Super quick noodles

These noodles are fast fast fast. Blink and they’ve cooked themselves.

P1100352They’re the perfect remedy if you’re feeling a little delicate (read hungover) and not up to cooking anything complicated, plus they’re packed with vegetables so they’re not that bad for you either. And I’ve heard from some reliable sources that they make an excellent breakfast alternative with a runny fried egg on top…

P1100344 P1100348But best of all, they are extremely versatile – you can use up whatever vegetables you have in the fridge and I promise these will still be absolutely fantastic.

To make enough for 2 you will need:

  • 150g dried egg noodles, fine or medium – I like these ones
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons pure sesame oil
  • 1 tabslespoon mirin
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2cm piece of ginger, grated
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 50g cubed pancetta
  • 1/2 head broccoli
  • 1 whole chinese leaf cabbage
  • 1 large handful green beans
  • 1 large handful mange tout
  • black sesame seeds, to garnish

The recipe couldn’t be simpler. Fry the pancetta in a small pan until browned and crispy, and put to one side. Roughly chop the chinese leaf into wide ribbons and remove all of the florets from the brocoli head, chopping any larger florets into bite size (or chop-stick size) pieces. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil and, once simmering, add the dried noodles and broccoli florets. Put the lid on and leave for 1 minute. Then add the green beans, mange tout and chinese leaf, and put the lid back on and leave for a further 2 minutes. (Yep that’s a total cooking time of 3 minutes – told you it was quick!) Whilst the noodles and veg are simmering, add all of the dressing ingredients to a large serving bowl (soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, fish sauce, chilli flakes, lime juice, grated garlic and ginger) and mix well in the bottom of the bowl. Once the three minutes is up, drain the noodles and veg, pour the pancetta on top and toss thoroughly in the delicious dressing. Finish with black sesame seeds and serve with extra chilli flakes and soy sauce, to taste.


P1100347 P1100352 P1100344You’ll never reach for a pot noodle again…. (!)




Cauliflower pizza: the definitive recipe

Today there’s some magic on the blog for you all (you lucky people).

You see, today I am going to be turning this…


Into – drum roll - this…


Oh yeahhh, pizzaa!! …but not your normal, thousands-of-calories pizza. This is cauliflower crust pizza (or “flower power” pizza as it’s sometimes called). And this is my definitive, fool-proof recipe.


Variations of the cauliflower pizza recipe have been making the rounds on pinterest and twitter a lot (I first saw and tried it back in 2013) but the first few recipes I tried just didn’t work. The crust didn’t come together, and it all got stuck to the baking sheet and for the most part all of it just tasted a bit… meh.

There were some which worked marginally better, but they often had small amounts of flour in – buckwheat usually – which made me wonder what the point of going to all of the effort with the cauliflower was (the whole point of this is to be a grain free recipe as far as I’m concerned). Plus the buckwheat gave it an odd, pancake-like taste. I gave up on the whole thing for a while.

But lately, with Autumn creeping up on us in London and the days getting noticeably shorter, I have been really hankering for some good, comforting pizza in the evenings. So I revisited this recipe (real pizza is completely off limits at the moment – wedding diet) and finally managed to tweak it to get a good result. That’s why I call this recipe definitive – it is tried and tested and tried again, and incorporates all of the good bits from the various versions with my own little tweaks here and there too.

I promise if you follow this step by step you can’t go wrong.


To make the pizza base you will need:

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • 50g grated light mozzarella
  • a big pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsps oregano
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • olive oil
  • black pepper

And then you can add whatever toppings you fancy. I’ve gone for mushroom, parma ham and rocket. If you want to make the same you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp organic passata (or homemade tomato sauce – I promise to blog this recipe soon)
  • 2 or 3 slices of parma ham
  • a handful of roughly torn portabellini or chestnut mushrooms
  • buffalo mozzarella
  • black pepper
  • rocket
  • olive oil

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C and place a lined baking sheet on the top shelf to heat up. Remove the florets from the cauliflower and wash and drain them in a colander. After shaking as much of the excess water off as possible, place the florets in a food processor and blitz them until they are the consistency of coarse bread crumbs. Be careful not to overdo it – you don’t want a big mush of cauliflower.


