1. Healthy Jubilee party snacks

      If you are celebrating the Jubilee this weekend but worried about ruining your healthy eating regime, there are tasty snacks and nibbles you can make quickly and simply which will still grace a party table, contribute to your daily fruit and vegetable quota, and provide a great alternative to the fatal temptations of cakes, crisps and pastries.

      Chopped vegetables are packed with nutritious vitamins, and eaten raw can be a great fibre boost. Carrots, celery and sweet peppers make terrific dips and roasted vegetable kebabs go well with a barbecue. Try roasting chopped peppers, aubergine, tomato, mushrooms and courgettes and then skewer with some leafy  herbs (basil  leaves work well) to add colour to your plate.

      Instead of red meat, don’t forget  salmon is a great source of both protein and essential ‘good’ fats. Smoked salmon is very versatile and can be rolled and added to vegetable kebabs, or added to mini toasts or wholemeal bread squares to make a tasty canapé. Add some dill to dress.

      A good substitute for crisps and salted nuts is to nibble on toasted almonds or mixed seeds instead. Try flavouring with spices such as tamari or paprika to make them more interesting. You can also use walnuts and pine nuts as toppings on salads or to add flavour to celery boats stuffed with low fat cream cheese. Sprinkle with pomegranate for a burst of colour.

      Fruit can also be fun to combine with cheese and vegetables – and the children love them. Whilst we are in nostalgic mood, why not reconstruct the grapefruit hedgehogs so popular back in the 70’s. Halve a grapefruit, lay flat side on the plate and create a hedgehog effect using fruit and cheese kebabs on cocktail sticks. You can experiment with all sorts of combinations, alternating cheeses (try grilled haloumi cubes or cheddar) with pineapple cubes, halved strawberries, red and green grapes and blueberries. If you want to add vegetables, cherry tomatoes and sweet pepper cubes also work well. Mint and basil leaves also add colour, flavour and even more healthy nutrients.

      Don’t forget to add a non-alcoholic fruit punch to the party table. Another fantastic source of antioxidants and refreshing on a hot day. Let’s hope!

      Here are some suggestions below. Have a fun and healthy weekend!





      • Celery boats stuffed with blue cheese and toasted pine nuts
      • Cucumber rounds spread with goats cheese and walnuts
      • Chicory leaves filled with blue cheese and pine nuts
      • Mini Nairns biscuits with hummus or soft cheese spread, chives and pomegranate
      • Mini toasts with pesto, sun dried tomatoes and sprinkled with parmesan
      • Tamari or paprika toasted spicy roasted almonds
      • Skewers (or cocktail sticks) with cherry tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries and haloumi  or cheddar cubes
      • Celery boats stuffed with guacomole and pomegranate
      • Grilled haloumi kebabs with peppers, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes and mint
      • Smoked salmon kebabs with cherry tomato and cucumber
      • Cucumber rounds with salmon and dill topping
      • Garlic free hummus  or guacamole dips with pepper, cucumber and celery crudités
      • Flat mushrooms grilled with teriyaki sesame seeds
      • Cherry tomatoes stuffed with soft cheese and chives
      • Asparagus spears wrapped in smoked salmon or prosciutto



      Fish Seven Days a Week


      Consider the fact that over 75% of the world’s population live near either the sea of a body of water such as a lake or river, and it makes sense that fish has long been a vital part of our diet. Add to that the fact fish is low in saturated fat, a great lean protein source and packed with essential nutrients, why not experiment and enjoy the benefits?

      Fish is rich in vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium and phosphorous for healthy bones and teeth. It is also packed with essential minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine and selenium which can all help support our immune system, provide antioxidants and build enzymes for vital chemical reactions in our body

      Most importantly, oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines) are a vital source of omega 3 essential fatty acids  which support brain function, mood circulation and heart health and can generally help us stay fit and healthy. If you have children with exams coming up, try and add as much fish to their diet as possible to help with concentration and learning.

      However, aim to mix your fish to include both oily species, white fish such as haddock, cod and sole, and also shellfish. This will offer a variety of nutrients and also keep mealtimes more interesting.

      If you live close to a fishmonger, try asking their advice on fresh local fish, try something new and ask for their thoughts on the best ways to prepare and cook.

      Healthy ways of cooking fish

      Fish is a quick and easy food to cook so is a great choice whether it is for a quick snack, a family meal or a special occasion with friends.

      Baking: Wrap fish in a large piece of foil, add a small amount knob of butter or olive oil, season with black peppercorns, flavour with a squeeze of lemon and make a parcel.

      Grilling: Sprinkle a pinch of Lo Salt on both sides of the fish, brush a pan with some olive oil and grill until cooked.

      Steaming: Lightly oil the fish to prevent it from sticking to the steamer. Add fresh herbs such as rosemary or parsley with a squeeze of lemon. You could also try wrapping the fish in banana leaves to protect it whilst steaming, and this also offers a great way of serving it on the plate.

      Poaching: Create a poaching liquid using milk, onions and peppercorns to cook the fish. This can then be transformed into a sauce to serve with the fish.

      To check the fish is cooked through, use a skewer and insert into the thickest part. It it pierces the skin easily and the fish starts to flake, the fish should be ready.

      Adding herbs

      Don’t forget to add plenty of herbs which will not only add flavour but can also be amazing for healing, balance and harmony. Parsley, thyme, rosemary, tarragon and dill are the ones commonly associated with fish recipes, but others you could try include anise, basil, caraway, chives, coriander, fennel, hyssop, lemon balm, marigold, marjoram, mint and sage.

      You will find a wealth of recipes and cooking times online on websites such as http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/fish

      Here are some suggestions for including fish in your meals over the coming week:

                  BREAKFAST or BRUNCH

      Add mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach, peppers as well as herbs to increase your daily vegetable portions

      •  Asparagus and chives and low fat cream cheese wrapped in smoked salmon.
      • Grilled mackerel or sardines on toast with lemon and mint
      • Grilled haddock mushroom and spinach
      • Kipper kedgeree
      • Smoked trout and poached eggs on wholemeal toast
      • Smoked salmon and chives on bagels
      • Poached or smoked salmon omelette with chopped coriander, chives and parsley
      • Scrambled eggs with salmon or tuna


                    LUNCH or SUPPER

      Serve with mixed salad or steamed vegetables

      • Grilled or poached trout with thyme,
      • Poached salmon in tomato and basil sauce
      • Lemon sole with white wine and grapes
      • Prawn and scallop stir fry
      • Fish pie (use sweet potato mash for a healthier topping)
      • Pan fried salmon with lentils
      • Haddock, crab or salmon fish cakes
      • Tuna bake
      • Salmon fillets poached in coconut milk and lemon grass
      • Whole salmon roasted in parcels with coriander and butter and served with grated lime zest
      • Parmesan crusted white fish with tomato and olive oil dressing
      • Coconut fish curry
      • Crab avocado and king prawn salad
      • Sushi
      • Fish soup