Mediterranean Fish Stew


Dairy free.

Serves 3 hungry adults.

Cooking time – just over 20 minutes.

This is a lovely dish made from fuss free ingredients and is super quick to prepare. The sauce tastes even better if you give it some extra time to cook down before adding the fish. Adding a glass of white wine to the sauce at step 3 also gives extra flavour.

Money saving tip– Look out for fresh cod fillets in your supermarkets ‘mark down’ section.  Grab some new potatoes, crusty bread and fresh parsley, the other ingredients are typically in the kitchen store cupboard.



1.4 kg of firm potatoes (New potatoes are perfect)

1 tablespoon Olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

500 ml good quality chicken or vegetable stock

1 red chilli (hot is good)

a good pinch of saffron,

1 tablespoon of capers

21 pitted black olives in brine

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Salt and black pepper

475g bag of frozen or fresh cod fillets (at least 4 small fillets required)

Chopped fresh parsley and crusty bread to serve.



1) Boil the potatoes until cooked (about 20 minutes) then leave them in the warm pan with the lid on.

2) Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the sliced garlic and chilli for a minute or so until the garlic just starts to change colour (do not brown the garlic it will become bitter).

3) Add the tin of tomatoes, crushed peppercorns, stock, saffron and a sprinkle of sea salt. Replace the lid and bring to the boil then remove the lid and simmer gently for 4 minutes.

4) Add the frozen fish, olives and capers. Stir the sauce around and over the fillets. Put on the lid and bring back to the boil. Once it reaches the boil turn down the heat slightly to simmer everything gently for 8-10 minutes, or just long enough for the cod to poach in the lovely sauce. If you are using fresh fish pieces the cook time will be about 5 minutes from the boil.

5) When the fish is cooked put a portion of the potatoes in the bottom of each serving dish, add a piece of fish followed by the sauce. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and enjoy with crusty bread.


Dairy free Chocolate Mousse

dairy free chocolate mousse
Chocolate mousse

Dairy Free. Vegetarian.

Yes, really, it’s dairy free…. Yay!!!

This is my most favourite dessert. If my family and friends want to make this for me when I come to dinner then I will love you forever and I may even do the washing up too!

Thank you to the chef James Martin, and Women and Home magazine (Feel Good Food, christmas 2008) for this recipe, you have transformed my life.

Serves 6

prep. time – 15 minutes, plus 2 hours chilling


Dark chocolate (your favourite, 70% cocoa solids and check it is dairy free*) – 200g

3 large free-range eggs

Golden caster sugar – 40g

125 ml warm water


1) Break up the chocolate into a large sized heat proof bowl and melt slowly over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the 125 ml warm water to the chocolate and stir now and again during the melting process.

2) While the chocolate is melting separate the egg yolks from the whites. The whites need to go in to a very clean bowl (no traces of grease).

3) Take the chocolate off the heat and stir well until it is smooth and glossy. (you may go through a bit of a lumpy phase but keep stirring and all will be ok)

4) Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until softly peaking. Add the sugar. Continue whisking until the sugar is incorporated and the whites will stand in firm peaks in the bowl (the whites should stay in an upturned bowl!). The whites should look glossy – do not over beat.

5) Add the egg yolks to the cooled melted chocolate and mix thoroughly.

6) Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly to loosen the mixture.

7) This is the delicate, gentle bit… Add the next 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and gently fold with a metal spoon. Do not beat, you want all those lovely bubbles to make the mousse light and fluffy.

8) Repeat step 7) with the final 1/3 of egg whites.

9) Divide the mixture between 6 of your favourite serving glasses/dishes.

10) Put in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.

Enjoy. X

P.S. I have lovely memories of my grandmother teaching me how to make the chocolate leaves  -melt some left over chocolate and gently coat  the underside of clean rose leaves. Leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour. Take out the fridge and leave for 5 minutes, then carefully peel the leaf away. Make more than you think you will need because there are always casualties!

*Cocoa butter is ok in a dairy free diet (this is a product of the cocoa bean and is not related to milk butter)


Lactose free coleslaw


A fresh, healthy and tasty side dish.

Most pre- prepared coleslaw is loaded with mayonnaise and cream but this is a light and healthy version (and costs a lot less). Together the flavours mingle into something wonderful. Great served with potato wedges, grilled meat/fish, burgers and pulled pork.


1/2 small white cabbage, about 225g, thinly sliced

1 onion (red or white), thinly sliced

1 large carrot, grated

2 eating apples, grated

Lactose free cheddar cheese (or alternative), 50g, grated

Juice of 1/2 lemon

flat leaf parsley, chopped

dressing ingredients

Soya single cream, 75ml

Worcestershire sauce, 2.5 ml

lemon juice, 5ml

A pinch of Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1) Combine all the ingredients, except for the dressing ingredients, in a large bowl. You can leave the prepared veg in the fridge at this stage.

2) Whisk the dressing ingredients to combine well and when ready to serve add to the salad and mix well to coat. Serve immediately.

Dairy free veggie curry

Dairy Free. Vegan. Vegetarian.     