2. Tip the cauliflower into a large bowl and microwave on high heat for 90 seconds. (I’m not sure what this bit does exactly, but some recipes call for it and some don’t – mine always work better after this step so I’ve kept it in). Then empty the cauliflower onto a clean tea towel or muslin cloth and wring it out over the sink several times to try and remove every last drop of water. You may need to wear rubber gloves for this as the cauliflower will be quite hot from the microwave.


3. Return the cauliflower to a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, oregano, chilli flakes, parmesan, mozzarella and 2 eggs. Mix with a spoon until the dough comes together into a sticky squidgy ball. Don’t worry too much if it doesn’t fully hold it’s shape – it doesn’t need to be rolled out but can simply be spread out using your hands or the back of a spoon.

4. Shape the “dough” on your prepared baking sheet as thinly as you can into whatever pizza shape you wish. Some people use a rolling pin but I just like to flatten it with my hands. If you have any minor tears or holes as you’re shaping simply patch up with more mixture as you go along. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Turn the oven down to 200C and bake on the top shelf for 7 – 9 minutes, or until the top has started to go brown a little (see photo below). Then add your toppings and bake for a further 9 – 10 minutes (or until done).


And there you have it…

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One pizza will feed around 2 – 3 people. The dough is more filling than normal pizza as it’s enriched with cheese. I would recommend serving it on a sharing plate with a big salad or homemade coleslaw on the side.

I should say by way of warning this recipe doesn’t taste exactly like normal pizza of course – it definitely has a cauliflowery-cheesy tang to it. For me it still delivers on the pizza hit massively though and it is so wonderful that you can have it while on a low carb diet. Also the fact that you can slice it and eat it with your fingers (which you can’t with other no-carb pizza recipes) makes this a real winner.

Absolutely delicious…. and grain-free!!

*South Beach Phase One friendly


Slutty Salmon Teriyaki

Before you go wild, I’ve named this dish slutty salmon in the Italian alla-puttanesca sense. By which I mean it uses only cupboard ingredients for the sauce, nothing fresh (what were you thinking).

I’ve tried making this in both slutty and non-slutty (chaste?) versions and the slutty one definitely makes for a much richer, more tangy sauce. And the name is funnier. Win win.



But innuendo aside, you have to try this, it’s honestly delicious. When you roast salmon using this method it cooks to perfection – flaking off the skin in beautifully slippery forkfuls. And the sauce is so easy.

I also have to say that the first time I made this I managed to actually make it up on the spot – with no reference to any form of recipe or internet research. I just added my approximation of what a teriyaki sauce should contain into a pan and went from there. I have tweaked it slightly before blogging it on here (I only blog tried and perfected recipes for you, dear readers) but about 90% of it is the same concoction I made up from scratch that day.

I really recommend cooking on a whim once in a while by the way – it’s such a fun way to stumble on great recipes and it feels so much more rewarding when you haven’t googled the life out of something before attempting to cook it.

To make slutty salmon teriyaki for 2 you will need:

  • 2 salmon steaks
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, plus a little extra for frying off the salmon
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 tsp lazy garlic
  • 2 tsp lazy ginger
  • 2 tsp lazy chillies
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup, plus a little extra for marinating
  • black sesame seeds, to garnish

You can serve this with any vegetables you like (it goes with a lot). I like it best with some plain steamed runner beans finished in garlic and soy, or perhaps a quick plate of crunchy stir fried vegetables. Also, it’s heavenly with jasmine rice (Biona do a wonderful version of it – here).


1. You’ll need to marinate your salmon steaks. Lightly score the skin with the sharpest knife you have, place skin side down in a snug-fitting dish and cover in a mixture of 2 tbsp soy sauce (you’ll use the rest of the soy sauce later on), 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tsp each of the lazy garlic, ginger and chillies and a teeny tiny slurp of maple syrup. Whisk this mixture together, pour over the fish, and cover with cling film and leave for around 2 hours.

