Domestic Goddess my arse!

These are the recipes I'm good at... quick, simple, out of the store-cupboard and onto the plate fare. I never spend more than 30 minutes faffing in the kitchen. So there.

This will be my recipe & homemadey remedy diary.

If you have those 'OMG! It's lunchtime and all I've got is a parsnip and a packet of boil in the bag rice.' moments, then you're a kindred spirit and you know that bad planning is often the mother of great food. So welcome to fast slurpy soups and 'really?' salads made from what's left in the fridge.

Never, ever believe there isn't something wonderful to make from the last 3 ingredients in your kitchen. Unless those ingredients really are fairy liquid, eggshells and dead flies.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Winter Supper - Fast & Tasty

Hello Chums!

I'm experimenting with my new toy & a quick blog with a couple of pics on the fly seemed like the perfect opportunity to test the handling of my upgraded tablet. I've swerved the iPad mini - despite its super cute size - and I've stepped away from the latest iPad Air - my chap has one winging its way but seriously - this new gem is such a world away from my ageing tech - it feels like I've entered an episode of Dr Who. One where the nanna's go first!

Fancy Salad Hides Bog Standard Spud
I am currently loving the huge sweet potatoes available at my local grocery shop. We scored Boris for a song this afternoon and shoved him in the oven after a light massage with hemp oil & seasalt. I also popped in a few red onions with the skin on - one got chopped up to go with the spud & the others will get whiz zoomed with chopped mushrooms & stock for soup tomorrow. (We are currently giving 5:2 a go chez nous - more of those recipes another time...) 

Sweet Potatoes will do quite quickly - I time them in 30 min intervals & prong them with a sharp knife to gauge their doneness. While he's getting all hot - fling together a salad with whatever you've got in the fridge. 

What you need is a combination of tastes & textures & colour. If you make a boring salad you ought to be shot. It isn't hard to make something delicious - especially if you keep some store cupboard staples. 

Black cured olives chopped
A handful of baby plumb tomatoes halved
Six stalks of asparagus - cut off the tips & chop the stems small
1/4 large ripe avocado chopped chunky
2 sun dried tomatoes chopped
1/4 cucumber chopped into thick chunks & quartered
Dates chopped (optional - some people don't do sweet with savoury - you're missing out btw)
Chunk of uncut bacon (from the butcher) sliced thickly & fried crispy - then cut into bits
Mix every thing together - except the spinach. Put the spinach into individual serving bowls & dress with a little hemp oil & lemon juice. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients & scatter over the spinach.
When the spuds are ready. Cut in half add butter if you like and fill one half with hummus & roasted onion* & the other with pesto & grated cheese.
*take the onion out of the oven & gently pull off the papery skin. Snip the last bit with kitchen scissors. & curing half, peel the leaves off & add to the hummus side of your sweet potato.
Pics taken hastily with the new tech. Not bad for a quick blog - on the go! 

Fancy Fishy Cakey Doo Dah!

Hello chums... I've had a few moments more than usual to fashion something fabulous for supper from the contents of my badly husbanded fridge. I used to love fish-cakes at school, one of the best days of any week would be made superb by the addition of fish-cakes for lunch or even better tea!

Your mum's fish cakes are always better than anyone else's - that is terrrue!

So I thought I'd have a go at making some. My only stipulation -is there shall be no spuds and no flour. Whenever I use plain flour in patty things - it ends up tasting a bit, well floury...

I just went with what I had in the cupboards - so if it feels a bit un-co. That's because it is.

No matter - soldier on my friends. To the recipe!

Ingredients List Starts Here:

1 leek (to be scrupulously honest it was 3/4 of a leek) - chopped finely
butter and oil (to cook leeks)
2 small salmon fillets - cooked and skinned and flaked
1 tin of tuna - well drained
A small handful of olives (cured black), chopped
2 x sun-dried tomatoes and a little oil, chopped
1 lime (zest of and juice of)
1/4 very ripe avocado (I'd say this is totally optional but did add some bindingness)


For making:

1 egg beaten
1/2 cup cous cous (or polenta whatever you've got)
2 - 4 dsrt spns oats (you can play with the mix and don't worry too much about the amounts)


Cook the leeks in a small amount of butter and oil until soft, but not taking on colour. Set these aside to cool a bit.

