Sunday, 26 March 2017

What I love about London

Last week a man took a car in a part of London I know well and drove it into the crowds.  He then stabbed a police officer to death.  This was near where I'd been only days before along with the millions of other people who pass through Westminster every day.

If this is all you read it may make you fearful or lacking in hope.  For me, it didn't.  Last week was a fantastic example of the spirit of London and of British people.  It took me years to "get" London.  When you only travel at rush hour, it can feel cold and unfriendly.  It's not all that surprising because if you have your body pressed up against strangers for an hour, it's not the most pleasant feeling.  It would be wrong though to see London and Londoners as unfriendly, it's not true.

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Ultimate Steak Sandwich

This morning I went on a 6.5 mile training run.  I had a plan for a healthy lunch but in the supermarket there was a beautiful looking fillet steak which was reduced so this was my delicious lunch.

Yes, this is indulgent, no way is it healthy but this is all about one of the greatest sandwiches you'll eat.  It's a bit messy to eat so have a napkin nearby.  Cucumber and tomatoes are optional, some rocket leaves would be lovely as well.

This is also a great way to pad out a small steak.  If you served this with one or two side dishes this would be a great meal for two.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Spring Forward

The clocks go forward this weekend.  I mentioned this to a member of staff in my local supermarket called Anne.  She had said to me.

"Oh it's getting dark already!"
"Yes but next week the evenings will be much lighter, isn't that great?"
"Oh the clocks going forward?  So we lose an hour.  I hate that"

Monday, 20 March 2017

Sherry Trifle

People who know me well know I hate trifle.  I've even ranted on this blog on why trifle is so wrong.  Why don't I like it?  It's sludgy like babyfood but with a whack of sherry.  I tend to prefer food which requires my teeth!  People often use really cheap ingredients into a dish which is basically assembly rather than cooking and expect the finished result to be great.  This is a dish where no ingredient can hide.

So I challenged myself, is it possible to make a trifle I would enjoy eating?  Well it turns out that yes, it is and this is it!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Vanilla Cupcakes

I love vanilla.  It is a much underrated spice.  Vanilla is associated with "plain" or "not exciting".  I think it's time to give it more love.

Vanilla is the flavour people leave in a Neopolitan pack it equates with "no flavour" which is wrong... well I think it deserves more than that.  It is the delicious fragrance of patisserie.  It's time to rediscover it.

Friday, 17 March 2017

10 a day. What have I learned?

First of all, I've learned never to do another stupid challenge like this!  Seriously.  Anyway, I put my body through this so you can see what it's like kind readers!

Day 10 of 10 a day

The last day of this ridiculous challenge!

I'm joking but of course this has been a challenging thing.  Eating 10 different fruits and vegetables a day for 10 days in the quantities recommended by "official guidance" has been a challenge for my body, my mind and my wallet.  So I would be lying if I said I wasn't happy to be on the last day.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Teriyaki Salmon with Salad

I used a pre made Teriyaki sauce for this recipe and it was brilliant.  It made the fish delicious and juicy.  It's also great cold if you want to cook two pieces and save one in the fridge for the next day.

Day 9 of 10 a day

On the home stretch and today I feel fantastic.  It's like I've gone through the lull and come out of the other side.  I woke up at half past 5 with a smile on my face.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Day 7 of 10 a day

7 days.  I swing between feeling this is an easy challenge and a really difficult one.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Day 6 of 10 a day


Learning from my experience so far, I went all out for 3 portions today.  80g pineapple, 120g melon (which still only counts as one portion) and 40g each of strawberries and grapes.  Surprisingly filling and satisfying and exactly what I wanted today.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Slow Cooked Chinese Style Pork

I had some pork belly strips in the fridge and wanted to treat them so they'd end up in a sweet, sticky and spicy glaze.  This is what I came up with, with the crunchy vegetables it turned out to be a delicious feast.

Day 5 of 10 a day

Yesterday was tougher than I expected and part of the reason was starting the day with only one portion at breakfast rather than two.  The key to getting 10 portions in a day is definitely to have no fewer than 2 with every meal, 3 is even better.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Day 4 of 10 a day

Day 4 of eating 10 a day.  I can't believe it's already day 4.  It's been a challenge so far.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Cauliflower and Pea curry

Pulses are great in curries, I often make them with chickpeas which are great but I wanted to make something different.  I have to admit the substitution of carbs and meat for cauliflower somewhat passed me by.  I tried cauliflower rice and it was disappointing.  The idea of "cauliflower steak" also doesn't appeal so it was with some trepidation I made a curry with no meat, no pulses and as cauliflower with the main ingredient.

I needn't have worried.  This is delicious.  The great thing about cauliflower is it's like a flavour sponge, it just sucked in all the gorgeous flavours from the sauce.  Did I care or even notice this dish is vegan?  Nope.  Did I miss the meat?  Not at all.

Day 3 of 10 a day

Three days in and the 10 a day is still not easy but becoming routine.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Day 2 of 10 a day

I started the day with one of my breakfast bowls.

This is a great way to get more fruit into your breakfast and you can easily fit in two portions, even three if you're really hungry.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Edamame Bean Salad

I love edamame (or soy) beans.  I had a delicious dish recently of some edamame beans in chilli sauce at a Japanese restaurant, they were utterly addictive.

This salad is less messy but no less tasty.  What's great as well is despite being all vegetables, the dressing brings it all together to make it taste like more than it is.  Super healthy.

Day 1 of 10 a day

Wow, what a day to chose to start this challenge; a day when I was eating away from home for two meals.  I do like to make life hard!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

10 days of 10 a day

A while back I gave myself a challenge to eat 7 portions of fruit and vegetables a day for 7 days.  A recent review of research by Imperial College however, has now suggested increasing this to 10 portions is where we need to be.

Now this is a challenge when you consider that even the most positive survey (which I doubt) proudly proclaims "A third of us are eating at least 5 a day!"  Which also means two thirds, i.e. the vast majority in the UK are not.  I also have the sneaking suspicion the Daily Mail only published that article because we were better than the German's at something.  #Justsayin'

So my plan is to eat 10.  Yep, 10 portions a day.  Twice the amount the NHS recommend currently.  There is a quote I love from Michael Pollan, he's not a dietitian but a journalist, his quote sums up what these next few days will be all about.

So the challenge is, can I do it?  For 10 days can I eat 10 portions of fruits and vegetables?

Monday, 6 March 2017

What's in season in March?

March, the hungry gap continues.  March is a difficult month for the seasonal eater, especially if you would stick only to UK produce.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Beef Pot Roast

Pot roasts.  Gloriously, flavourful, delicious, falling apart beef gorgeousness.  Are you with me yet?

Is it pretty?  Not really unless you love hunks of meat (sorry veggies, sometimes I do, everything in moderation).  Does it taste great?  Absolutely.

I have to get my disclaimer in first.  There is no making a pot roast for one.  There, I've said it.  So why am I posting this recipe?  Well despite the fact I made this in my weeny household, I did seriously cook 1kg of beef and it was so blooming tasty I certainly didn't mind eating leftovers for a few days but see tips towards the end for more on that.