The Embankment bar

Veg Out – The Embankment, Nottingham


IMG_5863The Embankment pub on London Road just near Trent Bridge is an historical and iconic Nottingham building, being the site of the Boots store and social club. Castle Rock Brewery has recently restored it to its former glory, retaining many of the original features.

I have visited a couple of times over the last few months but only to quaff a few glasses of wine and the odd bottle of vegan beer. But this time I had my sights set on the menu and specials board


IMG_5845The pub has three distinct menus; Tapas, Pizza and Bar meals plus an extensive specials board, all with a decent amount of veggie options. I could have chosen a curry, stroganoff, risotto, burritos, various pizzas and numerous tapas sharing dishes but in the end I plumped for a veggie burger, off the specials board. My companions eventually chose red snapper curry, lamb tagine and a steak sandwich



My review ca also be found in todays (27th April) Nottingham Post






IMG_5832Burgers are regular vegetarian fayre and if I’m honest are often a disappointment because of their lack of flavour, poor presentation or absence of added extras. However, this burger was a pleasant surprise; it came in a lovely soft brioche bun, not the ubiquitous white roll.   The burger itself was very tasty, generously seasoned and full of veg. It sat on top of a bed of salad and some delicious little gherkins, and it wasn’t smeared in mayonnaise, ketchup or other sugary, fatty accompaniments. The chips were hand cut, proper crispy ones with a side of creamy coleslaw. These simple touches made the whole dish really enjoyable and the reason why I told the staff it was the best veggie burger I’d eaten in a long time.


My companions were all equally as impressed with their food; the fish curry was particularly praised for its flavour.


As tempting as the puddings were, I was too full but I spied a big coffee machine and asked for a soya cappuccino. Sadly they currently don’t have soya milk so my dining experience had to end there.


IMG_5843 IMG_5847












All in all I was mightily impressed with the Embankment; the veggie options are numerous, the flavous are great and the setting is impressive. What more does a veggie need!






Ps I enjoyed the Embankment so much I went back a few days later for a quick lunchtime bite to eat. The roasted vegetable, mushroom and cheese panni (with a side salad and coleslaw) was delicious.

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 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!




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

1 tsp instant coffee granules

125 ml hot water

150 ml linseed oil or coconut oil (melted)

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

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 cacao, 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 cacao mix to the flaxseed 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?

Food allergies and intolerances

Do you have a food allergy or intolerance? 

These are just two names used to describe an adverse reaction to food and are often lumped together but they are very different and therefore need to be dealt with differently

imagesVery simply an allergy is a reaction caused by the immune system’s reaction to a food, causing distressing and often severe symptoms, which usually develop rapidly, ranging from skin reactions like itching and rashes; swelling (including in the throat) ; gut symptoms, vomiting, tummy pain, diarrhoea; respiratory symptoms such as blocked or runny nose, coughing and wheezing. Severe cases can result in a hospital admission

Food intolerance, although not life threatening can cause the sufferer to feel unwell, the symptoms can take some time to occur and are mostly confined to the gut, such as bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and IBS; but can also cause skin problems like eczema and joint pain.

allergy intolerance the difference

courtesy of Health Sciences Academy

Next week it is Allergy Awareness week so with that in mind I thought I’d talk to you about how healthy eating advice can help if you are allergic or intolerant to certain foods

My diploma in food allergies and intolerances means I can help support you to manage your symptoms and adapt your diet without compromising on taste and variety.  My training as a chef means I can help you to modify your recipes so they are still nutritious and delicious.

allery diploma

During a consultation I will ask a series of questions similar to these to determine your needs

digestive diet check

Based on the result I can start to modify your current diet and help reduce your symptoms

In the meantime you can help by keeping a detailed food diary, using an App like Nutracheck could be really helpful in determining the foods that are causing the issue

If you don’t already know new European legislation came into force in December 14, called the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC) that changed the way allergen information appears on labels and on food that is pre‑packed, sold loose or served when you are eating out.

