Monthly Archives: April 2013

Monday 29th April 2013

Veggie Monday continues with some spiced black bean burgers.

ImageThese burgers were quite tasty, made by mixing 2 tins of black beans, breadcrumbs, ground cumin, chilli powder, chopped garlic, an egg and some seasoning.  Shapes into burger shapes and briefly fried on a very hot pan in a little oil, then finished off in the oven to heat through.

Although tasty I did feel they were a little dry.  Colin felt so too, and thought that when we make them again we may make them into small ball shapes and douse with a good tomato sauce, and serve with rice or bread.  But definitely worth another try as the beans are earthy and flavoursome.

Sunday 28th April 2013


I asked Colin what he would like for dinner and he proclaimed that it had been ages since we’d made a shepherd’s pie- so shepherd’s pie it is!

I have always made a version of the Delia recipe on How to Cook, with leeks on the top of the potato, and plenty of root veg in the sauce.  Over the years I have adapted this and today the pie included parsnip, suede, carrot, celery, beef mince, tomatoes and stock.  Colin is not keen on the leek layer, and I am not so keen on loads of mash, so a ‘half and half’ solution is presented! 

To increase the veggies further we had some baby carrots and sprouts on the side.  Delicious comfort food at it’s best…. although I always overeat when there’s shepherd’s pie on the table and go to bed very, very full- my eyes are most definitely bigger that my stomach.

Saturday 27th April 2013

A beautiful sunny day! But to work we must go…..

However, I had a lovely lunch to look forward to, and it was absolutely perfect to refuel after an incredibly hectic morning.


This yummy plate of salads comes from The Grocer on King’s Road- a pea, bean and lentil purée, a refreshing carrot and parsley salad, some juicy Sicilian olives and some crunchy green peppers.  I also had a little goats cheese rolled in chilli flakes left over from earlier in the week so used this up with a coarse, crunchy oat cake.  A sunny lunchtime treat.

For dinner it was ‘make your own pizza night’! A good thin base, thick layer of zingy, tomatoey sauce, piccante salami, slices of red pepper, sprinkling of hot red chilli flakes, and topped with some little balls of fresh mozzarella. Yummy!!!  And washed down with a good bottle of Amarone from our fine wine selection at work. 

This could have been a perfect day had it involved relaxing in the sunshine in between meals, and not working! Oh well.

Friday 26th April 2013

Fishy Friday!

I am a real lover of sea bass, in fact I think it may be my all time favourite fish.  So tonight it was centre stage- simply grilled with a little seasoning to bring out the delicate flavour.

To give the fish something crispy to sit on top of I made some artichoke and potato rostis.  I had bought the Jerusalem artichokes from a farm shop to make a recipe for an artichoke and almond rosti.  However, it turned out I was all out of almonds so I had to experiment at the last minute!

Artichoke and Potato Rossi

2 small Jerusalem artichokes

2 small, floury potatoes

1 small egg, beaten

1 tbsp, plain flour

salt & pepper

  • simply grate the veggies together, coarsely- I do this in the food processor
  • squeeze out any excess moisture from the veg- I put the veg in a clean tea towel and gave it a good squeeze!
  • Pop the veg into a large bowl, then mix in the egg, flour and seasoning
  • shape into small, flattened patties
  • fry in a large frying pan until golden on both sides

The sea bass sat happily on top of the crispy rosti, and an accompaniment of some tomatoes and a green salad rounded off a lovely, light and delicious Friday night meal. If only we were off work tomorrow!!!


Thursday 25th April 2013

The last few weeks I have been on my late night on Thursday which is a right pain as it is the only night of the week where there are actually programmes on the tv that I want to watch!!!  Some would say I should do more to influence the rota…. but this week I did not have to as I was late night yesterday and back home in good time tonight to indulge myself.

I had been looking through the Skye Gyngall book ‘My Favourite Ingredients’ which is full of inspiration and decided on a fish curry recipe which sounded delicious.  The original recipe called for monkfish but I had sold out at work (outrageous stock control!) so I used cod instead.  The result was truly lovely and will be a firm favourite.  Here’s my version of the recipe.

