Coconut & cumin mung bean thoran

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Mung beans can have a bad rep, often associated with flower-powering, free-loving, sixties stoners. This is a little unfair, I feel. When cooked, mung beans are as versatile as a toddlers bowl of penne pasta, with enough bite to woo the most discerning Italian. They’re also insanely good for our digestion. In fact, this thoran (a traditional recipe wouldn’t have garlic) was developed specifically for my lethargic Indian stomach by Keralan (medicinal) chef, Raheem – Delhi belly’s just one Indian holiday affliction apparently. Packed with cleansing and anti-bloat ingredients, this is my go-to skinny stomach smoother. It’s also a supper club and yoga holiday favourite; I’m yet to feed it to anyone who doesn’t go back for seconds, hence blogging it here.


Feeds 4 – 6


200g mung beans
2 tbsp coconut oil
4 tsp mustard seeds
4 tsp cumin seeds
2 red onions, chopped
4 – 6 cloves garlic, chopped, depending on your taste
100g spinach, chopped
6 tbsp desiccated coconut
½ tsp turmeric
Salt to taste, I like Himalayan pink or sea salt


Soak mung beans overnight. When ready to cook, set to boil until tender yet still with a bite. Add salt when water comes to boil, not before. Set aside.

In heated coconut oil, fry mustard seeds over a medium heat until begin to pop. Follow with cumin, garlic and onion, turn up the heat and sauté until onions turn translucent and start to brown.

Tip in desiccated coconut, followed by mung beans and turmeric. Fold through spinach, cook for a couple of mins and serve. I like this as a light supper or lunch, just as it is, or alongside other salads or my Prawn, coconut & tamarind curry.

Tip: It’s said that turmeric loses it’s medicinal powers (anti-bacterial) when burnt or overcooked, always add at the end of a recipe.


Kale superfood salad. And Dolly.

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Quick, packed with flavour, antioxidants, iron and filling energy, this is my year round Go-to recipe. When rubbed with olive oil, salt and lemon, raw kale breaks down into a super delicious (honestly) and meaty salad leaf; rocket now seems pretty insubstantial by comparison. Sesame & rosemary spice was made for this, the chilli meatiness sticks to the leaves and is seriously tasty. Use as a base for any of your favourite toppings for lunch, supper or take-away.


Serves 1



1 good handful kale, chopped
1 dsp olive oil
Squeeze lemon juice
Pinch Himalayan pink or sea salt
2 dsp Sesame, rosemary spice – optional but worth the effort!

Optional toppings

1 tbsp cooked quinoa = complete protein, fibre + all essential amino acids.
1/2 avocado, chopped = potassium + heart healthy unsaturated fats.
1 dsp feta, crumbled = calcium flavour kick with reduced lactose (I’m addicted).
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped = filling lean protein.
1 dsp hummus = great sub for meat protein or Middle Eastern deliciousness with chicken.

And some more

Goji berries = sweet tanginess + antioxidant and skin loving beta-carotene.
Rocket leaves = peppery green crunch.
Sticky sweet potato wedges, chopped = low GI filling sweetness
Poached egg = #addictedtoeggs
Balsamic vinegar = adds a tangy sweet contrast to the nutty and creamy salad.



Using a large bowl, rub the olive oil, salt and lemon into the kale. As you do so, the volume will reduce by half and the stalks pop to the surface – there’s no need to painstakingly remove beforehand.

It’s up to you if you want to include in the salad or discard; Dolly eats mine as I’m prepping. #wholesomeseductiondog

Top with the Sesame & rosemary spice, followed by any other ingredients from the list. The flavours all complement each other, so you can add as many or as few as you like. It goes without saying that you may want to reduce quantities if opting for all eight…

This recipe tastes even better on day two, so make a big batch for instant eating.

For something similar without lifting a finger, try The Good Life Eatery’s Good Life Bowl.


Sticky sweet potato wedges

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Coconut oil seems to be the key that sets this recipe apart from the now ubiquitous orange wedge. It works much better than olive oil, resulting in a sticky, sweet and salty flavour. The good news: coconut oil’s so ridiculously healthy, fitness gurus are eating it by the desert spoon for breakfast. Literally. What’s more, sweet potatoes are low GI, packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals and the recipe takes all of 5 mins to prep.



3 sweet potatoes
1 dsp coconut oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric – for gut health
1 tsp sea salt
Good grind black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 220C / 375F. Scrub sweet potatoes, removing any particularly scraggly bits, and retaining the skins. Cut lengthways into wedges  approx. 8 per potato.

