Friday, 19 August 2016

Rhubarb Harvest

This summer has been very good for our rhubarb plant, lots of big strong tasty sticks, plus its organic we know what goes on it (nothing). So I used the first of it for a rhubarb cake and it had to have custard. Still trying to keep healthy I added a couple of tablespoons of a Flaxseed, Almonds, Brazil Nuts & Q10 blend (Linwoods brand) to the cake mix, very tasty.
What to make next? 

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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Diploma in Nutrition

Trying to do new things this years and be healthier, decided to do a nutrition course (Diploma Introduction to Personal Nutrition) . As I have done other courses with the Shaw Academy the personal nutrition course seemed good (you can get discounts for their courses on places like groupon and wowcher), it was very well organised and had lots of information, plus interactive challenges each week like drinking more water and eating more fruit and veg (via twitter or facebook). You watch the live webinar (8 live & 2 recorded in total over 4 weeks), if you miss a session they record them and put them on their site 24 hours later. The advantage of attending the webinar live is you can ask questions and get answers (you can also email them) I really enjoyed this course, even happier I finished my final exams with a Distinction :)
Look out for more healthy recipes coming soon!!!

Friday, 4 March 2016

Baked Blueberry Porridge

Baked Porridge

I like porridge for breakfast, even in the summer. But when it's still cold and wintry out, I need something warm in the morning to eat. Plus porridge keeps you feeling full throughout the day, its tasty and healthy. BUT I have a problem my hob is broken (the oven is fine so I don't want to replace the cooker yet, I can't afford it either presently) , my attempts to microwave porridge have had problems plus it's not a healthy way to cook/ eat either. Nearly every time I cook my porridge in the microwave it has just exploded!! Oats everywhere. Not only have I to clean the mess up and I have lost half my porridge. Anyone have the same problem me?
What am I doing wrong?
I had read about baked porridge I have a little book of oats and from several old recipe books, but had never tried it. I am think I prefer the taste of baked porridge and will be cooking it this way in future. The smell and taste when cooked is so good, like a bread and butter pudding so yummy and easy to make

This recipe is a basic/ base recipe that can be adapted to whatever oats, milk, fruit and sweeteners you prefer. Have a play see what you will create and let me know what you make :)

Preheat oven 190°C/ 375°F/ gas mk5
Prepare your baking container/ dish/ bowl whatever you will be using, I used an enamelled stainless steel dish (I also like to use silicone dishes) has it's easy to clean and does not stick.


  • Approx. 4 heaped tablespoons of Oats (I used Flahavan's Irish organic jumbo oats)
  • Approx. 300 mls/ 12 oz boiling water
  • Approx. 200 mls/ 8 oz milk (of choice - coconut, almond, cow, goat, soya whenever you prefer) I used semi-skimmed cows milk but have made this many times with coconut milk (very very tasty with coconut milk) also almond milk
  • A small tub of blueberries (or any berries of choice) 
  • Sweetener of choice - Sugar, honey, maple syrup, stevia only if required as the fruit is sweet (I used a sprinkling of coconut sugar to serve)

The measurements are approximate because you may like your porridge softer or harder, you really need to experiment with the recipe to achieve the texture you prefer.

To start: In a bowl add your oats and boiling hot water leave them to soak for 5 - 8 minutes until soft (stir them well)
To the softened oats add the milk & fruit and stir.
Add mixture to your prepared dish and place in the oven.
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes (or until lightly browned and liquid is absorbed)

To serve: Place required amount of baked porridge into bowls and add sugar if required to taste (the fruit is surprisingly sweet) if you want you can add a little more milk and some more fruit to serve.

