Coconut Shrimp Curry


August 19th, 2019

The first time I had coconut milk, was from wining a whole coconut at "The Hoppings", Europe's largest travelling fun fair, which is held on the Town Moor during the last week of June each year in Newcastle. This has got to be back in the seventies as a young excited child having the time of his life, riding the merry go round, driving the dodgem cars, sliding down the tall helter skelter.

I'd normally go home carrying a coconut and a gold fish in a bag of water. Unfortunately the gold fish never lived longer than a week, before being flushed down the toilet on its way back to the sea (poor thing).

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Roasted Carrot, Celery, Black Beans, Tomato & Quinoa Salad

 Aug 12th, 2019

I love working with simple whole foods that blend really well together. Take simple ingredients like carrots and celery, sometimes underrated for the super stars that they are. Carrots are the second most popular vegetable in America after the potato. Apart from adding celery to soups and salads, we don't really incorporate celery much into our everyday array of staples. Yet both carrots and celery are crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious in their own way.

Carrots are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially biotin, potassium, and vitamins A (from beta carotene), K1 (phylloquinone), and B6.

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Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

August 5th, 2019

Keeping food simple, healthy and delicious has been my manta for the pasted 20 years now, ever still Matthew my middle son became a type 1 diabetic. Even more so when my late wife Alison was diagnosed with stage four cancer back in 2008. My philosophy about food has been to use fresh ingredients and make it yourself. Then at least you have a good idea about what you are putting into your body to maximize your health. I'm not into today's supper foods, fad diets and latest celeb eating routines. Using one ingredient foods such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts, seeds, unprocessed grains and lean proteins give you the best nutrition for your body. So follow along and make this easy creamy chicken dish tonight for your family and friends and see how "real food" can be amazingly tasty and simple to make.

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  Energy Power Bar

July 29th, 2019


One thing I have never done, is snack between meals. I really think, when you are following a whole foods life style, you are giving your body and mind the right combination of nutrients, so you never feel hungry. But I do have 3 boys who love sports, so I need to have something in the fridge that will boost their energy levels when needed.

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So Easy North Carolina Sweet Potato Soup


JULY 22, 2019

This creamy slightly spicy low-fat soup gets its creamy texture from pureed sweet potatoes and goes perfectly paired with a light salad for lunch. It takes around 20 minutes from start to finish so it can be made the night before or even in the morning to take to work.

I live in Charlotte North Carolina and believe it or not since 1971 we have proudly claimed the number one spot for sweet potato production across America.

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Instant Lunch Time Noodle Soup

July 15th, 2019

Lunch can be difficult sometimes, since finding somewhere to eat that's close to work, reasonable priced and of course good quality food has its challenges. I like to take lunch to work every day- unless I know in advance that I have a business lunch meeting that day. So, just like being a boy scout you have to be prepared. One thing that's easy to prepare and take to work is soup. You can literally make any kind of soup you like because you can have them either hot or cold depending on the time of year and the combinations are endless.

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  Shrimp Fried Rice

July 8th, 2019

My boys love shrimp and they love rice. So combining them is one of my go-to, less-than 30-minute meals that my family can't get enough of. If you have any left over rice, the time cuts down to 15 minutes or less.

My favorite cuisine has to be Asian because I just love the fresh, spicy ingredients used to make healthy dishes. I'm classically trained in French cuisine, but gone are the days where I use lots of red meat, butter, cream, and triple fat cheese. Now I prefer to use French cooking techniques and healthy ingredients.

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  Cauliflower & Almond Butter Curry


July 1, 2019

Coming from England, we do like a good curry. Fish and chips used to be the number one selling dish in the UK. In the 1990's, it was overtaken by Chicken Tikka Masala, which was reportedly being ordered at restaurants and takeouts by 11 million Brits each week or about 22 percent of the population.
Yes, we all like to eat our comfort foods, just like a good curry. When served with rice pilaf and plain naan bread, chicken tikka contains well over 1,300 calories a portion.

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Chickpea Burgers with Avocado Cream

June 24th, 2019


Chef Mark Allison's Column

Chickpeas or garbanzos beans have a delicious nutlike taste and a texture that is buttery and yet starchy and creamy. They are the main ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes such as hummus, falafels and curries. The normal color of the chickpea is beige, but if you look around Middle Eastern stores you can find other varieties such as black, green, red, and even brown.

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Chef Mark Oriental Lentil Broth

June 17th, 2019

Chef Mark Allison's Column

This soup is so simple yet tastes delicious so give it a try tonight - I'm sure the family with love it! Here's some information to share with the family over dinner tonight: Did you know that a cup of lentils contains about 18g of protein and a whopping 16g of fiber. That 1 cup also provides 37 percent of the Daily Value of iron and 49 percent of the Daily Value of manganese. Manganese is an important trace mineral that's essential for growth, reproduction, brain function and the proper metabolism of sugars, insulin and cholesterol.

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Spiced Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Asian Pear & Raspberries (as seen on the Charlotte Today Show)


June 3, 2019

If you're like me, your always looking for new interesting, tasty and nutritious breakfasts.

To get my day off on the right foot, I like to vary what I eat on a morning. It could be a big bowl of homemade granola with almond milk. A freshly made smoothie or steel cut oats, Greek yogurt with dried fruit and nuts. Sometimes a plate of left over roasted vegetables with a poached or fried egg on top with sliced avocado. This morning I'm trying quinoa porridge made with coconut milk, spiced with a little nutmeg and turmeric, sweetened with local honey and served with an Asian pear and fresh raspberries, topped with pistachio nuts and toasted coconut. This breakfast is packed with nutrition, high in protein, good carbs and good fats, because quinoa has it all. Top it with a freshly made compote of fruits and you can't get a better start to your day.

