Giving Back

So yesterday was a fantastic day, I was given the opportunity to continue Giving Back. This entire blog in fact this entire website, has been about trying to help others who are in the same boat, giving back to our NHS, raising some funds for charity and my opportunity to write down my thoughts. I was given a fantastic opportunity by the health and well being team of the NHS, (thanks Gareth) to do a food and nutrition presentation to their team. I absolutely loved every minute of it, and while I am hopeful that they got something from it. I took the opportunity to keep the ball rolling on my theme of giving something back to them. Below are some of the recipes that I used, and I shall post more as I do them, assuming of course that they will have me back. These recipes are all designed to be made with products that are easily found in all supermarkets and shops. As I said during the presentation these recipes are like a road map to get you from A to Z and if there is an item in them that you dont like then simply substitute it for one that you do. In my case I love apricots and cranberries so I swap them into the Bircher muesli instead of Sultanas.

Some of the preparations before hand with the mandatory empty double espresso cup!!!

Bircher Muesli

Porridge Oats 200gm any brand preferably unrolled and organic as you are eating it raw.

Sultanas 50g or any dried fruit that you prefer or have in a cupboard.

Soya Yoghurt 250g (any Brand but unsweetened)

Desiccated Coconut 25g

Coconut Milk 200ml (any brand but also unsweetened)

Maple Syrup 1tsp (any brand this one is from Aldi)

Red apple Grated

Juice of 1 Whole orange

Zest is important as its a rich source of vitamin C

Mix the whole lot together and refrigerate for 24hrs

This gives you approximately 6X200g servings.

Porridge oats: Fibre slow release carbs. Fight cholesterol and have been show to lower LDL a rich source of magnesium and high antioxidant.

Pumpkin seeds: High in fibre and antioxidant, high in magnesium overall a major building block for the system.

Coconut milk: Coconut milk is rich in electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. High in good fatty acids which convert to energy rather   than get stored as fats.

Maple syrup. High in antioxidants low in refined sugar and high in natural fructose whilst its still a sugar its one that your body easily metabolises and returns as energy.

Some of the beautiful ingredients that all play a part in the Bircher muesli

Sweet potato and red pepper soup.

1Tbsp Veg or rapeseed oil.

1tbsp Thai red or green curry paste( If keeping this vegan please check the ingredients to make sure that they have not added fish sauce to the mix as some do)

1 Onion sliced

1 small knob of either ginger or galangal chopped roughly

2 cloves garlic chopped roughly

500g sweet potato or butternut squash diced

2 Red peppers sliced.

400mls vegetable stock Use a low salt gluten free stock cube ( I recommend Kallo as they make a great low salt and GF and Lactose free cube)

100mls   coconut milk as you liquidise the soup you may need to add more it really depends on the density of your sweet potatoes and your butternut squash.

Pinch of salt and pepper. Easy on the salt here as you will find that this soup really does not need it.


In a pan over medium heat cook the onion and garlic slowly for three minutes

Add the sweet potato or butternut squash and curry paste and cook until you can smell the paste. Then add the sliced peppers and cook for a further two minutes.

Then add the stock and the coconut milk and season with a little salt and pepper. SEE Warning above about salt

Cook out for a further twenty minutes until your veg has softened.

Now you have a choice you can either use a blender and blend until its smooth or you can leave whole and eat it as it is.

I use this soup as a base for making Thai style vegetable curries simply by adding some more vegetable varieties such as carrots etc. to it as it cooks or sometimes I blend it and add some chicken fillets to it and turn it into a Thai chicken curry as well.

I always finish it with coriander leaves.

Chilled (Vegetarian version) and with a lid on this will keep in the fridge for up to four days.

Low in salt and gluten free and packed with flavour and with fibre.

on the blog you will find the first recipe that I ever did on wholemeal soda bread which works surprisingly well with this soup or as an alternative we sometimes take simple wraps and pan fry them in a little rapeseed oil and then cut into triangle for dipping.

The sweet potato,butternut squash soup just before I zap it.
And now the zapper/blender has had a go at it. Great soup but an even better dinner with lots of chunks of fresh vegetables popped in and gently cooked to retain all their goodness

Cous cous salad

Can be had as a stand alone lunch salad with the option of adding some protein on the side such as a grilled chicken fillet or some tinned tuna or two hard boiled eggs.