Fish Curry with Coconut, lime and curry leaves

1/2 tbsp Vegetable oil

1 red onion, finely sliced

1tsp black mustard seeds

1tsp fennel seeds

1tsp coriander seeds

Bunch fresh coriander

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 red chillis, chopped

6 curry leaves- I used dried but fresh of you can get them

2 kaffir lime leaves – as above

juice of a lime

1tbsp fish sauce

1 tin tomatoes

400g white fish, cut into big chunks

2/3rds tin coconut milk

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions until soft.
  • Add all the spices and stir for 5mins until fragrant.  Add the coriander stalks, chopped, along with the garlic, chillis, curry leaves and kaffir lime leaves.
  • Add the fish sauce and lime juice and stir for a minute, them add the tomatoes and reduce down for 15mins until thick.
  • add the coconut milk and stir through.
  • add the chunks of fish and poach the fish in the sauce for 15mins until cooked through.
  • serve scattered with some coriander leaves.

I can not recommend this enough, it was absolutely lovely! Yum!

Tuesday 23rd April 2013


When we drove down to Middle Farm on Sunday we picked up some burgers that the butcher was just making- a beef and onion mixture, and a beef and chilli one.  We chose one of each to give them a go!

They were ok, but just ok.  Both tasty and obviously good meat, but a little under seasoned for our liking.  However, empty plates all round, with plenty salad eaten by me and plenty of chips eaten by Colin……


Monday 22nd April 2013


In a bid to eat more veggie we have been following the meat-free Monday concept, and it is a good way to start the week.  Tonight we have had a great veggie pasta dish from the Moosewood Cookbook called Aubergine Scallopini Masala Pasta Sauce, and it was utterly delicious.

The sauce is basically onions, garlic, diced aubergines and tomatoes.  There is a splash of masala in there which really brings out the flavour of the tomatoes.  The sauce is sitting on top of some wholewheat pasta- we have started to eat more and more of this instead of ‘normal’ pasta as we much prefer the texture and the taste.

All in all a lovely and healthy way to start the week.


Sunday 21st April 2013

Another bright, sunny day, so the little new car deserved a run out! And Colin got a chance to drive the car properly for the first time (so far he’s only driven it slowly around Richmond Park).  So I took the opportunity to suggest a drive south and to Middle Farm Shop to pick up some yummy delights- and have a look around the farm.  Colin was a very happy lad as he got to stroke a rabbit and see lots of happy little rab men lounging happily in the sunshine, as well as see some hilarious looking chickens and hens.

A great haul was had….


So dinner was inspired by the farm shop as we couldn’t decide which sausages to buy- so we bought a selection and had a trio of sausages for dinner!

The trio consisted of: a Spanish chorizo, pork and leek, and old English.  All were good but I think my favourite was the pork and leek.  And also on that plate was a sign of spring, Jersey Royals! Yum yum yum.

Saturday 20th April 2013

What a lovely day off in the sunshine we have had!!!

 We had a mini lie-in then made our way into London and up to Pierre Victoire.  We have been there for lunch only once before but wish so much that it was our local, neighbourhood restaurant: good food, good service, good atmosphere, and such good value, just fantastic.

My starter was particularly yummy:


These yummy little parcels are light and fishy with prawns and salmon.  They are sitting on a sour cream sauce with beetroot carpaccio- the flavours were utterly delicious together.  I think I could eat this everyday for the summer months and not get bored by the combination.


In the afternoon we wandered around London, shopping in Whole Foods and buying some treats in the Hummingbird Bakery.  These little lovelies are a vanilla cupcake and a red velvet cupcake. And one of each left for tomorrow’s afternoon tea!


After a foodie filled day we had a little spaghetti bolognaise for dinner- full Tums for a good nights sleep.

Friday 19th April 2013

A long day at work has taken its toll and neither Thomas in this household could be bothered to get into the kitchen- shows how tired we are! So an Indian takeaway from the Twickenham Tandoori was on the cards: tandoori king prawn, chicken madras, cauliflower bhaji, tarkha dal, pilau rice, poppadoms. Totally lovely and hot the spot perfectly.

A weekend off is ahead and very excitingly we are into London and off to Pierre Victoire for lunch. Looking forward to a yummy feed and buying some goodies for the week ahead.

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