Gazpacho - a summer favourite! 

Gazpacho - a summer favourite! 

During the hot summer months I love nothing more than a delicious gazpacho - cool and filling! I picked up the recipe years ago when I spent a summer in Madrid, young and carefree! I keep coming back to it every time the temperature starts to rise and we can eat al fresco and enjoy the beautiful garden sights and smells. 

About 2 pounds of ripe red tomatoes, roughly chopped into chunks

1 green pepper, cored, seeded and roughly cut into chunks

1 cucumber, about 8 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks

1 small mild onion (white or red), peeled and roughly cut into chunks

1 clove garlic

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, more to taste


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste, plus more for drizzling

  1. Combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and garlic in a blender or, if using a hand blender, in a deep bowl. (If necessary, work in batches.) Blend at high speed until very smooth, at least 2 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
  2. With the motor running, add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons of sea salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will turn bright orange or dark pink and become smooth and emulsified, like a salad dressing. If it still seems watery, drizzle in more olive oil until texture is creamy.
  3. Transfer to a large pitcher (preferably glass) and chill until very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Before serving, adjust the seasonings with salt and vinegar. If soup is very thick, stir in a few tablespoons ice water. Serve in glasses, over ice if desired. A few drops of olive oil on top are a nice touch.

Three Bean Chilli

Super simple and tasty three bean chilli

Super simple and tasty three bean chilli

I love how it is so easy to make a batch of this three bean chilli and parcel it up for the week. Make lots and you'll find it is ideal for freezing, taking the stress out of dinner times! 

1 tblsp veg oil

1 large carrot, chopped into small dice

1 large stick celery, chopped into small dice

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 red chilli (if using) finely chopped or 1/2-1tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tblsp tomato puree

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick, or piece of cassia bark

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp soy sauce

1 400g can of chopped tomatoes

1 pepper, small dice

100g each dried kidney beans, aduki beans and black eye beans, or a 400g can of each, drained

Handful of chopped coriander leaves and chopped scallions. 

  1. If using dried beans, soak and cook as recommended on the packaging prior to starting the chilli
  2. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and fresh chilli if using to the oil in a large wide pan on a medium hot heat and sweat until onions are translucent, about 10 mins
  3. Add tomato puree and stir for 30 seconds, then add the cumin, coriander, bay and cinnamon, smoked paprika and dried chilli if using. Stir fry for a minute.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped pepper and soy sauce, bring to simmer, cover and leave on low heat for 10-20mins, stirring occasionally, until veg is cooked through. Adding pepper at this step leaves a bit of crunch. If you like it more cooked add with other veg at step one.
  5. Add all the beans, stir, bring to simmer, cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until beans are hot. Keep an eye on it, add a couple of tblsp of water if it is a bit dry.
  6. Add chopped coriander leaves, chopped scallions and serve with a dollop of sour cream or some chopped avocado. Delicious!

Beetroot Burgers

Tasty vegetarian beetroot burgers!

Tasty vegetarian beetroot burgers!

There are fancier recipes out there for beetroot burgers, but I always like to try and keep things simple. I didn't weigh or measure as I was scrambling for time, so these are really just ‘guestimates’- sorry! But you are looking for a consistency where the burger will stick together, not too wet, not too dry. So here’s my version which made enough mini burgers to feed seven big ones and five little ones:


5 decent sized raw beetroots grated

2 large onions, finely chopped

6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

250g of ground almonds

A LARGE handful of coriander/cilantro ( because I adore it!), roughly chopped

Two large tablespoons of jumbo oats

Two free range eggs, beaten

Salt and pepper

Grate the raw beetroot into a large mixing bowl. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix gently until they bind. Make into burger patties and leave in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes or so before cooking them. You can grill them, BBQ them or shallow fry them- whatever takes your fancy. Serve with some feta cheese crumbled on top, or crème fraîche, with salad or some roasted sweet potato fries.

Simple Orange Cake (with or without flour)

Very simple orange cake

Always use organic ingredients whenever possible

  • 3 small eggs
  • 1 orange - peeled, seeded and cut into small pieces
  • 200g of melted unsalted butter and more for greasing the tin
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 300g plain flour (or ground almonds, or half of each)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 60ml of Cointreau
  • a good pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a banking tin with butter.

Sift together the dry ingredients; sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. 

