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Berry & Toasted Chocolate Granola Pots



These delicious little pots make a perfect start to the day. All the preparation can be done the day before, making it a very quick and easy breakfast to put together. You could even layer it in a jar and take your breakfast with you.

I love having a jar of the granola ready made, in the cupboard, it keeps well stored in an airtight container or jar. I like the fact that it gains its sweetness from a small amount of dark chocolate and the natural sugars in the berries. A perfect summer breakfast or brunch! Make this a perfect gluten free breakfast by using gluten free oats.

This recipe formed the first part of a days menu I had to design for the module on the Heart & Circulatory System in my Diploma in Culinary Medicine. Read on, at the end, to find out why the ingredients I’ve included are heart healthy and how they can benefit the body.

I’m lucky enough to be writing this as I sit overlooking Mylor Creek, one of my favourite places in Cornwall. Instantly relaxing, the sun is shining and everyone is happy, waiting for the incoming tide so we can have some fun on the water! I hope you’re all able to enjoy a little bit of holiday time.


Makes enough for about 8 servings

1tbsp coconut oil

100g oats (gluten free if preferred)

25g pumpkin seeds

25g sunflower seeds

50g hazelnuts nuts, roughly chopped

25g flaxseeds

1tsp cinnamon

30g good quality 70% or 85% dark chocolate

natural live probiotic yogurt

mixed berries such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries


P1000108.JPGHeat the oil in a frying pan and add the oats. Cook for 5 minutes over a medium/high heat until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on them to avoid burning!

Add the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally or until lightly toasted. Add the flaxseeds for a further minute. They may begin to pop in the heat, so reduce the temperature slightly. Remove from the pan and transfer to a bowl to cool. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and stir to coat.

Coarsely grate the chocolate and stir P1000142.JPGinto the cooled oat mixture. Transfer the oat mixture to a jar to store. This will keep for up to 2 weeks.

To serve, pile some berries in the bottom of a glass, top with a couple of spoons of yogurt and sprinkle over a spoonful of the oat mixture. Repeat until you reach the top of the glass!



Health Benefits

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is heat stable, so great to use in cooking. It’s made from medium chain fatty acids, which are rapidly broken down for use as energy. This limits their impact on elevating the level of blood fats after a meal.


Oats contain beta glucan, a soluble fibre which can help reduce cholesterol in the digestive tract. As the oats are digested the beta glucan forms a gel like substance which will bind to cholesterol released by the liver. It can then be removed from the body via the bowel before it has a chance to be absorbed into the blood stream.


Nuts are a rich source of selenium, which the body uses to make its own anti-oxidants. This is believed to be one of the body’s natural protection mechanisms against damage to artery walls. The benefit of this is avoiding inflammation and build up of plaque. Nuts, like olive oil, are a good source of oleic acid giving the same vasodilatory effect, aiding circulation and reducing blood pressure.

Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds

These seeds are a rich source of phytosterols. These help to reduce the amount of cholesterol taken up by the digestive tract by blocking absorption which then allows the cholesterol in the gut to be removed from the body via the bowel. Therefore, beta glucan in oats and phytosterols in sunflower seeds makes a real cholesterol busting combination.


Flaxseeds are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, a strong anti-inflammatory. Limiting inflammation damage within the endothelium helps minimise plaque formation in blood vessels reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.


Cinnamon gently stimulates the circulatory system by relaxing the muscle in the walls of blood vessels, which causes them to widen. This will allow increased blood flow to extremities as well as reducing the pressure in the blood vessels, hugely beneficial when trying to control high blood pressure.

Dark Chocolate

As long as you use good quality dark chocolate anything above 70% cocoa solids then you can benefit from eating a small amount and a little can go a long way! Packed full of flavonoids, which trigger the cells lining our blood vessels to release high levels of nitric oxide, which causes the muscles in the blood vessel walls to relax. This can aid circulation, reduce blood pressure and help to keep the lining of blood vessels (endothelium) in good condition. Chocolate also contains magnesium, which also encourages the relaxation of the muscle in the wall of our blood vessels.

Blueberries, Blackberries & Strawberries

Berries are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanidins, which gives them their bright colour. These compounds have been shown to cause relaxation in the blood vessels by triggering a release of nitric acid, protect against damage to the blood vessel wall and even reduce cholesterol slightly, all necessary to keep our circulation system running efficiently. Strawberries contain a unique flavonoid to protect against inflammation and heart disease.