Transfer the wedges to a baking tray, skin side down is ideal as you want them to char and blacken. Dot the coconut oil around the tray and sprinkle with spices and salt.

Bake for 35 mins, or until soft in the middle and charred on the outside. Turn the wedges half way through cooking to coat your wedges with the coconut oil and spices.

Serve with Broad bean & cashew pesto or hummus. I almost always have a tub in the fridge to chop into salads or to tide me through a yoga class.


Tortilla (Tor-tee-ya): Spanish omelette

Posted in: DF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

I hounded Dad Garcia to make me this throughout my childhood, that and churros. And steak, egg and chips… Hmm… I’m not painting the healthiest picture here… Don’t worry, mum hid 10kg of mushy spinach in pancakes to make up for it. A bad day. Anyway, I maintain that Papi’s tortilla is the best, and after years of being his tattie sous chef, here it is. A perfect summer fridge staple for a snack or any meal of the day (seriously). For picnics in the park (maybe not this week), or to eat On the Go. ¡Aproveche!

Tortilla (Tor-tee-ya) - Spanish omelette

Makes 8 good sized trozos (slices)


1.2 kg potatoes, peeled
1 large onion
3 tsp sea salt
300ml olive oil – 200ml will be drained off!
6 eggs


Peel and chop potatoes to approx. 2” chunks. Peel and chop onion – quartered and halved is enough. Set oil to heat in heavy based frying pan on a high heat.

Tortilla (Spanish omelette). Wholesome Seduction

Mix potatoes, onion and salt in a bowl and add to boiling oil. Reduce to a medium to low flame (the potatoes need to simmer as opposed to steam), cover and cook for approx. 45 mins, gently stirring every 15 mins.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs with sea salt. Test to see if potatoes are soft, drain off oil and return to heat. Pour over eggs, shaking the pan to ensure all ingredients are mixed. Cook for 3 mins, pulling the edges away from the pan with the back of a wooden spoon.

Tortilla (Spanish omelette). Wholesome Seduction.

Shake to ensure base is loose, place a plate on top and flip. Transfer back to the frying pan for 1 – 2 mins and cook the reverse, again pulling down the sides to give your tortilla a curved edge.

Place a knife in the centre to test. I like the egg to still be slightly wet in the middle but you can also cook through, both are delicious.

Tortilla (Spanish omelette). Wholesome Seduction.

Transfer to a serving plate and allow to cool slightly before eating. Perfect hot or cold with salad. My preference has always been for the latter; I find the salty, waxy, olive oil potato and caramelised onion flavours come through more when at room temperature. But that’s just my opinion…


The Anti-diet: Breakfast like a king

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

… and supper like a pauper. This is not an old wives tale. In actual fact, for many of us Brits consumed with work, breakfast is a coffee, and lunch a sandwich that can be eaten On the Go. The evening meal is our chance to blow all those daily-banked calories. You have the entire day to burn off breakfast; supper sleeps with you.

I‘ve counselled several baffled friends over their growing girths in spite of having abstained all day in anticipation of their man-sized pasta dinner with The New Boy. See last week’s Moderation tip (Side plate eating).

It’s like this: When you starve yourself, your body thinks it needs to conserve energy, goes into hibernation mode and so burns less calories. When you finally eat, your clever body stores (yup, stores) any fat as a back-up in the eventuality you’ll deprive it again.

Eating breakfast tells you you’re awake and kick starts your metabolism. Eating smaller meals (stopping when you’re comfortable as opposed to undoing a button), 3 – 4 times a day makes sense to your digestion. Let it do its job and it will reward you.


Breakfast like a king with Roast banana, bacon & maple syrup sweet-corn fritters and this week’s super healthy and energising juice recipe: Beetroot, carrot, kiwi & ginger.

For more Anti-diet tips click on the Tag on the right or type Anti-diet into the Search box at the top of the page.


Courgette & feta fritters

Posted in: LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Bowing to yogi petitions for veggie fritter recipes on a recent Italian yoga retreat, here’s an option which uses the last of the summer’s British courgettes and involves minimal effort. I have it on good authority (my favourite yoga teacher, Molly) that having followed this recipe, dinner party plates were licked clean. Note: don’t be put off by the word ‘fritter’, just enough oil to stop the batter from sticking is all you need; these are skinny!


Makes 12 fritters, feeds 4


150g chickpea flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric (for gut health)
black pepper
2 limes, juice of
½ red Kashmiri chilli, chopped
8 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
2 courgettes, grated
100g feta, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil. Or your choice of oil.


Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In stages, add 100ml water and the lime juice and stir until you get a thick batter, removing any lumps.

Add the spices, salt, chilli, spring onions and herbs, followed by the courgette and feta.

Dollop coconut oil into a frying pan and set over a medium heat. When very hot, add your mix (1 heaped dsp per fritter) and flatten to 2cm thick.

Cook for 2-3 mins on one side and 1 on the reverse. Or until your fritters are a reddish brown. Coconut oil gives a lovely crispness, and countless health benefits in the process!

Serve hot.

Continuing in the spirit of all things Italian, dollop with Basil pesto, avocado and cottage cheese or Labneh (hung yoghurt) from the Larder. For the meat eaters among us, it’s hard to beat the bacon, avocado & Pitt Cue Co. chipotle ketchup combo.



Gorgeous yogi gurus Molly and Gabby. My inspiration.

For London gourmet yoga pop-ups click on Secret Yoga Club. Gabby dedicates all of her time to organising (far too reasonably priced) yoga evenings hosted by renowned yogis, washed down with a meal by equally respected chefs. Trullo and The Little Cooking Pot to name a few. Gabby’s resourcefulness and energy never fail to blow my mind.

For more info on Tuscan Travel Pick and agriturismo see Podere Conti here.


Courgette, prawn & chilli fritters

Posted in: DF, S, SF, WF

Fritters are an easy and healthy alternative to bread, and just as versatile. In this version, the chilli bite is contrasted by cooling mint and clean coriander; hard to beat for breakfast or supper when topped with bacon, avocado and a poached egg. Or you can make minis with a dip for everyone to dig into as a starter or canapé. Try Broad bean & cashew dip or hung yoghurt (labneh) & basil pesto.


Makes: 12 fritters. Feeds: 4


150g chickpea flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric (for gut health)
black pepper
2 limes, juice of
½ red Kashmiri chilli, chopped
8 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
1 dsp mint, chopped
1 courgette, grated
200g peeled, raw tiger prawns, chopped ½ inch thick
1 tbsp coconut oil. Or your choice of oil.


Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In stages, add 100ml water and the lime juice and stir until you get a thick batter, removing any lumps.

Add the spices, chilli, spring onions and herbs, followed by the courgette and prawns.


Dollop coconut oil into a frying pan and set over a medium heat. When very hot, add your mix (1 heaped dsp per fritter) and flatten to 2cm thick.

Cook for 2 – 3 mins on one side and 1 on the reverse. Or until your fritters are a reddish brown. Coconut oil gives a lovely crispness, and countless health benefits in the process!

Serve hot topped with avocado & cottage cheese or a poached egg.

Pitt Cue Co. Chipotle Ketchup

It would appear the latter’s surprisingly good with Pitt Cue Co’s chipotle ketchup and bacon. An accidental combination (I may have been nursing a hangover) and potentially menu carnage but I like it. Impressive given I don’t do ketchup. The recipe’s widely available on the net, or I’ve included a tweaked version made with agave instead of sugar.

Make the most of seductive courgette’s health benefits while in season. See also skinny Courgette & lemon drizzle cake.

Basil pesto

Posted in: Featured, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Is there an ingredient which tastes of summer more than basil? Thanks to Mum Garcia’s tireless efforts to appease her offspring, you can store up summer and dollop it on your salad, chicken, salmon or pasta whenever the sun shines. Or doesn’t. I’m pretty confident this is the best pesto recipe I’ve eaten. Ever.



60g basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
50g pine nuts
50g parmesan, grated
¼ tsp sea salt
150ml olive oil – increase this if you like a runner pesto or more of a dressing


Blitz all ingredients except the olive oil into a Magimix or food processor for 10 secs.

Scrape down the sides and turn on the machine again, adding the olive oil in a steady stream. Decant to a jar and store in the fridge.

Note: if using a Vitamix or tall blender, add the oil at the beginning. Depending on your blender, you may need to stop to press the ingredients down several times throughout blending. In spite of the hype around new blenders available on the market (which I have), I still find the Magimix hard to beat. Such a shame it doesn’t clean itself.

I always seem to inhale before it goes off but mum has an almost constant supply, keeping in the fridge for a couple of weeks at a time. I make double quantities and store in the freezer. Because I’m lazy.

Top tip: Stir in some olive oil to make a dressing for a simple side salad of spinach, watercress, rocket, tomatoes (sun dried outside of summer) and toasted pine nuts. Great with roast chicken for a picnic.


