Tag Archives: fish

Trullo Pastas

Peter bought me the Trullo cookbook as a pre-Christmas gift and we decided to celebrate the New Year with an Italian themed dinner.

Trullo is a very popular Italian restaurant in Highbury – North London – its always busy, gets great reviews and serves delicious unfussy Italian food.

Our starter was Burrata with anchovy paste and broad beans – this is the sort of dish i always order when im out for dinner and it was surprisingly easy to make – blitzing anchovies, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in the nutri-bullet, and simply topping with the burrata and scattering broad beans on top.

Anyway – on to the main courses which i will write up here – both very simple and tasty and again, the sorts of dishes I would always order in an Italian restaurant.

Firstly for the Orecchiette with Broccoli, Anchovy and Chilli

Serves 2
500g Tenderstem or Purple Sprouting Broccoli
2 Garlic Cloves – finely diced
Sprinkle of dried Chilli flakes
1/2 tin Anchovies
200g Orecchiette Pasta (Farfalle is recommended if you cant source the “little ears”)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan – for seasoning at the end

Boil the broccoli for 7 minutes and leave to one side.
Boil the pasta according to instructions – ours took around 10minutes which is exactly how long the sauce took to cook!
In a shallow frying pan gently fry the garlic and chilli in some olive oil until the garlic starts to colour. Add the anchovies to melt for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli and a dash of water and pop a lid on the pan for 8-10 minutes. Remove the lid, season and add more olive oil for a little extra richness. Mix together with the pasta and serve with parmesan shavings on top.

The second dish was Linguine with Crab – this used both white and brown crab meat and was a completely new but easy and super tasty way of cooking a crab and pasta dish.

Serves 2
1 tin White crab meat
80g Brown crab meat
200g Linguine
1/2 Red Chilli – diced
20g Butter
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper
1tbsp Parsley – chopped

Cook the linguine in boiling water for 10 minutes – again this is roughly how long the crab takes to prepare.
In a bowl, mix together the brown and white crab, chilli, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper and leave to one side.
In a large shallow frying pan, gently fry the butter and add the crab mixture – mix well, adding a splash of pasta water to seperate if needed. Once the pasta is cooked and drained – add this to the crab and mix thoroughly – adding more pasta water if needed. The sauce will emulsify as it coats the linguine.
Serve with a little extra black pepper to taste.


Recovery Salad – Watermelon, Feta and Tuna

I’ve had a tough week – an infection and high blood pressure has had me in an ambulance, at the doctors, in tears, in bed and quite frankly feeling pretty pants!

I’m on the mend now and more eager than ever to get my diet on track with a focus on maintaining good blood pressure levels and good energy levels – i am supposed to be training for the 3 peaks challenge after all!

After a long day at work yesterday at the end of which I had a banging headache, I took myself home for a relaxing evening of healthy dinner and catch up on celebrity big brother (my not-so-guilty pleasure!)

A little reading of The Optimum Nutrition Bible, my trusted Neals Yard Healing Foods book and The Happy Kitchen by Rachel Kelly gave me inspiration for a quick and easy salad which would hopefully help me get some balance and energy back as well as help me feel better.

Feta, Watermelon and Tuna salad quite honestly sound like three ingredients which should never be eaten together but the salad was fresh, sweet and light. Peppery rocket goes fantastically with salty feta and zingy watermelon and the sweet black olives cut through the fatty tuna. Trust me on this one and if you cant then either leave out the tuna (or substitute for chicken) or switch the watermelon for tomatoes to retain some juicy sweetness.

The reasons i chose this salad after being poorly this week are :

Watermelon – rich in vitamin c and antioxidants which are good for immune support and contains potassium which helps to normalise blood  pressure. Watermelons are also good for digestion having a natural diuretic effect.

Rocket – protects against infections through very high vitamin C content  – it is also used for its energising and detoxifying qualities.

Tuna – a semi oily fish – good source of magnesium and potassium which are good for heart health and helping keep blood pressure low. Tuna is a great protein, good for energy and heart health.

Feta – helps supply a sustained energy and help to keep the gut running  nicely ensuring good digestion.

Ok – so now for the construction of the salad which is nice and easy. Marinate 100g diced tuna steak in some lime juice, olive oil and a teaspoon of oregano and leave to one side. Start to assemble the salad with 80g rocket as the salad base. Scatter over 20g low fat feta (chopped into small cubes), 90g diced watermelon, 1/2 red onion – thinly sliced, 70g black olives (halved). Gently fry the tuna in a pan for 2 minutes (save any of the marinade as this becomes the salad dressing) until sealed on the outside and still pink on the inside. Pop the tuna on top of the salad and scatter some shredded mint leaves and the left over lime and oregano dressing on top. Enjoy and feel good!


Hormone Balancing Sesame Tuna Salad

During a stressful time where i am a moody little wotsit; tired, teary and lethargic I wanted to use ingredients which would help to bring me balance – cheer me up, keep my skin and hair healthy, calm me down and taste delicious. Balanced hormones keep weight down, keep us happy, ensure our skin and hair are clear, healthy and strong. Hormone inbalance can disrupt sleep, deplete energy and reduce the strength of our immune system so you can see its important to look after our hormones all the time!

