Pumpkin soup

It’s that time of year, got two pumpkins from TESCO (£1 each), carved, fed seeds to birds and made cream of pumpkin soup. Base of leeks,garlic,celery and basil, seasoned, added two veg stock cubes, boiled, blitzed and finished with cream….. Tastes delicious!!!


Healthy food leaflet

This leaflet produced by the Public Health Agency is the best leaflet I have seen regarding kids food ever!!!! Well done and thank you for printing in black and white what I have been advocating for ages. Please everyone take on board,although primarily aimed at pre school kids, the principles can be applied to us all!!!    

The biggest food wake up call

Dear friends
I’ve been blogging about healthy eating for a while. We get bombarded by contradicting stories, over hyped advertising, far too much choice and mind boggling info on packaging.
I’ve been saying we need more education from family, school, peers, supermarkets, manufacturers and governments. There needs to be a back to basics drive when it comes to food preparation and cooking and this starts at home. The bigger retailers have a duty of care to their customers in not selling harmful foods, marketed inappropriately. We as a society need to take more responsibility with our food and drink intake. 
Please read below:

My healthy family are eating the same as 215 Krispy Kremes every WEEK


via http://dailym.ai/ios

Sausage bacon red meat

This is worrying: Bacon, burgers and sausages are a cancer risk, say world health chiefshttps://t.co/KPh2i2GBG8

via https://t.co/tChTnAKEvB
I wanted to talk about this as first we are told red meat is bad, then good, then bad and the same for processed meat…. see where this is going!!
I feel in moderation it’s ok ie once a week and not every single meal of every single day!!! 
With this in mind I decided to cook some sausages from my freezer. I defrosted them and dry fried them in a frying pan. They cooked quickly and had very little fat coming out. The Pork meat content was 80%. They tasted fantastic and I feel are a treat. Remember good quality sausages with high meat content eg 400g cost £3. 
The total amounts of fat,sugar and salt are quite interesting. Check the photos. My advice is everything in moderation!!! 


Acton & Sons

I attended the official opening of Acton & Sons this evening. It was a grand affair which gave me the opportunity to meet The Godfather of the restaurant industry in Belfast, Mr Tom Davis, and his family. There was entertainment, a selection of small plated snacks and drinks….more later. 
 I was kindly Invited by Chris of Love PR. Acton & Sons is the new incarnation of Olios. It’s an all day restaurant and bar. It’s the brainchild of the team that founded Skandia, Neill’s Hill and Papa Joes. Mr Davis Snr opened Skandia in 1969 and I remembered the Skandia on Howard Street from 1989 and recalled eating there. His son Johnathan runs Neill’s Hill in Ballyhackamore (in 1998 was Aldens) and other son Andrew runs Papa Joes in Bangor. Both were present tonight along with Mrs Davis whom Tom met in Acton Hotel and Catering School.
 The kitchen is run by Executive chef Cath Gradwell and Head chef Brian Caldwell, who launched the new menu and let us sample some of the dishes this evening.

Clockwise from the bottle was hake served with potatoes, chick peas in an Indonesian sauce, then creamy chorizo chicken topped with sweet potato strings (my favourite), then there was seared tuna and next was Cajun beef (I didn’t try as I don’t eat beef, but I heard it was good) lastly was battered squid topped with sweet and sour sauce.

Mr Tom Davis was such a pleasure to talk to, very learned and down to earth and has a real depth of knowledge and understanding for the restaurant business in Belfast. His two sons are true “chips of the old block” and have a superb handle on the restaurant industry in Northern Ireland. I am truly confident that the pedigree behind Acton & Sons will propel it well. I would thoroughly recommend this as s goto destination for good quality food in impeccable surroundings served by competent and attentive staff.

Day 6 main event

I prepared the sauce earlier using olive oil to sautee a finely chopped red onion, two cloves of garlic, broccoli and carrot (all from my fridge/dry store), before adding tomato purée, a tablespoon of pesto and the remains of the Dolmio sauce. This is simmered with chopped olives and water for 20 minutes before adding soft cheese with herb and garlic. I then semi blitzed with hand blender.

The filled pasta (spinach and ricotta tortellini) I cooked in a wok in boiling water for 2 minutes before draining and adding to the heated sauce. The pitta bread I toasted in the toaster and spread fresh garlic butter before serving. The chopped/grated salad of leek,radish,carrot,celery,cheese  and cucumber was served beside the pasta.

Tasting time proved decisive as all four of our plates were scraped clean!!

This was a superb way to:

  • Get kids and us to eat a wide variety of veggie food
  • Reuse leftovers in lots of different ways
  • Come up with different recipes and ideas
  • Plan our weekly menu
  • Plan our shopping
  • Have fun with food!!!

Thank you for the opportunity and you can all do it. Ps from tomorrow we can eat meat, fish, poultry and eggs. Did we miss it, no, but kids did!!!

Daal chaval

Daal TurkaBoil lentils with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and teaspoon salt

Whilst this is boiling fry a finely diced onion in tablespoon of ghee, with 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic and 1/2 inch ginger 

Once browned add two teaspoons of Garam masala and stir till you get a thick paste

Then add this to the lentils and simmer. You can add coriander, chilly and tomatoes at this stage.
For the rice or chaval

Boil white Basmati rice or brown rice and add finely chopped veg