Whisk together the eggs and sugar until light in colour and fluffy.

Fold in the flour, butter and add the orange and Cointreau.

Pour mixture into prepared cake tin and cook in the oven for 40-50 minutes, it's ready when its golden brown and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out. 

You can sprinkle it with icing sugar and some orange zest before serving. 


Brown Bread Ice Cream

Delicious homemade ice cream! 

Delicious homemade ice cream! 

Serves 6-8.

100g (3½ oz) brown soda bread or brown yeast bread, in chunks

50g (2 oz) soft brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

150ml (5½ oz) cream

1 tablespoon rum (optional)

2 eggs, separated

125g (4½ oz) sugar

100ml (3½ oz)water

Pinch of cream of tartar

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas 6. Place the chunks of brown bread in a food processor and whiz for 30 seconds to a minute to form coarse breadcrumbs, then add the soft brown sugar and the ground cinnamon and pulse a few times to mix. Spread out the bread, cinnamon and sugar mixture on a baking tray and place in the oven. Toast for about 10 minutes until it is well browned. Then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Next, whisk the cream until soft peaks appear, then mix in the rum if you're using it, and the egg yolks, and set aside.

Place the sugar and the water in a saucepan and heat slowly, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Boil fiercely for about 5 minutes until the mixture reaches the 'thread' stage. If you own a sugar thermometer, this is when it reads 106°C-113°C (223°F-236F). If you don't have a sugar thermometer, dip a metal spoon into the mixture; as you remove it, the last drops of sugar syrup will form thin threads if the correct temperature has been reached.

Meanwhile, using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they are stiff. Still whisking, gradually pour in the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream, and continue to whisk until the mixture is cool, glossy and stiff (about 4-5 minutes).

Then add in the whipped-cream and egg-yolk mixture, along with the caramelised breadcrumbs, and fold until mixed through. Tip in to a container with a lid, cover and place in the freezer for a few hours until frozen through. The ice-cream can be scooped straight from the freezer.

I absolutely LOVE this recipe and it brings me right back to my childhood. I love brown bread ice cream so much I could eat a whole batch! But I NEVER feel guilty about it and, like I say, make sure I eat guilt-free! Remember, life is all about balance so a lot over here means that you can compensate with a little over there....

Courgette Cake

This is a super simple cake that you can whip up really quickly. It freezes well and is a very popular afternoon tea treat in my house. It is the EASIEST cake you'll ever make as the courgette melts into the batter making it a lovely moist cake that will keep for a couple of days. I especially love this cake as it doesn't require any accoutrements, no need for cream, icing, or butter- it tastes delicious all on its own!

110g or 1 cup grated courgette (roughly 1 courgette/zucchini)

175g  or 1 cup caster sugar

112ml or half a cup sunflower oil

2 small eggs

1/2 vanilla pod, scraped of seeds, or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

165g, or 1 & 1/4 cup self-raising flour

¼ tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt


Pre-heat your oven to 160C/320F/gas mark 5. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the grated courgette, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. 

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into the wet mixture.

Pour mixture into the loaf tin. Bake for one hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.

Leave to cool and turn out.

If you want to make things a little more interesting (and indulgent!) you can add a delicious topping and centre. Simply split the cake in two and spread half the following into the middle, with the rest going on top. Add a few berries to finish:

For the centre and topping

250g (9 oz) tub mascarpone cheese

2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted

250g of whipped cream

Berries for garnishing

Flour free and refined sugar free banana bread

This gorgeous Banana Bread recipe is refined sugar free and flour free!  Now you probably know I'm not big on the 'free from' stuff, I just think if it taste good and is full of wholesome ingredients then that's good enough for me! But being eight months pregnant I am trying to incorporate as much goodness into my diet as possible.

Also I had a bunch of banana's which were truly ready for dumping...

So this is my version of banana bread that is jam packed with goodness and isn't just a treat. It's a nutritious breakfast staple and perfect if you're on the go and want something substantial that won't leave you with a sugar crash. Children love it and I always add a bit of butter and maybe some honey when having a slice. Try it and let me know what you think.

I've replaced flour with some ground almonds which you can easily buy in any supermarket and ground flaxseeds which I ground up in my nutraninja, but you could easily do this with a coffee grinder or a powerful blender. Or indeed you can buy ground flaxseed from most health food stores. I add ground flaxseed to everything, my yogurt in the morning, my brown bread, scones, brownies, anything really as flaxseeds are so good for you.

