Archive for January, 2013

This dish is driven by hunger and inspired by what was in my larder earlier today.

You need:

20gr green lentils

4 carrots, grated

20gr parmesan grated (counts as healthy option B…)

2 chopped anchovy fillets (100gr is 5 syns)

1-2 roughly chopped hard-boiled egg

1 clove of garlic, finely grated

Lemon juice

Handful parsley

Maybe some capers, if you’ve got them

Salt & pepper


Cook the lentils as per instructions on the bag, braise the lettuce and then start assembly your salad on a large dinner plate, starting with the grated carrots, parmesan, garlic, and egg. Continue with the lentils, anchovy and braised lettuce, then the parsley and lemon juice, and a tiny bit of olive oil, salt & pepper.


Braised gem lettuce salad with green lentils, anchovy and egg

Braised gem lettuce salad with green lentils, anchovy and egg


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Bad girl! Going off plan

I must admit it, I’ve been a bad girl. Cooking is not fun when you have to constantly ensure you fill one third of your plate with Superfree Foods (which includes frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables), and one third with Free Foods (fish, lean meat & poultry, eggs, fat-free dairy products, pulses, potatoes and starchy vegetables, rice, pasta, grains…) then you have to choose Healthy Extras and Syns. I think that if I wasn’t working from home most of the time, I would not be able to do this. Planning is everything!

So, as I’ve not cooked anything exiting for a while, I thought I’d amuse (bore) you with my food plan so far this week.

Week Food planner

Breakfast: Egg, mushrooms, baked beans and toast + 1 slice streaky bacon
Dinner: cod, potatoes, carrots, broccoli
Snacking: mango, apple, banana, rice pudding
Salad with pomegranate, coriander, spring onions & fat free yoghurt
Healthy option A: 350ml skimmed milk
Healthy option B: 1 slice wholemeal toast
bacon 4
Rice pudding 7.5 x 2
15 maltesers
1 small kitkat
Dorset cereals with hot milk and banana
Braised gem lettuce with peppers and egg, 20gr parmesan & grated carrots
Meatballs in tomato sauce, with pasta & spinach
Healthy option A: 350ml skimmed milk
Healthy option A: 20gr parmesan
Healthy option B: 35g dorset cereals, simply nutty
Meatballs & sauce
4 maltesers & 2 x kitkat (small)
Dorset cereals with hot milk and banana
Baked beans on toast with egg, mushrooms and courgette
Cod with harrisa, potatoes, broccoli and spinach
Healthy A: 350ml skimmed milk
Healthy B: 35g Dorset cereal
Healthy B: 1 slice wholemeal toast
Skinny mocha
Tonight is weighing, and tomorrow I’m away in Salisbury, which means I’m going off plan for a few days – yay! No, I mean awww.

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Chinese pak choi & chicken soup

I’ve been lucky so far and not had any massive colds yet this year (hah!) but feeling under the weather today. So what better than a chicken soup for the soul, a real boost to the system:

You need:

6 large spring onions
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1,2 litres/40fl oz chicken stock
2 chicken breasts, skinned and finely shredded
4 heads of pak choi, thick stems removed and reserved, the leaves finely chopped
150g or 5,5 oz Chinese noodles or vermicelli
1 teaspoon tamari or light soy sauce
1/2 red chilli to garnish (optional)


1. Chop the white parts of four of the spring onions very finely; cut the others lengthwise almost to the root and reserve

2. Heat the oil very gently. Add the chopped spring onion and garlic and sweat for just 2 min.

3. Pour in the stock. Bring slowly to a simmer and remove the garlic.

4. Continuing to simmer, add the chicken and reserve pak choi stems, and cook for ten minutes, until the chicken is almost tender.

5. Remove the pak choi stems.

6. Add the pak choi stems.

7. Add the pak choi leaves, noodles/vermicelli, and tamari/soy sauce and simmer for five minutes.

8. Serve with some shredded red chilli (optional)



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Du trenger:

2 ss olivenolje
1 løk, finsnittet
1 liten fennikel, finsnittet
3 hvitløkfedd, finsnittet
1 toppet ts korianderfrø
100 ml hvitvin, gjerne tørr
1 appelsin, skall og saft
400 g hakket tomat på boks
en god klype safran
2 gulrotter, i skiver
5 små poteter, delt på langs og i biter
260 g torsk og 160 g kveite eller annen fast fisk
Noen grønne oliven


1. Varm opp oljen i en stor gryte og stek løk, fennikel, hvitløk og korianderfrø i 15-20 minutter på lav varme til grønnsakene er myke og gjennomsiktige. Tilsett hvitvin, appelsinskall og saften + hakket tomat. Fyll hermetikkboksen med kaldt vann, iblandet safran. La småkoke i 20 minutter.

2. Legg i fiskestykkene og la dem trekke under lokk i et par minutter. Smak til med salt og pepper. Tilsett oliven rett før servering, og server med hjemmebakt brød.

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Happy new year! There has been surprisingly little cooking going on at Westbourne House over the festive season, but a whole lot of eating, so today I fancied something really light, and as I had cod in the fridge, I landed on this dish. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did, especially him who detests fennel….



This dish serves 4 and takes about an hour to make.

You need:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 small fennel, finely sliced
3 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 heaped tbs coriander seeds, bruised
100 ml white wine
1 orange, grind and juice
400 g tinned tomatoes
A good pinch saffron
2 carrots, sliced
5 small potatoes, halved and diced
260 g cod and 160 g monk fish, in large chunks
A few green olives, sliced


1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan and gently fry the onion, fennel, garlic and coriander seeds for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables softens. Pour in the wine, orange juice, peel and tomatoes. Return the tomato tin with cold water and stir in with the saffron. Simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Put in the fish pieces on top of the simmering sauce, cover with a lid and steam for 3-4 minutes until cooked. Season. Pile the green olives in the bowl just before serving. Serve with crusty bread.

Notes: the recipe called for cornflower to thicken the sauce, but it’s not really necessary. I added the potatoes, carrots and olives, and  think it works really well.

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Gary Bainbridge

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