Archive for February, 2007


Mr Rice makes an omelette

February 27, 2007

After a frazzling day at work, not many things could make me happier than the sight of Mr Rice in the kitchen with his pinny on, lovingly preparing me a cheese and ham omelette. He even garnished it with a side salad of lettuce, red pepper and cherry tomatoes – my favourite salady things. Accompany this with a glass of skimmed milk and it’s the perfect GL tea.

Mr Rice’s Cheese and ham omelette recipe
2 eggs
splash of skimmed milk
50g cheddar cheese, grated
50g honey roast ham, shredded
1 spring onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
butter for frying

Warm the butter in a medium frying pan. Mix the milk and eggs together, then pour quickly into the frying pan and stir lightly and gently to give the omelette texture without making it into scrambled eggs. When the egg is still soft, sprinkle the cheese, then ham, then spring onions evenly over the top of the omelette. Keep the heat gentle and keep still for a few minutes while the bottom of the omelette cooks. When it is golden brown on the bottom, flip the omelette and cook the other side. Then fold in half and serve with a light salad.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Doing porridge

February 26, 2007

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra said, “Spare your breath to cool your porridge.”

I don’t think that’s very good advice, because once your porridge is cold, it is going to be pretty much inedible. With porridge you need to strike while the iron is hot.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we all know that. What’s even more important is that you make it count by eating something that:
a) is nice
b) fills you up
c) has a low GL


Porridge with berries is the perfect answer, and ticks all these boxes – even ‘a’ if you follow this recipe:

Milk Porridge Recipe
50g Porridge oats
300ml Skimmed milk
50g berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or blackberries, fresh or frozen)
1 tsp fructose

Mix the oats and milk together in a pan and heat gently, stirring occasionally until it boils. While the porridge mixture is boiling, put the fruit into a small pan with a tiny splash of water and some fructose (low GL sugar). Cook on a gentle heat, stirring gently. When the porridge begins to boil, take both pans off the heat, serve the porridge into dishes and top with the fruit.

This is the most low GL version.

Non-GL Tips:

  • For richer, creamer porridge, replace the skimmed milk with semi-skimmed or whole milk.
  • For a sweeter version, add Fructose (low GL sugar) or normal sugar.
  • Or go crazy and add maple syrup, golden syrup or jam – probably the best version to be honest!

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Tuna sweetcorn baked potato

February 25, 2007

When I’m feeling hungry and monged, I’d rather make the least effort possible without resorting to something rotten and processed

How fortuitious for me on Sunday afternoon then, that Mr Rice had cleverly prepared a baked potato the previous week and put it in the freezer. Granted, I had taken it out to defrost before I left the house for my night of fun in Shepherds Bush. How happy was I when I re-entered the kitchen in slow motion, thirsty and hungry, looking for salvation. And there was my potato.

I managed to gather together the potato, a can of sweetcorn (another stroke of Mr Rice genius), a tin of tuna and my precious French mayonnaise. After putting the potato in the oven to warm and crisp up, I pulled a bowl from the cupboard and the tin opener from the drawer and managed to cobble together a rather rich, sweet tasting tuna sweetcorn concoction. Heavenly on a day like this!

Resisting the hungover urge to just leave the poor potato in the oven and take my concoction still in its bowl onto the sofa and lie there slowly spooning it into my mouth, I spurred myself on to prepare the meal I had in mind. What better comfort food is there than a hot buttery potato smothered with your favourite topping and melted cheese?

I did put the whole thing in the microwave at the end. But it was only to melt the cheese!

Preparing basics and freezing them away pays dividends on a day like this.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Thai Green Curry

February 24, 2007

So these days it’s one of ‘The Nation’s Favourite Foods’, but the unique combination of coconut milk, green chilli and thai herbs and spices is irresistible and delicious. It’s a lot less fatty than many Indian curries.

The best Green Curry I ever had was at a very special Thai guesthouse on Koh Phan Gan, called Coral Bay. All the spices were expertly mixed, the chicken and vegetables couldn’t have been fresher, and the rich coconut milk just pulled it all together in the most delicious way. But I have to say that their chicke massaman curry was one of the most delicious meals I ever had, but I’ll come back to that another day. Most people tend to lose weight when they travel in Asia. I gained several pounds eating my way through numerous delicious menus.

I haven’t been able to recreate the Coral Bay meals exactly, nor the blissful feeling of sitting on a wooden bench, eating a beautiful meal on a balmy evening, looking out to sea, laughing our heads off with our mates and limbering up to eat some mushrooms, but I can do my best to get as close as possible.

Thai Green Curry Recipe
4 chicken breasts
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 small aubergine
400g bamboo shoots
2 cans of coconut milk

Curry paste
3 garlic cloves
6 birds eye green chillies, split and de-seeded
2 tbsp galangal (Thai ginger)
1 whole kaffir or 2 tbsp grated zest
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped and pounded
8 Thai shallots
2 tsp coriander
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp shrimp paste

First, brown the chicken pieces. While they are cooking you can work on making the paste. Put all the paste ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth. You can make this ahead if you like, but it’s pretty easy.

When the chicken is just turning light golden, add all the chopped vegetables and stri-fry for about five minutes. When they are starting to go soft, you can add the paste. Stir this through the vegetables and chicken, then add the coconut milk, gently stir until everything is blended together. Simmer for ten minutes.

Serve with sticky rice and kaffir lime leaves or coriander as a garnish.