Wondering what an allergen is?!

food allergies


The foods that most often trigger allergic reactions are therefore called allergens



14 Allergens PosterUnder the new regulation, the main 14 allergens have to be highlighted on the ingredients list label if they are contained in any foods.  They are:-

  • cereals containing gluten
  • crustaceans, for example prawns, crabs, lobster and crayfish
  • eggs
  • fish
  • peanuts
  • soybeans
  • milk
  • nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio, cashew and macadamia (Queensland) nuts
  • celery (and celeriac)
  • mustard
  • sesame
  • sulphur dioxide, which is a preservative found in some dried fruit
  • lupin
  • molluscs, for example clams, mussels, whelks, oysters, snails and  squid



There is no need to suffer with debilitating IBS anymore.  Contact me for a free consultation and I can help you to take control.

07946 301338 or

me and food NP







Further information and advice

Food Standards Agency – Allergy leaflet

Allergy UK

Coeliac UK

Overnight oats

Overnight oats, serves two,  202 calories per serving

overnight oatsThis really is a great way to enjoy fibre rich oats.  When they are soaked overnight they become soft and creamy, and with the addition of some fresh fruit they are also naturally sweet.  So there is no need to add extra sugar, honey, or maple syrup.  The oats are low GI and will give you a slow release of energy until lunchtime.  The fruit and the oats will also give you a big burst of fibre; also great for keeping you fuller for longer and for improving your digestive health.  The chia seeds (pronounced chee- ah)  not only make the dish more firm but add extra protein and calcium

And there is no reason why this dish has to be limited to just breakfast.  It makes a great dessert or afternoon treat.  The variations below will keep it interesting.

Go on pimp up your oats!!

Serves two,  202 calories per serving

IMG_184860g porridge oats

40 ml coconut water*

120 ml of skimmed milk or milk alternative (coconut, soya or almond milk) *

1 apple – grated

large pinch cinnamon

1 tbls sunflower seeds

1 tsp chia seeds

* If you haven’t got coconut water or indeed don’t like it, not to worry just use 160ml of milk instead

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir, then place in the fridge overnight or at least for 2 hours


In the morning stir all the ingredients again and add more milk or water if its too thick and serve in a bowl


The ingredients can be increased to make more than one serving and can be kept in the fridge for up to three days


Additions to the basic recipe

1 tbls sultanas – 44 calories

7 (10g) cashew nuts chopped- 60 calories

1 tsp (5g) flaked almonds- 30 calories

2  (10g) apricots, chopped- 18 calories

2 (6g) brazil nuts chopped- 40 calories

1 tsp pumpkin seeds – 28 calories

1 pear, grated – 60 calories

1 tsp (15g) wholenut peanut butter – 96 calories

Wedding stress

How food can help ease your wedding nerves


water-290206_1920We’ll soon be entering wedding season, when all your plans over the last months and maybe even years come to fruition. In the run up to the big day you will have a million and one things to organise, and that can mean you may feel stressed and anxious


One simple solution is to consume plenty of stress busting foods and drink to calm your nerves and focus your mind.

So make sure these are on your shopping list!

  • Porridge, wholegrain cereal like branflakes, Weetabix or shredded wheat, brazil nuts. The serotonin in these foods has a calming effect on the brain
  • WholegrainsWholegrain bread, pasta and rice – these complex carbs help the brain to make more serotonin. They have the added benefit of balancing blood sugar levels so you have more energy throughout the day and don’t succumb to a mid afternoon cake
  • During the day drink black or green tea – research has shown that these drinks can help you recover from stressful events more quickly.
  • Oily fish – the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, fresh tuna or mackerel can prevent surges in the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. So tuck in to scrambled eggs with smoked salmon before you go and visit the florist
  • Stay hydrated with water – aim for 2 litres, so always take a water bottle with you when you go shopping for ‘the dress’.
  • fruit and vegLove your veggies – vegetables like spinach and avocado contain potassium and magnesium, which can help reduce blood pressure and balance cortisol levels, leaving you nice and calm when dealing with the tricky table plans. A warm milky drink at night – the calcium has been found to soothe tension and ease anxiety. So you will be refreshed and raring to go in the morning
  • Rest and relaxation – try and find 10 or 15 minutes to chill and unwind; read a paper, listen to some music have a bath or simply do some deep breathing
  • Less alcohol – A tipple is often drunk to steady your nerves, but alcohol is a depressant, affecting your thoughts, feelings and actions, which can lead to a restless nights sleep. So save it for the speeches
  • 11701046_10207112983767058_664974267398185262_nDe-stress with some exercise – activity that increases your heart rate and makes you sweat not only increases oxygen around your body but produces a feel good chemical called endorphins. It could also lead to some weight loss which will make the dress fitting less stressful.


