Work from home but have nothing to eat?

Note: today is my 5 year bloggy-versary! That’s right; on a whim 5 years ago I started up The Glasgow Food Blog and I never expected it to grow so much – I’ll write a full post about the adventure in the coming weeks!

My kitchen tips & tricks post got me thinking about working from home. Before I started working from home full time (or at Yelp Glasgow HQ as I like to call my office) I imagined that it would be a feast of slow cooked meals on the stove and lots of homemade snacks to keep me going through the day.

And at first, it was. I was able to make sure I had a proper lunch organised, or at worst I would be able to knock something up on my lunch break while still having time to watch Neighbours (don’t laugh, it helps me keep my accent). But then as work got busier, and there was more and more events, things changed. I stopped eating properly and would rely on whatever was fast and simple to keep me going – ranging from Doritos and goats cheese to ready meals … or worse still, pot noodle (side note: pot noodles in the UK have nothing on 2 minute noodles from Australia).

It doesn't get much quicker than scrambled eggs with ham and spinach.

It doesn’t get much quicker than scrambled eggs with ham and spinach.

I came to the slow realisation that my diet was killing my ability to function as a human being, and resolved to do a bit better. So I wanted to share some of the lunch and snack ideas that keep me going – these aren’t really just home working meals, but also adaptable for an office environment (or where ever you work!).


Not just a healthy option, but a great way of using up leftovers hanging around your vegetable crisper. My personal favourite is inspired by a juice I had in San Fran called “prescription”. Juice two oranges, add to a blender with one apple, a handful of kale (stalks removed) and mint. Blend. I don’t have a juicer so I use a Magic Bullet but this should be easy to adapt to a juicer.

I have a go-to smoothie which I always have after roller derby training, but it makes for a great breakfast smoothie or mid-afternoon pep up. Add one banana and about 200mls of almond milk to your blender with a tsp of raw cacao powder (cocoa powder works too). For an added health boost you can add chia seeds.


I try to keep snacks simple: miso soup, apple with peanut butter, Bounce energy balls (but these are pretty pricey!) I’d love more snack ideas if you have any to share!




I find batch cooking is the easiest answer to be short on time.

This week I made chilli con carne and portioned it into 200g bags (probably 150g is a better size if you’re having it with rice). I also purchased Tilda bags of rice that go in the microwave. I’d never tried them before, but for a 2 minute answer to rice, I found them quite tasty. The lime & coriander flavour was a little odd though, if I’ll be honest.


Warm up the chilli and rice and chop some lettuce and coriander while you’re waiting. Whip it out of the microwave, top with salsa, cheese, yoghurt/sour cream and the lettuce and coriander. For an extra treat, add some crushed up Doritos (I’m an addict, ok?)

Otherwise I’m really getting into soup. Graeme made a tomato and lentil soup the other night from The Medicinal Chef which was absolutely delicious and filling enough to have without bread.

If you work from home, I’d love to know how you keep on track with your meals!

Papercup Coffee Co inspired Baked Eggs

I eat out a lot (too much) and one of my fav spots to visit to is Papercup Coffee Co on Great Western Road. There’s a lot of things to love about Papercup – the friendly staff, the delicious coffee (even for me, a novice drinker) and the cool decor – but one of their biggest drawcards is their baked eggs.

The real deal, available at Papercup Coffee Co

The real deal, available at Papercup Coffee Co

As I’m a southsider I have made up my own version for lazy weekends when I can’t manage to get over to the West End. This recipe should be enough for two people (or one really hungry person):

Baked eggs with chorizo

My version – this one has kale rather than spinach

My version – this one has kale rather than spinach

1 red onion, sliced
Some chorizo (as much as you want), chopped into small dice
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 handful of spinach (other leafy greens are good too, like kale)
Small amount of feta cheese, chopped
2 eggs, cracked individually into a cup
Some nice bread, lightly toasted and topped with butter and z’atar spice

In a frypan, melt some butter/oil. Add the red onion and cook for a couple of minutes, then add in the chorizo. Allow it to cook over a medium heat until the chorizo is nicely coloured and oozing oil. Add in a tin of tomatoes and the greens and allow the tomato to warm through and the greens to wilt. With a spoon, make two holes in the sauce mix and add in an egg to each hole. Keep the temperature low and allow the egg to cook – if you have it up too high, the egg white will go rubbery. Top with feta when the white is cooked though, the yolk should still be gooey.

Disclaimer: I have no idea what the actual official recipe is – mine is definitely missing *something* special that comes with eating out rather than cooking for yourself!

