a very moist and intense cake so have a small piece and enjoy with some raspberries, sliced banana or figs to cut through the richness.



I took a slice into my favourite gym and after a hard HIIT class asked my fellow fitness fitties to give it a try.  I think they liked it!



IMG_171250 grams cocoa powder (or 150g dark chocolate and 4 teaspoons of good quality cocoa powder – this will increase the calories to 310 per slice)

1 tsp instant coffee granules

125 ml hot water

150 ml linseed oil

3 tsp ground flaxseeds (linseeds) mixed into ¾ cup water – leave to thicken slightly for 10 mins (this is the equivalent of 3 eggs)

200 grams unrefined brown sugar

2 tbls ground chia seeds – Read my recent blog for more information about these fantastic chia seeds

150 grams ground almonds

1 Lime – juice and zest

  • IMG_1714 Preheat oven to 170oC/ 150oC (fan oven)/Gas Mark 4/ 350oF, then grease and line a 9 inch loose bottomed cake tin
  • Melt the chocolate over a bowl of hot water add the coffee.  Or mix the cocoa, coffee and hot water in a bowl, allow to cool.
  • Whisk the flaxseeds/water with the oil and sugar together in a 2nd bowl, use a hand held electric whisk or stick blender.
  • Gently add the cooled cocoa mix to the egg mix, whisking on low to prevent the mixture from redecorating your kitchen, followed by the ground almonds.  Finally add the juice and grated rind of the lime.
  • IMG_1717Pour into the prepared cake tin, and bake for around 1hr 10 mins (cover with foil after about 55 mins if it starts to brown at the edges).  The cake will be firm on top with a little bounce beneath.
  • Allow the cake to cool whilst remaining in its tin. Cover with a clean tea towel to prevent the top becoming too crunchy.
  • When sufficiently cool, remove from the tin and slice in to small portions.
  • IMG_1718Instead of lime, you could also try orange and lemon or use chopped mint to make a chocolate and mint cake, they all work equally well.
  • Serve with some fresh raspberries or fig

So why not make this delicious cake and then share your photo here?

Chia seeds

Three cheers for Chia!

Chia is all over the media, but what is it and should you be eating it? 



Chia (pronounced chee-ah) is an edible seed that comes from a desert plant grown in South America, where “Chia” means strength. Chia seeds are a concentrated food source containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, antioxidants, and calcium.  That is why some would class it as a ‘superfood’



5 reasons to chia up!

  • More fibre – Adding chia seeds to your diet is a quick and easy way of increasing the fibre content which in turn will improve your digestive health
  • More protein – Chia seeds contain about 14% protein, this is a good addition to any diet but especially vegetarians and vegans.
  • IMG_1727Due to its high fibre and protein content and because it swells up and becomes gelatinous when mixed with fluids it can aid weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer and curbing your appetite
  • Great source of omega 3 essential fatty acid – which is essential for healthy a brain function, and may have a positive effect on your mental health.  Omega 3 is also great for heart health
  • Packed with calcium – so great for bones and teeth and helping with osteoporosis


So there does seem to be some compelling evidence that Chia seeds should form part of a healthy balanced diet


How can chia seeds be included in your diet?

Here are some simple ways of including chia seeds in your diet:

  • IMG_1738Add them to yogurt or a bowl of cereal or porridge
  • Mix the seeds in with couscous, quinoa or a salad
  • Add them to pastry or crumble mixes
  • Sprinkle them over a stir-fry or rice dish
  • Add them to a bread, cake or muffin mix when baking.
  • When making a smoothie add some seeds.  It will increase the fibre content and make it thicker
  • Add to soups and pasta sauces to increase the protein and fibre content
  • IMG_1734For vegans Chia seeds make a great egg substitute in cakes – for one egg simply add 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water.  Allow it to sit for 5 – 20 minutes and then add to your favourite cake recipe
  • Unlike flaxseeds (linseeds) they don’t need to be ground up to obtain all of the great nutrients



Try this great and simple recipe for chia pudding, which makes a great snack when you are on the go!


1 tablespoon chia seeds place in a jar, add 6 tablespoons (100 ml) of milk or milk alternative (coconut or almond milk work really well).  Then some flavourings like a few drops of vanilla extract, sugar to taste, cinnamon, nutmeg etc.  Add a lid, shake well and leave in the fridge (preferably overnight).

When you have it for breakfast you can then add some fruit, maybe a sliced banana, grated apple, fresh nectarine or some chopped nuts like cashew or hazelnuts, or freshly grated coconut.  If the pudding is too thick top with some more milk of choice.  And enjoy!

Why not make a chia pudding and share your personalised recipe?!

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