Savoury Nut Roll

This recipe comes from the diet and calorie count chapter, I’m not really on a diet but not sure this counts as a low calorie meal! I guess it’s low sugar, high complex carbs, protein and saturated fat, so if that’s the type of diet you’re on then this is one to try!!



I had a bag of mixed nuts so blitzed up 4oz of that..


Then added the parsley, onion and seasonings..


Then the cooked rice is added along with the egg and tomato sauce..


It’s all a bit wet so not easy to shape..


I had to use the tea towel to help shape into a sausage and then tied the ends..


This went into a big pot and I opted to have it simmering in some chicken stock, not sure if that will make much of a difference!


While that was simmering I made a basic tomato sauce; garlic, onion, tomatoes, stock herbs and seasoning. It was left to simmer for half an hour and then blended.

So after an hour and a half I removed the roll from the pan. I managed to actual unroll it quite successfully, but it just doesn’t look very appealing..


Looks a bit better with the tomato sauce poured over..


I think my husband and daughter are now used to coming to the dinner table and seeing something a little unusal! I expected a few remarks on this looking awful but was quite surprised when neither of them had any objections to this!!


I just served each of us with a slice of this with sauce poured over, it may not look like much but it’s really filling..


It’s packed with the rice and nuts and is actually quite nice! I do think the fact that the sauce is really good does help, I’m not sure how much I could’ve managed with no sauce! We all polished off this one and there’s plenty left for lunch tomorrow..

Would I make this again? Yes, would try adding a few more different herbs or veggies next time..


Belgian Pie

This recipe actually comes from the diet and calorie count chapter, but I think it’s a good recipe for using up a load of potatoes and the last of the veg…



I only had 2lb of potatoes left so I decided to half this, plus 4lb does seem like an awful lot of potatoes! It doesn’t give an amount of veg so I just used what I had left, and that was carrots, peppers and spring onions! I was going to go buy some cauliflower at lunchtime but felt that defeated the purpose of making this!

Have to say one of my least favourite jobs in the kitchen in mashing potatoes, so there is definitely a good few lumps in my mash! I do like the whole adding the egg to mashed potato before baking, it really does make such a difference!

So I had to get my piping bags out for this, so it’s just as well I have loads of them in the house! If you don’t have any you can make one by folding greaseproof paper and then snipping the corner off.

I just kind of splodged on the middle but made an effort to pipe the edge. I was worried it was going to collapse as it is quite soft, but it held it’s shape ok


As you can see there are a few cracks so I was hoping it would hold ok in the oven. Once this was on I made a cheese sauce in the usual way and I just boiled the veg till softish.

I reckon the potato case was in the oven for about 20 minutes, by then it was a nice golden brown and hadn’t collapsed


I also opted to put some chopped parsley through the cheese and veg mix. I know my filling isn’t that exciting as it’s predominantly carrots, but I think most things coated in a cheese sauce are good!

Once filled I think this looks like a giant vol-au-vent!


We just had this with some salad in keeping with the diet control idea! It is quite soft but I still managed to cut up without totally collapsing! Even though I halved this it makes loads and was more than enough for the three of us for dinner, and that is a lot considering all we had with this was some salad leaves.

The potato is lovely and soft inside but with a nice crisp outside. The filling is good, I do love cheese sauce so maybe added a bit more cheese than a recipe would recommend but it’s really good! So it’s mainly carrots with a few spring onions and a pepper, but they are all just soft enough and coated in the lovely cheesy sauce!

Overall it’s a great dinner. It’s really filling and like I said its a good way to finish off the weeks veg. Am not sure what sort of diet it fits in with but I don’t care because I really enjoyed this, and even my daughter loved this and finished off every last drop off her portion.

Would I make this again? Yes, great filling dinner


Old Fashioned Suggested Diet – Day 7

It’s with great pleasure that I can say this is the final day, and again I’ve not exactly been sticking to it


Bacon omelette
1 slice crispbread and butter

I really didn’t fancy anymore egg but thought for the last day I should at least have one of the suggested meals. I know I keep going on about how I don’t like eggs and how I’ve not been enjoying the sheer volume of eggs I’ve had this week, but I would like to challenge anybody to try eat something they don’t like pretty much every day for a week! After this week I am not having an egg in any of its basic formats for a very long time.


