JULY 2019

Oats pouring into bowl for sweet potato brownies

Oats pouring into bowl for sweet potato brownies


Lots of lovely summer activities going on in London, from outdoor cinema viewings with picnics, to Summer in the Park concerts with Lionel Richie & Stevie Wonder! A mini heatwave and the odd thunderstorm, it certainly makes outings interesting. Have become a fan of the lido at the Serpentine in Hyde Park. I did a charity swim this month for “back up” and was in the water at 6.30 am after cycling to the park, up at the crack of dawn. The hottest day of the year last week, I also cycled to the Lido for a refreshing swim too!

Had a BBQ on the rainiest day of the month, just typical! Although it didnt actually rain in the evening so we were all outside, but food cooked in the ovens. Made a delicious feast of hot buffalo chicken wings to start, followed by ribs cooked in beer, home made rosemary & cumin lamb burgers, haloumi, courgette & mushroom kebabs and roasted aubergine skewers marinated in jerk sauce with a few interesting salads. I made my own version of Eton Mess for dessert and an experimental pea cake for future KitchenJoy classes, with raspberries and a lime icing which turned out really well & quite dense.

One of my outings was to see the Nigel Slater play - Toast, which was brilliant, not only informative about his childhood days and how he started cooking but very funny too. It was also interactive with the audience tasting foods mainly from the 70’s era of old fashioned sweets such as black jacks and walnut whips.

I met with a copywriter for lunch in Soho, as I was thinking of writing my autobiography. We ended up chatting for 5 hours, a lot of ground to cover. I have to submit x15 pages on an intro which I hope will be wow factor to get the readers to continue ! Watch this space.


The Live Wall is now flourishing with lots of new different plants, will take a while to grow fully but with the warm weather they are doing well. I continue to work with As Nature Intended (ANI) and they had a relaunch of their store in Balham this month with a private viewing the night before the store officially opened with various chefs and tasting demo’s. I showcased my pea, za’atar & feta fritters which everyone seemed to enjoy. There was also tasters of vegan pizza, vegan cheeses, vegetarian pasta’s and many more delights. https://www.asnatureintended.uk.com/stores/balham-store-as-nature-intended/

Am delighted to be going back in August, to the Law Firm - Wedlake Bell to host an evening event of a power brain smoothie and veggie fritters on the hob. I shall we working alongside a wine co, where the wines will be paired up with my foods.

I also did my first government tender workshop London Waste & Recycling Board (LWARB) https://www.lwarb.gov.uk/ in Soho last Sunday, where I demonstrated a smoothie and energy balls. There were lots of influencers there and great exposure on social media for KitchenJoy and also for awareness on vegetarian recycled foods and non waste. http://smallchangebigdifference.london/

There were events continuing all day on this subject. Love not Landfill event:


The next LWARB course will be held at KitchenJoy on 7th August


I launched a couple of new courses on my website this month, the FODMAP diet which has been requested many times by clients so I will run this after the summer. Also as I work with Not on the High St (NOTHS), they requested a chocolate course. Now who wouldn’t like this! It will be mainly desserts working with vegan chocolate, raw cacao and 85% dark chocolate, some raw recipes as well. But I will also make a pulled pork taco main course with raw cacao added. Clients have booked up already for the first course on 15th October https://www.kitchenjoycookery.com/classes/chocolatemakingcourse


This month there were a few No Sugar courses, using pineapple and banana in the smoothies to show you can have some natural sugars but lots of greens added as well, including spinach leaves, moringa powder and parsley. The main course was Japanese miso glazed salmon with maple syrup again demonstrating the powerful antioxidants in this ingredient. We finished with sweet potato brownies with no added sugar as this food group has natural sweetness and is slow releasing carbs.

Sweet potato brownies

Makes 10 Brownies

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  50 minutes


500g of sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)

12 mejdool dates

6 tbsp of maple syrup

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

a pinch of salt

100g ground oats

6 tbsp raw cacao

100g ground almonds

Start by pre-heating the oven to 180C (fan), then peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about twenty minutes, until they become really soft.

Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart remove them and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates.

Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato date combination. Stir well.

Place into a lined baking dish and cook for about forty-five to fifty minutes, until you can pierce the brownie with a fork and bring it out dry. Remove the tray and allow it to cool for about ten minutes – this is really important as it needs this time to stick together!

Cut into squares, ideally served with coconut yoghurt.


