Beetroot, Rocket, Avocado and Feta Salad

I love salad.  Salad really doesn’t need to be bland or boring and I hope my recipe for Beetroot, Rocket, Avocado and Feta Salad helps to demonstrate this.  First of all I would like to include a little of the nutritional benefits of one of the ingredients.  Before I do, for those that don’t eat cheese you can simply omit it or exchange it for something else the choice as always with any homemade meal is yours.

Beetroot

This has become one of the newest super foods due to its ability to help boost stamina, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and so much more.  Beetroot contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.  This great root can help in phase 2 detoxification where broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be removed from the body.  They are often used in natural medicine to detoxify the liver and blood.  The juice from beetroot can help improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older people.  Betaine a compound found in beetroot increases the production of serotonin which is the body’s natural mood boosting hormone (a happy hormone) so make sure you eat it regularly as it will keep you feeling happy naturally (betaine is found in some treatments for depression).

Beetroot is fibre rich and contains strong phytonutrients which give it its rich colour and have been shown to reduce multi-organ tumour formations in animals.  Beetroot  is also being is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers let’s hope they make progress with the research into that.  In the mean time I’m trying to eat more of this great root vegetable as it’s not just really good for you it’s tasty too and great in a range of salads.

Ingredients

300g cooked beetroot

1 medium spring onion

75g feta

75g Queen olives

50g baby leaf rocket salad

1 avocado

For the dressing

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Method

Wash the leaves and drain off excess water.

Chop the beetroot into bite sized pieces.

Slice the spring onion.

Cut the avocado and feta into bite sized pieces.

Throw all of these into a bowl, add in the olives and drizzle over some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.  I used approximately 2tbs of olive oil and around the same amount of vinegar but I would suggest with the vinegar add less, taste and add more if required.

Mix well then serve.

Enjoy!

Do you like beetroot?  Will you be trying it now you know how great it is for you?

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Pancake Day with Num Noms #NumNomsFoodie

It’s Pancake Day, yaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy!!!!!

We love pancakes so when the guys at Num Noms set us a challenge to create a Num Nom inspired pancake we of course had to accept, any excuse to make some pancakes.

The guys sent us a little

Inspiration…

to help us get those creative juices flowing.  They came up with some great sounding ideas combining some of their Num Noms.

Coconut Raspberry Topper

Introducing Razzi Berry, Coco Cali and Choco Sprinkles!  We think these three would make a pancake with just the right balance of sweet, sour, and a hint of coconut!

Straw-Nana Mallow Madness

When you already have a Nom which combines the delicious flavours of strawberry and banana in a lipgloss, it would be crazy not to combine these two in a pancake.  We’re bringing extra tasty toastyness with Toasty Mallow too, because who wouldn’t want melted marshmallow in a pancake?

Just cheese

 When you need a savoury treat, where better to start than cheese?  Cheesy Burrito is our chosen character for this one, part of the Fiesta food Starter Pack it makes for the perfect pancake.

Our creation combined two Num Noms

We thought we would have a bit of fun and make a pancake stack that looked like a Num Nom, how cool is she!

We also wanted to show this as a normal dessert.

We made a stack of mini pancakes then topped it with a home made dark chocolate ganache that combined 50g melted dark chocolate and 50ml double cream combined.  This was topped with yummy fresh strawberries and squirty cream and hundreds and thousands.

The kids couldn’t wait to tuck in.  Apparently it was “really good” not that I’d know as I didn’t get any.  Poor mummy.

We had so many different Nums Noms to inspire us.  The delicious Series 3 stackables has nine new collections, new themes include Marshmallows, Donuts, Fruits, Veggies, Candy and Fiesta Foods.  This seasons Noms are either erasers, stampers or dual-flavoured lip glosses, and of course they all smell so delicious.

We were also sent some starter packs to review.  You can take a look at our #unboxingvideo here and see what we were sent:

Available within Series 3 Mystery Pots, Starter Packs, Lunch Box Deluxe Packs and Surprise in a Jar, the uniquely scented characters have never been more fun, with so many ways to collect.

The lip-gloss range has also expanded, with duos of flavours such as Straw-Nana, Peachy Pina and Mintberry now being served!

There are so many fabulous scents and products now available we wanted to share the fun yet again with yet another wonderful Num Noms giveaway.  This time we will be giving away 1 Series 3 Lunchbox Deluxe Pack & 1 Series 3 Starter Pack!

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

If you want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts straight in your inbox once they are live why not subscribe and get to read all my great posts including recipes, reviews, competitions etc. before anyone else. Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

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Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Num Noms Series 3and Num Noms Series 1 Lightsare for children aged 3+ and are available from all good toy retailers including ToysRUs, Smyths and The Entertainer. For more information, visit www.numnoms.com

Disclaimer: A sample of the product was sent for my consideration.