2. Once the salmon has marinated to perfection, pre-heat your oven to 200C and pop a good quality non stick baking tray on the very top shelf to heat up. Remove the salmon from the dish and add the marinating juices to a small saucepan. Also add to the saucepan the remaining soy sauce (3 tbsps), the sesame oil, and the final 1 tsp each of the lazy garlic, ginger and chillies. Squeeze in your lime juice at this point too. Bring the mixture up to a very gentle simmer and leave for around 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. This gives you time to get on with cooking the salmon.

3. Take a small frying pan and add a small amount (around 1 tsp should do it) of sesame oil. Bring it up to an almost smoking hot heat, and once it’s sizzling, add the salmon steaks skin side down. Cook skin side down for about 3 minutes (you want the skin to be blackened and crispy) and then transfer from the frying pan to the pre-heated baking sheet with a little sesame oil tossed over to prevent sticking. When you transfer the salmon to the baking sheet, flip it over so the skin side is on top (with the belly meat touching the baking sheet). Return to the oven and set a timer for 12 minutes.

4. The salmon and the teriyaki sauce should take around the same period of time to cook. When the time is up be sure to remove the salmon from the oven and set aside so it doesn’t overcook, whilst you quickly finish off the teriyaki sauce. To do this take a small colander and sieve the sauce mixture to remove all large pieces so you are left with a smooth sauce. Return the sieved sauce to the saucepan, add the remaining tbsp of maple syrup and furiously boil for 1 to 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

… Et voila. Simply plate the salmon with whichever veg or rice you have prepared and then drizzle the sauce on top. Serve with extra soy sauce and lime if you wish.

Tangy, sticky, spicy and oh-so-sooo-good.


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Before I finish, a quick note on the health attributes of this: A lot of people tell me they think this is healthy but I’m not completely convinced. Whilst roast salmon on it’s own is good for you, and if you serve with veg only and omit the ice it’s good from a carb angle, the teriyaki just has too much sesame oil, soy sauce and maple syrup to convince me it falls firmly in the health food category. One thing I would say though, is if you’re on a diet, you don’t need to go overboard with the sauce – the amounts listed above are designed to make just a small amount – about 1-2 tbsps of finished sauce per plate. It’s really strong and stcky so you don’ need to pile lots of it on to enjoy it.

Sloe gin: Part 1

The other weekend Le Ginge and I went to Wiltshire to look after dogs, ducks and sheep while his parents were away.

I really love it down there. It’s beautiful and very relaxing.

IMAG2709-1Plus everyone is so much nicer than in London. (It’s not just a stereotype, it’s actually true.) I mean, look at what we found whilst wandering through the town…

IMG_20140912_130906We had a lovely weekend full of long walks with the dogs and lazy coffees – with me flicking through wedding blogs (I can recite all of RMW from memory at the moment…)


IMAG2797-11And, keeping on the wedding theme, we decided to start making some sloe gin for our wedding whilst we were down there. (Yes, it’s going to be a boozy affair.) Which is where today’s post comes in…

I’ve not made sloe gin before, but George assures me he’s a pro, so here is the recipe (well, the first part of the recipe – I’ll fill you in on the rest as and when it happens.)

To make sloe gin (part 1):

1. You will need to go out and pick some sloes. You can find them in hedgerows all over the UK. They look like this in case you’re as much an amateur as me. Remember to take gloves with you (they can be quite thorny).

2. You will need a lot of sloes. I mean a serious amount. To make 1ltr of sloe gin you need around 500g of sloes (roughly half a bottle of sloes to half a bottle of gin). And there’s no point making sloe gin unless you make lots of it – it will slip down pretty easily once it’s ready (it’s so sweet and more-ish). We returned with bags and bags full of them and we still weren’t certain we’d managed to pick enough.


