Saturday, 29 August 2015

What does 5 a day mean?

"5 a day" has been the advice given to UK consumers for over 10 years; that is, for optimum health you should eat a minimum of 5 different fruits and vegetables a day.

This came from world health organisation advice that we should eat 400g of non starchy fruits and vegetables daily, this is because insufficient intake of fruit and vegetables causes deaths.  Yes, you read that right.  If a drug was this effective, it would be the new wonder potion and people would pay a fortune for it.

Different governments have interpreted this differently but in the UK the government broke this down into five 80g portions.

But this is the thing; it is a minimum not a target and sadly it's not worked.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Cherry Ripple Ice Cream with Chocolate and Cherry Sauce

I'm sat writing this at the weekend as the sun has just gone behind a cloud.  Although the sun has been glorious, the strong wind is a taste of things to come.  Mid way through tomorrow, temperatures will have plunged along with most peoples desire for ice cream; but I will soldier on!  After all if Haagan Dazs can make a fortune from people buying ice cream all year round, I will assume people may still be eating it as the weather cools.  Just imagine in winter, warm chocolate brownies with cherry ice cream and chocolate cherry sauce... are you thinking my way yet?  Oh yes!

This was inspired by Black Forest Gateau, that 1970s creation of chocolate sponge, cream and cherries.  I have to admit I loved it when I had it as a child in the 80s and 90s and would still happily eat it now but baking a sponge cake for one feels like a bit too much effort on a lazy weekend day so I made ice cream instead.

I would suggest serving this with some extra fresh cherries if you have any, unfortunately due to bad planning I had none when I came to photograph it.  Obviously the sauce is optional but it is delicious and very easy to make.  I would suggest keeping excess sauce for later and I wanted to see if it went too thick (as it could easily serve 2) but I ate it all.  It was blooming lovely!

The amount here is a bit better sized than my mocha ice cream which, although delicious, felt like I was eating it for weeks.  You could easily double the mix though and it might be nice to make two different flavours, a conventional raspberry ripple might be nice or try my coffee and chocolate ice cream.

Monday, 24 August 2015

So your child is starting school?

It seems like yesterday my son started school but amazingly nearly a year has passed.  My son attends a huge but fantastic primary school of nearly 600 children but the change and growth in him has been amazing.

I thought I'd share some top tips with nervous parents approaching this for the first time.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Goats Cheese Stuffed Chicken

This used to be an almost weekly dish in my household but due to not eating as much meat recently I've not eaten it as often but when I was thinking about alternative Sunday Lunches for one, this seemed ideal.

Having it again was a delight, I will have to make it more often!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Broad Bean and Soy Salad

This is an inspired and super healthy lunch containing two of your five a day.  This drew jealous stares from colleagues as well.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Assiette of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are lovely at this time of year, the perfect combination of sweetness, a touch of acidity with the perfume of summer.

My home grown tomatoes are finally at their fragrant best.  Resisting the urge to just eat them as they are or with the merest drizzle of olive oil and vinegar (delicious though that is), I decided to get a bit poncy.  Sorry, but I love tomatoes so much I decided to make myself an assiette of some of the most delicious ways to eat them.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Quinoa and Grape Salad

I am a recent quinoa convert.  This isn't out of any health kick but purely because it tastes nice.  I'm not keen on food which is purely eaten for health reasons.  You will not get me supping on any wheat grass juice any time soon.  But the surprise I had was that quinoa actually tastes nice (I know! Who knew?)

Salads with fruit have featured a lot for me recently and grapes were an idea with the lemon juice to mimic the flavour of verjuice, the colour of the grapes is also beautiful.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Stuffed Courgettes

I was trying to use up the ingredients in the fridge the other day and I had a courgette.  It occurred to me that lots of people might be facing a glut right now and, although I like courgettes and eat a lot of them, occasionally they can slip into the "no I don't fancy that today" category.  Chorizo though makes them the star of the show.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Peach Breakfast

It feels like months since I started eating yogurt for breakfast, not in a bad way, but it would seem very unusual for me now to grab a bowl of cereal or toast most days.  Now I start my 5 (or 7) a day with the first meal of the day.

Sadly though it won't be long before the days are noticeably shorter and strawberries are already disappearing from the shelves or harder, less sweet fruits are being sold in decreasing punnets for increasing prices.

Moving with the seasons, we are in prime peach time for the UK.  I'd never tried doughnut peaches before but with their almost perfumed flavour, this is a delightful way to start the morning.  You could substitute regular peaches, nectarines or other stone fruit.