  • Galangal, lemon grass and coriander can be bought in jars from most supermarkets if you can’t get hold of fresh. These will keep in the fridge and can be used next time. Having these ingredients to hand makes it easier to throw a curry together with little warning if you need to impress someone.
  • Use brown rice instead of white – it has a far lower GL value, is higher in fibre and much better for you than white rice – but remember to give yourself time to cook it, it takes about half an hour.
  • Lower fat or light coconut milk works just as well as full fat.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Sweet trout fishcakes

February 22, 2007

Sweet-toothed fishcake lovers will want to eat these light, fluffy fishcakes all day long. Using a combination of half white and half sweet potatoes has two strong plus points: it gives the meal a lower GL, and when the sweet potato combines with the trout it makes a sweet-savoury taste. When you put it in your mouth it gives you the same tickly sensation that hits the back of your throat when you eat butter cream. But if you have a more mature palate, the chives and lime zest give you the edge you need. The crunchy breadcrumb coating seals it all together.

Sweet trout fishcakes

Sweet Trout Fishcakes Recipe
500g trout fillet
250g sweet potatoes
250g floury potatoes
6 spring onions finely chopped
4 tbsps chopped chives
1 lime
1 egg, beaten
Fresh brown breadcrumbs
Oil and butter for frying

Serve with lemon wedges, green salad and slow-roasted sweet potatoes.


  • Breadcrumbs: Choose your favourite bread. Warburton’s seeded batch loaf whizzed up into crumbs makes a superior class of breadcrumb, light but fibrous and still with some of the seeds intact, giving it a unique appearance too. You can see the poppy seeds in the picture.
  • Lime zest: Go steady – be careful not to over-zest. But also remember that the aroma will be stronger while you are mixing.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Super-trendy prawn cocktail

February 21, 2007

A favourite at Rice Towers is the classic prawn cocktail. Don’t be fooled by the nay-sayers who tell you it’s passe or unimaginative. Mr Rice likes to make it when he’s in show-off mode. Choose good quality prawns, preferably some meaty tiger prawns, sit it on a bed of little gem lettuce, and serve with slices of crusty baguette.

Prawn cocktail

Prawn Cocktail Recipe
500g meaty prawns (preferably tiger)
4 tbsps mayonnaise
4 tbsps tomato ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic puree (optional)
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
salt & black pepper to taste
1 tsp lime juice
lime wedges to serve

Mix all the sauce ingredients together, then serve on a bed of little gem lettuce, with crusty granary bread.

GL Tips:

  • Use light mayonnaise and reduced sugar ketchup.
  • The lime juice lowers the overall GL of the dish, so make sure you squeeze those wedges over your finished dish.
  • Use granary bread, not white.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Pub quiz questions – the food round

February 20, 2007

The Old White Lion in East Finchley has its weekly pub quiz on a Tuesday night. Can you answer the best questions from the food round?
1. What is the Indian soup, whose name means literally ‘peppered water’?
2. What Indian food is made from pulse flour (not pulse flower as the question master put it to throw us off the scent).
3. What is the main ingredient of boxty bread?
We got them right in the end, and we beat Fergal Sharkey’s team! I’m sure he got the boxty bread question right though.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Skimmed milk fudge

February 16, 2007

I saw a lovely cookery lady on telly on Saturday morning. She was making fudge, oh so easily, in oh such a short time and I thought, ‘Tomorrow I will make some fudge!’ No worries, how hard can it be to boil up some sugary things and then stir them for a bit in some cold water? How hard indeed.

Bearing in mind my special food rules, I managed to make one healthy substitution – skimmed milk instead of whole. I had boiled it all together for the prescribed time, but the ‘blob in some cold water’ test wasn’t quite working – it was still far too soft. So I boiled it some more, then did the test again. I repeated this several times, over quite a long time. In fact I was about an hour behind schedule when I decided I would move onto the next stage – the cooling. The lovely cookery lady on telly had simply held her pan in a sink of cold water and stirred the fudge until it was set. I did this for 30 minutes. Still not really set at all. So at 5pm I took the pan into the living room to watch Sunday afternoon nature programmes as I stirred. Just as Coronation Street was ending I noticed both my hands were hurting. I had blisters. I decided to stop stirring.

Result: Runny, velvety, lower fat fudge that tastes divine, and melts in your mouth like a smooth, grainy drop of sheer joy. Set it in the fridge, and keep refridgerated when it’s been cut into pieces.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Recipe for condensed milk fudge

February 15, 2007

397g can Condensed Milk
150ml whole milk (can be replaced with skimmed milk, but the fudge will not set fully)
500g demerara sugar
115g unsalted butter

1. Grease and line a 7 inch baking tray

2. Put all the ingredients into a pan and heat gently, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.

3. When the sugar is all dissolved, bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring all the time.

4. Test if the fudge is ready by dropping a small amount into a bowl of cold water. If it forms a ball, then it is ready. The coldness of the water will show what the fudge will do when it is cold. When it solidifies, you know it will set when cold.

5. When the fudge has passed the cold water test, remove it from the heat, hold the pan in a sink of cold water and beat the mixture until it is set. The cold water will help cool the fudge down more quickly.

6. The fudge is ready when it is grainy and almost solid. Transfer it into the prepared tin and leave to set. It will set more quickly in the fridge.

7. When set, cut the fudge into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

8. Stuff your face with the lovely fudge (and see if it really lasts three weeks!)

©2007 Katheryn Rice


My cookery holy grail

February 12, 2007

This would be the sweet, tasty things I love, but with a less detrimental effect on my BMI.
I have tried many diets over the years, the most successful of these being Patrick Holford’s GL diet, which helped me lose a stone in 2006. For the first time in my life the diet actually worked, and for the first time in my life I also managed to stick to it (yes, the two are related). I’ll elaborate on Holford another day, but for now, the nuggets I took from his regime were:
a) more protein
b) less sugar
c) a bit less fat

In practice this means for me:
a) more skimmed milk every day
b) fructose instead of sugar
c) a bit less fat

I think it works reasonably well.

©2007 Katheryn Rice

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