Tamari Wild salmon

Posted in: DF, S, SF, WF

We’ve just come into Wild salmon season so I had to share this long-standing favourite Toolkit recipe. It takes about 20 mins to get on the plate and tastes as good cold as it does hot. I always make extra so I have a quick fix protein for after work or yoga. It’s delicious in salads or added to stir-fry or soup – try a fish version of Cheat’s chilli chicken & veg soup from last week.

Tamari Wild salmon

Feeds: 2. Takes: Less than ½ hr.



2 salmon steaks
1 clove garlic, crushed
1” piece ginger, finely chopped
1 dsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
Lemon juice, squeeze only


Preheat oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6. Line a baking tray with silver foil – a piece big enough to fold over the salmon steaks. Place the salmon on the foil and score the flesh 3 times on each steak.

Cover with the garlic and ginger, gently pushing some bits into the incisions. Pour over the oil, tamari and lemon, fold over the foil to make a parcel, leaving an opening at the top and transfer to the oven.

Cook for 12 – 15 mins, or until the salmon is cooked through. I like the flesh to still be almost raw in the centre but that’s up to you.

Serve with purple sprouting broccoli or a leaf salad. Or, willpower permitting, store in the fridge to eat cold for up to 3 days.

Note: Eat the the salty tamari sauce while it’s hot; it’s addictive in a junky, cheap crisp way so Little Miss Piggie can’t help but scrape every last bit off the foil. I guess that’s what happens when you forbid yourself junky, cheap crisps…

P/100g steak: Kcal: 203, Pr: 18.0g, Carb: 2.1g, OWS: 0.2g, Fat: 13.8g, Sat Fat: 2.0g, Salt: 1.7g


Toolkit recipes

Posted in: LF, N, Nutrition Info, S, Uncategorized, V, WF

With a teeny tiny bit of prep, and some Tupperware, you can eat within five minutes of stepping in your kitchen. Literally. Leaving the evening free to do, well, whatever it is you like to do…

Toolkit recipes

Now, I enjoy cooking but the last thing I want to do when I get in late, so hungry I could eat a weathered donkey, is cook. And quite frankly, my creativity and patience by this point have entirely evaporated in the face of anything more challenging than a tub of hummus. So, what happens if one is equipped with enough toolkit tupperware for several days? Revolutionary.

You may have noticed I’m a bit of a salad groupie. None of the insubstantial, rabbit feed variety for me though. An ideal receptacle for accommodating almost the entire contents of the fridge and given the high male praise of being “like eating meat”, I’ve termed them Man Salads. The key is in the base, and in embracing accidental recipes; where my most treasured dishes are born.

Pick & Mix lunch

Salad base (for two):

1 handful salad leaves: rocket, watercress, spinach and / or herbs
2 dsp puy lentils – from the Larder page
2 tbsp qunioa – from the Larder page
2 tbsp peas, frozen (and defrosted!) fine
4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp vinaigrette, or to taste
1 tbsp toasted seeds

See Qunioa, feta, rocket & toasted seed for rough nutritional data. Note: this recipe includes feta.

Quinoa, feta & toasted seed salad, wholesomeseduction

With a couple of additions, the options are endless. Click on the recipe links in the text:

Feta, butternut & hummus

Top with feta for one of my favourite, healthy suppers: Qunioa, feta, rocket & toasted seed. Or swap the quinoa for Roast butternut & fennel seed and a desert spoon of hummus. The saltiness of the feta against the sweet butternut squash and earthy, yet lemony hummus and nutty, crunchy seeds is happiness itself. In my opinion…

Garam masala chicken

Chuck in half a breast of Garam masala chicken and maybe a desert spoon of hummus for my take on Shawarma joy – a Middle eastern staple. This is also delicious in a wrap; chicken and hummus really are perfect partners. The chicken and feta route is a winner too.

I sometimes swap the quinoa, hummus and vinaigrette for Caesar salad dressing and toasted pine nuts with feta, goat’s cheese or Parmesan – an altogether meatier Chicken Caesar. And Goat’s cheese, apple and Caesar is pretty addictive.

Food to Go - salad

As you may have noticed, I have a tendency to throw all sorts of ingredients in together, even sometimes adding to shop bought salads if they err towards bland or insubstantial. Don’t be afraid to improvise; some concoctions work, some don’t. Making mistakes is the best way to learn and innovate.

In the interests of your sanity (and mine), I’ve stuck to bite sized tips: Salads this week, soups and stews next.