Smoked Mackerel Paté


This week I’m sharing one of my really quick, go to recipes when I’m looking for a speedy, healthy lunch to feed the family. Serve it with toasted wholemeal pitta, or oat cakes, served with a pile of sliced cucumber and watercress. If you keep a bowl in the fridge, you can also sneak a snack on a chunk of cucumber to satisfy the mid morning munchies!! It’s great for picnics too!

Packed full of omega 3 fatty acids, mackerel is a great food to include regularly in the diet. Omega 3 fatty acids help the body produce its own anti-inflammatory response. Great for helping to keep heart and circulation system healthy as well as maintaining cell membrane function.


Serves about 4


230g packet smoked mackerel fillets

2-3tbsp live probiotic natural yogurt

about 1tsp creamed horseradish

juice of 1 lemon, about 2tbsp

salt and black pepper

Remove the skin from the mackerel and place in a food processor with the remaining ingredients and plenty of seasoning. If you love horseradish, I’d add an extra 1/2tsp! Using the pulse feature on the food processor, gradually blend until combined. Check the seasoning and its ready to serve!



Seafood Bowl



I’ve always been a big fan of seafood casseroles and if a bouillabaisse is on the menu, I find it hard to ignore! This is a beautifully simple version, enhanced by some fresh herbs and a hint of paprika. Deliciously light, its a perfect recipe for all year round. Plus, its all cooked in one pan, so couldn’t be easier!!

This is another great recipe for boosting your immune system. To make a perfectly balanced meal, serve with a steamed green vegetable, broccoli is perfect. I’ve included the health benefits of each ingredient at the bottom of the recipe.

Serves 4


1 red chilli

2tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 red pepper

350g sweet potato

400g tin tomato polpa (see tip below)

3tbsp chopped fresh oregano

1tsp paprika

salt and pepper

350g salmon fillet

175g fresh squid

175g large raw peeled prawns

juice of ½ lemon

2tbsp chopped fresh parsley

steamed broccoli to accompany


IMG_7439Deseed and finely chop the chilli, heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion, garlic and chilli over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until beginning to turn a light golden brown.

De-seed and chop the pepper. Scrub the sweet potato but don’t peel and cut into 2cm cubes. Add the pepper and sweet potato to the onions and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, refill the tomato tin with water and add to the pan with the oregano and paprika. Season well, bring to the boil and simmer, covered for 15 minutes

Skin the salmon and cut into 2cm IMG_7440cubes. Add to the tomato mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Cut the squid into rings and add to the pan with the prawns. Cook for a further 2 minutes until cooked through.

Stir in the lemon juice, parsley and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve in bowls with plenty of steamed broccoli to accompany.




I used Mutti Polpa in this recipe which is a tomato pulp with a delicious, sweet, full flavour. Its so good, I use it all the time in sauces and casseroles. It makes the most amazing base for a tomato and basil sauce. If you can’t find it, you could use a coarse pasatta or failing that, a can of good quality chopped tomatoes.



Health Benefits


Garlic is good anti viral. We all know our breath smells after we’ve eaten garlic and this is because that is the only route these oils can be removed from the body! As they move through the respiratory tract, the sulphur based oil helps to kills viruses and bacteria on their way!


Chilli is a great decongestant, thinning out mucous, making it easier to remove from the body. You can tell it’s working when your nose begins to run after eating hot food!

Red Pepper

Red peppers contain vitamin C to help stimulate the production of white blood cells. They also contain the bright colour pigment called a flavonoid, these are powerful antioxidants, which are anti-inflammatory and help reduce the severity of symptoms caused by colds, flu and localised damage or injury.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene which is also an anti-inflammatory. They also contain a protein, which they use as a food source to grow. This protein stimulates the production of white blood cells therefore supporting the immune system.

Prawns & Squid

Prawns and squid are a good source of zinc, which makes them perfect to support the immune system. Zinc helps to regulate the immune response of white blood cells. They also contain selenium which helps with wound healing and reducing inflammation.


Salmon is rich in essential omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation and help to keep cell membranes healthy.