 

Horseradish, Cheddar and Smoked Salmon Toasted Sandwich

I’m not really one for sandwiches unless they are homemade and I have packed them full of flavourful ingredients.  Toasted sandwiches are my favourite.  I love when the cheese slowly oozes out and forms strings of cheesy deliciousness as you bite into to the sandwich and pull away.  Toasted sandwiches are really popular and one of my favourites has smoked salmon, mature cheddar and horseradish sauce.  Not only is it full of flavour but, as I use seeded wholemeal bread you get the added goodness of the nutrients from the seeds as well as the fibre from the bread.  The salmon is high in protein and vitamins B and D. Salmon also contains omega 3 fatty acids so has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

There are days that I am rushed off my feet but of course need to eat a healthy and tasty lunch but don’t have much time to prepare one. It’s great to know that in the matter of a few minutes I can have a tasty meal ready to eat.  Here is my quick and simple recipe for my

Horseradish, Cheddar and Smoked Salmon Toasted Sandwich

Serves 1

Ingredients

2 Slices of Wholemeal bread (I used frozen)

2 slices of mature cheddar approx 50g in total

3 slices of smoked salmon

2.5-3 tsp horseradish sauce

A handful of salad leaves as a garnish

Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. (Fan oven, 210 degrees for a conventional oven)

Toast the bread at the lowest heat if you are using frozen bread.  If you are using fresh bread skip the toasting part.

Slice the cheese and place this in the centre of the bread.

Fold the salmon slices and place on the bread making sure the whole slice is covered evenly.

Spoon the horseradish sauce onto the slice of bread, spread it evenly and place that slice of the bread sauce down onto the salmon.

Cut the sandwich diagonally and place it onto a foiled baking tray with a space between them to allow the hot air to circulate and the cheese to melt faster.

Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the cheese starts melting and then remove from the oven and serve.

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Enjoy!

 

Kelp Salad A Natural Weight Loss Food

I do like seaweed and I’m not talking about that crispy impostor that you will get at a Chinese restaurant which is actually made from spring greens.  I’m talking about the real stuff found on seashores with a briny flavour and crunchy texture such as Kelp.  Kelp is actually very good for you and can be found around the coast of Ireland, Japan and the USA.  It is regarded as a superfood due to its nutritional content.  Kelp contains a mix of vitamins and minerals although it should not be eaten in excess.  The fibre in kelp is though to be able to support weight loss by reducing fat digestion and absorption.  The iodine in kelp has been shown to remove free radicals from the blood which would otherwise cause ageing, therefore it is believed to have anti ageing properties.

I love trying different seaweed salads in sushi restaurants and decided that I would attempt to make my own.  Off I headed to my local Chinese cash and carry to get my hands on some seaweed and manged to find some that had been pre cut and dried and just needed hydrating.  It said on the pack to soak it in water for 20 minutes but I ignored this and left in for a few hours rinsing it every so often to remove any sand and dirt that might have attached itself.

Ingredients

1 50g pack of dried shredded kelp

35ml rice wine

3/4tsp caster sugar

3/4tsp salt

15ml soy sauce

1tsp sesame oil

1tsp chilli flakes

Method

Soak the kelp in water for a few hours.  Rinse every so often.  I rinsed mine about 8 times to remove any traces of sand and grit.

The kelp is already shredded which is handy as it saved me the trouble of cutting it finely.

Combine the rice wine, sugar, salt, soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli flakes together and stir so the salt and sugar dissolve.

Strain the kelp and squeeze out excess water then pour the dressing over and mix well.

Place in the fridge for about half an hour to an hour to chill the salad.

Give the salad another good mix and then serve.

Enjoy!

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Mango Swirl Pavlova

Over the years I have written many recipes.  Some of these recipes have been featured on my blog, others in magazines and on other blogs and for the first time I have a recipe being featured in an e- cookbook.  How exciting!!!!!!  Various bloggers were approached and asked to write a budget recipe and I decided to rise to the challenge with my Mango Swirl Pavlova.  This is not only super simple to make but also tastes great and costs just 27p per serving!

The pavlova is large enough for 6 portions, unless you are my friend Jane and then probably enough for 3 or less.  She does love my pavlova and was kind enough to help me with the tasting and has helped with tastings of numerous others over the years.  Why does she love my pavlova?  Take a look below:

This has the most gorgeous light fluffy centre with a perfectly crisp shell.  I normally love to combine my pavlovas with vanilla cream and fresh cut strawberries but I thought I’d be adventurous and had wanted to try and be a bit different.  With my Mango Swirl Pavlova I actual swirled in some freshly made mango coulis into the pavlova base prior to baking so it’s actually cooked into the pavlova.  After this I added my toppings as seen in the picture above and voila you have an amazing dessert that is inexpensive and delicious!

