Skinny pizza, skinny me

Pizza. Delicious, cheesy, herby, tomato sauce covered pizza. Pepperoni pizza, tuna and anchovy pizza, margherita, roasted veggie pizza. Pizza Express, ASK, Franca Manca, Fire & Stone, Pizza East, wood-fired pizza ovens – delicious crispy-based and deep-pan pizzas with all manner of toppings are everywhere and seem even more delicious and appealing when you’re on a diet. But never fear, there is a skinny pizza cheat recipe out there for you.

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Yes, the Hairy Dieters have done it again – a tasty, quick cheat’s way to eating pizza while on a diet. Ok, so it’s technically not pizza pizza as the base uses a tortilla rather than dough, but you still get that crispy crunch to the base, as if you really were eating a Roman style pizza.

Each tortilla gets a layer of passata:

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Followed by a slice of ham:

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10g of light cheddar crumbled over the tortilla:

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Sprinkle with herb de Provence and put under the grill at a high temp for 1-2 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Top with olives and salad leaves – job done! Great recipe to have on hand when you’re pushed for time but want to stay healthy!

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Bacon and Comté Salad

Tom and I have been doing the Hairy Bikers’ diet for just over two months now and it’s been so effective and easy for us to stick to. Between us we’ve lost 2 and a half stone and I feel so much better: more healthy and happy with my body. Tom was really pleased when he had to go out and buy new trousers as all his old pairs are far too big now!

We haven’t been perfect on the diet, but I think there’s always going to be a day when you can’t help eating something a bit unhealthy, especially for Tom – he has a lot of corporate lunches and evening drinks to go to with work – but generally the diet has been really good and the food is delicious!

Last week Tom made us a really tasty bacon salad and used some of the delicious Comté cheese we bought at Borough Market. I love salad, you can just throw in whatever you have in the fridge, building up all the lettuce, cucumber, spinach leaves etc and then top it with whatever boost of flavour you fancy – chicken, bacon, ham, toasted pine nuts, torn up chunks of bread, olives, cheeses etc – easy, delicious and healthy!

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Foodie Heaven

We had blue skies and sunshine in London today, albeit the temperatures were still a bit nippy, but it was a perfect day for a trip to one of mine and Tom’s favourite London places – Borough Market. It’s foodie heaven, and although on a Saturday it’s a huge tourist spot, I love it! You can get pretty much anything you want at Borough, be it artisan bread, guinea fowl, Belgian beers, fresh fruit and veg or the biggest blocks of chocolate you’ve ever seen – it caters for anyone! Tom and I like to go to Borough most weekends, it’s so nice to have such a great source of food so close to our flat and it’s a nice place just for a wander.

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Today we got there fairly late on in the day but got stuck straight in trying different cheeses, chorizos and hams, olive oils and dips. For lunch we had Boston Sausage hot dogs sitting in the sunshine by the Cathedral and I had a cup of hot apple, pear and elderflower which was delicious, especially in the cold weather!

This weekend we bought Comté cheese, garlic stuffed olives, kalamata olives, some fresh crusty bread, an artisan sausage roll, strawberries, rhubarb, some beer and elderflower wine. I could have bought so much more, the chocolate brownies and salted caramel ice cream always take my fancy but I controlled myself – I’m sure it won’t be long until we visit again!

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Rolled Bread from Jamie Oliver

My Aunty and her partner came over to visit us in our flat this weekend and I wanted to make something a bit different for brunch to the usual bacon, eggs, sausage etc that make up our classic Full English.

Over Christmas, Tom’s mum Sue made this delicious brunch-inspired bread from a Jamie Oliver recipe – rolled bread of parma ham, with cheese, eggs and basil. I thought it would be perfect for a wintery Sunday brunch and so I decided to give it a go.

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Jamie’s recipe can be found here. It uses a basic bread recipe for the dough, which you then roll out to a metre long (or so, can be smaller), rectangle. Then you fill the middle of the rectangle lengthways with the ingredients. I laid out the parma ham, then spaced out the hard-boiled eggs, scattered over the chopped sundried tomatoes, grated over some cheese, and drizzled with olive oil and then some salt and pepper. I forgot the basil leaves, but I don’t think this mattered too much. Once you’ve added all the filling, roll the dough over so that everything is rolled up and then bring the two ends together to meet, in a circle shape. Leave the dough to rise and then bake at 180 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

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I think it’s best to eat the bread fresh out of the oven, when it’s still hot and the cheese is all melted. We served our loaf with a simple green salad. You could always add some olives to the middle of the bread or anchovies, to give it a saltier kick, or you could try a sweet version, and add chunks of chocolate and raisins to the middle, for a melted, gooey chocolate loaf.

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A Very Gastronomic Week – Part 2

Our second gastronomic meal of the week took place at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant Maze, on Grovesnor Square. Earlier in the day I had called the restaurant and organised a birthday cake and a tour of the kitchen for Tom as extras to make the meal even more special for his birthday.

We arrived and were shown to our table, where we were then presented with an iPad from which to choose our wine. This seemed so crazy and over the top to me but it was fun despite Tom taking forever to choose the wine because he didn’t want to stop using the iPad!


The whole menu sounded amazing but we managed to decide on:

  • Marinated yellow fin tuna, compressed apple, coriander, horseradish, ponzu
  • Rabbit, smoked duck and foie gras terrine, blood orange, hazelnuts
  • Watercress soup with smoked haddock and potato salad
  • Orkney hand – dived scallops, salsify, cauliflower, basil velouté
  • Szechuan-spiced pork belly, braised Cox apples, kale, onion confit

And let me tell you, this was the best food I have ever eaten! The flavours were absolutely incredible, and the presentation was perfect – it looked just like the kind of food they serve on the Great British Menu! Maze is great because, due to the prices, Michelin starred food is available to the masses! Pork is one of my favourite roasts and the pork belly here was just melt-in-the-mouth, with the apples acting as the perfect partner. Th scallops that Tom ordered were the best ones I’ve ever tasted, the sauce they were served in was amazing!

We were surprisingly getting quite full up after these dishes, so we decided to share the Artisan cheese board for dessert, and again, the cheeses were the some of the best ones I’ve ever tried.

The cheeses were served with oat cakes and thinly toasted bread and various chutneys and jellies – yum! Tom ordered a coffee, but of course this wasn’t just an ordinary coffee, it also came with a platter of chocolate fudge, mini meringues filled with mango purée and fruit jellies.

 The most exciting part of the dinner, was when the people next to us ordered the lemon tart for dessert. Before they bring you the tart, a bowl of lemons is placed on the table which has dry ice in it, they then pour over water and this happens!

All in all, it was an amazingly gastronomic week, happy birthday Tom 🙂