Another recipe post today. Starring Salmon Pâté (and Quark)

Now before you ask Quark is a type of fresh dairy product made by warming soured milk. Yes it sounds a little gross, but mixed in with something else, it’s a brilliant low fat alternative for cheese. Perfect for making into dips and Pate. I learnt about quark from Slimming World instagrammers. They appeared to be using it for creamy pasta, or lasagne. I found a recipe for salmon pate and thought I would give it a go. And it is A-OKAY. Recipe below.

This is a really simple recipe, good as a spread on Ryvitas or toast for lunch, in a sandwich or as a dip with crudités. Perfect.

Healthy Salmon Pâté (using Quark)

Put in your trolley 

(Makes 2-4 servings.)

200g skinless and boneless salmon

200g quark

Good pinch of dried chilli flakes or other spicy seasoning

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped parsley or coriander (optional)

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Step One

Cook the salmon in the oven at 200c. Should only take 15 ish minutes but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overcook. Nothing worse than over cooked salmon. Allow to cook and then chop up into the same sized chunks.

Step Two

I tend to put all of the ingredients in the blender to make a smooth mixture. But you could mash up with a fork if you prefer something a little coarser. Either way, add all the ingredients into the blender and then blend until the preferred consistency. Check to adjust the seasoning and then blend again.

Numbers (if you’re bothered.)

This works out at about 150cals a portion. You can double or triple it if you want to take to work one day, or could use different fish to add different flavours. I’ve added capers before to add saltiness and red pepper also!

Recommended Reading

I recommend reading All the missing girls by Megan Miranda – a creepy, claustrophobic but brilliant book. 

Healthy Salmon Pâté (using Quark)

Healthy Salmon Pâté (using Quark)

Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin. It’s delicious. T used to make it for me back in Stoke at least once a week. One morning, working from home I decided to make it – but I was starving and wanted to bulk it up. But, (shock horror,) we had no bread. I shuffled around the kitchen and unearthed a can of Princes sardines in tomato sauce. I’ve added it to the recipe (and pepper and bird’s eye chili) and I know it’s not conventional but it was delicious. It’s a good way of adding protein and cutting carbohydrates which I tend to eat too many of. Enjoy!

Sardine Shakshuka Recipe

Put in your trolley

125g tin of Princes Sardines in Tomato Sauce

Half a green pepper (Or red or yellow – I had green in the fridge.)

One bird’s eye chili (add depending on your tastebuds.)

Two Eggs (Free range.)

100grm of tomato passata/chopped tomatoes

Low-cal cooking spray

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Sardine Shakshuka Recipe

Step One

Chop up the pepper and chili. Keep it small, and fry in a frying pan with a little low cal spray. Cook until browned around the edges. Slop in the sardines and allow to cook for a minute. Break up the pieces so they cook evenly. Pop on the grill too 200c to warm up.

Step Two

Turn the heat down to low, and add the tomatoes. Stir in so that everything is evenly covered. Season with salt and pepper. Make wells in the mixture for the two eggs and crack in.

Sardine Shakshuka Recipe

Step Three

Place the saucepan in the oven – and cook for about 6 minutes. Keep an eye on it because it really depends on the size of the eggs and the heat of the oven etc. Once they are set but still gooey in the middle pull the pan out. Serve with a hot coffee (or red wine in the evening,) and devour.

The Numbers (if you’re bothered.)

This comes in quite high because I was really hungry and used two eggs, but you could halve this for two and half the sardines and an egg each. It comes in at around 400cals so if you halved and had with sourdour bread this would be a hearty but healthy breakfast.

Recommended Reading

I’m going to suggest reading The Unlikely Hero of 13b – it’s a fantastic book and a wonderful read.

Sardine Shakshuka Recipe


Winter recipes tend to be heavy. Sultry stews, cheesy pasta and creamy soups. Summer is the time where we tend to revert to crispy salads and juicy veg bowls. But, if you’re like me; January is a great time to get our butts down to the gym. To sort out our squat game and clean up our diets. There’s something about using the new year for good. But I don’t want to be nibbling on raw carrots. Playing around in the kitchen I whipped up this creamy, healthy risotto and you can make it too.

(I know wth is spelt but trust me. It might be fussier to prepare but it tastes gorgeous. Spelt can be difficult to get hold of – if you can’t find it. (Ie if you don’t live near a Waitrose) you can use Pearl Barley which tastes similar just takes a little longer to cook.)

Mushroom Risotto

Put in your trolley

200g pearled spelt (or pearl barley if spelt is a bugger to find.)

25g dried porcini mushrooms

½ tbsp olive oil

1 onion finely chopped

2 garlic clove crushed and chopped

100g chestnut chopped as chunkily as you like

100ml white wine

1l hot vegetable stock

1 tbsp low-fat crème fraîche

bunch chives


Okay – so the spelt is a bit of a bugger but just think to yourself I have 20 minutes to get another job done. Eh.

Step 1

Cover the spelt with cold water in one bowl and soak the dried mushrooms in 100ml of boiling water in another (for 20 minutes.)  Go and watch the end of whatever Netflix show you’ve got on with a glass of wine.

Step 2

Heat oil, chuck in the onion and garlic and cook for two minutes. Then add the chestnut mushrooms and cook for another two minutes. Drain the spelt and add, then tip in the white wine. Simmer until almost all of the wine has gone, stirring often. You don’t want it to stick!

Mushroom Risotto

Step 3

Make up the vegetable stock. Drain the mushrooms and add them to the pan, but don’t throw away the water you’ve been soaking them in! Add the liquid to the stock and stir.

Step 4

Stir in a cup of stock at a time and simmer. Stir often, waiting till the stock’s been absorbed to add another. Continue till the spelt is tender (around 20 minutes.) Stir through the crème fraiche and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Spoon onto plates and sprinkle over the chives.

Numbers (if you’re bothered.)

Okay – risotto is normally thought of as a heavy calorie choice, but with the swaps from rice to barley and the low fat crème fraiche this comes in at 255 per portion. Can’t really argue with that. You could add meat, or parmesan (or veggie substitute) as you see fit but I think it’s perfect the way it is.

Book Recommendations

Every week I pair a book with said recipe. This week I’m suggesting Spectacles by Sue Perkins. Not only is it a fantastic memoir, it’s funny, special and will make you feel warm inside. Much like this mushroom risotto.