This tuna salad did just that. Just cooking and putting it together cheered me up – its a very colourful salad. According to some research, Omega-3 rich foods such as tuna can have a positive effect on mental health reducing depression. Cooking the sesame tuna in coconut oil rather than another oil also helps to balance hormones – good for the skin, easy to digest, quick source of energy and protects against bad bacteria. The avocado is also great – its high potassium, vitamins B and E and folic acid are also essential im maintaining hormonal balance. Dark green veggies are powerful sources of antioxidents – here i use kale and broccoli. I could use up a whole blog post on how fabulous kale is so i’ll go into detail another time – suffice to say its amazing! The brightly coloured veggies including radish, mango and carrot are great sources of vitamin C too.  

Serves 2


2 Tuna Steaks
1 Garlic Clove – finely sliced
2 Red Chillis – finely sliced
2cm Ginger – peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1tbsp Sesame Oil
2tbsp Coconut Oil
Handful Fresh Coriander – chopped
20g Cashew Nuts
3tbsp Sesame Seeds (I used black and white)
2 Spring Onions – sliced

200g Kale – I massaged this is a little cold water to soften the leaves slightly
1 Mango – chopped into chunks
8 Radishes – sliced
½ head broccoli – chopped into florets and cooked to al dente to retain crunch
1 avocado – diced
Handful of Coriander – chopped
1 nest of Whole-wheat Rice Noodles – to cook, place in boiling water for 3 minutes

1 Chilli – diced
2tbsp Soy Sauce
1tbsp Lime juice
1tbsp Maple Syrup
3tbsp Sesame Oil
1tsp AllSpice

This is the straight forward part! Marinate the tuna in the chilli, ginger, garlic and sesame oil – place in the fridge for at least an hour. Make the dressing my mixing all ingredients together and seasoning to taste. Bring al the salad ingredients together making sure everything is mixed together and pour the dressing on the top. Leave in the fridge to infuse – not for too long though as you don’t want everything to go soggy – I would say 20 minutes whilst you prep and cook the tuna is fine. Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a dry pan for a few minutes, let them brown slightly and start to smell toasty! Leave to one side. Once the tuna is marinated remove from the marinade (I poured the marinade into the salad for extra taste and so as not to waste as those lovely flavours). Mix the sesame seeds together in a bowl and place the tuna steaks into the seeds to cover on all sides. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the sesame coated tuna for 3 minutes on each side. This should ensure the steaks are cooked medium and the sesame seeds are nice and toasted.

To bring together, place the dressed salad on the base of the bowl and top with the tuna steak. Scatter the cashews, remaining coriander and spring onions on top. I defy anyone not to enjoy this salad – its fabulously nutritious, tasty, light and pretty!

Korean Salmon

As i sit on the train up to St Albans to see my bestie Zoe I am writing this blog as a reminder of the best chilli sauce i have ever tasted. Its super easy and versatile and uses one of my favourite ingredients at the moment – gochujang paste. I think I have mentioned it before in a blog – its Korean Chilli Paste – rich, spicy, and sweet all at the same time.

The inspiration for this recipe is JinJuu which is a brilliant Korean restaurant in Carnaby St London. I’ve been a few times and always get the Tofu Bibimbap and the Sticky Chicken wings – AMAZING!

Anyway, Judy Joo, the chef behind the place has a cookbook which i bought for Elix for Christmas and it is packed with tasty recipes.

This recipe is a simple grilled Salmon dish – its the Gochujang glaze which makes it so special. After making a batch of the glaze I also used it to marinade some chicken and drizzled it over some lightly fried tofu – both worked and were delicious!

For the Gochujang Glaze
3tbsp Gochujang Paste
2tsbp Mirin
2tbsp Soy Sauce
2tbsp Sugar
2 Cloves Garlic – grated
1/2 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Grated Ginger
1 tsp Black Pepper

Mix everything together! Yep – thats it, so straight forward!
To make the salmon dish, I brushed the sauce generously over the salmon fillets and grilled for 8 minutes. To serve, scatter over some spring onion slices and sesame seeds and plate alongside some brown rice and greens.

Our Fish Nugget Tacos

I’m sharing this recipe as it’s one of my favourites, I cook it often and always forget which recipe book the crumb mix is from (spend ages leafing through dozens of books) and Elix and I made it for Christmas eve dinner and Mum wants the recipe.

The crumb recipe is inspired by Silvena Rowe’s Za’atar crusted Cod and I pair this with a Cauliflower fattoush style salad and tortilla wraps. I like to think of this as a Middle East meets Mexico dish – flavours of the Middle east delivered in a Mexican style taco.
You can buy za’atar in most supermarkets (even in Toots!) but you can also make it ypurslef by mixing 1tsp sumac, ground cumin, dried marjoram and toasted sesame seeds with 2tsp fresh thyme or oregano.

