While the cat’s away… Mark’s week home alone


I was left to my own devices this week while Lizi was in LA. Meal selection was going to be tricky as we both didn’t want to use up meals that the other would want to eat, so we came up with an elaborate plan! I would attempt to cook Lizi’s dinners on a one day delay, based on an email description. This worked really well (apart from when I cheated and ate out) and we’ll probably try the same system when she’s in Japan next month.

17/01/2015: Spicy Pork with rice – Kokoro, Wimbledon, London


With Lizi off on a flight to the US, I needed to choose a dinner that she probably wouldn’t want for the rest of the year. Step up a spicy favourite from our local Japanese/Korean restaurant. This is a very hot dish but one I find particularly satisfying. Perfect for a night on the sofa watching a film.


18/01/2015: Kale, White Bean and Sweet Potato Korma served with rice – Goop.com


I found this recipe to match Lizi’s plane dinner. Very pleased with my choice as this was super tasty, and fun to cook. The recipe was spot on for the time needed to cook the sweet potato, but I added a bit more coconut milk at the end as I wanted a bit more creaminess to the curry.


19/01/2015: Home prepared Trader Joe’s veggie salad – own recipe inspired by Trader Joe’s

A quick salad put together with the same ingredients from Lizi’s Trader Joe’s salad. Mixed lettuce, peppers, carrot, white beans, garlic vinaigrette, and lots of parmesan shavings. I also added a bit of mustard to the vinaigrette to give the dressing a bit more of a kick. This dinner definitely provided a good chunk of my 5 a day, but I had to eat a double portion to fill me up. I won’t reveal how much parmesan I got through by myself….


20/01/2015: Homemade onigiri with tuna and chicken curry fillings – own recipe

Making onigiri was a first for me, and turned out to be pretty messy. The tuna filling was made with good old Heinz salad cream, and the chicken curry was made with a Japanese curry block (you can find them at the Japan Centre online here). The shaping of the onigiri is made a lot easier by using salt water on the hands to stop rice sticking to you, and I also used an onigiri mould to form the triangular shape. Once the onigiri were filled and compressed I just wrapped them up in a nori sheet and ate away. They ended up working pretty well, though I would try and use more filling and less rice if I was to have another go.


21/01/2015: Spicy seafood udon with salmon fried rice – Yo Sushi, South Bank, London


Planned to meet up with a couple of friends for dinner and Yo Sushi was the proposed venue. Nooo!! I can’t use up my sushi card this early in the year. Fear not, the conveyor belt was left untouched and I ordered off the menu. The salmon and spicy broth was yummy, however there were only a few udon noodles and the prawns were miniscule. The salmon fried rice was a pleasant accompaniment and was well cooked.


22/01/2015: Cod fish tacos – Chow.com


This was delicious! The cod was marinated for 15 minutes in the fridge with garlic, cumin and chilli powder and then cooked on the hob. Once flaking, the cod was placed in a warm tortilla and topped with a red cabbage slaw and diced avocado. I also added a touch of sour cream for good measure. This was so good I ended up eating all of my next-day lunch leftovers later in the evening.


23/01/2015 Ginger fried duck with rice – Mien Tay, Clapham, London


I finished off the working week at a popular Vietnamese restaurant in Clapham. The menu was extensive and had plenty of choice, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of having a nice aromatic duck stir fry. The duck was really well cooked, and the ginger sauce was nicely balanced. Overall, very impressed with this dish for the price tag and just what I needed on a Friday night.


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