wedding stress articleMy stress busting tips have also been featured on  Andrea Palmer, wedding photographer blog

If you would like one to one personal nutritional advise to get you ready for your big day then contact me via



Mobile:  07946 301338

Kale with miso

Kale with miso – 198 calories, serves one

Kale is the ‘go to’ leafy vegetable, and here’s why: it is high in vitamin A, C and K – all vital for a strong immune system, good cell health and wound healing , potassium (helps nerves IMG_2210and muscles communicate), iron (for red blood cells) and fibre (which helps manage blood sugar  makes you feel full and is great for gut health).  It also contains good levels of lutein, a nutrient that gives kale its deep, dark green colour that is great for maintaing eye health. And lets not forget healthy fats – not something you usually associate with vegetables, kale contains good levels of omega-3 fatty acid, essential for brain health.  Finally acid from lemon juice helps make kale’s iron more bioavailable as well.

If you have thyroid problems 

In most cases, kale is an important part of any diet. But kale (and other veg like cabbage) can interact with thyroid function if they are eaten in very high amounts.

If you have an under active thyroid, ask your doctor about how certain foods can affect your thyroid and associated medication.

So on with the kale with miso recipe

IMG_220040g kale – washed and chopped with thick stalks removed ( or a couple of blocks of frozen kale), 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tbls miso paste, 450 ml of boiling water, 1 tsp sesame seeds, ½ tsp chilli flakes or ½ fresh chilli finely sliced, 15g unsalted cashews, large pinch of black pepper and a dash of lemon juice

Heat the oil in a pan and add the kale, stir fry for 5 minutes, IMG_2204or until soft add miso paste fry for a minute before adding the water and chill.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes before adding the IMG_2207nuts, pepper and lemon juice.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Pour in to a large bowl and sprinkle over the sesame seeds


The ‘F’ word – Fibre

The ‘F’ word – Fibre

Eating food with lots of fibre will help you feel full for longer, so you’re more likely to stay within your calorie limit and possibly lose weight.

Fibre keeps your bowels healthy and can help reduce cholesterol levels. Most people in the UK eat only about 14g of fibre a day, but should aim to eat at least 18g as a minimum.

IMG_2435There is both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre can be digested by the body and increases the water content of your poo.  It comes from fruits and veg, oats, lentils and beans.  Insoluble fibre absorbs water but passes through your body almost undigested.  It was previously known as ‘roughage’.  Foods containing insoluble fibre like wholegrain cereals, dried fruits and sweetcorn make you feel fuller for longer and bulk out waste products making you want to go to the loo

Word of caution!

Increase your fibre intake gradually, though, as a sudden increase can cause cramp and constipation. And make sure to drink plenty of water – aim for 2 litres a day – to avoid these potential side effects.









Here are some easy ways to boost the fibre in your snacks and meals:


cerealAdding some fibre to your breakfast will help you stay feeling fuller until lunch and reduce the urge for a mid- morning snack.

  • Swap white bread for wholemeal, wholegrain or sourdough varieties.
  • Swap sugary cereals for high-fibre cereals such as wholegrain wheat cereals, unsweetened muesli, or porridge oats. Remember to check the salt content.

Lunch and dinner

uncooked lentils

uncooked lentils

Vegetables are a good source of fibre, so try swapping some of the things on your plate for more veg. Aim for at least two portions of veg on your plate at dinner.

  • Swap white rice and pasta for wholemeal versions – simply doing this can double the amount of fibre you’ve eaten.
  • Incorporate pulses – beans, lentils and peas – into your meals. They’re a cheap, low-fat source of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. Add pulses to soups, casseroles, rice and pasta dishes, or serve baked beans (choose reduced-salt and sugar varieties) on wholemeal or sourdough toast (with no butter or spread).