Fancy trying to make it yourself?  Pop over and check out my budget pavlova recipe as well as some other great budget recipes here:

https://www.voucherbox.co.uk/blog/free-cookbook-low-cost-recipes/

Enjoy!

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Turkey Meatballs

Meatballs are one of those dishes that can be made and eaten at home with salad or for those wanting to bulk it up more a side of homemade chips, yum!

Turkey2

They are super easy to make and you can be flexible with the meat used.  You can try them with turkey, chicken, pork, lamb or beef or by cutting out the meat completely and using other protein rich ingredients such as chick peas, quinoa etc.  See, I told you they are flexible although technically by this stage they are no longer ‘meat’balls.  Meatballs are fabulously simple to make and this can be made even easier by using a few gadgets.  To mix mine I use my Russell Hobbs mixer and to make my bread into breadcrumbs my nutribullet.  This was the first time I had made bread crumbs with my nutribullet and I was curious how long it would take.  The answer seconds – don’t blink, you’ll miss it.  These meatballs are also great as an on the move snack or addition to a picnic.  Just to note for anyone curious that the rests are best when these are shallow fried baking does not compare

My recipe uses lean mince turkey.  For a change I bought ready minced turkey as I wasn’t feeling too great and wanted to speed up the process of making the meal.  Turkey is great for you as it has a low GI (glycaemic index) which means it raises blood sugar levels slowly so good for those with Type 2 diabetes.  Turkey of course is a great source of protein and has less fat than other meats.  It contains various nutrients including zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus, Vitamin B6 and niacin.  Combining this with ingredients such as brown seeded bread, coriander and onion helps to increase the fibre and nutrient content of the dish.

Ingredients

Make approximately 35 balls depending on sizing.

1 medium white onion

2.5 to 3 tbs chopped coriander

4 slices of brown seeded bread

800g lean turkey mince

392g potato

2 medium eggs

freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste

Sunflower oil to shallow fry the turkey balls

Method

Place one slice of bread which has been pulled apart into the nutribullet and blitz briefly we don’t want the breadcrumbs too fine.   Repeat with the rest.

Grate the potato with the skin on.

Chop the onion and coriander.

Place the turkey mince into the mixing bowl and using the dough hook attachment give it a quick mix.

Throw in all the other ingredients and mix well.

With a tablespoon scoop out some of the mixture with a tablespoon and squish (a nice technical foodie word) the mixture into balls approximately 3cm in diameter.  I prepare enough to cover my chopping board and then heat up the oil until I get a gently bubbling when a ball is added (see photo below).  I normally test the first ball by cooking it and then tasting it to make sure it has been seasoned enough.  Cook the balls in batches so that they are easy to turn half way through.  If you cook to many at the same time they can get broken easily.

Turkey1

Allow the balls to cook for a few minutes on each side.  Remove them from the oil and place on a plate covered with kitchen towel.  Leave them to drain off whilst you do the next batch.  I normally allow the excess oil to drain off, add the cooked ball to a plate / bowl and change the paper to help remove as much oil as possible from them.  I am always careful to use just a little salt when making these as the children eat them too.  Should you require a little more then just sprinkle it over after.

Turkey2

Once all the balls have been shaped, cooked and had any excess oil removed serve whilst still hot.

Enjoy!

Tangy Ginger Breeze Cocktail Recipe

As many of you know I enjoy getting creative in the kitchen.  I create all manner of foods both savoury and sweet and love to have time to just play and experiment with flavours.  Being a busy mum of three no make that four (forgot to include the hubby) I don’t get much time to do that but I squeeze it in once in a while.  Over Christmas I managed to get a few minutes of kitchen play time and decided to experiment making a new cocktail which features a product that I only recently got to try Spiced Ginger Beer from Fentimans.  This is just as lovely as their original ginger beer but with a more exotic flavour.

The ginger flavour was not as strong as in some ginger beers and I wanted to give it an added kick and also add a splash of lemon and lime as these flavours work well together.  With this in my mind I began experimenting and from there my Tangy Ginger Breeze was born.

fentimans3This recipe is so easy to make that anyone can do it and it features just three main ingredients which adds to the simplicity.