Whiz the cous cous and oats in a coffee grinder to make a finer flour. (You can bash in a pestle and mortar if you don't have a mini-whizzer).

In the meantime mix everything else together - and then add the leeks and the oil/butter from the pan. Mix well - you're going for a sticky mixture - not too wet, so make sure you drain the tuna well and keep an eye on the addition of the lime.

If it does feel a bit too wet - just add some of the cous cous/oats flour and mix it in.

Divide the mixture into 6 to 8. Wet you hands and roll each 1/8th into a ball.

Roll in the beaten egg and then roll in the flour mixture.

Pop on a plate and pat down into a fish cake shape.

Continue until you've made all of your fish cakes.

Put this lot in the fridge - this will help them keep their shape when you cook them, so an hour is good and longer is better.

When you are ready - heat some* oil in a deepish frying pan and cook the fish cakes for around 3 mins on each side, until they are crisp and golden. They should be warm and soft in the centre.


I'd say 2 each for a light supper - but me and him are having all three so there!

I'm serving ours with shredded mange touts and blanched, spiralised courgette spaghetti with red, tomato pesto.

There may be some banana ice cream

*this really depends on your taste - I use Healthy Oil and or olive oil because that's what I like - but you can spray the pan, or use sunflower oil - chaque a son gōut! 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Bannana & Cherry Choc 'Icecream'

Oooh! Stop what your doing, chop up two large narnas & stick em in the freezer, pop to Tesco & buy frozen cherries 3 packs of frozen fruit for a fiver when I last looked! 

Then do this ...

Put bananas, two big handfuls of frozen cherries & 1 tablespoon cocoa powder* into a high speed blender - I use Froothie's Optimum - way cheaper than the American bad boys & just as effective!  (*raw, organic if you have - any old dark chocolate powder will do).

Switch on the blender @ low and slowly up the ante - use the tamper to smush the frozen fruit to the middle - eventually it will all start blending.

Don't over blend... 

Add smashed up bits of broken chocolate if you like. I don't like cold chocolate.

Serve immediately - tŵo piggy portions or three to four smaller ones.

You can add almond milk to the stuff stuck in the bottom & whizz - to make a cheeky milk shake too! 

Perfect, creamy, fruity & cool - if you don't add choccy powder it's practically guilt free! 

Tastes like heaven fell into your bowl!

No pic - scoffed it before I even gave a thought to sharing!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Oat Milk Smoothie

What a beautiful day! I yomped across the park to the supermarket to load up on veggies. I spotted a new product in the non-milk, milk section. It's called Oatly and it comes in organic and non-organic options. The organic option is just oats, water and a pinch of salt for £1.48 or 2 for £2.00. The jolly nice people at Oatly also informed me that the oats accounted for 10% of the ingredients.

I figure with just a pinch of salt - that would give me 90% water!

So I also thought I'd have a go and make my own. Turned out really well. I use Flahavan's organic oats - but I'm quite sure nothing horrid would happen to you if you went ahead and used regular old oats.

YOIKS! So sorry - posted this at stoopid O'clock and got the measurements wrong. I doubt it killed ya - and I also doubt you were making fake Oatly at 2am in the morning. I also forgot to mention I put a squeeze of maple syrup into mine... It's all sorted. Let's move on shall we?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Cous Cous Quick Quick

I am home alone for lunch & I wanted something quick - so I flung together left-overs. If you cook then you will always have leftover bits and bobs. Well you will if you're smart enough to always make extra! 

This salad was so quick it's almost too cheeky to post it. But it was so good, and it demonstrates the art of kitchen magic. The kind of spellificarion that comes with a stuffed fridge & a bit of whizzbangery! 

Don't fret if you didn't have stuffed mushrooms last night - chopped raw shrooms will work perfectly! 

Here's what you need...

Left over cous cous (although lets be honest tipping water from a kettle over a 1/3 cup of couscous isn't going to slow you down. I make mine with a bit of chicken stock paste for extra flavour)

Left over Mushroom  Duxelle - posh for cooked, chopped mushroom.

