Sunday, 26 October 2008

Duckeys Quorn Pittas

For a quick and easy supper here is a perfect suggestion.

I really like quorn mince as a good substitute for beef, so I though well why not create some tasty pitas using this and making a Mexican like meal.

RECIPE: Quorn filled spicy pittas layered with fresh salad and natural yogurt in a mustard and tomato sauce.

You will need:

1/2 packet quorn mince
Tomato sauce
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard and dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Spring Onions
2 Pittas

To Make:

1. In a sauce pan add a little olive oil and fry the quorn mince

2. Add in the tomato sauce, garlic, seasoning, spring onions, spinach leaves and mustards

3. Stir and cook for ten minutes

4. Toast two pittas and cut in half

5. Add the mixture with fresh salad to the Pita slices with a dollop of natural yogurt and green Pesto to serve.

These make a really nice light sandwich alternative.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Why America is Fat!

Well here I am back from my long trip to the states!

I had a wonderful time and along my way I found out one very concerning fact about America! They LOVE fast food!

I must admit being quite a healthy eater I really struggled on my trip to the states, I found it very hard to eat food in the hotel that didnt turn up either processed, with added MSG or food flavourings, or some fattening gunky sauce spread on top.

My diet for the first few days consisted of a side Baked Potato (Jacket Potato to us Brits) and a plain salad.

We went shopping one morning to a mall and the only healthy thing I could find was a baked potato, it was all Cinnabon, Burger King, BBQ chicken you name the fast food they had it and in Extra extra large portions.

There is so much hidden sugar in the foods and becoming wise to this I created my own USA food survival guide.

Survival Guide:

  • Order your food plain
  • For breakfast choose oatmeal and order a side of fruit
  • For lunch opt for Plain Salads if you do not ask for plain you may have a sauce put on it
  • Only eat fresh meat if it doesnt say fresh it may be processed
  • Order small mains and pick healthy sides
  • Skip the dessert unless its fruit
  • You can order fruit on the side in most places
  • Do not orer coke instead re-hydrate with water
  • Always ask for grilled not fried
  • Many Korean establishments cook fresh and dont add flavourings most of the food is natural
  • Go Sushi! It was certainly my favourite lunch whilst there!!

Luckily the last past of the week we stayed with our Korean Grandmaster and his wife. We ate breakfast everyday at Denny's in which I could order my oatmeal (porridge) as I did at the hotel with a side of banana followed by a coffee.

I must admit though it was rather daunting watching the size of the people who came in for breakfast each morning to order their triple round of pancakes, syrup and bacon! They must have been worth three of me!

The worst of the unhealthy food can be found at the Steak houses! Texas is known for its meat but as a small meat eater and more veggie I would say as you can see from the look on my face I dreaded going here!

It really concerned me when I imagined the effect this was having on some peoples health and why in the States the word "healthy" is almost laughed at?

For lunch we had salad or salad wraps and most evenings we ate Korean Food. I have decided to learn how to cook Korean as I enjoyed eating it so much.

My favourite Korean foods are Noodles, Kimchi and Baloogee.

So if you are planning a trip to the states soon, don't be tempted by fast food. Listen to my survival tips and you'll be fine! Please note this post is of no offense to my American friends, I am sure not all of America are unhealthy eaters and are fat however I am reporting my findings from my personal trip!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Duckeys Halloween Pumpkin Soup!

Food is great when it is grown in seasons. We have now hit October which means Autumn is upon us.

I must say the beginning of Autumn is probably my favourite time of year, I love the colours, the feel of the season change and watching the leaves fall from the trees.

To celebrate my love of Autumn and the big kid in me I have decided to make a heart warming pumpkin soup with some of my Duckey Homemade bread to cosy up to on these darkening cooler nights.

RECIPE: Heart warming Pumpkin Soup made with fresh pumpkin, low fat crème fresh topped with pumpkin seeds served with warm Homemade Bread.

You will need:

1 medium Pumpkin
1 Onion
1 chicken stock cube (could use vegetable)
1 tspn olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
Pinch of chilli flakes
½ tub (100g crème fresh)
Pumpkin seeds top decorate.

To Make:

1. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil into a pan

2. Add to this the chopped onion – cook but do not brown

3. Cut up and de-seed a pumpkin (this was honestly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in a kitchen so beware!)

4. Add this to the onion mix and cook for 10 minutes

5. Once softened add 750ml of water and stock to the mixture and boil for a further 10 minutes

6. Once simmered add half a tub of crème fresh (low fat)

7. When this has warmed through season to taste with salt, pepper and chilli flakes and add mixture to a blender.

8. Blend together and re-heat or you can store in the fridge until you are ready to eat your soup.

9. Serve with Duckeys homemade bread and add a few pumpkins seeds to the top.

I am not being biased but this soup was amazing! I had my mum come down to visit me and I made her this for dinner (including Duckeys chocolate biscuit cake for dessert) and it went down a storm!

When a certain food is in season it really is the best time to cook with it, as the flavours are fresh and natural. This will in turn reflect in your food!