Serves 1

Ingredients

20-25ml Kings ginger liqueur

165ml Fentimans spiced ginger beer (half a bottle)

100ml 7up or sprite

Ice cube if required

A slice of lemon or lime to garnish

Method

Pour the ginger liqueur into a tall glass.  Slowly add in the ginger beer and then the 7up / sprite so it does do not end up with a large head of foam.  If it isn’t cold enough add some ice cubes, garnish with a slice of lemon or lime and serve.

Enjoy!

You might want to repeat the above as it’s super yummy , enjoy round 2!

Liked this recipe then take a look at my Ginger Beer, Vanilla and Cinnamon Jellies recipe.

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Love Ginger Beer? Here’s Your Chance to Win a Case of Fentimans New Spiced Ginger Beer!

I do love ginger beer as I love the taste of the ginger combined with the bubbles that make a gorgeously refreshing and thirst quenching drink.  Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to get the chance to try the Original Ginger Beer from Fentimans which was yummy so of course I was very excited when I heard they had a Spiced Ginger Beer!  The spiced ginger beer is infused with Eastern spices to create a delicious warming drink for the winter and a tasty and refreshing drink for the summer.

I was curious to see how much spice Fentimans had included but it isn’t too strong for the British palette to handle.  Great chilled, this delicious drink is gluten free and not too heavy on the alcohol at 4%.  Although great on it’s own this ginger beer is also great combined with other flavours.  I decided to have a little play with creating a recipe using ginger beer that used the flavour as it’s core instead of masking it and one that was easy make too.

fentimans4

 These jellies are simple to make and are a fabulous light adult dessert that isn’t too calorific and perfect for anyone that loves ginger beer.  My recipe uses alcoholic ginger beer but Fentimans also has a non alcoholic ginger beer (traditional) should you prefer or in case you are making this for children.

Not so keen on cinnamon no problem don’t add it in, recipes are not set in stone so get creative and adjust them to your taste.

This particular recipe can be made with or without the creamy vanilla and cinnamon topping.  The creamy topping can be kept runny or you can add gelatin to make it thicker, again you choose.

I made these in disposable plastic cups as it was much easier and help reduce washing after but you can use pretty glasses if you have any.

Ginger Beer, Vanilla and Cinnamon Jellies

fentimans2

Serves 8

Ingredients

For the Ginger Beer Jellies

1 330ml bottle of Fentimans Spiced Ginger Beer

150ml water

Water for soaking the gelatin

4.5 gelatin leaves

For the Topping

180ml double cream

a pinch of cinnamon powder

1tsp vanilla essence (preferably a good quality one with seeds)

1 gelatin leaf

Water for soaking the gelatin

Method

For the Ginger Beer Jellies

Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for about 10 minutes.

While the gelatin is soaking gently pour the ginger beer into a jug as we don’t want this frothing.

Warm the water and once it starts to bubble a little remove it from the heat and set aside for two minutes.

Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and add this to the heated water and stir in, it takes seconds to dissolve.

Add the water to the jug of ginger beer, stir gently then pour evenly into your glasses / cups.

Place in the fridge for about 5-6 hours to set. I left mine overnight to be sure.

You need this part to set before starting the next.

For the Topping

Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for about 10 minutes.

Warm the cream and once it starts to bubble a little remove it from the heat add in the vanilla essence and cinnamon, stir and set aside for two minutes.

Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and add this to the heated cream and stir.

Pour this over the set ginger beer jellies and place in the fridge to set.  The amount is far less than with the ginger beer so it won’t take as long to set.

Place in the fridge for about 3 hours to set.

When this has set you can grate over a little chocolate and add any garnishes before serving.

What a slightly different version?

You don’t need to set the cream, instead you can skip the heating and the gelatin, add in the vanilla and cinnamon and pour over the top of the jellies.

Again add on any garnishes and serve.

Just a note, not all gelatin is animal based so you can still make this whether you are vegetarian or vegan, obviously minus the cream.

Enjoy!!!

We all love a great giveaway so here is my first of the year.

One lucky winner will win a case of the Spiced Ginger Beer which you can either keep all to yourself or enjoy with friends.  Drink it straight up or try one of my ginger beer recipes the choice is yours.  Just a little heads up I have a Ginger Beer Cocktail Recipe coming up soon and it’s loooooovely!

Entry is super easy just enter via the rafflecopter form.

Instructions if needed can be found here:

http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.

Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated plus it will ensure you don’t miss great posts, freebies and competitions.

Want to receive Melanie’s Fab Finds posts once they are live?  Why not subscribe to get all first access to all my recipes,reviews, competitions etc.   I write about a range of topics and also host competitions so please do subscribe to have them delivered straight to your inbox.  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.

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Enter here:

Win a Case of Fentimans Spiced Ginger Beer

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck.