JUNE 2019

Fiery pea and edamame dip

Fiery pea and edamame dip


Now summer is officially here, what a great way to start off the month, with a visit to Rock & Rose restaurant in Richmond with some of my favourite girlfriends. We managed to bag a table in the garden and they even supplied sun hats and sunglasses for the guests! https://www.rockandroserestaurant.com/ Chiswick House also launched their first ever Chiswick Proms and despite the rain at the beginning of the picnic, we managed in true British style under brollys to still enjoy ourselves and the sun came out when Lesley Garrett came on stage with some classic last night of the proms from Albert Hall, for a grand singalong! https://www.chiswickproms.co.uk/

I joined the Victoria & Albert Museum, mainly because the Christian Dior exhibition had sold out, and this was a treat and so well put together. I have since visited the Mary Quant exhibition and with the V&A more or less on my doorstep it will be a delight to pop up for a couple of hours occasionally and make the most of my membership.


My gorgeous live wall seemed to be flaying and finally managed to get hold of the guy who installed it, to find out a pipe on the irrigation had disconnected. By this time I had lost about a third of my plants and was feeling quite stressed about this. But now he has planted some new and different plants which shall be interesting and hopefully will flourish in the summer months!

I have been super busy working with some amazing Corporate Companies on live cookery demo’s which all varied from a pop up picnic theme at ISE Partners in W1, where I served a sunshine shot of fresh juice, grated turmeric and grated fresh ginger. This was followed by mooli tacos of avo, toms, red onion, coriander and lime juice, all raw so super healthy! A vegan (chicken) seitan salad with grapes & walnuts were on offer and a live cooking demo of pea, za’atar and feta fritters, followed last but not least with bite sized chocolate and avocado brownie bites. The evening was buzzing with ISE clients and another stall were serving cocktails to order, what is there not to like! https://www.isepartners.com/

I did a “lunch & learn” live cooking demo at LHH Penna in the city, serving a plant-based brain power smoothie and the pea fritters as above with a full on nutritional talk. The clients then tucked into the tasty dishes that I made. https://www.lhh.com/lhhpenna

On a similar note, I visited Visa at their Paddington offices to their staff and made a few other dishes such as roasted sweet potato and orange salad with sumac yoghurt and figs.

A Law firm in the city invited me in to give a proposal for one of their Christmas events, on a two hour workshop which I suggested a “vegnog” which will be plant-based milk with dates and some christmas spices, followed by a raw mushroom pate, brussels sprouts pad thai and vegan mince pies. They kindly invited me to their offices on Royal Ascot week for an afternoon tea which was devine!


I was busy running a few “eating through the menopause” courses this month and added a lot of soy ingredients to boost oestrogen levels at this stage of a woman’s life. The menu was fiery pea & edamame dip with flatbreads, and for the main we had zesty oat topped baked salmon and a tofu based chocolate mousse.

Fiery pea and wasabi dip

Serves 4


200g frozen edamame beans

150g frozen peas

½ teaspoon wasabi

1 green chilli, deseeded & finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Handful of watercress

Large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

3 heaped tablespoons of yoghurt

½ tablespoon olive oil.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and simmer the edamame beans for 2 minutes before adding the peas and cooking for a further minute.

Remove the pan form the heat, drain the vegetables and immerse them in cold water.

Blitz them in a food processor with the remaining ingredients

Drizzle with a little olive oil and the dip is ready to serve with flatbreads.


MAY 2019

Vegan Seitan “beef” mongolian stir fry with toasted sesame seeds

Vegan Seitan “beef” mongolian stir fry with toasted sesame seeds


Now we are officially in the Spring, we can go out and enjoy the warm weather and tend to the garden. I love pottering around planting up the summer flowering plants and herb box. I also replanted some more herbs in the live herb wall in KitchenJoy space as they flourish in the warmer months. Additional herbs are rosemary, aloe vera, thyme, mint, chamomile, fennel, nasturtium & a chilli plant.

Had a super long weekend break in Montenegro, stunning scenery of the coastline with mountain backdrop and the foods were all natural, from cheeses made locally in the mountainside to cured meats and fresh bread.