Roast beef and horseradish sauce
Braised celery
Raspberry and redcurrant purée

The diet is set out into days and this last day is actually under the Sunday heading, so I guess this would be a good Sunday lunch if you were cooking for few. It was just me and my daughter so I wasn’t roasting any beef just for us!


Cold roast beef and salad
Cheese and 2 crackers
Glass of milk

So I did kind of stick to this, I had bought ready cooked roast beef but I served it with spinach, which is now finally finished, and horseradish sauce. Just had cheddar on my crackers and then I don’t think I have had a full glass of milk to drink since I was about 12! It was strangely refreshing!

I didn’t take a picture of anything today, mainly because it just looked rubbish, I know that’s not stopped me all week but I really felt so un motivated by today that I simply wasn’t interested in posting more terrible photos!

So overall this has not been the most enjoyable week food wise for me. I actually think I’ve overdosed on eggs. There have been a few highlights; the marrow and baked apple were good and then the soufflé was excellent. As a diet I suppose it’s not too bad, when you break it done it is quite a good variety of dishes. It’s just difficult to stick to such an exact menu.

So have I lost weight? Yes I have actually. I had cut out wine (and all other alcohol), chocolate, crisps and cake for the entire month and then have been sort of doing this diet. Over the last week I have lost a couple of pounds and over the last month I have lost 6 pounds.

So roll on December and all the baking treats that brings!

Would I do this diet again? Not likely!

Old Fashioned Suggested Diet – Day 6

Day 6 starts with an egg free breakfast much to my delight!


Cereal and milk
Slice of bread and butter

Really not very much to say about this apart from this is more like normal breakfast for me. No advise on quantity but an average bowl of cereal should be 30g. I weighed out 30g of cereal and it’s tiny! Think my portion was more like 50g.


Soused herrings
Tomato salad
Bread and butter

I didn’t have any of these for lunch. I was going to make soused herrings as there is a recipe for that but I just didn’t have time. I really want to try them so I will make another day. I did buy rollmop herrings which are similar I think? Rather than have for lunch I had then as a starter for dinner. They were brill, so I’m now really looking forward to making the soused herrings.


Grilled steak
Green salad
Baked apple

We just had rump steak as that’s what I had in the freezer and I served them with spinach as I still have nearly half a bag left!


This was good, simple and tasty. I did drizzle a bit of vinegar over the spinach which was a nice touch.

So pudding is a baked apple which is a recipe from the hot pudding chapter

Baked apples

2 cooking apples
Demerara sugar

Wipe the apples and make a shallow cut through the skin around the middle of each. Core the apples and stand in an ovenproof dish. Pour a few tablespoons of water round them, fill each with sugar and top with a small knob of butter. Bake at 200 for 45-60 minutes.

I remember having baked apples as a pudding when I was a child, I also remember not liking them. I remember thinking how can this be a pudding, it’s fruit! My mum did put sultanas in them which would’ve been nice.


It looks a bit strange bit this really was lovely. The apple was very soft and sharp and then the buttery sugary sauce with it was great. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this and would definitely make again, probably with the addition of sultanas

Overall it’s been a better day for food. Most of the meals don’t really seem like diets. I know I deviated again but it is difficult to stick to something so exact like this, especially working full time!

Old Fashioned Suggested Diet – Day 5

Eggs are featuring in this diet a lot, I guess they are healthy and filling but I have had my fill of eggs! Before I started this I hadn’t eaten an egg in years, I’ve pretty much had them every day this week, and again for breakfast..


Stewed fruit
Scrambled egg on toast

I’ve made scrambled eggs a few times for my daughter when she was much younger but I haven’t eaten them in years! Was not looking forward to breakfast as I’m sick of eggs, but actually these were ok. It’s maybe something to do with all the butter and salt I added but this has actually been the most enjoyable egg format so far! As for the fruit, didn’t see the point in stewing it, surely fresh fruit is better? Maybe it’s just for a bit of variety. I stewed some pears as they were looking distinctly over ripe, not supposed to add sugar so added some ginger instead. Was ok.


