mackerel, tarragon, bean, soup, stew, fish, pepper, dinner, lunch, ideas

I dislike all this negativity towards Mackerel. For want of an excuse for a headline pun I think it’s perfectly fitting to be honest. There are two sides to this story, firstly is from a good quantity of people who just shun it aside without the thought to taste it and secondly is just the cruelty from a cat’s perspective when a human eats it without sharing. The latter story happened today at lunch. Poor Ash, but a girl’s gotta eat too!

As a graduate, money is inevitably an everyday woe in the back of my mind, particularly when it comes to what food to spend my money on. Smoked, cooked and prepared Mackerel is £2.30 for around 6-7 strips at my local supermarket and if I’m strapped for cash it is most certainly my best friend. As it’s already prepared and cooked all you have to do is take off the skin on the back of the strips, shred the fish meat in pieces and add to pretty much any staple for a good meal. Aside this recipe, I absolutely love cooked rice, vegetables and mackerel all fried up in some lemony olive oil and butter for a quick meal.

Anyway, enough campaigning.

Today my fiancé and I got our first wedding present (rather early- as the weddings in May) my new Kitchenaid mixer! :)

Kitchenaid, mixer, empire, red, kitten, cat, food

I didn’t have enough sugary ingredients to test it to its best ability, so I opted for this hearty tarragon, bean and mackerel soup for lunch instead. Feel free to substitute the veggies for what ever is left in your cupboard! Perfect, quick cooking.

No more mackruelty hey? Well at least, just try it.

Mackerel, tarragon, cannelini, bean, stew, soup, vegetable, fish

Tarragon, bean and mackerel soup.


Olive oil

Chunk of butter

4 Spring onions chopped

1 Courgette chopped (or any other vegetables, carrot, mushrooms work well)

2 Bay Leaves

1 Vegetable stock cube

Tin of Cannelini beans

4-6 Strips of cooked smoked mackerel cut up into chunks

Black Pepper

Dried or fresh tarragon, a few tablespoons or sprigs.

Squeeze of lemon juice


Put the bay leafs, vegetable stock/cube and tarragon into a measuring jug and fill with ½ a litre of boiling water and leave to stew.

Put the chunk of olive oil and butter into a deep pan on a medium heat.

Add your chopped spring onions to the pan with the clove of garlic until the juices all start to marinade and fry.

Pop in the chopped courgettes or any other vegetables you want to put in.

Add in the tin of cannelini beans and grind over lots of black pepper!

Pour the ¼ litre of stock mixture with the aromatics into the pan of veggies.

Bring to the boil for 5 minutes and then take down to a medium heat for 20 minutes.

Squeeze in the lemon juice and give it a stir.

Add in the cut up mackerel chunks and leave to stew for a minute to release the flavour.

Mackerel, fish, soup, stew, tarragon, bean, cannelini, vegetable

Serve with lots of crusty gluten free bread. Yum.

<3 xxxSxxx <3

How to eat a banana and keep your dignity.

I have to say for the sake of this blog that I’ve become more inclined to change the names of my recipes to something more humourous. I’m not sure if ‘Ba-nah-nah’ has quite achieved this as such but at least I’m safe in the knowledge that I can happily sing along to the tune of Rihanna and Drake’s hit ‘What’s my name’- that’s when everyone’s out of the house and I can’t find a Kate Bush song that fits the ba-nah-nah. And there goes the dignity…

It’s one of those foods that I never really got on with at first, I’m not sure why but I’m sure the shape of the banana fruit always had something to do with it; of course now I’m more mature;) Throughout my childhood my parents would always try to get enough fruit in me as possible; a normal task. Why did they never think of banana bread? I think it foolish.
So here I’ve attempted to make a somewhat-healthy gluten-free banana bread.

Ba-nah-nah Bread

Substitution notes: It’s made with the basis of Buckwheat, Sorghum and almond flour. If you can’t get Mr Buck or Mrs Sorg, you could substitute it with ready-made gluten-free flour (and take out the Xanthan gum), whole wheat flour if you can take gluten, or millet flour which would really keep the ‘wheaty’earthy tone. I haven’t tried substituting the almond flour but I would recommend tapioca flour or coconut flour to really keep the texture. The butter used could also be replaced with oil, if you want to make this recipe dairy-free.


½ cup 60g of buckwheat and 60g ½ cup sorghum
1 cup (115g) of ground almonds
1 tsp (gluten-free) baking powder
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum
¼ cup (60g) of dark muscuvado sugar
Maple syrup (60ml)
-2 tsp cinnamon
– a pinch of nutmeg
A good pinch of salt
3 eggs
3 very very ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125g) of melted butter, or oil
Sprinkling of walnuts/50g chopped Dark Chocolate (optional)

Heat an oven to 170C.
Before you start make sure all your ingredients are room temperature it really helps the rise and the way it all comes together; eggs are your friend and they will thank you for this.
Grease and line a bread pan with olive oil/butter and put to one side.
Use two bowls and it’s foolproof. Nothing will go wrong.
Mix the wet ingredients together in one bowl and mix the dry ingredients together in another.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.

Do not over mix! You will get to a point as you stir that the mixture will turn from eggy yellow to a light brown. Stop as soon as this happens!
Bake for approximately 50 minutes – I would check the bread at 40mins to make sure the brownness on top is to your liking.
Wait until cooler…to eat (it’s just so lovely… warm..)