3. Wash the sloes in batches in a colander and transfer to a large dish where you can pick out any excess stems, leaves or other unwanted bits – you want to keep only the berries as the stems will have a bitter taste. This bit can be time consuming depending on the quantity you have. You can see we had an enormous amount…


4. Transfer to freezer bags and stow away in the deep freeze until you’re ready to use them (we’re planning on getting everything bottled up over Christmas). If you want to be super organised you could weigh out the sloes at this point into 500g portions and freeze individually (that way you will have the right amount to put into a 1ltr bottle when you come to use them). You don’t have to freeze them of course, you could bottle it up straight away, but sloes are only around in September and October so you’ll need to factor that in to your plans. We decided to get our picking done and freeze until we have all the bottles etc for the next stage. Besides, George swears that freezing the berries first makes for a better gin.

… and for now, that’s it!

I will update with Part 2 over Christmas.

(Ohhh the suspense.)



Well hello again fellow foodies.

I’m afraid I’ve been a bad blogger and have neglected my little patch of the internet lately.

But in my defence, I got engaged – YAY! – to Le Ginge. So the past few months have been full of choosing engagement rings and marquees and flowers and photographer recommendations…

It’s dizzying actually. Dizzying but wonderful. I am so incredibly excited.

But anyway, on to today’s post. This actually dates back to pre-engagement times (I just haven’t had a chance to get it up yet). Welcome all to a new(ish) Indian restaurant, Gymkhana…


Nestled in a little spot on Albemarle Street, this place is a far cry from the usual curry fare both in terms of its food (I barely recognised a single dish on the menu – unusual territory for a food geek like me) and its price (it’s definitely in the occasional splurge category).

I think the best way to describe Gymkhana is very posh, very good, Indian curry. It’s also quite traditional in its style of food – all the dishes have provenance and the waiters can take you through their origins.

It takes it’s name from the old word for Indian gentlemen’s clubs (I thought it was something to do with ponies, but I was wrong…) And the interior is very slick boys’ club: the walls are filled with beautiful, nostalgic black and white photos, and huge fans adorn the ceilings and bring to mind a bygone era as they whoosh and whizz. It’s sort of Ralph Lauren meets the Maharahja. I loved it.

Now, I’m afraid I can’t actually tell you the names of any of the dishes we had. Most of the words on the menu were totally new to me and, because I’ve been meaning to write this up for so long, I now can’t remember what our dishes were called… (I know, massive fail. I hang my head in shame)

But the main thing is, I remember they were very good…

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Like seriously good. Particularly those little sausage-looking thingies, and the big puffy bread (dosa I think?)

But everyone’s favourite by a long shot was this beauty…


It was a beautiful (almost) pie with an exquisitely spicy curry hidden inside. It’s also quite theatrical as the waiters bring it over to you all stood up and then burst the top in front of you.


It’s a great sharing place – we went with some friends and it was good fun passing all of the dishes around and talking about our different choices. Although I admit I’m biased as I love to share food – it’s the Cypriot in me I think.

My only criticism really is the price. I thought it was way too much for what it was, despite being very good…

But I guess this is a special occasion type place rather than your local. Still, it’s a shame as if it were priced slightly more reasonably I would be returning time and time again.


42 Albemarle St, London W1S 4JH
020 3011 5900




Granger & Co

Granger & Co is one of those places I just kept hearing about.

We were wandering through Notting Hill the other day and decided to try it out finally. For once there wasn’t a huge queue (probably as it was a week day lunch time rather than a weekend) and given that it’s ethos is healthy eating, it’s a safe restaurant choice if you’re on a healthy-eating kick – particularly if you’re doing low-GI, low-carbs like (South Beach).

And honestly, it lived up to the hype. I mean, check out this pavlova…

P1050743 P1050744This pudding alone explained to me why people queue here for hours on a weekend. It was truly spectacular. Every single ingredient sung out from the plate – the pistachios, the hint of vanilla in the cream, the beautifully soft organic strawberries. It was heaven on a plate.

But let’s start with the basics. Before you even make it in to order pavlova, you’ll notice the beautiful exterior.

It has that very Notting Hill quality of looking laid back and expensive all at the same time – yellow awnings, white outdoor seating and a sort of Farrow & Ball (but cooler) lick of grey across the whole facade. Even in this super polished area you can’t help noticing it.

