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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Chia Seed Pudding (As recently made on the Charlotte Today Show)

 March 19th 2019

This maple-infused creamy chia seed pudding is a natural vegetarian breakfast option made with just eight simple fresh/pantry ingredients.

The best part? It takes just 5 minutes to assemble and is the ideal breakfast for making ahead of time. Naturally vegetarian and gluten free if made with full fat coconut milk, the chia seeds soak up the moisture overnight and turn into a tapioca-like pudding dream. I like to add a little maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt, but like most of my recipes feel free to swap out for honey, add cinnamon or whisk in some cocoa powder. The options are endless and up to you?

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Easy To Make Vegan Eggless Mayo & Ranch Dressing

 March 11, 2019

This homemade egg-free vegan mayonnaise recipe is made with chickpea water, Dijon mustard, sea salt, white wine vinegar and vegetable oil with a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Blending them all together gives you a delectable thick and creamy mayonnaise condiment to use on all your salads, sandwiches and homemade slaw dishes. Add a few more ingredients and turn it into an eggless ranch dressing that the whole family will enjoy and love.
Easy To Make Vegan Eggless Mayo & Ranch Dressing
Yields 1 ¼ cups

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Broccolini Goat's Cheese & Ancient Grain Salad

 March 4th, 2019

Broccolini, broccoli and broccoli rabe− it's easy to get confused because the names are so similar, and they are all green vegetables. But they are each quite different in flavor, texture, and how they should be cooked. You can use them as either a side, a salad, roasted, or steamed. All three are very versatile, highly nutritious, and have flavors found in cuisines around the world. In my opinion, I consider them all "superfoods," but they cost a fraction of the price of other so-called superfoods. Mixing broccolini with ancient grains, another outstanding nutritional

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Simple Nutritious Salad

 February 25, 2019

In my opinion salads are awesome not boring. You can throw practically anything you like into a salad, add a dressing and it will turn out great. Well, most times it will. Here is how I make salads at home for the boys and myself. I use a formula I created over 20 years ago that still works to this day. You have six main components to work with, starting with a base that is normally two cups. Follow that by a half cup to a full cup of starch and a half to a full cup of fruits or vegetables. Top that off with a quarter to a half cup of a lean protein and a quarter cup of toppings and a dressing.

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February 18, 2019

(pronounced "po-keh") means "to slice or cut." Originating from the islands of Hawaii, it started as a snack for fishermen. They used up the off-cuts of fish and added Japanese and other Asian seasonings. Poke is usually bite-sized pieces of raw fish or shellfish mixed with spices, herbs, nuts, fruits, vegetables, seasoning, seaweed and kukui, a nut relish. It can be served as an appetizer or snack.

As a main dish, it goes with rice, a freshly made salad or toasted bread. Whatever fish or shellfish you choose to use or seasoning you marinate it with, it is bloody delicious. Fresh and healthy, it's made in minutes and will satisfy the whole family.

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Chickpea Bread

February 11, 2019

Believe me, this bread is so easy and has the added bonus of very little clean-up and, I promise you, no waste. It is healthy, fabulously delicious, vegan, gluten-free and addictive, in a healthy way. Need I say more? Just one thing, enjoy!

Chickpea Bread
One 8 inch pie

1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
Cooking spray

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Pan Roasted Red Snapper with Spinach, Beans & Green Grapes


February 4, 2019

The northern red snapper is a native species of fish from the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It's a wonderful source of lean protein that is rich in selenium, vitamin A, omega 3 fatty acids and potassium. It has firm flesh that cooks in minutes, either pan roasted, grilled or steamed, which makes it a fabulous and easy to prepare dish.

A lot of people are scared to cook fish or shellfish, but like anything you should at least give it a try. Cooking is all about temperature control and time. Start by bringing your piece of fish to room temperature, then season it with salt and pepper. If you're leaving the skin on, then slash the skin with a very shape knife, which will stop the piece of fish from curling as it cooks. Make sure your frying pan is hot but not too hot; it shouldn't be at the point of smoking. The oil should shimmer when hot, then add the fish and cook for 2 to 3 minutes

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Pan Fried Wild Alaskan Salmon with Sun-Set Slaw


January 28th 2019

From 1998 to 1999, we lived in Alaska and had one of the best years. I was on a teacher's Fulbright Exchange program at the Martin Luther King Career Center in Anchorage, which was an extraordinary school with amazing teachers and staff. We actually lived 10 miles outside of the city with only six other houses in our neighborhood. We were surrounded by mountains and tall pine trees. We had a family of moose living in our back yard, and the brown bears would periodically run down the street between the houses.

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Sweet Potato Wedges with Roasted Garlic Dip

 January 21, 2019

Healthy snacks or healthy party appetizers are hard to come by! Especially this time of year. But with a little thought and imagination you can keep things healthy by using fresh ingredients. You're always going to find garlic at the local store, along with potatoes and fresh herbs, so this recipe is simple and delicious, go on give it a try.

Crème fraiche is Frances favorite form of cream to cook with and use in the kitchen especially with smoked salmon or trout. It has a tangy hazelnut flavor to it, so it works well with seafood and poultry. With more body and complex flavors than fresh sweet cream, creme fraiche is a thick, rich, custard of a cream that works well with sweet or savory delights, and makes the perfect dip to accompany sweet potato wedges.

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Oven Baked Flounder with Pistachio Pesto & Ancient Grains

 January 14, 2019

This is one of those dishes that I made up when I saw one ingredient at the store and thought, "Let's have fresh fish tonight." I got home, opened the fridge and the pantry and thought, "Ok, what will go nicely with this beauty?" In the pantry, I found pistachios nuts but not enough. I added pumpkin seeds. In the fridge, there was fresh basil. So let's do a take on pesto. Ancient grains, canned tomatoes and vegetable stock. Dinner was sorted in about 30 minutes. Go on give this recipe a try or get creative with what's in your kitchen. Enjoy!

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