According to the Whole Grains Council, quinoa is a gluten-free, whole-grain carbohydrate, as well as a whole protein

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Salmon with Garlic Mushrooms & Broccolini


May 30, 2019

Garlic mushrooms! One of the first dishes I ever cooked in a restaurant back in the 80's. It used to be on practically every menu in the UK. A beloved favorite at the time, along with prawn cocktail and black forest gateaux. Boy, they were the good old days. Long hours in the kitchen under a lot of pressure, adrenaline pumping through your veins, keeping you moving and alert. It's amazing how your body copes with the stress, the heat, the number of orders served during lunch and dinner service. And you still found the energy to go out after work, to enjoy your free time. At fifty five I still feel that energy, but now I believe it comes from eating whole foods packed with nutrition with no added preservatives, colorants or fat, sugar or salt. Fresh ingredients that are easy to prepare and cook. That nourish your body. Along with a daily exercise routine and a positive attitude, I believe keeps you young at heart. As I like to tell myself 55 going on 35, I might be getting older in years but I'm trying my best to keep my mind body and spirit young at heart.

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Lobster & Shrimp Salad

 May 20th, 2019

 Serves 4

1 granny smith apple, cored and quarter
1 lemon, juice of
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider
½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
1/2lb freshly cooked lobster meat, roughly chopped
1/2lb cook shrimp, roughly chopped
1 head butter lettuce, cored removed and leaves separated
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon freshly chopped tarragon

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Chocolate Roll (gluten Free)

May 13th 2019

Mother's Day Treat


A simple recipe for the most indulgent Cadbury's chocolate roll ever. With a moist and decadent gluten free chocolate sponge, a delicious whipped vanilla cream (or if you prefer mascarpone) filling. This is, without doubt, every Cadbury's chocolate lover's dream come true, naughty but NICE!

This great classic rolled cake can turn your morning coffee or afternoon tea into a special occasion any day of the week.

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Sweet Potato, Kale, Coconut & Peanut Soup

May 06, 2019

Lacinato kale, Tuscan kale, dino kale, black kale - this variety goes by many names! This kale variety has hearty, ridged, and almost frilly leaves, and it's more tender than curly kale and red kale, making it a good candidate for raw and shortly-cooked dishes. It contains many of the nutritious benefits of regular kale - tons of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K - but with a milder, sweeter taste that's more palatable.
Combined with sweet potatoes, fresh cilantro, garlic, ginger, coconut milk, and roasted peanuts, this dish provides a spicy yet sweet amalgamation of wholesome deliciousness. Plus, look at the amazing health benefits provided by the ingredients in this soup:

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Fattoush salad

 April 29th, 2019


Fattoush is a Syrian or Lebanese bread salad made from toasted, baked or fried pieces of khubz (Khubz which is also known as Arabic bread, Lebanese bread, or Syrian bread, is a round leavened Middle Eastern flatbread, that forms a staple of the local diet from the Arabian Peninsula to Morocco) combined with mixed greens and other vegetables, such as radishes and tomatoes. Fattoush belongs to the family of dishes known as fattat, which use stale flatbread as a base.

This salad is so simple and easy to make, great for sharing with family and friends and takes minutes to make. Whenever I make a salad like this it always reminds me

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Chef Mark Allison's Column Oats, Orange & Kiwi

April 22, 2019


Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They're gluten-free, whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Sometimes they can be contaminated by other grains, so please read the label before buying. Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits. For diabetics, they are known to help lower blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that people with heart disease benefit from oats because the beta-glucan fiber is effective at reducing both total and LDL (aka "bad") cholesterol levels.

Oats are also a really good source of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.

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Winter Kale & Brazil Nut Pesto


April 15th, 2019

Just last week before the snow hit the Carolinas, I harvested the last crop of kale from my garden. I normally add it to stews, casseroles, soups, smoothies or make delicious sides or healthy snacks for the boys. Then I thought, "Hey, no fresh basil in the house. Let's use kale to make some pesto." This time of year, you always have Brazil nuts lying around in the nut bowl that are perfect to use to recreate a new twist on an old favorite that is packed with nutrition and full of flavor.

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Heartwarming Winter Casserole

April 8th, 2019


"Winter is Coming" - well it's here!!! Big time!!! - The short cold days of winter make you want to stay indoors with your feet up watching the flames dance in your fireplace, with the smell and aromas of something good cooking in the oven and the sound of soft music playing in the background. Why not try this easy and delicious tasting chicken casserole that takes minutes to prepare, then pop in the oven and sit back and relax knowing dinner is taken care of and the night is just beginning.

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Mushroom Stroganoff (Made Easy)

 March 25th, 2019

Beef Stroganoff is a Russian dish (from the 19th century) of sautéed pieces of beef served in a rich sauce made from smetana (sour cream). At culinary school back in the 80's, I remember making this dish as part of my final exams on my City & Guilds 706/2 program.

Funny how we look back on the good old days and laugh, but at the time not so good, as you were stressed trying to get all your mise en place sorted out. Making sure you had your station set-up (oven turned on - you'd be amazed at how many student/chefs forget to turn on the oven until it's too late!) and the most important thing, making sure you hit your window on time for the chef instructor (judge) to critique your work.

Being a chef certainly sets you up for life as most of "the most important things in life" revolve around being prepared.

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