Tag Archives: vegetables

Flaked Fillet of Salmon with a Medley of Mediterranean Vegetables

Strictly no salt, butter or dairy products. No chocolate or coffee! That was the damming verdict of the doctor who is treating my husband for alarmingly high blood pressure.

Hubby, being a non smoker and having already given up alcohol, may just have, then and there, thrown in the towel.  I selfishly lamented the decrement of my culinary creativity and cast off my crown as ‘Queen of the Cream’.  Mon Dieu, quelle catastrophe!  With a penchant for French cuisine and cream based sauces, these words were neither welcome or pleasing. Not to make immediate changes to his diet and continue blithely, I would have been complicit in his premature demise – the doctor’s words were both somber and sobering. Determined to see it as a challenge to my creativity and to increase my understanding and knowledge of alternative flavour enhancers; I am enjoying working with new ingredients and combinations of herbs and spices.

With all this at the forefront of my mind, I concocted yesterday evening’s meal by baking and flaking salmon fillet and mixing it with a medley of finely chopped Mediterranean vegetables served with fluffy rice. I used more pepper than usual, lots of garlic (proven to be very good for the heart) and just a touch of fresh ginger to give a hint of tanginess. And all without a grain of salt!

Flaked Fillet of Salmon with a Medley of Mediterranean Vegetables


  • 350g of salmon fillet
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped finely
  • 1 large leek, chopped finely
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped finely
  • 1 courgette, chopped finely
  • 1 sweet red pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 large tomato, deseeded and chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1cm piece of freshly chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp of good olive oil
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • chopped parsley or basi to garnish


  1. SERVES 2
  2. Wrap/seal the salmon fillet in foil that has been lightly oiled. A squeeze of lemon juice is good.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees centigrade / 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes.
  4. Open the foil and flake the salmon when cool.
  5. Place all the chopped vegetables in a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil olive and cook gently for 20 minutes.
  6. Mix the flaked salmon with the medley of vegetables and serve on a bed of rice or olive oil mashed potatoes.

Roast Potalic!

The naming of this dish came about, I will admit, as a result of the over imbibition of wine! There’s a word I couldn’t have said the moment I coined the recipe name!! What I meant to say, when asked what we were having for dinner was ‘roast potatoes with garlic’, but it came out as ‘potalic‘! On reflection, I think it’s a good name for the dish which oozes garlic. Not recommended the night before a hot date, your wedding or if you work as a doctor, optometrist or dentist; but a possible solution for those with agoraphobic tendencies – a serving of ‘potalic‘ the night before is sure to guarantee you a wide berth – imagine, a carriage to yourself on a packed commuter train!

It’s an incredibly easy dish to prepare using a copious amount of olive oil. I used a bulb and a half of garlic. Some cloves, I lightly crushed and cooked whole and some I chopped. You could also roast a bulb of garlic and squeeze out the pulp to add to the oil – this will give the dish yet another taste dimension as roasted garlic has a sweeter taste. So you get the gist – use loads of garlic!


Heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Peel and cut the potatoes and add them to the hot oil. Cook for 10 minutes as the potatoes need a little more roasting time, then remove the tray from the oven. Add the garlic in all forms, along with a large sliced onion, carrots and a red pepper which adds colour and sweetness. Season with sea salt and ground pepper. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash would also be good additions. Cover loosely with a piece of foil to avoid singeing and reduce the temperature of the oven to 170/180 degrees centigrade. Cook until the potatoes are ready, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes to brown a little. The flavours are tantalising and the dish looks appetising. I also like it because everything goes into one pan – served with a juicy grilled steak – what could be easier or tastier. And it should guarantee you personal space on the train!

Garlic facts!

Referring to garlic, Hippocrates (the ancient Greek physician), said “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”. He used garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions and modern science has since confirmed many of these beneficial health effects. Part of the onion family, it is high in a sulphur compound called Allicin, which is believed to bring most of the health benefits as it is rich in vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese. Garlic also helps to prevent and reduce the severity of flu and the common cold. A high dose of garlic (at least 3 cloves a day) has been proved to reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure and can be as effective as regular prescription medications. There are also academic claims that it protects against cell damage and ageing and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In addition, there are claims of longevity, improved physical performance and its ability to reduce toxins in the body.

It seems to me, we would be foolish not to add this to our daily diets. I will certainly be upping my family’s intake!



Cottage Crumble

Cottage Pie must be high on the list of dishes most synonymous  with British cuisine – up there with fish and chips, roast beef, hot pots and pies. It is also a dish that you might think of serving on a cold winter’s night, when deeply satisfying comfort food is the order of the day.

To add a little more paz-zaz to what can sometimes be a bland dish, I like to ‘jazz’ my recipe up with a few extra ingredients, a ‘glug’ of sherry and a cheesy crumble top. With the addition of various cottage-garden vegetables and a potato and butternut squash mash, it’s packed with natural goodness and positively zings with flavour!


Minced beef and pork with sliced carrots, leeks and cabbage cooked with a ‘glug’ of sherry!



Crumble the salty biscuits (Tuc or Ritz)!


Mix the crumbled biscuits with softened butter. Grate the Cheddar cheese and combine together.


Mash the potato and butternut squash. Spoon on top of the meat mixture and add the biscuit and cheese crumble. Sprinkle with dried oregano. Bake and serve!



Cottage Crumble

Prep Time: 30 Mins Cooking Time: 1 Hour Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Mins


  • 800g of potatoes for mashing
  • 300g of butternut squash, cubed for mashing
  • a generous knob of butter for the mash
  • full fat milk for the mash
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 to 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 600 to 800g of minced meat (as you wish – pork or beef or a mix)
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • half a small cabbage, shredded
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 1 cup of medium or sweet sherry
  • 380/390g tomato puree (passata) 
  • 60/70g of ‘Tuc’ or ‘Ritz’ biscuits
  • Grated Cheddar cheese or similar
  • 50/60g Butter, softened to mix with the crumbed biscuits
  • Dried Oregano, to sprinkle on top


  2. Peel the potatoes and butternut squash and cut into chunks. Place in a pan of salted boiling water.
  3. When the potatoes/butternut squash are soft, mash with butter and milk, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. In a large pan, add the olive oil, the carrots, leeks and cabbage. Salt and pepper.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the minced meat and combine together.
  6. Add the sherry and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and simmer to cook through.
  7. Place the meat mixture in and oven dish and top with the mashed potatoes/butternut squash.
  8. Sprinkle over the cheese crumble topping and finish with a shake of dried oregano.
  9. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees centigrade (350 degrees fahrenheit)