Poached salmon with grated shiraae salad

I was asked to come up with a healthy recipe for the #HealthyTreats challenge by Rennie – I was a little daunted, I won’t lie. At the moment my eating habits swing between days of fresh, vibrant salads with loads of green tea … then a late night trip through the Maccas drive through on a way home from an event! So I took this as a sign to get my butt into gear and embraced the challenge.

I love all things Japanese, and thought I could put a twist on my usual grated salad by taking inspiration from the Japanese dish, shiraae. Salmon is a regular feature on our menu, and I wanted to try a different way of cooking it so I poached it in some miso and served it with the shiraae salad, pickles and some rice.

We enjoyed this dish on our 3.5 year wedding anniversary so it felt like a decadent meal, even though it was light and healthy. I love that aspect of Japanese cooking; all the different elements come together to make you feel like you’re enjoying an extravagant buffet. (Don’t be overwhelmed by the length of the ingredients list!)

Poached salmon with grated shiraae salad

Pickled vegetables, poached salmon, rice and grated shiraee salad

Pickled vegetables, poached salmon, rice and grated shiraee salad

Poached salmon:
2 fillets of salmon

Shiraae salad:
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks and microwaved until tender (about 3-4 minutes)
4 sticks of spring onion, chopped
1 lime, juiced
Seaweed sprinkle

Shiraae dressing: 
200g silken tofu
1 tbs miso
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs mirin
2 tsp soy sauce/tamari

1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 white cabbage, diced
1 carrot, grated
250ml rice vinegar
110g caster sugar

Japanese pickles

Japanese pickles

  1. Start with the pickles by adding the rice vinegar and sugar to a saucepan. Heat until the sugar dissolves, then allow to cool. Add the cucumber, cabbage and carrot to the vinegar mix and refrigerate.
  2. Now it’s time for the salad. You can either grate the sweet potato or cut it into small chunks – it was hard to grate straight out of the microwave so let it cool first if you’re going to grate it! Add all the salad ingredients to a bowl and mix together.
  3. Make the salad dressing by taking the tofu out of the box and lightly pressing it. I do this by placing it on some paper towel on a chopping board, putting more paper towel on top of the tofu and then top with another chopping board. You’ll want to add some weight to the board to help press the liquid out of the tofu, which will get soaked up in the paper towel. For this recipe you don’t need to worry too much about getting lots of liquid out so just let it press for a couple of minutes. Put the tofu in a bowl and stir in the rest of the dressing ingredients, then mix in with the salad. Give it a wee taste and adjust the seasoning with some soy/tamari if needed.
  4. For the salmon, simply add the salmon to a saucepan with enough water to cover the salmon. Add in some miso to turn the water a nice beefy dark brown – a couple of tablespoons should be enough. Bring the water to a very light simmer and allow to cook for about 8 minutes which will perfectly poach the salmon.
  5. Serve the poached salmon with the grated shiraee salad, pickles and boiled rice.

This post has been supported by Rennie®, but all thoughts are my own.


There’s something so warm and comforting about donburi that whenever I’m feeling sick or tired, I always crave a large bowl or two. If you’re not sure what donburi is, it is a Japanese rice dish served in different varieties – my favourite being oyakodon which literally means “parent and child bowl” aka chicken and egg. Kind of funny when you think about it!

It is a really simple dish to prepare, and will make you feel better almost instantly (I promise!). There’s lots of different ways of making it, here’s how I like to do mine:

Chicken and egg donburi (Oyakodon) 

This is actually gyu-donburi which is made with beef!

This is actually gyu-donburi which is made with beef!

The ingredients for this are per person, so just multiply accordingly. 

1 chicken breast or thigh, cut in to thin, small pieces
1 portion of cooked white rice
1 onion
1 chicken stock cube
Soy sauce/tamari
Spring onions, chopped.
1 egg

  1. Cook the onion in a small amount of oil in a sauce pan.
  2. After a few minutes, add in around 400 mls of water and the stock cube.
  3. Once it gets to a simmer, add in the chopped chicken breast and a splash of soy sauce/tamari to taste – I add around a tbs and then add more when eating.
  4. Let the stock simmer away and cook the chicken. How long this takes will depend on how big you cut the chicken, so be sure to check the largest piece to see it’s cooked.
  5. Add an egg to the stock/chicken mix. You can either stir it through, or let it poach lightly on top of the water.
  6. Add your rice to a bowl and pour the egg/stock/chicken mix over the rice. By this stage there shouldn’t be too much water left.
  7. Top with chopped spring onion and eat!

The Foodies Guide to Glasgow and the West

I was delighted to be asked by Fraser Wilson to contribute to his book. I met Fraser last year at a food blogging event at Butchershop Bar & Grill and not long after he emailed me to ask me to add a recipe to The Foodies Guide to Glasgow and the West.