I slice bread and butter
Coffee junket

Well I had none of these for lunch! Didn’t have time to make meatloaf just for lunch. Also I am still working through the bottomless tub of cottage cheese! I did make the coffee junket but had that after dinner instead.

Junket recipe

1 pint milk
1-2 tbsps sugar
1 tsp rennet

Warm the milk to blood heat and stir in the sugar until it is dissolved. Add the rennet, stir, pour the mixture at once into serving dishes and put in a warm place to set. Chill before serving. To make it coffee flavour replace some of the milk with strong back coffee.

So rennet is apparently made using an enzyme taken from the digestive juices of a calf! Sounds utterly revolting! I went on a hunt for the stuff and came across vegetation essence of rennet thankfully. I made this last night and had expected it to be nicely set by tonight, it wasn’t. Not sure if it has something with the rennet; the stuff I bought is called essence of rennet rather than just rennet. It tasted ok but was a really unpleasant texture, so didn’t finish it.



Cheese soufflé
Fresh fruit

I stuck to this a bit, well I only omitted the cauliflower. I mean who on earth wants to eat cauliflower just boiled as it is! No thanks. So I just made the soufflé for dinner (plus I shared bangers and mash with my daughter!) which was a recipe taken from the eggs chapter and I was looking forward to making this.

Cheese soufflé

3 eggs
1oz butter
Half oz flour
Quarter pint milk
3oz cheese

Melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Gradually stir in the milk and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Cool slightly and add the cheese. Add the yolks one at a time, beating well, and season. Stiffly whisk the whites, fold these into the mixture and put it into the soufflé dish. Bake at 200 for 35 minutes until well risen and brown.

I don’t have one big dish suitable for a soufflé so made individual ones. I had to assume doing this would mean a shorter cooking time, so I kept a close eye on them. I think I cooked them for about 12-15 minutes.


These were utterly amazing! I had used a strong Isle of Mull cheddar, and the flavour was fantastic. I was really chuffed with the rise and the texture was gloriously soft. We both really really loved these. This has been the best dish this week by a mile!

The best thing about today was the soufflé, the rest was pretty dull! Just had fruit as a snack again.

Old Fashioned Suggested Diet -Day 4

Ok am actually get a bit fed up of this diet malarkey, but I hate to give in so going to carry on for the last 3 days. Have to admit to some serious cheating though!


Cold ham and tomato
1 slice bread and butter


Not much to say about this, no quantities are advised so just had one tomato and few slices of ham. Also had toast rather than bread!


Frankfurters and mustard sauce
Cheese, 2 biscuits

Well I had none of this for various reason; didn’t have time to make a mustard sauce, didn’t buy watercress as I still have a big bag of spinach leaves, didn’t buy sauerkraut as it comes in a massive jar and didn’t want to waste any and also I still have loads of blinking cottage cheese left and I hate waste so had that instead!


Egg mayonnaise
2 starch reduced rolls


First off I have never made egg mayo! The recipe in the book suggests plenty mayo and cayenne pepper and then it’s best served on salad leaves. I went way overboard with the mayo and the cayenne. Also as I mentioned I have big bag of spinach to use up served it on that instead. As for the starch reduced rolls, no idea what they are or where I’d find them so I just had toast!

Overall I’ve kind of given up sticking to this exactly as it is. I hate not finishing things so am going to see through the rest of the week. There were no real recipes today so think that’s why I’ve lost the motivation! Tomorrow I have few new recipes to try as part of the diet so will try be back on form tomorrow!!

Old Fashioned Suggested Diet – Day 3

Have been feeling a bit under the weather so not much of an appetite, so today’s breakfast was something I was not looking forward to…


Hot grapefruit
Grilled kidney and bacon
1 slice toast and butter


It is the kidney I really wasn’t looking forward to, it just looks like a kidney! I think I completely overcooked it! I really struggled to eat it and only managed a few bites, gave the rest to my husband. Not sure if it’s because I’ve lost my appetite slightly or I just don’t like it! I managed the bacon and toast. Then there was something quite comforting about the hot grapefruit. So much so that I ended up having the whole thing!