I will add a few more variations of flavours in the coming weeks

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Microwave Crisps/ Chips

I was in a discount shop (as usual) and saw The Joie Healthy Potato Chip Maker for £5.99. It is small and neat, all the parts fit together for storage( although I needed a little masking tape to keep them other). It has 4 pieces, a bowl, a mandolin lid, a hand protector (so you don't slice your fingers on the mandolin lid) and a cooking rack for the microwave.
The mandolin lid goes on the bowl (after removing the cooking rack) you use the hand protector with the potato to slice it into very thin slices. The hand protector prongs are slippy and did not grip the potato well, so I chopped my potato in half and the flat surface gripped the potato better. Do be careful when slicing your vegetables, I had to do it very slowly. One large potato made a lot of crisps (or chips if you live in America) and yes I did peel my potato but that's personal choice.

I put my potato slices into a larger bowl containing hot water with a little salt dissolved in it so they did not discolour, I know other people recommend adding vinegar or lemon, but my potatoes did not seem to need it.
I dried the potato slices as needed on kitchen paper and placed them into the cooking rack. My first batch did stick a little as the potato I sliced was very large so the sliced touched as they cooked, the next batch (after leaving a little time for the microwave to cool) I placed a slice every second slot on the cooking rack, these turned out really well. One tip is to turn the potato slices midway as the outside outed faster the the inside so this made them cook more evenly.

It seemed like a lot of work but as the crisps were fat free and once sliced it only a case of turning on the microwave between doing other things, it was not so bad. Do you good firm potatoes, the not old potatoes you want to use up as the taste really does depend on the quality of your potato. For flavouring I use a little salt and herbs. It is up to you but I think they do need some sort of flavour.

I really like this product and need to experiment and see if it will work with other vegetables.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Carrot and Daikon Pickles


I love all types of pickles, some takes months before you can eat them, but this recipe is a favourite and is very quick way of making tasty pickles. This is based on a Japanese pickle recipe that is traditionally eaten in the New Year's celebration called kohaku-namasu.
It does not have many ingredients but is super tasty. You can add a teaspoon of mirin to the vinegar/ sugar mix for a more traditional taste and I used cyder vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar because I prefer it you can experiment with other vinegars also :)

  • 300 gms/  Daikon (also called a mooli, winter radish, white radish)
  • 70 gms Carrot
  • 2 Heaped teaspoons course salt (I used course sea salt)
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar (I used cyder vinegar but you could you rice wine vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or honey

Cut the carrot into slices (I cut at an angle) and than into small matchsticks, add to a bowl


Repeat cutting the daikon into matchsticks and add to the bowl.


Sprinkle with the salt and mix well. Leave for 20 minutes than drain off the liquid. Squeeze gently to get as much liquid off as possible.

Mix the vinegar and sugar together in a separate bowl, until the sugar has dissolved. 
Transfer the cut carrot and daikon matchsticks to a lidded jar. Add the vinegar/ sugar mix to the jar and mix well.
Leave for a minimum of 4 hours turning the jar to mix occasionally, or if you prefer over night. Keeps for several days in a refrigerater (although in my house there's never any left for the refrigerater)

Serve in small individual bowls can also be served sprinkled with sesame seeds. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

New lid with a little house

Over time I really don't know what happens to pot lids, some get dropped and broken, others  just disappear leaving good pots so when a lid is needed you have to use a plate or a lid from another pot and just does not do the job. So here's my latest find and it was in the bargain section to, a silicone lid that fits most of my lidless small to medium pots. It has a cute little house in the middle which lets steam rise through it. Its microwave and dishwasher safe (if only I had a dishwasher, maybe someday) its about 8" in diameter. Most importantly it works really well and makes me smile seeing the steam come through the chimney everytime :) Below is a photo of it on my meduim sized saucepan.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Veggi Haggis

Burns night is the 25th January and Sainsburys was selling half price haggis. I have never had haggis before mainly because its animal parts but this was a veggie haggis and bargain priced so I thought something different.
It was very simple to cook - place in foil and bake in the oven. I was not sure of the smell and the look, but tried it. To my surprise it was very tasty, a little like a spicy nut roast, its not been in the supermarket since, so I am now on the lookout for a veggie haggis recipe to make myself :)
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