This bread is made mainly with flaxseed which is considered to be a high-fiber super food, which is filled with Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s. It also contains lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities and of course fiber which is so important to incorporate daily into your diet.

It was my father who originally introduced me to Flaxseed after he had been very ill with serious stomach issues which resulted in him having over half of his stomach removed. It was then that I first became aware of what food can do for us in both a good and bad way and it was then that he introduced me to this fabulous book which my whole family swear by ( as you can see it's more than a bit battered!).


So this recipe isn't just delicious, its also nutritious so do try making it. 

You want to make sure that you are using really ripe bananas for this one as they taste sweeter. You'll know they're ripe when the skin turns a deep shade of yellow and the banana's covered with brown speckles.


Makes 1 bread in a 9in x 5in pan

300g of ripe bananas ( this is roughly 3 bananas)

30g of butter or coconut oil

1 tbsp of maple syrup

1 tbsp of honey

1 tbsp lemon juice1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

4 small eggs or 3 large ones

1/2 tsp of bicarbonate soda

125g ground almonds

125g ground flaxseed ( also known as linseed)

sea salt

optional extras to add to the mix...

chopped pecans

goji berries


In a mixing bowl mash the bananas to a pulp. Add the maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice.

Mix well with a whisk.

Add the ground almonds, ground flaxseed and the chopped pecans or goji berries if you're using them.

Line the tin with unbleached, metal-free parchment paper  and this paper then doubles as a wrap to store our banana bread.

Pour batter into the tin and bake for 60 -75 minutes at 170C.

You'll know its ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out dry. If your bread starts to look quite brown after the first 30 minutes, then cover the top with foil or more parchment paper until your bread has finished baking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. Serve warm or at room temperature with some lightly salted butter

Store your bread covered in the fridge (remember there is no sugar or preservatives!) for up to a week, or as I like to do, slice and freeze it,  that way you can have a slice at a time heated under the grill- delicious.

Do let me know how you get on with this, I love hearing from you and I read and respond to every email I receive.

The Artful Eating seven week online program is available now, so if it's something you think you might be interested in, then check out all the details here.

Basil Dressing & Easy Pesto

Salad Dressings

Salad dressings really make a huge difference to a salad and are that simple extra touch that makes a yummy meal from a few simple ingredients. Have some fun with making them and trying different flavours. The great thing about a fabulous dressing is that you can go really simple with the food your dressing-- try stemming some asparagus and adding a yummy dressing et voila- a yummy lunch or tea!

Dressings are all about sweet and sour, or agrodolce as the Italians call it. Learn the ratio of sweet to sour that you like best – most oils are slightly sweet in flavour.

Some tips:

• Which oil you use matters. Olive oils cover a spectrum of flavours from the peppery early- season oils (which sometimes have an almost acrid aftertaste) to the softer late-season ones. Taste your olive oil. If it is too powerful for your palate, dilute it with rapeseed or sunflower oil. Also, be aware that oils can go stale if left in the heat (eg by the stove) or in sunlight.

• Make more than you need. You can keep it in the fridge in a jar for ages.

• Season carefully. Taste for salt, pepper, sweet and sour. Before you dress the salad (the point of no return) dip a leaf into the dressing, taste and adjust the flavours if

• If you are using raw garlic in a dressing, it is best to smash it to a paste with a little salt – this breaks it down more than a garlic crusher can. The flavour will spread more evenly through the mix, and you won't get little lumps floating in your dressing.


A bunch of basil

1 garlic clove, crushed

100ml olive oil

A pinch of salt and black pepper


Remove the leaves from the basil and blend with the rest of the ingredients.


Add pine nuts and parmesan for a simple pesto. This is truly delicious with spiralised courgette or pasta.

Best for drizzling over fresh tomatoes, grilled courgettes or a tomato salad.

Butternut Squash & Ricotta

Butternut squash is such a versatile vegetable, I love to roast it and use it as a base for soups salads and this simple hearty dish. This recipe serves 2.


  • 1 Small Squash
  • 1–2 garlic cloves (unpeeled), lightly bashed
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil, plus extra to serve
  • 100g ricotta
  • 30–40g thinly sliced parma ham/bacon lardons
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 190 C /370 F/ gas 5. Peel and deseed the squash, then cut into chunks.