An excellent source of vitamin C, broccoli makes a perfect accompaniment to this recipe. Keeping the body topped up with vitamin C will keep the immune system primed and ready. Vitamin C stimulates production of white blood cells, which fight infection. It also helps regulate an immune response, which targets infections with an oxidative burst.

Roasted Chickpea, Shiitake & Spinach Salad



This recipe really packs a nutritional punch! Its great for boosting your immune system. All the information you need is at the end of the recipe.  A great healthy lunch which, I think, is better served warm, however any leftovers would make a perfect packed lunch too. The sumac gives a tangy lemony flavour and is often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cookery. It’s now stocked in most supermarkets with the herbs and spices.

Serves 4


400g tin chickpeas

olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

1tsp sumac

grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

250g shiitake mushrooms

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ small red onion

100g bag fresh baby spinach, washed

100g feta cheese, crumbled


IMG_7397Drain the chickpeas and rinse well. Drain and
dry on kitchen paper and remove any loose skins. Place the chickpeas in a frying pan and drizzle over a little olive oil and a light sprinkling of sea salt. Shake to coat the chickpeas in the oil and salt. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until beginning to brown slightly.

Sprinkle over the sumac and return to the heat for 1 minute, shaking the pan. Add the lemon rind and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly. Wipe out the pan to cook the mushrooms.

Clean the mushrooms and tear into large pieces. Heat a little oil in the frying pan and cook the mushrooms with the garlic for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Season well.

Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the onion and place in a large serving bowl with the lemon juice. Add the spinach to the onions with the mushroom, chickpeas, crumbled feta cheese and a good drizzle of olive oil. Season with plenty of black pepper and toss together to combine. Serve immediately.


Health Benefits


Chickpeas are a great source of zinc, which assists the immune response by increasing resistance and reducing recovery time when the body is infected. Zinc also helps to regulate the production of cytokines which are the immune systems way of signalling to white blood cells where infection is causing inflammation.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms contain large sugar molecules called polysaccharides. The type found in shiitake mushrooms is called a beta glucan. Research has shown that they have a powerful effect on the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells. The more white blood cells we can produce the better equipped we are to deal with infection effectively. To do this, the polysaccharides stimulate the Peyer’s Patch in the gut, which in turn triggers a reaction from the body’s immune system. The polysaccharides in shiitake mushrooms are also probiotic, which means they feed the good bacteria in the gut, which in turn helps certain bacteria to regulate the immune response.


Spinach is a good source of Vitamin C, which stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells. It also regulates an immune response called an ‘oxidative burst’ where leukocytes release a cloud of reactive oxygen when faced with pathogen. Vitamin C will also help the white blood cells resist oxidative damage during their normal immune response.


Garlic is known as a powerful anti viral. The sulphur-based essential oils in garlic cannot be removed through the kidneys or bowel. The only way these oils can be removed is on our breath. As they move through the respiratory tract the oils help to kill viruses and bacteria on their way!


A well known, excellent source of vitamin C, vital for efficient functioning of the immune system. Lemons also contain a compound called kaempferol, which has antibiotic properties.

Feta Cheese

Cheese contains zinc, which is used by the immune system to code their genes and to regulate the immune process.

 Olive oil

Rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids, the olive oil will help reduce inflammation and keep cell membranes healthy.

Creamy Cashew Pancakes


These pancakes are so good!! Please don’t just think of them as a ‘gluten free’ pancake recipe…..yes, they are gluten free…..but, in my opinion, they’re way more delicious than regular wheat based American style pancakes and will have all the family asking for more! They are rich and creamy in texture, bursting with flavour and because they are packed full of nuts and eggs are nutritionally dense. Served with goji berries, fresh berries and yogurt they are the perfect immune boosting breakfast. How good is that, to have pancakes that can help fight off a cold?!! The combination of good fat and protein will also help to keep you fuller longer so will help ward of those mid morning munchies!!

This recipe was developed as a breakfast dish for the immune system module of the Diploma in Culinary Medicine that I’m currently studying. I’ve included the ingredients write up at the end of the recipe if you’re interested in knowing about the nutritional benefits of each ingredient. Don’t forget to serve with the goji berries and live yogurt if you want the reap all the benefits of this recipe!