Serves 2

For the Fish Nuggets

2 Cod/Haddock fillets – cut into bitesize pieces
100g Pistachios – blitzed
3tbsp Breadcrumbs
1tbsp Za’atar
1tsp Nigella Seeds
2 eggs
Plain Flour

For the Salad

1/2 Cauliflower – chopped into tiny florets
Handful Parsley, Mint, Coriander – chopped
1/2 cucumber – chopped
8 Radishes – thinly sliced
8 Cherry Tomatoes – quartered
Seeds of a Pomegranate
Juice of a Lemon
Olive Oil

Blitz the ingredients for the crumb together until coarse. Start yourself a little conveyor belt of bowls of plain flour, beaten eggs and the crumb. Lightly coat the fish pieces in flour, followed by egg and finally the crumb and place to rest on a plate.
Make the salad by mixing together the ingredients and making the dressing of lemon juice and olive oil with a sprinkling of sumac for a little extra zest.
To fry the fish, heat a large frying pan with vegetable oil and fry the fish in batches until the crumb is golden and crispy. The fish should take 3-4 minutes on each side to cook through. To be healthier, you can also bake the fish in an oven of 200 degrees for 25 minutes.
To serve, place the fish and salad inside a tortilla wrap with some cucumber and mint yoghurt or have as a simple salad.

Jungle Curry

I’m getting more and more excited about my November trip to Thailand. David Thompson’s Thai Food Cookery book as helped this along and I spent quite a bit of time this weekend leafing through the beautiful book – so many salads, curries and soups to choose from. The book includes a recipe for Jungle Curry – my recipe below is not David Thompson’s one – I needed something quick and easy after a busy weekend and his will take more patience, effort and specialist ingredients – one for another time!

Jungle Curry originates from North Thailand, it doesnt include coconut milk (apparently there are no coconuts there, I assume because its inland and a mountainous region – I will check in November and confirm!) so is hotter, less creamy and less sweet than the more commonly found green, yellow and red thai curries.

The recipe I designed was also healthy and nutritious.  Chillis in the paste are good to supress appetite, the paste also includes ginger and garlic aswell as a sprinkling of turmeric – all good to aid digestion and promote a strong immune system. Brown rice accompanied the curry – unprocessed whole grains are important sources of fiber and protein. For cooking I used coconut oil instead of vegetable/sunflower oil as this is good for balancing cholesterol and light in flavour. I made the curry with fish (I used hake), mange tout and baby corn – a good balance of protein and vitamins. The paste will work with any protein and vegetable combination  though. Next on the list to try are chicken, mushroom and baby corn aswell as mixed vegetable (aubergine, cauliflower, peas and squash).  

I researched a few recipes for the Jungle paste – and came up with one which isnt too hot but balances the sweet, salt, sour, hot flavours found in Thai food.

Serves 4
500g sustainable fish fillets cut into 1 inch/bitesize pieces – i used hake
1tbsp coconut oil
1 large handful baby corn – halved
1 large handful mange tout – halved
2tbsp fish sauce
2tsp palm sugar
1 tsp lime juice
1tsp tamarind water (mix 1/2 tsp tamarind with 1tbsp water)
For the Paste
1 green chilli
1 red chilli
8 shallots
4 cloves garlic
6cm ginger
1 tbsp lemongrass paste/2 sticks lemongrassed bruised and diced
1tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp shrimp paste

Cook the veggies for a couple of minutes in boiling water and set to one side (this way you can pop them in with the fish at the end and as they are part cooked will be ready when the fish is).
To make the paste simply blitz everything together until a smooth paste forms.
Cook the paste for a few minutes in 1tbsp coconut oil until fragrant and sizzling. Add in the fish sauce, tamarind water, lime juice, palm sugar and check the seasoning. If you feel something isnt balanced (too sweet or sour, then balance by adding extra acidity – lime or extra sugar to balance a sour taste). Stir through. Add the vegetables and fish (if you are using a different protein add this now too) – cook through, fish should take 8 minutes or so, chicken will take 10 minutes.
Dish out with brown rice and sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Sesame & Coconut Fish

I have had such a busy weekend this weekend including eating out at my two favourite restaurants (Honest Burger and The Ivy Market Grill) with my two favourite people  ☺️ and so tonight stayed in and fancied fish or seafood, as I haven’t had Asian food in a while I picked this steamed sesame and coconut fish dish. This is a Burmese recipe and its very delicious and easy, perfect for today’s warm Summer evening as it is light, tasty and reminds me of eating al fresco in Myanmar.

Serves 2
2 fillets of white fish – I used basa but cod or haddock would work well too
1 tsp ginger
1 clove garlic
70ml warm water
40g dessicated coconut
1tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper
1tbsp flour
1tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp coriander leaves – chopped

Blitz the ginger, garlic and coconut with the water until a paste. Mix in the sesame seeds, coriander, salt, pepper, flour, lemon juice and turmeric.
Place each fish fillet on a sqaure of foil and cover with the coconut mixture. Wrap the fish up into a parcel so sealed.
Steam above boiling water for 10 minutes.
Serve with veggies and rice.