  • Put into a roasting dish with the garlic and a few thyme sprigs, if using. Trickle over the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for 40–50 minutes, or until the squash is tender and starting to caramelise, giving it a stir halfway through cooking. Discard the garlic and thyme and leave to cool completely.

  • Put the roasted squash on individual plates or a large platter.

  • Dot the ricotta over the top. Tear the ham into shreds and scatter over the squash and ricotta. Tear the leaves from the rest of the thyme sprigs, if you have them, and scatter over the dish.

  • Season with pepper, salt and extra virgin olive oil. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, then serve.

Eton Mess

Sweet Treats

This is my go-to EASY dinner party dessert. It takes minutes to make, it looks amazing and it's simply delicious!

Serves 4


  • 500 grams strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 500 ml whipping cream (A really good quality Greek or natural yogurt tastes just as good - I promise!)
  • 4 small meringue nests (from a packet)


  • Hull and chop the strawberries and put into a bowl. Add the sugar and leave to macerate while you whip the cream.

  • Whip the cream in a large bowl until thick but still soft.

  • Roughly crumble in 4 meringues nests - leave some chunks for texture

  • Take out a ladleful, or about 100g / ½ cup, of the chopped strawberries, and fold the meringued cream and rest of the fruit mixture together.

  • Arrange in four glasses ( small white wine glasses are an ideal portion size), or in a mound, and top each one with some of the remaining strawberries.

Serving Suggestion

Why not try a variety of summer fruits and berries, or even top with a sprig of mint.

Roast Chicken

I love to roast a free range chicken on a Sunday, we enjoy it, we then have some variation of the left over's in a curry or a chicken salad and I make chicken broth from the bones.

The best part? It is the EASIEST thing to make. I pop it in the oven then go and walk my dogs, when I come back the smells are amazing and I've worked up an appetite!


  • Whole Free range chicken
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture


  • Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9. There’s no need to peel the vegetables – just wash and roughly chop them.

  • Put the vegetables and garlic into a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over. place the herbs inside the chicken and around the vegetables also.

  • Optional- rub a bit of honey or lemon juice on the bird.

  • Turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting tray and put it into the oven. Cook the chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the juices run clear. The vegetables will be full of juicy flavour and you can make mashed potato or roast potato to go with it.

  • Use the juices of the chicken and a little bit of the roasted vegetables left in the roasting tin to make the gravy- whizz it up add a splash of hot water if necessary et voila.

Serving Suggestion

Serve the chicken and  roasted vegetables  with some lightly fried green beans.

Nutty Natural Yogurt Breakfast

Breakfast is THE MOST important meal of the day, but too often we rush or skip it. I like to start my day with a cup of hot water with the juice of half a lemon. This is followed by a glass of my gorgeous green smoothie. But then I like to sit down, take my time and enjoy a yummy breakfast. I like to mix it up and so don't always have the same thing. I also like to have it in courses. So I might start with half of a grapefruit, or 1/2 banana or 1/2 an apple, and follow this with a bowl of 'nutty natural yogurt', or a slice of brown bread and a boiled egg.

This is one of my favourite breakfasts. Play around with this recipe to get the consistency you like. The natural yogurt MUST be of good quality, I recommend you try getting one locally made and not mass produced as it will have all the good bacteria your gut needs!

Try making natural yogurt part of your everyday diet- it's so incredibly good for you! The key is to taste as you add the lemon juice- it's got to be just the right amount for your taste buds and that's a very personal thing.


  • 1/2 cup of natural yogurt
  • 1 table spoon of porridge oats
  • A handful of chopped pecan nuts
  • A teaspoon of honey
  • Optional- A squeeze of lemon juice to taste


  • Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy- find the balance of flavours and consistency that you like.

Spanish Omlette

This is one of the first things I learned to cook and I still love it to this day! It tastes even better as leftovers.


  • 500g new potatoes chopped into slices
  • 1 onion diced
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley
  • Optional extra: grated cheese
  • Optional extra: chorizo
  • Optional extra: asparagus
  • Optional extra: red peppers


  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the potatoes and onion and stew gently, partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are softened.

  • Strain the potatoes and onions through a colander into a large bowl (set the strained oil aside)

  • If you are adding the peppers/chorizo/asparagus- fry these now in the oil you used for the potatoes.