A trip to Groucho club in Soho for a networking meeting, resulted in a live demonstration of the Argentinian steaks they serve and how the cows are raised and different cuts of the meat. Then we tasted the various samples which were delicious! https://www.thegrouchoclub.com/

I met a business friend for lunch near Fulham and suggested the new Fulham open market which offers various culinary delights. So something for everyone. I chose the raw tuna poke bowl and my friend had a vegan buddha bowl. It was very buzzy and great to have this on our doorstep, I will be revisiting soon! https://www.markethalls.co.uk/market/fulham


Just submitted a Tender for London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) which involves 30 workshops across London on sustainability and recycling foods. I am super excited to be eligible on the tender list and hope to have some positive news next month on winning some of the interactive cookery classes they wish to run.

Lots more Vegan courses this month again, and also anti-inflammatory and sugar elimination classes which is great to have the mix.

I am now receiving lots of requests for Nutritional talks at Corporate firms with a live tasting demo, which is fantastic news and the direction I want KitchenJoy to evolve into. Very exciting times, being able to showcase my nutritional foods and to a larger audience to enable me to educate and enhance people’s awareness of health and well being. I think June may be busy with some booked up Corporate events already.


The last vegan class with the new recipes went down a treat. Just loving the chocolate & orange tofu pudding. It is so light with the silken tofu and to have the orange flavour running through it with a pecan, raisin & vanilla crumble is just so tasty!

I think 50% of the class were Vegans and the rest were considering and moving to eating less meat which is where I think I am at and just thinking of creative ways of cooking plant-based meals which are easy to follow at home as well.

I attach the vegan chocolate and orange mousse recipe:

Chocolate & orange mousse

Serves 4


100 g vegan dark chocolate, melted

1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

2 tbsp cocoa powder (or 1 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tbsp vegan chocolate protein powder)

1 large orange, peeled and pips removed

zest of 1 orange

250 g silken tofu, drained

 Crumble topping:

115 g pecans

30 g raw cacao powder

100 g raisins

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Place the chocolate and almond milk in a pan and gently melt over a low heat, stirring to combine.

Put the melted chocolate into a food processor or blender with all the remaining ingredients for the mousse and blend until smooth and creamy.

Make up the crumble topping. Place the pecans and cacao powder in a food processor and process until roughly chopped. Add the raisins and vanilla and pulse to form rough crumbs.

Spoon the mousse into glasses and top with the crumble mixture. Decorate if wished.


APRIL 2019

Vegan fudgy chocolate brownies and Matcha green tea energy balls

Vegan fudgy chocolate brownies and Matcha green tea energy balls


Isn’t it wonderful to have some sunny weather this month, especially over the Easter break! I spent some time in Henley on Thames with friends over the Easter weekend, so lovely to get out of London and enjoy the countryside. We even had a bbq as the weather was so good. A little indulgent, but went to Fortnum & Mason for Afternoon tea, very english and quintessential eating our cucumber finger sandwiches whilst the pianist played in the background.

It was also my birthday, so lots of lovely celebrations, starting with a group of my friends at a Sri Lankan restaurant in Ealing http://www.papaya-uk.com/ As my birthday was on a Sunday this year, we went to The Ned in the city for the bottomless brunch, eating lobsters and many more delights https://www.thened.com/whats-on/neds-feast

And to finish off April, by supporting my friend Fra who is running the Marathon for Scope. The atmosphere was great and cheering her on.


Have been practising some new recipes for Courses coming up. As I have mentioned, I made the beef seitan, and now its time to try chicken seitan. I wanted to make a chicken seitan salad with grapes and walnuts that can be used in a vegan picnic. Again the chicken seitan is versatile, which can be used in a number of delicious cooked recipes. And as Vegan courses are very popular at KitchenJoy, I experimented with a new vegan dessert, using silken tofu with raw cacao & a few more ingredients, to make a creamy chocolate mousse, this enabled higher protein intake, essential for vegans.

I also pitched at a West End firm for a closed networking event in June, where I will demonstrate some KitchenJoy recipes for a picnic theme. These will include the chicken seitan salad, mooli tacos with asian slaw, pea, feta & za’atar fritters and chocolate beetroot brownie bites. A few healthy picnic tasters!


Ran a few Gluten-free courses this month, which was interesting as client’s symptoms were anything from celiac, to diverticulitis and general gut health issues. At KitchenJoy we demonstrated that you can still have a healthy and varied diet using non wheat grains and gluten-free flours for baking to make delicious desserts. But also supporting your gut with bone broth and home made kefir to restore balance using probiotic bacteria for the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal disturbances.

