Diet-conscious Salad Dressings

I love salad but only if it has dressing! All my life I used vinaigrette made with olive oil – and 1 tablespoon (about 15ml) has 120 calories. Similarly mayonnaise – always home made with oil. Commercial low-calorie mayonnaise is, to my taste, disgusting – but I found that it makes a wonderful base for dressings and mayonnaise when mixed with other things – and, at 11 calories for 15ml, it’s a saving of 100 calories every time!

INGREDIENTS

This is for “green goddess” herb dressing, I’ve put other variants at the end of this recipe.

  • 15ml “lighter than light” mayonnaise
  • Juice of ½ lime or lemon (or white wine vinegar or white spirit vinegar if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) of chopped herbs (basil, parsley, chives or any mixture)
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce (optional)

METHOD

  1. Chop the herbs and stir to combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
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Frustrations of an Angel Investor – Introduction

In the last two or three years, I’ve been fortunate to have some money to invest, and was quickly attracted to becoming an “Angel”. In my twenties, I was a reluctant entrepreneur – there was a terrible recession and few good jobs to be had, and, faced with redundancy and a young family, went into business on my own, latching onto something that enthused me, used all my talents and that “just might work”. In those days there were no Angels, and I had no rich family. Like everyone else, I went begging to the banks, and got mortgaged up to the hilt.… Keep reading...

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Frustrations of an Angel Investor 1: 80% of new businesses fail, so why take the risk?

Why do investors keep pumping in money when most start-ups fail?  To an extent, it’s blind faith, but a lot can be attributed to the EIS tax avoidance system.  This was perfectly illustrated in a recent presentation I attended.

This isn’t exactly what was said, but I think it’s a fair illustration:

  • An investor puts a total of £100,000 into 100 startups – £1000 each – making the following assumptions:
  • 80 will fail, so that £80,000 will be lost
  • 10 will trade successfully (but not phenomenally) and the investor will get their money back eventually, let’s assume with no premium.
  • 8 will be sold at an average multiple of 3x the original investment
  • 1 will sell at a multiple of 10x
  • Just one – the nascent “unicorn” – will sell at a multiple of 50x, netting the investor £50,000

So overall, the investor will get back £94,000 – which looks like a loss of £6,000 on the original investment.… Keep reading...

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Roast Stuffed Monkfish

INGREDIENTS

Quantities are approximate and per person

  • 120-150g monkfish tail, cut from the wide end
  • 40g Quark (if you can’t find it, substitute another soft white cheese such as ricotta)
  • Generous teaspoon of chopped fresh herbs – I use parsley and dill
  • Grated rind of ¼ lemon
  • 1 thin slice Serrano or Parma ham (or similar)
  • 1 shallot (or ½ small onion)
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Black olives (pitted)
  • 75ml dry white wine

METHOD

  1. First prepare the base vegetable ingredients. Wash the tomatoes and cut in halves. Peel the shallot and slice thinly. Fry the shallot slices in as little oil as possible until they are just coloured (about 2 minutes) then remove and lay on kitchen paper to soak up most of the oil.
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Beef Stroganoff

The Diet Keys here are reducing the fat used and substituting a small quantity of yogurt for the usual soured cream. Compared to recipes I checked online, this version has at least 100 fewer calories per portion as a result. It’s not as creamy, of course, but quite acceptable

INGREDIENTS

Quantities are approximate and per person – multiply as necessary if cooking for more than one!

  • 150g Fillet or Sirloin steak (ask at the butchery counter for fillet “tails”, they’re ideal for this and much cheaper)
  • 100g mushrooms (I used a mix of button and wild mushrooms, but any variety works
  • 10g butter
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 50ml whisky, brandy, vodka or cachaça (or any spirit that doesn’t taste of anis!)
  • 1 tbsp thick yogurt (Lancashire Farm, Greek or similar)
  • 1 generous teaspoon of crushed/ground black peppercorns or, if you have them, crushed green peppercorns
  • Pinch of salt (to taste)

METHOD

  1. Remove any fat, skin or cartilage that the butcher may have left on the steak.
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Welcome to my world

This is my new blog site, where I’ll be adding some of my recipes, travel experiences and anything else that occurs to me and that friends sometimes ask me to write up. I’m a bit concerned about it, because perhaps it’s presumptious of me to think that anyone may be interested. But I’m just doing it for pleasure, and as a hobby. If you like anything you read here, I’ll be happy. Feel free to comment.… Keep reading...

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