A warming, healthy vegetable curry.
A warming, healthy vegetable curry.

Serves 4

550 calories per portion (including the brown rice).

A tasty family curry that is quick and easy to prepare. Make this the day before for an even quicker meal and a better flavour. Also freezes well. 

Low in saturated fat (1.7g/portion). Very high in vitamins and minerals including Vit A, Vit C, magnesium and omega 3, and spinach is a source of antioxidants; lutein and zeaxanthin, which are great for eye health and fighting cell damage. 


Rapeseed oil, 2 tablespoons

Cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon

Mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon

Onions, 1 large, chopped

Garlic, 3-4 cloves, crushed

Red chilli, 1 mild, de-seeded and chopped finely. Or 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes

Potatoes, 450g peeled and copped into 1cm cubes

Medium curry paste, 3 generous tablespoons (Pataks rogan Josh works well) or a heaped tablespoon of medium curry powder. 

Vegetable stock, 800ml

Butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes, approx. 600g

400g tin of cooked chickpeas (or green lentils)

Bag of baby spinach leaves, washed and ready to eat (allow 30g per person)

Garam massalla, 1 teaspoon.

Cooked wholemeal rice to serve and/or small wholemeal pitta breads for everyone to dip in the lovely sauce.


1) Prepare all the veggies.

2) Heat the oil gently in a large saucepan add the cumin and mustard seeds and fry gently until they start to ‘pop’.

3) Add the prpepared onion, garlic and chilli. Cook for 10 minutes until golden brown.

4) Stir in the potatoes and cook for 3 minutes until they start to take on some colour.

5) Add the curry paste or the curry powder and cook for a minute or so to coat all the vegetables.

6) Add the hot vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. (If you are serving the curry with wholemeal rice start cooking it now in a separate pan of boiling water -it will take 25 minutes simmer time)

7) Add the squash and simmer everything for at least 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. If you have a lime going spare you can add the peel at this stage to add to the flavour, but remove before stage 8.

8) I like to give the curry a bit of a mash with a potato masher at this stage and then add the drained chickpeas or lentils and heat through for at least a further 5 minutes (or up to another 30 minutes)

9) Stir through the garam massalla and cook on a low heat for a few minutes more

10) Stir through several generous handfuls of spinach to wilt before serving or serve the spinach on the side if you like it nice and crunchy.

Serve with the rice and/or pitta breads.

Butternut-squash soup


So here we are in squash season! There is so much lovely fresh and locally produced food in the supermarkets right now but I have chosen the fabulous butternut squash to start my ‘seasonal, tasty and healthy’ blog. IMG_2528

Butternut squash is high in the vitamins A, C, E and folate, and minerals; magnesium, manganese and potassium. For this reason it is a great veg for tissue, muscle and collagen strength. The spices and herbs are packed full of antioxidants and also minerals such as magnesium, calcium and manganese.

This soup is a healthy mix for everyone to benefit from, but is particularly beneficial for women approaching the menopause.

My spicy and dairy-free Butternut squash soup

Dairy Free and Suitable for vegans

Serves 4 as a starter. Preparation time- 20 minutes. Cooking time- approx. 30 minutes

When I say spicy I don’t mean chilli spice, but the lovely soft warming heat…

View original post 453 more words

Bagel Pizza

Bagel pizza
Quick and satisfying!

My youngest son learnt how to make these in his first year at primary school, that is how easy these little pizzas are to make. They are still a Saturday lunchtime favourite in our house, 11 years later!

Preheat the oven to 160  degrees fan. Take a plain bagel or sesame seed bagel and split in half. Spread both halves with tomato puree. Sprinkle with oregano (dry or fresh), plenty of black pepper and then top with your favourite pizza toppings. I have used lactose free cheese in the photo plus some sliced black olives. Put on a baking tray and bake for about 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the bagels are warmed through.

(You could probably do these under a low grill too, if you don’t want to use the oven.)


Potato wedges

Super tasty, healthy and a no hassle alternative to fried chips or oven chips.

Potato wedges
Super healthy fast food

Pre-heat the oven to 210 degrees C (fan) and pop in a large baking tray or two (depending on how many wedges you are cooking), the wedges should be able to lie in one layer with no over-crowding. If they are on top of each other they will go mushy.

Serves 4

Scrub 4 large jacket potatoes (or an alternative amount of smaller potatoes) and dry well with a clean tea towel. Don’t peel them-  you will remove lots of lovely nutrients if you do.

Chop the potatoes into thick chunks – about 1 cm diameter. Put them in a large mixing bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil. 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt flakes. 1/2 teaspoon paprika. A good scrunch of freshly ground black pepper and give it all a good mix so that the wedges are coated. You can add herbs if you like them- 1/4 teaspoon of dried rosemary is lovely, or dried oregano.

When the oven is up to temperature put the wedges in the pan – remember, in one layer- and pop in the oven to cook for 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Thats it. Fast, healthy and a quick way of cooking potatoes if you haven’t got time to cook a jacket potato.