I attach below the Energy Ball recipe as per the photo above. This healthy on the go snack is packed with fibre, protein and healthy fats especially if you have an afternoon slump of low energy and fatigue to keep you going! Recipe below.

Matcha Green Tea Energy Balls

Makes 6 large balls


10 dates, pitted

3 tsp matcha green tea powder

2 tbsp cashews

1.5 tbsp almond nut butter

1.5 tbsp sunflower seeds

sprinkle of sesame seeds

Place all the ingredients (except sesame seeds) into a high speed blender until combined. Roll the mixture into balls and dip into the sesame seeds to coat. Place in freezer for 1 hour to set and then transfer to the fridge in an air tight container.


MARCH 2019

Making the zesty oat topped salmon on the Boost your Brain Power course in March

Making the zesty oat topped salmon on the Boost your Brain Power course in March


Spring has sprung! Loving all the daffodils and tulips out, and my snowdrops in the garden look lovely. A city break to Lisbon was planned to break up the cold weather and get some some rays on my skin. Lisbon is very hilly and therefore lots of walking, taking in cultural sites and sampling the most wonderful seafood and Portuguese wines. Towards the end of March, I planned a dinner party for my friends with peppered mackerel pate with capers and one of my favourite recipes, Nigel Slater’s roasted duck. https://realfoodfans.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/nigel-slaters-roast-duck-with-potatoes-and-pancetta/

Not wanting to waste any foods, I had a delicious looking chocolate panetonne to use and hence made a bread and butter pudding. All a bit indulgent but great company, chats and the wine was flowing! And to finish off the month, a long walk followed by lunch at The Anglesea Arms nearby for Mother’s Day. http://www.angleseaarmspub.co.uk


More KitchenJoy Vouchers being validated which resulted in Boost your Brain Power Course and Eating Vegan cookery classes.

NOTHS (Not on the High Street) launched a new partners day, which was very informative, giving us stats on more established partners sales to date and how we can promote our own courses on their site supported by their marketing and admin team. It was interesting to hear that only 2% of applicants are successful, so I feel very honoured and privileged. You can check me out on their site here:


My friend Anna, a professional photographer came over to KitchenJoy to take a few up-to-date snaps of myself and my daughter for the website, with some action shots of me in the kitchen and by the live herb wall. It was a fun and productive day and I have already loaded new photos onto the website.

And last but not least, I did my stint on the panel at International Women’s Day at Wedlake Bell law firm in the city. I brought along my vegan raspberry, lemon & oat muffins, gluten-free goat’s cheese, chocolate chip & sea salt muffins + date and matcha tea energy balls. The panel chair asked us various questions on how we set up our business, the drawbacks, plus points and any challenging moments. How we have found being a female in the work place and if this has inhibited moving forward in our business in any way. There were about 100 clients invited and finally there was Q&A open to the floor. I hope I was inspiring to anyone who wanted to transition from a Corporate world to running their own business to discussing female empowerment. It was also great for networking as I met many other corporate companies and individuals who wanted to book tasting demo’s and cookery classes.


With more Vegan Courses booked in March and further bookings into April, the home made seitan is proving to be a success! I changed the dessert for the March courses, as I feel sometimes vegan desserts are top heavy on sugar which we are trying to reduce. Following on from the theme of Mongolian “beef” seitan, I decided to make a more Asian dessert to complement the main. It was Mango & brown rice pudding, poached in coconut milk and pureed mango stirred through - a great hit!

On the brain power course, I like to serve salmon if we have no vegetarians attending, to boost our Omega 3 intake, with a tasty oat, lemon zest & dill topping. Oats can improve cognitive performance and improve mental health and act as fuel to the brain and satisfy hunger, reducing the chance of a mid-day crash.

Recipe below.

Zesty Oat Topped Salmon Fillets with rainbow carrots


2 salmon fillets

1 tbsp olive oil (and extra for salmon fillets)

1 heaped tbsp of rolled oats

1 tbsp of ground almonds

1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

Finely grated zest & juice of 1 lemon

150g rainbow carrots

1 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary

Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 220c. Place carrots in a large bowl.  Add the oil, rosemary, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat.   Lay the carrot on a lined flat baking tray and roast for 25 minutes, turning halfway through.  Remove from the oven and place the salmon fillets on the tray.  Lightly brush the top of each salmon fillet with olive oil.

Mix the oats, almonds, dill and lemon zest.  Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the salmon fillets and pat down lightly to give a good coating.  Drizzle the lemon juice over.

