Duke of Edinburgh Life Skills Cooking Class 2

I was joined again by my class of 6 teens from Watford, Northwood, Pinner, Eastcote and Stanmore.

Our second session was all about cooking with spices and which spices different countries use in their cooking.

They did a great job of producing three, very tasty, spicy vegetarian dishes. We made Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry, Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Daal and Jerk Jackfruit Bean Chilli.


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Duke of Edinburgh Life Cooking Skills Course

We got off to a great start on my Duke of Edinburgh Life Cooking Skills Course on February 3rd. It’s a seven session course designed to give the teenagers the life skills they need to be able to prepare and cook healthy food for themselves.

The first session was cooking with eggs and learning about food safety and knife skills. We cooked Mini Pavlovas, Egg Fried Rice and a Spanish Omelette.

So you might be asking are Mini Pavlovas really healthy? Well they do have a fair amount of sugar in them but they are designed as treats. Much better a home cooked treat with just a few ingredients than a shop bought treat with a huge long list of ingredients with preservatives etc. etc.

Back to my lovely group of teens. I started off with 5 and have done a catch up session with one new joiner so am up to my maximum of 6 for session number two this Saturday. Looking forward to cooking with spices plus talking about what spices different countries use in their cooking.





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What’s so great about Veg?

Vegetables from my fridge.

Well, there are so many great things about vegetables.

If you eat your way through the rainbow, from green to red, orange, yellow and shades of blue/purple you will be BOOSTING YOUR HEALTH and FIGHTING OFF DISEASE.

I know rainbows don’t start off green but green vegetables are the best! More about that in a sec.

Each colour flags up the phytochemicals which are in the vegetables, these help protect against cancer and disease and boost your health in different ways.


Vegetables in the Cabbage Family. As well as every variety of Cabbage this family includes Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts ( I have to include Sprouts as Christmas is coming). These contain glucosinalates which help reduce the risk of cancer and help detox. To get the most from the glucosinalates these vegetables should be eaten raw but there are lots of other nutritional benefits from cooking these vegetables.

Dark coloured greens like Spinach, Kale and Chard contain carotenes which act as antioxidants and help your immune system.


Tomatoes have carotenes and flavonoids which help protect against tumours and boost your immune system.


Carrots, Squashes and Sweet Potatoes have carotenes


Corn and squashes have flavonoids


Beetroot specifically helps to protect against colon cancer


If you eat plenty of vegetables, as well as the benefits above, you will be getting the vitamins and minerals you need to stay HEALTHY and ENERGIZED, enough fiber to keep your insides happy, feeding the good bacteria and keeping you regular. As a bonus fiber rich foods have been proved to help you sleep well.

If you want more inspiration on how to eat more vegetables let’s talk…


Caroline 🙂

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Gluten Free Banana Cake

At Caroline’s Cookery I have been working on my Gluten Free Baking. The star ingredient for me is Coconut flour which is ideal for cakes. My first attempt was not a success! BUT as you can see from my Banana Cake shown here I have now cracked it. To make a lovely cake you use a third of the amount of Coconut flour compared to a recipe using plain or self-raising flour.

Here’s the recipe

90ml sunflower oil
80 g coconut flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
150g coconut sugar
3 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
125 ml soured cream or buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
shredded coconut to decorate
Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark  4. Lightly grease a loaf tin and line
the sides and base with baking paper.
Sift the coconut flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the sugar.
Beat together the eggs, oil, bananas, cream and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
Tip the dry ingredients in and mix until everything is combined.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes. Cool in the tin then
turn out and decorate with the shreds of coconut. Enjoy:)

To find out more about Gluten Free Baking and go home with some delicious baked goodies you can join me on the 29th June for my Gluten Free Baking Workshop. There are just 4 places available and it runs from 10:00 – 12:30 at a cost of £40 here at Caroline’s Cookery HQ

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How to Delight with your Christmas Dinner

Cranberry and Orange

Some very easy ways to add that extra something to your Christmas Dinner are:

  1. To make your own Cranberry & Orange Sauce. Take 250g fresh Cranberries (from Tescos or other supermarkets), the juice and finely grated zest of one Orange and. Put them in a pan with 150ml of cold water to cover. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 10 minutes. You will hear the cranberries start to pop. Add 100g caster sugar and stir until it dissolves. Simmer for another 5 minutes plus. Test by drawing a line in the syrup on the back of your wooden spoon. As an option you can add 3 – 4 tablespoons of port when you add the sugar 🙂
  2. Make separate stuffing balls. This is a favourite of mine http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3054/apricot-and-hazelnut-stuffing.
  3. Parboil your sprouts then roast them with chestnuts and smoky bacon.
  4. Put your pigs in blankets in a roasting tin lined with foil, drizzle runny honey over them, season with salt and pepper then toss them well so nicely coated then bake. Shake than now and again and baste until well cooked and nicely browned.
  5. Add sprigs of fresh Rosemary, which is a trend this year. This can be put in your balls of stuffing, put into the cavity in your turkey with a halved lemon and generally used to decorate your dishes.