Cottage cheese
1 slice crispbread

Cottage cheese is another of these things I remember my mum having loads when I was younger as part of her many diets! It doesn’t advise on quantities, I again wasn’t hungry so only had a few spoonfuls of the cottage cheese. Pretty sure you could eat an entire cucumber and not have to worry about calories!


Clear soup
Grilled fish
Runner beans
Strawberry yoghurt

I made the following clear soup recipe from the book

Clear tomato soup

20oz can tomato juice
2oz can tomato purée
3 cloves
1 slice of onion
Third of a pint of chicken stock
Bay leaf
Mixed herbs

Place all the ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and serve.


Simple! I thought this was quite delicious, but my fellow diners didn’t agree! It is very very thin as you would expect but I thought it had a lovely strong tomato flavour. I do prefer proper thick soup and to be honest I think a thicker soup is just as healthy, yes there is more calories if you use potato as a thickener.

We just had salmon and green beans although we steamed the salmon rather than grill and steamed the beans as well. Was tempted to make a quick tartare sauce but was nice enough on its own. Not much to say about the yoghurt! It was nice enough.


Overall another ok day. I’ve not had a great appetite anyway so not sure if that’s why I’ve not been hungry between meals and not had a single snack today. Am glad the offal related elements of the diet are over, not my favourite!

Old Fashioned Suggested Diet – Day 2

So this is the second day of the slimming menu. I should’ve said it also says to avoid sugar in teas, coffee etc. I’m not sticking to that as I love sugar in my tea and coffee I have been good and only had fruit for snacks, although not felt the need for many snacks surprisingly!


Boiled egg
1 slice crispbread and butter


Looks crap doesn’t it?? I forgot to buy oranges so was actually just a satsuma. Also I can’t remember the last time I ate a boiled egg just on its own. I have been putting them in a few dishes but not had it just as it is. I had to sprinkle it with some of my flavoured sea salt to help me eat it! That make it ok actually! Not really much else to say except I wasn’t starving all morning.


Cold tongue
Cheese and 2 cream crackers

I was in the butcher at the weekend and was too scared to ask for tongue, so I went to the supermarket and bought the packet stuff that’s ready for sandwiches and doesn’t look like a tongue! It tasted ok but there was just something about it that I really didn’t enjoy and only managed a few bites. I just had it on its own so think it would be ok in a roll with cheese, salad and mayo! I had the coleslaw leftover from Friday so that was great, even better! Then just had cheddar with my crackers. Had my lunch in work and forgot to take a photo, not really that interesting anyway!


Grilled gammon and poached egg
Fresh fruit


More egg! At least this time it’s with the gammon so didn’t actually eat any egg on its own. Couldn’t decide whether to cook the spinach or have raw, chose the easiest option and left raw. This was actually very enjoyable! It looks like loads of spinach but the heat from the steak starts to wilt it slightly which is nice. A dressing would’ve been nice or I should’ve left the yolk in the egg slightly runny to add a bit of a sauce. To quote my husband ‘this didn’t seem like a diet dinner’. Just had some fruit for snack again.

So again this is a high protein low carb diet, and does have a good variety of food so not too plain and kept me filled up all day.

Old Fashioned Suggested Diet – Day 1

I think I’ve mentioned that there is a chapter on diets and calorie counting and there is a week long suggested diet. So I had decided to follow that for the next 7 days. I’m not much of a dieter, I know this month I’ve cut out a few unhealthy things but that’s more as a test of my will power and to make me feel better about eating and drinking too much in the run up to Christmas. So to be honest I was kind of regretting saying I was going to do this diet thing, but it’s not too bad.

The chapter gives advice on how to lose weight ‘unspectacularly’ rather gives tips for a steady weight loss. So what I’m going to do is stick to the meal plans and each day post on my breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are a few new recipes so will post them as well. It will be quite interesting to compare this to more modern diet plans.