Reduce the heat to 180c and bake the salmon and vegetables for approximately 15 minutes until the crust is golden and the salmon is cooked through.



Sampling the smoothie we made on anti-ageing skin nutrition course in February

Sampling the smoothie we made on anti-ageing skin nutrition course in February


After surviving the long chilly January month, I thought it was time for a visit to Borough Market. This is one of my favourite foodie venues. I always like to try and share the French comte toasted sani, quite rich but such a treat and the best toasted cheese sandwich you will taste! Followed by Richard Haward’s oysters, these are truly the best oysters you will find in London. It is a family based business and they are farmed around the creeks of Mersea Island, Essex.


After picking up some fresh veggies for the forthcoming week and delicious cheeses with rosemary & garlic bread, I was all set for a sharing board to stay in later that evening.

Was truly spoilt for Valentine’s Day! I just love white flowers, so instead of the traditional red roses, was presented with 12 white roses, which looked stunning. My partner surprised me with a hotel stay over in Greenwich, a great part of London and went to The Guildford Arms, which was awarded best dining pub of the year 2018 for a wonderful gastronomical menu.


It was my friend Cindy’s big birthday, so I made her a triple layer chocolate cake smothered in ganache icing to celebrate! What a party with cake and fizz !

My girlfriend, Jen came over who is vegetarian, I had the opportunity to try out some new Indian dishes as I know she loves Indian food. I made coconut lentil dahl from Melissa Hemsley who I follow and always has inspiring healthy recipes, and a filo pastry samosa pie of potato, squash & peas.

It seems like we had a mini heat wave in February, how amazing was that! But I have been a little under the weather with a chest infection so I do not believe in working out when your body is trying to fight a virus. Just been taking a few walks along the river in Chiswick and around Chiswick House to make the most of the winter sun. I have been consuming lots of green smoothies and kefir to boost my immune system, along with my favourite sunshine shot, a cocktail of freshly squeezed orange juice, dash of lemon juice, grated fresh turmeric and grated fresh ginger. Its strong and zingy but I love it and its such a good tonic ! Also having a few sneaky relaxes in my garden and noticed the snowdrops are out, which I planted last year around the tree trunk, how gorgeous they look in the sunlight in February!


Wow, lots of courses getting booked up, as I sold KitchenJoy Gift Vouchers over the Christmas period, and now they are all coming through.

Launched a new course of anti-ageing skin nutrition and also ran another Vegan + No sugar course too.

I have a partnership with As Nature Intended (ANI) which means KitchenJoy advertising ANI’s organic raw ingredients which I use to demonstrate a couple of dishes at their Chiswick store. This was a tasting demo of roasted carrot hummus and chocolate beetroot brownies, both prepared earlier in my cookery school. It is a great way of marketing for KitchenJoy and also promoting the school locally, as ANI are only a few minutes away on Chiswick High Road.

The second event was a live demo at ANI’s flagship store in Marble Arch, ticketed sales to a live audience where I demonstrated pea, za’atar & feta fritters, plus courgette kofta’s in coconut sauce. I partnered with Jackie Lynch, a nutritionist & we have worked together on some courses at KitchenJoy in 2018 and plan more this coming year. This combination works well, as while I am cooking, Jackie will be giving in depth discussions on the nutritional value of each food type. The audience then sample the foods that have been cooked.

Not on the High Street (NOTHS) came along to KitchenJoy to see what we were made of and to finalise our partnership which is very exciting! I will now be featured in their “experiences” food section on line and already this month some NOTHS customers have bought KitchenJoy vouchers! Bring it on……

And last but not least, a leading city law firm has nominated me as a panelist of 3, for Women’s International Day on 7th March. This is beyond exciting and have been busy prepping some KitchenJoy breakfast recipes to showcase to the audience of 70. . I am planning two different types of breakfast muffins and some energy balls. A conference call was booked to discuss KitchenJoy challenges and motivation for the upcoming event.


Just made the most delicious dessert on vegan cookery class, a sticky toffee pear pudding where the pears are inserted into the wet sponge standing up, looks very impressive when it comes out of the oven with the pears sticking out!

Onto other desserts, I made sweet potato brownies on the No Sugar course, a healthy brownie that also features a vegetable. A superfood vegetable that’s a major source of vitamin C. I know sounds too good to be true. They were seriously indulgent, rich and fudgy and slightly firm inside but still quite gooey. A healthy brownie recipe without the sugar rush. Hello, Sweet Potato Brownies!