Makes about 12

125g ground almonds

75g cashew nuts

4 large eggs

2tbsp runny honey

a generous pinch of salt

1/4tsp ground cinnamon

1/4tsp baking powder (gluten free)

coconut oil or olive oil for cooking

live probiotic natural Greek yogurt, goji berries and fresh berries to serve


Place the almonds, cashew nuts, eggs, honey, salt, cinnamon and baking powder in a food processor. Blend until well combined into a smooth and creamy mixture.

IMG_7350Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and drop tablespoons full of mixture into the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until beginning to turn golden brown and small bubbles start to appear on the surface.

Carefully turn over and cook the other side for a further 2 minutes. Keep the cooked pancakes warm whilst cooking the remainder, adding a little more oil to the pan as necessary.


For a great immune boosting breakfast, serve 2-3 pancakes with a large spoonful of live Greek yogurt, a scattering of goji berries and a selection of fresh berries. Serve immediately.

These pancakes freeze really well. Cool and layer between sheets of greaseproof paper and store in an airtight container. To use, warm gently from frozen in a warm oven or very carefully in a toaster! Perfect for that instant feel good breakfast!!

Obviously you can serve these pancakes with any of your favourite toppings. Here’s a few more of my favourites;

-Grilled bacon and maple syrup

-Poached vanilla plums and yogurt

-Thinly sliced fresh pineapple and coconut yogurt

-a thin spread of almond butter, sliced banana and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon

Health Benefits

Almonds & Cashew Nuts

Nuts are a good source of zinc, which can enhance the immune response. By increasing foods rich in zinc the body can improve resistance to infections and speed up the time it takes to recover from them. White blood cells use zinc to code the genes in the immune system to regulate internal processes and control the way white blood cells respond to pathogens. Zinc is also known to have antimicrobial properties.


Eggs are also a good source of zinc to support the immune system. They’re perfect for breakfast as they’re packed with protein, which combined with the fat helps to keep you fuller longer.         

Live Probiotic Yogurt

It’s important to choose a probiotic yogurt to accompany the pancakes as the live bacteria present in the yogurt supports the good bacteria present in the gut, which in turn helps regulate the immune response.

Goji Berries

The goji berry is a relatively new food on the shelves but is now quite readily available. It’s a slightly sweet but sharp chewy berry that contains a large sugar molecule called a polysaccharide. These help to increase the production of white blood cells. The more white blood cells we can produce the better equipped we are to deal with infection effectively.  To do this, the polysaccharides stimulate the Peyer’s Patch in the gut, which in turn triggers a reaction from the body’s immune system. Our body will do this naturally when alerted to infection but the polysaccharides will help step up this production to help fight infection faster.          


Its good to include fruit in the diet but if you’re fighting an infection you want to chose one that is high in Vitamin C. Citrus fruits and kiwi fruit are good sources as are strawberries when is season. Sadly blueberries don’t contain such high amounts but they’re great with the pancakes so mix it up a bit to get a good balance of this infection-fighting Vitamin. Vitamin C stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells but even more impressively regulates an immune response called an ‘oxidative burst’ where leukocytes release a cloud of reactive oxygen when faced with pathogens.

Mackerel with Thyme Roasted Roots & Horseradish Dressing


Mackerel has a wonderful flavour, perfect with the punchy flavours of the roasted roots and horseradish. A fish in plentiful supply, that is so good for us, so tasty, but sadly under used. Ask your fishmonger to fillet and pin bone the mackerel for you, this is then such an easy recipe to cook and a big fat tick in the box for increasing fish intake in the diet!

This is the third and final recipe developed for the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome module of my Diploma in Culinary Medicine. I’ve included the nutritional information at the bottom of the recipe if you’re interested to read why I selected and used certain ingredients.


Serves 2

1 large parsnip

1 sweet potato

2 large carrots

olive oil

2tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1tbsp natural Greek yogurt

1tsp grated hot horseradish

1tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, crushed

4 mackerel fillets

chopped fresh chives to garnish, optional

steamed green vegetables to accompany


IMG_7012Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

Scrub the vegetables clean but don’t peel them. Cut the parsnips, carrot and sweet potato into chunky fingers. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with about 2tbsp olive oil, season well and roast for 20 minutes. Scatter over the thyme and turn the vegetables to coat. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine the yogurt, horseradish, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl and whisk together. Season well to taste.