1 large, ripe beef tomato chopped into big pieces

6 black, cured olives chopped

2 desert spoons of toasted pumpkin & sunflower seeds

Grated hard goats cheese (or cheddar, or buffalo mozzarella, feta, griddled haloumi... On an on it might go)

Hemp oil (or good olive oil)

In a bowl mix the cous cous, olives, duxelle, mixed seeds (reserve some for fancy presentation).

Top with chopped tomatoes & grated cheese & finish with a drizzle of hemp oil & a cheeky sprinkle of seeds.

Done & darned delish! 

Super healthy too - you could bump up the happy & serve on a bed of baby spinach or wilted kale. 

I just yummed it out of the bowl!

Enjoy & let me know your variations! 

Oh if you haven't got a bowl of leftover duxelle hanging about either ditch it & stir in some red or green pesto - or chop raw mushrooms finely & stir in to the couscous. Can't say fairer than that!

Mushroom Duxelle | Luli style!

Afternoon all! I've recently developed cravings for mushrooms ... Which is remarkable only because I can't usually be bothered with them - I find cooking them a faff & raw - they rarely appeal. Bland and squeaky... Am I right? So after perfecting mushroom soup - I ventured into new shroom territory & made stuffed mushrooms. 

Turns out life isn't to short to stuff one - as long as its a whopper Portobello Beauty!

Here is my recipe for the stuffing bit. 

Luli Tip | make more than you need - this delicious mix works perfectly in wraps, sarnies, picnic ham'n eggs & stirred into couscous for a super quick lunch!

Recipe Goes Like This 

Duxelle Ingredients

1 pack of mushrooms - finely chopped - I used bog standard creamy coloured ones - any will do!
2 fat cloves of garlic
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1 red onion (quartered & roasted)
1 red pepper (quartered & roasted)
Thyme - plays really well with mushrooms
Chilli flakes 
Salt & pepper to season
Olive oil

Easy As This ...

I chopped mushrooms in Optimus Prime - my high speed blender -using the pulse & making a fine chop & some mushed mush. Tip this into a large pan with heated olive oil with at least a teaspoon of Thyme & a pinch or more of chilli flakes & chopped garlic.

Now cook gently with the lid on. You can use butter instead or additionally - it will taste amazing. Chaque à son gôut. Thass fresh!

Meanwhile add the tomatoes, roasted onion & pepper to the blender & whiz til blended - it doesn't have to be smooth.

When the mushrooms are cooked - add the tomatoey mixture & stir together. Season to taste.

You can add chopped black olives & even a little chorizo here if you like.

This is the Duxelle.

For stuffed Portobello Mushrooms 

Remove the stalk & scrape the gills from the big mushroom - chop finely & add to the mushroom mix. 

If you like spread a little red pesto in the bowl of the mushroom before stuffing with Duxelle - it will taste delicious & you will feel very Cheffy.

Pop in the oven to gently cook the mushrooms @220 for 15 mins. It depends on how cooked you like them. I prefer mine to be a little under. 

Serve topped with slices of pan fried haloumi sprinkled with a bit of lemon juice. 

Or a poached egg would be heavenly oozing over the top of these. If I could poach a perfect egg, my life would be instantly transformed. Proper cooks can poach proper. 

You could also grate good old cheddar & stick it back in the oven to melt it for a few moments for blissful supperage.

Serve with some dark leafy greens drizzled with hemp oil & studed with chopped, raw asparagus... 

If you are a veggie & you want to up the protein - then add a handful of 'minced' cashews to the mushroom mix before you cook it. 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Watermelon Smoothie!

Oooh ooh - we scored a huge watermelon for £2.50 today - and I made this amazing smoothie. It took seconds in my new toy Optimus Prime. You will get excellent results in your blender - you may need to let the narnas soften a little.

I chop up ripe bananas and stick them in ziplock bags in the freezer - so they're ready to go for banana ice cream and smoothies whenever I fancy it!


3 very ripe conference pears - washed and chopped
1 big chunk of a big watermelon (about 1/8)
2 bananas - frozen in chunks
1 large bunch of mint

Put all the ingredients in a high speed blender - and whizz on high for @45seconds - until really smooth.

This made enough for 3 large glasses of smoothie.

Sweet, watermelony, cold and refreshing.

