Archive for April, 2007


More Bajan – Bistro Monet, Rockley, Barbados

April 28, 2007

Bistro Monet was set back from the busy road that runs through Rockley. It looks like a sweet place, but sit out on the veranda with your back to the restaurant and you can watch all the cars and buses driving by.

 Bistro Monet, Rockley, Barbados

I’ll be brief, lots of Barbados posts to catch up on. The Shrimp cocktail was fine as far as the shrimps were concerned. The curry sauce was a surprise! But all was saved by the fishcakes. Made to a secret recipe, they had a chewy, caramel-like outside but a warm, melt in the mouth inside – unique and delicious, but still a secret according to the staff.

Bistro Monet Fish

And now for the main course. Coconut and ginger mahi-mahi.

Bistro Monet Mahi-mahi

Asian-style sauce in the Caribbean? It really worked, and did not overpower the delicate fish. I was disturbed later on to hear someone refer to it as ‘dolphin’. I really did not want to have eaten dolphin. But after further investigation I discovered that it is also know as ‘dolphin fish’. It’s not actual dolphin – phew!

If you are in Barbados, you are likely to be accustomed to the busy, built-up ness of the place, and hopefully you will not be too concerned about this eatery’s proximity to the rest of Rockley. The pristine food and meticulously-prepared cocktails will more than make up for that.

© Katheryn Rice 2007


Even more American – Bert’s, Rockley, Barbados

April 27, 2007

Filling up on mango daiquiris before we started eating was probably a bit short sighted, but how could you not? Mr Rice and his colleagues were as keen as I was, so we got a pitcher full.

burt mango daiquiri

Bert’s is a vast sports bar with ice hockey, football, boxing and baseball on screens that are in view wherever you sit – in a booth. I don’t suppose you get much more American than this, but again, the company rendered the surroundings largely irrelevant. There was nothing unexpected on the menu, so we settled for chicken wings, burgers, pizza.

burt chicken wings

The chicken wings were tender and moist, lots of barbeque sauce and not too greasy. Psychologically, a garnish of carrot and cucumber sticks with the sour cream gives you a tiny weeny feeling that you are being healthy.

Burt wicket keeper pizza

We were in the Caribbean for the Cricket World Cup. I went for the roasted vegetable pizza called the ‘Wicket Keeper’. It was a pretty good antidote to rest of the meal, and I almost felt redeemed as I tucked in. The final straw was the pineapple and strawberry daiquiri, which was equally sugary and sweet – and the last straw. We were in an American sports bar and we stuffed ourselves. When in Rome and all that.

© Katheryn Rice 2007


Reunited Rices – BBQ Barn, Rockley, Barbados

April 26, 2007

Mr Rice sure knows how to treat his woman. He was watching the Cricket World Cup with his camera for a few weeks in the Caribbean while I stayed home with only my salad for company. Luckily I was able to visit him in Barbados for a week or so as the competition was coming to an end. On our first night together after 4 weeks he took me for chicken at the Barbeque Barn. Who needs wine and roses when you’ve got Mr Rice and deep fried mozzarella sticks?

Barbeque barn

We had a lovely time, catching up over chicken, rice and peas and a deep fried platter of onion rings, cheesy jalapenos and breaded mozzarella sticks. It was all pretty American, sitting in a booth eating fried food, but the restaurant itself seemed to be filled with locals, which tends to be a good sign. Cheap, quick and harmless food in an all American setting. I’m looking forward to something more Bajan tomorrow!

© Katheryn Rice 2007


Disappointing British Airways bread roll

April 25, 2007

I suppose the more you big something up, the more you are building yourself up for disappointment. Having abstained from white bread for the past few weeks, even the bread roll and butter on the plane had me salivating in anticipation. It was a let down. Cold, stiff and stale. I ate it anyway, after all, I had been looking forward to it for a while. In hindsight I should have set my sights higher, like a restaurant bread basket. It wasn’t until the last day in Barbados that I had the perfect bread basket. Crisp, buttery melba toast, with soft, creamy butter at David’s Place.

plane food

Incidentally and inevitably, the British Airways experience was infinitely better than American Airlines in every way imaginable. The staff were human, there were eye masks and comfy socks for all, everything was on time, and no-one had to sleep in Puerto Rico airport.

Oh and and thank you American Airlines for offering to compensate my 28 hour delay from London to St Kitts in April with an offer to reimburse me for the bottle of water and hot dog I bought to keep me going whilst sleeping under a plant pot in San Juan Departures. That took the edge off the memory of having to sleep on my suitcase with my coat on my head all night.

© Katheryn Rice 2007


Tastiest ice cream in London – Marine Ices, Chalk Farm

April 20, 2007

Marine Ices Tub

Naomi from Book Club suggested we meet here before going to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Roundhouse. I’ve been through Chalk Farm many times but, strangely, I have never noticed Marine Ices before. It sits opposite Chalk Farm tube station and next to The Enterprise pub, serving the most delicious frozen delights to ice cream lovers of impeccable taste. You can buy a cone or tub from the kiosk facing the road, or sit inside to experience the vast array of ice cream desserts.