P1050755 P1050754P1050756The interior is all Ottolenghi-esque with a sweeping bar piled high with plates of desserts, the papers and some very beautiful families sprawling about – shiny-haired children and mummies in yoga gear. I imagine on a weekend it’s absolutely bursting with more just like this.

We took our seats, ordered some wine and looked through the menu.

P1050732I wanted everything on it. Literally everything. Maybe it’s just the diet but, even so, I think it really says something about a restaurant when you’re genuinely that spoilt for choice.

In the end I went for courgette fritters and Le Ginge had a wonderfully big bowl of Asian broth.

P1050736 P1050734 P1050738 P1050737Both were great – really truly great – but George’s broth deserves a special mention. It was so mind-bogglingly fragrant.

Next we shared (read, I ate all of) the strawberry and pistachio pavlova you see above, whilst ogling some copies of Bill Granger’s cook books that are dotted round the place. I made a mental note to buy every single one on Amazon as soon as possible.

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I really, really recommend this place. If you’re there on a weekend I can safely vouch that it’s worth the queue.

Granger & Co:

175 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2SB
020 7229 9111

Also, Bill Granger does quite a lot of press writing and recipes it seems – if you want to get a feel for his style of cooking, look at this piece in the Independent. 



Sesame chicken salad with cucumber noodles

Well, I’m on week two of my revamped South Beach diet and I’m starting, actually, to feel quite good. The sugar withdrawal has disappeared and I’m feeling all bouncy and light on my feet.

Plus my energy levels are absolutely soaring…

Which is probably why I have been reading my new Hemsley + Hemsley cookbook cover to cover since it arrived the other day. The Hemsley sisters really know a thing or two about grain-free cooking, low GI and best of all, healthy eating principles. I just love their book.

So this recipe is taken straight from there and it uses cucumber noodles (similar to the courgette-y spaghetti idea). The cucumber noodles have a fresher, cooler taste to courgette-y though – more akin to the type to glass noodles you find served cold in Asian salads. Absolutely yummy.


As ever, I’ve tweaked this slightly. To make enough for four you will need:

  • 2 organic chicken breasts, cooked and pulled apart (oven baked with salt and olive oil will do fine if you don’t have leftovers)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • around 4 medium baby pack choys
  • 1 big handful coriander
  • 5 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 – 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • drizzle of agave nectar
  • 2 limes
  • a few tbsps black sesame seeds

Tip: there is an art to the timing of eating this – you need to let the flavours infuse a bit, but the cucumber noodles will go watery if you let it hang around for too long. Overall you need to leave it for 10 minutes or so, max, I think. Then just toss it all in the serving bowl and serve with extra tamari and lime, as above.

1. Spiralise your cucumbers to make the noodles. You might want to chop the spirals in half so each one is a manageable length when you come to eating (spiralisers make things massssssively long). You need this gadget to spiralise (see further details here in my previous post). Alternatively, this will also be great if you simply use a hand peeler to make long pappardelle-like ribbons of cucumber instead.

2. Finely chop or shred your romaine and pak choy and add to a large serving bowl. Mix your cooked shredded chicken breast into this and add the chopped chillies. Toss your cucumber nodles into the same bowl.

3. Mix up your dressing – add the sesame oil, toasted sesame oil, juice of 1 and 1/2 limes, crushed garlic, tamari or soy sauce, and agave nectar to a jam jar or other container and shake/whisk until it all comes together. Add to your bowl of salad and toss furiously so it’s all coated in the dressing. Sprinkle over the black sesame seeds, coriander and a little extra tamari.

4. Leave for around 5 minutes or so to infuse (see tip above), and then serve with extra tamari on the table and the remaining lime cut into wedges.


