Sample time!

What a great week, the Olympics kicked off last night with a complex and very well dreamed up opening ceremony that had something for everyone, I got an ‘A’ in my latest Nutrition course assignment and I managed to get another 5 recipes cooked and  into my book, despite being back at work this week. I’ve also had a few lovely comments about my book, its layout, the quality of the photography and more importantly the finished recipes themselves!

This time I want to share a few more things with you. Now I’m pretty comfortable with the layout of the book, I don’t mind showing you a sample page from the inside, which will give you a good idea of how the rest of the book looks. I also want to try to answer a couple of questions I had from readers after last time’s post.

But first, the cover…!

Janice with Front Cover of Book on iPadI have a cover for the book, which I designed right back when I first started out on this journey, and I still haven’t fallen out with it, so I want your opinion… good cover or not? What else, if anything, would you like to see on the cover to tell you more about what’s inside? Does this cover get across the point of what might be inside well enough? Do you think the picture works? Click for a closer look. And yes, this is me by the way!

I have been asked this week whether the book will contain any vegetarian recipes, and the answer to that is easy – YES. At the moment around half the recipes fall into this category, with options of turning lots of the others into vegetarian options simply by swapping the meat/fish for a suitable substitute. The recipe I’m about to share below is one of the vegetarian dishes.

Another question I was asked was when do I think the book will be out? Well, I’m currently working on the last 10-15 recipes for the book, and at the moment I’m managing to get around 5 or 6 per week done, so that would mean about 3 weeks until I finish cooking. Then I will have the finishing touches such as the ‘About the Ingredients’ section and of course I have my introduction to write, so maybe another week or two for all that. I am hoping it will be available by the end of August. Not too long to wait!

And so to the inside of the book. I have tended to stick with a similar layout for all recipes, so there will be a page with the ingredients, directions, a small picture and all the facts & figures about the dish. On the opposite side of the page (if you’re viewing a double spread) will be either a full page picture or sometimes two half page pictures of the finished dish.

Janice with Sample Recipe Page on iPad

If you click on the second picture you will see an example double page spread of my ‘Stuffed Walnut Topped Mushrooms’ recipe. What do you think?

You will also see on the bottom left corner of the page there is a little pie chart, not to make you want to eat pie(!), but to give you the all important macronutrient breakdown of the dish. You will see the amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat and saturated fat, indicated by the coloured portions. I think is a really great feature for those wanting to choose a recipe they can quickly see fits into their goals (high protein for example, or maybe the 40:40:20 ratios that are popular). Of course I also tell you how many calories in each portion and give you the gramme count of the protein, carbs and fat too.

And so to the recipe, I know, I know, you want it right now. I do hope you will try out this recipe as it really is easy peasy and anyone can do it. Plus, it tastes fabulous! Earlier in the week I gave this recipe to my vegetarian screenwriter friend in Canada, Shannon, and she tried it out and loved it. In fact she was so impressed she made the same dish using button mushrooms later the same week, which was also a success. So if you want to read her opinion, you can click here for the post all about it. And, finally here is the recipe in its entirety, just for you. Why not have a go at it this week and let me know what you thought.

Stuffed Walnut Topped Mushrooms

Stuffed Walnut-Topped Mushrooms


4 Portobello mushrooms (large, flat)

300g tub low fat, low sodium cottage cheese

1 clove of garlic, minced

½ small red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 banana shallot or 2 small regular shallots, finely chopped

Ground black pepper, to taste

10 walnut halves, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 190C / 375F / Gas 5.

Cut off the stalks of the mushrooms then lay them upside down an oven tray.

In a small bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, garlic, shallot and red pepper.

Spoon the mixture onto the upturned mushrooms, pressing it down slightly and making sure it is pressed into all edges.

Add freshly ground pepper to the surface of the cottage cheese mixture then top with the finely chopped walnuts.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes, turning half way through the cooking time. Once the walnuts start to brown the stuffed mushrooms are done.

You may find that quite a bit of water is released from both the mushrooms and the cottage cheese, this is quite normal and the water can be discarded.

Serve immediately. Use either 2 mushrooms per person or serve 1 mushroom per person with some green vegetables on the side.

Two stuffed mushrooms gives 219 calories, 21g protein, 13g carbohydrates, 10g fat (2g of which is saturated fat).

So there you have it, and now let me have it – your opinions and any more questions please!!!




  1. Okay, forget about how fantastic the cover looks, can we talk about your arms for a second? Buff sister! You are glowing and your book looks amazing!

  2. The cover is definitely a hit with me. I’m so glad that you are putting pictures with every recipe. I’m the same as you that if I don’t see a picture then I can’t be bothered to make it. Wow 🙂 you are certainly on a roll! Oh and yes, I agree with Shan, keep working those arms!

    1. So glad you like the cover, thanks! And yes, at least one picture with every recipe, I want people to SEE the food first, then see how easy it is to make second. Always working on the arms…! x

  3. The cover looks great and I love having pictures of the food with the recipe because half the time I will not try a recipe unless there is food. For your measurements, will you use only grams? I cannot wait to try out the stuffed mushroom recipe, it looks great!

    1. Thanks Nicole! For the measurements I have used both cups and grammes. I find cups easier as you don’t need to get your weighing scales out and be so precise. A cup is a cup. In some cases I have used grammes, for example above the cottage cheese tends to come in tubs that are 300g here, so I’ve said one 300g tub. I’ll go through the book and try to make sure I’ve given gramme and cup measurements so that you can use either way. Thanks for the question!

  4. Janice, just learning about this new way of eating and look forward to getting your look!! Can’t wait 😉

  5. Mmmm those mushrooms look good and easy too. I will definitely be trying those out.
    I like the fact that you’re ging to be including a break down of the amount of protein, carbohydrates etc in each recipe too.
    Oh and well done on your ‘A’ in your assignment. What is the qualification that you are doing again?
    And finally I like the cover of your book. Hope you’re gonna include some shots of yourself in it too or maybe on the back cover. I always like to see who’s doing the cooking when I but a cookery book!!

    1. Hi Sam, Yes you should definitely try out the mushrooms, you will love them. They might become your new leeks (in-joke!)! The course I’m doing is a Level 4 NCFE Diploma in Nutrition, I’ve got straight A’s up to now, ha ha.
      Glad you like the book cover, and yes, I am including a picture of myself in there, with my little introduction to the book.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for your interest! The nutrition course is a level 4 NCFE qualification, ‘Diploma in Nutrition’, which covers everything from the workings of the human body, through the various food groups, then goes onto specific nutrition for different population types, such as children, older people, sports nutrition etc. It even covers setting up your own business as a nutritionist at the end, but I think I’ve enough on my plate for now! If you’re interested in doing something similar I would say go for it, it’s SO interesting and really firms up your knowledge of the subject.
      Hope you’re enjoying following my journey to get this book out there, not long now!

  6. Just made these for dinner (without the walnuts as we didn’t have any) I have to say DELICIOUS. These are going to be a regular on our menu. Thank you, thank you, thank you

    1. Thanks Tracey, I’m glad you enjoyed them, even without the walnuts! You could also use crushed pecans or even peanuts on top if you wanted, they all add a little extra crunch and flavour to the dish.

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