Simple to make and can have any standard fridge stable added to it. Makes enough for five good healthy portions.

300g wholemeal cous cous or Bulgar wheat. Cooked as per manufacturer’s instructions. If butter is recommended you can leave it out and just add a little extra rapeseed oil then you can have the salad as a vegan option.

Handful of fresh herbs chopped such as mint, parsley and coriander.

Half of cucumber deseeded and chopped

2 Large tomatoes chopped

1 Red onion chopped (Optional if working in an office with others) But who is now?

1 spring onions washed and sliced

Small jar of roasted peppers drained and roughly chopped (these imppart a lovely smokey flavor to the salad)

2 tbsp. cumin powder

Juice of half a lemon.

5tbsp Olive oil or rapeseed oil ((Aldi do a great reasonably priced British rapeseed oil which is fantastic for you its loaded with antioxidants and low in saturated fats rich in vitamin E and Packed full of essential fatty acids.

Simply mix everything in a large bowl and check the seasoning for a touch of salt and pepper.

In a fridge this will last for four days and can be eaten as is or used to complement a lunch with some chicken or tuna

High in fibre and low in saturated fats. Great as a lunch or even as dinner.

I always add 30gm of mixed seeds to this salad and i lighly pan fry them and also add my cumin in to cook it out a little as it helps to release the flavour of the cumin.

This is also an empty the fridge salad as it will take any kind of veg and its even better if you add some diced apple to it or if you want to push the boat out simply sprinkle some pomegranate seeds on top.

This sald it also works using green lentils instead of cous cous or bulgar wheat.Simply cook about 200gm as per the manufacturers instructions.

The nutrition in this salad is enormous. Done with the rainbow of ingredients listed above this is packed with fibre,minerals and vitamins.

Note how I have left the cauliflower get a little seared this really brings out the flavors of what to be is the king of the brassicas the humble often under rated cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower salad with Red pepper and onions.

Since being diagnosed with Non Hodgkins I have done extensive research into diet and specifically foods that can help you overcome cancer cells.

Cauliflower is one vegetable that seems to rise to the top of that list.Part of the brassica family that also contains brocolli and cabbage. Cauliflower is rich in nutrients and also contain a substance called glucosinolates which when digested contain further compunds that have been shown to actively fight the production of cancer cells.Now while eating any of these natural cancer fighters may not be enough on their own to kill the cancer cells I personally beleive that used in conjunction with our more mainstream medicines that they will help in the battle against cancer. Also this happens to be a fantastic salad and its also cheap and easy to make and is actually substantial enough to eat on its own but we love it with a nice rare rib eye as it really complements and stands up to pairing with a strong tasting accompaniment. So here it is.

1 head of cauliflower cut into florets.

1 Red pepper cut into long strips

1 Onion cut into slices

8 whole unpeeled cloves of garlic just crushed under a blade of a knife.( See Photo on how to do it safely as shown by a 10 year old)

Just remember keep the blade edge angled towards the table. No one wants to explain to in A&E how they cut themselves crushing garlic!! Do they??

1tsp turmeric powder (Great anti inflammatory and good for the heart as well as its a natural blood thinner)

1tsp paprika I like to use smoked as it add to the punchy taste of this salad.

Method please see the photo as it will explain it better than I can.

Pan fry the cauliflower and give it a little bit of browning on one side (This is simply the natural sugar carmelising)

Add the onions and the peppers and the crushed garlic.

Cook out for three minutes then add the spices plus a little salt and pepper.

Add a dash more rapeseed oil and transfer to a roasting tray for ten minutes in a oven at 150C.

You can eat this hot or warm or as you wish, and for a boost of fibre and added vitamins sprinkle some pumpkin seeds or mixed seeds on top while it is still warm.

Although we do pair this salad with steaks it also works with lighter mains such as a pan fried fillet of seabass which we also buy for a decent price at aldi and other supermarkets.

Thats it and all thats left to say is eat the rainbow, eat well and stay safe.

Thank you


The rainbow I keep banging on about. Funny it’s now the symbol of our NHS thank you to them from all of us.

7 thoughts on “Giving Back

  1. Thank you for sharing so many delicious and nutritious recipes with us at NHS Property Services Ltd through a Live Cookoff!!


  2. Thank you Liam. I’m not a great cook at all but I will definitely give the salad and soup a go although I know for a fact they won’t turn out as good as yours. Hope you are feeling well xx


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