IMG_7014When the vegetables are cooked, keep them warm. Season the mackerel fillets. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and cook the mackerel skin side down for about 5 minutes or until the flesh is beginning to change colour around the edges (see photo, right). Turn over and cook for a further minute.

Divide the vegetables between 2 plates, top with the mackerel fillets and drizzle over a little dressing. Garnish with chopped chives if wishes and serve with steamed green vegetables.



Health Benefits


Mackerel is packed full of essential omega 3 fatty acids that are so beneficial to our bodies. They help maintain the health of the cell membrane, which keeps the cell receptors functioning effectively. This includes the insulin receptors, which will maintain the efficient transport of glucose into the cells to be used as energy. Mackerel is also a great lean protein source, the protein will reduce the speed of digestion allowing sugars to be released slowly, avoiding increasing blood sugar levels too quickly.


Parsnips are high in fibre, which will slow down the release of the sugars present, therefore avoiding blood sugar spikes. They also contain a sugar called inulin. This is a very complex sugar, which is small enough for us to taste but is not digested and absorbed into the body. Ideal for a diabetic as it gives a sweet flavour but the inulin in the parsnip won’t affect blood sugar levels.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are so much better than potato, which will cause a massive sugar spike due to its high level of simple sugars. Sweet potato on the other hand has a low glycaemic response as it releases its energy more slowly avoiding a rapid insulin response and thereby avoiding sugar spikes. They have the added advantage of containing carotenoids, which are beneficial for the cardiovascular system an area that is quite vulnerable for a diabetic.

Olive oil

Olive oil is a good source of omega 3, a fatty acid essential for maintaining the health of cell membranes and cell function. This will keep cell receptors working efficiently and facilitate improved insulin production, utilisation and sensitivity.


Chicken & Avocado Quinoa Salad


Serves 2

I love this salad, its my new favourite!! A classic combination of chicken and avocado flavoured with all the great tastes that burst out of a guacamole!! Not being a great avocado fan, (I know….isn’t everyone supposed to love them!!) but knowing how good they are for me, I am so happy to discover a way I can really enjoy eating them.  The flavour is so fresh and clean, I’ll be enjoying this one all year round!!

A complete meal, packed full of goodness, this is the second recipe that formed part of the first module on my Diploma in Culinary Medicine and again I have included the supporting information to show the health benefits of the main ingredients in supporting the body against diabetes, obesity & metabolic syndrome. This salad is easy to transport so you can take it with you for a healthy lunch on the go which beats a sandwich and has the advantage of being gluten free! I’ve also made it without chicken and added a good handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds which made a great vegetarian alternative.

100g quinoa

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves

1 small red onion

1 cooked chicken breast

2 tomatoes

1 ripe avocado

1 red chilli

grated rind and juice of 2 limes

2tbsp olive oil

2 large handfuls baby spinach, washed

small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped (about 4-5tbsp)

Rinse the quinoa in a sieve and place in a saucepan with 275ml water, a little salt and the whole garlic cloves. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir with a fork and leave covered for a further 10 minutes to absorb any remaining liquid.

Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onion, cut the chicken into small bite sized pieces. Quarter the tomatoes, scoop out the seeds and finely chop. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone, scoop out the flesh and cut into small pieces. Mix the prepared vegetables and chicken together in a large bowl.

IMG_6995To make the dressing, de-seed the red chilli and finely chop. Mix with the grated rind and juice of the limes, (about 2tbsp) the olive oil and plenty of seasoning. Roughly chop the spinach.

Remove and discard the garlic cloves from the quinoa. Add the quinoa to the avocado mixture with the dressing, spinach and coriander. Mix well to combine and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve piled high!

This keeps well in the fridge to enjoy the next day. Simply store in an airtight container.


Health Benefits

 This super tasty lunch is a perfect combination of protein, vegetables and fat, the ideal composition for a meal to help reduce the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.


Quinoa is a complete protein and contains all the essential amino acids the body needs to make our own protein. It has the added advantage of having a low Glycaemic response. This means it will release its sugars slowly and won’t cause blood sugar spikes. When combined with other protein and fat sources you get a perfect slow release meal. This will help insulin receptors in the cells to work efficiently as they can become unresponsive when continually bombarded with a meal that is high in fast release sugars such as white bread, pasta, white rice and processed foods.