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You can find out more about Hemsley + Hemsley here:




Asian cauliflower fried “rice”

Another day, another carb-substitute dish to share with you. (Yep, I’m still on that diet…)

And oh my, this is a good one…

P1070032-1P1070040-11This recipe is an absolute winner as far carb-subbing goes. It’s actually been around a little while – I saw it pop up on pinterest last year quite a lot – but for some reason it took me ages to actually try it out. But now that I have there’s no looking back. I genuinely prefer this version to normal egg fried rice now – and it’s totally, utterly, guilt free.

The premise works in much the same way as my previous coconut oil based stir fries (now my favourite way to make a stir fry). Apart from the fact that the “rice” you can see in that picture is in fact….

… cauliflower. Yup. Plain old cauliflower.

You seriously won’t believe how good this tastes. The cauliflower becomes unbelievably fragant and gently absorbs the stir fry oils in a wonderfully healthy way (a million miles away from the take-away version which is swimming in grease).

To make enough for two you will need:

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • a few handfuls of king prawns (around 150g)
  • 50g pancetta, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced (seeds left in!)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • two big handfuls of coriander, chopped (stalks as well)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 lime
  • tamari or soy sauce, to serve

First take your cauliflower and trim back the outer leaves. Dice into quarters (or any size big enough to fit in the bowl of your food processor) and rinse under water. Then simply put it in a food processor and blitz until its the texture of coarse bread crumbs. (Like in the photo).


Now this next step is very important. It feels weird but trust me you can’t skip it out. (I did once and it ruined the whole dish). Take your blitzed cauliflower out of the processor and tip it onto a clean unused tea towel or muslin cloth. Then wring the cauliflower out over the sink to get rid of its excess water. There will usually be quite a lot – try to get out as much as you possibly can. Then lie flat on the open towel to air dry some more whilst you get on with the rest of the stir fry.


Take your largest wok and add your coconut oil. Once it’s all turned to liquid and is starting to bubble, add your chillies, garlic and coriander stalks (reserve the leaves until the end). Allow to bubble away for a few minutes, moving around the wok with your wooden spoon. Then add the pancetta and fry off until its nicely browned.

P1070018Tip your cauliflower into the wok and using your wooden spoon stir the mixture so all of the coconut oil coats the cauliflower pieces. After a few minutes, add the prawns and stir until they turn pink. Then make a little gap in the middle or on one of the sides of your wok with your wooden spoon and crack your egg into it. Allow the egg to cook for a minute or so, or until it starts to go white and look like a semi-fried egg. At this stage break it up with your wooden spoon and mix it in to your cauliflower “rice” mixture.


Finally, squeeze some lime in over your stir fry, take off the heat and stir through the spring onions and remaining coriander leaves. And that’s it… ridiculously easy, delicious food.

P1070032-1 P1070040-11 … and not a carb in sight.

*South Beach Phase One friendly

Fiery fresh crab and avocado salad

I know it’s time to blog a recipe when I keep returning to it again and again.

And lately I’ve been obsessed with this super quick salad for lunch. It’s wonderfully easy yet luxurious, and a great way to break up the monotony of your lunch routine.

P1060083-1And it’s very easy to pop in a container and take to work too. I’ve brought this in with me at least three or four times in the past week or so… (told you I was obsessed).

It all began when I discovered this new product at Waitrose:


It’s delicious. Completely delicious. Next time you’re shopping be sure to pop one of these in the trolley. Trust me.

The only one downside is it’s a little bit pricey at £5 a go, but it’s just such an easy, tasty thing to keep in the fridge and pull out on demand, that I really think it’s worth it. Plus no wrangling with claw crackers or bits of shell…

To make a quick lunch for one (you can easily double the below quantities if making for two) you will need:

  • 100g white crab meat
  • Half an avocado
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 a red chilli, finely chopped and deseeded
  • 1/2 tbsp fat free greek yoghurt
  • juice of one lime
  • olive oil
  • plenty of salt and pepper

Simply cut your avocado in half, remove the stone and peel the skin off carefully so that the flesh stays intact. Squeeze the juice from one half of your lime over it quickly and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Place it on your plate ready for the crab.

