Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Whole food salad

With just over 3 weeks to go to my holiday I'm on the last push to eating healthy to keep the weight down. The silver lining being mammoth eating and drinking on holiday !

I decided some bulk cooking was in order to take lunch to work. After eating a very healthy and totally yummy whole food salad from M&S last weekend I had a go at preparing a version of my own.

Couscous can be classed as a whole food if it's made from 100 percent whole-grain durum. Unfortunately what I had in the cupboard was not, but when making the next batch I will buy 100 percent durum!
You can make this with any whole food ingredients you like, the M&S one even had blueberries and mango. This is how I made mine.

100g Quinoa
100g Barley
100g Couscous
100g Tesco seed, pine nut and tomato salad topper
1 Butternut squash - peeled , chopped and roasted in a little olive.
1/2 cucumber - seeds removed and chopped.

For the dressing I blitzed up and bottled
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 large garlic clove - grated
15 basil leaves
100ml olive oil
Balsamic & cider vinegar to taste

  • Cook Quinoa,Barley and Couscous according to packet instructions, let cool
  • when cooled combine all ingredients for salad together.
That's it simple. I served mine with rocket and drizzled with the dressing.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Gordon Ramsay's Honey roasted duck with green beans and hazelnut salad

This is a very quick and easy dish to make, really tasty and smart enough to serve at a dinner party. I have made this dish many times.

Recently fellow food Blogger http://www.gingeybites.com/ put out this tweet on Twitter.

The mention of Duck and five spice immediately made me think of this recipe, so I suggested it to her.

Recalling how good this dish is I decided to revisit the recipe and made it for dinner on Saturday evening. You can watch the short 1m 35sec video of Gordon Ramsey making this dish, here  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl8xrVixU1Q
The recipe below is for 4 people I halved the ingredients to make for two.
serves 4
  • 4 x 175g duck breasts, with skin on.
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chinese five spice
  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
Score the skin of the duck breast in a criss cross pattern. Season the duck breast with salt and pepper and rub the five spice into the skin thoroughly.
Coat the duck breasts in the Chinese five spice.
Place the duck breasts in a frying pan skin side down and cook over a very low heat to render down most of the fat. This may take 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fat. keep a bowl handy as you will need to pour of the fat regularly. 
Now turn the heat up and fry until the skin is crisp. Turn the duck breasts over and cook on the other side for around 3-4 minutes. Just before the duck is ready, drizzle over the honey and soy sauce and cook, continually basting until the sauce has reduced to a syrupy glaze.
 Remove the duck and cover with foil, rest for 5-10 minutes.
 While the duck is resting put your green beans on to boil and make the dressing for the beans.
* Note that the total fluid for this dressing in the recipe is 400ml! I have made this many times and believe me this is far too much*
As I have made this for two even half the amount is too much obvs.. so I have quartered the amount and still had some dressing left ! trust me on this !
  • 200g Green beans
  • 85g Hazelnuts Crushed and roasted
  • 100ml Hazelnut oil
  • 200ml Olive oil
  • 100ml Sherry vinegar
Mix oils and vinegar together, once beans have cooked, drain and dress with oil and nuts.
Pile green bean salad into the middle of a warmed plate, slice duck and place on top. Finish with more of the nuts and drizzle with the juices from the pan.
You can check out Gingey Bites brilliant Blog by clicking on her link above
Or follow her on Twitter here https://twitter.com/Gingeybites .

Friday, 1 February 2013

Bed Supperclub, Bangkok

This post is a little different to my previous posts in the respect I don't have any images of the food I ate here to show you. I did take pictures but the lighting (neon) did not lend itself to kindly to the images. That said I decided it was worthy of a place in my Blog as it was one of the most unusual dining experiences I had ever had up to that point. So let me introduce you to that place.

Bed Supperclub 

How many times after eating a meal, feeling stuffed have you said the only thing missing in this restaurant is a bed? I know I have!
Well at Bed Supperclub you actually get to dine in one ! well not exactly a bed as in getting under a duvet, more like one long communal mattress with comfy pillows ! 

Bed Supper club can be found on fashionable Sukhumvit Soi 11. The building is hard to miss, a futuristic pod on stilts looking like something out of the Jetsons (Animated futuristic Sci-Fi comedy of the 60s-80s). Just looking at it from the outside leaves you in no doubt it will be special inside.

Bed Supperclub, Bangkok

Bed Supper club is split into two areas the club/bar being one end of the pod whilst the restaurant is in the other half. The restaurant has an all white interior, splashes of colour are provided by soft pastel shades of Red, Blue and Yellow neon lights that change colour. The large communal beds line either side of the room with a galleried style staircase and landing leading to a mezzanine floor of the same. 

Rachel checking out the menu

Inside Bed Supperclub with view of open kitchen 
The ambiance had a lively buzz feel and sounds of soft style lounge music played in the background. The white interior acted as a blank canvas for a projected image on the wall of a very large eye that looked around the room. Performers periodically walked around with placards saying things like "No kissing", "No Hugging", "Obey", "Order More ", it felt like we were in the middle of a living art installation. The same performers put on a dancing show later in the evening.

The food style was western / Thai fusion and very good. Guests are encouraged to kick off their shoes and climb onto the large communal beds to dine. it's the ultimate chill-out dining experience and even more unusual was at the end of the meal the in-house masseuse's  gave you a 20 minute leg and foot massage for no more than a couple of quid.
Now what's not to like about kicking back after a meal, drink in hand and a foot rub, Pure bliss.

Getting comfy

Admittedly this would seem ludicrous in a normal table an chair setting but Bed Supperclub is different, in this environment it just works. Anyone who has been to Bangkok or anywhere in Thailand will tell you Thai massage is offered everywhere you go, even on the streets.
So when in Thailand do as the Thai's do, kick back and enjoy.

                                    The eye of Big Brother watching over me!