Had a private birthday party for 8 girlies, was such fun! It was the same format as the standard KitchenJoy cookery classes, being interactive but they brought their own wine. We made a chicken tagine, which has no added oil and the aubergines are marinated and cooked in soy sauce, with lots of yummy ingredients such as dates which make this dish very tasty. It is from the Happy Pear twins book, take a peak !


I just LOVE listening to my podcasts whilst trying out new recipes for the cookery classes and Russell Brand was interviewing the Happy Pear boys which really is worth listening to, from their childhood & travels, to setting up their dream business, very inspirational and funny!


It was great to launch the anti-ageing skin nutrition course starting with a glowing skin smoothie as per the photo above and recipe below. Avocado is high in fatty acids for moisturising the skin and mango rich in beta carotene - a wonderful source of skin healing anti -oxidants and flax seeds for their omega 3 benefits to minimise rashes, skin irritation and inflammation.

Here is the recipe for the smoothie:

Glowing skin smoothie
Serves 1
200ml almond milk
½ mango
Few spinach leaves
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp maca powder
½ avocado
Few brazil nuts

Place all ingredients in a blender, pour and enjoy!





After a fabulous Christmas and New Year in Dubai, soaking up the sun and a little Middle Eastern culture, it was time to return to the chilly English January. Really couldn’t wait to feel healthy after the festive season and do a cleanse. This involved lots of fresh veggie smoothies with an extra boost of milk thistle to detox my liver and flax seeds for extra omega 3 intake. By not going out as much in January, a bit of hibernating in front of the log fire, which also means some good quality sleep. Part of my relaxation process is to listen to a 20 minute meditation on line to unwind before bed time. I also find it beneficial to try and eat my evening dinner by 6pm so I can incorporate some intermittent fasting for a longer period overnight. Along with hitting the gym hard with Hiit classes, but mixed up with yoga & stretch & tone all made me feel rejuvenated to move forward into 2019!

I cycled to Kew Gardens, always a joy to walk round this spectacular space only a few miles from where I live. Especially to see the new vast Victorian greenhouse which has recently opened.


Wow! Lots of Courses to bring in the new year! Well it is Veganuary, and busy prepping and trying out new recipes is always fun. Starting with the delicious Bosh Boys Vegan Chilli, you really must buy their book on all inspiring easy to follow vegan dishes at home.


Also on the calendar was the No Sugar course, which again is a great start to cut down and reduce your refined sugar intake for the new year.

I was invited for a radio interview at Brookland’s radio station in Weybridge, Surrey. It was a women’s hour programme, and there were 3 entrepreneurial speakers who had recently set up their businesses. The radio presenter interviewed me on why I set up KitchenJoy, from my passion of running the cookery school to the offering of healthy classes. I found it very exhilarating and was asked what foods a teenager could eat for acne, to calming foods for sleeping. If you want to catch up with KitchenJoy’s radio interview, here it is!



It was great to launch the new No Sugar Course and incorporate natural sugars into our diet to show clients that we can still have a balanced diet and to understand balancing blood sugar levels. This course started with a plant based smoothie with pineapple, banana and spinach leaves, to show you can get some natural sugars from fruit, yet it was balanced out with greens and maca powder plus walnuts for additional nutritional value. The main course was baked salmon with miso glaze which was a mix of maple syrup, mirin, soy, miso paste and sesame oil. It’s very simple but so delicious and my ethos is to create recipes which are easy for my clients to replicate at home.

With many vegan courses booked in January, it was good to mix up and experiment with new ideas. My friend James, gave me an easy to follow seitan recipe which was a winner! There are many ways to cook the seitan but I think steaming it seems the most effective and tasty! Once you have your base seitan, this will keep in the fridge for about one week, you can use this to make a number of dishes such as the photo above which is Mongolian stir fry. The seitan is perfect for absorbing strong flavours, so with soy, chilli, garlic, ginger & chinese five spice, this enhances the seitan and it really does taste like meat! Here is my favourite seitan recipe:

Mongolian seitan ‘beef’

Ingredients for Basic Homemade Seitan

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp blackened seasoning   
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup chickpea flour
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 and 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten 

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and salt, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is softened slightly.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is softened and fragrant. Add the paprika to the pan, stir, and cook for 60 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from the heat.