Friday, 10 October 2008

My awesome tip to Poaching Eggs...

Eggs are a great source of nutrients including protein, essential vitamins A, D, E, and B group as well as minerals iron, phosphorus and zinc.

They’re relatively low in saturated fat, making them a healthy fast food for all the family. They are very low in calories with only around 80 cals per medium egg – so they are great if you’re health conscious, especially combined with vegetables and salads as part of healthy balanced meals!

If you want to perfectly poach eggs, but have little time to play around with choosing a method that works... try this solution...

1. Take a tea cup and insert clingfilm to line the cup

2.. Crack a medium sized egg into the clingfilm

3. Season with pepper, chilli or another spice or herb of your choice... garlic salt tastes wonderful!

4. Twist the top of the clingfilm to seal the egg in

5. Cook the egg in a pan of boiling water for around 2 minutes

6. Take the egg out and slightly cool...

.... Here you will find the perfect poached egg!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Off to the States!...

Well guys this was last minute and very unexpected but tomorrow I am off to Houston, Texas. Yeeee Ha!

I have had a real hard few weeks if I am very honest with you, I have been struggling with lots of issues one being a major health scare (don’t worry not food related as I would like to reiterate I practice what I preach!)

Anyway I am really looking forward to my trip although I know I am going to have to do a lot of soul searching whilst I am there.

The positives of this trip as I will have time to think and reflect whilst bantering with the Korean monks, seeing old friends I haven’t seen for over eight years and I will get to spend time with my family.

I believe in life that everything happens for a reason I always have and always will and I hope to find myself again on this trip and find my path again on my return.

In life I think we all have chapters and I sense that mine is about to turn another page yet again.

We only have one life and sometimes events happen to make us realise this so you have to go with it, follow your heart and hope it leads you to the right decision?

So until my return my friends I will leave you with some yummy recipes to try in my absence!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Buy it Fresh!

While we were away in Alicante recently my eyes were opened to the wonderful food that are grown abroad and how by shopping at supermarkets our choice is almost limited and spoilt by products which are not always fresh and grown naturally.

We visited the local market, I was so surprised to find stalls and stalls of people selling fresh vegetables and fruit and I’m not just talking about any produce but really colourful big and ripe produce.

As you can see from these photos there is so much choice and variety that preparing a meal out there is not only pretty inexpensive but also better quality.

So one night we decided to cook in the villa. With a random selection of the following ingredients this is what I came up with

4 Salmon fillets
Brown rice
Canned Tomatoes

Does that sound Mediterranean or what?

I roasted the tomatoes and we had them as a side with olives and almonds.

I then cooked the salmon and stir fried the vegetables whilst cooking the rice.

I then mixed this together with some chopped tomatoes, added lots of herbs and salt and pepper, and mixed in with the rice.

I placed in a large baking dish and placed the salmon on top.

It was such a fresh Spanish dish I was really pleased with how it turned out.

The main point to this is that cooking with fresh produce is so much better for quantity and quality. If you ever visit another country I really recommend that you try it.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Duckeys Noodle Broth

I wanted a really low fat but healthy and tasty recipe which was easy to make and fun to eat.

So this is my perfect recipe thats suits all specs!

I love oriental food and nothing pleases me more than to eat my food with chop-sticks!

Even better I love food with a bit of a kick and the great thing is you can control the spice by the amount of Chili you add to this recipe.

RECIPE: Spicy noodle broth served with Asian vegetables flavoured with lemon grass, garlic and chili.

You will need:

1 chili (red)
1 stick of lemon grass
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsn soya sauce
1 pack Oyster Mushrooms
1 pack of Spinach
1 pack beansprouts
150g noodles
1 pack baby sweetcorn and green beans
400ml hot water

To Make:

1. Boil a pan of water and add to this the noodles with some soya sauce, garlic, lemon grass and chili, boil for around 4-5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile in a wok stir fry the bean sprouts, sweetcorn, green beans, mushrooms and the Spinach.

3. Once cooked add the vegetables into a large soup bowl.

4. Spoon the cooked noodles on top.

5. Ladle the broth into the bowl.

It really is just that simple and takes around 15 minutes to cook. To spice up add more chili it is completely up to you how you serve this recipe and also your choice of how to eat it! Do you dare to get your chop sticks out???

I added some strips of seaweed to mine also just to add more of an oriental taste with some sesame seeds!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Foodies check out MyDish!

For all of you foodie fanatics out there I have found this brilliant website called MyDish.

If you love to cook it is so simple to use and to share recipes with other food lovers.

I set up a profile on there a little while ago and have often found a few good recipes, tips and advice.

It’s a really nice way to connect with other food fans online and to gain ideas and inspiration as MyDish have developed their own community of chefs and food lovers.

You can chat about what you like to eat, how you cook basically it’s like a Facebook or Myspace for foodies!

They do a range of low fat recipes, so great for healthy food lovers and check this out you can even make your own cook book!

If you need some things to help you along the way they also have an online shop! Containing a local directory of suppliers.

So if you think its something you might be interested in, trust me its well worth a visit to and this site has been Duckey Proofed!