Won't You Come Home Pearl Barley | Summer Salad

Pearl Barley is an underused ingredient if you ask me. It's high in fiber, chock full of b vits and iron and a cup gives you 4gms of protein. It tastes great and it's as cheap as chips - so instead of leaving it in the back of the cupboard until the winter and then chucking it into a soup as an after thought - have a go at this brilliant summer salad that show cases the humble grain!

Heart Healthy Pearl Barley deserves our love.

This salad is brilliant on it's own or alongside some mixed leaves drizzled with hemp oil and lemon juice and we had it with a juicy classic tomato, basil and mozzarella combo. Heavenly!

Pop this lot on your next shopping list:

1 cup of pearl barley (I soak mine over night to make cooking even quicker!)
1 large bunch of parsley (curly or flat) - finely chopped
8 - 10 black olives cured in olive oil (not the soapy horrid things that come in jars or tins) - chopped.
3tspns nutritional yeast (particularly good for vegetarianeenies)
Olive Oil
Soy sauce (optional)
chicken stock (paste)
Hard Goats Cheese (grated) as much as you like!
pumpkin, sunflower, flax seed - toasted (do a pan-full and save any you don't use for spronklings)

You can also add peas - I didn't this time.

I also stir in extras - like ground seeds but this isn't necessary.

Do it like a Luli!

If you've soaked your pearl barley, then give it another rinse and put it in a saucepan with two cups of water. You can use a good heaped teaspoon of chicken paste stock if you like. Let the water come to a gentle simmer and leave it to cook and absorb all the water. @10 - 15 mins. Keep an eye on it - you can hear when it's getting close to sticking - it sort of crackles.

Turn the heat off, stir in the nutritional yeast, and any other ground seeds you're adding - sprinkle with a little olive oil. Put a lid on it and let it steam.

Meanwhile, chop the parsley and olives and grate the cheese.

Stir in the parsley and olives when the grains are still warm.

If you are going to eat it warm -then you can stir in the toasted seeds and the cheese an serve.

If you prefer to eat it cold - then wait for it to cool down before adding the cheese and seeds.

If you are putting in peas - these can go in whenever you feel like it!

I cup of cooked grains is @193 calories and this will make three good servings - so it's pretty waist friendly even with the cheese!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Maca Narna Smoothie

Super quick supper tonight. This is my version of comfort food when I am being healthy! 

Put 500mls of water & 2 desert spoons of good, raw, almond butter into your blender.

I've got an Optimum 9400 high speed beast. If you haven't - just use almond milk. 

Add the following:

2 small bananas 
Handful of spinach
1/2 desert spoon maca powder
1 desert spoon good, cacao (cocoa) powder
1 squeeze of maple syrup (you can use a sweetener of your choice)
4 dates halved
Heaped desert spoon of ground mixed seeds (you can make your own or buy fab combos from a health food shop)

You could also add cinnamon or ginger or vanilla - or go mad & bung in all 3! 

Whiz it up and yum it down! 

If you've got a brute whizzer like an Optimum or a Vitamix then you can whizz for a few mins & gently heat your smoothie. 

But if you're fully raw - then ditch the maple & add ice! 

Mine was off the scale delicious - I'm giving it five stars *****

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Raw Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie

Hold onto your hats mateys - I have got my hands on a high speed blender - Vitamix stylee. Although mine is an Aussy brand and he goes by the name of Optimus Prime. He is big and butch and is laying waste to veggies and fruits with the flick of a chunky switch. I am in lurve... L.U.V! 

So I've made my own cheat's Almond Milk - which is so-oh easy. Pay attention because you'll need this later!

Do this:
Put 500ml water into the jug - add 2 desert spoons of raw almond butter* and switch it on! Whack up to overdrive and let it go until you've got super delicious, raw almond milk with absolutely no added anythings!

This smoothie doesn't look as pretty as some do - but it is really tasty - and it is chok full of the really good gear. It makes a lot of smoothie - and if you like you can adjust the amount of almond milk to get the consistency you prefer.

After mine had been in the fridge for a few hours - it thickened up even more - so watch that!