Cue total panic.

While I love, love cooking, coming up with a recipe for publication was incredibly daunting and I emailed Fraser many times pestering him about what I should submit. I eventually went for a recipe combining a few of my loves – Scottish salmon and Japanese flavours to make salmon with miso pesto and sautéed sweet potato and kale. You’ll need to buy the book to get the recipe!


He also interviewed me to introduce the bloggers section which was super cool (although nerve wracking, and he was writing in shorthand so I couldn’t check what he was writing down). Anyway, I didn’t have to worry as I’m delighted with the write up!

So, why should you buy the book?

Get on it!


Kitchen Tips & Tricks

One of my resolutions for the year was to really get back into home cooking – it’s a little all over the shop, if I’ll be honest! I started to compile a list of tips & tricks (aka kitchen lifehacks!) of things that help me out when cooking and I wanted to share them here. These might be super obvious but have been really handy revelations to me!

Listen! This is such a simple cooking tip but I never even realised how important was until I did a day at The Cook School in Kilmarnock. It makes life so much easier when you’re cooking away to have one (or two) ears focused on what’s happening on the stove – you’ll easily be able to tell if something if cooking at too high a temperature. I’m very much a multi-tasking cook so am normally chopping away, and really appreciate being able to tell if things are going wrong without constantly checking with my eyes.

How to open a coconut: I had a nightmare of a time recently trying to open a coconut. Nothing would work – I’d watched all the YouTube videos I could find and still, no coconut. I finally stumbled upon this trick. Drain the coconut through the eyes as usual (be careful not to stab yourself – I used a meat thermometer which I’m sure wasn’t the best idea). Heat your oven to 180 C and pop the coconut in for about 15 minutes. Remove using an oven mitt and hopefully it will have cracked. Then you’ll find getting the flesh out much easier!

The best way of cooking bacon: I’ve been cooking bacon in bulk recently, a whole packet at a time. It is so much easier to spread it out on baking paper and put it in the oven rather than pan fry it. I find it takes about 15 minutes at 200 C and the result is perfectly crispy bacon.   

The easiest way to cut bacon: This is definitely from a Life Hack I’ve read somewhere. Forget about chopping bacon with a knife – just get out the kitchen scissors and chop away. You can do about 4 slices at a time as well, saving time.

Keeping your herbs super fresh: I love herbs but hate the price and the waste. I decided to switch to packets of frozen herbs until I realised they really don’t have enough flavour. When re-reading The Stone Soup e-books I got a while back, I saw her tip for keeping herbs fresh. Simply use some, and pop the rest in a glass of water in the fridge. You’ll extend their life by quite a few days – I found coriander lasted for about a week when it was normally just 2 days.

Perfectly ripe avocado: I’ve fallen for the labels before – and always been disappointed. So much so that I’d stopped buying avo in the UK as it was never ripe the way I liked. Joanna Blythman’s fab book “What to eat” gave me the tip of putting avocados in the same bag as bananas to help them ripen. You still need to beware of oven-ripening but has now saved me from avo wastage.

Simple tips & tricks, but these have saved me lots of time & money! Have you got any great tips or tricks you’d like to share?

Eating Seasonally

I was recently asked to contribute to a guest post on the Puma Hotels website and the post has just gone live! Check it out on their blog as well as some great information about eating seasonally. Here’s my contribution to the post.

Eating seasonally used to come naturally when I lived in Melbourne, but there was a bit of re-learning to do when I moved to the UK 4 years ago! The change in weather, different ingredients and the fact that most foods are available year-round now, whether they are in season or not. This can be quite handy if you have a particular craving for something, but it’s still most sensible to focus on eating what’s in season. It’ll save you money, taste better and give you a huge variety of foods to eat year round. There’s great websites to check out if you need inspiration – like Eat the Seasons and BBC’s Food pages. Kale is a big favourite in our house, and while we our #1 recipe is baked kale crisps, kale pesto isn’t far behind. Here’s the recipe for kale pesto pasta with goats cheese.

Kale pesto with spaghetti and goats cheese

Kale pesto with spaghetti and goats cheese

I’ve also included a very quick dessert recipe. I’m really loving passionfruit now and have been having it as a dessert when I feel like I need some sunshine in my day (e.g. every day. Thanks Glasgow!).

Quick passionfruit dessert
1 passionfruit
1 small tub of yoghurt
Coconut shavings
Rice malt syrup, to taste 
Passionfruit and coconut yoghurt

Passionfruit and coconut yoghurt

Top the yoghurt with the passionfruit. Stir in, and add rice malt syrup to taste (it tastes like honey). Top with coconut shavings. A great light winter dessert to get you through the gloomy days!