So here goes day 1;


Poached egg
Slice of crispbread and butter


Well I have never poached an egg before! In the egg section it gives advice, and it’s says to put a pastry cutter in a pan of boiling water and drop the egg in and cook till set. That worked quite well but think I over cooked it! Doesn’t advise how to cook mushrooms so I just fried them in a tiny bit of butter (butter is allowed in small quantities!). Also for the crispbread I bought a well known brand that I remember my mum having whenever she was on a diet! I remember them tasting like cardboard! Well they must’ve had a bit of updating as it was actually quite tasty.

I am very much a breakfast person, feel I need a big breakfast to get through the day and I usually have porridge, so was worried I’d be starving by 10, but surprisingly I wasn’t, lasted till lunch with no snacks – meant to say only fruit snacks are suggested.


Liver and bacon kebabs
Broccoli or spring greens
Rhubarb fool


Lovely liver again! So to cook the kebabs and I just fried the liver until it was practically cremated! Then I grilled the bacon and then put together on a skewer. I am a bit paranoid about cooking liver so hence the serious case of overcooking. Honestly it was ok, I made sure I combined the liver and bacon with each bite and was actually quite pleasant. Broccoli was just broccoli, not much to say! I didn’t make rhubarb fool as it’s not really rhubarb season so have to admit to a minor deviation, had a yoghurt instead!


Savoury mince and marrow
1 slice of bread

For the marrow I followed the stuffed marrow recipe from the vegetable section


1 marrow
3/4 lb minced meat
4 tbsps breadcrumbs
1 tbsp parsley
1 onion finely chopped
1 egg
Tomato sauce

Wash the marrow, peel, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Mix the meat, crumbs, herbs, onion and seasoning with a fork and add enough egg to bind. Put this into the marrow and put the two halves together again. Wrap in greaseproof paper, put in an oven proof dish and bake at 180 for 1 hour.

I’ve never cooked a marrow before, it is just a giant courgette so was worried the high water content would turn this into a big soggy mess! I just made a tomato sauce in the usual way; onion, garlic, tomato, herbs and stock. This actually turned out really well, I know it’s not the prettiest looking but it certainly was tasty. The marrow is a bit watery but combined with the filling and sauce it’s good.

Don’t really think I need to post a photo of a slice of bread! I’ll save that for later as a treat, no cake for me!

Day 1 complete and overall not too bad!

Lentil Pie

There is a chapter in the book called diets and calorie count. I’m not on a diet as such but am having a relatively healthy November by cutting out chocolate, wine, crisps and cake. There are a handful of recipes in this chapter and there is also a suggested week diet plan, so for the last week in November I will be following that, it’s got some interesting suggestions!

Anyway tonight I made this lentil pie which is a suggested meal for a low calories diet.


Half a pound of lentils
1 onion sliced
Half a pound of mashed potatoes
Chopped parsley
A little tomato sauce

Wash the lentils and cook them and the onion with sufficient water to cover until the lentils are quite tender and soft and the water absorbed. Sieve the mixture, add the potatoes, parsley and a little tomato sauce with salt to taste. Put in an ovenproof dish and bake at 180 for 15-20 minutes until nicely crisped and browned.

I used puy lentils for this only because that’s all I had in the cupboard. I had planned to use red lentils but wasn’t until I started to make this that I realised I had none! I don’t suppose it really matters what kind of lentils you use as long as you cook the lentils properly. I think I boiled the lentils for about 25-30 minutes.

I wasn’t sure what it meant by a little tomato sauce, does it mean ketchup or an actual pasta like sauce? I was tempted to just squeeze in the ketchup but then I thought that didn’t feel right! Honestly felt like I was cheating, so I quickly made a tomato sauce with some fresh tomatoes. Also the quantity is a but vague so I made a sauce using two tomatoes so was probably half a cup of sauce.

I had doubts about this one but when it came out of the oven and the top was nice and crispy I started to feel a bit more positive! This was actually surprisingly tasty. It is a bit mushy although there is slight crunch from the top. The three of us had this for dinner, on initial presentation it doesn’t look great but after trying it we all had clean plates. It’s filling, comforting and tasty. It would be interesting to try with different lentils as I do think puy lentils are more flavoursome than other varieties. We just had this with some broccoli which helped keep calories down! After a few nights of butter and cheese that’s just what we needed!

Would I make this again? Yes, could adapt in many ways and is a good filling dinner