Chicken provides a good lean source of protein, important in the diet to provide essential amino acids, the building blocks we use to make our own proteins. Combining this with the quinoa and avocado we achieve the ideal slow release meal maintaining efficient functioning of the insulin receptors, avoiding sugar spikes and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.


Avocado offers many great health benefits. A good source of fat, they help to reduce the glycaemic impact of a meal thereby increasing the time it takes to digest, with the beneficial outcome of slowly releasing the sugars and avoiding sugar spikes. The essential fatty acids (omega 3) found in avocado regulate the structure and function of cell membranes and allow the insulin cells receptors to function efficiently therefore helping to manage blood sugar levels. Omega 3 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation which many diabetics can face, particularly within the cardiovascular system.

Olive oil

The olive oil increases the amount of good fat (omega 3 fatty acid) in this recipe. Fats are essential for transporting fat soluable nutrients around the body, regulating the cell membranes and facilitating effective metabolic functions.



Mini Smoked Salmon & Courgette Frittata


This is the first of the recipes I developed as part of my Diploma in Culinary Medicine. I’ve just completed the first module relating to Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome and this is the breakfast recipe that formed part of a days menu. At the end of the recipe I’ve included the write up I had to submit with the recipe, so if you’re interested you can see why I’ve used certain ingredients and the benefit they offer! This has been read by Dale Pinnock, The Medicinal Chef, who has written the course and assesses our work!

You can serve one or two of these tasty little frittata for a perfect breakfast or wrap in greaseproof paper and take with you! They are so quick to put together, you could pop them in the oven whilst you get ready in the morning! They also make a perfect lunch with salad at home or on the go, or make really small ones and serve as canapés!

Makes 6

coconut oil or olive oil

1 courgette about 200g total weight

4 large eggs

2tbsp chopped fresh chives

salt and freshly ground black pepper

80g smoked salmon, roughly chopped

1 tomato, sliced

6 thin slices mini goats cheese roll

baby spinach leaves or watercress to serve

wholegrain bread to accompany, optional


Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease 6 deep muffin tins with coconut oil or olive oil.

IMG_7048Coarsely grate the courgette and place on a piece of kitchen paper to drain for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs in a bowl with plenty of freshly ground black pepper. (Go easy on the salt as smoked salmon is quite salty)

Stir in the chives, smoked salmon and courgette. Mix until well combined.


Divide the mixture between the muffin tins and place a slice of tomato and a slice of goat’s cheese on top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the egg is just set. As an option to finish, you can flash the frittata briefly under a hot grill until golden brown.

To serve, run a small round bladed knife around the frittata to release and carefully lift out of the tin. Serve with some baby spinach leaves or watercress and, if wished a slice of wholegrain bread.

These store really well in an airtight container in the fridge for unto 2 days.


Health Benefits

Breakfast is such an important meal and ideally you want something to keep you full, not spike your blood sugar levels and set you up for the day ahead.


Eggs are perfect for breakfast as they are packed with protein which not only provides the body with amino acids, the essential building blocks the body needs to produce its own proteins, but also helps to keep us full for longer. Protein will slow down the digestion and release of useable sugars in the meal, minimising blood sugar spikes, thereby maintaining the efficiency of insulin cell receptors to glucose in the body. It’s when these receptors stop responding to high sugar levels in the diet that the risk of Type 2 diabetes increases.


Oily fish such as salmon also contains protein and adds essential omega 3 fatty acids to this meal. It is very important to include good sources of omega 3 rich foods in our diet to improve insulin production and limit insulin sensitivity. It is also known to reduce inflammation and help keep cell membranes healthy.


It is important to include as many low GL vegetables in our diet as possible. Adding courgette to your breakfast not only contributes to the daily vegetable intake, but also provides a source of carbohydrate with a very low glycaemic response, which will prevent sugar spikes.

Goat’s Cheese

The goat’s cheese adds a little extra fat, which allows the meal to digest more slowly, helping to keep us feeling fuller for longer.

Wholegrain bread

There is an option of a slice of wholegrain bread with your breakfast. Choosing wholegrain over white bread means the more complex structure of the wholegrain bread will take longer to digest and therefore release its energy more gradually.