  • Beat the eggs separately, then stir into the potatoes with the parsley ( and your optional extras) and plenty of salt and pepper. (At this point if you are using cheese add it.) Heat a little of the strained oil in a smaller pan. Tip everything into the pan and cook on a moderate heat.

  • When almost set, invert on a plate and slide back into the pan and cook a few more minutes. Invert twice more, cooking the omelette briefly each time and pressing the edges to keep the cushion shape. Slide on to a plate and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

greek salad

Salad is so simple and really yummy. ANYTHING goes. But I find that if you bring salad to lunch it can get really soggy and not too tasty. If you can, assemble at work.

This is my all time favourite salad and one I often have for dinner! This recipe serves 4.


  • 4 large deliciously ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber ( leave the skin on)
  • 2 small or one large red onion
  • 200g of feta cheese
  • 1 green pepper
  • A scattering of dried oregano ( fresh is even better)
  • A glug of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • a sprinkle of sea salt flakes
  • Optional- 
    A squeeze of lemon
    Kalamata (black) olives.


  • Roughly slice a couple of deliciously ripe tomatoes per person.

  • Roughly chop the cucumber and peel and thinly slice the red onion.

  • Cut the feta into thick slices or go authentic and leave it as one big slab on top of the salad!

  • Thinly slice the green pepper.

  • Most people use dried oregano, but it is much better with fresh- Scatter either the salad.

  • Add a splash of good quality extra virgin olive oil.

  • Sprinkle with some sea salt flakes. If you fancy, add some black olives and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serving Suggestion

Make sure the tomatoes are really ripe and juicy- this is key! Also the cucumber should be chilled and from the fridge, resist the desire to peel it.  This salad must be served cold to be truly refreshing.

Serve with some grilled tuna fillets and a squeeze of lemon or just enjoy with some crunchy fresh french baguette.

gorgeous green soup

A variation of my gorgeous green smoothie, this is a REALLY tasty and healthy lunch that is so very nourishing.


  • 500 ml of water
  • 3/4 cup of spinach
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 2 handfuls of frozen peas
  • A handful of coriander
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper


  • Chop the broccoli into small pieces.

  • Fry garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in a glug of olive oil.

  • Then add the chopped broccoli and cook until tender.

  • Add the spinach and the peas and cook for 3 more minutes.

  • Once the spinach has wilted, add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth, then reheat and enjoy.

kitchen sink bread

This is a yummy and versatile staple. I make it about twice a week and eat it most days. It works for any meal!

I don't really measure, I just throw everything in, the key is to get a sticky consistency that holds together on your baking tray. The following will make one big loaf.


  • 450ml buttermilk
  • 340g of whole wheat flour (if you prefer you can use a mix of plain and whole wheat)
  • 80g of oats 
  • 80g of Seeds of your choosing (I use a combination of sunflower / chia seeds / pine nuts / linseeds)
  • 1 tbl spoon of baking soda or powder
  • A sprinkling of salt (I use Maldon sea salt flakes)
  • 1 tbl spoon of honey or maple syrup



  • Preheat the oven to 180 C or 355 F.

  • Take a large mixing bowl and mix the whole wheat flour, oats, seeds, baking powder and salt.

  • Then mix together the dry ingredients with a spoon.

  • Slowly add the buttermilk, mixing as you go.

  • Depending on the types of seeds you use you will need less or more milk. The key is to bind the ingredients so that they hold together in a sticky wet-ish lump.

  • Dust flour on a baking tray and put the mixture in the middle of the tray. It should look like a big lump!

  •  Alternatively you can place it in a bread tin.

  • Let it cook for approx 35-40 min depending on your oven. You'll now it's ready when you stick a knife in it and the knife comes out clean and when you knock on the base it sounds hollow.

  • Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

  • This bread is super yummy and healthy- enjoy!

Serving Suggestion

  • Real butter & Raw honey.
  • A spread of Hummus and/or half an avocado, some chopped tomatoes, a little bit of chopped chilli, a little squeeze of lime juice and some coriander or bail or rocket. Season with a bit of sea salt and pepper – YUM!
  • Butter and a poached, boiled or scrambled egg with salt and pepper.
  • Wild smoked salmon, butter, squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Avocado/tomato/onion (or spring onion) and cheese ( good quality cheese) on toasted brown bread bring the ingredients and assemble at work.

You get the idea – this bread is so healthy and filling, one slice should be plenty!