Stock up on healthier snacks containing fibre such as:

  • IMG_2609Fruit – fresh, dried, canned or frozen. Don’t forget to eat the skin on fruits such as apples and pears.
  • Veg sticks – carrot, celery, pepper or cucumber sticks or a packet of sugar snap peas. You can enjoy these low- calorie snacks if you feel hungry in between your meals.
  • Reduced-fat hummus. With veg sticks, wholegrain crispbreads or pitta bread. You’ll get the fibre from both the veg and the bread.
  • Air-popped, plain popcorn. Homemade is best, to avoid the high fat, sugar or salt content in some commercial brands. Don’t add any sugar or butter.

protein sources










So will you be talking more about the ‘F’ word?!

Grilled vegetable frittata

Grilled vegetable frittata – serves one, 121 calories

IMG_2054This month it is IBS Awareness Month,  what better way to address some of the symptoms than by eating a healthy balanced diet, especially utilising the FODMAP diet (more on that later in the month!).  So start the day as you mean to go on and have a protein rich breakfast. Eggs are in fact a ‘complete’ source of protein because they contain all eight essential amino acids; the ones we cannot synthesise in our bodies and must obtain from our diet. And are naturally low in calories – the average egg has only 70 calories. Having them for breakfast could help with weight loss as the high protein content makes us feel fuller for longer.  They are also a great source of vitamin A and lutein – both needed to maintain eye health.  All of this makes them the ideal start to any day and great for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

This great recipe is so versitile you can use up any left over vegetables and as well as being perfect for breakfast it can also be a quick and easy lunch as well as a satisfying supper.

So what are you waiting for, get cracking!

IMG_202420g sliced aubergine

40g sliced courgette

40g sliced pepper

1 spring onion

½ tsp olive oil

½ clove of sliced garlic

1 medium free range egg

splash of milk (dairy or non dairy)

large pinch of marjoram

large pinch of black pepper

small pinch of salt and chilli flakes


IMG_2028Switch on the grill place the sliced courgettes, aubergine and pepper on a heat proof tray and drizzle a small amount of oil over.  Cook under the grill for about 10 minutes, turning regularly to avoid them burning.  Remove and set aside.


In the meantime in an individual non-stick omelette pan heat the remaining oil and add the spring onion and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes until soft.


IMG_2026In a bowl crack the egg add a splash of milk, pepper, chilli and marjoram.  Whisk lightly.  Add the grilled veg to the omelette pan and pour in the egg mixture.  Move the egg mixture with a fork or spatula until it starts to set, this will take about 2-3 minutes.  Tip on to a plate and then back in to the omelette pan to cook the other side.  This will take a further minute or so.  Sprinkle the top with a pinch of salt. And slide out on to a plate


IMG_0593Serve with a large salad of leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, watercress, mint leaves and a drizzle of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar

A word (or two) about cholesterol

For many years eggs have been considered more of a health risk than a healthy benefit, due to their high cholesterol levels. But its now the case that the cholesterol content  is much lower than it was 10 years ago.  British research shows that a medium egg contains about 100mg of cholesterol, a third of the 300mg recommended daily limit. Also it is believed that saturated fat in the diet, not dietary cholesterol influences blood cholesterol levels the most.
If you are concerned about your cholesterol or are unsure whether it is safe for you to consume eggs please consult your GP.

Useful website: please visit this website for information about the safe handling of eggs


Eat right for good skin

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

How foods can help your skin, hair and nails to look their best.


These are the only type of nut that have a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. imagesThey’re also rich in biotin and vitamin E, which helps protect your cells from DNA damage. Too little biotin can lead to hair loss. Walnuts also have copper, a mineral that helps keep your natural hair color rich and lustrous. Walnuts are also great for the skin the essential fatty acids can act as a barrier and also hold water, making the skin appear plumper and younger.