Roasted Cod Tray Bake


I’ve decided, as a family, we just don’t eat enough fish and I think we’re probably not alone there! It was easy growing up by the sea, to be able to enjoy an abundance of really fresh seafood, but sadly, fish doesn’t make such a regular feature anymore, yet I love it. I often make smoked mackerel pate and we have salmon quite frequently, occasional fish barbecues in the summer, but I know I could include more. Its finding a good reliable supply that makes all the difference.

My plan is to try and include a greater variety of fish and seafood in our regular meals and shop around to find the freshest I can. Fish can be quite expensive, but by stretching it out with lots of other ingredients you can get all the delicious flavours and a substantial meal too. This Sunday I put our normal Sunday Roast to one side and served cod instead. There was a surprised, and I have to admit, slightly disappointed look on at least one of the faces around the table but luckily I won them over with this recipe! (The Sunday Roast is an important part of the week to my family, so I have promised one for next week!!)

It may look a complicated dish but it really is so easy to make, perfect for busy evenings when you’ve got so many other things to do as well as preparing a meal! Served with plenty of steamed vegetables this will provide a good balance of nutrients and a very generous and healthy serving of vegetables. Protein from the fish, combined with fat from the olive oil and slow releasing carbs from the sweet potato is a winning combination on many levels!

Serves 4


2 large sweet potatoes

1 aubergine

8-10 garlic cloves

olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

500g cod fillet

8 very thin slices Parma ham, about 100g

large handful of baby spinach leaves

juice of 1/2 lemon

220g cherry tomatoes

handful black olives (optional)

lemon wedges and steamed vegetables to accompany

IMG_6931Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Scrub the skins of the sweet potatoes but don’t peel them. Cut into very thin slices and spread out on a large baking sheet. Wash and thinly slice the aubergine.

Add the aubergine to the sweet potato, drizzle with a little olive oil and season well. Toss the vegetables together and spread out into an even layer. Scatter over the garlic cloves and place in the oven to cook for about 30 minutes until beginning to soften and turn golden brown. Turn the vegetables half way through cooking if they begin to brown too quickly.

IMG_6928Meanwhile divide the cod into four portions. Lay 2 slices of Parma ham out on a work surface and top with a single layer of spinach leaves. Sprinkle over a little lemon juice and season with black pepper. Place one piece of fish at one end of the parma ham and roll up to enclose, tucking any lose pieces of ham underneath. Don’t worry if the ham doesn’t quite enclose the fish, its great to see the colours coming through as it cooks. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until you have four cod parcels.

IMG_6938When the vegetables have been cooking for 30 minutes turn them over and spread out into an even layer again. Place the fish on top and scatter the tomatoes around. Drizzle over any remaining lemon juice and return the tray to the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through, the Parma ham is beginning to crisp and the vegetables are tender and golden brown. If you are adding olives scatter them around the fish 5 minutes before the end of cooking time.


Serve  with a lemon wedge to squeeze over and plenty of steamed vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and green beans to accompany.

This makes a perfect supper dish but would also be great served for a dinner party, simply multiply the ingredients up to serve more people.

If you can’t find cod fillet, then try haddock or monkfish. As monkfish is denser than cod you may find it needs a few extra minutes to cook through.

Exciting News!

I’ve always been interested in nutrition and healthy eating and since starting this blog my interest has doubled! It’s quite a few years since I studied basic nutrition and over recent years there have been massive advances in knowledge and understanding of how nutrients work in the body, their role and benefits. I’ve been really keen to add more in depth nutrition and health information to some of my recipe posts, but if I’m going to talk knowledgeably I decided I should update and improve my understanding so I can confidently write posts that share this useful information with you!


So…..I’ve signed up to do a Diploma in Culinary Medicine. The course is written by Dale Pinnock, you may know him as the Medicinal Chef, who has written numerous cookery books, articles in magazines and newspapers and he also features regularly on television sharing his extensive knowledge on nutrition and health. I shall be ‘studying modules which have been designed to address the most important areas of diet and health in the modern World today’. I’ll also be creating recipes around the science I learn and I hope to share these on the blog with you too!

If anyone else is interested in taking a look at the course then click this link to The School of Culinary Medicine website to find out more information.