Contains Pr samples

Black Forest Fruits Eaton Mess

It’s the time of year when we are making or buying loads of foods and desserts to enjoy with friends and family.  I like homemade desserts rather than shop bought they taste so much better in most instances.  The stores are full of ready made desserts and in many instances you buy them super excited as they look amazing and then when you try them you are disappointing as they are not as great as you had expected.  Unfortunately, I am a victim of my own success in a way as I enjoy eating the desserts that I make as 99% of the time they taste great even if they don’t look perfect in my eyes.

For Christmas day I wanted to make something different so I made a Black Forest Fruits Eaton Mess which is was not only simple to make it also tasted delicious.  This Eaton Mess was combined with frozen fruits that you can easily find in supermarkets and are packed full of antioxidants and vitamin C (helps fight colds and free radicals).

pavlova1

The pavlova base is best made the night before.

Serves approximately 8-10 depending on serving size.

Ingredients

For the pavlova base

5 egg whites

250g caster sugar

1tsp white wine vinegar

2 level tsp corn flour

For the cream

approximately 250ml double cream

1tsp vanilla essence

For the black forest fruits topping

500g frozen black forest fruits

3 tbs of sugar, you can add this gradually to get the sweetness you like (add more if required)

Method

Pavlova base

Place the egg whites, corn flour, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and whisk until it forms thick stiff peaks and doesn’t move much when you tip the bowl.

Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and make a round with the mixture about 8 inches in diameter.

Place this in the oven for 1 hour at 140 degrees then turn the oven off and leave over night to cool.

The cream

Combine the cream and the vanilla and whisk until thick taking care not to over whisk this.

For the black forest topping

Throw the contents of the black forest fruits container into a pan and gently heat.  Add in 1 spoon of sugar at a time and gently stir in.  Try not to mix this too much as the fruit breaks down.  Add more sugar if you require.  Allow this to warm through so it isn’t frozen then cool before putting the dessert together.

To assemble grab a serving bowl.  Break up some of the pavlova and cover the base of the bowl.  Pour a little cream and then the fruits of the forest over this then repeat a further 2 times so you have 3 layers.

pavlova2

If you like you can add on some chocolate shavings (whichever chocolate you prefer) as this looks pretty and also tastes great.

Enjoy!

Simple Tuna Fish Cakes

I don’t eat anywhere as much fish as I should but I find that if I make recipes using it that are full of flavour than it is more likely to entice me to do so.  One such recipe includes tuna.  Tuna is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which reduces cholesterol levels in arteries and blood vessels.  Two portions a week can help reduce LDL (low density lipoproteins) thus reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.  Tuna also contains selenium which is an antioxidant and helps fight off free radicals thus reducing the risk of illness.  This is just the tip of the iceberg as tuna has many more benefits.  Tuna cakes are a great way to increase your fish intake and these are packed with all sorts of nutrients too.  In addition the tuna recipe also contains anchovies and these too contain omega 3.  Combined with the immune boosting properties that the garlic and onion bring with them this is not just a tasty and healthy food it is great to help ward off illness and to fight it.

So without further ado I give you my recipe for:

Tuna Fish Cakes

tuna1

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Ingredients

For the fish cakes:

2 120g tins tuna steaks

1 slice of brown bread

1 tin of anchovies

2 small onions

2 tbs chopped coriander

2 medium eggs

3tbs Worcestershire sauce

oil for shallow frying

For the garlic and lime mayonnaise:

1 small clove of garlic grated

3tbs mayonnaise

black pepper to taste

3tbs lime juice

grated lime rind optional, it adds more flavour and also adds a touch of colour

Method

For the mayo:

Spoon the mayo into a small bowl then add in all the prepared ingredients.

Cover with cling film and place n the fridge for the flavours to infuse.

For the fish cakes:

Break up the bread into crumbs either by hand or in a food processor.

Break up the chinks of tuna.

Chop the anchovies.

Chop the onions.

Give the eggs a quick light whisk.

Combine all the fish cake ingredients in a bowl.

Mould the mix into small burger shapes or balls (the number you make will vary depending on their size).

Place them n hot oil cooking for approx. 5 minutes each side.  You will need to do this in batches.  Cooking times will vary according to the heat of the oil and the thickness of the fish cakes.  Once they are a dark golden colour they are ready.

Place the fish cakes on some kitchen towel and allow the oil to be soaked up.  Repeat with fresh towel on the other side of the fish cakes but be quick as they are best served hot / warm.

Take out the mayonnaise from the fridge, spoon some into a pretty serving dish and place that with the fish cakes.

This can be served with salad or vegetables for a yummy and healthy meal.

Enjoy