Christmas Dinner

Enjoy! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas xx

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How to Have a Great Start to the Day – Part 2


For a protein packed breakfast try my Rye Soda Bread, Avocado, Poached Egg, Tomato, Mushroom and Beans.

Vegetarian Breakfast

Vegetarian Breakfast

Soda Bread is quick and easy to make and this version is extra high in fibre and essential nutrients. Top it with half a mashed avocado and your adding good fats (monounsaturated fatty acids), Potassium, Vitamin E. B Vitamins and fibre. Then you have got your high protein egg and 2 to 3 of your ‘8 a day’. This really is a great start to the day!

Notice I said ‘8 a day’ not 5. Aim for 2 fruit and 6 vegetables per day to get enough fibre in your diet and all the other nutrients. I’ll cover that in my next blog …

So the recipes:

Serves 6

250 g wholemeal self raising flour, 100g rye flour, 1tsp sea salt, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 50g porridge oats, 350ml buttermilk

Other ingredients:

half avocado mashed, squeeze lemon juice, 1 tsp rapeseed oil, 35g mushrooms, 45g cherry tomatoes, sliced, 100g haricot beans, 1tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 egg, poached, 3 basil leaves


Preheat oven to 190C

Sift the flours, salt and bicarb into a large bowl, add the oats and stir in. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the buttermilk then mix in with a knife. Once it starts to come together use your lightly floured hands to bring it fully together.

Shape the dough into a disc roughly 3 cm deep and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Dust the top with flour then press down with the handle of a large wooden spoon to make a cross on the top of the loaf. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the centre of the oven until the crust is firm and it sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom.

Transfer the loaf to a wire cooling rack.

To complete your breakfast heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and balsamic vinegar.
Chiffonade the basil leaves.
Poach the egg for two and a half minutes.

Slice the soda bread, spread with the avocado and place the poached egg on top. Serve the mushrooms and tomatoes on the side. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the basil.

How to Have a Great Start to the Day

To have a great start to your day:

protein porridge with bananas blueberries and blackberries

protein porridge

First rehydrate. I would recommend a mug of hot water with lemon but if your not keen on that just grab a glass of water before your first tea or coffee of the day.

Secondly eat a good breakfast. To get off to a great start and keep your metabolism ticking over nicely breakfast really is important. So why not try porridge add a mashed banana, a handful of blueberries and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.

For an extra protein packed porridge try this:

200g porridge oats, 25g linseeds, 25g flaxseed, 25g walnuts, 25g hazelnuts, 25g almonds,

25g quinoa, 15g whey protein (optional)

Blitz all the ingredients up in a food processor until they are a fine powder and store in an airtight jar. This makes 7 portions.

When you have it for breakfast you can make it up with your favourite milk add a handful of berries, some banana and pumpkin seeds.


Are you cooking for teenagers?

Me too…

Hormones are kicking in, they have growth spurts and they might have bad skin.

They will be drawn to fast food when they are out with their friends.

Not a lot we can do about that BUT here is a quick and easy recipe you can cook for a family meal. It ticks all the boxes for food they should be eating and its good for you too, bonus!


Savoy cabbage with pasta

Savoy cabbage with pasta

Savoy Cabbage Pasta

Serves 4

2 shallots, finely sliced  400 g savoy cabbage, shredded  2 carrots, peeled and diced  2 leeks, washed and cut into thin slices 2 teaspoons rapeseed oil  2 bay leaves  1 x 400 g tin cannelini beans,drained  250g soya beans  500 ml vegetable stock  300 g wholewheat fusilli  80g cottage cheese  20 g parmesan cheese, finely grated  4 tbsp fresh basil

Put a large saucepan on a medium-high heat with 2 teaspoons of oil. Stir in theshallots then the cabbage, carrots, leeks and bay leaves. Add a good splash ofwater, cover, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes, or until softened,stirring occasionally.

Add both types of beans. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for15 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water. Once cooked (check the packet for cooking time) drain and add to the vegetables.

Stir in the cottage cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve each bowl of pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan, freshly ground blackpepper and a sprinkling of basil.

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Great Course Booked

A week today I’m starting the amazing ‘Nutrition in Practice’ course back at Leiths.

Ten weeks working with a chef and nutritionist every Monday and a lot of course work and experimental cooking in-between.

Cannot wait to get started!

I am going to be presenting all the tasty and healthy food I make on Pinterest so I will be keeping you posted.

Catch up with you next week

Caroline 🙂

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Great Taste Event at Intu Uxbridge

Lovely comments from Great Taste Event at Intu Uxbridge:

“Great tasting home-made food providing a refreshing difference from what has become considered the norm in food retailers”

“Amazing treats!”


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