Marine Ices

I decided to have a night off the diet and treated myself to a two-scoop tub of Italian Toffee and Pistachio. The flavours were distinct but subtle, and the ice cream itself was so creamy. Italian Toffee had a gentle flavour, sharpened up with sweet and crunchy toffee pieces. The fresh contrast of the Pistachio made it a perfect partner to the toffee. Tucking into this heavenly pudding gave Chalk Farm Road on a bright, sunny evening a sheen I had not experienced before.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Strawberry Milkshake

April 17, 2007

Berries and milk are both good things to eat when you are trying to maintain a healthy weight. I have been eating strawberries every day for the past week, without sugar too, which is a breakthrough for me.

This is so easy to prepare that it would be silly not to.

Strawberry milkshake

Recipe for Strawberry Milkshake
6 -8 medium-large strawberries, hulled and chopped in half
1/4 pint skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
1 tsp fructose (optional)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 scoop low fat ice cream (optional)

Throw everything into a blender and whizz up until it’s smooth. Drink.

GL tips
Skimmed milk, no ice cream and no sugar make this the most healthy it can be, but it’s up to you how much or how little you add. This can be made with any berries – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or cherries.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Mostly eating salad

April 14, 2007

In preparation for a visit to Mr Rice in Barbados I have been following the Holford diet to the letter over the past few weeks, hence the lack of tasty recipes recently. Adhering to the principles of a low glycaemic load diet means (for me) eating more protein and lots of salad. My meals of late have been variations on this basic theme, and I am looking forward to stuffing my face with bread and butter in the next few days. I might even start with the bread rolls on the plane.

Prawn Salad

This king prawn salad looks ok, and it would have been delicious had I not got carried away with the healthiness of it by enthusiastically, perhaps even evangelically, adding the organic bean sprouts Abel & Cole had sent me in my weekly organic veg box. Good grief, they tasted horrendous – reminiscent of eating soil as a child. Unfortunately the taste permeated every aspect of the salad; once added, there was no picking them out. It was eat them or leave the whole thing. In the end I rescued the prawns off the top and put it down to experience – when it comes to organic veg, make sure you know your limits.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Organic Box from Abel & Cole

April 13, 2007

I have been thinking about this for a while, and finally got around to it. It’s difficult to gauge what size of box you will need, as the quantities in each are not divulged. The contents of the boxes are just a very vague ‘carrots’, or a mysterious ‘apples’, so you can’t really tell if you will be able to eat it all until it arrives. The Abel & Cole website does give some guidelines on how many people each box will provide for, and if you are willing to take the gamble then you will be pleasantly rewarded with a box of healthy, organic veg and/or fruit on your doorstep on a Friday morning.

Abel & Cole

It looks great and is an extra convenience for those with busy lives and green consciences to ease. An additional saving for me is that I am less likely to walk up the road to the shop for a carrot and come home having spent £20. I have saved money just by not going to Sainsbury’s and buying things I don’t need. Ditto for the milk deliveries we started recently.

Another incentive for me is the likelihood of receiving something in the box that I would not normally buy. Fennel, kohl rabi and beetroot have all featured over the last few weeks. My hope is that new vegetables will inspire new recipes. The fennel ended up in some tasty courgette and carrot fritters.

The only ingredient I really did not get on with was the organic bean sprouts. They ruined a potentially delicious salad.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Courgette, Carrot and Fennel Fritters

April 10, 2007

Inspired by my Abel & Cole organic vegetable box, now delivered once a week for convenience and eco-ness. All ingredients are 100% organic.

Courgette fritters

Recipe for Courgette, Carrot and Fennel Fritters
2 carrots
2 courgettes
2 spring onions
1 fennel bulb
2 eggs
salt & pepper
butter & olive oil for frying

Preheat the oven to 180. Grate the carrots, courgettes and fennel into a bowl, then chop the spring onions and add them. Season with salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together, then stir in the beaten eggs until everything is well blended. Shape all the fritters into 3 inch patties and put to one side on a plate. Heat up a frying pan, adding a little oil and butter, and then fry the fritters in batches on both sides. Be careful when you first put them in the pan, as they might be a little delicate. Once the egg is cooked a little the fritters will be able to hold their shape. As each batch is cooked, keep them warm in the oven until all fritters are ready.

Serve with green salad and houmous.

©2007 Katheryn Rice


Special Sausage and Mash

April 7, 2007

Sausage and mash can be done cheaply, extravagantly or originally. Mr Rice treated me to a farewell meal on his last day at home with his own take on the classic English dish.

What I loved about this meal was that Mr Rice chose all my favourite foods, and he knows very well that the way to my heart is through my sweet tooth, with a consideration for my interpretation of a low GL diet. His bangers and mash comprised:
Full sized pigs in smoked blankets
Sweet potato mash topped with parmesan
Caramelised onion gravy
Steamed brocolli

The pigs in blankets are cooked in the oven, giving them a super-crispiness combined with caramelised edges. Drizzle them with the caramelised onion gravy and fill your boots!

©2007 Katheryn Rice

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