Sprinkle walnuts on to your muesli, have a refreshing Waldorf salad with pears and a small amount of blue cheese or dry toast a tablespoon full and scatter over a tomato pasta dish

Oily fish

Oily fish are rich in protein and vitamin D – both are key to strong hair and bright skin.  But the omega-3 fatty acids found in herring, salmon, sardines, trout and mackerel are the real stars, because your body can’t make those fatty acids; which it needs to grow hair and new cells. Omega-3s are also found in cell membranes in your skin and scalp and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated.

If you are vegetarian do not despair you have the wonderful walnut (see above) as well as avocados, pumpkin and flax seeds


BEAUTY article



The very subject of how food can promote a healthy skin has been featured in ‘Nottingham Local Magazine’, a piece co-written with Misia Smith of Soothe Therapies




Dairy Products

IMG_4234One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A. One of the best places to get it is dairy products. If you are vegan oat milk contains this useful vitamin. Have a vitamin packed milk/yoghurt shake using skimmed milk or yoghurt with your favourite fruit.  Skyr is a great protein rich yoghurt, give it a try if you haven’t done so already

Another chief source of Vitamin A (beta carotene) are carrots, which can be juiced and blended into a smoothie, as well as numerous other culinary ways.

 Fruit and veg

fruit and vegBlueberries, blackberries, strawberries plums, broccoli, peppers etc are all packed with healthy antioxidants.  They mop up free radicals – produced for example when you have sun exposure.  Add these fruits to your cereals, or bake into a crumble made with a healthy selenium packed oaty topping.  Or add the veggies to a pasta sauce and serve with wholemeal pasta and some grated cheese


Healthy oilsimages

As well as essential fatty acids, eating good-quality oils helps keep you skin lubricated and keeps it looking and feeling healthier overall.  The less processed the oil is the better so look for ‘cold pressed’ versions like extra virgin olive oil

But please bear in mind that all fats, even a healthy one, are high in calories, so consume no more than about two tablespoons a day (about 260 calories!).

Brazil nuts, whole-wheat bread and cereals, turkey and tuna.

IMG_5123All of the above contain helpful amounts of the mineral selenium.  It plays a vital role in the health of skin cells. Some studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.

Just 3 Brazil nuts a day will give you your total Selenium requirement.


Green Tea.

Green tea is in a league of its own when it comes to beneficial skin-health properties. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and offers protection to cell membranes. Green tea can also reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light that you could get from the suns rays.


IMG_3503Water has a vital role in skin hydration; keeping it looking healthy and even younger.  The recommendation is to drink about eight glasses (2 litres) every day.  In addition to keeping cells hydrated, water helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out, which will automatically leave skin looking better.

When you are properly hydrated, you also sweat more efficiently. Doing this helps keep skin clean and clear as well.


IMG_5651Avocado’s are a great food for the body they contain monosaturated fat which means they also contain Vitamin E (along with Vitamins B and K), which is great for skin tone it also is known to slow the aging process.  The fat in avocados can also lessen your LDL cholesterol (the bad sort!).  Half an avocado contains 180 calories and is great in a salad or blitz into a dip with chillies, lime juice and coriander. Or serve avocado o sourdough toast, topped with a poached egg; delish!

Beauty Tip:

Don’t throw away the avocado skin; turn it inside out and rub it on your face and hands.  Don’t worry you will look like Shrek but it will be worth it.  Leave to do its magic for 5 minutes then rinse off with warm water.  The vitamin E that is at its most concentrated just under the skin of the avocado will make your skin looks hydrated, plump and soft


WholegrainsAs well as fibre for slow releasing energy, wholegrains also contain a powerful antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10. Its involved in making energy and helping our cells work effectively. CoQ10 is also found in oily fish and liver.



Red blood cells are replaced every four months, skin in 30 days, and the lining of the small intestine renews in less than a week! Each day the body replaces  a total of 50 to 70 billion cells. Inflammation in the body can play a part in how effective cell renewal is.

Eating a ‘rainbow of colour’ is the key to effective cell renewal

  • Incorporate plenty of red, orange and green fruits and vegetables i.e. asparagus, pomegranates, broccoli, berries, apples, herbs.
  • In addition mushrooms, ginger, seeds and seafood are also beneficial

 Do you have a beauty regime based around food? 

Nottm local mag

And don’t forget the full article can be read in this months Nottingham Local Magazine