Transfer the onion & garlic mixture, including oil, to a blender or food processor. Add the tomato paste, vegetable broth, soy sauce if using, chickpea flour, and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the vital wheat gluten, then stir until evenly combined. Once stirred, use your hands to knead the mixture until it becomes firm and a little bit springy, about 2 minutes. Do note that this will feel wetter and moister than many other seitan recipes, due to the fact that we are steaming it rather than boiling it. The dough will be quite loose and moist, so this won't feel similar to kneading bread.

Prepare boiling water and a steamer. Be sure to add plenty of water since this will be steaming for one hour. Form the dough into a vaguely log shape and then roll it up tightly in a piece of foil, twisting the ends tightly. Depending on the size and shape of your steamer, you may need to separate it into two pieces.

Once the water is boiling, steam the wrapped gluten dough for 1 hour, carefully flipping it over halfway through

Let the cooked seitan cool to room temperature, then unwrap it and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. For best results, slice the seitan as needed for recipes rather than pre-slicing it. The homemade seitan in log form will keep in the fridge for up to a week. 


For the Mongolian beef-less sauce:

2 tsp vegetable oil 
1/2 tsp minced or grated ginger
3 cloves minced or grated garlic
1/3 tsp Chinese five spice
1/3 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 cup  soy sauce 
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cold water

For the crisped seitan:

1 and 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil 
1 lb homemade seitan (or use store-bought seitan), cut into 1-inch slices

For serving:

Toasted sesame seeds 
Sliced spring onions

To make the sauce:

Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic; stir constantly. After 30 seconds, add the five spice, and red pepper flakes, and cook for about one minute.

Add the soy sauce and coconut sugar and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let simmer until the coconut sugar is dissolved and slightly reduced, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Whisk together the cornstarch and cold water, then add it to the pan and stir. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the sauce becomes glossy and thickened slightly. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and keep simmering gently until ready to add to the seitan.

To make the seitan and finish the vegan Mongolian beef:

In a pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the seitan and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4-5 minutes or until slightly browned and crisped around the edges.

Reduce the heat to low and add the sauce to the pan. Stir to coat all of the seitan pieces, and continue cooking until the sauce has adhered to the seitan. Remove from the heat and serve hot, with rice and/or vegetables of choice, and garnished with sesame seeds and spring onions if using.

Serve with quinoa



Bringing Joy into the kitchen

I have always had a great passion for food, cooking and entertaining – as my friends put it ‘bringing Joy into the kitchen!’. Despite numerous jobs in a corporate environment I felt that something was always bringing me back to my love for health, nutrition and sharing knowledge. After a significant career break in 2013, I took some time travelling. Working in Swaziland I was able to detach myself from the London bubble and came back with a new perspective on what I wanted to achieve in my life going forward. 

I am a dreamer! And had many different ideas and plans for setting up something I could call my own, but it was only when I was on holiday with my daughter in Tuscany last summer that KitchenJoy really came to fruition. Although I am not classically trained, I have been cooking for friends, family and loved ones almost all my life!

We did some brain storming (over many glasses of rosé!) and couldn’t believe that we had not come up with this idea before! Now what to do next…all the planning.  I wanted to create something within my Chiswick house, so I could share my home with people. In January 2017, an Architect and Construction Engineer came in to prepare plans to extend the existing kitchen further into the garden, and knock down some internal walls.   

Despite some headaches, sweat and tears associated with all redevelopments (finding out the foundations were not deep enough and the existing downstairs loo was crumbling away from the outside wall in – argh!) I could finally see the shape coming together a new kitchen emerging!

I wanted to incorporate my personality into the kitchen-  keeping it quirky, edgy, contemporary and homely, whilst finishing it with an overall industrial look as a backdrop to the business.  When the final stainless steel units were assembled and the appliances installed, things were looking up. The final stage of the fresh concrete worktops laid were literally the icing on the cake!

I hunted around to incorporate bits from all over – buddhas from Africa, hand blown glass light bulbs from the UK, handmade island, bespoke dining table from Surrey, antique dresser from France. The kitchen really is an amalgamation of old and new, each part with its own story (I always have a story!). I am still excitedly waiting on the live wall to arrive!

All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey of creating KitchenJoy and quite a journey it has been – though this is only really the beginning! I am so excited to start sharing my passion with others and invite people into my home to share my experience and knowledge of cooking and nourishing your body to support a healthy, yet delicious lifestyle.