(*Protein Works - are my go-to heroes)

Monday, 23 June 2014

Breakfast Smoothie with Maca


I'm in the middle of a 28 Day Juice Plan - on the weekend you get a 'treat'! Which is almond milk based - so it's creamy and sweet. Last night's was a basic almond milk and banana mix - which I doctored with added spinach -  It was lovely but I made too much. So this morning I'm off plan - and finishing off the left overs... with a few further additions.

This smoothie is delicious, it's packed full of the good gear so it has everything you need to make it to lunch time.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Spring Salads For Rainy Spuds

Here's a couple of fresh spring salads to cheer myself up. It's pouring down with rain & I've put two whopper sweet potatoes in the oven to bake. 

I oil my spuds with hemp oil to add a nutty taste & rub them with sea salt. 

I don't mind if sweet potatoes over cook and leak sticky juice into the baking tray. If I had a red pepper I would roast this too & add it chopped to the lettuce. 

Salad Leaves

Too easy. Baby spinach & chopped gem lettuce mixed together and dressed with lemons & hemp oil. 

Spiralized Courgette Pesto

With the small noodle blade, spiralise a whole courgette. If you haven't got one, then you can julienne your courgette but it's seconds work to spiralise & rinse the spiraliser so why wouldn't you!?

Add 2 teaspoons of good pesto & gently mix. Now add grated old Gouda (or any hard, strong, sharp cheese), 2 teaspoons of capers, a handful of pumpkin seeds and a handful of cashews. 

Perfect, raw, crunchy & indulgent! 

When the spuds are cooked serve with hummus & chopped chorizo & the salady goodness.


Breakfast Smoothie | Hello Choccy Narnia

Super quick recipe - mainly to capture the ingredients for my own rememberating. I'm juicing quite a lot at the moment. I do love it - but I do start jonesing for something indulgent and this whopper brekky smoothie hits the spot.

Our lovely Sparks arrived early to do some little niggly jobs - hello light fitting above the kitchen table - that works when you flick the switch at that end... and goodbye steamy bathroom windows - our new spanky fan will banish condensation for EVER...

We were swapping smoothie ingredients. He is pretty hardcore - fermented rice protein anyone? Blearch... right? I'm more your cacao and maple syrup kind of a gal.

Anyhoo while we were nattering - I made this:

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Weightwatcher Friendly | Lively Butternut Squash Soup

Making soup has got to be the quickest way to a healthy, hearty lunch or supper. If you're a weightwatcher then you'll be after the holy grail - Zero Point Soup. For me I feel, that for the sake of a couple of points saved - you're missing out on some extra, uber delicious, flavour and nutritional wonderment.

So I unashamedly claim that this soup is WWer friendly - but it isn't zero points. To give it a fair shout-out, it isn't high in points - but it does have delicious, nutritious hemp oil in it - and if you are really going to do it justice - a gert big dollop of hummous too!

There I've laid my cards on the table. 

Successful soup is all in the base and the fixings - that said. We can get on with the recipe...

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Organic Spinach, Date & Courgette Salad

Good evening. Good Evening! I'm forced to wait another 15 minutes before the HUGE sweet potatoes have baked to perfection in the oven. Lets get one thing straight from the off - we can never be together if you consider microwaving any kind of spud acceptable.

Slow baked - with butter = heavenly supper without any effort. Right there - dollop on the hummus and off you go. No need to thank me.

So in fact - I have made a great salad to go with our super delicious sweet patooties.

Here's what you need to know - below...

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

A proper cook makes Cottage Pie | Guest Post

 I give you The Cottage Pie Maker and The Cottage Pie Scoffer!
I was up 'That London' last week. Staying at perfect pal's little apartment at the base of the gert big spike. The view of the Shard at the end of the street on leaving her block made my heart soar to the top and fly about with the pigeons -  marvelous thing. 

So Perfect Pal has featured here before, that Pea Swoop didn't just arrive from the planet Pod you know. Well this time I was treated to the most delicious Cottage Pie - I've ever eaten. Now the caveat here is that this pie was helped along with a proper gravy - this pal is a real cook - she makes real gravy. However don't worry too much about that - we can bash out an old favorite just be following her instructions.

Be warned: Miss Kim is not given to convention. I didn't take a picture of the pie - too greedy for it! I do have a pic of me and the excellent woman in question.