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Place your white crab meat in a bowl with the yoghurt, red chilli, spring onion, juice of your remaining half lime, salt and pepper and mix through with a fork. Taste it and check your seasoning is correct – you may need to add a bit more lime or salt.


Pile your crab mixture over your avocado half, drizzle a teeny bit of olive oil over it and serve immediately. Truly delicious.

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*South Beach Phase One friendly too.

Here are the product details and an Ocado link:–Eat-It-White-Cornish-Crab/42362011


Courgette bolognese (& elderflower gin)

This is my all time favourite, go-to bolognese recipe. It’s wonderful any time of day or night and if you happen to be spending a night in together as we did the other week, it’s an amazing dish to whip out at home (with some G&Ts, obv – see below for elderflower gin link).

But the best thing is, if you’re trying to lose some weight (like moi) then this lean version is served with… wait for it…. courgette-y spaghetti!! (That thing I’m slightly obsessed with, remember?)

You can serve it for any fellow carb-enthusiasts, like Le Ginge, with normal spaghetti.

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To make enough for 4 people you will need:

  • 500g extra lean organic lamb or beef mince
  • 50g pancetta, chopped into cubes
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small glass red wine
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • a few handfuls button mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a few sprigs rosemary
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • grating of nutmeg
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a good lug of olive oil
  • 4 medium sized courgettes (and a spiraliser!)
  • parmesan, to serve (optional)

… Gordon’s elderflower gin and tonics, big glasses of red wine and a very good film are all completely essential too.

1. Take your largest heavy-bottomed pan and put it on a medium heat with a good lug of olive oil (around 1 – 2 tablespoons should do). Add your roughly chopped onions and some rosemary tips, and stir it all through so everything is coated in the olive oil. Crush your 3 garlic cloves straight in to the pan and keep stirring everything for a few minutes. Add your pancetta and keep on the heat until it has browned nicely.


2. Then add your extra lean mince, breaking it up with your wooden spoon as you add it to the pan. Whilst it’s cooking add the cinnamon and grate over some nutmeg too (trust me, these really make it wonderful). Also add a nice big pinch of sea salt. Stir everything through until the mince has just started to brown.

3. Add the two tins of chopped tomatoes, and then fill up both used tins with water and add this in too. Stir everything through and turn the heat up a notch to bring your mixture up to a gentle bubble. Once it’s started to heat up, pour in your red wine and stir again. Continue bringing everything up to a simmer and once it’s bubbling away, take a teaspoon and check the seasoning. You’ll probably need to add a touch more salt. Once done, pop a full sprig or two of rosemary in, partially cover with the pan lid and leave for 25 minutes.


4. Once your 20 minutes is up, add the button mushrooms, replace the lid partially and leave for a further 25 minutes simmering at a gentle pace.

P1060172-15. Now, time for the courgette-y spaghetti. Simply take your courgettes, trim both ends (do this in a straight line to make it easier to fix to your spiraliser), and then turn into spirals. (My previous post here has all the details). All you need to do then is saute the strands for 1 minute with a touch of olive oil and salt before serving. You can also put your normal pasta on to boil whilst you do this if you’re catering for a carb lover like I was (it won’t take longer than a few minutes, so your timings will all work fine).

6. Give your bolognese a final stir through once the 45 minutes is up, add the juice of half of lemon (I don’t know why this makes it so good, but it does) and a big handful of torn basil, and serve piled on top of your courgetti…


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We enjoyed this a few weeks ago whilst also testing out some Gordon’s Gin with Elderflower. It’s amazing – such a brilliant gin. We were using some teeny little sample bottles Le Ginge brought home but I can’t wait to get to the supermarket and buy some of this stuff  – I just absolutely love it.


It really slips down pretty easily…

imageI’m sure it has something to do with why our night in was so much fun… You can get it from Ocado here (although all of the main supermarkets stock it too).

I also highly, highly recommend sticking on this little number…

P1060138I danced around the kitchen to it whilst making the bolognese and sipping on G&Ts. Corking video too.

Quick quick quick youtube it:

(Song is “Hit or miss” by Odetta. Beach guy is from the Southern Comfort advert).