Healthy Living

A Dietitian’s Kitchen – November

20141117_170146I’ve always enjoyed fish, and I make an effort to ensure we get at least two portions per week. Fish is a good source of protein, lower in saturated fat than red meat and oily fish also contains those all-important omega-3s for heart health. Fish is also a good source of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), calcium (obtained from the fish bones) and magnesium. However, I find I’m often opting for the same types. This month I’m making an extra special effort to buy the more unusual types of fish that I either haven’t had before or haven’t had in a while.
Variety in the diet is something I emphasise to my clients and live by myself; as eating lots of different foods means that we get the different nutrients they all contain. Pictured are a couple of sardines we made into a tasty tomato pasta dish. Sardines are a great choice because they’re cheap, sustainable and a good source of healthy fats. I’m not overly keen on fishy fish, but the chili in this recipe worked superbly 🙂 (By the way, I left the gutting to my other half!)

As we’re on the subject of fish…I’ve also tried sushi again this month. Coming from a small town in West Wales, sushi restaurants weren’t exactly easily accessed when I was younger, and when I went to university I just never tried it (could well be down to having a housemate who was allergic to fish!) Anyway, I tried sushi for the first time about a year ago and didn’t like it. Having tried it again last week, I’m afraid I’ve still got a way to go before I can actually enjoy a traditional Japanese meal! It’s something I’d like to enjoy though, so it’s not my final attempt.

20141115_195605I don’t know about you, but as the weather gets colder, cold fruit and vegetables all the time just don’t do it for me. I’m quite a lover of raw vegetables or salad for lunch through the summer…but winter hits and I want something warm. A lot of the time I’ll make a soup, but (here comes that variety thing again) I also want something different. I’ve been making ratatouille with different veggies and baking squash, aubergine and sweet potato too.
Aubergine is a particular favourite of mine because I really like the texture. Aubergine, AKA eggplant, is very low in calories and high in fibre. It also contains B-vitamins and anti-oxidants. Plus the gorgeous purple skin makes any plate look divine!

20141115_143711No…These aren’t chips..I’ve even started baking fruit! I find baked apple slices with a little cinnamon have that added appeal in these cold months!


November has also been a busy month for birthdays! I enjoy baking, so I figured that I’d try and put a dietitian slant on my cakes and bakes. That’s included a carrot cake (YUM!), some chickpea brownies and a chocolate sponge made with quinoa instead of flour. I enjoy experimenting with recipes and enjoy the reaction from my friends when I tell them what they’re made from even more!

See you next month!

Healthy Living

A Dietitian’s Kitchen – October

Well, I’m cheating this month. September was a bit hectic and I didn’t get a chance to fill you in on what’s been going on in my kitchen, so I’m combing the two!

September saw the arrival of my new favourite toy…

food pro

I love it, and I actually think I’ve used it pretty much every day. I’m not sure how I lived without one for so long.

I’m now able to make my own hummus, smoothies and juices so easily. There’s no more tears slicing onions and all my veg is universally chopped!

Watch out for future recipes using this baby!


Autumn seems to have hit Brussels with a vengeance. The weather seems to have gone from being gorgeous to hat and scarf weather overnight! So, my soups have made a return. I’m a BIG fan of soups for loads of reasons;

1. They taste great and are packed with vegetable goodness
2. It’s a handy way of using up any leftover veg (or leftovers for that matter)
3. They’re relatively cheap and easy to make
4. Convenient to keep in the fridge or frozen
5. It’s all cooked in one pot so you don’t lose any of the water soluble vitamins

I could go on, but you get my point. SOUPS ARE AWESOME. I’ll be posting some recipes soon.

Curries have also been on the menu a lot recently. I’ll be honest, 9 times out of 10 I’m pretty lazy and use a curry paste, but we’ve got brave of late and had some fantastic taste (and smell) explosions going on. Our spice collection is now building and I’m just working on a final recipe for a vegetable curry that tasted amazing.

As my Eatwell group starts in a couple of weeks, most of my time in the kitchen has been dedicated to designing the course and recipes for that. 

So, it’s a bit of a ‘watch this space’ month, but hopefully, these recipes will be worth the wait!

Healthy Living

A Dietitian’s Kitchen – August

A few months ago my fellow dietitian, Gemma, from Dietitianwithoutborders, came up with an idea to give dietitians the opportunity to share what goes on in their kitchen. Like Gemma, I also get asked a lot about things I cook with so, naturally, I thought it was a great idea.

Here’s what’s going on in my kitchen for August:

20140730_082855 (2)Quinoa. I’ve been wanting to try this for ages, and on a recent visit back to the UK, I stocked up. I’m glad I did. For one, it’s much cheaper there and also, I’ve since discovered it’s versatility. I really like the taste of it, it tastes nice sweetened with fruits but also compliments savoury flavours. Quinoa contains higher levels of some amino acids than other grains, it’s a great source of fibre and makes a nice change to rice or cous-cous. I’m still finalising some more recipes to blog about, but I have (in my humble opinion) perfected my quinoa porridge recipe. Now I just need to find somewhere in Brussels that doesn’t charge 10€ a bag!!

chicoryChicory. I’ll be honest…sometimes I manage to get myself into a bit of a vegetable rut. I end up buying the same veggies week in, week out, which is silly really as I love most of them! I’ve now vowed to add a different vegetable to the shopping trolley every week! Chicory was something I’d never tried, let alone cooked! I picked up a big bag at the weekend, added it to a stir fry and made a sort of soup/casserole with leek and potato. Both were nice but the flavour of the chicory got a bit lost so I’m still experimenting. So far my favourite is oven baked chicory with bacon and stilton, the blue cheese really compliments the bitter chicory.

20140812_165735Plantain Bananas. One of the things I love about Brussels is the food markets. These plantains are something I’ve seen a lot of, there’s a great stall at our local market that cooks fresh, authentic curries and serves these as a side dish. We’ve had them a couple of times, and this week I decided to give them a go myself. Raw, they look, smell and appear to have a similar texture to bananas. However, it’s best to cook them – they don’t taste half as good raw! As the plantain becomes more ripe, the skin goes black, resembling a very over-ripe banana, but the inside will still be orangeish, or even tinged pink. The more black the skin becomes, the sweeter the plantain is. The beauty of this is that the plantain tastes different at each stage of ripeness.


That’s what’s been going on in my kitchen so far in August..!